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

 

 

Il mio CousCous

 

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Il mio CousCous

  • Servings: “2”
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Beautiful and fresh for lunch and dinner, this is perfect for packed lunch too and after a workout

Ingredients

 

-100g CousCous

-200ml hot water

-2 spring onions, finely sliced

-1 red or yellow pepper, finely sliced

-3/4 mushrooms, finely chopped

-1 tin of cannellini beans (optional)

-1 courgette, finely sliced

-Fresh chillies, sliced

-Salt

-Olive Oil, 3tbs

-Juice of 1 lemon

-Chopped fresh mint, handful


Directions

  1. Tip couscous into a large bowl, pour over the hot water. Cover with a tea towel, then leave for 10 mins, until fluffy and all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, put all the peppers, mushrooms, courgettes and spring onion in a pan with a little olive oil and simmer the vegetables until soft.
  3. Rinse the cannellini beans and add them with the vegetables to the couscous, add a a few slices of chillies (depending how spicy you like it), dress with olive oil, salt and lemon juice and mix, then sprinkle over some fresh mint to serve.
Did you know that amongst all its incredible benefits couscous is not only my ultimate favourite food 💗but also a source of Selenium 🙌🏻which is a powerful anti-oxidant!!! It is an excellent side dish, great for salads, with fish and meat or simply with vegetables. It’s extremely versatile and you can add all your favourite ingredients!! Couscous reminds me of my Mediterranean sea, the nutty flavour brings me back to my childhood when my Mum used to cook our traditional “Fregola Sarda alle Vongole”, Giant Couscous with Clams…FAVOLOSA!!!! I make sure will be sharing with you my family’s recipe 🙂

Serving suggestions : place the couscous on a plate, slice 1 beef tomato, place it on the plate with some green olives, lettuce and one sliced avocado. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice…Pronto!!!

CHICKEN STANOTTE

After a great summer ( most of us enjoyed the sunshine somewhere hot ) we are now back in the full swing of our busy lives (….and that not so warm weather), and probably we are all thinking about a nice warm dish we can cook for dinner.

One of the dishes that comes into my head and is also inspired by the latest documentary from Jamie Oliver (#SugarRush), is my Chicken Stanotte (title taken from a well known supermarket brand…), just to show that is as easy to prepare your own sauce instead of buying it ready made. Don’t forget that making your own dish is a simple and healthier option and despite our busy schedules we always need to find some time to cook fresh meals. Stock up your pantry and your fridge with fresh vegetables and fruit! Fresh fruit is an healthier option to sweets, crisps and chocolate bars, most of all after children come back from school. Besides there are so many great dishes we can create with fresh produce.

“Pollo” (POH-LLOOH)  is the Italian for Chicken and Stanotte (STAH-NOH-TTEH)  is “Tonight” or “This Evening” in English 😉

My Nonna would cook chicken as a back up plan on days when there was so much homemade bread left over that you needed a good earthy dish to mop the sauce up!!! #BringNonnaBack

So have all your ingredients ready and let’s start!

Serving

4 people

Ingredients

6/8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped in chunks

2 celery sticks, chopped in chunks

half red onion, diced

half white onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

handful of rosemary

1 tin of plum tomatoes

2 peppers, chopped in chunks

1 small tub of olives, preferably green

300ml of chicken stock or vegetable stock

salt, a good pinch

olive oil, 4 tablespoons

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Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees.

In a large bowl marinate the chicken thighs with the garlic, rosemary , salt and olive oil. Leave it to rest for 5 minutes.

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In a large pan (make sure it’s oven proof) put a little olive oil, put the pan on a medium heat and add the vegetables (celery, carrots, peppers red and white onion). Simmer until golden.

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Take a nonstick pan and put it on the heat until warm and add the chicken thighs. Cook them on one side and turn them over once golden. The juice from the marinate will prevent them sticking to the pan. If you wish, add a pinch of salt. Cook with the lid off until both sides are cooked. Put them to one side.

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Add the tin of tomatoes and the stock into the pan with the vegetables, stir and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes.


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Place the chicken thighs into the pan with the vegetables, add the olives. Make sure the sauce covers the meat so it won’t dry up in the oven. Place the pan in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes…..Pronto! 

To give a touch of freshness to your dish you can sprinkle some finely chopped basil. Enjoy your chicken with some warm bread or some rice. Buon Appettito !!!

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Please, please, pretty please!!! Be aware of the added sugar in your food and drinks, cook sensibly and ditch heavy ready sauces!

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Peperonissimi

I love peppers and I love them even more when roasted. They complement any dish, I like them with rice, pasta, fish and meat, although on their own are just perfect! Peppers are very popular in Italian cuisine despite the fact that most people might think they are more prominent in Spanish dishes…..well the truth is that wherever you are, Italy, Spain, UK etc… they taste beautiful, you only need to bring their extra flavour out by adding some simple ingredients. For this recipe capers and anchovies do the trick and at home we all love it!

My Nonna used to fill “peperoncini” ( small type of peppers) with chillies and anchovies or with ricotta cheese and anchovies!

#BringNonnaBack today with my version of her peperoncini!

Serving 4 people

Ingredients

5/6 yellow and red peppers,halved

a handful of basil, finely chopped

a handful of parsley, finely chopped,

1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tin of anchovies, finely chopped

2 tbsp of capers, finely chopped

1 tsp olive oil for drizzling

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 200c (190c fan oven). Halve the peppers and put them on an oven tray. In a large bowl mix the anchovies, basil, capers, parsley and garlic making a thick looking paste.  Fill the peppers with the paste, drizzle with a little olive oil and put them into the oven for 15/20 minutes. The smell of roasted peppers will fill your house, wait till you taste them!

They are simply delicious x

You can have this dish as a side to a BBQ, everyone will tuck in! IMG_0902 IMG_0903 IMG_0907