Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Homemade pesto

Tonight I decided to try and make some pesto - and as you can see, I didn't do too badly. You'll probably know that pesto consists of:
- basil
- Parmesan
- olive oil
- garlic 
- pine nuts 

You can use a variation of weights... It's all a matter if trial and error or what you prefer really. Tonight I added too much Parmesan. Next time I'll add more basil! I realised that one basil plant does not hold enough leaves. 

The recipe is really simple - just pound all the ingredients with mortar and pestle, adding the olive oil slowly. It's really that easy. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Parmigiana arricchita

So last night I cooked up the dish parmigiana arricchita that I mentioned in my last post and it actually turned out well! Although there was a funny moment: pouring passata all over my white slippers! I have to confess, i have an injured neck at the moment and Fabio actually did most of the preparing, I just layered the ingredients in the dish - so the credit goes to him. 

See last post for ingredients. 
Method - 
1. Grill the salted aubergines. 

2. Mix 2 eggs with 4 spoons ( dessert spoon) of passata and some fresh basil. Grate your grana. Slice your mozzarella. 

 3. start layering your ingredients with: the rest of your passata, aubergines, grana, egg mix and mozzarella. Continue until all your ingredients are used and finish with a sprinkling of grana. 

The end result! 
A surprisingly delicious meal- especially  if you are having vegetarian guests. The tomato was creamy with the egg and the grana was crispy on top! Yum. 

Let me know what you think, if you try it! 

Next up - Gnocco Fritto from Emilia region (if I can find the ingredient 'strutto' and if I can decipher the recipe - lots of squiggly italian writing). 

Ci sentiamo! 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Hello strangers.

It's sure been a while since I did my last post. However, today , after reading italian cooking magazine cucina moderna, I feel inspired to write again! 
To be fair, I have been busy since my last post: I have moved to Cheltenham and gained a job as a editorial Assisstant/junior sub-editor on a gardening magazine. So yeah, pretty busy trying to stop living out of suitcases and being surrounded by millions of boxes. 
Fabio is with me now too - the Perfect italian cooking subject! Mwahaha. 
Also, we've made friends with an Italian couple here too; from Novara and Ancona - and they're very enthusiastic about cooking! 

Anywho I'm going to stop my rambling and say that tonight we are cooking Parmigiana arricchita, from the magazine. (I think my Elizabeth David book is packed - if you're wondering what I'm talking about - see earlier posts!) 

This recipe is apparently great for using leftovers of melanzane (Aubergine). 
All you need is: 
2 x uova (egg)
500g di Sugo di pomodoro (tomato purée)
Sale (salt)
750g di melanzana ( aubergine)
100g di grana (grana is a Parmesan)
300g di mozzarella. (I'm sure you all know this one!)

Back later with the method, result and pictures!

A presto! 

Friday, 9 November 2012

I'm back and I say NO to an after meal cappuccino.

Hello again!

I know I haven't written in a long while, but I have been rather busy with, well, life! 
But this blog is not about me, it's about my love for Italian food, and Italy in general. 
So I'm going to try and be good and update this more often, so I can try and inform, and quite possibly entertain you, through my journey of discovery of cooking Italian food. 

Now I haven't cooked anything typically Italian in a while, and I must admit, I do miss it. I'm going to put my head down in shame and say that last night I cooked tuna pasta bake, from a sachet  Yes, that is what it has come to. (However I must admit it was yummy..I was craving it..and it took me back to my childhood.)

So even though I have nothing to delight you with, however, after reading 'Letter from Italy: Say no to cappuccino', (link is here), I feel  I must address the situation too. 

I know that we, as English, have been brought up to think coffee is bad; espresso coffee is too strong; you're a builder if you don't put milk in your coffee, (not my view), but now that we have become such a cultured society, this must stop. 
For starters, a cappuccino is actually too filling, (for me anyway) for after a meal. 
Espresso can make you feel less full. 

So why would you want to resort to something which is basically like another meal? 

