Sword fish steak … simple and delicious! And no bones!

Healthy, tasty … sword fish …

It’s like cooking a slice of meat! And it’s quick, easy and the result simply delicious!

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Just put some extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan and a garlic cut in 2 halves. Heat it a little before adding the fish.

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Then just cook it first on one side, then on the other one for the second 2/3 of the time.

And that’s it. For side dish some fennel just sliced in small pieces. Extravirgin olive oil and enjoy!

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Easy, quick. And I can tell you it tastes really delicious …

Thanks and see you next post!!!

Barbara

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Peppers with a hint of sea …

Easy, light dinner dish. Quite quick too.

Just a pepper (I do prefer the yellow ones because they are sweeter, but here you could use all colours).

First of all clean it, cut it into 4 halves and remove the seeds and the white parts, and rinse it.

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In a sauce pan stirr it cut in small pieces together with a white onion and some celery.

Add some anchovies paste, or small anchovies cut in tiny pieces (to help them melting quicker).

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Stirr for a few minutes but not too much … a bit crunchy peppers are nice, and you won’t loose too many vitamines too, so … This as a general rule for vegetables: over cooking’s never recommended.

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And you could enjoy it with some whole grain brad.

I’ve also added in the sauce pan a few pieces of parmesan cheese but that is an extra not really necessary.

If you wish just a splash of milk or few pieces of any cheese to contrast the strenght of the anchoves in taste (don’t add any salt! it’s already a salted dish).

Thanks…

See you next!!!

Barbara

Broccoli spiced cous cous and boiled potatoes! A diet evening with taste!

Broccoli are an amazing vegetable … light, healthy and delicate but tasty a bit green a bit sweet, very versatile …

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Ok, so not a broccoli pasta, but just some cous cous …

Let’s start from the broccoli.

Cut them, cleaning the leaves and the hardest parts. Put them in boiling water to cook.

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Then, you could use again the same sauce pan. In some extra virgin olive oil and a blond onion, just stirr them. Make the onion shrink a bit first but not too much (not burned). Add the broccoli.

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Stirr, and you will see broccoli melting a little bit. Add some water and then the cous cous.

Pay attention not to burn it! It doesn’t have to stick! So stirr and stirr and stirr.

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And then just switch the fire off and wait for the mixture to settle.

You could add some smashed garlic, a little bit of ginger powder ….

And as last touch some chili and extra virgin olive oil of course!

As side dish, boiled potatoes are just perfect.

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And if you wish to match the dish I am enjoying it with a Tennent’s beer: 9% of alcool, strong enough to stand the spiceness of the chili, but maybe a little bit too bitter. It’s a not so bad as a balance. For the wine well, it’s a big chapter … I would say rich round tasty, even a bit woody white, but even something from Alsace like i.e. a Riesling … but something not too crisp nor fresh.

Anyway enjoy!!!!

Thanks again

Take care

Barbara

Hand made pasta! Tortellini in broth … a long work … but worthy!

Ok…

So let’s start from the home made pasta, from which I’ve made even some “tagliatelle”.

You need some flour and eggs. Around 500 g of flour and 5 eggs (this is the right proportion).

I have started with 3 eggs but they were not enough! You have to be able to work the dough … too much flour it doesn’t stay together. Make first a kind of  “volcano” with the flour where to place the eggs. And then mix it all.

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Work a lot the dough. It should become a nice not sticky nor too dry ball. I added a couple of more eggs and just a few drops of water to soften it a bit more, but pay attention that water sticks!

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Then leave it one hour to rest in a peace of cloth, possibly with no flavours of soap!

You will see after one hour the change in consistance and shape: more homogeneous, and smelling delicious!

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Meanwhile you are waiting this hour for the dough to rest, you could prepare the filling. I did it by myself, just creating something tasty. You could use your fantasy. Even fish … whatever you feel like …

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I put some Mortadella, some Prosciutto Crudo (raw ham) from Tuscany (DOP), some liver (cooked just in some water). And of course Parmesan cheese grated.

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I’ve just mixed all together, adding just at the very end one egg to melt more the mixture.

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Ok. At this point let’s go back to the dough. Let’s work it! and with a “little wheel” let’s cut it.

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So now you are ready to make the tortellini!!!

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Put the filling. Bend the pasta to form a triangle. Stick together the borders.

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Bend the two sides of the triangle, helping with a thinger, and stick them together. Tha’t it. The only thing I’ve done them too big. But it was my first time so …

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With the pasta remaining I did some tagliatelle.

