Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Winter minestrone

We’re never in our own house for Christmas as we travel up north to be with family. That doesn’t stop us on insisting that the stock left in the pot in which the ham was cooked, goes into the freezer ready for us to take home and make minestrone with. The perfect foil for all the over-indulgence in the days preceding.

Winter Minestrone – serves 6

  • 500g cavolo nero, remove any thicker stalks and shred thickly
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced, with a few leaves
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g pumpkin/squash flesh, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 potato
  • 400g cooked white beans – we used a tin of cannellini beans
  • 1.5 litres of ham stock, water or bean broth (if you’ve cooked dried beans)
  • A parmesan rind (always good to keep in the fridge to add extra depth of flavour to soups)
  • A small sprig of sage
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

Wash the cavolo nero, strip any particularly thick stems from the leaves and roughly chop. Roll up the leaves and shred thickly.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan and slowly fry the onion and celery with a pinch of salt, until soft, about 8 minutes.

Add the pumpkin/squash to the pan along with the cavolo nero stems and a tiny pinch of salt, stirring until each chunk glistens with oil. Add half the cavolo nero leaves, half the beans, the water and the parmesan rind.

Turn up the heat so the soup is almost boiling, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the rest of the cavolo nero and beans. Taste and season, then add the chopped sage. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then serve with some freshly grated Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Rachel Roddy in The Guardian24th November 2017.)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ragu di salsicce e broccoletti

This simple dish satisfied the cravings we get at this time of year for lots of greens. We thought the suggestion of serving it with rice, rather than pasta, a bit unusual but it was perfect. Seek out top-quality Italian pork sausages if you can. We can buy them fairly easily now in Dublin but have been known in the past to beg the local Italian restaurant to sell us some – so  you could try that tactic if they’re not readily available where you are.

Wine Suggestion: This is a characterful dish so the wine you choose needs to have character and presence to match. We opened a MorisFarms Mandriolo, a fresh and vibrant blend of mostly Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot from the Maremma in Tuscany. Being typically Italian the fresh acidity cut through the richness of this dish and proved a delightful match: we couldn’t determine if the hints of fennel came from the wine or the Italian sausages used … or maybe both.

Ragú di salsicce e broccoletti – Creamy sausage & broccoli ragú – serves 4

  • 200g long grain rice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallion, roughly chopped
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 6 good-quality Italian pork sausages, removed from their skins
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli, chopped into 1 cm pieces
  • 50ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
  • 100ml crème fraîche
  • 30g Parmesan, grated (to serve)

Steam the rice in a rice cooker or according to the instructions on the pack.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the scallions and thyme leaves for a couple of minutes.

Break up the sausage meat with your fingers,  add to the frying pan and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli pieces and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in the wine and cook for another couple of minutes, then stir in the stock powder and crème fraîche. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Serve the ragù over the rice and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

(Original recipe from Pronto! by Gino D’Campo, Kyle Books, 2014.)

Read Full Post »

Orecchiette with clams and broccoli

We just love recipes like these – tastes just like holidays in Italy. So simple but truly delicious.

Wine Suggestion: A favourite: the Sartarelli Verdicchio Classico Superiore “Tralivio”, was a great match for this combining freshness and vitality with a roundness, texture, saltiness and enough body to work with some of the strong components of this dish.

Orecchiette with clams & broccoli – serves 4

  • 1kg clams, washed
  • 300g broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 crumbled dried hot chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 150ml white wine
  • 300g orecchiette

Cut the florets from the broccoli head and discard the stalks. Cut each floret in half lengthwise.

Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water until very tender, then drain.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Add half the garlic and fry until soft, then add the anchovies and dried chilli, Stir to melt the anchovies. Add the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to break up into a sauce.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan. Add the fresh chilli, the rest of the garlic, and the parsley. Fry until just coloured. Add the clams and wine, then cover and cook over a high heat until the clams have opened, about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Remove the clams from their shells and add them to the broccoli sauce with some of their cooking water to thin the sauce a bit.

Cook the orecchiette in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce, adding some more liquid as needed.

Serve with your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

Read Full Post »

Baked gnocchi with broccoli, blue cheese and walnuts

We won’t apologise for yet another blue cheese-themed dish. We love cheese but are unlikely to have a cheese course during the week and therefore regularly end up making a meal out of it. Tis also the season for copious amounts of cheese, which is not only delicious but expensive – don’t waste it. If you’ve eaten all the blue cheese then brie or goats’ cheese should also work well.

Wine Suggestion: You need to balance the richness of the dish and the salty cheese so we chose the 2007 Ridge Santa Cruz Chardonnay which, despite it’s 10 years of age, was fresh and vibrant. The developing character of old Chardonnay really works well with blue cheese, especially when cooked in a dish. We also toyed with opening some white Rhône as this would work too.

