Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spaghetti alla carbonara per due

Spaghetti alla carbonara per due
Ideale per una serata fredda ma romantica!
250 gr spaghetti
1 uovo
120 gr pancetta affumicata a dadini
3 cucchiai da tavola di parmigiano grattugiato
2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati
Pepe e sale
Olio d’oliva
Scaldare l’olio in una padella. Far rosolare l’aglio fino a quando imbiondisce. Togliere e eliminare gli spicchi. Aggiungere la pancetta e rosolare bene fino a quando diventa croccante. Nel frattempo cuocere gli spaghetti in abbondante acqua salata come il Mediterraneo, secondo la mitica Anna Del Conte. Nel frattempo sbattere l’uovo e il parmigiano. Aggiungere sale e pepe allo sbattuto. Scolare gli spaghetti e unirli alla pancetta in padella a fuoco lento. Mescolare per bene e aggiungere lo sbattuto su fuoco vivo. Rimescolare fin quando lo sbattuto si è  rappreso. Servire immediatamente!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Ingredients (serves 2)
400 g organic smoked haddock
3 hard boiled eggs
200 g  basmati rice boiled
1 small onion chopped
1 small leek chopped
1 teaspoon of curry powder
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Olive oil
To garnish : paprika and a handful of fresh parsley chopped
Grill the smoked haddock for ten minutes or so and then let it cool down. Flake it with a fork. In a large pan sweat in olive oil onion, leek and curry powder for five minutes, stirring. Add boiled rice and mix well. Add a bit more olive oil or boiling water if need be. Add the flaked haddock and stir. It may need slat and pepper to taste.
Dish out on a large serving dish and garnish with the eggs quartered and the fresh parsley. Sprinkle with paprika and serve straight away!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Madeira Cake

I have adapted Nigella's version of this classic English tea-time cake and love it!
240g softened unsalted butter
200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Juice of another half lemon
1/2/tablespoon of poppy seeds
3 large eggs
210g self-raising flour
90g plain flour
 23x13x7cm loaf tin, buttered and lined
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees/ gas mark 3
Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally, the lemon juice. Sprinkle with caster sugar as it goes into the oven, and bake for an hour or until a cake taster comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out. Makes 8-10 slices.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Speedy & Tasty Trout Fillets

Speedy & Tasty Trout Fillets
Ideal to beat the Monday night blues…Coming home from work and feeling like you have had it for today? Revive your senses in the kitchen by spending twenty blissful minutes preparing a romantic dinner for two…And do not forget to put the Gavi back in the fridge to chill!
Ingredients (Serves 2)
4 trout fillets rolled in flour
1 clove of garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
1/4 of a glass of white wine (ideally Gavi)
4 table spoons of tomato passata
A handful of capers (preferable Sicilian  and preserved in sea salt)
A handful of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
Cooking olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic in it for one minute. Place the floured fillets in the pan and pour white wine over them gently. Add passata, parsley and capers, pepper, salt and cover with a lid. Cook on a medium heat for about ten minutes. Do not forget to check the pan every three minutes or so and add a small amount of water if need be. You can serve them on a bed of boiled rice, lentils of with a green salad and crusty bread.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Zuppa dorata di cipolle e sidro

...Perfetta per un sabato d'ottobre e per il compleanno della mia mamma...auguri!!!! 
Ingredienti  per 4 persone
1 kg di cipolle tagliate a fette sottilissime
75gr burro
500ml sidro
1 rametto di timo fresco
1 foglia di alloro
1 litro di brodo vegetale
200ml di panna liquida
Servire con fette di pane casareccio

In una padella, fare soffriggere le cipolle fino a quando diventano dorate/marrone. Aggiungere il sidro e fare bollire gentilmente fino a che si riduca alla meta’.

Aggiungere il timo, l’alloro, il brodo e la panna e fare cuocere a fuoco lento per 30 minuti. Aggiungere sale e pepe a piacere e servire con il pane casereccio.

Buon Appetito!!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010



This recipe was kindly passed on to me and my colleague John, during our second Sicilian School Exchange, by one of the Sicilian teachers’ mum. It is utterly delicious and it will always remind me of our wonderful Sicilian friends and of the breathtaking beauty of Sicily. I miss Mount Etna!!!!

