April 29, 2013 by Giulietta
Oh, yes, now I’m addicted to mountain memories… and so, aided by the memories, by the desire to go to Alto Adige and by this wintery climate (and it’s almost May, for God’s sake), I propose another mountain dish, and this time it’s a dish typical of the Alto Adige.
Of course, I’m going there also because of a recent and unmissable purchase (a spätzle grater), so here they are, my spinach spätzle, with one of the most classic topping, cream and speck (but they’re delicious also with a simple butter and sage topping).
A very easy, quick and yet delicious recipe!
Category Cold cuts, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Trentino Alto Adige, Vegetables | Tags: cold cuts,cream,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,pasta,regional italian cuisine,spatzle,speck,spinach,Trentino Alto Adige,vegetables | 10 Comments
February 29, 2012 by Giulietta
This post tells an evening, a dinner to say goodbye to a dear friend, who left Turin today and will come back in a few months. This is the story of a simple request that magically turned itself into an evening of food, wine, beer, reasonable and foolish words and laughter.
When a friend says he wants to eat something before he leaves, you have to please him. And if this friend asks you a risotto, you'll make him three, this is the law of the jungle .. well, actually this is Totta's (the friend who gave the party) law. This time I didn't think of anything, I didn't organize anything, but I merely prepared the food with her, so she has all the merit.
And before those risotto there will be at least 3 or 4 starters (including raw meat, a Piedmontese classic) and a generous amount of pickles (we can't live without them), and after them a salad (which, as we know, de-grease, so it will be skipped) and a dessert (a really fattening one) … well, you'll also need at least 5 hearty eaters.
When a friend leaves, you can't let him leave starving, and you can't really say goodbye on an empty stomach.
Category Cheese, Cold cuts, First course, Risotto | Tags: cheese,chestnut,cold cuts,risotto,saffron,speck,tomino di Bosconero | 7 Comments
January 31, 2012 by Giulietta
I am not a voracious meat eater, I don't stuff myself with steaks, stews, burgers, chickens and patties, and it's not because I don't like them (on the contrary), but simply because I eat many more vegetables than proteins or carbs. What can I do if I go crazy for every single vegetable?!
But (and I've already told you, there's always a but) I can't say no to a great piece of meat cooked like it deserves, aka not overcooked. I believe that, under the right conditions, I could kill for a Fiorentina, or a nice Frisona (a Piedmontese cow) T-Bone steak.
But I'd settle even for "less", for example a nice piece of sirloin, briefly and simply cooked. Here, if you're searching for a dish that has these two traits, the beef medallions hugged by lardo are just perfect.
Category Beef, Cold cuts, Cooking for dummies, Meat, Second course | Tags: beef,cold cuts,cooking for dummies,lard,meat,medallions,second course,sirloin | 20 Comments
January 8, 2012 by Giulietta
As I already told you some time ago, I have the "ear" mania (aka when I read a cook book or a magazine, I dog ear every interesting page), or I write down memos on loose sheets of paper (which inevitably accumulate and mix with other memos scattered around the desk) an endless list of dishes that sooner or later I will definitely have to try in my life. Since I added in Google Reader the feeds of my favorite blogs, I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel … there are more stars (bookmark simbols) in my reader than in the Milky Way.
Among the recipes in my culinary wish list from time out of mind there's the Danubio (Danube), which is everything, except a dish of northern origins (as the name would suggest): in fact, it seems that this name was given in honor of Mario Scaturchio's (a Neapolitan pastry chef) Austrian aunt, inventor of this recipe. There are also two other stories related to this name: the first says that this name came from its shape, similar to a watery surface rippled by the waves (romantic version); the other one sees in this name a reference to the arrival of Viennese cooks in Naples as Bourbons' retinue in the second half of the XVIII century (historic version, a little less charming, but perhaps more accurate). Name aside, this is a great Southern recipe, from Campania, one of those rich, magnificent (do you remember the babà rustico, right?) recipe, completely customizable to your every taste and preference (there's also a sweet Danubio).
But, that's for sure, this dish is perfect for a dinner with friends, where each guest can take his/her roll from the Danubio and eat it with his/her hands (the kind of finger food that everyone loves), drinking some Prosecco, a good beer or what he/she prefers with it. I made the Danubio (indeed, two Danubi) on New Year's Eve, and I must say that he didn't disappoint anyone.. maybe it's because I followed Tery's infallible recipe?!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Campania, Cheese, Cold cuts, Holidays, Leavened, New Year's Eve, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: appetizer and finger food,campania,cheese,cold cuts,fontina,holidays,leavened,New Year's Eve,prosciutto cotto,provola,regional italian cuisine,salame | 30 Comments
December 20, 2011 by Giulietta
Last weekend could be renamed "Fear and Loathing in the Kitchen" … an entire Saturday (and I mean the whole day) spent between the four walls of a kitchen, dealing with five different Christmas sweets, with an exaggerated multi-tasking and, of course, with the inevitable mistakes made because of the performance anxiety (I still can't tell you my mistake, but it includes aluminum foil and a long series of curses). But, when you share everything with a good friend, and you season it with a large dose of irony (and I assure you that it was absolutely necessary), even mistakes turn into a laugh and everything goes by, even a 12 hours cooking frenzy.
