Italian Recipes

Yummy Pizza Scrolls Recipe

What’s better than pizza? Pizza scrolls, of course! This yummy recipe can be served as both a main or an appetiser and can be altered to suit your own dietary requirements. If you do decide to recreate this recipe, make sure to tag us on Instagram: @shesaid!

RELATED: Top Tips For The Perfect Pizza

Ingredients:

4 1/2 tsp active dried yeast

1 tsp granulated sugar

1 cup milk, warmed

1 cup rice flour plus extra for dusting

1 cup potato flour

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1 tsp xanthan gum

Pinch salt

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 egg, beaten

Filling

4 tbsp canned tomatoes, crushed

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3oz wafer-thin ham, shredded

Handful fresh basil, chopped

Method:

  1. Place the yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes, until frothy. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and the salt.
  2. Mix the oil and egg into the yeast mixture and pour this into the flour mixture, using a fork to bring the mixture together. Tip it out onto a surface dusted lightly with rice flour and knead for 5 minutes, adding a little flour if the mixture becomes sticky.
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until well risen.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On the floured surface, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12×10 inches, spread with the crushed tomatoes, then sprinkle over the other toppings. Roll the pizza up from one long edge, then slice into eight pieces.
  5. Place the rolled-up scrolls, side-by-side, on a lightly oiled heavy baking sheet. They should be pushed up against each other so the sides are touching. Place in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden.

Recipe via Great Gluten-Free Baking by Louise Blair, Image via Taste

July 3, 2015

The Most Incredible Homemade Pizza You Will Ever Taste

When it comes to making homemade pizza it’s all about the base. One of my closest friends gave me this recipe and it’s seriously so good that you will never call a home delivered pizza ever again. And the smell… OMG! The smell that will fill your home as it’s cooking will bring even the fussiest eaters to the table. It’s absolutely mouthwatering and has been described as the best pizza my kids have ever eaten. Sorry Domino’s!

RELATED Left Over Cooked Chook: 5 Minutes Sensational Stir-Fry

Once you’ve got this base down pat, you can then experiment with savoury or sweet flavors. This will turn your pizza into something unique and sensational every time. It’s all about getting creative, mixing flavours, or using whatever you have on hand. It’s cheap, versatile and everyone will love it!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

150 ml of warm tempered water

1 sachet of dry yeast (Tandaco yeast is recommended)

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

Topping ingredients of your choice

Method

  1. Turn on the oven and heat it to 220-240 degrees. You will need to let the yeast rise for a while in the bowl and the warmth generated on the stove top is a perfect place to enable this to happen prior to cooking.
  2. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Inside the well, place the yeast, salt, and sugar and let it sit for about one minute.
  4. Pour the water in slowly and fold it in with a wooden spoon.
  5. When the ingredients are roughly mixed together, use your hands to mix it into a pliable consistency.
  6. Shape it into a ball and leave it in the bowl.
  7. Cover with a tea-towel and leave it in a warm position (for example on top of the stove) for about an hour. The warmth will activate the yeast and this will allow the mixture to rise.
  8. After an hour or so, flour a bread board or flat surface. The mixture may need either more water or flour depending on the environment. You need to try to achieve a pliable consistency as you gradually kneed the dough. Don’t over do it however, because this can effect the end result.
  9. Kneed it into a ball shape and roll it out with a floured rolling pin. If you don’t have one you can place it into a large flour coated pizza tray or a square tray equivalent and spread it out with your palm. Make sure you don’t thin it out too much because it’s best as thick based pizza dough.
  10. Your home-made pizza base is now ready to be topped with your choice of topping and put into the oven for about 30-45 minutes.

That’s it! Once you get the hang of it the dough will be pretty much perfect every time.

Image via dishmaps.com

June 30, 2015

Classic Tomato And Mozzarella Pizza Recipe

Nobody can resist a classic mozzarella pizza and we have found the perfect recipe for you to try. While there’s the option of choosing a pre-made base, we highly recommend starting from scratch – it’s worth the extra hours of waiting!

RELATED: Avocado and Cherry Tomato Toast

Ingredients

3 tbsp tomato base

150g cherry tomatoes

1/4 red onion (sliced)

1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

1/2 ball mozzarella (sliced)

1 tsp oregano

Black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line a tray with baking paper.

2. Spread the pizza base with tomato passata and top off with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, then the mozzarella.

3. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Image via Epicurious

June 21, 2015

Traditional Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta Recipe

A traditional Italian bruschetta is undoubtedly an appetiser which everyone enjoys. The sweet taste of ripe tomatoes on a bed of crispy, baguette bread is always a good choice, and our recipe below certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Serve with a side of fresh salad and a crisp white or rosé wine to start off your evening.

