April 22, 2013 by Giulietta
When I think back to winter (and it’s very easy to do, since in these days the weather in Turin is so cold), I think about mountain. And, if I think about the mountain, I think about those great comfort food, those rustic dishes, tasty and rich, in which you usually indulge yourself after a walk, or after a day on the snow.
I’ve never been a big fan of the mountains … until this year. I think that sometimes it’s necessary seeing the love that another person feels in front of the vastness, the majesty and peace of the mountains to re-evaluate places you’ve never considered before. So now I’m slowly learning to appreciate this place so far away from me (I’m very fond of the sea): I’m beginning to enjoy a trip in which I spend hours photographing butterflies, I’m starting to love the cable car rides crushing the hand of my boyfriend ( it’s dizzy heighs’s fault), the long walks with amazing views, a sandwich in your backpack, and I still love (I never hated it) mountain food.
It’s amazing how in just one year my head filled itself with memories of a natural system that I always considered hostile, whose charm never touched me before. It’s amazing how the curiosity for this environment grew up so much in such a short time: and now in my travel wish-list at the top stands Alto Adige, a wonderful mountain paradise in Northern Italy. Well, many things change in a year, but mountains don’t, and maybe in this lies a big part of their charm.
So, to remember the mountains and the amazing mountains food, today I propose you the Pizzoccheri from Valtellina, a very rough kind of pasta, made with buckwheat flour (by the way, do you remember my buckwheat tart with raspberry jam from Trentino Alto Adige?), richly topped with potatoes, cabbage, butter and cheese.
The recipe is the one encoded by the Academy of Pizzocchero in Teglio, a sure hit.
Category Cheese, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Lombardy, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: butter,cheese,earth first course,first course,fontina,fresh pasta,Lombardy,pasta,potatoes,regional italian cuisine,savoy cabbage,vegetables,vegetarian | 6 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
June 3, 2011 by Giulietta
Today I completely change my tune and, after a lot of Italian cuisine and some occasional forays into Chinese, Spanish and Tex-Mex cuisine, today I travel towards an entirely different ethnic cuisine, landing in India.
Some time ago, a friend of mine with a passion for cooking organized an Indian themed dinner, and like all our themed dinners (I miss them… we urgently need a new one!), this involves rolling up your sleeves and try something new, sometimes very different from what I normally cook. So, while others prepared meat dishes, desserts, meat balls and chickpeas flapjacks, I decided to try one of the Indian dishes that I love the most, cheese naan. But since I wasn't satisfied, I wanted to try also aloo naan, so I did a double experimentation. Actually, the basis for these two recipes is the same: in both cases, it's a stuffed leavened (but flat in shape) bread. The change, in fact, is in the filling: while cheese naan is (needless to say) stuffed with cheese, aloo naan is stuffed with mashed spicy potatoes.
It won't be the traditional naan (I haven't the traditional clay tandoori, in fact), but I tried to be as accurate as possible, thanks to Manjula's Kitchen, a fantastic site dedicated to Indian vegetarian cuisine, curated by Manjula, who accompanies each recipe with an explanatory video.
As for these dishes, I went by Manjula's aloo naan recipe, while I prepared cheese naan according to my taste, replacing the filling.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Breads and pizzas, Cheese, Indian cuisine | Tags: breads and pizzas,cheese,cilantro,cumin,indian food,naan,potatoes,spices | 18 Comments
May 26, 2011 by Giulietta
Some of you may know that I can rightfully consider myself "the mess tin (in Italian "baracchino") magician"… this winter, in fact, when I was writing my thesis, to shorten my lunch break and be able to return quickly to my research, I brought lunch with me, instead of hunting for turkey-gorge sandwiches (in Piedmontese dialect that phrase sounds like 'ngusa pitu), as some unprepared friend of mine.
Before that I always applied the art of the mess tin (it's much cooler to call it Bento box, Japanese-style -in reality, like many habits that comes from the Orient, behind this object and this custom hide some ritual unknown to our miserable mess tin) to summer meal, which for me often consists only of yogurt and muesli, at the most with the addition of biscuits and fruit (fresh or dried one). But this winter I had the need to carry around something light (otherwise I would have graduated in "applied sleep"), healthy and that could be eaten cold (I had no heat sources other than a radiator), I indulged myself in all sorts of steamed vegetables (then dressed) and salads.
Unfortunately, my art of the mess tin was not so advanced, and occasionally I found myself with food, but no cutlery … I think that my skills (more like a super-power) to eat with steamed zucchini with a coffee scoop will pass into legend.
Well, looking back at those months of crazy and desperate study, those lunch at the crazy-corner (a corner whose name fits perfectly) with my companions in misfortune are some of the most pleasant memories.
This is to say that I am now fond of the mess tin and, since then, I have always enjoyed preparing it for myself or for others.
I chose, in the path of a great contest, to propose a summer Bento Box Italian-style for this early taste of summer, containing a pasta salad dressed in green and, such as hunger-breaker, snack or dessert, a yogurt with muesli, cereals cookies and dried red cranberries (this is to remind my evergreen summer mess tin).
Category Earth first course, First course, Pasta, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Vegetables | Tags: bento box,black olives,earth first course,green beans,mess tin,pasta,pasta rice and cereals salads,pesto,potatoes,vegetables | 14 Comments
March 21, 2011 by Giulietta
Today is the first day of spring: a bright sun shines upon Turin, birds are singing, the dog goes back and forth between home and garden (bad habit) and some flowers begin popping up here and there on the grass. So, to celebrate the coming of the good weather, and to say goodbye to winter (yes, maybe the news will surprise you, but 9 months from now it will come again) there is no better way than cooking a typical winter dish, that you won't see again for a while.
Category Beef, Cooking for dummies, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Meat, Regional Italian cooking, Second course | Tags: beef,friuli venezia giulia,gulasch,meat,potatoes,regional italian cuisine,second course,trieste,winter | 2 Comments
March 6, 2011 by Giulietta
I always heard about children who turn up their noses at green food, who throw a tantrum at it or, simply, who refuse to eat it. This behavior doesn't belong to me, since I ate broccoli and green beans when I still wore diapers.
But I saw with my own eyes that even the most reluctant human being (not only children, but also adults more whimsical than usual) to contact with vegetables can't resist the charm of lasagna (like the charm of pizza or sauce). After all, who can say no to a pesto, potatoes and green beans lasagna?! A pleasure for the eyes (a blaze of green) and for the palate!
Whit this recipe I hope to give my contribution to the campaigne against the closure of Neurophysiology department of Santa Lucia foundation in Rome, a campaigne launched by Caris (aka "cookingplanner"), foodblogger and Albertino-mimì's mom, who is seeking support of everyone to gather recipes and to give greater visibility to this issue, which perhaps didn't have the space it deserved.
Category Earth first course, First course, Pasta, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: béchamel,earth first course,first course,green beans,lasagna,pesto,potatoes,vegetables | 3 Comments