PASTA VACANZA

PASTA VACANZA 

/VAH-CAN-TSAH/ 

Holiday Pasta ☀️

A recipe inspired to my summers as a child spent in beautiful Sardinia ☀️🌊

It’s instantly bringing back so many memories that I will treasure forever

This is a fresh and versatile dish that can be eaten hot or cold; ideal for packed lunch your whole family would absolutely LOVE it

Ingredients: 

BASILICO 🌿 Basil, handful 

AGLIO 🧄 Garlic, one clove 

PASSATA 🥫Plain Tomato Passata, 200g

OLIO EXTRA VERGINE D’OLIVA 🌿 Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 6 tbs 🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄🥄

SALE, Salt 🥄

200g POMODORI 🍅 tomatoes 

Use a hand blender to blitz the tomatoes 

  1. Chop the garlic 🧄 and the basil 🌿 very finely. Pour the olive oil in a large pan and put on a medium heat. Add the garlic 🧄 and basil 🌿 and gently simmer. 
  2. Add the blitzed tomatoes, season and mix. 
  3. Add the the passata and stir. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  4. Bring 1.5 litre of water 💦 to a boil, add a tbs of coarse salt 🧂 and add the pasta into the water 💦. 

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and mix it in with the sauce into a large serving dish.

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and enjoy 

BUON APPETITO!

RAVIOLI DI MAMMA

My favourite pasta dish EVER ! This is the dish that I would crave the most and the one that would make me feel at home

A wholesome, fresh and super tasty recipe and an ideal alternative to meat or ricotta ravioli. The potato filling makes the whole dish a perfect main course! This is a recipe that I learned from my Mamma and it took me a long time to “master” the fiddly dumping shape ( although I still don’t think I have completely mastered it)

As a child I loved making this delicious recipe and as well as kneading the dough I would help rolling the filling into small balls and ….. secretly eat them, I can still remember what they tasted like 🙂 …

In Italian we say:

FARE LA PASTA /FAH-REH LAH PASH-STAH/ = making pasta (verb + feminine noun)

IMPASTARE /EEM-PAH-STAH-REH/ = to knead, verb


PATATE /PAH-TAH-TEH/ = potatoes, feminine noun (plural)


MENTA / MEN – TAH/ = mint, feminine noun (singular)


POMODORO /POH-MOH-DO-ROH/ = tomato , masculine noun (singular)

Serving 6 

Ingredients 

For the Ravioli:

Plain Flour Tipo  “00”       250g

Semolina     250g

White Potatoes   5/6 large

Mint, finely chopped    1 bunch

Spring Onions    2

Garlic Cloves   1 whole

Extra Virgin Olive Oil     4 tbsp

Water 1 glass

Salt, large pinch   1

Parmesan, grated     50g

For the Sauce:

Tomato Passata      2 bottles (680g per bottle)

White Onion, half, finely chopped

Basil, finely chopped      1bunch

Olive Oil, 2 tbsp

Salt, 1 pinch

Filling : Peel the potatoes and cut them in small chunks. Boil them until soft, put them into a large bowl and mash them until creamy and smooth.
In a small pan put the olive oil, the spring onion finely chopped and the garlic clove. Put it on the heat until simmering. Take the pan off the heat and the mint. Let the oil cool down.
Take the garlic out and pour the oil in the mash, add the grated parmesan and a pinch of salt. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed.
Pasta: Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together
Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture.
If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting.
You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking. Use a circular cutter (8/10 cm diameter) or a glass of the same size.


Gently press the mould in the pasta to form lots of round shapes. Place about a small ball of filling into each circle and very gently try closing each dumpling in the shape of drop. Please watch the video for the tutorial, hope it will be helpful 🙂

https://youtu.be/Zg5dxdwdRUo

Make as many ravioli/dumplings as possible, using up all the filling and the dough.
In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish.
Sauce: In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving.
Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!

