September 22, 2012 by Giulietta
Summer is ending (these are the words of a famous Italian “trash” song… it’s amazing how many trash songs I know), but my idea is to enjoy this summer as long as it lasts: today, according to the calendar, is the first day of autumn, the air is fresher already, but I still crave nice outdoor walks and bike rides, picnics (oh mine, I really love picnics) and fresh and colourful dishes (but, don’t worry, I already have a pumpkin in the fridge ready for soups, and it won’t be my first soup of the season).
Today is the first day of autumn, but I want to celebrate summer with a dish that constantly (and pleasantly) marks my summers: the eggplant caponata. This is my grandfather’s recipe (blood ties never meant much to me, so he’s not my grandfather, but this grandfather not grandfather is more of a grandfather than my real grandfather .. it looks like a tongue twister, but I understood myself – I’ll make a test to see who understood this strange phrase) and now for me it’s THE recipe, the only one I have ever tasted that make me wanna steal the bowl and hide it under my covers, so I can eat caponata until winter arrives.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Bittersweet, Cold dishes, Family recipes, Fried food, Herbs, Regional Italian cooking, Sicily, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,bittersweet,cold dishes,eggplant,family recipes,fried food,herbs,regional italian cuisine,sicily,vegetables | 6 Comments
September 17, 2012 by Giulietta
Today let's talk about pummarola (aka tomato in Campanian dialect)!
During these last weeks in food blogs and in the real world I heard so much about tomato sauce, about family traditions, about grandmothers who made tons of tomato sauce in the past (but also today), about families gathered around a cauldron that simmered for days.
Well, I am not part of this group: I don't know whether it is a question of more or less Northern origins or whether it is simply out of habit, but my family doesn't have the tomato sauce tradition. We do make conserves, 'cause we make a lot of jam (we have a great thornbush and a mulberry tree), and especially in oil appetisers (in August we made small onions, small artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed hot peppers, in oil eggplant, in oil zucchini and peppers) but, aided by the fact that in my house we eat very little tomato sauce, we have never felt the need of pummarola.
Until now, of course. Because this year I said to myself: maybe tomato sauce is a rarity in my house, but also ragout, eggplant parmigiana, or stew or pizza will be so much tastier with home-made tomato sauce.
So I started with about twenty kilos … we'll see if they will be sufficient or if next year I'll have to make more, 'cause I convinced the family to start a new tradition.
Meanwhile, here my three tomato preserves.
Category Conserve, Herbs, Home-made is better, Vegetables | Tags: basil,chili pepper,conserve,herbs,oblong tomatoes,san marzano tomatoes,tomato sauce,tomatoes,tomatoes in pieces,unpeeled tomatoes,vegetables | 7 Comments
August 21, 2012 by Giulietta
Today we talk about cinema, and the opportunity to speak of this love of mine (I'm saying I want to take a second degree in history of cinema long before taking my first degree … ok, I have a problem) comes from an amazing contest, organised by Patty of Andante con gusto in collaboration with Lagostina. For this contest I was asked to describe a comedy through a recipe.
I had to take up the challenge! And, thinking about a comedy, the first one that came to my mind was Little Miss Sunshine, one of the movies that I loved the most in recent years, a comedy out of the box and with tragicomic tone.
Category Cheese, Cinema, Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Herbs, Home-made is better, Pasta, Spices, Vegetables | Tags: cinema,contest,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,herbs,home-made is better,mint,pasta,ricotta cheese,saffron,spices,vegetables,zucchini | 6 Comments
July 28, 2012 by Giulietta
Live from Calabria (haven’t I said that I’d write from somewhere else, this time?), in a seaside-holiday mode, I leave you a sciué sciué (it means “quick quick” in Naples) post, sciué sciué as the dish that I made, with a few (but good) ingredients, without cooking, without special equipment (just a dish, a bowl and a knife), but with a great taste.
Furthermore, this simple dish reminds me of distant echoes of that bread and tomatoes that my grandmother made for me and my cousin as a snack, that we ate in the hammock in the shade of a thorn bush; but, even more, it reminds me of the hundreds of summer lunches that my father and I had with friselle, when the weather was so hot to get close to the stove. Maybe it’s because bread (or frisella), tomatoes, salt, oil and oregano (now I added something a little more sophisticated) it’s a mix both simple and perfect, maybe it’s because of this tender and fuzzy childhood memories or maybe it’s because the memories that from now on I’ll tie to this dish, but frisella for me is and will stay a summer must I’ll hardly give up … and why should I?!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Breads and pizzas, Cheese, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Extra-virgin olive oil, Herbs, Holidays, Regional Italian cooking, Southern Italy, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,breads and pizzas,buffalo mozzarella,cherry tomatoes,cold dishes,cooking for dummies,extra-virgin olive oil,friselle,herbs,holidays,oregano,regional italian cuisine,southern italy,vegetables | 6 Comments
January 19, 2012 by Giulietta
Two days ago I came back home late and I started thinking I should comb through all the new recipes posted on my favorite blogs, but then I found myself thinking that maybe I should update my own blog before thinking about the other ones … but, while I was combing through other people's blogs (I think one thing and then I do the exact opposite), I found out from Sigrid that December 17th was the Ossobuco alla Milanese World Day (every year the GVCI chose to dedicate a World Day to a specific dish of Italian Cuisine, and this year it was dedicated to the ossobuco alla Milanese).
