Saturday, 12 September 2009

Figs have finally arrived

Figs have finally arrived and what better way to serve them than with Parma ham, pancetta and speck. This makes a wonderful simple meal when paired with crusty bread and good wine. ENJOY.

Cavalli Bardigiani

Look at what we've been waking up to in the mornings. These are the famous cavalli Bardigiani. Pity that the owner doesn't look after then well enough. They have been roaming freely and trampling over anything in their path. This picture was taken from my bathroom window.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Aubergine or Melanzane Ravioli

Many of you who visit this blog will have seen that I've made stuffed pasta before but today I want to present you with the latest recipe that has come into my repertoire. It came about principally as I had an aubergine that needed to be used and I thought what the heck and gave it a go.

You will need:

For the filling
1 large, and in Italy they are large, or two normal sized aubergines.
250g of ricotta cheese that you will have to drain
5 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
4 basil leaves chopped
1 large clove of garlic chopped and about
3 tablespoons of olive oil

To make the filling
Peel the aubergine and chop into small dice, about half a centimetre. I then put them in a plastic bowl and microwaved them for about 4 mins on high power until they were soft. Drain away the water that they give off in cooking.
Now heat the olive oil in a frying pan no need to brown the aubergines and chopped garlic. Leave to cool.
Add the ricotta and parmesan cheese, salt pepper and some dried breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Remember that a wet mixture will make the uncooked pasta soggy and it won't hold together to pick up and cook.
For the pasta:
400g of 00 flour
4 medium eggs.
Make the pasta as I have explained in earlier recipes.
I'll finish this recipe when I've got more time later on today.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ricotta Pancakes

These pancakes are simplicity itself to make. So this is what you need to make approximate 12 pancakes. 3 per person is a good serving.:

125g of ricotta cheese
1 egg
100g flour
1 heaped tablespoon of sugar
grated rind of half a lemon
50g of melted butter
milk, see the method for how much to use.
1 teaspoon of lievito per dolci, if you can't get this then use baking powder.

Now get cooking.
1. Break the egg in to a bowl and add the ricotta, the melted butter, the grated lemon rind and the sugar. Mix well then add the flour and the raising agent.
2. Beat in the flour with enough milk to make a thick batter. Remember that this batter has to retain its shape in the pan. It should only spread enough to form rough circles in the pan.
3. On a medium flame heat a heavy based pan and add a little butter. When the butter is ready drop dessertspoons of mixture into the pan. You will only be able to cook about 4 pancakes at a time. Remember that they will spread and rise. When the pancakes are golden brown on one side tip over and cook on the other side. Adjust the heat if the pancakes are cooking too quickly or too slowly.
I served these pancakes with lightly cooked fresh blackberries as they are in season at the moment, and they are growing in abundance about 50 metres away from the house but they work well with most fruits.

We've Moved the Kitchen

We've moved the kitchen and, not a moment too soon. After years of having to use a kitchen that I hated we've moved it. Not too far away, I know, but far enough to catch the light and for it to be more user friendly.

It is a bit smaller, but the left over units are now in my cantina so they will be used. You'll see the rest of the improvements as we do them.