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Posts from the ‘Recipes’ Category

Trofie al Pesto con Fagiolini e Patate

In my past post , “How to make Pesto like a Ligurian” , I shared the secrets of the ancient pesto recipe. Having unveiled the ingredients and the method to make pesto alla Genovese, I thought that you may also want to know how Ligurians eat their pesto – right? Well, they combine it by using different pasta shapes that go really well with pesto – trofie, trofiette and trenette. While ago I was going down the pasta aisle of my nearest supermarket, and I came across a box of pasta Barilla. What caught my attention was not only the shape of the pasta – trofie , but the recipe on the back of the box – Ligurian trofie with pesto, potatoes and green beans…Potatoes with pasta? Did I read well? A weird combination, isn’t it? What added value could potatoes give pasta?  Since this is a traditional recipe of the Liguria region (and there might be a reason why Ligurians use potatoes), I then decided to give it a try and find out by myself.

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How to make Pesto like a Ligurian

I used to make pesto with my food processor. I just had to blend all ingredients and there you have  – a quick and easy sauce. Little did I know that using a mortar and pestle would change the taste of this ancient recipe. Indeed, pesto dates back to the mid 800’s and – of course – Ligurian cooks did not have any electrical appliances back then.

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A dynamic dish

When it comes to “primi piatti”, you usually get a bowl of pasta, rice or soup. Sometimes I find this kind of plating rather boring since there is a lack of motion on the dish. There isn’t much fun unless you add a component that will make your guests have fun while eating the dish. Some say “food enters through the eyes”; I say that food can be fun if you can make it dynamic by letting your guest “play” with it.

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Italy vrs Spain …on a plate!

Losing an Euro Championship final match to Spain was not an easy thing to digest for Italy, a country with a great football (soccer) tradition. However, this is as far as football I am going to get since I rather write about the one thing Italians and Spaniards can agree on and are proud of …and that is: their culinary tradition.

Last week we had some friends for dinner so I wanted to come up with an appetizer using a recipe from Andalucía, a Southern Region of Spain, Salmorejo, which is a cold soup similar to Gazpacho with the difference that Salmorejo is creamer because it has bread on it. The traditional recipe – named Salmorejo Cordobés because it comes from the city of Córdoba –  is topped with hard boiled eggs and Jamón Ibérico (dry-cured Spanish ham).

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A good reason for a pause…

Ambrosina…

Coming soon: Tales of Ambrosia.

Timballo di anelletti

During my last trip to Favigana, Sicily, I bought a book of Sicilian recipes named – Ricette di Osterie e Genti di Sicilia (Recipes of Taverns and People of Sicily) – Slow Food Publishing. As the title says, this book is a collection of recipes from different taverns and well known cooks across the fascinating Island of Sicily.

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Steak n’ Bread with salad

Before coming to Italy, I used to eat red meat quite often. In my home country Honduras, meat (this includes poultry and pork) is a very important part of our culinary culture. For us Hondurans a meal without meat is incomplete. So being brought up in Honduras, I used to be a very carnivorous young girl. My diet did not changed very much while in College – in Texas!! As a student, I remember going with my friends to Somerville a small town – about 80 miles North of Houston – to eat in a steakhouse (unfortunately  I don’t remember its name!!) where the steaks were bigger that the plate!!! 

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Bruschette under the Umbrian sun

One of the most popular, versatile and delicious Italian appetizers are bruschette (plural for bruschetta in Italian) or bruschettas.

I love making them anytime of the year since I can choose from a vast array of fresh, seasonal toppings.

However, during this time of the year I get this weird sensation: I don’t know if it’s summer or autumn (judging by the produce available now), just as the wonderful blog Olives and Artichokes cleverly stated on its latest post Summer or autumn?

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Lemony Rice Salad

It seems Summer in Italy is still going to stay with us at least for now. Since these days temperatures in Rome are in the 90’s (about 32°C), Romans are still going away for the weekend for their last beach getaways.This past weekend we were off to Umbria’s countryside, where my parent’s in law have a lovely country home.

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Dinner “all’Italiana” at La Moussière – Primo Piatto

“Bad news, the Camorra did not release the pasta recipe. Sorry Roger“, I said. There was no way we could get the camorristas to unveil this ancient dish. Therefore, I sent a pizzo (a form of paying the mafia) to Cosa Nostra in Sicily (Costa Nostra in Italian means “Our Thing”). Read more

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