Friday, September 23, 2011


Monica’s Celery Pasta Soup
Serves 4 - Ingredients:

5 (white) celery sticks, chopped  –keep leaves to garnish plates at the end –

1 potato, diced

1 leek, sliced

25g of butter

900ml of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of crème fraiche

50g Stilton

Salt, pepper

200 gr of small pasta (ditalini, chifferi)


Melt butter in a saucepan; add celery, leek and potato. Cook for five minutes, stirring often.  Cover vegetables with stock and bring to boil. Cover saucepan and let soup simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove from fire and let it cool slightly. Boil the pasta in the meantime in salted water according to cooking instructions on the packet. Transfer vegetables and some of the liquid into a blender and whizz to a purée. Return it to the saucepan and let it warm up on a medium heat.  Mix in the crème fraiche and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan.  Sprinkle crumbs of stilton over it and mix it all together. Dish out the pasta soup in bowls and garnish with celery leaves. YUMMY!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Auntie Joy's Apple Buns

Auntie Joy’s Apple Buns

275 g cooking apple

275 g self-raising flour

100 g butter

100 g caster sugar

1 egg + 1 tablespoon of milk (beaten together)


Rub fat into flour and sugar.

Peel and chop apple.

Add to flour mixture.

Mix together with egg and milk.

Divide into 12 buns in greased bun tins.

Cook at gas mark 5 for about 30 min.

Maybe flavoured with lemon zest. Auntie Joy usually uses a couple of pinches of cinnamon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

La torta al cioccolato e mandorle di George

I have adapted this recipe from a Venetian cookery book. My nephew George loves this version and I can't help thinking of him whenever I make it and that makes baking it even more pleasurable :-)))! This smooth and velvety cake is an ideal starting point if you are a novice baker...but it is bound to titillate every palate...


4 eggs, 125 g of sugar, 125 g ground almonds, 125 g dark chocolate, 125 g butter, 60 g plain flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder, a pich of salt. Cocoa powder to sprinkle on top.


Turn the oven on 170 degrees. Grease and flour a medium size baking tin.

Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl, over a pan of boiling water, bain marie. Leave aside to cool down. Mix eggs and sugar, until you get a creamy mixture, add chocolate and butter sauce, flour, dried almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Fold in and work all the ingredients with a wooden spoon until you have a very smooth mixture. Pour it in the baking tin and bake for about 20 minutes. The cake is ready when it is firm around the edges but rather soft under the crust in the middle. Leave it to cool and then sprinkle some cocoa powder on top.

It is much better when eaten the day after, if you can resist....

P.S. George, this cake is for you!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Penne allegre agli asparagi

Per chi ha fame di primavera...
  • Pomdorini tagliati a metá a piacere
  • Tre cucchiai di panna
  • Una manciata di timo fresco tritato
  • Una dozzina di cime di asparagi
  • Un cipollotto tritato
  • Uno spicchio d'aglio a fettine sottili
  • 250 g di penne
  • Una manciata di pinoli tostati
  •  Parmigiano grattugiato a piacere
  • Olio d’oliva
Fare bollire le cime di asparagi per tre minuti e mettere da parte l’acqua.

Fare grigliare le metá dei pomodorini a pancia in giú fino quando si abbrustoliscono leggermente. Si possono sbucciare in seguito volendo.

Usare l’acqua degli asparagi per far cuocere le penne al dente.

Tostare la manciata di pinoli.

Soffriggere cipollotto, aglio e timo prima di stemperare la panna. Aggiungere i pomodorini, pepe e le penne. Mescolare per un minuto e servire. Abbellire le porzioni con le cime di asparagi, i pinoli e una manciata di parmigiano.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


250 g. flour (if possible Italian 00),                                                    
150 ml. lukewarm water,
1 teaspoon of yeast,                                                          
a good pinch of salt,
some extra virgin olive oil (enough to  keep the dough together)
a few tablespoon of tomato passata
1 mozzarella (preferably buffalo mozzarella)
dried origano
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl with a fork and then with your hands (remember to rub them in olive oil first) until you have a dough. Rub some olive oil around the bowl and put the dough in it to rest for an hour. Cover the bowl with some cling film and let it rise for 1 hour.
Knead the dough flat on the pizza tray and spread out evenly  a few tablespoons of passata on the pizza base, making sure that you do not drown the dough in it! Put the pizza in the oven at a very high temperature – gas mark 9/220degrees – for 10/15 minutes. Take it out and add mozzarella and other toppings of your choice. Sprinkle the pizza with oregano and olive oil and then put it back in the oven for another 10/15 minutes.