Category Archives: firstcourse

Italian Mix Legumes Soup/ Zuppa del Contadino

My family is a Legumes lover, I try to use them weekly in my cooking just like my mom and my Grandmother used to do when I was a kid. Legumes are so good for your body, full of vitamins and protein.

Today I want to share with you this healthy Soup recipe that in Italy its called “zuppa del contadino”/ Farmer soup. I feel healthy already, please challenge yourself and make it for you and your family and let me know how goes, please. Homemade food is the best and this soup will nourish your soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup and half of dry mix of legumes 
  • 1 carrot 
  • 1 celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 potatoes 
  • Oil extra virgin 4 tablespoons 
  • Mix of herbs if you like
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • Parmigiano Crust
  • Vegetables broth
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

First thing to do is to soak your dry legumes in water over night or if you are making it for dinner you can do it early morning like I did. 

In a pan put the oil and add the celery, carrot and onion chopped finely (this is the soffritto) and stir fry for a minute or 2 and add the legumes drained and rinsed!

Mix everything and add the vegetables broth. Add the tomatoes diced, the herbs, and the Parmigiano Crust if you have it ( if you don’t have it’s ok). Cook everything for half an hour on a slow heat with lid adding a little bit of salt! Add the potatoes that you previously cut in dice and cook for 30 more minutes! Check the salt at the end and add a little bit of oil before to serve it. 

Delicious, healthy homemade food is the best! 

TIP: to make a vegetables broth just boil a carrot, onion, celery and salt for 30 minutes.

Buon appetito 

Rainy Day Soup/Pasta and Potatoes soup

Pasta and Potatoes soup is a typical dish that comes from my parents hometown Naples. It’s a simple dish that uses basic ingredients and belong to a poor and humble tradition. It’s a very starchy soup and I considered a comfort food!

I was born in Naples but I grew up in North Italy, my mom used to make this dish a lot especially when it was rainy and cold outside! She used to say ” well today it’s raining so it’s a perfect day for pasta and potatoes”.

When I moved to Vancouver I started to cook by myself for my husband trying to offer him all the amazing dishes that my mom taught me. The weather was rainy every day so for a week, every day, we had Pasta and Potatoes soup. At the 6th day my husband asked me ” Can you please tell me why you make this soup everyday? It’s very delicious BUT every day? ” Well, I replied, my mom used to make this dish when it was raining so I would love to keep the same tradition”

He was laughing so hard, of course, because Vancouver it’s a rainy city and it  does rain a lot, all the time so it can be Pasta and Potatoes soup every day. Back then I didn’t know the weather situation here. Now my husband tells this story to everybody, to all my friends. Actually, when I did my audition for Master Chef Canada, he did suggest I bring Pasta and potatoes….. I should have done that.

Now here is the recipe that you can make today, that is a rainy day, or any other day that you need comfort food. It’s incredibly good, creamy and it will warm your heart.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 200 grams of pasta small cut like ditalini, small shells or broken spaghetti 
  • 500 grams potatoes cut in small pieces 
  • 50 grams pancetta or bacon ( if you don’t like it it’s ok)
  • Soffritto( carrots, onion and celery chopped fine)
  • 1 tomato cut in pieces 
  • 1 bouillon 
  • 5 tablespoons of oil
  • Parmesan Crust ( if you don’t have it it’s ok)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

Cut the celery, onion and carrot in small pieces.

  • Put them in a pan whit some oil and let them stir fry for few minutes.
  • Cut the potatoes in cubes, not too small, and add them to the vegetables.
  • Stir fry everything for a minute, now you can water! The water has to cover all the vegetables. Add the tomato and a bouillon. Cook everything on a medium high heat and when it does start to boil low the temperature down on a low heat and cover with a lid. The potatoes has to cook slowly for 30 minutes or more. Sometimes gently stir the potatoes. 
  • After that you can add the pasta and the Parmesan Crust, if you need you can add another glass of water and cook everything in low medium without lid! The water need to dry out and become a nice cream.
  • When it’s ready add a drizzle of oil and serve with Parmesan cheese! 
  • Buon appetito 


Tomato Sauce

 

Tomato sauce (sugo al pomodoro) is an Italian classic and there is nothing better than to prepare it yourself (the one that you buy at the supermarket is miles away from matching this homemade sauce). The recipe is easy, the ingredients are extremely easy to find and it is also very cheap to make.

