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.

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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:

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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.

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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).

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Buon Appetito!Cris

THE FRIDAY NIGHT RECIPE: SBRISOLONA WHITE CHOCOLATE&RASPBERRIES

Hello! This is a first attempt for me on making this recipe, and we liked it so much, so I decided to bring it to Fiesta Friday this week. What’s “sbrisolona“? It’s a type of cake widely spreaded in my region, in northern Italy, and it’s made basically by two type of flour, butter, almonds, and eggs: at this base, you can add several ingredients, like white chocolate and berries, but also dried fruit and so on. The texture of this cake is sand-like, not uniform: the name “sbrisolona” means infact that “it crumbles easily”. Here the recipe:

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INGREDIENTS:

– 250 gr. flour 00
– 150 gr cornmeal
– 200 gr granulated sugar
– 200 gr butter (room temperature)
– 2 egg yolks
– 150 gr white chocolate
– 130 gr raspberries
– 130 gr chopped and stripped almond
– 1 vanilla pod
– grated lemon (or orange) rind
– a pinch of salt

PREPARATION: 

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Put the flour 00 and the cornmeal in a big bowl. Add a pinch of salt, the sugar, the butter – previously chopped in cubes – and two egg yolks, then start mixing the ingredients, melting them by hands. I suggest not to use the mixer for this recipe or you’ll obtain the right consistence.

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When the ingredients are well amalgamated, add the chopped almonds, the vanilla pod, the grated lemon rind and finally, the white chocolate and the raspberries. (if you wash the berries, then dry them with paper before adding to the mixture)
Put the mixture in a round baking tray (diameter 26 cm) covered with wax paper and spread out the mixture, pressing on its surface to compact it.

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Cook the cake in pre-heated oven at 180°C for 45-50 minutes. When the cake it’s done, let it cool down on a grill for a while. Then sprinkle it with powdered sugar.

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:

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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: BISCOTTI AL LIMONE

Hello folks!Happy Fiesta Friday to you all!This Friday i thought to bring some Lemon Cookies, was I wrong? I totally love lemon taste, and in the summer I often use it for cookies and cakes: I thing it has a refreshing taste. I found the recipe in Marisa’s blog: her recipe are just fabulous. Here the recipe:

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INGREDIENTS: for 25/30 cookies

– 120 gr granulated sugar
– 120 gr soft butter
– 1 egg
– 1 lemon
– 250 gr flour 00
– 1 teaspoon full of baking powder for desserts
– powdered sugar (as needed)

PREPARATION:

In a bowl work with a mixer – or with whisks – the soft butter with the sugar, till you’ll obtain a creamy mixture. After that, sift the flour together with the teaspoon of baking powder for desserts.

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Continue to work the mixture with the mixer; in the meanwhile, add the whole egg, the juice of half lemon, the grated peel of a whole lemon, and finally the sifted flour with the baking powder. The final mix obtained will be soft: let it rest in the fridge wrapped in clingfilm for 1 hour.

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When the hour has gone, make small ball with the mixture, and put them first in the granulated sugar, and then in the powdered sugar. Set the small balls in a baking tray covered in wax paper. Cook them in the preheated oven at  180°C for 10/15 minutes.

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Check often while cooking, the cookies must be taken out when you see that they have “cracks” on the surface. At this moment the lemon cookies will be really soft. You have to let them cool down for a bit before serving.

Buon Appetito!Cris