Special quite days and occasions need to be filled with goodness to be really special.
In Southern Italy still exists a particular culinary tradition, where is still possible to taste authentic genuine food, as it once was. Yet, Southern Italy regional food and tradition are considered, by non- Italian cultures, as a complicated, but genuine, combination of ingredients. “Add a seat at the table, if there is one more friend” is the perfect motto to describe what normally happens at Italian tables.
Sunday lunch, birthdays, Christmas and any other holidays: you spend them laughing and eating around a table full of delicacies. It’s a real challenge against someone’s limits but unusually there’s always a free part in every stomach to accept a little more food.
It may seems strange, even crazy, but during these days the atmosphere is really special, so you have to grow up in such Italian families to really understand what it means. When you grow up adults and you move from your native place, of course, you lose such habit. (in fact, when you go back home to you relatives it sounds ironically traumatic).
Yet, despite the distance, I still have the habit to cook for all my family, especially during special days, and enjoy food made with love.
Unfortunately, there are some dishes cannot be enjoyed every day. Today is an important day for me: I am going to bake cannelloni stuffed with tofu, basil, spinach and nuts and covered with sauce and all my love.
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 kg fresh spinach;
50 g cashew nuts;
100 pine nuts;
Just enough basil;
A pinch of salt.
Ingredients for the sauce:
1/2 golden onion;
500g tomato sauce;
Just enough salt;
Half lemon juice.
Clean spinach and eliminate stems. Wash and rinse.
Cut tofu and let it marinate with salt, olive oil, lemon and chopped basil for 30 minutes.
Mash spinach, marinated tofu, cashew nuts and pine nuts
Add to the mixture all the ingredients and stir them well
Leave the mixture in the fridge for about 20 minutes
For the sauce:
Put a pan over the heat with a little olive oil:
Mince onion. Peel a clove of garlic.
Add onion and garlic in a frying pan, wait until it becomes browner;
Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, fennel seeds and a few basil leaves.
Cook for about 20 minutes
Stir often with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking on the bottom;
Eliminate garlic cloves.
For the cannelloni:
Cover the base of a roasting pan with the sauce.
Add the filling for cannelloni, using a piping bag.
Cover the surface of the cannelloni with the sauce.
Cover the pan with an aluminum foil and bake at 180° for 30 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the foil to sear the surface of cannelloni.
My house is blooming. I smell scent of lavender, daisy and sunflower. Last Sunday we dropped by the amazing Flower Market on Columbia Road and, as always, I didn’t resist to all those colourful tonalities and infinite pleasant scents. We came back home with a handful of Spring in our hands and now my living room looks like the mirror of my emotions and at the same time you can feel in the air the desire to sink down in multi-coloured fields.
An old blanket, a poetry book and a basket full of delicious food: today we will have a picnic under the shade of an oak tree. I will serve a cold pasta salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, basil, mint and other flavouring. This dish is the protagonist of my day and it looks like a floral arrangement. I am enjoying it while I am reading Neruda’s poems and I keep quiet when tasting my pasta.
“Here I love you.
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things” (P. Neruda)
Let’s enjoy the Sun. We will blooming as love poems.
Ingredients for 4 people:
400 gr of Italian pasta;
2 not too much ripe avocados cut into chunks;
20 cherry tomatoes. Cut them into 2 parts;
Some mint leaves;
200 gr of roughly cut basil;
A table spoon of fennel seeds;
Some lemon juice;
Just enough pepper;
Just enough extra virgin olive oil;
200 gr of basil;
1 chopped garlic clove;
1/5 onion finely chopped;
1 table spoon 100% maple syrup;
A pinch of salt;
Just enough balsamic vinegar.
Cook the pasta, drain it “al dente” and pass it under cold water to stop the cooking process, then put it into a bowl;
Stir cherry tomatoes together with basil, mint, garlic, onion, pepper, lemon juice, fennel seeds, maple syrup, vinegar, oil and salt: mix well all the ingredients and let it marinate for about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally;
Add the seasoning to the pasta, add avocado and stir it well;
This recipe is a wonderful start to your week! It is an excellent choice, both for lunch or even for dinner. It is high in protein and totally veggie (as all my recipes) and very easy to prepare.
These pancakes are excellent served both hot or cold, and it is an ideal dish you can made in no time if you want to surprise your friends! Another good thing is that this dish is all but predictable, since it is tasty as well as not very common.
So, you just have to take notes of ingredients and preparation method.
Chickpea flour and curcuma powder can be find in any supermarket with no difficulty. They are popular ingredients in Indian and Middle Eastern food, so it is very easy to buy if you need them.
Combine cold water with chickpea flour in a container;
Wash and drain broccoli and the onion. Mix them up in a food processor or in a blender;
Add some turmeric, some black pepper, salt and parsley in the mixture. Continue mincing it;
Add the vegetables to chickpea flour
Eventually add some extra virgin olive oil to the mixture;
Heat a non – stick pan. Pour a spoonful of pancake batter into the pan and spread it to form a pancake (exactly as sweet pancakes);
Chop up finely red savoy cabbage salad and flavour it with some salt. Let it stand for 30 about minutes.
Cook your pancakes for around 2 minutes on medium heat. Cook the other side for a while. When you finish cooking, let them chill. Garnish them with some yoghurt and seasoned red cabbage salad (as side dish).