BUON APPETITO !

PEPERONI RIPIENI – Stuffed Peppers

Hot or cold, same day or the next… you are going to LOVE this dish ❤️

This is what us Italians call:

“UN PIATTO COMPLETO” a complete dish ☺️ it’s complete as vegetables and meat are combined together but there’s also a veggie option for my vegetarian friends 🌱

Ingredients

(Serving 4/5 ) 

4/6 peppers ( yellow/red or orange)

500g beef mince

One boiled potato 🥔 (medium size)

2 garlic cloves , one garlic clove finely chopped; the other clove left whole

Handful of fresh Parsley 🌱

Bread crumbs ( handful) 

One egg 🥚 

Olive oil 

Salt, tsp 🧂 

Plain Tomato Passata 300g

Dried Oregano 🌿 , tsp

Parmesan or cheddar

Vegetarian option ( Swap mince for Rice)

150g Plain rice 🍚 (boiled) 

Handful of cherry tomatoes (diced)

Basil 🌿, handful, chopped 

1 garlic clove 🧄, halved

Cappers (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees 

In a large bowl mix the mince with chopped garlic, chopped parsley, an egg and a handful of breadcrumbs. Add a tsp of salt 🧂and mix everything in. 

Halve the peppers, take the seeds out and place the mince inside the peppers (starting with a tablespoon of mince first and keep filling the peppers until they are completely full). If you have some mince leftover you can make some meatballs and cook them in the sauce.

Place them on a tray and bake them for 20 minutes at 190 degrees 

In a large pan add a couple of tbs of olive oil, add the oregano 🌿 and the whole garlic, put the pan on a medium heat. Add the passata 🍅, season with salt and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Take the peppers out the oven, place them in the pan and keep cooking them in the pan, with the lid on.

Sprinkle some cheese and keep cooking until the cheese melts completely 

Veggie option:

Boil 150g of rice.

Mix the tomatoes 🍅 ,capers, basil 🌿 and the rice together.

Fill the peppers and sprinkle some breadcrumbs ( breadcrumbs will avoid the rice to dry up once in the oven), drizzle with olive oil 

Place the peppers on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes at 190 degrees or until the peppers are softened 

You can add some grilled asparagus or courgettes as a fresh side dish to go with it

Buon appetito ☺️

PASTA AL TONNO E POMODORINI

…. As simple as that ❤️ A few fresh ingredients for a quick pasta dish that your whole family will love ☺️

TONNO /TOH-NOH/ 🐟

POMODORINI /POH-MOH-DOH-REE-NEE/ 🍅

Or we should also say : Protein, Amino acid, omega 3 , vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K ❤️

How does it sound?

Ingredients

300g Short pasta (Penne, Farfalle,Fusilli)

1 tin of tuna

A punnet of cherry tomatoes 250g 🍅(halved or diced)

1 or 2 garlic cloves 🧄 (finely chopped)

1 handful of basil, chopped

salt

3/4 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

Boil some water (1 litre) for the pasta, don’t forget to add a tablespoon of coarse salt in the water. Put the pasta into the water and cook for 10/12 (following the cooking time on the packet but do not overcook it ).

Put the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat 🔥 and add the tomatoes 🍅 and the salt 🧂

Cook for a couple of minutes and add the garlic 🧄, stir and add the tuna (make sure it’s drained).

Keep stirring. Cook only for a few minutes (the tomatoes need to stay a bit crunchy). Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the basil 🌿

The pasta should be ready by now. Drain it and pour the sauce into the pasta. Mix it together 💪🏻Pronto!

You can add a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes 🍅 some olives or some diced mozzarella ❤️ Enjoy……………….even the next day!

Risotto agli Asparagi e Limone

Hands up who loves Risotto?

We doooooo!!! It’s that kind of comfort food, creamy, warm and full of goodness beautiful food that will take you back to Italy, … the best way I would describe it is it’s like receiving a hug on a plate 🙂 and who doesn’t need a hug right now?