Ingredienti: Ingredients
4 uova 4 eggs
150 gr. di farina 150 g flour
50 gr. di amido 50 g cornflour
150 gr. di burro( o olio di oliva!) 150 g butter or olive oil
200 gr. di pistacchio 200 g pistachios (ground)
1 bustina di lievito 1 sachet/teaspoon of baking powder
1 bustina di vaniglia 1 sachet/teaspoon of vanilla in powder
1 barattolo di nutella 1 nutella tub


Sbattere le uova con lo zucchero. Aggiungere la farina e mescolare. Aggiungere il burro fuso. Aggiungere il pistacchio (lasciandone un po’ per la decorazione). Aggiungere il lievito e la vaniglia.
Infornare a 180° per circa 30 minuti.
Dopo la cottura, quando è ancora calda, spalmare la nutella e spolverizzare con il pistacchio.


Beat eggs with sugar. Add flour and mix. Add melted butter. Add pistachios (leave some aside for decorative purposes). Add baking powder and vanilla.
Put in the oven 180 for about 30 min.
When ready and still warm, spread nutella on top and sprinkle with pistachios.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carottes à la Provençale

This recipe was inspired by a dish that was cooked for us during our honeymoon by Richard, the owner of the gîte where we were staying near Manosque. You can have it as a side dish or serve it with plain boiled rice or season pasta with it! It was prepared for us to accompany some roasted pigeons that a friend of Richard had shot in the morning…
Ingredients  (Serves 2)
3 carrots sliced quite thinly
A handful of black olives, stoned and sliced
A small red onion sliced thinly
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A teaspoon of dried Herbes de Provence
Salt, olive oil, pepper
A cup of vegetable stock
Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow pan. Fry the onion and stir for a couple of minutes until soft . Add the olives and stir for a minute or so. Add tomatoes and stir in herbs. Finally mix in the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vegetable stock over the sauce and stir. Cook on a medium heat until the tomato sauce is ready and the carrots are tender. If need be, add more water a bit at a time.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Torta alle noci e caffé

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Ingredients for 6 people
200g walnuts (chopped)
130g sugar
120g dark chocolate
100g butter
50g flour
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of espresso coffee
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
Icing sugar
Melt butter and chocolate a bagnomaria (in a bowl over a pan of boiling water).
In a bowl work together eggs and sugar until the mix is spongy and swollen.
Add flower and baking powder (they need to have gone through a sieve first), a pinch of salt, chopped walnuts, warm chocolate sauce and coffee.
Pour the mix into a tin (you need to have buttered and floured it) and bake for 30 min, 180 degrees.
Take the cake out of the tin and place on a grid to cool down before you dust icing sugar over it.
Buon Appetito!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Here is a classic of Italian cuisine that I have enjoyed making many times. I have now settled for this version which is simply the one that has evolved through the years and that I love eating the most :-))! I can't help thinking about my mother whenever I cook “pasta e fagioli”, as 1) she is also from Veneto, 2) her version has inspired me and 3) it is one of our family dishes.

Ingredients (serves 4)

200 g of pasta corta (you should use "ditalini" ideally, but if you have small amount of various pasta shapes you can break them in smallish bits, mix them together and set them aside to use whenever you fancy cooking “pasta e fagioli”)

2 tablespoons of cooking olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2 rashes of bacon, snipped as lardons

1 medium size potato, chopped in cubes

1 tin of borlotti beans

4/5 tablespoons of tomato passata  

Vegetable stock

Salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil

Grated parmesan cheese


Warm the cooking olive oil in a medium size cooking pot, add chopped onion and fry until golden and soft. Add bacon a fry for an extra couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add passata and borlotti beans, stir for a couple of minutes. Make sure the mixture does not burn! Turn the heat down if need be.  Add potato and stir briefly before adding enough vegetable stock to  get enough quantity to serve four bowls of soup. Add rosemary. Cover and allow to cook on a medium heat for 45/60 minutes.

