Category Archives: Italian Food Recipes

Italian Pasta Recipes: Spaghetti alla Pescatora

As you would expect from a country which is surrounded by the sea, Italian cuisine offers some of the most delicious seafood dishes imaginable, and Spaghetti alla Pescatora is no exception.

The food is prepared simply, with the spaghetti boiled in salted water, chopped tomatoes with garlic cooked together in a pan and the seafood added on top of this. Many people add some lemon on the fish and it can be served spicy with the addition of an Italian favourite, spicy oil with cayenne pepper.

It’s not hard to see why this is one of the most popular Italian pasta recipes around the World. The dish is simple, yet delicious, mixing a nice tomato sauce with plenty of seafood. There is no specific recipe to follow and many variations can be found, specifically in terms of the seafood used, as it often depends on what has been caught that day. Possibilities include mussels, scallops and shrimp or prawns; yet this is not an exhaustive list, as many people include squid and other types of seafood. So feel free to change this recipe to suit your tastes as well as your “catch”!

Ingredients:

20 clams and 20 mussels, cleaned (note: some people prefer taking the shells off)

40 rings of squid, cleaned

16 king prawns, peeled and cleaned

extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup of good white wine

4 chopped tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

parsley, basil, salt and red pepper to taste

100 grams spaghetti per person

To cook:

Saute the garlic and chopped tomatoes on the olive oil for 30 seconds. Then add the seafood and parsley and cook for 3-4 minutes or until all seafood is cooked. Add basil, salt, pepper and wine. Let some of the liquid evaporate and add to your drained spaghetti – cooked al dente, of course!

Spaghetti

Spaghetti ready to eat!

Share Button

Fritto di calamari (deep fried squid)

CalamariWhilst we cannot deny that this dish is best eaten outside overlooking the Mediterranean or Adriatic accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine it is still worth trying it at home whilst dreaming of your next holiday in Italy.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 500g fresh squid
  • 100g white flour
  • frying oil
  • lemon wedges to garnish
  • salt
  • Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi white wine

Wash the fresh squid well under running water and dry with kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with flour and shake off the excess.

Deep fry the squid in hot oil for 5-8 minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the squid and season with salt.

Serve with a glass of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi white wine.

 

 

 

Share Button

Blueberry risotto

Bring a touch of Italian glamour to the table with this very simple but very tasty risotto.

risotto

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 320g arborio rice
  • 200g blueberries
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • half glass of cream
  • 1 onion
  • vegetable stock
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • 40g butter
  • salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a deep pan and add the finely chopped onion. When the onion becomes transparent, add the rice and stir to absorb the sauce.  Pour in the wine and let it evaporate.

Add the blueberries (keeping two tablespoons aside) and a ladle of hot stock.  Cook the risotto by adding a ladle of hot stock as and when needed.

When the risotto is ready, season with salt and pepper, add the cream and stir to mix well.

Serve on a warm serving dish. Garnish with the left over blueberries and grated parmesan.

 

Share Button

An Italian classic….Risotto ai funghi porcini

A delicious Italian classic….

Ingredients (serves 4):

    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 1 litre of vegetable stock
    • 60g butter
    • 1 small onion (golden)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 50g grated parmesan
    • freshly ground pepper
    • 400g fresh porcini mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
    • 320g canaroli or arborio rice
    • salt and pepperfunghiporcini

 

Peel the mushrooms and detach the stems, gently rubbing the stems with a damp cloth or kitchen roll.  Then slice.  Melt half the butter in a pan and add the onion (peeled and finely chopped) until slightly wilted.  Add the rice and let toast for 2 minutes, then add a laddle of stock and let it cook over a medium heat stirring and adding a little more broth when needed.  

In another pan add the olive oil and clove of garlic and let it cook for a few seconds.  Then add the mushrooms.  Saute the mushrooms on a high heat for max 10-12 minutes, adding salt and freshly ground pepper half way through and a little broth if necessary.  After 10 minutes remove from the heat and add the finely chopped parsley.

Five minutes before the rice has finished cooking, add the mushrooms setting aside two spoonfuls for garnishing. Once cooked, turn off the heat, add the Parmesan and the remaining butter.  Stir well and leave to rest for a few seconds.  Serve adding a few mushrooms on top to garnish.

Buon appetito!

Share Button

Carne salada del Trentino (thinly sliced seasoned raw beef salad)

Another classic Italian recipe that is so easy to prepare. This dish uses seasoned raw beef and this, together with the strong flavours of the rocket and parmesan make it simply delicious!

