½ teaspoon coriander ground, quantity to taste (or other spices or herbs to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
More or less 100 g grinded almonds for coating
Oil for frying (I used olive oil)
Drain well your chickpeas and blend them until smooth
Add cheese, almonds, egg, spices and salt and pepper. Combine well working this with a fork or a spoon. Adjust spices, salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture results to wet, add some more grinded almonds.
Scoop some mixture, form to ball with your hands, make the little flat and coat them in the additional grinded almonds. Place on a plate until you will have all them ready.
In a non-sticky skillet heat little oil. Place the croquettes to fry gently. Brush or drizzle the upper side with oil. Turn when they begins to brown and cook on the other side until golden. Do not overcook them as they are delicious especially if moist.
Tortelli di zucca, cappellacci di zucca or ravili di zucca is a traditional dish which I always thought I should prepare once and that finally I made it for my family and for you!
This recipe of “pumpkin ravioli” (if I may translated in this way) has its roots around the city of Mantova, but you can find many different variation in the town of Ferrara (without amaretti), Piacenza (with the addition of ricotta), Cremona (with the sweet fruit mustard of Cremona, not to be confused with Dijon mustard), Pavia (where they use tomatoes with sausages for the sauce) and Reggio Emilia (less nutmeg and less mustard but more Parmesan cheese).
This specialty is are one of the most iconic dishes within the culinary repertoire of northern Italy. It should be best prepared with the “zucca mantovana” (a dry-fleshed yellow pumpkin) that has the best consistency for thefilling. The filling traditionally also takes crumbled amaretti biscuits and frequently “mostarda di Cremona” (a sweet, apple and fruits based sweet preserve) plus grated Parmesan cheese. The dough is regular fresh egg pasta (1 egg every 100 g flour), either shaped like a tortello (as I did) or like a square ravioli. I also saw different shapes, but is really up to you and how much time you would like spend for this fancy dish.
The addition of nutmeg to the filling and the herbs for the butter are essential and they give to this dish a rich and very enjoyable taste.
The version I made is without amaretti (I simply did not have them on hand), but I added a little bit of breadcrumbs the make the texture little stiffer.
800 di sweet yellow pumpkin (best if zucca Mantovana)
80 g mostarda di Cremona
100 g parmesan cheese, grated
80 g di amaretti (or about 2 heaped tablespoons breadcrumbs), crushed
Nutmeg to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste
5 tablespoon butter
12 fresh sage leaves, or to taste
little bit fresh rosemary, optional
Grated parmesan cheese
Roast the pumpkin in the oven: cut the pumpkin in the oven and cook it at 180°C for about 20-30 minutes or until soft.
During this time prepare the dough working the ingredients until smooth. Cover or wrap with plastic foil.
Prepare the filling: Scrape out the pulp pumpkin add the mostarda di Cremona and puree it with food processor. Add the other ingredients, combine well with the spoon and season to taste.
Roll out the dough to thin sheets with a pasta maker or by hand.
Shape the tortelli or ravioli as you like. I my case I made rounds of about 5 cm diameter, filled with 1 teaspoon filling, folded once and fixed the edges together. Place them on a clean towel.
Bring enough water to boil and add salt to taste (as usually for pasta).
In the meantime put the butter in a small pot and let it melt and just it begins to brown add sage and brown as desired. Do not burn the herbs!
Tranfer the tortelli into the boiling water, let them cook 2-3 minutes, more or less, depending how thin you have rolled the dough, obviously the ticker, the longer the time. They will float when ready.
Serve the tortelli, pour butter sauce on top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Do want to keep the taste of the summer for the winter?
This is a simple but easy way to preserve the full flavour of your tomatoes and at the
same time to have quick ready dish when you feel you are missing the sun and
your fresh tomatoes from the garden.
This year we got a wonderful tomatoes harvest and we are still harvesting every day. We exchanged seed with friends and so we got an incredible variety of tomatoes and other
vegetables. Now the winter is approaching, we all have to save electricity and
with this method you will prepare great pasta dishes without spending a lot of
time in cooking your tomatoes sauce.