I know that I have been found guilty of this, (pre- meeting my boyfriend and travelling to Italy), however, post-crime, I have learnt that there is much more enjoyment when you can quickly knock back an espresso and leave to pay, rather than having to sit there and make your relatives wait for you whilst you endlessly try to sip through a boiling hot mug of milky coffee. 
Since my travels to Italy, I have now adopted their ways and have converted my toast and Marmite breakfast, to a caffe latte. You should too. It's easy. 

All you need is:

1. One cafetiera. 
You can buy one here.
2. One pack of ground coffee. 
Try Lavazza, (it's the best)
3. A mug full of the milk of your choice.

Put the coffee into the coffee compartment of the cafetiera, making sure it's level. Heat on top of stove until it comes through and you can smell the coffee goodness. Heat the milk up however you like, (microwave or pan), and pour coffee into milk. Add sugar if you like. Stir. Hey presto, a breakfast which is filling, and NOT made to wash your meal down with. 

Happy coffee making! Do let me know if you've been converted too. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Stylish blog award!

Dear all,

Amazingly, I have just been awarded the Stylish Blog Award by Rachel Pattinson! I am very grateful for this award, thank you so much! I can't believe you think my blog is stylish... I hope to improve it! But for now, I shall accept that it is.

Stealing this from Rachel's blog, (thanks!), this is how it works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share five things about your blog
3. Award five recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

So as I said, lots of thanks go to Rachel! 

So here are five things to know about my blog! 

1. I was inspired by the blog from the book/film, Julie and Julia, however I do not want to copy!
2. I have always loved Italian food and now I have a reason to expand my knowledge, and an excuse to eat more!
3. I may not update my blog everyday because buying ingredients is expensive and I really want this to focus mainly on the Elizabeth David Italian Food book. 
4. I can't wait for the day when I have loads of followers!
5. This blog also gives me a chance to learn how to take photos of food in a more creative way. 

So, there we go! Now I need to give five of my favorite new bloggers their award! It could be you! 

Grazie, ciao! 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hello All! 
Just popping in to tell you all about these scrummy biscuits called Plasmon! They are meant to be biscuits for babies.. ahem.. but my boyfriend and I love them. He's loved them since he was a baby, and I have ever since I first visited his house in Italy. You must try them with your morning coffee! (But be careful you don't eat the whole packet...my boyfriend knows it's hard not to!)
Try and find them at your local Italian deli.

I shall be back soon, hopefully with the seafood salad recipe! It's going to be an expensive one to do.. and I have quite a few plans this week, so I may not be able to do it until next week, but fear not, I will return! 

Ciao ciao :)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Dear readers,

Tonight was the night for my antipasto alla Genovese, which in my opinion, is very a very strange antipasto. 
Elizabeth does not say how to serve it or how to cook it, so I just had to use my best judgement. 
I started off cooking the frozen broad beans, which as I said before, should have been whole broad beans! Meanwhile whilst they were bubbling away, I layered the Tuscan salame on a plate and filled a tiny bowl with salted cream cheese. Once the beans were done, I poured them into another bowl, as they were. Now, as I didn't know how to serve it, I decided to serve it just as it was, but with some crusty bread and white wine, as Elizabeth recommends.
The taster for the night was my boyfriend Fabio. He said he liked it, apart from the beans, as he's not a fan of them. I decided to eat the bread dipped in the cheese, wrapped in the salami and with a bean on top! It was surprisingly yummy! 
I wonder how they do it in Genoa? 

Here is a picture...

All in all, it was an interesting antipasto, but like I said, it was strange, especially to eat beans with cheese and salami. I can't even seem to find where it came from in Genova and why they ate it. If anyone knows, tell me!
 But for me it didn't have the wow factor, and I reckon there are definitely more adventurous ones out there! For example, the next Hors D' Euvre I shall be attempting will be insalata di frutti di mare, (seafood salad), which I know will be a hit with the boyfriend! 
I shall be back soon with what ingredients are needed. Let me know if you attempt this recipe!

Ciao ciao!