Insalata di Tonno e Cannellini

Insalata Tonno e Cannellini

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Summer we missed you so much! To celebrate the beautiful sunshine I would like to share a very simple and versatile salad dish that you can have as a starter, a main or a side dish. I learned that freshness and simplicity are always the key to a successful meal….most of all  if you are feeding some hungry teenagers 🙂

I made this salad for a few events that I held in our local community, the exciting thing thing for children is to prepare all the ingredients and to assemble together but the best thing is that children (and grownups) LOVE this dish as it’s full of flavour, freshness and colours.

If you are a vegetarian and you don’t eat fish, you can leave the tuna out and add a handful of cherry tomatoes 🙂

Nonna has always taught us to keep our dishes simple and fresh, this recipe is just perfect for everyone to be eaten in a hot day like today. 

Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect as a side dish for a BBQ  

Ingredients

  • one red onion, chopped
  • 400g Cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, diced  
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3tbs olive oil
  • salt 
  • 2tbs balsamic vinegar
    • 160g Tuna chunks in spring water
    • handful of olives ( I used Nocellara olives but any good quality olives will be fine)

Directions

  1. In a serving dish mix together the cannellini beans, the diced pepper, the diced onion, the tuna, the olives, the basil, the salt, the olive olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
  2. Ready !!! 🙂
  3. Enjoy on its own or with meat or fish

 

 

Pesce in Padella Facile-Facile

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Ahhhhh you are going to love this recipe!

It’s quick, easy, wholesome and full of the Mediterranean goodness that both my Mum and my Nonna always rave about, I can hear them say ” We are not on a diet, we eat a variety of foods and we make sure we use all the foods that are good for you: fruit, vegetables, fish, fats, proteins…… “.

My Nonna is 96 years old, her sisters are all between 80 and 85 years old, my Mamma is 70 years old, my great aunt is 98 years old and I even had a great uncle who lived till he was 104.

I can see now what they have been telling me all my life, it is definitely not a diet, it is a way of life that I am lucky enough to have experienced and I am going to treasure forever.

Thanks to what they taught me I am now teaching my children to enjoy food just like I did as a child, but not just my children need to know what type of food is good for their heart, what food prevent diabetes, obesity, dementia and other serious conditions.

So this recipe has got a little bit of everything, a subtle combination of white wine vinegar and tomatoes, garlic and bayleaf and a little bit of wine ( POCO VINO) …. all those flavours are going to make any fish dish extremely tasty.

It takes me back to my childhood in Sardinia, my beautiful island in the South of Italy, and somehow I hope with this dish I am taking you there too……

 

Serving 4 people

Ingredients

4 pieces of any type of white fish

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

handful of bayleaf

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved

50ml of good quality white wine vinegar

50ml of red wine

50ml extra virgin olive oil

100ml tomato passata

pinch of salt

fresh basil

 

 

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Preparation

Put the oil, garlic and bayleaf in a large pan. Simmer and add the fish. Season the fish with salt. Cook on a medium heat for 3/4 minutes. Pour the wine in and let it blend in with the fish, add the passata and gently mix with a spoon. Pour in the white wine vinegar and cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften up. Sprinkle some fresh basil and season with more salt if needed. Pronto!! 

Serve with some roast new potatoes and a mozzarella salad, your family will love it 🙂

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Zucchine Fries

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This  is a great recipe for a healthy and tasty snack that the whole family would love!

In Italian we call them ZUCCHINE  /ZOO-KEY-NEH/ = Courgettes and they are the star of this simple dish. People often think that courgettes are plain and tasteless…. did you know that they are:

  • High Source of Antioxidants and Vitamin C. …
  • Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties that Can Improve Heart Health. …
  • High Source of Potassium. …
  • Help Improve Digestion. …
  • Low in Calories and Carbs. …
  • Helps Maintain Eye Health. …
  • Good Source of Energizing B Vitamins. …
  • Can Help Control Diabetes..

They are very popular in our Mediterranean Diet and you can cook them in so many different ways!

My Nonna used to bake (or fry) many other vegetables in bread crumbs (aubergine, pepper, cauliflower..), she even made her own version of mozzarella sticks! Today we are using courgettes. The best bit about it is that my little girl made them from scratch, she loves cooking and she is a very quick learner. Children love engaging with food most of all if they can get their hands dirty! 🙂

Serving 4 

Ingredients

2 large courgettes, cut in length ways

2 eggs

handful of Parmesan cheese, grated

handful of dried origano

200g homemade breadcrumbs

Pinch of salt

Olive oil, 3 tbs

Fresh Rosemary to decorate

Preparation 

Preheat the oven at 190 degrees. Whisk two eggs and add the courgettes in. Mix well. In a different bowl mix the parmesan, the oregano, the bread crumbs and salt. Put the courgettes into the bread crumbs and mix. Put the courgette sticks on a tray, add a little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Pronto!

Please watch our video 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Camone – Amore

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I was walking around Borough Market the other day hunting for some fresh produce and  amongst all the lively and colourful tents the most beautiful stall of vegetables had my favourite Sardinian tomatoes! I was elated !!! I grew up eating tomatoes, when I say eating them I mean, both my brother and I used to “steal” them from the fridge and eat them whilst watching the telly… no crisps, no sweets, or any other type of snacks….. at the time only fresh and juicy tomatoes.

The Camone tomatoes  /CAH-MOH-NEH/  have all the properties of the other tomatoes and a distinctive texture followed by the sweetest taste that makes your mouth water at the first bite. If you have never tried I would definitely recommend them. Raw, with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt is what makes them so special. And guess what? They are at the heart of the Mediterranean diet, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K, copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E and phosphorus.

