Pasta with Peas/ Pasta e Piselli

Pasta e Piselli/ Pasta with Peas is one of my childhood favorite dishes, one of those dishes that my mom used to make for me and my siblings weekly. My mom is from Naples and Pasta with Peas or Pasta and Potatoes or Pasta with Bean or Pasta with Lentils were a staple in our family. Every time I eat one of those dishes I immediately go back in time when I was a kid. I still remember the good old days when me, my siblings and my neighbors used to play outside all day. My mom used to call us around 6.30/7 pm and its still so vivid in my mind the amazing smell that my house had. I particularly remember when Pasta with Peas was on the stove because peas have such a fragrant sweet smell that is difficult to forget.

This recipe is very easy to follow. I used frozen peas but you can use Fresh or peas from the can. I added Guanciale but if you don’t have it its fine, you could substitute it with Pancetta or Bacon (bacon will give a little bit more of smoky flavor) or Ham. Either way is going to be an amazing dish. The final result is going to be like a soup but more thick. The pasta that I really like to use is small tube/ tubetti they are small and the go perfectly with peas that are small, but you can use any pasta you prefer. My mom used to use Pasta Mista that is a mixed of different cut of pasta, very popular in Naples. Don’t add too much pasta otherwise it won’t be such a pleasure to see and to eat; you need to balance your ingredients and go with the flow. Also very important keep a pot with a little bit of hot water to add in case you need to. My mom used to Enjoy and Buon Appetito

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of peas
  • 150 grams Guanciale or Pancetta or Bacon
  • 2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Oil
  • Half Onion
  • 340 grams Pasta Ditalini/ Tubetti or Pasta Mista
  • Salt and pepper
  • Love
  • 3/4 cups of water warm
  • Parmiggiano Reggiano

Method:

In a pot put the oil, let it warm up and add the onion finely chopped. When the onion has a gold colour add the guanciale or Pancetta and cook it for few minutes until its crispy. Now its time to add the peas, stir them and let them cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 cup of warm water and cook everything for 10/ 15 minutes with lid on ( I like to put a wooden spoon between the lid and the pot so it will cook nicely). When the peas are done add the rest of the water and the pasta. Give a nice stir and cook it until is ready ( my tubetti took 10 minutes). If it gets too dry add more warm water. Taste your pasta and check if there is enough salt. Plate your amazing dish made with love and add Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy

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Quick Bread

I discover this bread recipe few years ago on my favorite Italian Blog “Le ricette di Mysia”. I’m not a baker and this recipe was a really good introduction to the bread world.  

The recipe is really easy to follow, it doesn’t require any kneading, any folding and it takes just few hours for the bread to rise.

I made this bread so many times already and I’m glad lots of people are doing it too now, there is nothing more awarding than making bread from scratch.

I served it with some good extra virgin olive oil, some good cheeses and cold cuts, also after dinner we had it with some Nutella.

This recipe will definitely be added it to my cooking classes in September. Follow me on social media channels and let me know the recipe for your favorite bread http://www.bellacibo.ca http://www.instagram.com/bellacibo

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams/3 cups and half Flour
  • 370 ml water lukewarm
  • 8 grams or 1 sachet of dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 10 grams Salt
  • Love

Method:

In bowl put 200 ml water, add the yeast and honey (If you don’t have honey use sugar). Mix well. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Finally add the salt and the rest of the water, knead quickly with the wooden spoon. The dough must be sticky, soft and grainy. Dust the surface with flour and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise in the oven turned off with the light on for 1 hour and a half or 2 hours. You can also leave it to rise longer.  After that take the dough and slide it gently on a baking sheet with a spatula previously floured. Gently, with the spatula, divide the dough into 3 parts and move them spaced apart. You will need to get 3 loaves. You can also make just 2 bigger loaves or one big. Bake at 410 degrees for 30 minutes. The result of this bread is simply exceptional. Buon Appetito

FRESH EGG PASTA

Fresh homemade pasta is a classic of Italian cuisine! For many it is a ritual that is handed down from generation to generation, it is a childhood memory, at home; it is a moment of celebration with family or friends. Before moving to Vancouver I had no idea how to make fresh egg pasta, in Italy you can buy Fresh Pasta at the super market or even better at the local deli.