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So what I decided to do, was to freeze them because it was already so late at night! It’s a long work, I’ve told you …

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So today I have taken them out from the freezer.

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I had as well the broth in the freezer. So I just put the broth in a sauce pan with some water because it was really concentrated (if you see the other post I did, you will see that out of all the broth making process I came out with just two “glasses full!”)

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The tortellini have to boil in the boiling broth to cook and get additional taste! Cooking tortellini just in plain water is a bit sad … and then the broth you could even drink it! (then you will stay a few days without meet because here is a concentration of proteins but nutrion a part…)

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That’s it ….

Just cook them a lot … especially if the pasta you made is thick. Inside the pasta has to be the same colour. I assure you very tasty. You could dress them with some grated parmesan cheese if you wish.

Some pepper?

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Well just enjoy anyway after this so long work!

And thanks again for reading me!!!

Porcini mushroom whole grain country pasta!

Today I am going to tell you about my Porcini pasta dish.

I have bought some Porcini mushrooms already sliced, just to be rinsed quickly.

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Ok, so I’ve started in a sauce pan with blond onions and some garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

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Stirring, adding even some small pieces of celery and then the mushrooms rinsed.

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You will see mushrooms will shrink a lot. Stirr.

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Next to the mushrooms boil some whole grain pasta in a sauce pan.

Just remember to add the pasta to boiling water, not cold one! And taste it from time to time till the point you like it the most (“al dente” or a bit more cooked, but not too “fluffy”)

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So then just pour the pasta (not the water) in the sauce pan with the mushrooms and stirr with the fire on, to concentrate the whole thing.

And that’s it!

A bit of salt, some extra virgin olive oil … and just enjoy it!

Like I did.

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If you wish to add a bit of colour in the plate, that could’t have been that bad, cut a few little cubes of carrots, and add some leaves of persil!

See you next!!!

Take care all of you …

Thanks again for being …

Bollito – boiled meat and veg to make the perfect natural broth!

Typical Italian dish, prepared in a quite simple, but very long way.

What do we need?

A couple of pieces of meat, one fatter, with bones and fat, the other more tender … beef anyway.

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Let’s start with a pan and cold water. The fattier piece of meat, and one onion cut in half, a couple of carrots (I put a few because they were small), celery, some persil.

Simple!

Make the all mixture boil slowly.

When the water is hot add the second and better quality piece of meat.

And just wait.

No stirring. It’s boiling, and there should be enough water to make all vegetables and meat float.

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Ok.

So count 40 minutes, even 1 hour.

And I am telling you, if you sip the “water” it has got such a taste … for me so amazing, because it reminds me of my childhood, home, familiar flavours …

Anyway…

Then you have to remove (when the meat is soft and tender like “tuna in a can”) the meat, the vegetables.

And wait for the broth to get cold to remove the fattiest top layer.

You will use it an other time, for lots of recipes!

So what do you think?

It wasn’t that difficult! Just long.

And you have now the permission to enjoy the meat and the boiled vegetables!

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Just with some extra virgin olive oil and salt, or with a nice sauce you could simply prepare with some fresh persil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and if you wish a bit of anchoves paste.

Just in a mixer.

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Thanks again for reading me …

All the best!

Talk to you soon

 

Barbara

PS when the broth is cold, you’ll see. It’s very easy to remove the “fat” part.

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As I said, broth is not just a warm winter drink, but also ingredient for lots of receipes …

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See you next post!

Take care

Barbara

Botargo pasta … reminding me of the summer and the seaside I always miss in winter time

I have to say I am in love with botargo. Why? Because I’ve discovered it in Sardinia, and since then … it’s a kind of addiction …

Well a pasta dish with botargo is just simple and so tasty!

It’s a very quick lunch if you wish.

Like I did.

Just cook some long shaped pasta, “capellini d’angelo” i.e. or “tagliatelle” …

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Wait till they’re ready. In this case just 4 minutes, but be careful to unfold them properly.

Then in your plate you could just add the botargo and some garlic cut in small bites. And extra virgin olive oil of course!

If you want to do things in a more proper way you should smash the garlic in a mixture together with the botargo and some extra virgin olive oil.

A couple of extra minutes of work.

But I am telling you I was starving … so I just made all of it in the plate.

But I can assure you the taste is just terrific.

And don’t forget extra virgin olive oil.

And enjoy!

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Botargo … or you love it or you cannot stand it. But try to mix it well with the extra virgin olive oil: it will make the botargo characteristic strong taste milder.

Have a lovely time anyway!

Take care

And thanks again for being there …

Barbara

 

Courgette flowers … simply amazing …

Ok …

Back again! I told you …

Have a look at this!