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Tomatoes are not only great in salads but I also put them in my children’s pack lunch, my children take after me…..they would eat tomatoes all day long and they also love them as a snack after they come back from school.

My Nonna and my Mamma have done a great job teaching me all I needed to know about eating fresh and healthy produce. Grazie! #BringNonnaBack

Do you you like balsamic vinegar? If you do I have a delicious recipe for you to try:

POMODORINI AL FORNO ALL’ACETO BALSAMICO

Ingredients for 4 people

1 punnet of cherry or baby plum tomatoes (250g-300g)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar

handful of fresh Basil

2 bay leaves

salt, pinch

olive oil, 2/3 tbs

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Wash the tomatoes and place them into an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the bay leaves and basil,  add the garlic, add the balsamic vinegar and mix. Place in the oven for 10 minutes and serve as a side dish to a meat of fish recipe ….. BUONISSIMI!

Polpedeller

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Inspired by a Danish recipe (hope my Danish friends out there won’t cringe 😆) I added a Mediterranean twist to the well known “Frikadeller”. I called them “Polpedeller” ( a combo of POLPETTE and FRIKADELLER).

They are “Pork meatballs” 🙌🏻🙌🏻  Packed with lots of flavour, originally with onion and bread crumbs, I added a hint of my Italian touch😉 🇮🇹(crushed fennel seeds, I love ❤️ fennel ) and served with grilled cheese & a fresh salad 🥗 DELIZIOSI 👌🏻I have some happy children 🏡 and a Nonna to thank for her precious inspiration 👌🏻#BringNonnaBack #FoodRevolution

Ingredients 

200g pork mince

100g bread crumbs

1 small/medium onion. finely chopped

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

fennel seeds (crushed)

salt, handful

Preparation

 

Mix the mince, the onion, the egg, the fennel seeds and mix. Add the milk and the salt.

Shape the mixture into medium size balls and fry them until golden.

Season with more salt or pepper and serve with your favourite vegetables. I served them with a fresh salad and some grilled cheese ….. Pronto!!! Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

LARAncini Facili

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What do you do your your left overs rice? I make ARANCINI 🙂

Arancini are originally from Sicily, one of the islands in the Mediterranean. I come from Sardinia. What’s the link between the geographical reference with this dish? Well, I am taking a traditional Sicilian recipe to another level by following the same idea of rice balls covered in bread crumbs and fried but adding a little twist! I am a strong believer of No Food Waste, (my Nonna taught me well) and this dish is great if you have some left overs rice. What type of rice? Any rice, I tried with Risotto, boiled rice or even basmati rice. It always works ! #FoodRevolution #BringNonnaBack

This recipe is made with both mushroom risotto and boiled rice left overs.

Serving 2-4 people

Ingredients

250g rice left overs

150g bread crumbs ( I made my bread crumbs with some stale bread, pinch of salt and a handful of preferably fresh or dry rosemary)

1 large egg beaten

home made pesto ( I always make my own fresh pesto, I have my fresh herbs by my kitchen window, handy for all the emergencies!! Basil and Parsley are my favourite)

olive oil

salt

Preparation

Make up 6/8 medium size rice balls. Make a small hole with a skewer and fill with fresh pesto. Close the hole, dip the rice balls in the egg and cover them with the bread crumbs. Gently fry them in hot olive olive on a flat pan. Keep turning them until golden. Leave to rest on a paper towel, season with a pinch of salt and pepper if you wish….Pronto!!!  Enjoy with some salad or dip them in pesto. They are great for pack lunches or snacks.

 

 

Insalata di Patate

When I was invited to share my cookery skills at the Women’s Day event on the 8th March  I was asked to make something easy, tasty and versatile.

My potato salad, “Insalata di Patate” is the dish that I chose and it’s also inspired to my #BringNonnaBack campaign. My Nan who is now 94 years old, has taught me that good food is made with simple ingredients, the fresher they are the better your dish is going to be. She is right and I realised that using a few simple ingredients is the secret of a balanced diet. On the 8th March whilst celebrating the milestones, the achievements and grand gestures  of Women from around the World I had to celebrate the food philosophy of ONE of the two inspiring Women in my life (my Mum is the other Woman!!!)

Serving 8/10

You will need a pestle and mortar (an electric blender can be used instead), a chopping board, a chopping knife, a large serving bowl, a large saucepan, a lemon squeezer

Ingredients

1.5 kilos of new potatoes (preferably organic)

1 handful of fresh mint

1 handful of fresh basil

4 large lemons (unwaxed), zest and juice

2 medium cloves of garlic

fine salt, a good pinch

extra virgin olive oil, 6 large tablespoons

Preparation

In a large saucepan, pour 1/1.5l of water and put the potatoes in (you don’t need to peel or cut them but make sure you thoroughly wash them before). Bring the water to the boil, add a table spoon of salt and cook for 20 minutes or until soften.

Drain the potatoes and place the on a large serving bowl. Whilst the potatoes are cooling down, take all the basil and mint leaves (chop the stems off) and place the leaves into a pestle and mortar.  Peel the garlic, put the garlic in with the leaves, add a pinch of salt and start pounding. You may need to add the leaves in batches if your mortar isn’t big enough Gradually add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the olive oil. Keep mashing and continue until the ingredients are combining together. Pound until you’ve reached the right texture. You should have an oozy consistency. Have a taste and if needed season with more salt. Mix in with the potatoes…Pronto! Buon Appetito!

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