When I moved here I was really fascinated by all the Italian women, friends of my mother-in-law and not, who invariably made fresh pasta for the family. There is a lot to admire in these women because they really had to learn in an era without Google, without internet!

My mother-in-law told me that the first time she made the pasta she simply put some flour on the table, a few eggs and started to knead, naturally without weighing … all by eye. When I also started making pasta, it was when I really became passionate about cooking. There is nothing more satisfying, in my opinion, than fresh pasta, eggs and flour. And nothing more delicious than a nice plate of tagliatelle with a good ragu ‘.

Now the passion I have for Fresh Pasta I like to pass it on to the ladies and gentlemen that come at my cooking classes. The class on fresh pasta is one of the most requested. My clients / friends are also fascinated by being able to create something precious only with the use of eggs and flour and of course lots of love. We make pasta, ravioli, lasagne, tagliatelle, fettuccine, spaghetti alla chitarra, tortelli, tortellini, agnolotti, cannelloni and whoever has the most ‘put it. My recipe is very simple, for 1 egg is 100 grams of flour.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 500 grams all purpose flour
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

Place the flour on a board or in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth. Using the tips of your fingers, mix the eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined. Knead the pieces of dough together – with a bit of work and some love and attention they’ll all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough! 

You can also make your dough in a food processor if you’ve got one. Just put everything in, whiz until the flour looks like breadcrumbs, then tip the mixture on to your work surface and bring the dough together into one lump, using your hands.

Once you’ve made your dough you need to knead and work it with your hands to develop the gluten in the flour, otherwise your pasta will be flabby and soft when you cook it, instead of springy and al dente. 

There’s no secret to kneading. You just have to bash the dough about a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, pulling it, stretching it, squashing it again. You’ll know when to stop – it’s when your pasta starts to feel smooth and silky instead of rough and floury. Then all you need to do is wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour before you use it. Make sure the cling film covers it well or it will dry out and go crusty round the edges (this will give you crusty lumps through your pasta when you roll it out, and nobody likes crusty lumps!).

Dust your work surface with some flour, take a lump of pasta dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting – and roll the lump of pasta dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks at all. Click the machine down a setting and roll the pasta dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process five or six times. It might seem like you’re getting nowhere, but in fact you’re working the dough, and once you’ve folded it and fed it through the rollers a few times, you’ll feel the difference. It’ll be smooth as silk and this means you’re making wicked pasta!

Now it’s time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to around the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the pasta with a little flour every time you run it through. When you’ve got down to the narrowest setting, to give yourself a tidy sheet of pasta, fold the pasta in half lengthways, then in half again, then in half again once more until you’ve got a square-ish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a lovely rectangular silky sheet of dough with straight sides – just like a real pro! If your dough is a little cracked at the edges, fold it in half just once, click the machine back two settings and feed it through again. That should sort things out. Whether you’re rolling by hand or by machine you’ll need to know when to stop. If you’re making pasta like tagliatelle, lasagne or stracchi you’ll need to roll the pasta down to between the thickness of a beer mat and a playing card; if you’re making a stuffed pasta like ravioli or tortellini, you’ll need to roll it down slightly thinner or to the point where you can clearly see your hand or lines of newsprint through it. 

Once you’ve rolled your pasta the way you want it, you need to shape or cut it straight away. Pasta dries much quicker than you think so whatever recipe you’re doing, don’t leave it more than a minute or two before cutting or shaping it. You can lay over a damp clean tea towel which will stop it from drying. Buon Appetito

Fettuccine with Sausage Ragu’

Sausage ragu’ is a very tasty sauce, easy and fast to make and very versatile. For this recipe I like to use homemade tagliatelle, also you can use this sauce for baked pasta or better yet to season polenta. If you don’t have time to prepare fresh tagliatelle, I recommend using a type of dry pasta of good quality, capable of retaining the sauce and enhancing its flavor. I added this recipe to my cooking class and it has met with enormous success, try it and let me know.

