THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

Hello! Finally a bit of time to write about yummy recipes!Rarely I can cook and post the recipe right away, so this is the dish of last Friday : I remake it twice just to participate to Fiesta Friday!This is the first time for me trying this combination of ingredients, and i totally love it, I saved the recipe for other times.

20160602_125023

INGREDIENTS (4 persons):

– 350/400 gr pasta (any kind)
– 18-20 zucchini blossoms
– 1 zucchini
– 1 carrot
– Tropea onion (some slices)
– 6-8 thin slices pancetta (or bacon)
– extra-virgin olive oil
– salt&pepper
– sweet paprika (optional)

PREPARATION:

20160602_123604

Start the preparation washing and cutting the vegetables: once you have washed the zucchini blossom, let them dry on paper towel; in the meanwhile, cut into small pieces the carrot and the zucchini.
At the same time, in a large frypan put some extra virgin-olive oil and the slices of Tropea onion, and let it warm up a bit (without overburning the onions); then put the carrot and the zucchini already chopped into the frypan; add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sweet paprika if you like it, and let them cook for a while on low heat. In another small frypan, put the slices of pancetta and let them go till they become crunchy: then remove them from the stove and put the roasted slices on paper towel.

20160602_122546
20160602_122552
In the meanwhile, you can start cooking the pasta putting it in a capacious pot till boiling; now cut the zucchini blossom, previously drained, in slices and add them to the other vegetables.
When pasta is ready, transfer it in the frypan together with the vegetables, melting very well for a few minutes. As final touch, add the crispy pancetta/bacon (I crumbled it to distribute it better).

20160602_124827
20160602_125027

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: TORTA ZEBRATA

Hello! Do you have ever made a “zebra-striped cake”? I make it for this Fiesta Friday for the first time, and I like it really much: it’s a classic cake, cocoa flavoured, very friable. After all, it’s quite simple to make, but a double-coloured cake is always cool, right? Here my recipe:

20151023_131855
INGREDIENTS:

 3/4 Eggs (to divide in yolk and white)
– 250 gr Granulated Sugar
– 300 gr Flour 00
– 150 gr Butter
– 1 glass Milk  (100-120 ml)
– 30 gr Cocoa powder (3 spoon)
– 1 bag Baking powder for desserts
– the juice of 1/2 lemon
– a pinch of salt
Optional:
– Vanilla extract
– Potato starch (130 gr)

PREPARATION: 

Start the preparation with the butter (room-temperature) and the sugar: put the ingredients in a large bowl, (also the vanilla extract if you use it) and work them with the mixer. Then add the egg yolks (always room-temperature), one by one, and  keep mixing the ingredients. When the mixture will become smooth and creamy, add the flour 00, the baking powder, and the pinch of salt. If you’re using the potato starch, add 100 gr of it at this time. (all the ingredients previously sifted.)

20151022_212430

At this point, add also the milk to make the mixture more “fluid”, then take a ladle and test the consistency: if the dough seems still too compact, add a bit more of milk. Now, the last step of the preparation is to beat the egg whites until foamy. When ready, add the whites to the mixture, little by little, and every time mixing well from the bottom to the top. Finally divide the mixture in two equal parts (uso two small bowls): in one part, add the sifted cocoa powder and amalgamate well the ingredients; in the other bowl, add 30-40 gr potato starch and mix well.

20151022_213515

After the “division”, if one of the parts is more compact than the other, add some teaspoon of milk to reach a better density. Take a baking pan (24 cm diameter) and butter it, then cover it with wax paper. Then start pouring with a spoon the “light” mixture in the middle of the baking pan. On the “light” mixture, always in the center, add the “cocoa” mixture. Follow pouring the two mixtures alternately till you end the dough.

20151022_221000

When you’re done, put the baking pan in the preheated oven at 180-200 °C for 40 minutes. Let the cake cool down when ready, and before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Happy December to you all my dear bloggers! Another year together, isn’t it amazing? Today I opened my blog page and I got all excited founding the snow falling: I’ve missed it!Last Friday I made a classic recipe for FiestaFriday, the chocolate chip cookies, probably one of my favourite type of biscuits. Here my recipe:

20151207_223336

INGREDIENTS: (55-60 cookies)

– Butter 230 gr (room temperature)
– Baking soda 5 gr
– Powdered sugar 200 gr
– Vanilla extract 2 gr
– Eggs 3
– Flour 00, 360 g (sifted)
– Granulated sugar 100 gr
– Dark chocolate chips  300-350 gr
– Cooking salt 10 gr (optional)

PREPARATION:

20151207_212622

To start the preparation, the first thing to do is to mingle the butter and the two type of sugar into the mixer. Cut the butter into pieces, then add the powdered sugar and the granulated sugar, and work them till you’ll obtain a smooth, dense and homogeneous mixture. If you don’t own a mixer, you can use the wisks. Add, always into the mixer, the cooking salt, the vanilla extract and the eggs; at this point it’s essential to keep on mixing at least for 5 minutes.
In the meanwhile, sift the flour in a big bowl, and add the baking soda. At this point, you can incorporate the flour to the mixture little by little, helping yourself with a spatula, and mixing until the flour will be totally absorbed.

