A lesser-known traditional dish from the Italian region of Sardinia—the perfect brunch recipe for any egg lover out there.
For 2 people
6 sheets of pane carasau
1 can of passata (or the equivalent of homemade tomato sauce)
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
1. In a shallow pan, place two fingers of water and turn the heat onto high.
2. In a separate pan heat up the passata.
3. When the water is simmering, place one sheet of pane carasau at the time in it for no more than 10 seconds—just enough time for the bread to soften.
4. Bring a small pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt and gently drop in the two eggs (to poach them). Check them every minute with a spoon. When the yolk is of the desired consistency remove them and place them on a sheet of kitchen roll to remove the excess water.
5. On a plate, place one layer of bread followed by a few spoonfuls of passata.
6. Then add the poached egg, some more passata and as much grated cheese as you wish.
7. Top everything with the two remaining layers of softened bread.
This amazing combination of flavours is my go-to dish when I'm craving noodles (and not pasta). It is really easy to make the dish - and you can make as many different combinations as you want. I used to use soy noodles until I discovered a few stores in China Town, Milan, which sold tons of different types of noodles. For this recipe I used Korean sweet potato starch noodles.
2 handfuls of asian noodles (roughly 100g per person)
1 tablespoon of honey
2 garlic cloves
1. Place a pot of water on the heat. When it boils, turn off the gas and place the noodles inside (or cook according to packet instructions).
2. Chop the courgette into "sticks" long roughly 3 cm and 1.5cm thick. Add a splash of vegetable oil and one garlic clove in a pan and turn on the heat.
3. When the garlic is sizzling, add the courgettes. Cover the pot with a lid for half the cooking process.
4. Clean the prawns, remove the intensive (the small black string on the back) and wash.
5. When the courgettes are almost done, pour some soy sauce into the pan and add the prawns. If they are fresh they'll cook in a few minutes.
6. To prepare the sauce, place 4 tablespoons of soy sauce in a bowl, add the honey and crush the second garlic clove into it. Add the sesame seeds and mix everything together.
7. Pour the sauce into the wok with the courgettes and prawns, add the noodles (rinse them after they've done cooking) and add them to the wok, turning up the heat.
8. Sauté everything so it well combined and serve, springing on top a few seeds.
Spaghetti with tomato and tuna sauce is in my top three favourite all time sauces. It goes hand in hand with pesto and ragù, I actually consider it to be my 'summer ragù'. The key to making a delicious recipe is using the highest quality possibile of canned tuna, always making sure you buy one that is conserved in olive oil as it adds a lot of flavour.
250g canned tuna in olive oil
180g spaghetti (I like using long pasta but you can use any shape).
1 garlic clove
1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
2. Using a spoon or the side of a large knife, squash the garlic clove, without removing the peel and place it in a pan.
3. Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and turn the heat onto medium high. After a few minutes, when the oil is hot and the garlic has sizzled for a bit, pour in the passata.
4. Cover the pan and let the passata cook, reducing itself and becoming thicker. This should take around 7 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and add the drained canned tuna. Break it up with a spoon and mix well with the tomato sauce, so the two are well combined. Add pepper.
6. Drain the pasta and place it in the pan, mixing well. Plate the dish and add a leaf of fresh basil to each plate.
My Carbonara recipe is a development of a mix of recipes originating from various places (most likely a mix of Jamie Oliver and my mother). Most of the time I have it 'plain' but thought about adding chopped asparagus this time as it gives a nice break from the pancetta and creamy pasta.
180g of pasta (any pasta is ok, even though traditionally long pasta is used)
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
150g diced smoked pancetta
4 asparagus tips
1 garlic clove
1. Bring a small pot of water to boil and throw in the asparagus tips, boil for 5 minutes.
2. Bring to boil a second, bigger pot of water, add salt and the pasta, cook according to packet instructions.
3. In a small pan place a drop of olive oil and the peeled garlic clove. Drain the asparagus and place them to sauté in the pan for a few minutes.
4. In the meantime place the pancetta in a pan and let it fry, without adding anything else, till nice and crispy.
5. Crack the two eggs in a bowl and add the yolk, whisking with a fork. Add the Parmigiano and pepper, mixing well.
6. Remove the asparagus tips from the pan and chop them into rings, like in the photograph.
7. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the pancetta, mixing well and adding the chopped asparagus.
8. Place the pasta, pancetta and asparagus in a serving bowl and pour in the egg mixture, mixing everything very well till it is all combined.
9. Serve and top with more grated cheese to your pleasure.
You can switch the Parmigiano with grated Pecorino Romano, if you wish.
