Califlower cous cous with anchovies

Dear readers …

today an easy dish.

Cous cous with califlower and anchovies.

Let’s start cooking the califlower:

Remove the big leaves and the hardest trunk. Cut the califlower in big pieces and cook it in boiling water (put it in the water only once it is boiling).

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In a sauce pan stirr one golden onion, cut in small pieces, with some garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

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The califlower is done when it will be softer if we plunge a fork in it. So that it will be easier as well to mince it in smaller pieces.

Once the onions start to shrink, add the califlower in the sauce pan.

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Stirr well because it doesn’t have to burn!

Once it is more melted add some cous cous, goig on stirring and adding also some water not to let it burn, but letting it cook.

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Add also some anchovies cut in small pieces.

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Let the cous cous cook properly (the tiny “balls” have to grow in volume and get soft!). Even the califlower will become more melted. It is very important in this sense the texture of the califlower: when you boil it, it doesn’t have to be over cooked. It has to remain a bit firm, even if softer than raw of course, so that later in the sauce pan it becomes just perfect! To be sure just taste it from time to time if you wish, even while it is boiling if for you the fork test is not convincing!

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Go on stirring till it everything will be well mixed and cooked. And that’s it!

For the decoration, and not only for that, you could add some ginger powder. And of course extra virgin olive oil.

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What is left, juststore it in a small glass container in the fridge.

The day after remove the cous cous from the fridge: it will have taken the shape of the container!

You could serve it as it is, even cold. Delicious!

I have just added two leaves of sage, and some pepper!

Enjoy!!!

And thanks again for reading me …

See you next!

Take care …

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Castagnaccio cake, my way …

Castagnaccio my way!

Well if you browse in the net there are so many recipes of the famous so called Castagnaccio, which is actually just a very simple chestnut flour dessert.

Traditionally is not “sweet” because the flour is already very tasty.

And traditionally there is also some extra virgin olive oil added before baking it.

The traditional recipe would need pine nuts, but I didn’t have at home so I just used a few walnuts.

It is an absolutely easy dessert and so quick! Just 40 minutes in the oven at 180°C.

So what do we need to do?

Ingredients: chestnut flour, water, dried raisins, pine nuts (here walnuts), rosmery.

In a bowl mix 250 g of flour with around half a litre of water.

It should become a liquid mix. So stirr and add the water little by little.

On one side just pour and keep for a few minutes the raisins in some warm water to soften them. Then add them to the flour.

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Prepare the baking-pan with some paper not to stick the cake once cooked. A glass one is fine or even in metal.

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Pour the liquid in the baking-pan. (the level of the liquid should be less than two centimetres high so that once cooked it will be around one centimetre) Add some pieces of walnuts and the rosmery topping.

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Put the baking-pan in the oven already switched on and cook at around 180° C for minimum half an hour, even fourty minutes.

Try with the stick to see if it is still liquid in the middle. It should remain soft anyway.

And enjoy!

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It is amazing even cold, so later just store it in your fridge and enjoy it fresh!

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Cream topping if you like. Me I am not a real cream fan.

And thanks again to be here! I am writing for you all …

See you soon …

Thanks …

Barbara

 

Brown rice risotto with courgette and eggs

Dear readers,

back here again … in a grey day here in Florence …

Today another simple recipe. Quite quick to make: brown rice risotto with courgette and eggs.

Let’s start with boiling the brown rice, not too much water because we ideally would like it all to evaporate in the end, or almost all of it.

While the rice is cooking, in a sauce pan just stirr in some extra virgin olive oil one red onion cut in small pieces (if you wish also with some pieces of garlic).

Once the onion starts to cook add some courgettes cut in small pieces (or cubes if you prefer).

Once the courgettes start to become soft enough (just no more crunchy), add the rice previously cooked, with its residual water (if there is any). And stirr. Lower the flame if necessary.

Let all the ingredients melt well together and get drier.

At this point pour one egg first stirred.

Stirr well to let the egg cook and become a liaison for the whole dish.

And that’s it!

If you wish to add spices like ginger in powder or pepper … but even just some extra virgin olive oil could be enough.

Enjoy!

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And thanks again for reading me …

See you next …

Courgettes and chickpeas brown risotto

After a long while I’m back … here writing my cooking experiments in the kitchen …

Well, so I would like to start back with something healthy and simple.

A complete dish with also proteins.

A risotto made with courgettes and chickpeas …

Ok so I’ve started on one side boiling the rice up to its “al dente” point.

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On the other end I’ve stirred in a sauce pan a couple of courgettes, cut in small cubes, and one yellow onion cut in slices.

First the onions, and then after a few minutes the courgettes that don’t have to overcook.

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Courgettes actually are also good raw in small quantities. Try to add a few thin slices in your salad …

Adding some water to the courgette and onions I’ve poured the rice in the sauce pan.

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Stirring, not to stick it.

Then I’ve added the chickpeas too.

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Some ginger powder.

And job done.

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If you wish some garlic, fresh or added before to the onions cut.

And don’t forget also extra virgin olive oil to garnish.

An amazing simple dish I’ve enjoyed also the day after, stirring it again in a sauce pan and adding also some chili powder.