RELATED: Italian Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe

Ingredients

1 baguette

2 cloves garlic

300g mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup black olives

3 ripe tomatoes (diced)

Basil leaves

Method

  1. Finely slice your baguette and cook in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool.
  2. Slice the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a pan with garlic and olive oil, then marinate each side into the mixture.
  4. Slice the mozzarella and apply as the first layer on the baguette. Follow up with the diced tomato, chopped olives, sprinkle of olive oil, and finish with a leaf of basil.

Image via Ann Arbor

March 17, 2015

Classic Montanara Pizza Recipe

Indulge in a delicious pizza this weekend which is super simple to whip-up, and will even please the pickiest of eaters.

The traditional Italian recipe features canned tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a hint of basil for an authentic taste. Create your own dough, or use a frozen variety from the supermarket if you’re strapped for time.

RELATED: Top Tips For The Perfect Pizza 

Ingredients

Canned San Marzano tomatoes

Fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella

1/2 cup grana padano

Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Strain the canned tomatoes and concentrate them on the inside of your pizza. If you don’t like a thick consistency, use just half of the can.
  2. Place the fresh mozzarella into the centre and follow with the grana padano. Using two cheeses gives it a unique taste (if you’re watching your weight, stick to just one).
  3. Throw on a few basil leaves for that fresh flavour and a pinch of salt over the top.
  4. While the traditional recipe is then fried, we recommend baking it in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. This type of pizza is beautiful when paired with a sangiovese since it corresponds with the tomatoes.

Image via Serious Eats

March 16, 2015

Classic Pepperoni and Mozzarella Pizza

Nothing beats cheesy pizza on a Friday night accompanied with a glass or two of red wine. Rather than ordering take out, make your own classic pepperoni and mozzarella pizza which looks and tastes better!

Season with basil for an extraordinary taste which is better than anything pre-made, or found at the supermarket.

RELATED: Top Tips For The Perfect Pizza

Ingredients

3 cups pizza dough

3 tbsp tomato paste

10-12 slices hot pepperoni

1/4 red onion

Rocket leaves

200g sliced mozzarella

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a thin tray with baking paper.
  2. Roll out the dough onto a surface dusted with flour, then use a rolling pin to make it about 0.5cm thick.
  3. Spread the pizza base with tomato paste, then cover with pepperoni, red onion, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, then sprinkle the fresh rocket over the pizza. Season with basil for a fresh taste.

Image via Baccarat

February 5, 2015

Make Your Own Pesto At Home

Basil Pesto is the tasty green condiment often found in Italian cuisine. You can make it into a delicious pasta sauce, drizzle over pizza, eat with cheese and crostini, or have it with eggs – pesto is versatile, healthy and delicious. Fortunately, it is also easy to make at home!

Related: Broccoli Pesto and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

1/2 cup pine nuts

3-4 cloves garlic (I think the more, the merrier!)

3 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan into a food processor and blend on a slow speed. Gradually add the oil, while the ingredients are mixing. Blend well.
  2. Taste and add salt and pepper if preferred, and stir to ensure the taste is consistent.
  3. Transfer mixture into jars and refrigerate.
January 16, 2015

Top Tips For The Perfect Pizza

We asked some of the best pizza experts in town to give us their top tips in creating the most amazing pizza possible.

RELATED: Twisted Pizza Breadsticks Recipe

What is the best temperature to cook pizza?

Every oven varies slightly. If you are making your own pizza dough, cook it on the highest heat for 13-15 minutes. A pre-cooked base, like the Woolworths Gold Traditional Pizza Bases, should be cooked at 200 degrees Celsius in a fan-forced oven for 10-12 minutes.

Extra tip: When making chicken pizzas, always use pre-cooked chicken and cook the pizza for the same time as you would any other pizza.

How do I know when my pizza is ready?

The underside of the base of your pizza should be golden brown and all the cheese should be completely melted.

What cheese should I use?

Use mozzarella cheese for a traditional chewy, stringy texture, or try buffalo mozzarella for a creamy authentic Italian finish. Create your own unique flavour using a mixture of these cheeses along with your own favourites.

What’s the best way to cut pizza?

It’s always best to use a pizza cutter. Cut the pizza into quarters first and then cut those quarters in half.

Perfect topping combinations

Four cheeses is a classic that never fails. For something a little more fancy, try Portobello Mushroom and Tallegio cheese.

Woolworths chefs and product development specialists have developed the perfect flavour combinations for the premium Gold range including Calabrese Salami and Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese, Chicken and Pancetta, and Margherita drizzled with basil oil.

