Easy, tasty and healthy melon and prosciutto starter

The taste of Italy… Looking for an inspiration for your traditional summer salad? This Summer Melon with San Daniele Prosciutto and mozarella recipe blends sweet fruit with salty prosciutto for a fresh and tasty side dish. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil, aged aceto balsamico, and garnish with the shaved Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese. Ingredients: 1 sweet melon, peeled, halved and seeds removed 100 g thinly sliced San Daniele prosciutto Mozarella ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil Extra virgin olive oil 20g Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese shavings Bunch of basil leaves Directions: Cut the melon into pieces. Arrange the melon pieces and San Daniele prosciutto on a serving plate or board. Add Mozarella 3 cm cubes. Keep chilled. When ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil (and balsamic reduction) and sprinkle with parmesan shavings. Decorate with basil leaves.   I used in this recipe: Extra Virgin Olive...

Penne with shrimp tails and tomato sauce

In Italy is used the name Scampi for shrimps. Try to remember it the next time you are visiting the beautiful Southern region of Italy such as Sicily or Puglia 😉 Pasta Penne tossed with sautéed shrimp tails, lots of garlic and chopped parsley then combined with a homemade tomato sauce. It takes only 40 minutes to prepare it. It is the perfect week night or ”guests are coming” Italian pasta dish. Ingredients: 300 g shrimp tails (or whole ones) 1 cup parsley, chopped 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 6 fresh cloves garlic, chopped ⅓ cup bread crumbs ½ glass of white wine Salt & pepper, to taste 500 g tomato sauce Pasta Penne, 400 g Directions: Place a large and deep saucepan over low heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, garlic and chopped parsley (leave a small portion for plate decoration at the end) and cook until lightly golden. Add the breadcrumbs and stir quickly before tossing in the shrimp tails. Cook for 5 minutes and add the white wine. Stirr till the wine evaporates. Put a lid on the saucepan and shake it vigorously for a few seconds to coat the shrimps in the sauce. Shake the saucepan frequently for few minutes. Add in the saucepan tomato sauce and stirr. Salt it to taste. Leave it on heat for approx. 30 minutes more. Stirr from time to time and add water if needed. In the meantime cook the pasta Penne in salted boiled water till ”al dente”. Check the instructions on the packaging fort the exact timing. Put shrimp sauce on pasta, stirr and serve it...

Shrimps and zucchini appetizers

If you are planning a romantic dinner with your partner, than you should light the candels, put some good music on, prepare two glasses of a very good white wine and cook this delicious appetizers. It is a very light dish, ideal for summer evenings. Your partner will adore it. Ingredients: 1 long local zucchini, sliced lenghtwise 16 schrimp tails, 3/4 peeled 3 cloves of garlic, choped 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped 1/3 cup lemon juice ½ cup white wine Salt to taste 15 g of Parmiggiano Reggiano Directions: Wash the zucchini and slice it lenghtwise. Heat extra virgin olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add zucchini slices on oil and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes on both size. When zucchini slices are cooked put them on a plate. In the same pan put peeled shrimp tails. Stir well and cook for 5 minute. Add white wine and when the wine evaporates add lemon juice. Stir for another 2 minutes and add chopped garlic cloves and a pinch of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese. Cook for another 1 minute. Take off from heat. Take one slice of zucchini from the plate and wrap it around the shrimp. Place this combination on a white long plate. Repeat this procedure till shrimp tails are finished. Decorate the wraped shrimps with chopped parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Serve them immediately.   I used in this recipe: Extra Virgin Olive Oil...

