lazy lunch

As usual on Sunday I woke up late in a very lazy mood. Well didn’t know what to eat so I decided to prepare crumbled eggs with carrots and mozzarella: 10 minutes to cook  and 2 mins to eat them! It’s the perfect for hangovers!:o)

Risotto Giallo/Arancio

Today we are gonna cook the risotto!I love it!It’s a perfect main dish but “posh” enough for a special dinner with your friends, parents, partner. Risotto is a typical dish from the north of Italy, in particular from Lombardia and Piemonte (the areas where italian rice fields are located).

I decided to start with an easy one: Risotto Giallo/ Arancio (Yellow and Orange). It’s Halloween time after all! :o)

You can choose among a big range of risotto’s , depending on your taste and time. To be honest with you the cooking tecnique is almost the same for all the recipes; you just need practice to improve it!

A quick advice before starting- you need to remember the following rules the “Tostatura” and the”Mantecatura”:

 

  • “Tostatura” should be the first thing to do when cooking risotto. Basically, it is important that your rice is slightly toasted before adding the broth.
  • “Mantecatura” is the last step and it’s necessary if you want a creamy and tasty dish.

Let’s start then!

 

Ingredients (for 4 ppl):

 

  • 1 cup of rice for each person (Arborio is probably the best)
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 2 chopped carrot
  • 2 chopped yellow pepper
  • half finely chopped onion
  • fine sea salt
  • 500 ml vegetable stock, heated to a simmer (if you don.t have stock you can use hot salty water but the taste won’t be the same)
  • 50 grams of finely chopped parsley
  • 50 grams of grated Parmesan cheese.

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the carrot, the pepper and the rice then stir for 1 minute. When your ingredients have softened add the wine and let it evaporate (this is the tostatura!).

Add the first cup of stock and stir constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add another cup of broth and repeat the previous action. Remember to allow each cup of stock to be absorbed before adding the next. The secret is not to add all the stock at the beginning and leave the risotto cooking on its own. We are not preparing boiled rice, so be patient and follow up your dish!

Carry on adding more stock and keep cooking until rice looks tender and creamy (be careful: if the liquid is absorbed too fast you need to reduce the heat).

You can taste your recipe while cooking so you will know when it’s time to remove your pot from the heat.

Add your parmesan and a little slice of butter and ensure they melt well with the risotto (this is the mantecatura). Before serving add the parseley and adjust seasoning if needed.

Sorry about the few pics I posted but it’s pretty hard to cook and take pictures at the same time

Crostata alla frutta

Good evening!

I know it’s been a while since I have posted my last recipe but I’ve been a bit busy during the last few weeks. Anyway, here we are with the next one: the crostata. Crostata is a typical italian tart, with a nice crust  and a soft heart. It’s relly quick to make and it’s perfect for different occasions such as pic nics, b-days or just for a dinner. For our recipe, I topped the cake with a home made crema pasticcera and fresh fruit. Alternatively you can use marmelade or jam.

What you need

for the pastry:

  • 120 g  flour 00
  •  4 egg yolks
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 100 g  sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter – room temperature

for the cream (crema pasticcera):

  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) sugar
  •  4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 cups (500 cc) milk
  • lemon rind or lemon flavour;

 

How to make it:

TIP – 10 minutes before starting you need to prepare the butter: place it on a plate and cut it into thin slices. Keep it at room temperature.

 

Sift the flour in a bowl, add the softened butter and start working the ingredients with your fingers. You should obatin a dry crumbled mixture.

 

Add the eggs, the sugar and the pinch of salt and mix the ingredients togheter.

 

Transfer the mixture on a work surface and work it quickly with your hands until you get a nice and smooth dough.

 

If your mixture sticks on the table (or on your hands) use some flour to give it more conistency. The result has to be a smooth “ball”(see picture below). Once you have your pastry ready place it on a plate and let it aside for 15 minutes. A good tip is to cover it with a cloth or some film.

In the meanwhile, the cream can be prepared according to the following instructions:

Place the egg yolks in a sauce pan and add  the sugar.

 

Beat them together with a wooden spoon and gently sift in the flour. Whisk thoroughly until fully combined. Transfer the sauce pan on medium heat and add the slice of lemon rind or 1tsp lemon flavour.  Gently add the milk at room temperature, little by little, and bring the ingredients to a boil.

 

Keep stirring constantly as we don’t want a “smoked flavour”. Remove from the stove and set aside.

Pre heat your oven at 180°. Work your pasta frolla, using a rolling pin: you need to create a disk who fits  the baking tin. The thickness of your cake has to be at least 1.5 cm; if your baking tin is too large, you need a smaller one. Crostata has to be eaten with your hands so it has to be “hard enough”.

Place the pastry into your baking tin; you don’t need to butter the tin. While cooking the butter into the pastry will prevent the cake from sticking. When placing the mixture remember to create a little border so tyou will be able to eat it with your hands.

Place the baking tin into the oven and bake it for 30 minutes or unitl golden ( you can use the toothpick test if you are not sure).  While the cake is cooling down, add the custard (Crema pasticcera) on the top!Guarnish your cake with fresh fruit and ..enjoy!

 

Ps: we love tasty food, don’t we? So try to choose only seasonal fruit – you will get the best natural flavour ever. I’ve heard October is perfect for cox apples…;-)