And then, on Sunday, an epic "polentata" (a meal in which you eat only polenta, with different dressing) in the mountains, taking turns to stir the polenta on the wood stove, with a stew made as nature intended, mushrooms, cheeses and a good red wine.
And so, in a kitchen or around a table, with new or old friends, I believe that everything finds the right balance, everything comes back to the right place.
The next weekend it will be Christmas, many of us will spend this week to cook elaborate, long, full-bodied, meals, and some of us will fast (except for the inevitable dinner/afternoon teas/after-dinner to exchange Christmas wishes and gifts .. ok, so basically none will fast) to prepare ourselves for the upcoming holidays. Today I don't propose you a traditional recipe (although in some places in the Asti province this starter is more or less typical) or a complex recipe, but just a stupid, quick and effective one.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cold cuts, Cooking for dummies, Spices | Tags: appetizer and finger food,black pepper,bread,cold cuts,cooking for dummies,lard,pepper,spices | 14 Comments
November 17, 2011 by Giulietta
Pumpkin squash pumpkin squash… this is my leitmotif in the last period: in fact, I'm always looking for new recipes in which to use this adorable vegetable, adorable for its versatility and, let's say it, for its joyful color.
And so, after a pumpkin parmigiana and pumpkin gnocchi with Castelmagno (I haven't spoken about those, yet.. are you interested?), here it is a potato and pumpkin gateau. It doesn't differ so much from an usual potato gateau: it's equally delicious (well, in my opinion this is even MORE delicious), equally versatile and equally comforting.
Small note on the name. It's called gateau, pie/cake in French, although I can compare it to a casserole, not a cake. The fact is, however, that this dish has become really famous in southern Italy, especially in Campania region, where its name became gattò. In short, call it as you like, 'cause the essence doesn't change … but if you choose to call it gattò (gatto in Italian means cat), please don't tell Pupi (my dog.. you already saw him in all his canine beauty here), otherwise we're in trouble!
Category Casserole, Cheese, Cold cuts, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: casserole,cheese,cold cuts,fontina,gateau,gattò,mortadella,potatoes,pumpkin,single course,vegetables | 22 Comments
October 30, 2011 by Giulietta
Hands up who doesn't love pizza! I bet no one raised his/her hand … let's face it, it's impossible not to love pizza, and not just 'cause I'm Italian, but 'cause I'm a human being with stomach and taste buds.
Pizza is one of the wonders of the world, one of those things that everybody love, since it's incredibly versatile. This has always been my thought, but I've had further confirmation since I discovered Gabriele Bonci's pizza (discovered through my friend Elisa, aka Kitty's Kitchen), a famous Roman pizza maker, whose pizza is now a true legend. Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of tasting his pizza, yet, but I plan to do that the next time I'll go to Rome (maybe sooner than later).
However, thanks to some excellent videos I found on Dissapore web site and thanks to the advices of some fellow food bloggers, I was able to try and make His pizza, and the fact that I never tasted the original one could be an advantage… so I can't tell the differences. Having said that, I simply fell in love with this pizza, very hydrated (as you'll see, it contains a very high percentage of water), very well leavened (very slowly) and very, very light. So you won't feel guilty when you'll eat a slice more … and believe me, you will definitely do that, don't fight it!
But do as I did, throw a nice pizza party, so you can share the guilt.
My pizza party is also featured in this month 24×24 on Foodbuzz.
Category Breads and pizzas, Cheese, Cold cuts, Leavened, Party, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: black olives,breads and pizzas,cheese,chickpea flour,cold cuts,farinata,leavened,leek,mozzarella,olive taggiasche,olives paste,oregano,party,pizza,potatoes,prosciutto crudo,single course,stracchino cheese,Tropea onion,vegetables | 27 Comments
October 8, 2011 by Giulietta
October has arrived, and with it arrived autumn, too … despite the nearly 90° F (30° C) we had this week, the other day the wind changed, and in these last two days the temperatures went down, and it almost seemed fall. It appears that next week they'll rise again, but meanwhile I'm enjoying a few days of soups and hot dishes. If next week I'll have to make a rice salad again, then rice salad will be, but it will be a problem of future Giulia.