Panna cotta recipe

Panna cotta dessert always reminds me about my older sister Lara who is a very good cook. Many years ago (I will not tell you how many ;)) I asked her about her original recipe. Not the one you buy in the shop in powder but the real – original one (with only natural ingredients). Trust me … the taste of the natural one is far away from the one in powder. With this recipe I will share her secrets with you … Ingredients: 250 ml of milk (whole) 250 ml fresh heavy liquid cream (no added sugar) 6 tbs of sugar (I put the brown one but you may use also the white one) Vanilla seeds 1X (please, do not use artificial vanilla aroma!) 8 gelatine sheets, unflavored 2 cups of fresh berries (the alternative is honey with truffles) Directions: Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until soft (for approx. 5 minutes). In the meantime place the milk, liquid cream, 4 tbs of sugar and vanilla seeds into a pan and bring to a simmer on medium high heat. Take off the mixture when boiled. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add to the pan. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Divide the mixture amoung 5 small bowls and leave to cool. Cover with kitchen film the 5 bowls and place them into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Fort the sauce, place the remaining 2 tbs of sugar, water and fresh berries into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the...

Mezze penne con Pesto Genovese

A simple and classic pesto Genovese is made in a ”mortaio”. Mortaio is an Italian common name for a bowl, usually made from stone, marble or wood (very heavy), used for making pesto Genovese. In case you do not have one in your house you may use a grinder. Pesto Genovese is perfect for pasta, on a bruschetta, as a pizza sauce, garnish for soups, or paired with grilled meats. Ingredients: 30g fresh basil leaves 30g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 15g Pecorino cheese 2 fresh cloves garlic 15g pine nuts 60ml extra-virgin olive oil pinch of kitchen salt 300 g pasta Mezze penne Directions: Put in a mortaio fresh garlic cloves and start pounding it with the pestle. When totally crushed add basil leaves to cover the bowl almost to the top. Add the rest of basil leaves and repeat the process of pounding. Add pine nuts and pound them. Begin adding Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino cheese. Pour extra virgin olive oil and keep pounding very slowly. Cook the pasta Mezze penne in salted boiled water till “al dente”. Check the instructions on the packaging fort the exact timing. Stir the pesto Genovese with spaghetti and serve it on a plate. Decor it with whole basil leaves.   I used in this recipe: Extra Virgin Olive Oil...

Fusilli with Mussels alla Busara

Busara is a very common way for preparing seafood in Italy. It is an excellent, simple and delicious recipe. No matter which seafood you choose the main ingredients remains always the same. This way of preparation gives plenty of delicious juice, sometimes even more tempting than the main ingredient itself. There is an expression in Italy ”Fare la scarpetta” which means to mop up the sauce from a plate with a piece of bread. My husband always says that this is the best way to eat mussels alla busara. To prepare Fusilli with mussels alla busara we need… Ingredients: 1 kg mussels, washed & beards removed 1 cup parsley, chopped 1 cup olive oil 6 fresh cloves garlic, chopped ⅓ cup bread crumbs ½ glass of white wine Salt & pepper, to taste 500 g tomato sauce Pasta Fusilli, 400 g Directions: Clean (tear off beards) and wash mussels. Place a large and deep saucepan over low heat. Add olive oil, garlic and chopped parsley (leave a small portion for plate decoration at the end) and cook until lightly golden. Add the breadcrumbs and stir quickly before tossing in the cleaned mussels followed by the white wine. Stirr till the wine evaporates. Put a lid on the saucepan and shake it vigorously for a few seconds to coat the mussels in the sauce. Shake the saucepan frequently for a few minutes. The mussels will be done when they’ve all opened. The closed ones throw away. Tumble onto a platter and serve with crusty bread. Very delicious! Or you can prepare the sauce for pasta. In that case add in the...

Authentic Italian recipe for Tiramisu’