Follow me on Social Media and let me know what is your favourite sauce. http://www.instagram.com/bellacibo http://www.facebook.com/bellacibo72 http://www.bellacibo.ca

Ingredients:

  • 200 g of sausage
  • Half onion
  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 200 ml tomato puree/ Passata
  • 240 g Fettuccine or any kind of Pasta
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of love

 Method:

Peel the sausage and put it in a bowl. Chop the onion very finely, put the oil in a pan and brown it. When the onion has browned add the sausage and brown it adding the pepper. Put the wine and let it evaporate, add the passata and cook the sauce for 30 on a low heat, covered. Add salt. Boil the pasta in abundant salted water and when it is ready, dump the pasta and the water in the strainer, put it back to the pot and season it with the sausage sauce. Serve it on the plate adding Parmigiano Reggiano. Buon Appetito

Beets Gnocchi

Beets gnocchi are very different from potato gnocchi! They are sweeter and have a harder consistency. I like to serve them with butter and sage sauce, adding Speck {Smoked Prosciutto}! The sweet and savory combination is incredible! If you don’t have Speck you can use Prosciutto. I added beets gnocchi to my cooking class it was a success. It was a satisfaction to see my clients at the beginning of the class very hesitant but then in the end excited about the particular flavor. In the kitchen you have to experiment and above all don’t be afraid to try new ingredients especially healthy ones.

Follow me on the Social and let me know which are your favorite gnocchi are. http://www.facebook.com/bellacibo72 http://www.instagram.com/bellacibo http://www.bellacibo.ca

Ingredients for the Gnocchi

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 grams of beets
  • 1 egg
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon if you like it
  • 300/350 flour
  • A sprinkle of love

Ingredients for the Butter Sauce

  • 100 grams butter
  • 80 grams Speck or Prosciutto
  • Sage leaves

Boil the potatoes with the skin, mash them when they are still hot with a potato ricer and let them cool! Boil your beets with the skin! When they are nice and soft, peel them and put them in a food processor or blender! If the beets cream is too tick add a tablespoon of water, the water that you used for boiling them! Let them cool.

Now in a big bowl put the potatoes, the cream’s beets, nutmeg and cinnamon {if you like them} and mix quickly! Add now the egg, mix again and start to add the flour a little bit at the time!

 When you have a firm and not too sticky dough you are ready to roll out your Gnocchi. Cut out small pieces from the dough and start to roll out! Whit a knife cut out small little ball. Your beets gnocchi are ready to be eaten!

To enjoy them boil them in a big pot with lots of water and salt, at the same time make the Butter sauce just simply melt the butter, add the sage and the prosciutto or the speck cut in small slices! When the Gnocchi come up from the pot they are to take a buttery bath in the frying pan! Stir fry them for few minutes and at the end add Parmigiano Reggiano! Buon Appetito

Blueberries Cheesecake

My husband favourite dessert is cheesecake and last week he requested it for his birthday celebration. We recently went with the kids to pick up blueberries at the farm so I thought that blueberries cheese cake would be a perfect idea. This recipe is very easy, you don’t need to bake the cheesecake so it’s perfect for hot summer day, plus its more light. Note: on top of the cheesecake I made a mix of local berries sauce, it was to die for it.

Ingredients for the cookies crust:

  • 200 grams graham cookies
  • 100 grams melted butter

Ingredients for the cheesecake cream:

  • 180 grams whipping cream
  • 300 grams blueberries yogurt
  • 400 grams Philadelphia cheese
  • 50 grams icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 grams gelatine sheets
  • 2 tablespoon of blueberries juice or berries sauce
  • Sprinkle of love

Ingredients for the berries sauce:

  • 250 grams of berries
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar

Method:

In a bowl mix the cookies and the melted butter. Press into bottom of 9 inch springform pan and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Whip the whipping cream and put it in the fridge.

Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl with some water, and start to make the cheesecake cream putting the Philadelphia cheese, yogurt, vanilla, icing sugar. Beat all the ingredients until they are creamy. In a small saucepan put the blueberries juice and warm it up, get the gelatine sheet from the water, squeeze all the water out and add it to the blueberries juice. Cook it for 2 minutes until the gelatine is completely melted. Pour it now to the cheesecake cream and mix. Add the whipping cream and mix very well. Bring your cheesecake crust from the fridge and pour the cream on top; put it back to the fridge for at least 4 hours. For the berries sauce put in a pan the berries with the sugar and cooks them for 5/7 minutes. I like to squeeze some of the berries with a fork for more juice. When the cheesecake is ready pour the sauce on top.

Note: The gelatine sheet has to stay in the water to melt just the time that you are making the cheesecake cream.

Buon Appetito

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