Italian-recipes-2

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

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe

Follow our easy step-by-step guide to create the perfect gnocchi dish for yourself and the entire family. This Italian potato dumpling won’t have you slaving in the kitchen for hours, and tastes almost as good as it looks!

Pair with your favourite red or white wine for a delicious meal any night of the week.

RELATED: Easy Pasta Bake Dishes For Dinner Tonight

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes (peeled)

2 cips all-purpose flour

1 egg, slightly beaten

Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place your peeled potatoes into a medium saucepan, then bring the water to a slow boil. After 15 minutes the potatoes should be tender, then drain the water and mash them.
  2. Take away 1 cup of the mashed potatoes, and transfer into a medium sized bowl. Add the flour, egg, and salt before kneading the mixture well. Divide into 4 equal portions, then roll into long snakes on a flat surface.
  3. Use the back of your fork to make small indentations, and roll each piece into a small gnocchi roll.
  4. Drop them into a large pot of boiled water (with a pinch of salt), and cook until the gnocchi float to the top. Drain, then serve with your favourite pasta sauce.

Image and Recipe via Love Bakes Good Cakes, MM Forsberg

November 13, 2014

Stefano De Pieri’s Vegetarian Farfalle Pasta Recipe

Chef Stefano De Pieri has partnered with Italian premium pasta brand Garofalo to create a pasta dish inspired through the company’s latest produced short film Caserta Palace DreamGarofalo has long enjoyed a connection with the arts as producers of Italian short-films, sharing its creativity and passion for the ‘art of pasta’ through world cinema.

Stefano has created the pasta dish ‘vegetarian farfalle with cream of red capsicums and basil’ to pay homage to the natural beauty and radiance of the gardens of Caserta featured in the film, to share with SHESAID. 

Vegetarian Farfalle Pasta With Cream Of Red Capsicums And Basil

Serves 4

2 fleshy red capsicums

1 garlic clove

2 tabsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onions or three shallots, coarsely chopped

½ cup cream

Basil to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese or good grana padano

360g Garofalo Farfalle pasta

Method

  1. Remove talk, seeds and membrane from the capsicums and chop. Chop onion and garlic
  2. In a saucepan heat the oil, add the garlic, onions and capsicums and gently heat. Place a lid on the saucepan (or small pot). Simmer gently adding perhaps a touch of water and cook until very tender. It should not take more than 15 minutes.
  3. Place contents in a food processor and pulse to obtain a fine cream.
  4. Return this to a saucepan large enough to accommodate the pasta and reheat gently. Add the cream (double is better – or mascarpone), add salt and pepper to taste and basil likewise.
  5. Cook the farfalle as per the packet instructions al dente, drain, place in the saucepan, sprinkle with cheese and toss. Serve at once with more basil and cheese if desired.
  6. By sprinkling the cheese on the pasta before you toss it, you will ensure that the cheese sticks to the pasta and then is coated with the sauce.

Recipe by Italian celebrity chef Stefano De Pieri, Garofalo pasta ambassador

August 14, 2014

Best-Ever Pesto Pasta Recipe

When it comes to easy dinner recipes,pesto pasta is one of the easiest Italian classics (and one of the most delicious!). The sauce consists of just five basic ingredients – here’s how to make the best-ever pesto pasta.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

Large handful of fresh Basil

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1-2 cloves Garlic (peeled)

Parmesan Cheese, to taste

2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Method

1. Cook your chosen pasta in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, make the pesto. After gathering the fresh basil, strip the leaves from the stem and throw them into a food processor with the olive oil, the garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Grind it down into an oily green paste. If it seems too dry, splash in a little more olive oil. Taste – does it need more salt? A little more Parmesan?

2. Drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Stir the pesto through the pasta, adding a little cooking water if the sauce is too thick. Keep tossing to coat all the pasta.

3. Pesto is great to have on hand not just for pasta, but as a dipping sauce for raw vegetables, marinade for fish or meat, or a spread in sandwiches.

March 22, 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

Mushroom and Halloumi Bruschetta Recipe

Whether as a snack, light meal or dinner party canapé, these mushroom and halloumi bruschetta are packed with rustic Italian flavours and really easy to make. For an easy dinner for one, we like to top these tasty toasts with a fried egg, or when friends come over they make an elegant bite-size snack to serve with bubbly.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
300g small button mushrooms, quartered
125g halloumi cheese, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic (we like Lomondo Aged Caramelised Balsamic)
8 slices crusty Italian bread
2 cloves garlic, halved
Talinga Grove Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

1. Heat Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a small frypan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.

2. Add halloumi cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in fresh thyme and balsamic vinegar.

3. Toast bread on both sides.

4. Rub one side of each with a cut garlic clove.

5. Top bread slices with mushroom mixture. Drizzle lightly with Talinga Grove Garlic Infused extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Talinga Grove. Talinga Grove olive oil is available from Olive Trader.

What’s your favourite dinner for one recipe?