Tiramisu’ is one of the most famous Italian desserts. It’s literal translation is ‘pick me up’ for the coffee that it contains. With its luscious layers of whipped cream, sweetened mascarpone mixture and savoiardi biscuits softened by their dip in liqueur-spiked espresso, it is a dream of a dessert indeed. Ingredients: 5 fresh eggs from local supplier 5 tbs of sugar 750g of mascarpone cheese 1 X vanilla seeds 3 cups of coffee 2 tbs of Rum 40 savoiardi biscuits (crisp Italian ladyfingers) 1/2 cup cocoa powder Directions: Tiramisu’ is made in the traditional Italian way with raw eggs. Try to get them from your local supplier as these are enriched with Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals. Beat the whole eggs with sugar and vanilla seeds in stand mixer on medium high for 8 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese which tastes like cream but is much thicker (it is not salty at all) and mix slowly until just combined (for approx. another 8 minutes). In the meantime put coffee in a medium bowl together with Rum and wait until the temperature drops down to room temperature. Quickly dip Savoiardi biscuits in and line the bottom of square glass dish. Spread over half the cream, then top with another layer of coffee dipped biscuits. Spread on the top with remaining cream. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Cover, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder...

Bruschetta – fresh summer appetizer for dinner party with friends

You will find around many recipes for bruschettas. But the classic one is my favourite. I can say that it is the best way to start a summer dinner party with friends accompanied with aperitivo Aperol Spritz. The mix of chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil is the perfect combination to capture all summer garden flavours on toasted baguette. Ingredients: 6 fresh tomatoes from garden or local farmer 2 cloves garlic ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (60 ml) 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 6 fresh basil leaves 1 tbs dried oregano Salt and black pepper to taste 1 baguette bread or similar Directions: Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds. Than cut them in small pieces, put them in medium bowl and toss them with 1 minced clove of garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add chopped basil leaves, dried oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slice the baguette making thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with 1 cloves garlic and olive oil. Place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toast the baguette slices in toaster or in owen (preheat 230°C). Toast for few minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Serve on plate: toasted bread – olive oil side facing up. Use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato...

Caprese salad recipe

Caprese salad is a typical dish of the island of Capri. It recalls the 3 colours of italian flag. It is very easy to prepare. You will need only 10 minutes. With only 5 ingredients this salad is the perfect starter for summer light dinners. Ingredients: Round large tomatoes Mozarella di bufala (or classic mozarella or burrata) Basil Balsamic vinegar Olive oil Directions: This delicious salad can be a first course, a second or a tasty main dish. Choose round large tomatoes directly from local farmers. Cut them to slices – the slices of tomato should be almost equal to those of the mozzarella slices. Take a serving dish and arrange on it alternate slices of tomato and mozarella di bufala. Spice with salt and spread all over fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic...

Cherries with aged balsamic vinegar from Modena

Have you ever tried the perfect combination of fresh cherries wrapped in drops of balsamic vinegar aged for 25 years? No? Well, I recommend you to try it just once. So tasty, juicy, sweet flavour with a slight acidity. You may sprinkle brown sugar on cherries and decorate the plate as you wish.          Important: you should choose balsamic vinegar aged at least 25 years or more (in oak barrels). It is distinguished by its high density, it has the typical barrique well-balanced and harmonious aroma. You may use this aged vinegar also for grilled meat (delicious!), boiled vegetables, Parmesan cheese, vanilla ice cream or as condiment for strawberries or...

Bucatini all’Amatriciana original recipe

Amatriciana sauce, originating from the town of Amatrice (in Lazio region), is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato sauce. Some people in Italy argue about flavouring the sauce with chilli peppers or not. The original recipe says that we should not put the spicy chili pepper in the sauce. Of course this is up to your personal taste – if you like spicy or not. What do you need to prepare Bucatini all’Amatriciana? 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 12 ounces thinly sliced guanciale pancetta 4 cloves garlic, sliced 2 cups of good tomato sauce 500g pasta Bucatini Freshly grated Pecorino Romano Portions: for 4 people Directions: Start by (low) heating olive oil in a pan. Then add garlic slices and grill them for 2 minutes and than add guanciale and cook the pork until it’s slightly crisped and browned. You should cook on low heat because only in this way you will get all the beautiful flavours out of garlic and pork. Than add tomato sauce, season with salt and gently cook for about 30 minutes (add water when needed). In the meanwhile boil pasta bucatini (thick spagetti with a hole thought the center of each noodle) in salted water till the pasta is ”al dente” (for approx. 8 minutes – see instructions on pasta package). Transfer the pasta into the pot with Amatriciana souce and add freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese off the heat, along with freshly ground black pepper to taste.   Enjoy your meal! Buon apetito!   I used in this recipe: Extra virgin olive Oil     ...