You can use any of your favorite vegetables but today we are using ASPARAGI /AH-SPAH-RAH-JEE/ Asparagus (a great source of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K), with the freshness of a lemon.

Are you ready? PRONTI?

Serving 4 people

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

350g Arborio rice

500ml vegetable stock or 500ml hot water (1 gelatine type chicken cube to mix in the water)

white onion, half,  finely chopped

50g butter

150g asparagus, sliced (tips left whole)

zest of one lemon ( do not grate the white pith which is bitter and should not be eaten)

2tbs extra virgin olive oil

handful of rest parsley, finely chopped

fresh parmesan, as much as you like!!!!!

Preparation

Place the butter in a non-stick pan and melt it on a low/medium heat, add the onion and simmer until golden , add the rice and stir it in. The rice will start roasting and it’s important that it doesn’t burn. Add the asparagus (just the stems, sliced) and mix them with the rice. Add half of the lemon zest and a pinch of salt, stir everything in. Have your stock ready and make sure it’s hot, alternatively melt the gelatine cube in the hot water and mix it thoroughly. Gradually add the stock in the pan and keep stirring the rice, repeat this until you have used all the stock. Add the tips of the asparagus and mix them in. The rice is starting to grow and absorbing all the liquid, add more stock if it looks too sticky or turn the heat up if it’s too wet, keep mixing it throughly. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the lemon zest, olive oil and the parsley and put it aside.

The rice will look creamy and will taste “al dente”.

Serve it with some fresh parmesan, shavings or grated and pour the olive oil, lemon and parsley dressing. Pronto!

P.S. Rice takes 14/15 minutes to cook, should you have used all of your stock and the rice  feels still quite hard, I would recommend to add a little water but don’t over cook it! Never cook your rice for longer than 15 minutes !

Ali con i Peperoni e Bruschetta

So much flavour in a very simple dish made with a very few ingredients.

The secret? A very few ingredients 🙂

We love chicken POLLO /POH-LOH/ but we prefer to eat it on the bone and wings are one of the most flavourful part and fantastic for this delicious recipe.

PEPERONI /PEH-PEH-ROH-NEE/ not to be confused with PEPPERONI the sausage you put on pizza, except when you are in Italy of course, because if you ask for a Pepperoni pizza you’ll get a pizza with peppers on top. Yes! Peppers, beautiful peppers… red, yellow, orange!

So far we only have two ingredients: wings and peppers…..wait! that’s exactly what this dish is called!! The truth is that you don’t need to add anything else a part from 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a good pinch of salt.

To accompany the wings I would recommend a beautiful BRUSCHETTA AL POMODORO …. correctly pronounced /BROO-SKEH-TAH/

A little trick for you to master the best Italian pronunciation is remembering that the letters “C” and “H” together sound the opposite to English, CH = /K/ just like in the word CHIANTI (which I am sure you are familiar with)

So…are you ready? SIETE PRONTI?

🙂

Ingredients:

A packet of chicken wings (roughly 12 wings, halved as they will cook quicker)

3 peppers, red / yellow / orange (sliced quite chunky)

NOT green peppers 

Olive oil, 4 tbs

Salt

One large non-stick pan with lid

A punnet of cherry tomatoes 🍅 (diced)

Garlic  (finely chopped )

Fresh Basil 🌿 (finely chopped)

Bread ( baguette 🥖or any type of bread available 🍞)

Put a large non-stick pan on a medium heat, pour the olive oil in and add the wings. Add the salt, cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peppers and keep cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring every now and again. Add a little more salt if needed. Cook until the wings are golden and the peppers are soft.

