October 13, 2012 by Giulietta
The origin of this recipe lies in a contest created by Switzerland Cheeses in collaboration with Tery of Peperoni e Patate, entitled “Switzerland in a dish“.
This contest asked to create one or two original recipes, inspired by the Italian gastronomic tradition, but using POD Swiss cheeses.
So, thinking about a dish that fully represents the Italian tradition, but at the same time very customizable, I immediately thought about lasagne (we all love the classic Bolognese lasagne, but I often twist them – take a look at my pesto, potatoes and green beans lasagne or curly hard wheat lasagne with eggplant sauce and smoked scamorza). So, thinking about a sauce that would harmonize well with the two Swiss cheeses I chose, Gruyère POD and Sbrinz POD, I chose a zucchini cream with a béchamel adding.
The result was a white and green lasagna, in which zucchini, béchamel and cheeses were married to perfection, creating a delicate and yet tasty dish.
Surely these lasagne are different from the usual (in fact you could call them doubly Swiss – for the origin of the cheeses I used, and because I’ve always heard the term “Swiss” as a synonym for “weird, wacky,”…who knows why?!), in which the Italian tradition is contaminated, creating a new and delicious dish.
Category Cheese, Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Italian cuisine, Pasta, Vegetables | Tags: béchamel,cheese,contest,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,gruyère,italian cuisine,sbrinz,single course,swiss cheese,switzerland,vegetables,zucchini | 13 Comments
September 26, 2012 by Giulietta
My dear friend MJ of Mj’s kitchen asked me a little time ago to write a guest post for her while she waits her kitchen’s remodeling. She asked me if I could write an Italian post, so I thought: what’s more Italian than… pizza?!
And so here I am, talking about home-made pizza and pizza stone.
Read my post over at MJ (visit her blog, anyway.. pay a visit, come on!) or here.
This is not the first (nor the last) time I talk about pizza, one of the Great Italic Loves (with capital letters): we can fight as much as we want the stereotypes about Italians, pizza, pasta and mandolin, but I candidly admit that I couldn’t give pizza up. A little time ago I told you about Gabriele Bonci’s pizza (and I didn’t finish with it: I have a lot of seasonal combination to try), a high hydration pizza to prepare in a pan.
But I’m always looking for new pizza recipes to try.
Then, on my birthday, arrived unexpectedly a pizza stone, object of desire for a very long time: so I immediately started looking for a recipe expressly created to use my brand new pizza stone (which is nothing more than a refractory stone/brick, available in any building materials store)!
Of course, we came close to drama when we found out, a few hours before the first experiment, that the stone didn’t allow the oven to close properly, but thanks to MacGyver‘s intervention (aka my father) we managed to avoid the crisis. Who would stop me now?
The recipe I propose you came from Adriano of Profumo di lievito, a recipe that I have seen so many times around the net, and now I can confirm its magnificence. I’ll continue to experiment, but with this exciting beginning, I can only improve!
ATTENTION: for this preparation you’ll need a full day: the process starts the evening before (otherwise you could prepare some dough in advance and freeze it: for the freezing solution, look at the bottom of the recipe).
Category Breads and pizzas, Italian cuisine, Leavened, Single course | Tags: italian cuisine,leavened,pizza,poolish,single course | 10 Comments
July 3, 2012 by Giulietta
Do you like the hot weather? Do you like summer? Well, I don't mind that, except when the heat is excessive and, for business or pleasure, I find myself in a kitchen, maybe with one (or more) oven turned on in it .. then in this period I ALWAYS crave for something that requires baking, but this indubitably a mental tare of mine (ipse dixit after baking, in the last three days, lasagna, pizza, appetisers, crème brulee, stuffed peaches and more … yes, I agree with what you're thinking but you're not saying: I do have some serious mental tare).
Obviously I really crave for cool or cold things (I am stupid, but only to a certain point), but have you ever thought of this great, inevitable and cruel truth of life: the things that you like to eat cold, you definitely have to cook them, sooner or later. And there you have to suffer a hot temperature, isn't it?
But come on, grit your teeth and cook (maybe in the evening, when the whether is cooler), so you'll have a fridge full of delicacies that can be enjoyed fresh, cool or cold.