They are simply amazing …

And quite quick too to prepare.

COURGETTE FLOWERS!

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Ok, so first you have to clean them! And look not to have surprises inside

(like dead, hopefully dead, insects … they are flowers so …).

Ok, so take a nife and first remove the darker green little leaves (they are also harder).

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Then you have to cut the pistil inside, making first a little cut, like “opening the curtains of the flower”.

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Easy, isn’t it?

Now they are ready to be quickly rinsed under the water.

For frying you need peanut oil, that has to be hot (pay attention, not a drop of water in the sauce pan! you risk serious burning otherwise, I don’t want to feel responsible!)

Prepare the following mixture:

one egg (I put two, that’s for the taste too, one is enough I guess), and some flour.

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The flowers have to be plunged in this liquid that has to stick to them well. With a spoon you could add some liquid in the sauce pan but pay attention otherwise you risk to do an omelette! As I was almost doing it. The flowers have to be separate one from the other (and they have to be put in the pan when the oil is hot! So again pay attention!).

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Turn them letting them stay 2/3 on the first side, and the last 1/3 on the other.

Do not burn them! When you start seeing brown it’s the time to stop, but it was time to stop quite a lot earlier.

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And that’s it!

Some proper kitchen paper to absorb the excess of oil, and enjoy them while still hot! (cold they are not that good).

Perfect aperitif to start a dinner!

Maybe also together with a glass of crisp white wine?

You’ll see. I have a blog for wines, so I am not here to talk about them …

Even by themselves, fried courgette flowers are simply so yummy!!!

Thanks again for reading me!

See you soon everyone!

 

Barbara

The last day of Carnival before the beginning of the Lent …

Just before the beginning of the Lent, the so called Martedì Grasso (literally “Fat Tuesday”), I’ve decided to try to make a very typical cake for Carnival, the Schiacchiata alla Fiorentina

  • 250 g of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • no butter but a glass of milk
  • 50 g of sugar
  • a vanilla baking powder

Very simple. Mix first the sugar and the eggs.

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Then add the flour, little by litte, stirring. The milk to make it more liquid and helping the flour melting.

Then add the baking powder, that one always at the very end. And remember that the whole thing

has to be homogeneous.

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Pour everything in a glass baking pan.

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The oven should be hot already.

Let it cook at 180°C more or less (if it’s burning, better a little lower, but longer, around 40 minutes in total.

And don’t forget that for the first 15 minutes you don’t have to open the door of the oven,

otherwise it won’t grow in volume. Try with some toothpick to see if it’s cooked after the first 30 minutes.

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The toothpick if plunged, should come out completly dry and not sticky.

Powdered sugar to decorate and add extra taste.

What I have forgotten is some “orange” flavour. So a bit of orange peel inside (you could try also with some Grand Marnier or Cointreau … just a few drops!).

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I have really enjoyed it because it’s soft, not heavy (no butter, no oil, just a bit of sugar …).

But the traditional recipe, I should tell you is not this “shape”, but rectangular. Not too high but still soft.

Thin white layer of powdered sugar on all the top of it.

Well next time …

Now Lent time has started, so no more cakes for a little while.

But keep reading me.

I have another yummy receipt I will post shortly.

And I can tell you i.e. that vegetables aren’t boring at all …there are so many ways to make them or mix them!

Anyway I am not vegetarian! I need iron to feel strong.

Meet once a week not every day of course!

Well see you next!

Take care, all of you.

 

Thanks again

Barbara

San Valentine’s Day … CHOCOLATE CAKE!

San Valentine’s Day …

There should be maybe million different better ways to make it, but this time I did it this way …

Chocolate cake!

No butter, no oil. Just a bit of sugar. And chocolate of course! 200 gr of flour, yeast, yogurt (400 g) …

Well so let’s start from 200 g of sugar (better less if you wish), and eggs … 3 …

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Just stirr the eggs with the sugar.

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Then aside make a few cubes of chocolate melt in a sauce pan.

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Add it to the rest, together with the yogurt, and the flour and the yeast …

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and when it’s all homogeneus then it’s ready to be put in the oven already a bit hot …

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Around one hour 180 C°.

Check with a wooden stick to see when it’s done: it should come out dry when plunged in the cake.

Pay attention not to burn everything! So don’t go too far from the oven!

And then, that’s it … enjoy!!!

Warm, or hours later when it’s colder …

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Try only not to finish it too quickly!!!

ENJOY!!!

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See you soon ….

thanks again for reading me ….

Barbara