Important! For sterilization with a pressure canner, please follow the instruction for the
equipment. Depending on the Country you live, you will find completely
different safety instruction about canning and possible botulinum poisoning.
All quantity to taste and according to your harvest J
Olive oil (about 4 tablespoons per kg tomatoes)
Garlic, chopped to taste
Balsamic vinegar (4 tablespoons per kg tomatoes), this is needed for longer storage
Salt (about 1 teaspoon per kg tomatoes)
Basil leaves or flowers to taste
Clean and dice tomatoes according to their size. I did not dice wild tomatoes, I halved cherry tomatoes and the other tomatoes in 1- 1.5 cm big sizes.
Heat oil and add the garlic. Roast only a few minutes until fragrant.
Remove garlic-oil mixture and pour it over the prepared tomatoes. Add vinegar and little salt.
Combine gently and let sit for about 2 hours. They will release some juices.
Add basil and stir well.
Place the tomatoes mixture into the jars. Fill jars, leaving 2 cm headspace. Press gently down the tomatoes in order to cover the pieces with their juices.. Slide a nonmetallic spatula (a plastic knife works well) around the inside edge of the jar, pressing back gently on tomatoes to release any air bubbles. Do not add water.
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe any tomato residue from the outer rim of the jar. This is necessary in order seal tight the jars. Screw lid evenly and firmly, but not too tight; just until resistance is met and lids are fingertip tight.
I performed the “heat treatment” of the canned tomatoes in water bath. Place the jars into big pot (or use a canner). Fill with warm water. The water must cover the jars by 2 cm. Bring to a rolling boil, cover the pot and boil for 60 minutes if using 250-500 ml jars. Let cool down completely before removing the jars from the pot. Check if the lid is tightly closed after cooling down. For heat treatment, please follow the instruction of your equipment (for example the pressure canner) and the following link: https://extension.umn.edu/preserving-and-preparing/canning-quick-reference-chart.
Suggestion: place the jar in water bath or shortly in microwave and serve over hot pasta with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil
Early this year we saw indoors many kind of peppers and chilies, now in September many of them are ready and it’s a challenge to use them all.
We love to prepare them in the oven (see also……) as still green; we do not use only the “Pimientos de Padron” peppers for this recipe, we found that most peppers are great for this preparation.
I bought also some small round peppers called “ciliegia piccante” peppers, which are very often served stuffed and preserved in oil.
This time I used to prepare this recipe and as we had different kind of small (chili) peppers, we decided to use them in this way. The “pimientos de Padron” I got are quite hot (may be as we had a hot and dry summer), and with this preparation we can reduce the heat and prepare something which can be enjoyed in winter as well.
We prepared two kinds of stuffing: one with tuna fish and the other with cream cheese.
As pepper we used: hot “cherry peppers”, some “aji amarillo”, “Bishop’s Crown” Peppers, small mini peppers (as for snacks), “pimientos de Padron” peppers and some simply sweet small round peppers.
All peppers where precooked in a vinegar solution and the jars were sterilized for longer storage.
Try these stuffed pepper recipe, this makes a truly impressive antipasti dish. These small peppers are bursting with flavour, thanks to the herbed fillings.
All quantities of the recipes are only a reference, you should adapt it to your taste
First step: Boiling
Mini peppers or chilies, stem and seed removed
250 ml white wine vinegar
50 ml water
½ teaspoon salt
Second step: tuna stuffing
Drained tuna fish in oil
Capers to taste
Chopped green olives to taste
Salt to taste
Dried basil to taste
Pepper to taste to taste
Third step: cream cheese stuffing
Cream cheese with herbs
Pitted big green olives
Herbs or bay leaves, optional
Fourth step: preservation in oil
200-450 ml jars
Olive oil or sunflower oil (or mixture) as needed
Remove carefully the stem and all seeds from the peppers using surgical gloves.
Bring to boil vinegar, water and salt.