October 6, 2014

Baked Risotto Rice Balls Recipe

This is a perfect way to get your children eating rice when they find it difficult to use a spoon. Fussy feeders will enjoy feeding themselves and the flavour possibilities are endless. This recipe is for a simple mushroom risotto which you can make into small balls. You can use any leftover risotto you like.

Serves 4 or more

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, finely diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups reduced salt stock or water

2 cups diced mushroom

3 frozen spinach cubes or 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup grated parmesan

2 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs (or gluten-free alternative, such as corn crumbs)

Method

  1. Heat a pan over a medium-low heat. Add half the oil and pan-fry garlic and onion. Add rice and lightly pan-fry, then add 1/2 cup stock/water and stir until absorbed. Keep adding stock a bit at a time until rice is cooked.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat a separate pan, add remaining oil and fry mushrooms until lightly brown. Add spinach and cook until mushrooms are tender and water from the spinach has evaporated.
  3. When rice is cooked, add in spinach, mushrooms and parmesan. Stir through.
  4. Place risotto in a shallow dish and let it cool in the fridge.
  5. To make the risotto balls, lightly whisk eggs with a fork and place crumbs in another bowl.
  6. Scoop out a golf ball-size handful of rice mixture, dip into the eggs and then dip into the breadcrumbs. Mould in your hands.
  7. Place into a lined tray and repeat. Spray with oil spray.
  8. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced. Cook risotto balls for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe via The Healthy Mummy

August 23, 2014

Twisted Pizza Breadsticks Recipe

Calling all pizza-lovers, this recipe is something you definitely need to try at least once! Twisted pizza breadsticks are the perfect party snack if you’re entertaining, or merely just want to create a yummy treat which everyone will enjoy. However, feel free to substitute any ingredients if they don’t fit in with your eating plan.

Ingredients

900g frozen bread dough, thawed in the refrigerator for 24 hours

350g pizza sauce (feel free to make your own)

1 bag mini pepperoni or other topping of your choice

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning or dried basil and oregano

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200ºC or alternatively 180ºC fan forced.
  2. Roll out each loaf of dough to a thick rectangle which is as big as your hand. Make sure the surfaced has been well-floured, to avoid any sticky mess.
  3. Then spread about 3 tablespoons of pizza sauce over each rectangle you create. Don’t put too much – only enough to just cover the surface.
  4. Sprinkle the pepperoni, other toppings or vegetables of your choice on each rectangle before doing the same with the mozzarella cheese.
  5. Now pat down the toppings and twist 2 times before placing each rectangle on lined baking paper. Sprinkle a touch of parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning before popping them into the oven.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, then remove and let them cool on the tray.
  7. Serve alone or with your favourite dipping sauce.

Recipe and Image via Andi Gleeson

July 22, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta Recipe By Chef Massimo Mele

Chef Massimo Mele has drawn on the flavours he experienced while growing up in Naples when putting together the menu at La Scala on Jersey, a restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Woolahra. Massimo joins the team as executive chef and has delivered a modern take on  the original as well as his own traditional Italian dishes.

Massimo aims to bring to life his ethos of “tutti a tavola” – meaning “everyone to the table” to share food and wine with friends and family, for a casual dinner or a celebration. He shares one of his signature dishes with SheSaid:

Angel hair Pasta with Fresh Tuna, Chili, Rocket and Capers

Serves: 6


Ingredients

500g angel hair pasta

400g tuna loin, cut into 5cm pieces and sliced ½ cm thick

2 chillies, deseeded, thinly sliced

120ml lemon juice

100g rocket (2 large handfuls)

¼ cup parsley, chopped

½ cup/150mls extra virgin olive oil

40ml chilli oil

1 clove garlic, finely crushed

3 tbsp baby capers

3 tbsp finely grated parmesan

Method

1. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, chili oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the angel hair pasta and cook until al dente. Strain.

3. Meanwhile, place the tuna, sliced chilli, capers, grated parmesan, parsley and rocket in a bowl ready for the cooked pasta to be tossed through. Once the pasta is ready, toss the pasta in with the tuna salad mix and pour over the dressing. Gently mix the pasta until combined.

4. Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.

March 26, 2014

Neil Perry’s Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce Recipe

Meatballs are one of our go-to beef mince recipes, but pick up some minced pork and a jar of chipotle chillies in adobo sauce and you’ll have classic meatballs with a Mexican twist thanks to celebrity chef Neil Perry. A delicious spin on your everyday spaghetti and meatballs.

