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http://www.lr00.net/images/star.gif"> homefood recipies following seasons, to feed properly and live nicer: italians do it better!
easily learn cooking italian with
mara in florence and
minushabens in milan

Don't buy italian food,
prepare it yourself!

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Pasta with Zucchini and Tomato Sauce - Pasta con zucchine e pomodoro

(viewed 2035 times)
Ingredients for sauce:
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Extravirgin olive oil
Garlic
Basil
Parmesan cheese (or Grana Padano)
salt + pepper

Preparation:

Cut zucchini in wheels and fry in a pan with extravirgin olive oil, a couple garlic cloves (that you will throw after few minutes), salt and pepper if you like.
You should get something similar to pic. 2 (don't be shy to extra cook the zucchini to a dark color, the more the better).
In a second pan put some oil, chopped onion, skinned tomato (you may use also canned tomatoes), a pinch of sugar (to decrease tomato acidity), salt and cook for five minutes, to obtain something similar to pic. 3
When pasta is cooked (here "conchiglie" - shells) season it with the two sauces, abundant greated parmesan cheese and many chopped basil leaves. A final touch of olive oil and enjoy!

Citrus fruit pudding - Budino di agrumi

(viewed 8081 times)

Ingredients:
various kinds of citrus fruit, enough for a liter of juice
85 gr of Maizena (corn starch)
300 gr of sugar
fresh fruit for decoration

Preparation:
Take a pink grapefruit, a lemon, some oranges and, if you are patient, some mandarins and prepare a squeeze; filter it.
Cook the juice in a saucepan with the maizena and the sugar and mix with a spoon until it became a pudding (10/15 minutes).
Pour it in a mould and than in the refrigerator when possibile, after 2 hours it is ready.

You can decide which citrus fruit to use, if you don't like the grapefruit don't use it, if you love it you can use two instead of one etc.
Decorate it with fresh fruit of vivacious color. In the pic. 1: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
A silicone mould (pic. 2) is the best choice.

This sweet is easy, fast, light and colored!! and delicious as well!

Artichoke salad - Insalata di carciofi

(viewed 857 times)
Ingredients:
1 artichoke per person
olive oil
vinegar
salt + pepper

Preparation:
Clean the artichoke to arrive to the heart and cut in half (pic. 2). Very finely slice the two halves (pic. 3). Then season with salt (and pepper if you like), some drops of vinegar and extravirgin olive oil. Ready to eat. If you are not used to eat raw artichokes, you will have a real nice surprise.

I love this salad. The only secret is to slice the artichoke as fine as you can and even more (pay attention to your fingers!).
Second, due to the fact that artichokes as cutted get black very fast (they hoxidate) if you prepare more than one or two, after clean and cut in half put then in a bowl with water and some lemon juice so that they remain pale and vivid.

P.S.
-You may use lemon juice instead of vinegar
-You may put some sliver of parmisan cheese over the artichokes

15th Jan 2008, 13:37   comments (7)

White pasta - Pasta in bianco

(viewed 601 times)
Ingredients:
butter or extra virgin olive oil
parmesan cheese or grana padano cheese
optional: pepper

Preparation:
The simplest way to season the pasta you have cooked is to add butter or oil, about 15 to 20 gr per person and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Optionally you can add pepper, if you like. Mix it and enjoy!

It is one of my preferred. So simple and, you cannot imagine, so consolatory. More, it exalts the taste of pasta. In previous post, I forgot to say the quantity of pasta for each person: nowadays you may calculate 80 gr. of pasta for each person - it is not a large quantity but usually it is more than satisfying and leaves room for other food.
Please, due to the semplicity of this recipe, use only best quality ingredients (as always you should do): all the taste is in the quality of butter (or oil) and cheese.

First things first: cooking pasta

(viewed 1009 times)

Nothing as pasta let recognize italian food. Cooking pasta is easy and effortless, but you must follow some simple rules. I will explain it step by step. Please note: applies to plain pasta (spaghetti, fusilli, penne, etc), for stuffed pasta (as ravioli, tortellini, etc.) I will explain in another note. Please, always always choose pasta made with hard wheat (it is written on package as "grano duro" in italian): there is no second choice and it really makes the difference.

Now let's start:

1. Boiling water: put a big pot with a lot of water on fire. For four persons not less than 5 or 6 litres, the more the better.
2. When water starts boiling, add the salt. How much? It depends on how much water are you boiling, so that it get tasty, but not too much. Never exceed with salt in your cooking.
3. Put pasta in the boiling water, all toghether. If you are cooking spaghetti or similar extra long formats, have care to gently "push" them into water as soon as possible. To avoid that pasta sticks toghether (it may happen) you may drop some oil in the boiling water (let say one spoon). Give a turn, from time to time during cooking.
4. Read on the package of the pasta the cooking time and be ready to drain the pasta one minute before the time, otherwise you need to taste it to feel if it is ready. Please, never exceed the time on package. Different kind of pasta have very different cooking time, from a couple of minutes to 12-13 minutes. Do not cover the pot.
5. Drain pasta, but not too much: it must remain wet and you may store some cooking water for latest "touch".



That's it. Now you are ready to put sauce or use it in other ways, but that is another story.

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