Boil the peppers in bathes for 2 minutes, drain them quickly and place them on a towel cut side down to dry until next day (or at least 4 hours).
Mix the ingredients for the tuna fish mix in bowl, blend shortly to make them smoother
Fill peppers with tuna fix mixture and top with one additional capper. Place them into a small jar (filling looking outside).
Fill peppers with herbed cream chess and close the opening with halved olives. Place them into a jar and add some herbs (I used thyme and bay leaves).
Fill the jars with oil trying to release the air bubbles from the gaps. Close well the jars.
Place the jars into big pot (or use a canner). Fill with warm water. The water must cover the jars by 2 cm. Bring to a rolling boil, cover the pot and boil for 30 minutes if using 250-450 ml jars. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing the jars from the pot.
Enjoy after at least one week. If correctly canned this can be stored for a few months in the fridge or a cool and dark place.
Remains of the oil can be added to your tomato sauce recipe.
Do not throw away flesh and seeds, soften them gently in olive oil for about 15 minutes, and place them into a teabag, transfer with the oil into a jar and cover with more olive oil. Keep cover with oil. You will get a wonderful hot and spicy olive oil for you dishes. During the storage this will turn hotter.
One of our absolute beloved, fresh and spongy super quick cake!
The source of this recipe is a popular recipe which we got in Spain and we adapted it reducing the oil and the sugar only for personal taste. We use Greek plain yogurt + fresh lemon instead of yogurt with lemon taste. In Spain this cake is also called “bizcocho 1 2 3 “.
We prepare if you are traveling into holidays apartments (yes, we I carried the empty tin with us) for a fast breakfast and a snack for our road trips.
For the easiest version you may use the container of your yogurt as the measure of 1 cup.
These pizza rolls are surprisingly easy to be prepared, but you need to start about 3 hours in advance as the dough need some time for rising. If you do not have time, skip the homemade pizza dough and try with a good quality store bough pizza dough.
The proposed filling is very simple, but you any other ingredients you like on pizzas.
4-5 tablespoons olive oil (or as needed), this for the dough and for rolling
1 tin chopped tomatoes (pelati), drained
1 tablespoon tomatoes concentrate paste
1 tablespoon pesto
½ teaspoon oregano, dried (quantity to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
250 g shredded mozzarella cheese (store bought)
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Additional ingredients to taste: dried onions, olives, capers….
Dissolve the yeast in about 100 ml water and 50 g of flour. Wait until yeast is active and foamy.
Now all the remaining flour, water and salt. Mix well and set aside for about 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime place drain the tomatoes over a sieve in order to eliminate excessive water.
Stretch and fold about 5 times or until dough becomes elastic and smooth. For this step I add about 1 tablespoon of oil on the sides of the bowl. Cover and set aside until doubled.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to the size of about 40 X 60 cm.
Combine the drained tomatoes with the tomatoes paste, the pesto, the oregano and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread the tomatoes mixture over the dough letting about 3 cm of the long side free (you will need the border to close the roll). Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan. Top the cheese with additional ingredients to taste.
Start rolling the dough from the long side to a tight log. Seal the end by pinching the dough free of filling.
Spread about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the log and coat it well with your hands or a baker’s brush.
Using a super sharp knife slice the pizza dough log into equal rolls, placing them onto baking tray lined with parchment paper. For this step I made 24 pieces for 4 x 6 rolls in my baking tray. We prefer to bake these on a tray quite near to each other so that while rising they will fill the tray completely; the oil will make the step of separating them super easy.
Brush the top rolls with little olive oil.
Let the rolls rise for about 1 hour or until you see the dough is filling the gaps of the tray between the single rolls before baking.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Important: just before baking splash about 1/2 cup of water into the oven (if not possible place a flat bowl with boiling water into the oven) in order to increase the humidity. Place immediately the tray into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the dough appears golden.
Remove from the oven and cool the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes before serving or let cool down partially, cover with parchment foil and serve when desired. We love them lukewarm.
Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and kept frozen for up to three months.
