Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tuscan cabbage soup

Tuscan cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be used in soups, salads or as a side dish. Also known as cavolo nero, this Italian cabbage has long, narrow, wrinkled, very dark green leaves and a mild flavour. It's a source of vitamin C and provides folate, beta carotene and dietary fibre. Cabbage soup is surely one of the most famous Italian vegetables soup, whose two basic ingredients are typical of Tuscany: bread and cabbage. 


Servings 4

1 tin of cannellini beans, rinsed
500 gms – 1 lb. Tuscan cabbage, shredded
2 small onions, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 small potatoes, chopped

2 bunches of swiss-card 
1cup tomato souce
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slice of bread


Fry lightly in olive oil some onion, celery and carrot, all finely chopped. When the onion wilts,  add a coarsley shredded cabbage; when also the cabbage gets tender, add 2 potatoes and 4 or 5 courgettes cut into cubes. As soon as also these vegetables become soft, add 1 cup of tomato sauce, mix to blend it with all the ingredients, then add 2 bunches of swiss-card (about 1 pound) 2 of red cabbage and the beans. Leave to cook slowly for at least 1 and a half hour. About 30 minutes before the cooking time is over, add basil and thyme. In the meanwhile slice some bread into a soup tureen, pour the hot soup onto and leave to rest until the following day. Before serving put the lot again on the flame and leave it to simmer  for 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Autumn has arrived: here is a tasty recipe to Help You Celebrate the First Day of Fall!

The sights, sounds and smells of fall stir the soul, but delight is mixed with melancholy. Autumn can mean  a sort of sadness which is not entirely unwelcome; a sort of sober, slowing-down of the spirit, leaving us much given to reflection. Indeed for anyone capable of looking up from their screen, for anyone in the slightest way alive to the rhythms of the natural world and its sights and sounds and smells, autumn has a peculiar personality of its own which is powerfully attractive. This is a season brimming with the highest level gastronomy, amidst the colours of the grape harvest and noble flavours. Mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts: the fruits of Autumn are venerated and special, like all Italian recipes which exploit abundant quality. I’ll give you a fantastic surf and turf recipe that combines the rich flavors of prawns and mushrooms.

Prawn and Porcini Risotto

Servings 4

     ¼ oz langoustines, medium

    ⅝ lb Carnaroli rice

    3 ½ oz Porcini Mushrooms

    1 ¾ oz onion

    ½ teaspoon garlic, chopped

    6 cups fish broth

    ¾ oz butter

    3 ½ tablespoons white wine

    ¼ cup olive oil

    salt and pepper to taste



30 minutes preparation + 16 minutes cooking

Clean the prawns and separate the heads from the tails. Use a pairing knife to make an incision on the underside of the belly and use your finger to remove the meat, placing it in a bowl. Use the heads to make a fumet (a reduced broth), using about 6 cups of water and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes. Then keep warm.

Clean the mushrooms by cutting off the tips of the stems and wash, if necessary, with a wet dishcloth. Then cut into thin slices.

Place a pot over medium heat. Add oil, and once it is hot, add crushed garlic. Do not let it brown. Once slightly golden, add the prawn meat and mushrooms.

Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes or until it becomes transparent. Then add the wine and, once almost all of it has evaporated, add a couple ladlefuls of boiling, filtered fumet. Lower the heat and continue to add fumet, a ladleful at a time, as it is absorbed by the rice.

After about 12 minutes, add washed, chopped arugula. After 5 more minutes, adjust the salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter and cognac.

Before serving, check to see if the risotto is too dry. If so, add more fumet or hot water. Stir and serve immediately.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What's the secret to a good Italian coffee?

Coffee is the great protagonist of the awakening of many Italians. During breakfast and after lunch, an espresso in Italy it' s a must. But how ta make a good espresso with the classic mocha coffee? 

Here are some simple tips: 

1.     The mixture of coffee should be of good quality, and once opened should be stored in a closed container, away from foods that emit strong odors and may alter the flavor.
2.     Water is also very important. It Would be better to use fresh water and low in calcium. Not recommended the use of hot water to try to expedite the preparation.
3.     Fill the boiler up to the level of safety valve, without exceeding it.
4.     Fill the coffee filter generously. without pressing the powder, and making a bum.
5.     Close the pot tightly and put it on low heat.
6.     As soon as the coffee begins to come out, lift the lid, so as to prevent that the condensation falls on pot.
7.     Before the coffee is completely left, remove the pot from the tire.

Important: never leave boiling coffee on the fire. the flavour would taste of burn!Enjoy the coffee when is still hot!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Noodles recipy

It is very simple to make your own fresh pasta at home, even without a pasta machine. Just follow these basic steps and discover the delicious taste and satisfaction of eating your very own pasta.