Pasta al forno.

Italy popped up on table last week with this delicious pasta al forno, aka lasagne aka vincisgrassi, as called in my native region (click here for a bit of more info). I have just revisited the original recipe, which includes ragù and besciamella cream, by filling the pasta with courgette and a simple tomato sauce, ending up in a vegetarian version. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to prepare fresh pasta, but I found a nice ready to use alternative which affected a little bit the finally result. Despite of that, it was a success!

Pasta al forno
Ingredients:
ready to use lasagne-pasta
1 large can peeled tomatoes
1 large onion
1 large carrot
garlic cloves
1 large courgette
grated cheese

Directions:
Prepare the tomato sauce first: chop the onion, grate the carrot and smash the garlic cloves and sear into a pan with olive oil. Add the tomatoes, season with paprika, pepper, basil, chives and salt and let it cook for half an hour on low heat. Preheat the oven at 190°C, grease a rectangular baking tin and start to assemble the lasagna: put one layer of pasta, one layer of tomato sauce, one layer of courgette slices and grated cheese, one layer of pasta…and so on till you fill the tray. Sprinkle a little bit of tomato sauce and grated cheese on top and set in the oven for 40 minutes. Serve warm.

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Beans’ hummus cream.

Here I am, finally!
It’s a very very very busy period for me now, between work, friends, discovering the city and unfortunatly no time for cooking 😦
Actually I didn’t post anything neither for my birthday on the 17th of august, well, I had a very great time with my friends in Amsterdam and I have beautiful memories about my 23rd, but no home baked cake this year!

Here it is a fast and super healthy recipe, a cream to spread on crackers and toasted bread for appetizer or for snack. Enjoy!

Beans’s hummus
Ingredients:
a can of beans (kapucijner)
juice of half a lemon
paprika, curry, pepper and curcuma
coriander
two or more table spoons of olive oil

Proceeding:
Wash the beans with fresh and cold water, or cook them if you have dry beans.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, spicing as taste.
Mix untill you get a soft but consistent cream.
Store in a jar and keep in fridge.

Apple, cinnamon and almonds plumcake.

I have nothing to add, this plumcake is fabulous. And so frugal indeed.
I love the fresh smooth apple inside, I love the cinnamon aroma and I love the cruncy chopped almonds. All in one slice.

Apple, cinnamon and almonds plumcake
Ingredients:
300gr whole wheat flour
100gr brown sugar
one cup of soy milk
one large apple (I used Yona gold)
four tea-spoons of cinnamon
a handful of chopped almonds
oil as needed
15gr baking powder

Proceeding:
Mix flour plus baking powder with sugar, add soy milk and stir.
Wash and cut the apple in tiny slices or as you wish.
Add chopped almonds, half of cut apple and cinnamon to the dough.
Add a little bit of oil if you like.
Place it in a plumcake mould, place the left apple slices into the dough and bake for 40 minutes at 180°C.
Let it cool down and serve.

Partecipo a:
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Zucchini, onion and tomato focaccia.

I cannot resist to focaccia, expecially when it is home made and does not exceed in oil and greases. And what about the one with fresh tomatoes, basil and raw oil on it… Amazing!
A couple of days ago I prepared this whole wheat focaccia enriched with zucchini, onions and fresh tomatoes which is heavenly delicious and perfect for every appetizer or a picnic in a park!

Zucchini, onion and tomato focaccia
Ingredients: (x 1 large tin)
450gr whole wheat flour + 15gr dry yeast
300ml warm water
one zucchini-courgette
one large fresh flesh-tomato
one large onion
three tablespoons of mixed herbs: oregano, pepper, basil, marjoram
three tablespoons of olive oil

Proceeding:
Mix the flour with dry yeast, add herbs and stir.
Add warm water little by little, untill the dough is smooth and uniform.
Wash and chop the vegetables and marinate them in a bowl with oil and pepper.
Lay the dough in a baking tin and add chopped vegetables on the surface.
Bake in warm oven at 200°C for 40 minutes.
Let it cool down and enjoy!

Partecipo a:
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When ginger meets raisins and tea.

Delicacy and softness with a taste of character.
This cake has all of those details: the delicacy of the roiboos tea, the softness of the dairy-free dough and the spicy taste of ginger. The time of rising is the secret of this deliciousness.
Probably one of my favourite piece of cake for brekfast! 😉


Ginger, raisins and tea cake
Ingredients:
350gr flour
15gr of dry yeast + 1 pinch of baking soda
80gr brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 large cup of rooibos tea
half of a fresh ginger root
half cup of raisins
2 table spoons of oil

Proceeding:
Blend the sugar with oil, lemon juice and tea in a bowl.
Add chopped ginger root and raisins.
Add the flour, dry yeast and baking soda little by little, combining all the ingredients untill the dough is smooth and uniform.
Let it rise for about 2 hours in a warm place, far from drafts.
Bake the cake in a pre-warmed oven at 175°C for 40 minutes.
Serve at room temperature with jam.