Ingredients:

  • 800 ml Peeled Tomatoes
  • 40 grams Onion (finely chopped) or 2 gloves of garlic
  • 40 ml Extra virgin olive oil (plus splash to complete the sauce at the end)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Few basil leaves
  • Salt for seasoning
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

  • Chop the onion; put the oil in a sauce pan. Heat the oil and then add the onions.
  • Sweat off the onion over medium heat, until it colors {2/3 minutes}
  • Add the tomatoes, stir well.
  • Cover the pan, lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes, after that add the sugar! Give it a good stir and let it cook for 20/30 minutes and the sauce is thick.
  • 10 minutes before to finish put the salt, amount that you like and at the end the basil.
  • Buon Appetito

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Eggless Fresh Pasta Workshop

Have you ever tasted REAL fresh pasta in Italy? Maybe with a glass of vino while you indulge your sense in a Creamy Carbonara or in a spicy Amatriciana or again in a rich Bolognese sauce! Lucky you, you don’t have to go to Italy for that but just need to sign-up to the  Authentic Fresh Pasta Workshop taught by Mamma Marzia, the Queen of the pasta.

The workshop are usually 2/3 hour long and you will learn:

  • the basic of making fresh pasta like choosing the right ingredients, how to mix them, kneading the dough and why it has to rest.
  • how to roll the dough and how to create fresh tagliatelle, spaghetti, hand rolled pappardelle and many other cuts
  • how to make 4 different Italian sauce like Carbonara, Amatriciana, Bolognese sauce/ meat sauce and whipping cream, ham and peas sauce.

 

The next Fresh pasta workshop is Wednesday Nov 9 at 7 pm and we are making Eggless Pasta to register message me at marzia@bellacibo.ca. Come with a friend to enjoy a full immersion Italian Night with lots of good food,  drink and funny story.

Classic Italian Level 1

Eight week course, single classes available for 35 dollar each and $50 for lasagna.

If you want to learn Italian cooking, this is the course for you. Ideal for the beginner cooks, you will learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch with few different cuts, you will also learn gnocchi and sauces, risotto, tiramisu, minestrone, chicken parmiggiana and lasagna.Price is 250 dollar.

Fall 2016 Session Options:

Wednesdays, 7;00 – 9:30 p.m. (Classes run October 5, 12,19,26 November 2, 9, 16, and 23)
Friday, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. (Classes run October 7, 14,21,28, November 4, 11, 18, and 25)
Maximum of 6 participants

CLASSES

  • Gnocchi with butter and sage and gnocchi alla sorrentina with tomatoes sauce and mozzarella, apple cake.
  • Fresh egg pasta, tomato sauce,  meat sauce and boscaiolo/mushroom sauce.
  • Broth and  risotto alla milanese and pumpking risotto
  • Tiramisu and Minestrone.
  • Baked pasta with red sauce, baked white pasta and meatball.
  • Dinner in 30 minutes  { pasta with butter or oil and chicken and spinach cutlets }
  • Fresh pasta without eggs,sauces, chicken parmiggiana.
  • Lasagna – this class is 3 1/2 hours long.
  • In every class you will go home with a small tray of what you make to share with your family and the recipes.
  • Registration by email at marzia@bellacibo.ca or in person. Pre-payment is required.Bella Cibo reserve the right to cancel or re-scheduale classes when is necessary.We need one week cancellation; note that Refunds will be in the form of Bella Cibo’s gift card.
  • To run the class I need at least 4 people to max 6.