October 16, 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

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

The Best Chicken Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Make

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken soup – it truly is soulfood. We love to use a leftover roast chicken to make chicken soup, but uncooked chicken breasts work well here too. Here is the best chicken soup recipe we’ve ever made, plus 5 variations including Thai, Chinese and Italian.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1cm slices

2 celery ribs, cut into 1cm slices

2 cloves garlic

6 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

6 peppercorns

Leftover roast chicken or 2 uncooked, skinless chicken breasts

250g pasta like vermicelli, orzo or egg noodles

Method

1. Heat a large stock pan over low-medium heat. Saute the onion in a little olive oil until starting to soften. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue to saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken, and enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes (if using uncooked chicken, check that the chicken breasts are cooked by taking one out and cutting it in the middle). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the thyme, bayleaf and peppercorns. Shred the chicken using 2 forks, return to the stock and add the pasta. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Variations

Thai
Add julienned slices of ginger and 1/2 cup of coconut milk 5 minutes before serving. You can also add a few drops of fish sauce and sesame oil. Replace the pasta with rice noodles. Finish with a handful of coriander leaves and thin slices of red chili.

Chinese
Instead of seasoning with salt, season to taste of low-sodium soy sauce. Instead of pasta, add frozen dumplings to the soup and cook for 5 minutes before serving with thinly sliced spring onions.

Italian
Along with celery and carrots, saute diced zucchini and florets of cauliflower. Add a can of tomatoes to the pot after sauteeing the vegetables. Before serving, add a handful of chopped parsley.

Mexican
Simmer the soup with a smokey chili pepper like chipotle or poblano. When ready to serve, replace the pasta with crunchy corn tortilla strips (or broken tortilla chips) and diced avocado. Serve with coriander.

Indian
After sauteeing the onion, add 1-2 tablespoons of Indian curry paste and cook for 2 minutes before adding the vegetables. Add small cubes of potato to the carrot and celery.

August 12, 2013

Chicken Breast Recipes: Italian Crumbed Chicken

Looking for an easy chicken recipe for dinner? Whether you call it crumbed chicken or chicken schnitzel, this Italian chicken recipe is a family favourite. It has a secret ingredient that elevates the humble chicken breast from ordinary to extraordinary.

The recipe comes from Tanya Bartolini’s new cookbook Blending the Cultures.

Nonna Ida makes the best crumbed chicken and it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the exact reason why. My son absolutely loves this dish.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

2 large chicken breasts (free range)

3 eggs

¼ cup Scotch whisky

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 cups dried breadcrumbs

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon powdered chicken stock

extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Thinly slice the chicken breasts (about 3-4 pieces per breast). Use a meat tenderiser to lightly hammer each piece thin.

2. Marinate the chicken: place in a bowl with eggs, scotch and garlic whisked together. Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Place breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and chicken stock in a bowl and combine. Remove a piece of chicken from the egg mixture and place in the breadcrumbs, thoroughly coating the chicken. Transfer to a plate and continue until all pieces of chicken are crumbed.

4. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan comes to temperature (breadcrumbs will bubble when dropped in), place chicken pieces in the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown, then turn and repeat. Once cooked, transfer chicken to a plate covered in paper towel. Repeat until all pieces of chicken are cooked.

5. This dish is best served warm and golden and crunchy.

What’s your favourite chicken breast recipe?

August 8, 2013

Scott Conant’s Famous Tomato Basil Spaghetti Recipe

In New York for Fashion Week I popped into celebrity chef Scott Conant’s West Village restaurant Scarpetta for a plate of his (in)famous tomato basil pasta. It’s so good and so easy (and makes the most of late summer tomatoes and basil) I had to share the recipe with you!

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

30 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and seeds

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds dried spaghetti

1 tablespoon butter

24 basil leaves, cut into a fine chiffonade

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method
1. To peel the tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Ease about five tomatoes in the pot and cook, let boil for about 15 seconds, and then promptly move them to the waiting ice water. (Do this with the remaining tomatoes.) Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If the skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion. Cut the tomatoes in half and use your finger to flick out the seeds.

2. To cook the tomatoes: In a wide pan, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and season lightly with the salt and pepper. (Conant says, “I always start with a light hand with the salt and pepper because as the tomatoes reduce, the salt will become concentrated.”)

3. Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften. Then, using a potato masher, chop the tomatoes finely. Cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. (You can make the sauce, which yields about 3 cups, ahead of time. Refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for longer storage.)

4. To serve: Bring a large pot of amply salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente. Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat, gently tossing the pasta and the sauce together with a couple of wooden spoons and a lot of exaggerated movement (you can even shake the pan) until the pasta is just tender and the sauce, if any oil had separated from it, now looks cohesive. (If the sauce seems too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid to adjust it.) Take the pan off of the heat and toss the butter, basil, and cheese with the pasta in the same manner (the pasta should take on an orange hue) and serve immediately.

What’s your all-time favourite pasta recipe.

March 7, 2013