Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

BURGERS IN SAUCE with Peppers and Onion



Ingredients


 1 lb. ground beef (20% fat content)

1 can of crushed tomatoes

4 peppers (fryers)

1  onion (sliced)

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon of canola oil for burgers

1/4 cup olive oil for frying peppers and onions


Preparation

Slice peppers and onion.  Make patties with ground beef. 

 Add canola oil to a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet and place over medium heat. 

Cook the patties until they have achieved a deep burnished crust (less than 2 minutes).  Turn burgers over and cook a minute or so longer.  Remove burgers from skillet.

Put the oil in a frying pan and fry peppers.  Remove peppers and fry onion.

Add the remaining oil from the frying pan to a pot.  Add tomatoes, salt and black pepper and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the hamburgers, peppers and onion and simmer for a minute or two.



Serve with toasted rolls or a crusty French baguette.



Sunday, October 31, 2021

OVEN-ROASTED BACCALA' (BACCALA' ARROSTO)


Ingredients:
5 to 6 large chunks of presoaked baccala'
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Sprig of celery
2 dry red chilis
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

burned chilis

Prepare and soak your baccala' at least 3 days prior.  

Preheat oven 375˚F.   Dry the pieces of baccala'.
Grease a baking pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Place the baccala' in the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
In the meantime, briefly burn the chilis over flame for few seconds.
Once the baccala' is roasted, brake it into smaller pieces.  Add the parsley, chopped garlic, chopped chilis, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve warm alone or you may accompany the baccala' salad with some sautéed escarole.

Roasted baccala' with escarole

 





Sunday, October 10, 2021

Meatless balls with Pumpkin Flowers - Polpette di Fiori di Zucca

Even though there are endless cooking possibilities with these farm treasures:  stuffed with cheese, herbs or dipped in batter and fried, we also enjoy them as meatless balls.



 This weekend, while my family searched for pumpkins, I searched for beautiful bright yellow flowers attached to the pumpkin and squash vines.  




Ingredients

20 to 25 Pumpkin Flowers
2 large eggs
2 slices of crumbled day-old Italian bread
3 tablespoons of grated cheese
Salt & pepper
Vegetable oil for frying



Rinse each flower individually under cold water.  Remove the stem and pull out the stamen.  Dry them with paper towel and chop them.

In a bowl, add the chopped pumpkin flowers, 2 large eggs, the crumbled bread, cheese, salt & pepper.
Mix well and form into balls.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the flower balls.
Serve them warm or cold.

Enjoy!





Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pizza Sfogliata (Layered Pizza filled with Roasted Peppers or Anchovies and Red Pepper Flakes)

Procedure for the layered pizza





 First make the pizza dough 
 

While the pizza dough is rising, roast the peppers and add parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and put it aside.

Once the dough has risen, all you have to do is roll it out.
Add a little olive oil on the pizza tray and place the dough on it. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges with your hands (no rolling pin).

Once stretched out properly, add the roasted peppers and roll it like a snake.

Now roll it around.


Spread it out just enough with a drizzle of oil. Wait an hour and spread it out well throughout the pan.

Ready to bake at 450 degrees (230 degrees C) for about 20 minutes or so. As for the oven temperature and cooking time, these two elements depend a lot on the type of oven you have.

If roasted peppers is not your choice, you may layer the pizza with anchovies and red pepper flakes.





Enjoy!



Friday, September 10, 2021

PIZZA DOUGH WITH FRESH YEAST ( Impasto per pizza con lievito fresco )

 My mom was famous for her homemade pizza.  She taught me how to make pizza dough from scratch using fresh yeast.  To this day, it's the only method I use to make pizza.

Let's face it, making pizza dough takes time not in the preparation but in rising time.


Pizza dough doubled in size

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lb. ( 1 Kilogram) bread flour or all-purpose flour and little more for dusting

2 ounces (50 grams) fresh yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pinches of salt

Enough dough for 3 or 4 pizzas (depending on the size of your pizza trays).

Fresh yeast

Preparation:

Place flour on a work surface.  Make a well.