20151207_212917

20151207_214830

The final touch is to add the dark chocolate chips, trying to  blend in well. Cover a baking tray with a sheet of wax paper, and put a teaspoon of mixture for each cookie on it. Be careful to maintain separated the small balls of dough. while shaping the cookies. Cook them in pre-heated oven at 180 °C for 15 minutes: the cookies must become soft in the center and golden on the edges. When they’re ready, put them on a grill to cool down.

20151207_222652

Buon Appetito! Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: TORTELLI RICOTTA&SPINACI

Hello! This Friday is “Handmade Pasta Time” so I prepared a classic version of tortelli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. Do you like pasta? To me is one of my favourite dish!Let’s start the preparation…

20151002_202358b

INGREDIENTS: (35-40 tortelli)

FOR THE PASTA:
– Flour 00: 250 g
– 2 big eggs and 1 yolk
– Salt

FOR THE FILLING:
– Spinach: 250 gr
– Ricotta: 125 gr
– Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: 50 gr
– Nutmeg:  1/4 teaspoon
– Salt
– Pepper

PREPARATION:

First start with the preparation of the pasta. Sift the flour and make a fountain with it on a wooden worktop. To make a fountain means make a hole in the center of the flour to add the eggs in the center: now you can start knead, melting the eggs and the flour with a fork initially, then by hands. Add also a pinch of salt. Be careful to amalgamate all the flour. If  you notice that the dough doesn’t collect well all the flour, or if it remains slightly tough, add one or two spoon of lukewarm water, then keep kneading till the dough will became smooth and compact. Roll up the obtained pasta in the plastic wrap and let it rest in a cool and dry place for 50-60 minutes.

DSC00955

In the meanwhile, you can prepare the filling: first of all, cook the spinach in hot water and salt. Pour the ricotta and the parmigiano cheese in the mixer, together with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. When the spinach are boiled, squeeze them to eliminate the excess water, and put them too in the mixer. You’ll obtain a green, homogenized mixture.
After an hour, the pasta will be more soft and elastic: now you can start to spread out the dough. Put some flour on the wooden worktop and use a rolling pin to work the pasta. This operation made only by hands is a bit hard to achieve, especially if it’s your first time. You can help yourself using a pasta-maker (the famous “nonna papera” here, in Italy) to obtain a pastry sheet of 0,5 mm depth.

20151002_202413b

To make the tortelli, you cut the pasta sheet in stripes of 10 cm width, putting small quantities of filling on it – help yourself with a teasppon – well separated one from another. Then put another stripe of pasta on the filled one and press well on the edges to eliminate the air bubbles. Now you cut the filled pasta in squares of 4×4 cm. – I made instead an half moon cut, as you can see. – You can cook them right after the preparation or freeze them on a tray, putting them wide apart. I served them with chopped carrots, zucchini and green celery, cooked in a frypan with onion and extra-virgin olive oil. I added as final touch some roasted chopped bacon.

20151002_202355b

20151002_202418b

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: BROWNIES

Hello! I’ve been absent for a while, I know. So, when I find some free time to cook other things than ordinary, I’m really happy. And this week I’m part of Fiesta Friday me too! This week I felt like eating chocolate… so brownies was an inevitable choice. During years, I read about so many versions of brownies, but this one remains one of my favourite. They’re just perfect for the autumn afternoons, what do you think?

DSC00947b

INGREDIENTS: (12 pieces)

– 170 gr butter
– 150 gr granulated sugar
– 200 gr dark chocolate
– 20 gr unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 eggs (cold)
– 100 gr flour 00
– 50 gr chopped hazelnuts
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 5 gr baking powder for dessert

DSC00948

PREPARATION: 

First of all, cut the chocolate in pieces, then cook the butter in bain-marie. When the butter is almost liquefied, add the pieces of dark chocolate.
Add the cocoa – previously sifted – and blend with a spatula to amalgamate all the ingredients, then turn off the stove and let them cool down. In the meanwhile, with the mixer (or with electric whisks) whisk the eggs together with the sugar, to obtain a soft and light-coloured mixture.

DSC00940
Drizzle in the mix of chocolate and butter into the whisked eggs, and keep mixing. In another bowl, put together the flour with the baking powder and the pinch of salt, and sift together all the ingredients.
The last step is to add the “powders” to the other ingredients – one spoon after another – and frequently amalgamate to incorporate well all the ingredients. Chop the hazelnuts and add them finally to the mixture.

DSC00943

DSC00945

Pour the mix in a rectangular baking tray – mine is 20×28 cm – and equally distribute the dough. You may use also a round tray diameter 24 cm. However, it’s important to cover the tray with wax paper before. Cook in preheated oven at 180º for 30-35 minutes: when ready, let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes and then take it out of the baking tray. When the dough is cool, cut it in squares and …brownies are ready to be enjoyed!Yum!