In a bowl mix the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. Let it marinade for 5 minutes before serving on slices of bread

BUON APPETITO, SONO SICURA CHE VI PIACERÀ 🙂

PASTA PER ANNA

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Pasta Per Anna

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ciao a  tutti! I hope everyone is well and safe during this difficult time where we need to support and help each other to face probably one of the most challenging times we have ever experienced. Once, I heard my Nonna saying that Food is LOVE made visible and of course, it is also the main ingredient of our meals. I hope today I managed to “hug” you and share some AMORE with this dish 🙂 This recipe is inspired by someone truly amazing, a fighter whose energy and positivity are infectious, she is one of a kind and I wanted to share my support by doing a dish that is full of goodness and nutrients, a combination of healthy ingredients to help her fight the biggest battle. Due to a shortage of food I created this dish using what we found in the supermarkets so you can swap some of the ingredients if you need  to. 
Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect to eat hot or cold 🙂

Ingredients

150g Kale, finely chopped  (or Greens)

150g Cavolo Nero, finely chopped (if cavolo nero is not available in the shop you can use Spinach)

1 garlic clove, halved ( take the core out to prevent indigestion)

Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley (or Rocket)

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of nuts (pine nuts are traditionally used in Pesto but any type of nuts will be just fine)

4 to 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( a good quality)

Salt

250g Pasta (Short type like Penne, Fusilli…)

Parmesan Cheese 

Directions

     

    1.Bring 1 to 1.5 lt of water to a boil in a large sauce pan.

    Add a tablespoon of course salt into the water as it’s starting to boil, pour the kale and the cavolo nero in and cook for 5 minutes.

    If you are using spinach, don’t add it into the water as we’ll eat it raw.

  1. Have a hand blender ready. Add to the blender the spinach, basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, olive oil (4 tbs to start with, you can add some more if the paste is too thick), salt and a sprinkle of parmesan. Wiz everything up until the ingredients are all evenly mixed. 
  2. Drain half of the cavolo nero and kale, add it into the blender and mix into the paste.
  3. Keep the rest of the cavolo nero and kale still in the water and add the pasta in. The pasta will cook nicely in the same water absorbing the properties of the vegetables.
  4. Cook your pasta following the time given on the packet but don’t over cook ( we like our pasta to be Al Dente)
  5. Drain the pasta together with the cavolo nero and the kale, place it on a large serving dish, add the green paste and mix.
  6. Sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy…. BUON APPETITO 🙂

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Torta D’Amore e Mele

 

Torta D'Amore e Mele

  • Servings: 8
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Nonna has always taught us that baking is good for your mind, it’s creative and makes other people happy. LOVE – AMORE /AH-MOH-REH/ is the main ingredient for every recipe and this one has plenty of it.

A wholesome cake, perfect for any occasion or just because today you want to make someone happy ❤️ 

Ingredients

– 300g plain flour

– 150g sugar

– 60g butter, soften

– 3 eggs

– 60g milk

– 3tbs ground cinnamon

– 1 tbs natural yoghurt

– 3 apples, skin on and finely sliced

– 15g baking powder

– juice of 1 lemon

– cup of water

– icing sugar for decoration

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake with baking parchment. Core and cut the apples into thin slices and soak them in a little water with lemon juice.

2. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until stiff and put them aside. Beat the yolks and the sugar until pale and fluffy.  While still mixing add the butter, the flour, the milk, the egg whites, the yoghurt and the cinnamon. Finally add the baking powder and mix well.

3. Pour the mixture into the tin. Drain the apple slices and carefully place them with their skin up on the mixture starting from the centre towards the edges. Sprinkle some sugar.

4. Bake for 35/40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. Before serving sprinkle some icing sugar  

Ravioli di Nonna Pasqualina

Ravioli di Nonna Pasqualina

  • Servings: 4-5
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This wholesome recipe brings back some of my childhood memories, I am lucky I am able to share them with my children

 

 

Have you thought how much food can have an impact on your memory? The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of places and settings. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body.

We all have food memories and this recipe from my Nonna brings back some of mine…..

