Archive for the 'Primi' Category

Gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

These little potato dumplings are a classic in Italian cuisine. You cook them by dropping into a pan of salted, boiling water. Then when they raise to the surface (which means they are ready) you drain them and dress them with any sauce you like. I made a cream and gorgonzola sauce, tossed the gnocchi in it and then blasted them under a hot grill to achieve an au gratin effect. You can buy these ready made in supermarkets (and by the way, English people never know how to pronounce the word right) but they are not a patch on the homemade variety, which are light and fluffy. I used the recipe from the “Cucchiaio d’argento” recipe book. It worked really well. I still remember the first time I made gnocchi many many years ago when I ended up with a mixture that resembled wallpaper paste. It ended up in the bin, of course. But not these little babies which I will make again for sure as they were gorgeous! Continue reading ‘Gnocchi di patate’

Roasted pumpkin with toasted sweetcorn soup

roasted pumpkin and toasted sweetcorn soup

  roasted pumpkin and toasted sweetcorn soup

Hello all you soup lovers! Who doesn’t like a soup when the weather is cold and grey like it is at the moment? Here’s a delicious recipe to add to  your repertoire.  Really simple but extremely tasty. And the colour is gorgeous: a lovely bright orange! I got the inspiration from Delia Smith but I adapted it quite significantly. For a start I roasted the pumpkin and scooped the flesh out instead of peeling it and cooking it from raw, which is what Delia does. It’s such a faff to peel a pumpkin and life ain’t long enough. I find that roasting it and using the cooked flesh is so much easier for soups and many other recipes besides (like risotto, for instance). Secondly I chose not to liquidize it as you get the nice texture of the sweetcorn this way. Anyway…try it and see for yourself how good it is! :-) Continue reading ‘Roasted pumpkin with toasted sweetcorn soup’

Spinach spätzle


I FINALLY got round to using the spätzle maker that my German friend Beate had kindly given me (see picture below for what it looks like). After literally YEARS! HURRAH! Better late than never,eh? Good things come to those who wait, and all that! Anyway, I can see I will be using it again real soon as it was really a very straightforward and simple affair. What are spätzle? They are a German/Austrian speciality. Basically they are little gnocchi (dumplings) made with flour, eggs and water. Uneven, worm shaped pasta, basically. You make the mixture, then you put it in what looks like a potato press and squeeze it on top of a pan of boiling water. They cook instantaneously as they drop in the water. Traditionally they are eaten with a cheese and fried onion sauce.  I made the spinach version. I thought they were very tasty and easy. I simply dressed them with a sage and butter sauce and sprinkled them generously with grated parmesan. Delicious! The recipe comes from the Giallo Zafferano blog, slightly adapted. Continue reading ‘Spinach spätzle’

Vellutata di zucchine alla nocciola

Eh! solo Lucina deve postare cibo salutare? Eh no. Ecco qua per rimediare (anche per le prossime ricette che saranno dolci) una zuppetta veloce e davvero buona. Il sapore delle zucchine sta benissimo con le nocciole e così ho fatto questo esperimento. Continue reading ‘Vellutata di zucchine alla nocciola’

Asparagus, broad beans and herbs risotto

broad beans, asparagus and herbs risotto

This delicious risotto was made by my dear friend (and chemo buddy) Cairine who took pity on my broken leg (and on the fact I was home alone for the week ) and invited me over for dinner. What you must know is that cooking is not her forte (or so she says. I am beginning to doubt it, to be honest) so she was feeling slightly terrified at the prospect of cooking her favourite risotto to an Italian person  who, on top of that, runs a blog. But she needn’t be, as it was simply delicious! AND she used her iron cast pot (see photo below)! I helped her to stir it and to add the stock but she did it all on her own. The proof I really enjoyed it is that it’s now on my blog. So well done Cairine and thank you for the inspiration!! I’ll definitely make it again! By the way the recipe comes from the Riverford organic farm website. Continue reading ‘Asparagus, broad beans and herbs risotto’

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’

Canederli agli spinaci

canederli agli spinaci

As I promised on my return from my summer holidays in the Dolomites here I am blogging a typical dish from that area ( which I finally got round to making) : the legendary canederli. What are they? I hear you ask…. Well, the best way to describe them is they are big bread dumplings which are cooked in boiling salted water. A bit like gnocchi. They were originally a peasant dish. I have made the vegetarian version (with spinach and cheese) but the traditional ones contain speck which is a smoked ham from those mountains. I tried both versions when I was in Italy, as well as those made with beetroot. All delicious,  and a great way to use stale bread. They are not difficult to prepare and are very tasty (as well as VERY filling). Recipes on the internet vary but here’s what I did. It worked first time. Continue reading ‘Canederli agli spinaci’

Soup à l’oignon con uno spruzzo di kirsch


 Di solito si fa in pirottini individuali che fa molto fino. Direi che il pentolone da portare in tavola e pescarvi mestolate tutti insieme è più caldo e riduce molto il lavoro della padrona di casa. La bellezza non va scambiata con spocchia e spesso portati dal bombardamento della moda ci cadiamo tutti. Questa è una zuppa poverissima (pame e cipolle), dopo due di queste potete andare al cinema gratis o aumentare le donazioni al vostro progetto solidale preferito :)

Ho aggiunto, infine, un ingrediente per ricordare una persona cara per la proprietà transitiva dell’amore.






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Inizio d’autunno? Risotto alle nocciole e zucchine

Cambiato lo sfondo del blog con un colorino più autunnale, posto questa ricettuzza che ho pensato per utilizzare la farina di nocciole che langue nel mio armadio e che è a rischio farfallina (visto che con la torrida estate 2012 i simpatici esserini svolazzanti si sono moltiplicati a dismisura). Ne avevo mangiato una versione forse più nobile nella patria della nocciole, in Piemonte. Ecco la mia proposta, veloce, da fare in fretta, per una domenica sera d’autunno, quando tutta la famiglia miracolosamente si riunisce, fuori è umidiccio, dentro calduccio, il lunedì incombe ma ancora siamo noi, qui dentro, al sicuro. Continue reading ‘Inizio d’autunno? Risotto alle nocciole e zucchine’

Insalata di riso rosso all’orata e alle fave


E adesso un pausa leggera dopo tutti quei dolciumi! Con questo caldo spopolano le insalate di riso e io sono sempre alla riceva di un’alternativa giusta per chi non ama cetriolini e sottaceti vari, visto che in famiglia non sono molto apprezzati. Ecco questa idea che mi è venuta per finire un po’ di orata avanzata e usare le erbette che ho seminato a primavera.

Continue reading ‘Insalata di riso rosso all’orata e alle fave’