DSC00951

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: INSALATA DI RISO

Hello! So hot here in these summer days, we need something refreshing also to eat. I’ve been very busy in these last two weeks, so no Fiesta Friday at all. Then, few days ago, i read about Selma’s Table. I couldn’t believe it. Even now I can’t believe that I will not see ever again her kind comments to my recipes. Learn about her recipes. She was always encouraging, especially when i start my blog. I really don’t have an episode related to her, i wasn’t so familiar with her – I didn’t have the time -. But she impressed me, and today I want to commemorate her bringing to you a simple and tasty dish: a rice salad. You can add and remove ingredients as you wish – a great classic – isn’t it? But somewhat it reminds me of her, with her authenticity. Goodbye Selma, this Fiesta Friday is for you.

Selma-badge

INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)

– 350 gr Carnaroli rice (or similar)
– 1 big zucchini
– 140 gr peas
– 70-80 gr prosciutto cotto (slices or cubes)
– 70-80 gr salame strolghino (or salami)
– 1 can tuna fish (70-100 gr)
– black taggiasche olives (or other types)
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt&pepper

PREPARATION:

20150709_203230
To start, put some water on the stove till the boil, then add all the rice and wait until it’s done. Let the rice cool down for a bit. In the meanwhile, cut in slices the zucchini, and put them in a pan together with the peas, flavour with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them for a while.

20150709_183502

20150709_202158
When they’re done, put them in the rice and melt them a bit. After that, cut the salami and the prosciutto cotto in cubes/slices and add them to the salad. At the end, you can add the tuna (previously drained) and the black olives. – only now i can see that i took the photos without adding olives …ouch – But like Selma said “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful”, so … it’s okay.

20150709_203624

Now you can serve the rice salad. You could also prepare it previously, and then put it in the fridge for 1-2 days maximum.

Buon Appetito. Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: PACCHERI GAMBERONI&ZUCCHINE

Hello!Am I in time for FiestaFriday also this week?!Unbelivable!This Friday I cooked a simple pasta dish – classic Italian style –  with prawns and courgette. I used a big type of pasta named “pacchero”, they’re like maccheroni but bigger, and they’re made by durum wheat flour.

INGREDIENTS: (4 persons)
– 350 gr paccheri
– 200 gr shrimps (to clean)
– 1 zucchino
– salt&pepper
– extra-virgin olive oil
– chopped parsley
– tomato passata (1 spoon)

PREPARATION:

We start first from cleaning the shrimps: separate the heads from the bodies, and remove the shells. In a frypan, warm up two spoon of extra-virgine olive oil with red onion and a butter curl. Let the onion lightly fry and the butter liquefy. After that, you could add the zucchini previously chopped, to pieces or slices. Flavour them with salt, pepper and add the chopped parsley, and the spoon of tomato passata.

20150522_131719

At this point you can add the shrimps heads, and let all the ingredients cook for a while on low fire, then switch off the stove. In the meanwhile, put another pot with salted water on the stove, and wait till the water will join the boiling point to add the paccheri.

DSC00503

DSC00500

DSC00504

The coooking time for paccheri is about 12-13 minutes. When the pasta is “al dente” (not too hard, not too soft) you can drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta in the frypan together with the courgette and the shrimps and cook them together for 2-3 minutes.

20150522_131703

Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: LEMON CAKE

Hello! I’m glad this Friday to be able finally to participate again to FiestaFriday. Lately, I tried some new dishes, but I give up to post them on the blog because of the lack of time to write. Today I would like to show you a simple classic Lemon Cake, ideal for breakfast or a tea break.

DSC00498

INGREDIENTS:

– 120 gr flour 00
– 250 gr butter
– 250 gr sugar
– 4 eggs
– 8-10 gr yeast
– 2 small lemon
– 120 gr maizena (it could be replaced with the same quantity of potato flour)

PREPARATION:

20150514_232828b

To start preparing the cake cut the butter in cubes and let it became soft at room temperature, then put it in a bowl and add half of the sugar quantity previewed for this recipe. Start mixing (with the mixer or with the whisks) till you’ll obtain a soft and spumy mixture, then add the egg yolks (one by one). When the eggs will be fully blended, add the lemon peel.

DSC00493

At this point you add the flour, the maizena and the yeast, previously sifted all together. Mix well all the ingredients then transfer the mixture in a clean big bowl. Use another time the mixer (or the whisks) to beat until stiff the albumen and the remaining quantity of sugar.

DSC00494

When you have approximately finish to beat the egg whites, add slowly the lemon juice, then continue till you’ll obtain a rich and dense mixture. Add at last delicately the edd yolks you previously prepared, mixing from bottom to the top, not to disassemble the albumen. Mix until all the ingredients all fully combined.
Transfer the mixture in a round baking tray – diameter 22-24 cm – covered in wax paper, and put the cake in the preheated oven for 1 hour time at 180°C. When the cake it’s ready, let it cool down and then sprinkle powdered sugar on the top.

DSC00499

Advice: If you notice that, while cooking, the cake became darker on the top, after 40 minutes open the oven and cover the cake with an aluminiun foil, then continue the cooking for the time suggested.

Buon Appetito!