Tag Archive for 'pasta'

Pasta with cavolo nero, ricotta and pancetta

pasta with cavolo nero, ricotta and pancetta

pasta with cavolo nero, ricotta and pancetta

Can you believe that now you can buy cavolo nero (literally: black cabbage) here in the North of England? For those who don’t know what it is: it’s a cabbage with a longish, knobbly, blackish  sort of leaf, very common in Tuscany. I confess I had never cooked with it before but apparently it’s packed full of minerals and vitamins and really good for you. I made this simple pasta dish not so long ago and was really quite pleased with it. Mind you, I made the mistake of not getting rid of the woody stalk which of the cabbage which was rather hard and chewy. Next time I would only use the leaves. I found the recipe on the Giallo zafferano blog. Continue reading ‘Pasta with cavolo nero, ricotta and pancetta’

Linguine with fennel, rocket and lemon

fettuccine with fennel, rocket and lemon

Pasta is such a versatile dish. There must be thousands of different recipes out there waiting to be made and yet we always end up making the same old, same old. But last night I was determined to find a new one to add to my repertoire. And this is what I found, which I’m now sharing with you. It’s in the Veg book by Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall (great collection of vegetarian recipes, by the way!). It’s really fresh tasting, thanks to the lemon zest and incredibly quick and easy to make. I was impressed and will certainly make it again. Of course you can use any pasta you like. I believe good old Hugh uses tagliatelle. Continue reading ‘Linguine with fennel, rocket and lemon’

Fettuccine with cherry tomatoes and asparagus

fettuccine with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

First of all a warm welcome to Lauma, Tomik’s younger sister, making her first appearance on the blog (see previous recipe blogged by Candi) ! Aren’t they cute these two little cats! :-) Well folks, let me be honest here. It ain’t a bundle of fun to break one’s leg, I tell you! Apart from the boredom of being confined in the house,  even the simplest of tasks become a massive chore…cooking being one of them. At present my husband has been given the title of honourary chef, or should I say commis chef: I instruct, he cooks. Obviously I have to choose very simple and straightforward things or he wouldn’t be so cooperative. Anyway the other day we made this quick and healthy pasta dish together. I found this recipe in a book  called The Low-Gi vegetarian cookbook by Rose Elliot.  I adapted the recipe slightly by adding  to the past some olive oil which had been infused with garlic and a bit of chilli. Purely because the first time I made it  I thought it was slightly bland. Anyway, this is healthy, quick and easy. Recommended for anyone in a hurry. Continue reading ‘Fettuccine with cherry tomatoes and asparagus’

Penne ai quattro formaggi


penne ai quattro formaggi

This recipe is definitely NOT for those who have to watch their cholesterol levels. In truth I have NO idea what my levels are or whether I have to watch them as I haven’t been tested recently. Should I worry?? Anyway, I reckon a bit of dairy indulgence now and again won’t harm you. I made this dish last week when I invited a group of tutees about to graduate from my University. I promised them an Italian pasta night and promptly made lasagne BUT one of them was vegetarian so I had to think of an alternative. This recipe from Gino D’Acampo (slightly adapted) is a quick and easy dish, suitable for your non meat eater friends. It’s simple, filling and delicious. I will definitely make it again. Continue reading ‘Penne ai quattro formaggi’

Pesto di aglio orsino

Ci sono giorni in primavera in cui in alcuni posti si sprigiona all’improvviso un pungente profumo di erba cipollina. In realtà, l’ho capito solo quest’anno, si tratta di aglio orsino (Allium ursinum L.). E’ una pianta bulbosa dai fiori bianchi e foglie larghe, delicate e setose, dall’odore pungente di aglio appartenente alla famiglia delle Liliaceae come il tulipano, il giglio, il mughetto ed altre. Una volta appuratene la commestibilità mi è venuta voglia di farci qualcosa. Il primo esperimento ha prodotto questo pesto. Poi è ricominciato a piovere e non sono più andata a spasso :( Qui ci sono altre ricette per consolarci. Continue reading ‘Pesto di aglio orsino’

