GREEN LASAGNE

Here’s one of my favourite dishes, delicious and perfect for a dinner with hungry friends. The original recipe is typical of my hometown – my grandma’s makes superb lasagne with freshly homemade green pesto – and this is an easier version for dummies like me.

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What you need

A 500g box of pasta lasagna
Pesto sauce (160-200g)
3-4 mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
A glass of milk
Extra virgin olive oil

 

How to prepare

Turn on the oven at the maximum temperature and prepare an oven-pan with oven-paper on it and a sprinkle of oil. Cut the mozzarella cheese in little cubes and put it in a bowl at one side.

Boil water in a pot, add salt like you’ve learned to do for any king of pasta. When water is boiling, sear the pieces of pasta one by one, and place them in the oven-pan, covering all he surface. When you’ve completed one layer, cover it with the pesto sauce (in this picture I didn’t put a lot of it to show you the layers, but you should put more sauce, don’t be stingy), add a spoon of milk, some cubes of mozzarella and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it. Continue with the other layers making the same procedure, until you’ve finished the pasta and put only parmesan cheese and oil on the last layer.

Now put your composition in the oven and wait around 15 minutes. When the upper and lateral side is turning bronze and you smell the incredible smell of basil mixed with cheese, your green lasagne is ready. Call your friends and wait a moment before eating it. you don’t want to burn your tongue, don’t you?

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COOKING TIPS: FRESH FILLED TOMATOES

One of my favourites vegetables when the temperature is too hot is tomatoes. Remember the Filled tomatoes recipe I’ve already published? Here’s the summer version, a fresh and easy recipe for a finger food that will suit every garden or beach party.

Pomodori ripieni – summer version

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What you need

7 red tomatoes (San Marzano, the long ones)

150 g of tuna in olive oil

2 eggs

1 handful of capers

Mayo

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

 

How to prepare

Boil some water in a small pan and cook two hard eggs. Wash well the tomatoes and cut them in two parts for the long side. With a little spoon remove the interior part of the tomato and put in on a side. You should have 14 red boats: dispose them on a large dish with the round side downwards. Now it’s the time of the filling. Drain the tuna and put in a bowl with the interior part of the tomatoes. Add the hard-cooked eggs cut in small pieces, a handful of mince capers, salt and some mayo (just a little bit, a couple of spoons). Mix with a fork and fill the tomatoes. Put it in the fridge for half an hour and your finger food is ready.

 

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VALENCIA: TE GUSTA LA PAELLA?

paella-valencia

Valencia è la patria della paella, una specialità culinaria diventata famosa in tutto il mondo come sinonimo di Spagna e allegria. Si tratta di un’invitante e profumata preparazione a base di riso, zafferano e olio d’oliva, cui si aggiungono carne e verdure. Ne esistono ormai numerose varianti, tra cui quella vegetariana e quella con frutti di mare, ma la ricetta tradizionale è condita con pollo, coniglio, pomodoro e fagiolini.

Ingredienti:

500 g di arroz di Valencia o riso per risotti

800 g di petto di pollo tagliato a bocconcini

600 g di polpa di coniglio tagliato a bocconcini

250 g di fagiolini verdi piatti

200 g di fagioli bianchi di Valencia

100 g di pomodori freschi

olio extra vergine d’oliva

1 bustina di zafferano

1 cucchiaio di paprika

rosmarino

brodo vegetale

 

Preparazione:

Scaldate l’olio in una grande padella e fate rosolare la carne mescolando bene perché non si attacchi. Quando la carne è dorata a sufficienza, spostatela verso l’esterno della padella e al centro mettete le verdure, sempre girando bene. Aggiungete poi tutti gli altri ingredienti, i pomodori sminuzzati, il rosmarino, il sale e la paprika. Sfumate con il brodo vegetale fino a ricoprire tutta la carne e le verdure, aggiungete zafferano, sale, pepe nero e mescolate bene. Quando il brodo bolle, incorporate il riso, abbassate il fuoco e lasciate cuocere per 40 minuti, girando spesso finché il brodo si sarà assorbito completamente, lasciando il riso cotto ma croccante e la carne e le verdure tenere.

 

GRANDMA’S APPLE PIE

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What you need:

350 g flour

190 g brown sugar

4 big apples

2 eggs

70 g (1/2 glass) extra virgin olive oil)

1/2 sachet yeast

125 g whole milk yogurt

cinnamon

How to prepare:

Pre-heat the oven at the maximum leve. Peel the apples and cut into small irregular parts (like little triangles) and put the pieces in a bowl.

Take another bowl and put the ingredients into it: flour, sugar, oil, yogurt, eggs and yeast. Mix with a spoon until it’s uniformly blended. Add the apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and mix again.

Cover a casserole with oven paper and fill it with the mixture you’ve just prepared. Cut the exceeding paper and put in the pre-heated oven at 180° for 1 hour.

Check it sometimes, never trust recipes timings 🙂

Anyway, you should smell the parfume when it’s ready. When the surface is golden and the borders are almost brown (not burnt), remove the casserole from the oven. Wait until it’s cool, call your friends and serve.

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RICE CAKE

Here’s a typical dish of my hometown, very easy to cook and delicious. It is called “torta di riso”: I tried a couple of days ago and it was a great success. There are many versions and every family has its own. Here’s my mom’s recipe.

torta-di-riso

What you need

250 g parboiled rice
3 eggs
30 g parmesan cheese
250 g ricotta cheese
bread crumbles
aromatic herbs, majoram, oregano
salt
oil

How to prepare

Before starting to cook, turn on the oven at the maximum heat. Cook the rice in boiling water (remember to add salt) for 10-15 mins. Drain and put the rice in a big bowl. Add ricotta cheese, aromatic herbs, grated parmesan cheese, salt and the eggs.

Technically, you can add whatever you like to the mixture and try your personal variation: rice with peas, lettuce, ham, saffron, other kinds of cheese…

Mix well and put everything in a large casserole covered with oven paper. Level the mixture with a spoon but don’t press it too much. Sprinkle some bred crumbles on the whole surface to make a crispy crust and add three spoons of oil.

Put the casserole in the oven and cook it at 200° for half an hour. When you see it becomes yellowy and the borders are crunchy, it’s ready. Make it cool a bit and taste it. Here’s your lunch for today, and also for a couples of more days if you keep it in the fridge! Enjoy.