RICOTTA GNOCCHI

 

Gnocchi are a must in every Italian family! There are so many kinds of gnocchi like: potato gnocchi, beet and potato, pumpkin gnocchi, gnocchi made with bread, durum wheat gnocchi and cheese gnocchi! My family absolutely favorite are the classic potato and flour with a nice meat sauce or butter and sage sauce.

The other day my son, the gnocchi lover, he woke up and the first thing he said to me was; “mamma, can you make gnocchi for me today? Pretty please with cherries on top”? Of course I could say no but I had just one small problem, I ran out of potato but I opened the fridge and I found some ricotta so I decide to make ricotta gnocchi for him, well for the family!

Ricotta gnocchi are very delicate and way easier to make, they don’t require any too much work and you can make them in 15/20 minutes!Yup..not too long so what are you waiting for? Follow this recipe and challenge yourself, make them for your family or friends.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 grams of ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams parmigiano cheese/parmesan 2016-07-19 11.15.27-1
  • 200 flour
  • Salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

In a bowl put the ricotta, the parmesan cheese, egg, nutmeg, the sprinkle of love and start to mix with your hands or a spoon! Add the flour not all at once but a little bit at the time, add the salt and mix until the dough is nice and firm{it will take just few minutes}.

When the dough is done place it on your working surface, get a small piece and with your hands start to roll it out, very gently without pressing down! When you are ready you can start to cut the gnocchi out with a knife! Put them in a plate and sprinkle some flour so they won’t stick together.

Cook the gnocchi in salted water for 1 or 2 minutes, when they float they are ready.

Finish cooks them in a nice butter and sage sauce or tomatoes sauce.

For the butter and sage sauce: in a frying pan put some butter, let it melt and add the sage! Stir fry for minutes or two and add the gnocchi in. Sautee’ for a minutes and add more cheese if you like.

Buon appetito

If you wanna see the video of this recipe click on this like from my Facebook page

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbellacibo72%2Fvideos%2F965156093593391%2F&show_text=0&width=400

Gluten Free Gnocchi

I finally found a gluten free gnocchi recipe that I and my family like; my kids didn’t even notice the difference so that it’s a good sign!

This is a great recipe to do with your family so I highly suggest making gnocchi with your kids, you family or your friends. In the kitchen we can build the best, precious, unforgettable memories. In fact I still remember, after all these years, making gnocchi with my grandma and all my little cousins, our job was to roll out the gnocchi! It’s something that will stay in you forever.

Here the recipe for you, I did 2 attempts, the first one with rice flour and it didn’t work but the second time, with all purpose baking flour, it did! I m so happy.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams potatoes already boiled and mashed with a ricer
  • 200/250 grams gluten free flour for baking  {I used redmill}
  • 1 egg
  • A sprinkle of love.

 

  • Method:
  • Boil the potatoes with the skin, when they are cooked drain them and peel them right away! Remember always peel the potatoes when they are hot.
  • Mash the potatoes with a ricer and put them in a bowl and let them cool down!
  • When the potatoes are ready put them on a chopping board, make a volcano in the middle and put the egg in the hole. With a fork beat the egg and try to incorporate to the potatoes.  
  • Now start to add the flour, a handful and the time, and work your dough until is nice and smooth and it’s not sticky anymore. You will have to work it for 10 minutes.
  • The dough is ready when you can make a nice, firm ball.
  • It’s time now to roll the gnocchi; this is the part where I suggest you to get the kids involved.
  • Take off a handful of the dough and roll that with both hands until you have a rope about the thickness of your thumb. Cut this rope in 2.5 cm lengths.
  • Bring each piece of dough and flip it with your index finger against the inside of your fork. With this technique the gnocchi will catch any sauce🙂.
  • Place your gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet.
  • Cook them in boiling water with salt.
  • They are done when they raise to the surface of the water. Put them right away in a big bowl and dressed them with your favorite sauce.
  • I suggest a nice Bolognese sauce or (more quick) butter and sage sauce.

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