Baby spinach with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts

Do you know that days when you are bored about ”always the same”; salad. Without inspiration, without colour, without satisfaction … With this recipe I will show you that also a simple salad can be very good and tasty appetizer. As I usually say: choose best ingredients to prepare or cook best dishes. This salad will show it’s best only if you choose really good ingredients. Ingredients: Baby spinach leaves Sun-dried tomatoes Pine nuts Pecorino Romano cheese Freshly squeezed lemon sauce Extra Virgin Olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Chives long leaves      Directions: Wash baby spinach leaves and gently dry them with paper napkin. Cut sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. Take a salad bowl and put inside baby spinach leaves and chopped tomatoes. Add pine nuts and freshly grated Pecorino Romano. Season the salad with freshly squezeed lemon sauce, extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground black pepper. Decorate the bowl with chives long leaves and serve. Instead of Pecorino Romano you may use Burrata cheese. I used in this recipe: Extra virgin olive Oil                                          Sun dried tomatoes...

Parmigiana recipe

Guess where does the name of the dish Parmigiana comes from? From Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese which gives to Parmigiana plate brown, crispy and tasty feeling The origin of the dish is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily (south Italy).          Ingredients: 2 large eggplant Extra virgin olive oil 2 X fresh mozarella, sliced 1/8-inch thick 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves ½ cup of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano 1 tbs fresh bread crumb Salt Ingredients for tomato sauce: ½ l tomato sauce 1 yellow onion 4 garlic cloves 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hands   Directions: Cut the eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1,5 inches thick. Season the slices with salt and  leave everything to rest for approx. 30 minutes. Eggplant slices will drop the water outside. Thanks to this move when you will place eggplant slices in oiled pan, they will not drink all the oil. Place the pan with extra-virgin olive oil on low heat. Then add garlic slices and after 2 minutes add eggplant slices. Cook them till they turn to brown on both sides. Preheat the owen to 180 C In the second oiled pan place garlic and chopped onions. After 5 minutes add bread crumbs and after 1 minute add tomato sauce and crushed whole tomatoes. Add salt and cook the sauce for at least another 20 minutes. In baking sheet place on the bottom tomato sauce, than eggplant slice evenly spaced apart. Place one slice of mozzarella over each eggplant slice and repeat with tomato sauce. Than place again eggplant slices, mozarella slices,...

Pasta Linguine with Ragu alla bolognese sauce

Pasta with Ragù alla Bolognese is my kids most favorite dish. They just love it … and I have to admit … I love it very much as well. Perhaps this pasta is the most famous Italian dish in the world. The preparation of this great recipe is very easy, but needs time (approx. 2 hours), right and local ingredients and a very good thick-bottomed heavy pot. Take your time and be prepared to taste something really delicious when ready. Ingredients 750 g minced meat (half beef, half pork) 2 chopped Carrots 2 chopped Yellow onions 1 chopped small green pepper 2 fresh cloves garlic, chopped 750 g tomato sauce ½ cup of olive oil 1 Black pepper salt to taste 1/2 glass White wine 500 g of pasta Linguine Instructions: Place the pot over low heat. Put inside olive oil and after 2 minutes place chopped onions and chopped carrots. Stir–fry on low temperature till the mixture turns brown. Add fresh chopped garlic, chopped green pepper and after 1 minute add minced meat. Put the heat on medium high. Stir-fry the meat until all the liquid inside the meat is evaporated and until it turns to golden brown. Than add white wine and occasionally stirr till the wine is evaporated. Than put inside tomato sauce with some water, stirr and cover the pot with a lid. Cook on medium heat for about one hour. From time to time stirr and put some water if needed. The Ragù alla Bolognese have to simmer very gently all the cooking time. At the end – when you will see drops of olive oil on...