Recipes and images from Simply Good Food by Neil Perry, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.99

Love these, look Italian, could only be Mexican when you taste them. The chipotle in adobo sauce is awesome to have around the kitchen. Add to any sauce for a fantastic smoky lift and I love them chopped through a vinaigrette for a salad. Serve these with tortillas for a fresh taco or serve them with rice or potatoes for a hearty tasty meal. If you really want to have a fab lunch, make a sandwich out of them. So damn good!

Makes about 18 meatballs

Ingredients

300 g minced (ground) beef
300 g minced (ground) pork
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60 g (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, organic, if possible
1 tablespoon milk
extra virgin olive oil
Manchego or pecorino cheese, to serve

Sauce
4 ripe tomatoes
6 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (see note)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock

Method

1. For the chipotle sauce, place the tomatoes, chillies and their sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt in a blender. Add the stock and process until quite smooth.

2. For the meatballs, place the beef, pork, cumin, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper in a bowl. Mix well, then stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs and milk. To check the seasoning, cook a small amount of mixture and taste it. Form the mince mixture into small walnut-sized balls.

3. Heat a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown gently for 2 minutes. Add the sauce and cook gently for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium–low and cook, uncovered, until the sauce reduces to about half its original volume and coats the meatballs.

4. To serve, spoon the meatballs onto a serving plate and grate a little Manchego or pecorino over the top.

NOTE: Chipotle chillies are red jalapeños that have been smoked and dried. Adobo sauce is typically flavoured with spices such as paprika, bay leaves and oregano. The two are available together in tins at selected delis and Mexican food suppliers. 

simplygoodfood

What makes your meatballs the best? Share in the comments!

December 2, 2013

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

One of our go-to beef mince recipes is meatballs. This best-ever spaghetti and meatballs recipe from the fabulous new cookbook New York Cult Recipes uses pork and beef mince, roasting the meatballs in the oven before simmering them in a classic Italian tomato sauce. Feel-good, comfort food at its best.

Recipes and images from New York Cult Recipes by Marc Grossman, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.95. Makes a great Christmas gift idea for the New York lover in your life.

Nothing fancy here. Big, authentic meatballs, a generous smothering of home-made tomato sauce, a little grated parmesan on top and some garlic bread. Good old-fashioned American–Italian food.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Meatballs
250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) beef
250 g (9 oz) minced (ground) pork
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 egg, beaten
50 g (1 3/4 oz) parmesan cheese, grated
50 g (1 3/4 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
100 ml (3. fl oz) milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Tomato sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon each of finely chopped carrot and celery
45 ml (1 1/2 fl oz) olive oil
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pinches dried oregano (or basil)
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) water

Garlic bread
1 baguette (not too thin)
100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped

Other ingredients
400 g (14 oz) spaghetti

Method

The meatballs
Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix all of the ingredients together until combined and form 10 –12 large meatballs with your hands. Arrange them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

The tomato sauce
Meanwhile, sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in the crushed garlic and cook for another minute before adding the oregano, tomato passata and water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and a pinch of raw (demerara) sugar if you like. Add the meatballs and simmer for 15 minutes just before serving.

The garlic bread
Preheat the oven to 180C. Split the baguette in half lengthways. Mix all the other ingredients into a paste. Spread this mixture on the cut sides of the bread and place the two halves on a baking tray with the buttered sides up. Bake for about 10 minutes until they’re slightly browned. Slice and serve with the dish.

Spaghetti
While you’re making the garlic bread, start cooking the spaghetti. Cook in boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and serve with the meatballs and tomato sauce. Offer garlic bread on the side.

newyorkcultrecipes

November 27, 2013

Karen Martini’s Vanilla and Rosemary Panna Cotta Recipe

This easy panna cotta recipe from Karen Martini’s latest cookbook Everyday is the perfect summer dessert to serve at holiday parties or relaxed get-togethers. The crunchy biscotti crumbled over the top provides great texture to the luscious custard-like dessert.

I am head over heels in love with this flavour combination. The scorched lemon syrup brings a bitter hint that is a perfect accent to the sweet richness of the panna cotta – Karen Martini.

Everyday by Karen Martini, published by Pan Macmillan, RRP $39.95.

Serves: 10

Ingredients

3 1/2 gold-strength gelatine sheets
750 ml cream
370 ml milk
120 g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 rosemary sprigs
biscotti, to serve

Scorched Lemon Syrup

250 g caster sugar
zest and juice of 5 lemons (approximately 350 ml of juice) with the zest added to the juice

Method

1. Soak the gelatine in very cold water for 1 minute.

2. Combine the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and rosemary in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until just starting to simmer. Remove from the heat.

3. Drain the gelatine and squeeze out any water. Drop the gelatine into the cream mixture and stir well. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Pour into ten 120-ml plastic panna cotta moulds, fill to 1 cm below the top, cool, cover and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.

