Tag Archives: Italian food

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

APPLE CAKE WITH COCONUT FLOUR AND CHOCOLATE

The first cake that I have made in 2018: Apple Cakewith Coconut and chocolate!

The recipe belongs to one of my husband aunt that passed away in 2017 sadly! She was an amazing woman and a superb cook! I wish I will be like her.

The cake is amazing, not too dry and very delicious!

The recipe required 3 eggs but I just had 2 in my fridge this morning so I used half banana mashed( that is one of the things that you can use to substitute eggs in recipe)!

Here the recipe all in grams( if you don’t have a scale and you like to bake you should consider buy one)

  • 150 grams flour
  • 100 grans sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Half glass milk
  • Baking powder 2 teaspoon
  • 4 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 3 apples
  • 2 tablespoon chocolate grated
  • 80 grams butter
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

Cream 50 grams of butter with half of the sugar.

Add the eggs one at the time and mix, add the milk and mix.

Add the flour mixed with baking powder! Mix and add the coconut and the chocolate grated!

Put the cake batter in a round cake pan covered with parchment paper and add the apple already slice all around! Put now the rest of the butter and sugar on top of the apple!

Bake at 325 for 50 minuets.

Buon Appetito

Heart shaped cookies

Nutella hearts cookies are delicious shortbread biscuits covered with Nutella. They are very easy to make and perfect for any occasion, if you don’t like Nutella you can replace it with Marmalade. Generally I like to give these cookies to my children’s teachers for Christmas and I have also added them to the Christmas sweets baking lesson. The recipe is taken from the Giallo Zafferano blog. Follow me on social media and let me know which is your favorite Christmas cake. http://www.bellacibo.ca http://www.instagram.com/bellacibo http://www.facebook.com/bellacibo72

Ingredients:

  • • 350 grams flour
  • • 100 grams icing sugar
  • • 200 grams soft butter
  • • 2 yellow eggs
  • • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • • Icing sugar to sprinkle
  • • Heart shape cookies cutter one big and one smaller or star or whatever shape you like
  • • A sprinkle of love

Method:

  • • In a bowl mix the butter and the sugar until it’s nice and smooth {I like to use my hands, it’s easy}.
  • • Add the yellow eggs and mix for a minute, add the vanilla and the flour.
  • • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • • Turn the oven on at 350, roll out your dough and with a heart cookie cutter, and cut the cookies. With the smaller cookies cutter, cut out the heart.
  • • Put the cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 12-15 minutes!
  • • When they are cold, spread the Nutella on the bigger heart and put the small heart on top.
  • • Sprinkle some icing sugar and a lot of love.
  • • Buon Appetito

Cooking is fun

It has been so long since my last post on my blog. Sometime is difficult to be a full time mom, wife, chef, Social Media expertise, photographer, taxi driver,  school volunteer.What I really would like to do is just COOK. Behind every classes there is so much work, the prep time sometime is more hard then the 2 /3 hours of teaching.

I like what I do, I like to teach, share my Italian heritage and inspire people to cook real healthy food. Food brings people together, in the kitchen you can build the best precious memories.

Here some pictures of the 8 weeks Cooking course that I had in my kitchen in October and November! It was so much fun, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do.

 

 

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.

WINE TARALLI

Taralli are typical of southern Italy. Like all Italian foods, several regions of the south have their own version of Taralli with varying shapes and different flavors which include fennel seeds, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Taralli can be sweet as well with a sugar glaze on top,in Italy they are often enjoyed deep in wine or coffee. I love to deep them in my afternoon coffee.  They are almost like a cracker, bread stick but way better. This recipe is very simple, no sugar and no yeast but instead Wine. I got the inspiration from an Italian Blog that I follow http://blog.giallozafferano.it/loti64/ . The result was awesome, these Taralli will be perfect  for the goodies bag that I m preparing for the fundraiser next Wednesday. I love to deep them in my afternoon coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams flour
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 130 ml oil evo
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • fennel seeds
  • a sprinkle of love

Method:

  • In a bowl put the flour, the fennel seed, the wine, the oil and the salt and mix everything{ if you have a mixer I suggest you to use it}. Mix very well until the dough is nice and silky.
  • Cover it with plastic paper and let it rest for 20 minutes. Now its time to roll out your Taralli and I suggest you to call your kids, its a fun activity for them plus you build precious memories.
  • Take a small piece of dough and, using the palms of your hands and applying gentle pressure, roll the dough into a rope of approximately 1 cm wide. Pinch both ends together to form a circle. The rope has to be 3/4 inches long more or less.  Place the Taralli on your board. Now they need to be boil; put 10 Taralli at the time in a boiling water, when they float pick them up with a scoop colander and placed them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Before to cook them its better to let them dry out for few hours or better until the day after. For mine I let them  dry for 5 hours and then cook them for 30 minutes at 400 until they are nice and gold. For mine oven the last 10 minutes I cook them on broil.
  • Buon Appetito
  • taralli-2