Partecipo a:
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E faccio i miei migliori auguri di Buon Compleanno alla dolcissima Cecilia Romana per la sua prima candelina da soffiare 😉 … ricordati di esprimere anche il tuo primo desiderio!

Mushrooms salted biscuits.

I love biscuits.
I love those cruncy and spiced pastries coming out of my oven spreading nice smell all around.
I probably would describe myself as a cookie monster sometimes.

Yesterday I prepared those strange but nice biscuits with mushrooms and herbs. They are unbelivable, so delicious! Echt lekker!

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Mushrooms salted biscuits
Ingredients:
300gr flour + 1 sacket of yeast (15gr)
4 tablespoons olive oil
200gr fresh mushrooms
one handful of cashew notes
herbs (nutmeg, oregano, thyme)
water

Proceeding:
Wash and chop the mushrooms and saute them in a pan with oil and, if you like, a little onion. Cook them for maximum ten minutes. Put the flour with yeast in a bowl, add grinded cashew notes, herbs and mix. Add the mushrooms and water, mix untill you get a solid dough. Let it rest for twenty minutes, then roll it out and shape biscuits. Bake them for 15 minutes at 180°C. Serve cold.

Biscotti salati ai funghi
Ingredienti:
300gr di farina + 1 bustina di lievito (15gr)
4 cucchiai di olio
200gr di funghi freschi
una manciata di noci cashew
aromi (noce moscata, origano, timo)
acqua qb

Procedimento:
Lavare e tagliare i funghi grossolanamente, soffriggerli in una padella con l’olio e, se preferite, una piccola cipolla. Cuocete per dieci minuti al massimo. Mettere la farina con il lievito in una ciotola, aggiungere le noci tritate, gli aromi e mescolare. Aggiungere i funghi e acqua fino ad ottenere un impasto solido. Lasciar riposare per una ventina di minuti, stendere l’impasto e ricavarne dei biscotti. Cuocerli per 15 minuti a 180°C. Servire freddi.

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Cuori e riflessioni per San Valentino.

Cuori, cuori ovunque. Chi ha inventato la ricorrenza di San Valentino? O sono io che ho sviluppato repulsione a cuoricini illusori e sdolcinatezze varie o semplicemente ho concentrato la mia attenzione su altre cose più interessanti e utili che festeggiare ricorrenze come queste. Anche perchè, diciamocelo, se ami una persona, glielo dimostri ogni giorno e non in modo particolare solamente il 14 di febbraio, riempendogli la pancia di cene costose e vini che, alla fine, sanno solo di sugher0. Per me, l’amore è ben altra cosa…
E per citare Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind :

Random thoughts for Valentine’s Day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies. To make people feel like crap.

grumpy-cat-valentine

In barba a tutte le convenzioni sociali-commerciali sanvalentiniane, io ho preparato una bella crostata alla marmellata di (a)more con cinque cuoricini sopra che io e mia mamma ci siamo golosamente pappate. 😉

Crostata alle more
Ingredienti:
300gr di farina integrale
80gr di zucchero di canna
3/4 cucchiai di olio evo
cannella a volontà
un barattolo di marmellata di more

Procedimento:
Impastare la farina con lo zucchero, l’olio, la cannella e acqua fino ad ottenere un impasto solido. Lasciar riposare in frigo per una mezzora. Stendere l’impasto e sistemarlo su una teglia, riempire con la marmellata e decorare la superficie a piacere con l’impasto rimasto. Infornare per 45 minuti a 180°C. Servire a temperatura ambiente.

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Hearts. Hearts everywhere. Who has invented San Valentine day? Do I develop repulse towards misleading hearts and mushy things or simply I put my focus on more important and useful things then celebrate those days. Even more, if you truly love someone, you show it every day and not only particulary on the 14th of February, filling his or her belly with expensive dinners and cork-taste wines. In my opinion, love is totally different…
And quoting Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind:

Random thoughts for Valentine’s Day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies. To make people feel like crap.

In spite of every social and commercial san Valentine norms, I prepared a delightful blackberry jam custard pie with five hearts on it, which me and my mother have greedly crunched 😉

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Blackberry custard pie
Ingredients:
300gr wholewheat flour
80gr brown sugar
3/4 tablespoons of olive oil
cinnamon
one pot of blackberry jam

Proceeding:
Mix the flour with sugar, oil, cinnamon and water untill you get a solid pastry. Let it rest in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out the pastry and put in a bakin tin, fill with the jam and decor the surface as you want with the remain of the pastry. Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C. Serve at room temperature.

Bon appetit!
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