You can then take most the vegetables out with a ladle and liquidize them before you put them back in the pot, but you must leave a few handful of beans intact. Bring back to boil and stir in the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir every couple of minutes until the pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a few minutes so that pasta shapes can swell and absorb liquid. Dish out in individual bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

John's 70th birthday cake

John’s 70th birthday cake
200 g of chopped walnuts
130 caster sugar
120 g organic dark chocolate
100 g organic butter
50 g organic flour
3 organic eggs
3 tablespoons of espresso
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Icing sugar

Melt butter and chocolate “bain marie”.  In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar until the mixture is spongy and soft. Add sieved flour and baking powder and a pinch of salt. Fold in also walnuts, warm chocolate/butter melted and coffee. Pour the mixture in a greased cake tin and bake 180C for 30 minutes. Let cake cool on a grid and then sprinkle with icing sugar.
Happy Birthday John!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Questo piatto ricco e sostanzioso e' la mia reinterpretazione della ricetta inglese tradizionale anni settanta "macaroni cheese"...
Ingredienti (per quattro persone)
Un cavolfiore medio
250 gr di penne
30 gr di burro
2 cucchiai di farina
350 ml di latte tiepido
Mezzo cucchiaino di paprika  (facoltativo)
1 cucchiaino di semi di cumino (facoltativo)
Sale e pepe (facoltativo)
140 gr di formaggio grattugiato o a dadini (cheddar o taleggio o fontina o groviera o asiago…)
Una manciata di parmigiano grattugiato

Accendere il forno a temperatura media.
Cuocere a vapore i fioretti del cavolfiore per circa sei minuti o fino a quando risultano piuttosto teneri  al contatto con la forchetta. Disporli in una pirofila imburrata.
Mentre la pasta cuoce, fare sciogliere il burro in una padella (antiaderente). Aggiungere due cucchiai di farina e stemperare per un paio di minuti su fuoco medio facendo attenzione che la farina non attacchi o bruci. Togliere la padella dal fuoco e aggiungere il latte tiepido, poco alla volta e sempre mescolando.  Attenzione ai grumi! Rimettere sul fuoco e mescolare per circa cinque minuti. Togliere dal fuoco,  aggiungere il formaggio  e farlo sciogliere mescolando.  Aggiungere gli ingredienti facoltativi e mescolare.
Scolare le penne e stenderle insieme ai cavolfiori nella pirofila. Mescolare delicatamente. Versare la crema al formaggio sopra penne e cavolfiori e fare in modo che la superficie venga coperta uniformemente. Spargere il parmigiano grattugiato sopra penne e cavolfiori.
Infornare la pirofila e lasciare che la superficie diventi dorata. Servire immediatamente!
Si raccomanda l’uso del “grill” al posto del forno convenzionale. Bastano solo pochi minuti per “abbronzare” il tutto e si può accendere all’ultimo minuto…  

Thursday, October 7, 2010


200 gr di  farina, 1 cucchiaino e mezzo di cannella, un quarto di cucchiaino di noce moscata, un quarto di cucchiaino di chiodi di garofano in polvere (io uso il mortaio e scarico la tensione), 1 cucchiaino di zenzero, 1 cucchiaino e mezzo di bicarbonato di soda, 3/4 di cucchiaino di sale, 280 ml di miele, 2 uova, 120 ml di olio di oliva, 100 ml di acqua bollente, 150 gr  di uvetta.

Accendere il forno 150C/300F/Gas2.
Imburrare e infarinare una teglia rettangolare preferibilmente (stile plum cake).
Mischiare i primi sette ingredienti.
In una terrina a parte amalgamare bene miele, olio d'oliva e uova.
Aggiungere gli ingredienti in polvere, l'acqua bollente e l'uvetta.
Mescolare bene il tutto e versarlo nella teglia.
Infornare e cuocere per 50-70 minuti.
Controllare dopo 50 minuti inserendo uno stuzzicanti nel centro della torta.
Spegnere solo se lo stuzzicadenti estratto e' asciutto.
Lasciare raffreddare per dieci minuti, prima di rovesciare la torta su una graticola.
Servire tiepida o fredda.
Ideale per una colazione calda e autunnale :-)!