Sunday, 16 November 2014

Fried ricotta with a little tomato salad...ricotta fritta con piccola insalata di pomodori

Ricotta cakes! These little beauties are the perfect piccola snack. They are easy to prepare and even easier to eat! Created by Jamie Oliver, they really are light gnocchi with a crispy, golden crunch! Godere.....

455 g crumbly ricotta cheese (buy from deli, as supermarket ones won't work)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Sea salt & pepper
1 large egg
A large handful grape tomatoes
2 sprigs of fresh basil
1 fresh red chilli
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Nutmeg for serving

Mix the ricotta with the Parmesan, flour, a good pinch of salt and the egg. Seasons with a little pepper and place in fridge. 

Halve the tomatoes, chop the flesh up into small chunks and drain off any excess liquid. Chop the stalks off the fresh basil and tear the leaves up roughly, then add the tomatoes with the chilli. Season with salt & pepper, a good swig of olive oil and then red wine vinegar. 

Put a non stick on a medium heat and add a splash olive oil. Drop a few spoonful of ricotta mix into the pan. Fry the ricotta cakes for a couple of minutes or until golden brown, then carefully turn them over using a palate knife and fry them on the other side for a further minute. 

Serve at once, with a light sprinkling of salt, a little nutmeg and a good spoonful of the chopped tomatoes on the side. Drizzle over some olive oil and grate over some Parmesan! 

MamaG xxx

Friday, 14 November 2014

Tuna melt Piadina

This is a family favourite in our house. So light, delicious and so Jamie Oliver. It's brillante! Piadina is originally from Northern Italy, it's toasted flatbread and can be filled with anything delizioso

250 g self raising flour
Olive oil
1 small red onion
1 green apple
White wine vinegar
1xtin tuna
30 g cheese 
2 tablespn cream cheese
English/Dijon mustard

Place the flour in a bowl with a pinch  of salt, add 125ml water, mix togther with a fork until it starts to come togther. Then roll out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Divide into 2 balls and flatten each price to roughly 18cm wide. Put a splash of oil in a warm pan and add one price of flattened dough, rubbing a little oil on top.  Cook for 2-3 mins on each side. 

Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion and apple. Toss in a large bowl with a splash of vinegar. Drain and add the tuna, grate over the cheese and add the cream cheese. Add mustard to give it a boost! 

Gently slide the pane from the pan and carefully run the knife all the way around the edge turning and gradually cutting towards the middle until you end up with due rounds. Slide the top of the bread off then spread one side with half the filling, pop the top on and push down slightly.

Place it back in the pan to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until beautifully melted. Cut into 2 and serve with a insalata di giardino

Godere... MamaG xxx

Monday, 10 November 2014

Tagliatelle.... Freshly made

Ciao pasta lovers! Freshly made Tagliatelle is deliziosoSi, you buy great tasty dried pasta with the minimum of fuss! But does it taste as delizioso as freshly made No no No! So get out your rolling pin and lascia fare la pasta!!

100 g flour for fresh pasta (tipo "00")
1 egg
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspn extra virgin olive oil

Work togther all the ingredients to obtain a smooth dough. 
Let dough rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough into a thin sheet, dust with flour and roll it up into a long cylinder. 

Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into narrow ribbons and open them up on a dry surface. 

Let them dry for some hours. 

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, cook your fresh pasta for a few minutes and godere with your favourite sauce. 

MamaG xx

Lemon Sorbet....sorbetto al limone 🍋

This is a delightfully refreshing sorbet to enjoy on a warm primavera day. Easy to make, ready in a few hours and no mess is left in the cucina! Thank you Nigella Lawson.

3 cups lemon juice
1 lemon zest
1 1/2 cups caster sugar 
2 1/4 cups of water

Combine sugar and water (and zest if using) in a pan, bring slowly to the boil, ensuring the sugar has dissolved before it comes to the boil! 

If you stir, do so only while it is not boiling. Boil for five verbale. Set aside to cool.

Once cool, stir in juice, strain and refrigerate until cold. Then Place a lidded container until frozen. Once frozen give it a quick whiz now place in the freezer. 

Freeze for 2-3 hours until set. Your sorbetto is now ready to serve. Garnish with freshly cut fette do limone or mint from your garden. 

Godere...MamaG xxx

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tuscan bread...Pane Toscano

Ciao fellow foodies, get your arms ready we are making bread, the mama Italiana way. Yes we live in an age of purchasing fresh pane from our local panificio bakery but where's the fun or should I say challenge in that! Once you get over the sore arms and place that bundle of work into your ready hot oven, just wait... For the aroma of freshly baked bread...delizioso! Godere ...

