Archive for the ‘Italian food’ Category

Tuscan Pesto

Posted: April 10, 2009 in Appetisers, Italian food, Vacation

Sun is out. It is so great to see it again, I thought it just disappeared,  melted in its own heat, ran away from me… I don’t know what happened exactly, but the SUN is back in the sky and makes me feel great, ready for SUMMER. Along with summer comes a lot of time spent outside, but best of all – vacation. Oh, yes. And this year is about to be a very special year. Plans are done, we just need to book our tickets.

The title says a lot about the country where we’ll stop first, Italy. To be more specific, Rome – where else, right?  To be continued…

Now, here’s a recipe I found in one of my magazines. It says that the best accompaniment is Baguette Flatbread, a recipe that will follow shortly.


1/3 cups pine nuts ( love them!!!)

1/4 cup packed walnut halves (love them, too!)

5 large bunches of fresh basil leaves

3 cups loosely packed fresh Italian parsley, large stalks removed

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spread pine nuts and walnut halves on baking sheet; toast in oven for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before chopping roughly.

Wash and dry basil and parsley. Place as much basil and parsley in food processor as possible before adding pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and cheese. Pour in 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the white wine vinegar.; pulse, adding more herbs and more oil as volume decreases. Don’t overprocess. The pesto should have some texture and not be completely smooth. Add more oil if too thick. Taste and salt, if necessary, before transferring to serving bowl.

TIP : The pesto will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for three to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.The top layer will turn darker; just mix it in.

Bon apetit!

Here is what I made at the beginning of the week, the white kidney beans soup. My family loves it. And so do I. It’s very easy to make. I always use smoked pork ribs. I buy it from a polish grocery store. They are smoked naturally and taste great. The main idea is to boil them long enough, so the meat will become tender and fun to eat. The rest is veggies and tomato juice and a kind of vinegar with herbs in form of a powder. Us, romanians know it as Bors Magic with Leustean…
In the above picture there’s celery sticks and root, carrots, panais, onion and green pepper, along with the kidney beans.
Next step is to cut and grate the veggies.
Then, in a large pan, heat 2 tbsp of sunflower oil and cook the veggies.
Let them cook for over 1/2 an hour over low heat then mix it with the meat that’s been boiling for at least 2 hours. (It always takes me 2 days to finish this soup)
In the end it looks like this…
Bon apetit!

Happy Birthday, Mara!

Posted: April 30, 2008 in Italian food


Posted: April 29, 2008 in Italian food

How do you find the new design?

Preheat oven to 475°F. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Arrange whole bell peppers on the rack. 2. Roast peppers in the center of the oven, turning occasionally with tongs, until blackened in places, 30 to 40 minutes. 3. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool. 4. With a paring knife, remove stems, skins and seeds. If serving as antipasto, combine accumulated juices with peppers.

My favourite combination is with white kidney beans and sausage.

Bon apetit!

16 Large Mushroom Caps
200g Fresh Baby Spinach, Chopped
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
1/4 Cup Finely Diced Bacon
3 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil Plus More To Drizzle On The Caps Before Baking
3/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
1/2 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs
Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wipe the mushrooms with a clean damp towel, and remove the stems. Cut off the root end of the stem, and then coarsely chop the rest. Heat the 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy saucepan, and cook the onions, bacon and chopped mushroom stems until the vegetables tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chopped spinach, and cook until wilted. Add the bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of cheese and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Place the mushroom caps flat on a baking sheet and carefully spoon the filling into each. Drizzle the tops with a little additional sunflower oil, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the mushrooms feel soft when pierced with a fork. Serve warm.

You can bake these ahead of time, and reheat them just before serving.

Bon apetit!

To make a basic Neapolitan base which is chewy and soft with a crisp crust.

2 tsp quick-rising yeast
1 cup hot water ( 50 degrees C or 110 degrees F)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

In bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water and sprinkle yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, make well in centre and pour in the yeast and the olive oil. Mix together until dough comes together. Tip out onto lightly floured surface and knead dough briskly for 5 to 10 minutes or until elastic, smooth and shiny. If the dough is sticky, flour your hands, not the dough.
Shape dough into neat ball. Place in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in warm until doubled in bulk.
Uncover dough, punch air out and tip out onto floured work surface. Divide in half and shape into 2 smooth balls.
Turn each ball over onto lightly floured work surface and roll it out.

TIP : Have extra flour at the ready to dust dough, hands, rolling pin and work surface to prevent from sticking.