Earlier this year a dear friend of mine passed away, and although she was one of the few people in the world suffering from severe 'gastroparesis' and therefore could not eat solid food, found the courage and passion to cook and bake for other people. She was so talented that one of her creations, the risotto below, is now being served in a restaurant in her home town under her name. I am so proud of everything she was able to accomplish and decided to share her recipe as a way to remember her and celebrate her life.
400g carnaroli rice
2 cups cashews
1 red onion
200g fresh rocket salad leaves
2 stock cubes (to make 2 litres of stock)
1. Cut the onion into fine dices and place in a deep pot with a knob of butter. Turn the gas onto medium high and let the onions brown. Bring a pot with 2 litres of water to boil, adding the stock cubes.
2. Once the onions have browned pour the rice into the pan and let them toast for 4 minutes. Begin adding the stock gradually, mixing very well.
3. Repeat this action until the rice is al dente, it will take roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
4. In the meantime, roughly chop the cashews and place them in a pan on high heat to toast them.
5. Turn off the gas and add two more knobs of butter and two tablespoons of grated parmigiano, mixing very well to gain a creamy consistency.
6. Mix in the cashews, leaving a few to the side to decorate with. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Place the risotto into individual dishes and top with some fresh rocket salad and a sprinkle of pepper.
Wild Rice with smoked salmon & asparagus cream / Riso Selvatico con salmone affumicato e crema di asparagi #asparagopiacentino #asparagochepiace
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to participate in the 'asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner' competition by the Consorzio per la Promozione, Sviluppo e Tutela dell'Asparago Piacentino. The challenge was to create a recipe which had asparagus as an ingredient. It was especially challenging to come up with an innovative recipe, due to the large quantity of 'mainstream' asparagus recipes which are out there (asparagus with eggs, prosciutto, in a risotto, on a pizza etc.).
This recipe is healthy and full of taste, perfect for a refreshing lunch. The asparagus cream can also be used as a dip, or added to other dishes if you find you have some left over.
Serves 2 / per 2 persone
¾ cup of wild rice (you can also use Riso Venere or basmati)
2 ¼ cups of water
10 asparagus tips
150g smoked salmon
½ a lemon
1 garlic clove
1. Place the rice in a pot, pour in the water. Bring the water to boil and lower the heat, letting the rice simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. In the meantime, bring a separate pot of water to boil and place the asparagus chopped in three. Boil until they are soft but not floppy, and drain.
3. Dice the garlic and place in a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat the oil and add the asparagus, sauté for a couple of minutes.
4. Remove the asparagus from the pan and keep four tips to one side. Place the rest in a blender with a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.
5. Blend to create a cream, adding salt and pepper to taste.
6. When the rice is ready, drain it and place it in a bowl. Cut the smoked salmon into slivers or small squares and mix it into the rice, adding a drop of olive oil and salt.
7. Place the rice with salmon in a serving dish and add the cream on top or on the side.
¾ cup di riso selvatico
2 ¼ cup di acqua
150g di salmone affumicato
il succo di mezzo limone
1 spicchio d'aglio
1. Porre il riso in un pentolino, versandoci sopra l'acqua fredda. Portare l'acqua ad ebollizione e abbassare il fuoco, facendo cuocere il riso per 20/25 minuti.
2. Nel frattempo, portare ad ebollizione un altro pentolino di acqua. Posizionarci dentro gli asparagi, tagliandoli se necessario. Cuocerli finché non siano morbidi (ma non molli).
3. Tagliare l'aglio a dadini e posizionarlo in una padella antiaderente con un cucchiaio di olio d’oliva. Aggiungere gli asparagi e far rosolare per un paio di minuti.
4. Rimuovere gli asparagi e posizionarli nel frullatore, tenendo da parte 4 punte. Aggiungere il succo di limone, olio di oliva, sale e pepe e frullare, creando una crema.
5. Quando il riso è cotto scolarlo e versarlo in una scodella. Tagliare il salmone a striscioline ed amalgamarlo al riso, aggiungendo sale, pepe e olio.
6. Posizionare il riso con salmone in un piatto e aggiungere la crema di asparagi sopra o ai lati.
Ever since discovering this sauce a couple of months I've been OBSESSED. I try and put it on as many things as possible. So far my favourite combinations are the following spaghetti, grilled aubergines with mozzarella and on bruschette with tzatziki.
150g cherry tomatoes, washed
1 tablespoon sugar
4 basil leaves
140g spaghetti or any other pasta
1 garlic clove
½ a glass of water
1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and pasta, cook according to packet instructions.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan, turn the heat onto medium.
3. Using the flat part of a knife squash the garlic (without peeling it) and add it to the pan.
4. Chop all the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in the pan, when the garlic has been cooking for a couple of minutes.