4. To make the lemon syrup, put the sugar into a heavy-based, scrupulously clean medium–large saucepan and heat over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally to help dissolve the sugar, for 8 minutes until a dark caramel.

5. Remove from the heat and carefully add the lemon juice and zest (the very hot caramel will splatter). Let the sizzle subside a little. Stir and return to the heat and

bring to a simmer, continuously stirring until the syrup residue on the bottom of the pan has been incorporated into the sauce. Take off the heat, pour into a clean jar and chill.

6. To turn out the panna cotta, tip each mould to one side to create an air pocket, rotate the mould and invert onto a plate. You should not need to dip in hot water. However, if you have trouble with getting them out with this method, dip the mould in boiling water for 30 seconds and they should slip out easily.

7. Spoon the cooled lemon syrup over and around the plate and serve sprinkled with crushed biscotti.

karenmartinieveryday

 

October 30, 2013

Silvia’s Cucina’s Fresh Pasta Squares with Ricotta + Vegetables

Italian food lover, blogger and actress Silvia Colloca shares her easy fresh pasta recipe – sagne a pezze – topped with a simple ricotta and vegetable sauce from her new cookbook Silvia’s Cucina.

This is a very popular dish in the mountainous villages of Abruzzo. My second cousins run a restaurant in Torricella, and they serve freshly made pasta squares in a simple but splendid tomato sauce, crowned with a generous dollop of cow’s-milk ricotta (full-cream and unpasteurised). This is my personal take on the classic dish, devised to celebrate the crisp sweetness of spring vegetables.

When Nonna Irene taught me to make sagne, she wasn’t her usual vague self about size and measures. She insisted  the squares must be an even 2.5 cm × 2.5 cm. Given that this is the only time she has ever advocated precision in the kitchen, I make it a point to follow her instructions to the letter.

silviascucinarecipe

Extract from the book ‘Silvia’s Cucina’ by Silvia Colloca, & photography by Chris Chen, published by Lantern, RRP $39.99 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 quantity of egg pasta dough , rolled into 2.5 mm thick sheets
coarse semolina, for dusting

Ricotta and vegetable sauce

3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 clove garlic, skin on, bashed with the back of a knife
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced
150 g broad beans with pods removed salt flakes
150 g full-cream ricotta finely grated zest of 1 lemon small mint leaves, to garnish freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Dust the pasta with semolina, then cut into 2.5 cm squares. Place them in one layer on a tea towel or wooden board generously dusted  with semolina.

2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat, add the garlic and spring onion and cook for 1–2 minutes  or until fragrant. Add the zucchini and and cook, tossing often, for 5–6 minutes or until golden. Turn off the heat.

4. When the water comes to a rolling boil, drop in the broad beans and cook for 1–2 minutes. Lift them out with a slotted  spoon and rinse them under cold water to arrest  the cooking. Peel off the skins and add them to the zucchini and season with salt.

5. Return the water to the boil, then gently drop in the pasta squares and cook for 1–2 minutes  or until nicely al dente.

6. Turn the heat back on under the zucchini and broad bean mixture and remove the garlic clove. Using a slotted spoon, take out the cooked pasta squares and add them to the pan, along with a little pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta through the vegetables for 1–2 minutes or until well coated with the sauce. Add a little more pasta cooking water if the sauce looks a bit dry.

7. Divide the pasta and vegetables among shallow bowls and top with a good dollop of ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil. Scatter over the lemon zest and mint leaves and finish with a grinding of pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Note
Sagne a pezze are also quite wonderful dressed with roasted tomato sugo or Abruzzese-styl meat sauce.

silviascucina

October 24, 2013

Silvia’s Cucina’s Chocolate and Hazelnut Truffle Cake Recipe

Italian food lover, blogger and actress Silvia Colloca shares her flourless chocolate hazelnut truffle cake recipe from her new cookbook Silvia’s Cucina.

I feel beholden to this simple flourless cake. The moment I posted the recipe on the blog, back in June 2011, I knew something in my short-lived blogger life had changed. Comments started trickling in, and that trickle soon became a torrent! It seems that this traditional cake from Piemonte speaks a language that everybody is fluent in: chocolate. But to call this a chocolate cake doesn’t really do it justice.

There is so much more to it than that.