3 1/2 cups of bread flour
Plus extra for dusting
7g dried yeast
2tblespn olive oil
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water 

Mix flour, yeast & salt together in a large bowl. 
Make a well in a centre.

Gradually mix the liquid into the farina flour mixture with a round bladed knife. Gather the mixture together with your hands to form a soft dough. 

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Now start kneading! Impastare for 5-7 minutes or until the dough becomes very smooth and elastic. 

Return the dough to a greased bowl and cover with cling wrap, then leave to resto in a warm area of your cucina for about an 1 hour! It should double in size roughly. 

Turn out and gently impastare again for 1 minute or until smooth. 

Preheat the forno to 200 c/400 f. Oil a sheet of baking paper. Shape the dough into an oval shape and transfer onto the prepared paper. Cover with a clean tea towel or oiled cling wrap and leave to rise for 30 minutes. 

Make several slashes in the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Bake in the preheated forno for 30-35 minutes. 

To test the pane is cooked. Turn it overand tap it on the base. If it sounds hollow, it's cotto cooked! 

Leave to cool on a wire rack and godere...

MamaG xx 

Prosciutto and Spinach Arancini...ricotta e spinaci arrancini

  • Lunch pranzo is the perfect time to create arancini a or "cruncy rice balls" as my bambini like to say They are simply delizioso...there is something about their delightful crunchiness and the soft centre that oozes in your mouth. Arancini are very popular in la Mia casa and its amazing the different types you can come up with. This is a much lighter version than the popular bolognese Arancini. It works well as a lovey lunch dish with a side of crisp green salad. Godere... 


Hheat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until softened. Add prosciutto. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until golden.

Add rice. Stir to coat in mixture. Cook for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup hot stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, in batches, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Add parmesan and spinach. Stir until spinaci has wilted. Season with pepper. Set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate for some 2 to 3 hours or until cool.

Place flour on a plate. Place egg in a bowl. Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Using wet hands, roll 1 tablespoon risotto mixture into a ball. Using your thumb, make an indent in centre of ball. Place 1 piece of mozzarella in indent. Shape risotto mixture around formaggio to enclose. Repeat with remaining risotto mixture and mozzarella.

Dip a ball in flour, then egg and breadcrumbs. Place arancini balls on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Cook arancini, in batches, turning, for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Drain. Cover with foil to keep warm. Serve with limone.

Godere... MamaG xxx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Lets make an Omelette.... lascia fare una frittata

Italian cucina doesn't always have to be about carbs and loads of cheese, there  are ways to serve up your favourite meals with a healthier approach. 
So why not start with the most important meal of the day...prima colazione

The Italian Omelette is both light and heathy. For a vegetarian version, substitute the ham for mushrooms.

Olive Oil
2 red onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 slices fat free leg ham
4 eggs lightly beaten
8 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup of skim milk
1 tablespoon grated reduced fat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
200g reduced fat ricotta

Heat a small frying pan over low heat and add small amount of olive oil. Gently cook the onions, garlic and ham for a few verbale (minutes) until softened.

Combine eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, and oregano in a mixing bowl. Remove the onion mixture from the heat, allow to cool and fold into the eggs.

Add a little more oil to the frying pan and pour a quarter of the mixtures into the pan. Cook overs medium heat until it begin to set. Sprinkle 50g of the ricotta over one half of the omelette and use a spatula to fold over the other side to cover.

Cook for a further 5 verbale loosen the base and sides gently slide the omelette out of the pan. Repeat with remaining mixture.

Godere....MamaG xx

I have returned! Lets Cook! .....Sono Tornato! lascia cuoco!

Ciao fellow foodies! Sono Tornato. Things in la Mia casa have been busy of late and it was requested by my little bambini, that we have a break from Italian cuisine every night! Oh mama Mia! You can just imagine my reaction but I was out numbered and have been trying my hand at a few different dishes, way out of my comfort zone! stir fries, the humble steak & pomme frites (yes I just spoke french!) and even a little spicy morrocan. Which pains me to say some of these exotic cuisines can be quite delizioso!

But that's not why we're here. we have a love affair with Italy. And I have kindly been given the green light to jump back into the cucina and do what MamaG does best! CUCINARE ITALIANO!


So lets start with the most important meal of the day...prima colazione! Keep an eye out for my healthy Italiano Frittata in my next blog.  

Godere....MamaG xx