5. Cook the tomatoes, stirring them, for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over all the tomatoes and combine. Pour in a small amount of water, just enough to cover the base of the pan and cover with a lid.
6. Let the tomatoes cook like this for another 4 minutes, checking them and stirring in the process.
7. When the water has almost evaporated, remove the lid and cook them for another 3 minutes, making sure the water evaporates and they caramelise slightly.
8. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the basil leaves. Toss everything well and plate.
9. Sprinkle over some Parmigiano and a couple more basil leaves to garnish.
As with all fresh pasta, it tastes best when cooked immediately, as it tends to dry out very quickly. There are many sauces you can eat them in, for example ragù or any other tomato-based sauce. I like them with butter and sage because they are slightly lighter than with the other sauces. Potato gnocchi are a very heavy dish, which makes them perfect for winter and cold nights.
250g sweet potatoes
pinch of salt
for the sauce
1. Peel the normal potatoes and place them in a pot with cold water. Bring the water to boil and let the potatoes simmer. Poke every once in a while to see if they are soft. When the knife goes through, remove them from the heat and drain (about 20 minutes).
2. Do the same with the sweet potatoes in a separate pot.
3. Combine the two types of potatoes in a bowl and mash them using a potato masher.
4. Add an egg, some flour, a spoon of parmigiano and a pinch of salt.
5. Sprinkle flour over a wooden surface and place the potato mix on it. Work on it using your hands and keep adding flower till you form a ball of a soft yet firm consistency.
6. Take clumps of the dough and roll them out into breadstick looking lines and using a knife cut out small gnocchi. Roll them gently in your hands and form small balls. Place to one side.
7. Repeat this for all the dough. Sprinkle some flour over the gnocchi to stop them from drying out.
8. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and start adding the gnocchi. You'll be able to tell when they are ready because they'll rise to the surface.
9. When they being floating, wait a few seconds and then remove them from the pot using a slotted spoon, making sure to drain the water as much as possible.
10. In the meantime, heat a knob of butter in a non stick pan with a couple of sage leaves. As you drain the gnocchi, place them into the pan and sauté them for a few minutes. I like mine to become almost crunchy.
11. Remove from the pan and place into a dish, adding a sprinkle of pepper and some parmigiano.
Original recipe from La Cucina Italiana.
Quiches are great because they collect a vast variety of ingredients to create very unique flavours. They can be intricate or very simple, and always delicious. They're delicious when eaten piping hot but equally as good eaten at room temperature. And like most cakes, they taste even better the day after. This recipe by Gordon Ramsay is similar to the Greek spanakopita, but uses short crust pastry instead of filo.
300g short crust pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
500g baby spinach leaves
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
200ml double cream
50g toasted pine nuts
4 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano
1. Place the pastry in a round baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the onions, adding salt and pepper. In a large pan place the spinach leaves on medium heat, letting them cook. Once cooked, place them in a colander and squeeze out the water by pressing down the leaves with a spoon. Let them cool down and then roughly chop them.
3. Place the onions and spinach in a large bowl and add the crumbled feta, the whole egg and additional yolk, the double cream and a sprinkle of black pepper. Mix and then add the pine nuts and parmigiano.
4. Turn on the oven to 200 degrees, place the pastry in the oven covering the bottom with a sheet of tin foil and some dried beans (so that it does not rise). Place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the pastry are almost golden. Remove from the oven, remove the tin foil and beans and pour in the filling, sprinkling some parmigiano over everything.
5. Lower the heat to 170 degrees and cook the quiche for 35 to 40 minutes.
Original recipe by Jamie Oliver
This recipe is also the most basic way of making risotto, you can simply add all the ingredients you wish, like saffron, or prawns and walnuts, or herbs, halfway through the cooking. If you wish to make a risotto full of cheese you must remember to add in the cheese at the end, during the process of ‘mantecatura’.
160g carnaroli or Arborio rice
1 litre of vegetable stock
30g of butter
½ a cup white wine (optional)
1. Bring a pot of water to boil adding a stock cube.
2. Place of the butter in a deep pan or pot. Chop the onion into fine dices. Turn the heat on, let the butter begin melting and add the onion. Let it brown on medium-low heat.
3. Once the onion has browned pour in the rice. Let it toast, stirring it, for 4 minutes.
4. If you’re using wine, pour it in now, letting it absorb completely.
5. Once the wine has absorbed, pour enough boiling broth to cover the rice. Begin stirring slowly. As the broth gets absorbed (not completely) keep adding more and stirring.
6. After 15 to 20 minutes the rice should be almost ready. Taste to make sure it is al dente.
7. Turn off the heat and add the remaining butter and quite a bit of Parmigiano. Mix well, making sure the risotto is looking nice and creamy. Season to taste and eat.