What makes this indulgent cake so alluring  is the addition  of Frangelico and coffee-spiked cocoa paste. This blissful blend somehow ‘chocifies’ the chocolate: it is chocolate to the power of 10. So if you love a gentle, sweet, milk-chocolate cake, torta gianduja is not for you. But if you are a true believer, a proud chocolate addict, read on . . . 

chocolatecake

Extract from the book ‘Silvia’s Cucina’ by Silvia Colloca, & photography by Chris Chen, published by Lantern, RRP $39.99 

Serves: 8

Ingredients

150 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
160 g dark 70% chocolate, broken into pieces, or dark chocolate chips
pinch of salt flakes
2½ tablespoons hot espresso coffee
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Frangelico or rum
4 eggs
250 g brown sugar
1 cup (100 g) hazelnut meal
1 handful of roasted, roughly chopped hazelnuts
whipped cream and fresh berries, to serve

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line a 24 cm round cake tin with baking paper. (You could also use a smaller tin, in which case the cake will be higher.)

2. Melt the butter, chocolate and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). When melted, remove from the heat.

3. Whisk together the hot coffee and cocoa powder in a bowl until there  are no lumps. Stir in the vanilla and Frangelico or rum, then add to the melted chocolate and mix to combine.

4. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the brown sugar and beat with a whisk or hand-held electric beaters until creamy. Pour into the chocolate mixture,  then stir in the hazelnut meal and chopped hazelnuts.

5. Pour the batter into the tin. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until the edges are firm and the surface is cracked but feels soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 1 hour, then gently turn  out the cake and sit it on a cake stand.

6. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with whipped cream and your favourite  berries.

Note
This cake tastes even better the next day. If making a day ahead , store it in its tin at room temperature, and garnish with cocoa powder, berries and cream just before serving.

silviascucina

October 22, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Vegemite, Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pizza

Make tonight pizza tonight with this delicious Vegemite, sweet potato and rosemary pizza recipe. The Vegemite adds great savoury flavour which compliments the roasted sweet potato and fragrant rosemary. Making your own thin and crispy pizza base couldn’t be easier with our foolproof pizza dough recipe (or just use pita bread for instant pita pizzas!).

Ingredients

300g kumera (sweet potato), peeled and thinly sliced
Garlic olive oil spray
1 1/2 tablespoons Vegemite
Rosemary sprigs
2/3 cup grated mozzarella or tasty cheddar cheese

Pizza Dough
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

1. Place the potato on a paper lined baking tray and spray with oil. Bake in a hot oven 200oC for 20-25 minutes or until just tender.

2. Sift together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and oil and stir to make dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

3. Roll out dough on a floured surface to make a rough 20 x 30 cm rectangle and place on a large, lightly floured baking tray. Spread with Vegemite and then top with kumera, rosemary and cheese. Bake in a hot oven 200oC for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

October 17, 2013

Healthy Desserts: Mixed Berry Yoghurt Panna Cotta Recipe

When you want to satisfy a sweet tooth but don’t want to overindulge, it’s not always easy finding healthy dessert ideas. This mixed summer berry yoghurt panna cotta is creamy and decadent, without the fat or calories.

And with October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the corner, this pretty pink dessert would be a showstopper to serve at any pink-themed high tea or morning tea you might be hosting or attending.

Even better, SKI has pledged to donate $350,000 to fund a McGrath Breast Care Nurse and has turned its 1kg pots of D’lite, Divine and Soleil pink for a limited time only.

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours to set 

Serves: 4

Ingredients 

2 leaf gelatine sheets (14g)
150g summer berries, fresh or frozen
125g fresh raspberries
350ml Ski D’lite Smashed Berry yoghurt (99% fat free)
400ml reduced fat milk
30g caster sugar
100g Ski Divine Vanilla Creme yoghurt

Method

1. In a bowl add some cold water and the leaf gelatine; the leaf gelatine should be covered with the water.

2. In a saucepan add the sugar and the milk, place on stove and heat up, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the milk mixture just to the boil and take off the heat.

3. In a food processor blend the summer berries to a puree.

4. Remove the gelatine sheets from the cold water, they should be soft and pliable, add them to the hot milk mixture and stir through until dissolved.

5. Add the summer berry puree and the berry yoghurt to the hot milk mixture and stir through.

5. Pour the finished hot milk mixture into serving glasses and place in the refrigerator to set (minimum time 2 hours).

6. To serve: using a tablespoon scoop a spoon full of vanilla yoghurt on top of the panna cotta. Arrange fresh raspberries on top of the vanilla yoghurt and serve.

What are your favourite pink recipe ideas?

September 26, 2013

Best-Ever Pasta Bolognese Recipe

Elevate your midweek pasta dinner with our best-ever Bolognese recipe – a great way to hide vegetables from the kids. Instead of serving over spaghetti, we like to dollop the ragu into pasta shells, then grill for 5 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the edges of the pasta shells.