Of course, this is not like forgetting your father's birthday, forgetting your car keys into the car or forgetting to take the gloves with you when outside it's freezing (and I forgot the last thing three times in three freezing days), but, since my ossobuco alla Milanese's recipe was waiting to be published for a while (I learned this recipe in the cooking class dedicated to meat dishes I attended a few months ago – but I already talked about it here) this seemed to me a great opportunity to write about this great winter comfort food.
And so, if you excuse me for my delay, I celebrate the marrowbones, too (and the "two days after" gives an apocalyptic twist, too).
Category Beef, Herbs, Lombardy, Meat, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Wine | Tags: beef,garlic,gremolada,herbs,lemon,Lombardy,marrowbone,meat,ossobuco,parsley,regional italian cuisine,second course,white wine,wine | 12 Comments
December 6, 2011 by Giulietta
I return to the charge with my lazy posts .. and this is lazy squared!
Why lazy squared? First of all because this is a quick preparation: it won't waste much of your time or attention. And, secondly, because once you've got your cube, you can afford to be lazy for four to five months (it will last this long), you can get a vegetable broth in a second (for risotto, to add to meat preparations, for a broth if you're ill) and you can have always at your fingertips a great seasonings (I often use it instead of salt) made with fresh and healthy ingredients (ok, I sound like a baby food advertising).
Believe me, if you already use stock-cubes, this will change your mind about what a stock-cube really is. If you don't use stock-cubes, you'll begin to use this one.
I learned this recipe at a recent cooking class about meat preparations, and I won't leave it!
Category Concentrated, Conserve, Cooking for dummies, Herbs, Vegetables | Tags: bay leaves,carrots,celery,concentrated,conserve,cooking for dummies,herbs,onions,rosemary,stock-cube,tomatoes,vegetables,zucchini | 18 Comments
November 30, 2011 by Giulietta
Just a few days ago I wrote that I would take a break from my blog, that I didn't know when I would come back, but that I hoped it would be soon. You might be surprised to see me again after such a short period, but in these days I understood some things. I understood, thanks to a lot of kind messages and comments from many of you, that in these blogging months I gave to you more than I imagined, and I couldn't be happier about it. I understood that food and cooking are soul (and not only body) nourishment, and that sometimes you have to rediscover those nourishment by abandoning yourself to slowness, calm and patience … so that we can find that lost (or maybe just forgotten) taste.
For my personal quest I chose to rediscover an elaborated dish, a slowly cooked one, enriched by a thousand flavors and smells … I indulged in a pot roast, a dish that you can find in many places, but that I made mine using a Piedmontese wine, a rich and full-bodied Barbera. I learned to prepare this dish in a recent cooking class about meat preparations, so I hope the procedure I followed is very meticulous. This is a slow preparation, so it will allow you to spend some time at home and dedicate yourself to something else, because you won't be sucked into the preparation, but in the end you'll have a great final dish, a dish that gives off the scent of the imminent holidays.
Category Beef, Herbs, Meat, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Spices, Vegetables, Wine | Tags: barbera,beef,braised,carrots,celery,herbs,meat,onions,Piedmont,red wine,regional italian cuisine,second course,spices,vegetables,wine | 20 Comments
November 2, 2011 by Giulietta
As you might have noticed, all the recipes that begin with "a lazy .." not only are lazy (aka very easy) recipes, useful when you don't have much time or you lack (but you still want to eat something good), but my laziness also involves my photographic skills: I'm not Helmut Newton, but in those cases my skills almost disappear.
Sometimes, it's also because of a bad timing … for example, I made these fritters for a dinner party at a friend's house. I didn't made a picture when I made them, and then I remembered to take a photo during the dinner, but I found just one fritter left, and yet I was lucky .. at least there was one left!
In short, when I'm lazy, I'm really lazy .. but the fritters are very good, and this is the important thing! These fritters (well, their recipe) came from my boyfriend's family .. it's his mother's recipe, his sister passed it to me and I made the batter with my boyfriend's supervision.. so, a foursome performance!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Fried food, Fritters and frittata, Herbs, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,fried food,fritters,fritters and frittata,herbs,mint,vegetables,zucchini | 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
September 12, 2011 by Giulietta
I admit it: this title is because I came under the spell of color red, with just a drizzle of Venetian charm (and this year I didn't even followed Venice Film Festival that much: I just heard some news here and there).
The truth is that three things will remain imprinted in your memory about this tarte tatin: its color (a bright, full, scarlet scarlet), the easiness of its preparation and its taste, rustic and barely sweetish.
Today the inspiration for this recipe comes from another blog, this time in English, started by an Italian couple now in the UK, who wants to fight with recipes the foreign misinformation about Italian cuisine … not coincidentally the name of their blog is Don't call it Bolognese. As soon as I saw their cherry tomatoes and goat cheese tarte tatin I just thought that it was a great idea! A savory tarte tatin, made with one of the most precious and colorful summery fruits, cherry tomatoes!
But I didn't want to slavishly copy their recipe, so I made some changes here and there … come and discover the differences!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Herbs, Quiche and savory muffins, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,cheese,cherry tomatoes,herbs,mozzarella,quiche,quiche and salted muffins,shortcrust pastry,thyme,vegetables | 57 Comments