Baked Gnocchi with Broccoli & Blue Cheese – serves 4

  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli
  • 150g dolcelatte or other creamy blue cheese, crumbled
  • 150ml single cream

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling water. It’s ready when it floats to the surface, scoop out with a draining spoon.

Cook the broccoli in the same water until just tender, then drain.

Mix the gnocchi, broccoli, cheese and cream together in a large bowl with plenty of seasoning. Tip into a buttered baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with salad if you like.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, December, 2011.)

Read Full Post »

Mussel & fennel risottoWe really liked this tasty risotto made with delicious stock from the mussels. Jules bought half the quantity of mussels (in error!) but it was no worse for it. The sort of thing we like to eat on a Friday night with a glass of something bubbly.

Wine Suggestion: As we have a few bottles of Sparkling Saumur lying around after our summer holiday to the Loire this year, we automatically gravitated to this and found it a good match. This time we opened the Bouvet-Ladubay Trésor blanc, a blend of mostly Chenin Blanc with some Chardonnay. Fresh and vibrant but with the quality of fruit to stand up to the food. Cost aside, we don’t know why more sparkling wines aren’t matched with food.

Mussel & fennel risotto – serves 4

  • 1.75kg mussels, cleaned thoroughly (discard any that don’t close when you hit them off the side of the sink)
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • a few parsley stalks
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, trimmed & diced
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 50ml dry vermouth
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Put the mussels into a large saucepan over a medium heat with the white wine, parsley stalks and peppercorns. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until opened. Shake the pan a couple of times as they cook.

Strain over a bowl to catch the cooking liquor and remove the mussels from their shells. Throw away any that haven’t opened.

Strain the liquor through a sieve lined with muslin to catch any grit, then heat until simmering gently.

Heat 5 tbsp olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onion, garlic and fennel over a medium heat until the onion is soft but not coloured. Stir in the risotto rice. Pour on the vermouth, then add the mussel liquor a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. The rice should be cooked after about 20 minutes. Add some water if you run out of mussel liquor.

Stir in the mussels, parsley, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

Read Full Post »

Blue cheese gnocchi

We’ve been seeing more good quality pre-prepared fresh gnocchi around and it’s really handy for a quick dinner. Here’s how to make it tasty with some blue cheese and spinach.

Wine Suggestion: this was a little tricky given blue cheese’s affinity for sweet wine, and we didn’t want this with our meal. A glass of Oloroso sherry was considered but we ended up with a Puglian Primitivo-Nero do Troia blend from Michele Biancardi which is both savoury and fruity. The fruity, plummy sweetness was the foil for the cheese and the savoury tannins played a dance with the gnocchi and spinach.

Blue Cheese Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 250g bag baby spinach
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 100g blue cheese – a soft variety would be good but use whatever you have

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the timings on the pack. Stir the spinach into the pan with the gnocchi, then immediately drain in a colander and shake well to get rid of the water.

Put the crème fraîche and grated Parmesan into a small ovenproof dish. Add the hot, drained gnocchi and spinach and stir. Crumble the blue cheese over and season with black pepper.

Put the dish under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Spaghettini w. prawns basil parsley and pistachios

We know it’s Sunday and it’s getting colder and the clocks have changed, so we should really be posting a nice roast. However, we figure you probably have dinner sorted for today and you might like something to inspire you later in the week.

Wine Suggestion: the fresh, zesty Staforte Soave from Gaziano Prà would be a great match for this. Made from 100% Garganega it has apricot, peach and apple fruit flavours with touches of camomile and white flowers; followed by a textural finish. We would also try southern Italian Greco di Tufo and Falanghina’s with this dish; try to look for something with crispness, mid-weight and mineral texture and it should work.

Spaghettini with prawns, basil, parsley & pistachios – serves 4

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • a large handful of basil leaves
  • a large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • a large handful of mint leaves
  • 75g roasted unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g dried spaghettini
  • 500g raw peeled king prawns

Pound the garlic and half the sea salt to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Add the basil, parsley and mint and keep pounding together to make a thick paste. Add half the pistachios and grind them into the paste to get a creamy texture. Roughly chop the rest of the pistachios and stir into the paste with the Parmesan, lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with some more salt if needed and black pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salty water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

Put a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Fry the prawns for a minutes on each side, then season with the remaining ¼ tsp of sea salt. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta and keep a little of the cooking water. Immediately tip the pasta back into the pot, then toss together with the herb paste and cooked prawns. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to loosen. Serve immediately on warm plates.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »