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Potato Dumplings - Gnocchi di patate

- potatoes
- egg
- flour
- salt

boil the potatoes and then squeeze them (pic.1). Add one egg (pic.2), a pinch of salt, some flour: mix all together to produce a soft dough (pic.3). Then roll some long "worms" and cut in bits (pic.4). The gnocchi are ready to cook (pic.5). keep them with flour to avoid them to stick.
Cook the gnocchi in abundant salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, until they rise on the surface. Drain and season with melted butter and parmesan cheese.

You may ask: How many potatoes? how many flour? difficult to answer... How many potatoes depends on ho many people you are going to feed. How many flour depends on the potatoes, I mean on the quality of the potatoes, but always remember that the final dough must be soft. With a bit of experience you will prepare great "gnocchi".

I don't know why, thursday is the day of the gnocchi.

The (web) source

(viewed 812 times)
Today, not a recipe, but... an archive! La Cucina Italiana is an old and trustful magazine dedicated to cooking and recipies of italian food. The web site has an international version you can use with a free registration: believe me, it is a precious source! And if you know some italian even better, you can read the main site, with his thousands of recipies waiting.
Also a german version , a dutch version and a czech version .

7th Apr 2008, 16:56   comments (3)

Octopus and Potatoes

(viewed 891 times)

The only trick in this recipe is the boiling of the octopus. Put it in the cold salted water with an abundant glass of vinegar, take to boiling and after 40 minutes switch off, letting the pan cool down.
This will take a while, but is the only way to have the octopus ultratender.
Then chop it and mix with boiled potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, oil, some drops of vinegars and - do not forget, very important - capers.
Serve lukewarm. If you like, add a pinch of paprika, that is great with octopus.
Some white wine is preferred. Enjoy!

The Mortadella

(viewed 646 times)
The mortadella is a bagged kind of "salame" typical of the cities of
Modena and Bologna, made with pork meat very thin amalgamated. It is
sweet and tender, it melts in your mouth and it has a popular origin.
The taste is unique and, remember, the bigger the mortadella, the better
the taste. Some are enormous and unbelievably good. It is considered a
poor food. Usually it is used in preparing sandwiches.
If you want to try something exceptional, serve the thin sliced
mortadella with french champagne: such a good starter that your friend
will be surprised and delighted.
9th Mar 2008, 10:54   | tags:,comments (0)

Thin sliced raw fish (Carpaccio di Pesce)

(viewed 863 times)
I prepared this starter yesterday for a friend's dinner party: healthy, good and tasty.
Take the fillets of your preferred fish (here "pesce persico"* and trout, but you can use almost any kind you prefer) very fresh and without any bone. With a very sharp knife slice the fillets very very thin and place on serving plate(s). Season with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Leave behind for 15-30 minutes before serving, so that lemon can slightly "cook" the fish. Finish with wild fennel leaves or dill leaves.
You can use this recipe as a starter in a more formal dinner or as a main course during hot season. Enjoy!

* sorry, couldn't find a translation.
7th Mar 2008, 11:22   | tags:,comments (1)

Involtini (rolled stuffed slices of meat)

(viewed 950 times)
Slices of tender meat (here is beef)
slices of raw Ham or Speck
slices of Cheese
leaves of Sage

There are so many ways to prepare involtini! This is my own, a sort of basic recipe you can manage and transform.
On every slice of meat put a slice of ham, a slice of cheese and a leaf of sage. Roll very tight, closing ends. If necessary, use a toothpick to fix. Pass in flour.
When ready, cook in a pan with oil and butter, adding a half of glass of white wine. Salt and pepper at the end.

I love involtini. I usually prepare them with very very thin meat slices, with speck and with "Montasio" cheese, that reminds me the mountains I love. But you are free to experiment with your preferred cheese and ham. If meat is very thin you just need few minutes in the pan, otherwise remember that for keepeing meat tender, you always have to cook it shortly.

Serve with pees, or spinach or roasted potatoes. It is always a feast!
Let us know your variants.
6th Mar 2008, 17:53   | tags:,comments (1)

Cutlet milan style (Cotoletta alla milanese)

(viewed 3187 times)
cutlets of calf
grated bread

1. Beat the slices of meat to slim and tender them. Beat the egg(s) with
a pinch of salt. Pass the slices of meat into the egg and then in the
grated bread, pushing with hands to obtain a uniform "envelope". You can accomplish this task well before cooking, and preserve it in the fridge or even freeze them for future use.
2. Into a pan put oil and butter (half and half) and heat: as soon as it is hot put the prepared slices and cook until the surface gets gold on each side. Lay the cooked slices on absorbing paper, put some salt and serve immediatly, with lemon slices.

You can serve with a fresh salad with tomatoes in summer and with puree (mashed potatoes) in winter. Nobody can resist to the smell and taste of this recipe.

This preparation has a long and complex tradition: it seems it was the source of the "wiener schnitzler"and other similar preparations, and originally was done with a "costoletta", a slice of meat with an attached thin bone (see pic.1). Originally it was cooked in abundant butter, but I usually mix it with oil for a lighter result. Nowadays, it is great with pork, chicken or turkey sliced lean meats. Also you can
use fish fillets of your taste, identical preparation - great result!
Some beat the meat to obtain a very thin slice, some use a thicker slice that remains raw inside: make your tries and find how it better suits your taste.

When cooking, I usually put into the oil+butter two or three garlic cloves, for a more aromatic taste.

Orecchiette with top of Turnips

(viewed 736 times)

Orecchiette (or conchiglie/ penne/ fusilli/ maccheroni)
Tops of Turnips (or Couliflower)
garlic clover
extravirgin olive oil
salt pepper

This is a typical winter pasta of Puglia region. You can buy orecchiette (the kind of pasta in pic.3) from fresh pasta makers or packed. Otherwise use other kind of short pasta (like conchiglie - shells). Tops of turnips (pic.2) may be not so easy to find, so you may use the couliflower (see pic.4)
In the same pan of salted boiling water first cook the vegs for some minutes, than drain and put apart. Put the pasta and while it cooks, in another pan put oil, garlic, one chili (dose as you like) and then fry the boiled vegs. Taste and fix salt and pepper. As soon as pasta is cooked, drain and verse in the pan with vegs and let it go for one minute. Ready to eat!.
As a variant, consider to add three or four fillets of anchovies in the oil with garlic and chili, to get a richer flavour.

13th Feb 2008, 22:32   | tags:,comments (5)