Until now I’ve not yet posted a lot of recipes with pulses. Pulses are great source of proteins and they are effectively very versatile, which allow us to combine them with many ingredients.
This inspiration comes from a dish which I got the chance to try in Galicia (Spain) last December. It was in a picturesque village called just in front of the sea and a beautiful island. The ambiance with our friends, the golden sunlight and then this delicious dish made these moments unforgettable.
No wonder I tried to replicate this and adapt the recipe to ingredients I may found at home.
The original included a local lobster kind called “bogavante”, I’m sorry I had to replace it with langoustines, but it turned very delicious with them as well.
For my version it’s very important to prepare a shellfish stock.
As shellfish are generally quite expensive, it makes sense to be using up every last part of the crustacean in order not extract the maximum of the flavour. The shells and legs (once meat has been extracted where possible) of lobsters, crabs, crayfish, langoustines and prawns impart a lot of richness taste – especially after they’re roasted. Good to know: the heads also contain precious juices. While some more old-school recipes require the whole crustacean including its meat, this is a touch more work, but it is gently way to cook the tender flesh (short cooking time) and at the same time get as much taste as possible form the shells (long cooking time). Carefully shell crustaceans and keep the meat separate from the shells to be cooked and eaten separately. Rinse any shells which may be hiding grit or sand (this is particularly important with crabs) and break down larger shells into smaller pieces. This gives them a larger surface area, which touches the bottom of the pan and caramelises, creating more flavour.
White Beans with Lagoustines Stew – Habas/Alubias blancas con Langostinos
Parsley, chives or green onion, chopped for serving (optional)
Soak your beans the night before: put your beans in a pot and cover them in a few centimeters of water. Forgot to soak your beans? Don’t stress out. You can also quick soak beans and get a similar effect. Just put those beans in a pot, cover them with boiling water, and cover the pot and let them sit for at least one hour in the hot water.
Drain the beans them to another pot, then cover them in a few inches of water (the exact amount isn’t important). Bring them to a simmer only lightly with little for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime peel and devein langoustines. Separate shells from flesh.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-sticky skillet and roast the shells until fragrant. Add 2 cups of water, the bay leaf and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain and keep the stock.
Boil the onion, the carrots and 2 garlic cloves into the prepared stock for about 10 minutes. If necessary add more water. Add the almonds and blend this mixture.
Drain the beans and add the broth and veggies mixture to the beans.
Season with salt, paprika and add the wine. Add tomatoes paste. Continue to simmer until the beans are just done. If necessary add more water.
Chop the other 2 garlic cloves and fry them until they become fragrant. Add the langoustines or the shrimps on both sides for about 2 minutes until they get lightly roasted colour.
Combine the beans stew with the shellfish and serve immediately.
Optional add some parsley, chives or green onion for serving
Combine together and sift well flour and cornstarch.
In a big bowl beat to stiff picks the egg whites gradually add the sugar and beat until very thick and glossy.
While the mixer is busy beating up those eggs and sugar, prepare one 26 cm spring-form by greasing it with butter and dusting it with four. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Add eggs yolks as well as vanilla and slowly until incorporated.
Spoon half the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour. Do not use the electric mixer to add the flour, since this would deflate all the lovely air pockets that will help the cake to rise. Add the second half of the flour and again fold it in gently. Make sure to lift the mixture from the very bottom of the bowl as you fold in the flour.
Spread it out into the spring-form evenly using the spatula. Bake for 30 minutes at 170°C or until done (toothpick test).
Remove from the oven and place on a grid to cool down.
In the meantime prepare the coffee brush combining well all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
Combine all the ingredients for the cream with an electric mixer.
Place the top layer upside down on your cake-plate. Brush half of the coffee mixture and spread with a spatula more or less one quarter of the cream. Grate some dark chocolate on the surface of the cream. Repeat with the second layer, coffee, cream and chocolate.
To finish place the bottom layer (upside down) on the top, spread another quarter of cream and dust with the chocolate. Place the remaining cream into a small plastic bag, cut the tip and pipette the cream to decorate the cake.
Place into the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.