Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola sauce for a quick and delicious working lunch !

It is not down on any map; true places never are.

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale
Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola sauce and cherry tomatoes

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 250g Tagliatelle
– 200ml 33% cream
– 200g Gorgonzola
– 250g cherry tomatoes

Method:

1 Boil Tagliatelle in salted water Al Dente and drain the water
2 Cut Gorgonzola in 2cm cubes
3 Pour 33% cream in the skillet and add gorgonzola cubes
4 Cook at medium heat gorgonzola in cream until it is melted
5 Add Tagliatelle and halved cherry tomatoes to gorgonzola sauce and cook for another minute
6 Serve and enjoy your day ! 🙂

Very Quick Homemade Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomatoes !

“And what if the abbot finds us?”
“We will pretend to be a pair of ghosts”

Umberto Eco
Pizza with Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Dough ingredients:
– 1 and 1/2 cup (1 cup=250ml) wheat flour
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

Sauce ingredients:
– 300ml mashed tomatoes
– 1 tsp olive oil
– salt and pepper

Filling ingredients:
– 200g buffalo mozzarella (it’s very tasty!)
– 50g Grana Padano

Serving ingredients:
– 1/2 bunch of scallion for serving

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 220C
2 Combine dough ingredients and knead the dough
3 Roll out the dough to the 3-5mm width round
4 Put the dough round on the baking paper and bake for 8 minutes at 220C (no filling yet)
5 Sauce: mix mashed tomatoes, 1 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper
6 Distribute the sauce evenly over the baked dough round
7 Add mozzarella slices and sprinkle with grated Grana Padano
8 Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes
9 Sprinkle with scallion and and enjoy !

Notes: I tried this recipe today and loved it – the dough is really easy to make, overall cooking time is less than 30 minutes but the result is delicious 🙂

Biscotti: Italian almond biscuits for Sunday morning !

If you pressed me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.

Michel de Montaigne
Biscotti

Ingredients (for 12 Biscotti):
– 130g wheat flour
– 78g sugar
– 4g Vanilla sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2 tsp orange zest
– 1/2 tsp rum or Amaretto
– 1/2 tsp baking soda & 1/2 tsp vinegar
– 63g almonds

Method:

1 Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2 Wash almonds and dry with paper towels.
3 Combine in a bowl: flour + sugar + Vanilla sugar + egg + orange zest + rum.
4 Add to the dough baking soda in the same teaspoon as vinegar: knead the dough.
5 Mix the almonds in the dough and distribute uniformly.
6 Form ~3cm width & ~30cm length log from the dough and put it on the baking paper.
7 Bake the log for 20min at 180C until golden.
8 Remove the log from the oven and let it cool down for 5 min. Do not turn off the oven.
9 Cut the log with diagonal cuts into 1.5cm width Biscotti.
10 Put Biscotti back on the baking paper and bake for 5-10 minutes.
11 Enjoy Biscotti some nice Sunday morning with a cup of black coffee and your favourite Christmas movie. Would it be this, this, this, this or this movie? 😉

Bruschetta with Tomatoes is always a good idea !

Certainly the heart has always something to tell about the future to those who listen to it. But what does the heart know? Scarce a little of what has already happened.

Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed
Bruschetta with Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients (for 8 bruschetta):
– 8 slices Chiabatta
– 10 small ripe tomatoes
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
– a few basil leaves
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Serving ingredients:
– 50g corn salad
– 50g grated parmesan

Directions:
1 Preheat the oven to 200C
2 Brush both sides of Ciabatta slices with olive oil
3 Bake oiled Ciabatta slices on the baking paper for 5-7 minutes at 200C
4 Rub one side of each toast with garlic
5 Cut tomatoes into 1cm cubes and drain extra juice
6 Combine tomato cubes with 1/2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp pepper + chopped basil: put the mixture on the toasts!
7 Serve bruschetta with fresh corn salad and grated parmesan
8 Enjoy !

Tomato, Mozzarella and Fresh Basil Sandwiches !

Strange fits of passion have I known:
And I will dare to tell,
But in the Lover’s ear alone,
What once to me befell.

William Wordsworth
Tomato, Mozzarella and Fresh Basil Sandwiches

Ingredients (for 4 open sandwiches):
– 4 slices Ciabatta (yes, Italian bread is essential, otherwise all is lost!)
– 3-4 fresh tomatoes
– 125g Mozarella
– 10g pine nuts
– fresh basil leaves

Directions:
1 Rinse and dry basil leaves
2 Toast a little Ciabatta slices
3 Toast pine nuts until golden (no oil! no butter!)
4 Wash and slice tomatoes
5 Lay on the Ciabatta pieces: basil leaves, mozzarella slices, tomato slices, pine nuts
5 Sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil
6 Enjoy !

Strawberry Panna Cotta !

“Honey or condensed milk with your bread” he was so excited that he said, “Both,” and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, “but don’t bother about the bread, please.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Strawberry Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta Ingredients:
– 300ml 33% cream
– 150ml milk
– 90g sugar
– 1g vanilla
– 1/3 tsp agar agar powder
– 100g strawberry

Serving ingredients:
– 100g strawberry

Method:
1 Slice washed strawberries and put them in the glasses
2 Combine in a pan milk+33% cream+sugar+vanilla+agar agar powder
3 Warm up the mixture until boiling constantly stirring
4 Set the pan aside for 3 minutes
5 Pour the creamy mixture from the pan into the glasses over the strawberries
6 Put the glasses in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight and enjoy Panna Cotta with fresh strawberries and … wonderful mood !