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

400g button mushrooms
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g beef mince
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ cup tomato sauce
800g can chopped tomatoes
400g large pasta shells
Finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Method
1. Place mushrooms and zucchini in a food processor, use pulse button to finely chop. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with onion, carrot and celery.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, mushroom mixture, and garlic. Cook, stirring 5-8 minutes or until soft.

3. Add mince, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until browned all over. Add oregano and cook a further 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

4. Cook pasta shells in a saucepan of boiling salted water following packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

5. Combine pasta and sauce, mix well. Scatter with cheese and serve. For an interesting touch, place in an oven-proof dish and heat under a hot grill for 5 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the pasta shells slightly.

What’s your favourite midweek pasta recipe?

September 3, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken Pizza Recipe

We love homemade pizza, especially on a Friday night or weekend when you can have some fun experimenting with different toppings. This is one of our favourite pizza recipes and a great way to use chicken breasts. Make your own pizza dough or buy a ready-made pizza base (ask at your local pizzeria). We like to cook it on the BBQ but it works just as well in a hot oven.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsps McCormick Mediterranean Chicken Grill Mates seasoning
2 x 250g skinless chicken breast fillets, trimmed and sliced
2 x 30cm gourmet thin ready-made pizza bases
250g (1 cup) tomato pizza sauce
250g (2 cups) grated mozzarella cheese
1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
1 red onion, peeled, halved and sliced
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Method

1. Preheat oven or BBQ with a hood to 200ºC (180ºC fan –forced).

2. Combine oil, McCormick Mediterranean Chicken Grill Mates seasoning and chicken fillets in a bowl and coat well.

3. Place pizza bases onto two greased pizza trays. Spread tomato sauce over the pizza bases then top with the mozzarella, chicken, capsicum, red onion.

4. Cook for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and base is golden and crispy.

5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil leaves. Serve warm, cut into wedges.

Thin and crispy or deep dish? Anchovies or pineapple? We want to know – what’s your all-time favourite pizza?

August 22, 2013

Easy Dessert Recipes: Affogato

Throwing a dinner party for friends? Or looking for a simple dessert recipe that really impresses? Quick and easy to make, affogato is a traditional yet delicious Italian dessert and a clever way to combine the after-dinner coffee with a sweet ice-cream treat.

To ensure you’re serving the best tasting coffee every time, consider using the new DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS fully automatic coffee machine.

Affogato is so easy to make, it doesn’t even need a recipe. Just follow these five steps to make the perfect affogato dessert:

1. Fill a glass, mug or small bowl with 2-3 scoops of your favourite flavour ice-cream or gelato

2. Select the double espresso function on your coffee machine – try the PrimaDonna XS for best results – and pop a glass underneath each spout to capture two shots with one button to save you time

3. Pour a shot of hot espresso coffee over the ice cream

4. For an extra hit of flavour add an extra shot of chocolate, coffee-flavoured liqueur like Kahlua or even a couple of chocolate-coated coffee beans

5. For those with a really sweet tooth try adding whipped cream to your affogato or serve with biscotti for that finishing touch

What’s your favourite coffee dessert recipe?

August 16, 2013

Stefano Manfredi’s Creamy Chestnut Tiramisu

How amazing does this tiramisu look? Celebrity chef Stefano Manfredi updates a classic tiramisu with the autumnal flavours of chestnuts – the ultimate dessert to serve when entertaining.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

500g fresh chestnuts (or 350g frozen peeled)

250ml milk

3 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

300g mascarpone

32 Savoiardi biscuits (Italian sponge fingers)

400ml water

4 tbs cocoa powder plus 1 tsp for dusting

Method

1. Score chestnuts by cutting a shallow cross on the flat side with the tip of a sharp knife and place in boiling water for 10 minutes. Peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. They’ll peel better when still warm. Make sure both skin and fine inner pellicle are removed.

2. Put 8 peeled chestnuts aside and thinly slice them. Place the rest in a small pot with milk, brown sugar and vanilla essence. Simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes until chestnuts become very soft. Remove from heat and place aside to cool. Once cool place in a food processor and blend till smooth. It may be necessary to add 3-4 tablespoons more of milk to get a creamy consistency.

3. Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar together until the mixture becomes pale.

4. Beat the whites in a separate bowl until they form fluffy peaks.

5. Mix the yolk and sugar mixture together with the mascarpone, and then fold the whites in gradually.

6. Mix 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 100ml of water to make it easier to dissolve, then add remaining 300ml.

7. Soak the Savoiardi in the chocolate water, dipping them two at a time for a second on each side, then arrange a layer of 8 soaked biscuits on the bottom of a high-sided ceramic container around 16cm square.