Carne_salada

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 400g thinly sliced seasoned raw beef
  • large handful of fresh rocket
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Arrange the thinly sliced seasoned raw beef on a serving plate.  Rinse the fresh rocket and sprinkle over the beef.  Wash and slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the dish. Grate the parmesan cheese in thin, wide slithers over the other ingredients. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and then squeese lemon juice over.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.  Buon appetito!

 

 

 

Share Button

Polpette (pasta with meatballs)

Preparing the meatballs for this classic Italian dish might be a little time consuming but well worth it when you discover how delicious it is!
polpetteIngredients (serves 6):

For the meat balls:

  • 400g minced beef
  • 60g fresh mature tomatoes
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 70g Grana or Parmesan finely grated
  • salt
  • bunch of finely chopped parsley

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • half an onion finely chopped
  • 500g fresh tomatoes with pips removed and finely chopped
  • half teaspoon of sugar
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 80g Pecorino cheese, grated widely
  • olive oil
  • salt

For the pasta:

  • Large pasta such as Paccheri or Tortiglioni – 80g per person

For the meatballs:

In a bowl put all the ingredients listed above and mix well. Your hands are best for doing this.  Roll the mixture into small balls, then roll them in the flour and put them on a tray.  In a large frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and butter in 50/50 quantities and fry the meatballs until they are golden brown. Once fried, place on a tray covered in kitchen towel.

For the sauce:

In a frying pan cover the base in oil, add the garlic cloves whole and the onion and fry on a medium heat until the onion is transparent. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and basil.  Cook on a low heat until the sauce has condensed down.

Pasta:

Cook the pasta ‘al dente.’ Mix the sauce with the pasta once cooked.  Serve with the meatballs and grated Pecorino cheese on top.

Buon appetito!

 

Share Button

Semifreddo al Torrone (chilled nougat)

nougatIf you are not watching the calories, then this recipe ‘Semifreddo al Torrone’ is easy to prepare and great for a hot summer’s evening after a barbecue!

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 300g nougat
  • 3 eggs
  • 60g sugar
  • 300ml cream
  • half small glass of rum

Whip the egg yolks with the sugar into a cream.  Stir in the finely chopped (in the mixer) nougat and rum.  Whip the egg whites until stiff. Whip the cream.  Gently mix all of the ingredients together and pour into individual molds, covering them with cling film.  Put in the freezer overnight.  Remove half an hour before serving and garnish with finely chopped almonds and caramel sauce.

 

Share Button

Arrosticini

This is another great recipe for the summertime:

Arrosticini

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 800g beef (25% fat)
  • Juice from a half lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt
  • fresh rosemary
  • scewers

Dice the beef and scewer enough to cover half the scewer.  Lay the scewers on a dish leaving space between each one.  Dress with extra virgin olive oil making sure all sides are covered. Season with salt and pepper.  Marinate by rubbing all sides with fresh rosemary and squeezing the lemon juice over them.  Leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Cook over a charcoal grill at medium heat basting every now and then using the rosemary sprig and the left over juices.

 

 

 

Share Button

A great summer recipe – Panna Cotta with fruit topping

Pannacotta1This recipe is so simple, quick and one to impress!  Unlike those sometimes served in restaurants outside Italy, Panna Cotta should be of firm consistency.

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1 litre single cream
  • 5 desertspoons caster sugar
  • rind of an unwaxed lemon
  • 6 sheets of gelatine (in Italy they are called Colla di Pesce)
  • berries of your choice
  • juice of a lemon
  • sugar to sweeten as you like

Place the cream, sugar, gelatine stips and lemon rind into a saucepan. Place on a medium low heat and continually stir with a whisk until it is one consistency and just about to come to the boil. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to allow the lemon to infuse well with the cream.  Place in individual pots or a large dish and place in the fridge. Leave for at least 7 hours before serving.

For the topping liquidize the berries, sugar and lemon juice then place in the fridge to be served with the panna cotta.

Share Button

An Italian classic – Tiramisu

tiramisuTiramisu is the classic Italian dessert, ideal for preparing in advance to enjoy after a summer barbecue.

Ingredients (serves 8-10):

  • 500g mascarpone
  • 6 large free range eggs
  • 4 desertspoons sugar
  • sponge fingers
  • espresso coffee (approx 1 pint)
  •  grated dark chocolate

Cover an oven dish with sponge fingers and pour over the espresso coffee – they need to be soaked but without there being any excess liquid. Separate the egg whites and yolks. With a wooden spoon cream the sugar and egg yolks together.  Stir in the mascarpone well – do not use an electric whisk or it will become too watery.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff – fold into the mixture until one consistency.  Pour the mixture over the sponge fingers.  Cover with grated chocolate and refridgerate for 5 hours before serving.

Share Button