And, if you want an idea for a rice salad different from the usual one, this is for you, a real gem of the spring/summer collection, with Venere rice, shrimps, tuna, zucchini, fresh peas and asparagus with a squeeze of lime and tuna mayonnaise.
Do you like it?! So what are you waiting for?!
Category First course, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: asparagus,cold dishes,lime,pasta rice and cereals salads,peas,shrimps,single course,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 2 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 19, 2011 by Giulietta
I love vegetables, in fact, I adore them … I eat them in huge quantities, and I love every color they could possibly be, even different from the canonical five ones (actually, more or less, all of them fit into those colors)!
So, since I spoke recently about blue-violet and orange vegetables, I have to talk about white and red ones, 'cause in today's recipe green rules the roost!
This quiche, to which I gave a strudel shape (more or less, but don't be fussy), hides (not so much) a stuffing made with Swiss chard (or spinach beets), a vegetable that I love and that I often alternate with spinach, whether I choose to eat them alone or, as in this case, in a quiche. Nevertheless, if you don't like Swiss chard, you can replace them with Popeye's best friends.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Quiche and savory muffins, Savory tart, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,puff pastry,quiche,quiche and salted muffins,ricotta cheese,single course,strudel,swiss chard,vegetables | 48 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 1, 2011 by Giulietta
It's summer time (even if there are only a few days left) and I want simplicity, basic but first-rate ingredients, I want to eat something fresh, natural and something I don't have to cook or bake before eating it… "Do you realize that only on the 1st of September?" you might ask, especially after I've annoyed you with sfogliatelle, stuffed peppers and other baked dishes??
Well, yes, actually I realize it just now… better, this awareness was already in me, but it needed to be freshen up by the right ingredients!
So, when I found myself with a nice pack of bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala campana D.O.P (Campanian hoax mozzarella, PDO) coming directly from Salerno (a very appreciated holiday souvenir… mozzarella is the summer gift, not knicks-knacks -even though I love them, too), sun-riped tomatoes from my kitchen garden (they finally made it), fresh basil from my garden and extra-virgin olive oil from Apulia (Salento), how could I reach a conclusion different from an easy but great caprese salad?! It was impossible to reach a different conclusion, my dear Watson!
I couldn't, 'cause, even if caprese salad is one of the most for dummies recipes, since it could be prepared even by someone who hasn't the opposable thumb (maybe he/she could have some hard times slicing the ingredients, but eventually he/she would make it), the difference lies in the ingredients themselves and their quality.
So, if you want to enjoy a great caprese salad, don't economize on the ingredients, and your palate will thank you.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cheese, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Herbs, Second course, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,campanian hoax mozzarella,cheese,cold dishes,herbs,mozzarella,second course,single course,tomatoes,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 29, 2011 by Giulietta
With this recipe, I broke all records for title length … in fact, I could only put a "Viendalmare" (in Eglish, literally, "Comesfromthesea": in Italian, it's a fake aristocratic and pompous surname, famous for the movie "Fantozzi") at the end of it, in loving memory of Fantozzi!
But in this case I couldn't shorten anything, for the sake of completeness. And so, adding syllables and syllables, I came up with the long -but very complete -"Cous cous shapes with Genoese pesto, zucchini and pine nuts on Taleggio cheese sauce". If you have read so far, you've already done half the work: now it's all downhill.
First of all, it must be said that this recipe is not mine (too many combination to be a figment of my simple mind), but it came from Giallo Zafferano (I made just a few changes here and there); my mom discovered it and, even if I don't know what she was looking for, she fell in love with it … and so we got here. The singles procedures to make this cold cous cous are not complex, but you need a little time to prepare everything and assemble the dish: and, let's admit it, it looks -and tastes- great.
The result is a dish of simple and full flavors, that match perfectly with each other: every single part of this dish could be eaten alone and be good, but the forkful that collects everything is the tastier.
Category Cheese, Cold dishes, Dried fruit, Earth first course, First course, Herbs, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: basil,cheese,cold dishes,dried fruit,earth first course,first course,herbs,parmigiano,pasta rice and cereals salads,pesto,pine nuts,single course,taleggio,vegetables,zucchini | 8 Comments