However, rising or falling temperatures, finally a vegetable made its entrance again: the beloved, colorful and versatile squash (or pumpkin). I love it so much for its sweet and distinctive taste, that goes well with both the sausage and chocolate… how many other ingredients have this innate ability? Very few.
And then, let's face it, squash is so good even accompanied by other vegetables, for example in the evergreen (or everorange .. ok, bad joke) cream of pumpkin soup, a real must in my kitchen's fall-winter collection (but thanks to the freezer, even in spring it appears on my table … and a friend of mine suggested me to make a summer version of this soup, eating it cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon … so I'll have pumpkin all year).
In short, I just love the pumpkin and squash in all their forms and combinations .. and this year two things will help to bring even more of them on my table, in every possible dish: first of all, other than my trusted dealers in farmers market this year a friend of mine grows pumpkin in her own garden (I could already taste one of her pumpkin… simply delicious!); secondly, later this month I'll attend a cooking class entirely dedicated to pumpkin. I think you'll see this vegetable again and again here on my blog, continuing this saga.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cold cuts, Dried fruit, Herbs, Quiche and savory muffins, Savory tart, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,cold cuts,dried fruit,herbs,pine nuts,potatoes,prosciutto crudo,pumpkin,quiche,rosemary,savory tartes,single course,squash,tartes,vegetables | 44 Comments
August 27, 2011 by Giulietta
Don't worry, the litmus test I'm talking about has nothing to do with the difficulty in making this dish (to tell the truth, it's quite simple), but it's because I finally passed this test with my stomach. In fact, you should know that for years I couldn't eat peppers (and I suffered, 'cause I really love them), since my delicate stomach (buuuuuu) decided that they were too much for it.
And so, goodbye to hot and cold peperonata (sweet peppers sauté in a frying pan with onion and tomato sauce), goodbye to grilled peppers, goodbye to stuffed peppers.
That was until a year ago when, because of an holiday in Croatian soil, I started to get closer again to this gorgeous (even esthetically) vegetable, first with Ajvar, then with stuffed paprika (sooner or later you'll find this recipe here, 'cause I want to rediscover my Croatian roots).
Since then, my path was downhill: at first it was a pickled pepper in a baccalà timbale, then a grilled pepper for lunch, until the TRUE litmus test mentioned above: the challenge of a stuffed pepper for dinner.
Needless to say, but I won, dear pepper, my former enemy (please listen to "The eye of the tiger" by Survivor, while you read this)!
Category Beef, Cold cuts, Herbs, Meat, Second course, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: beef,breadcrumbs,cold cuts,herbs,meat,parmigiano,parsley,pepper,prosciutto cotto,second course,single course,vegetables | 58 Comments
July 18, 2011 by Giulietta
It's a fact that there are no more middle seasons, we know that young people are no longer as they used to be, it's a harsh reality that strawberries don't taste like strawberries anymore (these are all Italian clichés) … but you need to shake if we have no certainty about meat loaves!
Who doesn't know a recipe for meatloaf (which it's usually the same recipe for meatball, but it's a larger one), a comfy wintry food, cooked in a frying pan and then in the oven?!
I hear your voices, already: "Who wants a warm meatloaf NOW?". In fact, the meatloaf I'll talk to you about is a cold one … you have to cook it (I think that eating raw chicken and raw eggs is not so good), but in boiling water, like rice, for example. And, since everyone prepares a nice rice salad in the summer, even if he/she has to stay near the stove for 20-30 minutes, you have no excuses! I'll tell you more, unlike rice, meatloaf doesn't need any attention: you could just forget about the meatloaf and go get it after half an hour, so you'll see the stove just for a few seconds.
Aren't you persuaded?! Then perhaps the ingredients will persuade you: chicken breast, mortadella, egg and pistachio, nothing more and nothing less.
If you still aren't persuaded, I'll draw the last card, its easiness! Not only this meatloaf is easy to prepare, but it has a for dummies recipe: in fact, the proportion between the ingredients is stable (1:1) and easy to remember, so you can multiply and divide as you want without being wrong (and you won't have to face an unformed monster unformed)! Years ago I "stole" this recipe from my aunt, after I tasted this meatloaf, and every year I make it for dinners, lunches, picnics and days at the beach, and everyone agrees on it!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Chicken, Cold cuts, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Dried fruit, Meat, Meatballs and meat loaves, Second course | Tags: appetizer and finger food,chicken,cold cuts,cold dishes,dried fruit,eggs,mayonnaise,meat,meatballs and meat loaves,mortadella,pistachio,second course,single course | 28 Comments