8. Spread on a layer of the mascarpone and then dollop on some chestnut puree, spreading with a spatula. Repeat the process until all the biscuits and mascarpone have been used up, finishing with a layer of mascarpone on top. Scatter the sliced chestnuts over and sprinkle with remaining cocoa powder.

What’s your favourite way to cook with chestnuts?

May 22, 2013

Creamy Salmon Risotto

This delicious risotto is perfect for an easy midweek dinner, with chunks of hot smoked salmon, spinach and luscious creme fraiche.

Serves 4

Ingredients

150g Tassal Hot Smoked Salmon Flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 cups arborio rice

5 cups chicken stock, hot

2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice

100g spinach leaves, chopped

100g parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup crème fraiche

Handful frozen peas

Cracked pepper to taste

Dill sprigs to serve

1 lime, cut into wedges to serve

Method

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add the arborio rice to the pan and toast for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice and rind to the stock.

2. Add the stock one ladle at a time to the rice, stirring well after each addition until all of the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the spinach leaves, crème fraiche and peas until well combined.

3. Fold in the flaked salmon. Serve immediately seasoned with cracked pepper and garnish with sprigs of dill leaves and a wedge of lime.

What’s your favourite risotto?

April 24, 2013

Stefano Manfredi’s Hearty Chicken With Chestnuts And Mushrooms

Celebrity chef Stefano Manfredi dishes up one of his favourite autumn recipes: chicken simmered with heavenly chestnuts and mushrooms with Asian flavours of ginger, soy and star anise.

Serves 8

Ingredients

250g fresh chestnuts (or 200g frozen peeled chestnuts)

8 dried shiitake mushrooms

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3cm-long piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices

1 onion, peeled, cut in half and then cut into ¼ cm wedges

8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on

8 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on

5 tbs dark soy sauce

125ml dry sherry

1 tbs caster sugar

2 pinches salt

1 whole star anise

½ tsp cracked pepper

250ml water

Method

1. Score chestnuts by cutting a shallow cross on the flat side with the tip of a sharp knife and place in boiling water for 5 minutes till tender. Peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. They’ll peel better when still warm. Make sure both skin and fine inner pellicle are removed.

2. Cut chestnuts in half and reserve. Place dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, remove stem, cut each mushroom in half and reserve.

3. Heat a large, heavy pot and add oil. When it begins to smoke add ginger and onion. Stir for 15 seconds and then add chicken thighs and drumsticks. Keep turning chicken until skin is golden making sure onions and ginger doesn’t burn. Add soy sauce, half the sherry, sugar and salt. Stir well so the soy has completely coloured the chicken. Add the star anise, pepper and the water and stir well.

4. Turn down to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Keep simmering for 15 minutes occasionally turning the chicken. Add the remaining sherry, the chestnuts and the mushrooms. Mix in, cover and simmer gently for another 15 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes then serve with steamed rice.

What’s your favourite chestnut recipe?

April 23, 2013

Meat-Free Mondays: Homemade Pizza Two Ways

Our homemade pizza dough couldn’t be easier and our recipe makes enough for two pizzas: make one with butternut squash and feta and the other with pesto and caramelised onions – yum!

Ingredients

For the pizza dough

300 g strong flour

170 ml water

½ teaspoon instant yeast

a large pinch of salt

1 tablespoon plain flour

For the topping

pesto

¼ butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced into crescent shapes

1 garlic clove, finely sliced olive oil

2 large red onions, cut into 24 wedges

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

40 g soft brown sugar

100 ml water

100 g mozzarella

100 g feta

olive oil

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. To make the pizza dough add all the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the water. Allow the ingredients to combine and continue kneading the dough on a low speed for about 10 minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer bowl, cover it with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about an hour.

3. Place the butternut squash and garlic into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over some salt. Cook in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes. When the squash is cooked remove from the oven and increase the heat to 200°C.

4. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan, add the onions and allow to brown for about 5 minutes or so. Add the water, balsamic vinegar and soft brown sugar. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the saucepan and reduce the heat. Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. You should finish up with sweet, sticky, deep purple onions.

5. Divide the dough in two. Dust the work surface with flour and roll each one out to about 30–35cm rounds. They should be nice and thin. Place each pizza base on a baking tray.

6. Spread a fine layer of pesto on each base. On 1 base add the caramelised onion — you won’t need all of it – then tear the mozzarella and place on the pizza. On the other base add the butternut squash and crumble on the feta. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in the oven for about 10–12 minutes. Serve with a handful of rocket on each and some toasted pine nuts on the butternut squash pizza.

What’s your favourite pizza toppings?

April 22, 2013
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