Pour half of the water into a small bowl and dissolve fresh yeast.


Dissolving yeast in lukewarm water

Pour dissolved yeast with all its water into the well.  Now, draw in flour from the edge of the well, stirring and gradually adding remaining warm water until a soft dough forms.




 It's difficult to say how much water you need. The quantity can vary every time. It depends on flour and temperature.  Sometimes you may have to add much more water or further flour if your dough is very sticky. 




 Knead your dough, until soft, smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

My working hands

   Shape the dough into a ball....

 

 ...and put it into a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let it rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 4 to 5 hours.  The ideal temperature for a good rise must be at least 75 degrees.

When the dough is ready, knock it down with your hand or spoon, then place it onto a well floured surface and knead for a minute and divide into three equal pieces.

Now you're ready to make your favorite pizza.

Note Only experience will teach you how to work well and measure out the right amount of water. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

SUMMER VEGETABLE ANTIPASTO

 

This antipasto uses a colorful mix of summer vegetables. This is an easy sharing plate of roasted eggplant, peppers and asparagus, blanched cauliflower and garden fresh tomatoes. 


Ingredients

3 Italian eggplants
1 lb. Asparagus
4 or 5 Bell peppers
1 small cauliflower
3 garden fresh plum tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat a griddle pan to high. 
  • Peppers: Grill the whole peppers over high heat, turning them frequently until all of the skin becomes charred and blistered.  As soon as you remove the peppers from the grill, place them in a bowl and cover securely with plastic wrap. Leave the peppers for around 30 minutes. This steaming step softens the peppers and loosens the skin. Peeling. Just grab the pepper and, using a paring knife, simply pull the skin from the flesh. Once the skin is removed, open up the pepper to remove the seeds. 
  • Eggplant: Slice the eggplants.  Brush the eggplants with a generous amount of olive oil and salt and pepper, then griddle until completely softened and grill-marked.  As each slice is done, lay it in a shallow bowl and keep the bowl covered with cling film.  This will steam and soften the vegetable even more.
  • Asparagus: Once the eggplant is done, lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and grill over high heat for 2 or 3 minutes or until tender.  Add them to the bowl, covering each time with cling film.
  • Cauliflower: Cut the cauliflower into florets.  Boil the florets for 3 to 4 minutes.  The cauliflower will not be completely soft.  It should just become a little tender.  Pour the cauliflower through a strainer.  After draining, put the cauliflower in the ice bath for 3 minutes and drain.
  • Tomatoes:  Slice the plum tomatoes.

Place the roasted peppers in a small round bowl.  Add garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Using a large round plate, place the bowl with peppers in the center of the plate and then arrange the eggplant, asparagus, cauliflower and tomatoes around it.

Spoon over the juices from the shallow bowl over the vegetables.

It's time to reach for some crusty Italian bread.



Trust me, this ANTIPASTO will make your special dinner a HIT!



Saturday, September 4, 2021

PASTA CACIO E OVA (with cheese and eggs)


Pasta Cacio e Ova is a recipe based on few ingredients but with an incomparable flavor!
It is typically prepared with shells, a particular short pasta format, which are seasoned with a mixture of beaten eggs with a mix of grated cheeses, pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano added to a tomato sauce.





Ingredients
:

1 lb. Shell pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 28 oz. Peeled Plum tomatoes (I use fresh garden tomatoes when available)
1 small onion (chopped)
3 eggs
1 cup of mixed Pecorino cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano
Sprigs of parsley and basil
Salt and pepper

Sauté' the chopped onion in olive oil.  When onion is golden, add the crushed plum tomatoes, sprig of parsley and basil, salt and pepper and simmer for 25-30 minutes.  

Simple sauce (Sugo semplice)


In the meantime, beat the 3 eggs and add the mixed cheese.  
Add the egg and cheese mixture to the sauce and cover immediately.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
Remove the cover (egg and cheese mixture should be thick) with a fork, cut the mixture into chunks.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add the sauce to the pasta and top with few leaves of chopped parsley.

Enjoy!