…. I grew up on the island of Sardinia coming from quite a large family with lots uncles, aunts and cousins. We all lived very close and our family life was ruled by traditional meals and wholesome food.  I learned to cook from an early age, cooking was like a game for us children,  some days instead of playing with dolls,  we used rolling pins and wooden spoons  …. BEI TEMPI! Good old times !!

I was around 7 years old when on a sunny afternoon after school I helped my Nonna make Ravioli for the first time. Making Ravioli was (and still is in our family) a proper gathering, so all my cousins, aunts ( and uncles too) would be there to help Nonna… actually Nonna would make it very clear that she was in charge and that everyone had to follow her instructions.  Apparently I was spending more time in tasting the filling and playing with that edible play dough than kneading the dough and filling the pasta. For a little girl that was all that mattered at the time!  and that recipe is a memory that I will treasure forever.

My Nonna Pasqualina /PAH-SKOO-AH-LEE-NAH/ was born on 11th April 1922 in  small town called Bolotana

She was recently interviewed about her healthy life style and upbringing in Sardinia, at 96 years old she is still an inspiration for all of us and we can only look up to her and learn lessons on the way she lives her life ❤️ Grazie Nonna

You can read her beautiful story all in Italian in Chentannos. Thanks to the amazing Laura Mele for bringing back the memories of the centenarians in Sardinia.

https://www.chentannos.net/it/pasqualina-casula?fbclid=IwAR1u2c_peXbLaznEU5YToGL03tYUZ2gtDElqH8_0QYY-JDtEDGnMSzQh7Ys
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Ingredients

For the Ravioli:

250g Plain Flour Tipo  “00”

250g Semolina

1 kg good quality of Ricotta cheese

Handful of Parsley, finely chopped

Water 1 glass

Salt, large pinch   1

tbs of Lemon zest

For the Sauce:

Tomato Passata , 2 bottles (680g per bottle)

White Onion, half, finely chopped

Basil, finely chopped      1bunch

Olive Oil, 2 tbsp

Salt, 1 pinch

Directions

 

Filling :

Mix the ricotta cheese and the parsley. Add the lemon zest and salt. mix all. Stir it until soft and smooth. Add some more salt if needed. Pasta:

Place the flour and the semolina on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add some water and mix it together Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. You are aiming to achieve a play dough texture. If your dough is crumbly (too dry) add a teaspoon of water. If the dough sticks to your hands (too wet) add a little extra flour or semolina. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Take a tennis ball-sized amount of dough, squash it flat with your fingers, push it through the pasta roller on the widest setting. Fold into thirds, then repeat 3 times. Once you have a rough square shape, start working it through the machine, taking it down one setting at a time, until the thinnest setting. You should end up with a long sheet of pasta about 8-10cm wide. Place this on a flat surface with flour underneath to stop it from sticking. Flour the ravioli mould and place one sheet of pasta over the ravioli maker.  Gently press the pasta  into the depressions of the mould to form cups. Place about a tablespoon of filling into each pocket Place another sheet of pasta over the ravioli filling. Use a rolling pin to press the two layers of pasta together. Start with gentle pressure to press out any air and to form a seal. Then use more pressure to cut the pasta into individual ravioli.  Peel off excess dough from around the ravioli. Turn the ravioli maker over and give the mould a shake.  The ravioli should easily fall out of the mould. Dust the ravioli with some flour so they won’t stick together. In a large saucepan bring 1/1.5l water to the boil and add a table spoon of coarse salt. As the water is boiling gently place your ravioli into the water, 5 at the time. They will cook pretty quickly ( as soon as they floating you know they are cooked). Use a small colander to get the out and gently place them on a serving dish. Sauce:

In a large pan put the olive oil, the onion and some of the basil. Put it on the heat until simmering. Add the passata, a pinch of salt and cover with a lid, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the basil before serving.


Now pour the sauce on your ravioli , sprinkle some parmesan and enjoy !!!