With the chili it got that final touch to complete the taste. Beautiful.

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Thanks for reading me again … enjoy!

And see you next …

It’s a pleasure to be back …

Broccoli and vodka risotto

Something original …

but simple.

Broccoli risotto with a vodka touch …

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First boil the broccoli: a few minutes in boiling water.

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Cook the rice too.

In a sauce pan stirr a shallot and some garlic, cut in tiny pieces with some extra virgin olive oil.

Add the broccoli cut in smaller pieces.

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Stirr. Add the rice. Stirr and add some vodka. Let it evaporate.

And that’s it …

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Enjoy!

And the day after … still perfect! and tasty even cold!!

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Thanks

See you soon

Carrots and tomato sauce risotto

Something summery in the colour, but that could be enjoyed either hot or cold …

A very easy risotto.

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You just need 4 carrots, one can of tomato sauce, rice.

So let’s start cooking on one side the rice, boiling it.

On the other hand, in a sauce pan, still some garlic and one onion cut in some tiny pieces in some extra virgin olive oil.

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After a few minutes add the carrots minced in tiny little pieces.

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Stirr a little while. Add the tomato sauce.

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Cook for a few more minutes. Then add little by little, stirring, the white rice.

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Stirr and cook it a little bit more to melt all the ingredients well together.

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Add some oreganon and spices if you wish (I put cinnamon and ginger too!).

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Enjoy!

And the day after, if you take it out from the fridge, it’s a perfect cold main course.

Delicious! (I’ve garnished it with some Carasau Sardinian bread).

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Thanks and see you next …

Fries … potatoes and also fried aubergines (eggplant)

Fries …

The pleasure of making them yourself…

Start peeling the potatoes.

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Then prepare a sauce pan with a good thick layer of peanuts oil (it has to be boiling hot! so pay attention, no drops of water around otherwise you will have splits around, heavy and dangerous of boiling oil!)

Cut the potatoes rinsed under water in small long and not too thick pieces.

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Fry them till brownish.

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For the aubergines you have so many options as you maybe have already seen here on this blog.

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This time I have just quickly passed them in one egg, then in some flour, and just fried them!

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Enjoy!

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Thanks … and see you next …

Remember though that frying is the least healthy cooking method …

So do not exaggerate! It should be a rare habit to cook food frying it …

Anyway … once a while …

Thanks again and see you soon …

Whole grain pasta with fresh celery, walnuts and botargo

A summer plate.

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Easy, very quick pasta.

Ingredients: just the whole grain pasta (here “molle” shape), boiled on one side, then celery, a bit of garlic, walnuts, botargo in powder …

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Let’s start boiling the pasta.

In a sauce pan stirr some garlic pieces with extra virgin olive oil.

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Add the celery cut in pieces (you could make them even smaller than the picture, and if you wish use the mincer to make them really really tiny).

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Stirr just a little bit (celery is nice even raw, so it’s just to soften it a bit and giving it extra flavour.

Add the pasta and stirr.

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In the plate some walnuts and the botargo.

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Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!

Thanks for reading me…

and see you next!

Vegetables lasagne

Long preparation, and lots of possible alternatives … so be creative!

I wanted this time to make vegeterian lasagne.

So I’ve started from cutting the vegetables (onions (one or two), carrots (around 6 medium), celery (two big ones) in tiny little pieces with the mincer.

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Then stirr fry the onion in a sauce pan with extra virgin olive oil.

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Add then the other minced vegetables.

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Cook a bit.

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Add also a couple of courgettes cut in small pieces. Some red wine (I did it with a Cannonau Riserva Sella & Mosca 2011)

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Then add the tomato sauce and some water if necessary and let it cook for a long while.

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Prepare one califlower boiled, then mixed the pieces with a mixer to make a cream.

Boil some potatoes and then mix them in the micer too.

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Prepare the pasta in “pages” for lasagne: just cook a bit each sheet in boiling water (with a drop of oil not to let the “pages” stick with each other) so that it will be easy to display them in a tray for the oven cooking.

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So first the pasta, then layers of potatoes, califlower, vegetable sauce (ragu kind but with no meat)…

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Cook it all in the oven till the pasta will be cooked and everything will be homogeneous.

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And simply enjoy!

I have added a few pieces of pecorino cheese on the top. You could even add some olives minced inside…

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Chili or pepper or whatever you feel like adding for extra taste.

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Enjoy! Even the day after from the fridge!

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Thanks and see you next …

Parmigiana – aubergines vegetable lasagne

Parmigiana.

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A classical Italian famous oven-cooked dish.

Starting from aubergines, round cut. They have to be fried.

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A sauce pan with a red onion, extra virgin olive oil and tomato sauce.

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Mozzarella cheese …

But first fry the aubergines.

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Then in a big oven tray put a layer of aubergines, mozzarella cheese, the tomato sauce cooked a few minutes in the sauce pan. Then another layer…

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In the oven cook it all half an hour at less than 200 °C.

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Enjoy it hot or the day after from the fridge (even more compact, and easier to cut in rectangular blocks), or you could freeze it.

You could garnish with oreganon …

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Thanks…

And see you next