Category Archives: vegetable

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 

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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

IMG_0484

Tomato confit

I love summer and I love tomatoes. Me and my daughter like to eat them at any time of the day, its our favorite snack.We are lucky enough to have our own grow tomatoes so in the summer its a tomatoes party every night.

Tomato confit are practically slow roasted in the oven at high temperature.This recipe is very versatile; the tomatoes confit  can be used like a side dish or like a dressing for your pasta,Its a very tasty dish. I suggest you to use a good oil extra vergin if possible.

Ingredients:

3 cup of cherries tomatoes or grape

1/4 cup oil evo plus 2 tablespoon

1 teaspoon Oregano

2 garlic cloves

1/3 cup parsley

2 cups bread crumbs

salt

a sprinkle of love

Method:

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a baking dish covered with parchment paper.Add the 2 tablespoon of oil,oregano, salt and toss everything.

Place the garlic, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and add the garlic{you can chopped it if you like}.Add the breadcrumbs and the oil and mix everything well.Sprinkle the crumbs on top of your tomatoes.

Bake for 30/40 minutes until the bread crumbs are nice and gold.You can now serve the tomatoes like a side dish, you can serve them on a piece of bread or you can use them to dress you pasta. If you do that I suggest you, 3 minutes before the pasta is ready, to put the amount of tomatoes that you wanna use for your pasta in a stir fry pan.Add 2 tablespoon of the pasta water, add the cooked pasta and stir fry for a minute or 2.Add some oil at the end. Yummy Delicious tasty dish.

Buon appetito

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Caprese Salad

Yesterday Italy bet Spain on the Euro 2016, to honor that I decided to make one of the most simple and delicious salad in the Italian Cuisine: the Caprese Salad. The colors honor the Italian flag, red, white and green.

In Italy its usually served like antipasto or side dish, its a perfect dish for hot summer day.To make this dish delicious I suggest you to use a good Oil Extra Virgin and a good mozzarella, the one in the water,  that you easily find in the regular super market. Follow this recipe and challenge your self, make it for your family and friends.Most of the time the more the dish is simple the better…this is my Mantra.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 mozzarella or bocconcini
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • basil
  • salt
  • Oil Extra Virgin
  • Balsamic Vinegar if you like
  • a sprinkle of love, never forget that

METHOD:

  • Wash your tomatoes, dry them out.With a small knife cut out the small green part and then cut them out in the length side.Your slices has to be more or less than 1 cm.Do the same thing for the mozzarella.
  • Get a nice serving plate and put the tomatoes in a circle way, like I did in the picture, put the mozzarella slices on top and at the end the basil leaves.
  • Now you sprinkle some love, the EVO, salt and if you like Balsamic Vinegar! I usually add some balsamic but this time I ran out, if you add it you will have a nice vinaigrette perfect for a nice “scarpetta”/ deeping bread.
  • Buon Appetito

caprese salad

 

 

 

Baked Zucchini Crisps

Baked Parmesan Zucchini – Crisp, tender zucchini oven-roasted to perfection. It’s healthy, nutritious and completely addictive! My kids love them

I highly suggest letting your kids help you with this recipe, they will have fun dipping the zucchini in the Parmesan and bread crumbs mixture plus you will build precious memories.

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams zucchini                                   baked zucchini crisps
  • 25 grams Parmesan cheese
  • 10 grams bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon of oil
  • A sprinkle of salt
  • A sprinkle of pepper
  • Oregano
  • A sprinkle of love

 

 

 

Method:

  • Place oven rack in center position of oven. Preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (lightly misted with cooking spray) OR parchment paper.
  • Wash and dry zucchini, and cut into 1/4-inch thick round slices.
  • In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, bread crumbs, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste. Don’t forget the sprinkle of love.
  • Dip the zucchini in the Parmesan mixture and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Place into oven and bake them at 425 until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown, always watch them because they burn very easily!
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
  • Buon Appetito

Detox Lentil Soup with Ginger and Turmeric

Full of fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin B, lentils are inexpensive and make a great meat substitute or side dish. Adding Ginger and Turmeric it s detoxifying too.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 4 cups of water
  • 200 grams lentils previously soak in water for few hours
  • 2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 20 gram fresh ginger
  • Salt
  • A sprinkle of love

 

Method:

  • Clean, peel and cut the vegetables and put everything in a pot.
  • Add now the 4 cup of water and sprinkle some salt.
  • Let it cook for 30/40 minutes and then add the lentils.
  • Let it cook for 20 more minutes on a medium heat.
  • When everything is ready blend everything in a blender, add the Turmeric and the Ginger.

 

Buon appetito and stay healthy.

 

lentils soup 2