Linguine with purple sprouting broccoli, goat’s cheese and walnuts

linguine with purple sprouting broccoli

Yes I know, what a long title for a recipe! But that’s the name the Riverford people (the organic vegetable company I buy my veggies from)  gave it . Every week I get my seasonal vegetables box delivered to my door, which includes a leaflet with recipe ideas. I have tried quite a few already over the months and I must say they are usually very nice indeed. This one is what I made last night as in the last box I got I found a bag of purple sprouting broccoli (they are called cime di rapa in Italian). I really enjoyed it so here I am presenting it to you. If you knew what time I’m writing this you would think I have looped the loop, so to speak. It’s exactly 4.08 in the morning to be precise (according to the computer) and it’s still dark outside. But what can I say? I couldn’t sleep so instead of tossing and turning in bed I decided to share my recipe. If that’s not dedication to the foodie cause tell me what is! And by the way Candi, I’m curious to hear whether cime di rapa is a common vegetable in Italy. My mother never made it for us, for example. Continue reading ‘Linguine with purple sprouting broccoli, goat’s cheese and walnuts’

La salsa di noci

Certo che dopo la passeggiata siciliana è ben difficile non postare almeno un bel dolcetto a base di mandorle o di pistacchio! Ma ligia al sobrio volere di Lucina ecco qua un sughetto per la pasta che uso spessissimo perché è veloce e gli ingredienti possono essere sempre tenuti in dispensa per salvare la situazione quando arriva un ospite improvviso. Inoltre ormai tutti conoscono le virtù degli omega 3 (e se volete di più fatevi davvero un giro per il bellissimo e utile blog di Gunther Karl Fuchs, Papille vagabonde che si imparano tante cose) e le noci sono una buona soluzione se non sempre c’è una pescheria sottomano.

Ma bando alle ciance (o meglio, ciando alle bande, come diceva mio papà), ecco la semplice ricetta (che viene dalla Liguria) come la faccio io. Continue reading ‘La salsa di noci’

Lasagne primavera

lasagne primavera

Looking back on the recipes we have blogged so far  I’ve realized we are very rich in cakes and all manner of sweet things (and I wonder why) but rather poor in pasta dishes. This won’t do!  Considering Candi and myself are Italian I’d say this oversight is close to a crime, so here is a nice recipe suitable for vegetarians I half invented (I saw a similar one in a free supermarket magazine in Italy. I get inspired by all sorts!) which I made the other night. I LOVE all types of baked pasta, particularly lasagne. I’ve tried different combinations over the years (traditional, with spinach and ricotta, with aubergines and mozzarella, with salmon and broccoli, the one Candi blogged with pumpkin and gorgonzola…you name it) and, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with it. It always tastes great! In this particular one I put grilled courgettes, asparagus and peas. Plus a bit of ricotta cheese for some added interest. I always make my bechamel sauce in the microwave, which makes it dead easy to accomplish. For this particular recipe as the theme was spring (hence the name “primavera”, which means spring in Italian. I used the Italian word for special effects :-)) and the dominant colour was green I used spinach lasagne sheets. Continue reading ‘Lasagne primavera’

Tortei scapà

I tortelli scappati. Chi ha un nonno mantovano sa di cosa parlo. Dall’età della pietra la massaia indaffarata ha escogitato furbizie e espedienti per risparmiare tempo o soldi. Gli uccelletti scappati, ad esempio, o questi tortelli al grado zero. Niente tortelli di zucca ma il loro ripieno usato come condimento di una pasta corta (io ho usato dei gnocchetti sardi). I tortelli di zucca nel ripieno hanno anche un punta di liquido per la mostarda. Qui io l’ho omesso, perché non è un ingrediente che si ha sempre sottomano e questo sugo è veramente veloce, comodo, basta avere un po’ di zucca nei paraggi. Ah, ecco, l’unica accortezza: la zucca deve essere bella soda e non acquosa. La specie iron cup, ad esempio, che la nostra Terry delle fragole ci fornisce ogni settimana (per ora, finirà, purtroppo, la lunga stagione delle zucche).

Continue reading ‘Tortei scapà’

Pasta e fagioli soup

pasta e fagioli

This is a nice, hearty soup ideal for those LOOOOONG winter nights when it starts getting dark at 4. How I hate this time of the year! By the way, I am using the Italian name for this recipe for two reasons: firstly it’s a well known Italian dish and secondly it sounds much better in Italian than in English. Its translation would be: pasta and beans soup . But would that sound appealing to my UK friends? I don’t think so. But if I give it its Italian name, hey presto! It sounds exotic and outlandish. In truth it is a humble peasant dish. Nothing exotic about it. I usually make it with chick peas. But I had run out of them so I used borlotti beans instead. It tastes nice with either. I cook it quite a lot when I’m pressed for time (which is very often these days) as it’s a quick soup to make but very tasty too. There are many different versions out there. I would be interested in knowing how you make it, Candi. Anyway my recipe is simplicity personified… Continue reading ‘Pasta e fagioli soup’