Hints:
1 Some agar agar powders are different from others. One might need to make a first try to adjust agar agar amount 🙂
2 Before serving let Panna Cotta stay a little bit outside the fridge, it is tastier when it is not completely cold !

Paccheri con Salmone !

Show not what has been done, but what can be. How beautiful the world would be if there were a procedure for moving through labyrinths.

Umberto Eco
Paccheri con Salmone Recipe

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 180g salmon
– 100ml 33% cream
– 300g durum wheat semolina pasta (ideally, Italian Pasta Superior Semola)
– 3 garlic clothes
– 80g Parmesan
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for frying

Method:
1 Grate Parmesan into a bowl and put in the fridge for now
2 Cut salmon into 1.5cm cubes
3 Chop garlic into 0.5cm cubes
4 Simultaneously start boiling pasta (5) and cooking salmon (6)
5 Boil pasta in the salty water until ready and drain the water
6 Cook salmon for 5 minutes in olive oil with garlic, then add 33% cream and stew for another 5 minutes
7 Put the pasta in the frying pan with salmon for 1 minute, carefully mix and transfer to the serving plates
8 Sprinkle pasta with grated Parmesan, add black pepper and serve immediately !

Homemade potato gnocchi with spinach-gorgonzola sauce !

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words, like ‘What about lunch?’.

A.A. Milne
Potato Gnocchi with Spinach-Gorgonzola sauce Recipe

Gnocchi ingredients:
– 400g baked or boiled potatoes
– 1 egg
– 80g wheat flour
– 1g salt
– 1g pepper

Sauce ingredients:
– 100g Gorgonzola
– 100ml 33% cream
– 125g baby spinach
– 30g pine nuts
– 4 sprigs green onions

Method:
1 Peel and wash potatoes, cut them into 1cm cubes
2 Boil potatoes cubes for 10 minutes, drain the water and let them cool down
3 Knead a dough from the dough ingredients and divide it into 4 equal parts
4 Make a 1.5cm diameter sausage out of each piece of dough
5 Cut each sausage into 0.7cm-width gnocchi and put them on a floured plate
6 Gorgonzola sauce:
6.1 Toast the pine nuts without oil until golden, put them in a bowl aside
6.2 Wash baby spinach and let it dry
6.3 Melt Gorgonzola in 33% cream on a frying pan
6.4 When Gorgonzola is melted, add spinach to the frying pan: simmer for 4 minutes
7 Put gnocchi in a boiling salted water, cook for 4 minutes
8 Drain the water and carefully mix the gnocchi in the Gorgonzola sauce: gnocchi are ready !
9 Decorate gnocchi with toasted pine nuts and green onions !

Homemade Tiramisu !

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonets
Homemade Tiramisu

Ingredients (2-4 servings):
– 250g Mascarpone
– 100ml 33% cream
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 10-14 Savoiardi biscuits
– 150ml strong black coffee
– 1 tablespoon cocoa for serving

Method:
1 Make Mascarpone cream: mix Mascarpone with sugar & 33% cream: don’t make it too liquid ! 🙂
2 Brew a really strong black coffee !
3 Pour brewed coffee in a plate and let it cool down
4 Now put in the glasses layer by layer (you might use less or more Savoiardi biscuits depending on how high Mascarpone layers you would like to have):
4.1 Savoiardi biscuits dipped each side for 1 second in a coffee-plate
4.2 Mascarpone cream, return to 4.1 if the glass is not full yet 😉
5 Decorate with cocoa on top
6 Put Tiramisu in a fridge overnight
7 Enjoy Tiramisu with a nice old-style black&white movie !

Italian pastry Soffioni: easy and delicious !

Noi leggeveamo un giorno per diletto
Di Lancialotto, come amor lo strinse;
Soli eravamo e senza alcun sospetto
Per più fiate gli occhi ci sospinse
Quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso;
Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse.

– Dante
Soffioni

Dough ingredients:
– 150g wheat flour
– 1 egg
– 40g sugar
– 25g olive oil
– 1 pinch salt

Filling ingredients:
– 2 eggs
– 50g sugar
– 200g cottage cheese (or ricotta as in original Italian recipe!)
– 1 tablespoon orange zest (or lemon zest as in original Italian recipe!)
– 1 pinch salt

Method:
1 Knead the dough from dough ingredients and put it in the bowl to the fridge for 1 hour
2 Make a yellow mixture: whisk egg yolks with sugar for 3 minutes, then add orange zest and cottage cheese and mix all well
3 Make a white mixture: whisk egg whites with salt for 5 minutes
4 Join yellow and white mixtures and gently mix
5 Preheat the oven to 180C
6 Cut out a 10x10cm piece from a white paper
7 Roll out the dough to be a 20x30cm rectangular
8 Using 10x10cm paper square, cut out 6 squares from our dough
9 Put the dough squares in the 6 buttered muffin form baking cups
10 Add the filling to the middle of each dough squares
11 Join the four angles of each square in the middle of each pie
12 Bake the pies at 180C for 30 minutes and at 160C for 10 minutes
13 Cool the pies down for 30 minutes
14 Serve with powdered sugar and enjoy with a cup of green tea !

Notes:
– Soffioni Abruzzesi = Dandelion of Abruzzo from Italian. These cakes are especially popular in the region of Abruzzo during Easter holiday 🙂