Maple ribs

With summer season approaching, why not trying this delicious recipe? The secret is to start marinating the meat the day before.

What you need:

  • 1kg pork ribs;
  • 1 garlic clove;
  • 100 ml maple syrup;
  • 1 tbs white vinegar;
  • 3 tbs tomato purée;
  • juice of 1 lemon;
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped;
  • 10 grams smoked paprika;
  • lemon slices;

How to make it:

First step is to prepare the sauce: beat together the maple syrup,  garlic, vinegar, tomato purée and the lemon juice. Add the paprika and the chilli. Arrange the meat in a bowl and pour the mixture over the ribs. Let marinate in the refrigeratore as much as you can (at least 5 hours).

Preheat the oven at 180°C, place the ribs on a baking tin and cover with the mixture left, if any. Bake for around 1hour and half.

Your dish is ready when the ribs are tender and sticky. Serve with some lemon slices for squeezing over.

ps: unfortunately I did not manage to take any pic for this recipe but it was so delicious that I will cook it again and this time with pics!

Basic lasagna recipe

It has been a while since my last post. Ah, such a busy life..:) Anyway, I really hope you will enjoy today’s recipe: LASAGNA! Probably the most famous dish of the Italian tradition.

Lasagna is a very tasty and easy recipe BUT there are few important things to keep in mind. First thing, the quality of the pasta. This is vital for your dish.  Many blogs and books advise you to boil the lasagna sheets before assembling the dish, well, do not do it! If you buy a good quality brand of pasta you don’t need to pre cook them as they will cook in the oven with the other ingredients. In my dish I used De Cecco sheets, they are the best. Especially if you make lasagna for the first time, make sure you buy good quality pasta. I don’t recommend you to buy cheap brands – the result is awful.

Second thing: the traditional recipe for lasagna includes 4 main ingredients: pasta, ragù (meat sauce), besciamella and parmesan cheese. All the rest is optional. Of course you can add mozzarella cheese,  vegetables, ham, chicken..whatever you want but they are not part of the original recipe.

Last but not least: try to make your own hand made besciamella sauce, don’t buy it. It is not difficult, you just need some practice. But I guarantee you that the result will be amazing.

What you need:

How to make it:

Pre heat the oven at 200C°. Pour a thin coating of besciamella sauce into a non-stick tray. Make sure all the tray is covered with a bit of sauce, alternatively you can coat it with butter or olive oil.

Arrange the pasta sheets in order to cover the bottom of the baking dish, then add the ragù and the besciamella sauce. Cover the sauce with another layer of pasta, then again with the meat and the besciamella. At the end you should have 3 layers of pasta.

Cover the top with the ragù and the besciamella sauce left and spread all over the parmesan cheese. This will make sure your lasagna gets a bit crusty on the top.

 Cook your dish for 35 minutes at 180C° and serve very warm. It’s perfect with a glass of  red wine!

 

TIP: if you like you can add some parmesan in between the layers of the lasagna, but remember to keep most of it for the top.

Roasted chicken with potatoes

What you need:

  • chicken drumsticks (6 or 7);
  • extra virgin olive oil;
  • salt;
  • sage, rosemary and thyme;
  • 4 large potatoes;

How to make it:

The firs thing to do is marinate the chicken. Mix the salt, the rosemary, the sage and the thyme together and sprinkle the drumsticks with the mixture one by one. Put them in a salad bowl and cover with enough extra virgin olive oil. Allow the chicken to marinate for 2/3 hours.

 

Cut the potatoes in small pieces and boil them for 10 minutes in a sauce pan (remember to add the salt to the boiling water). Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and meanwhile place your chicken in a roasting pan. Add to the tray the potatoes and more olive oil. Remember that the oil will prevent the potatoes from sticking in the baking tray so..be generous! At least 5 tbs of oil are required. Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes and every 10 mins remember to turn the chicken (and the potatoes). If the chicken or the potatoes are too dry add more oil. When the  drumsticks are well roasted and cooked (like in the pic) it’s time to enjoy your meal.