Cooking Italian

Out of the main bustle of the Coffee shop this is where people gather to share recipes and tips/tricks.

Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » September 27th, 2018, 9:24 am

Thought it would be good to have a thread with our favourite Italian recipes/menus all grouped together.

For example ... yesterday's supper was an AUTUMNAL MINESTRONE ... I used skinned beef-type tomatoes and courgettes from the garden, a diced onion, carrot and a couple of sticks of diced celery, a tin of cannellini beans, a handful of conchiglietti pasta, shredded basil from the garden.le Marigold vegetable bouillon powder and a piece of parmesan rind. Simmered for a couple of hours in the morning, left to cool and for the flavours to develop and reheated to room temperature for supper.

We followed that with Antonio Carluccio's CHICKEN LIVER PASTA http://www.eatout.co.za/recipe/antonio- ... ver-pasta/ ... it was the first time I'd made it .... very enjoyable and it will be made again.

Both courses worked very well together :D
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby karadekoolaid » September 27th, 2018, 11:50 am

Wonderful idea, Suffs!
Today we´re eating lasagna; but no ordinary lasagna. This one is made with crêpes instead of pasta, which makes it extraordinarily silky. The original recipe (which, I understand, comes from somewhere near Rome) does not include the meat sauce, but rather dozens of tiny, pea-sized polpettini - meatballs. Since we´re not prepared to spend three days rolling miniature meatballs, that part got left out.
To begin with, a classic Caponata: aubergines, celery , red onions, wine vinegar, raisins, capers - and a mere suggestion of chocolate!
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby PatsyMFagan » September 29th, 2018, 8:35 am

oooh, this thread is going to open a whole new world for me ;) :tu: :bounce: :chops:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » September 29th, 2018, 9:09 am

PatsyMFagan wrote:oooh, this thread is going to open a whole new world for me ;) :tu: :bounce: :chops:
:tu:

I've always used Marcella Hazan's books for my Italian cooking ... I bought them when they first appeared as paperbacks in the late 70s-early 80s? but OH getting quite enthused by Jamie O's Cooking Italian series .... the book may appear in his stocking this 25/12 :hi5:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Seatallan » September 29th, 2018, 1:17 pm

My mouth is seriously watering.... :hungry: :hungry: :hungry:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby StokeySue » September 29th, 2018, 7:37 pm

I started with Elizabeth David’s Italian Food and Mediterranean Food and I’ve gone on from there. I’m considering getting an Anna del Conte book, not sure which. I also got taken to Italy a couple of times as a child, and inter-railrd up and down Italy as a student, so I had some idea what I was aiming for. Living within easy reach of Soho and Fitzrovia, with all the shops and restaurants
It’s often my go-to cuisine for good tasty food, pasta of course but also meat, fish and veg dishes. A good dinner for one is often pasta carbonara with a tomato and onion or tomato and basil salad. Or possibly pasta arrabiata or amatriciana with a green salad.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby karadekoolaid » October 1st, 2018, 12:55 am

Anyone seen the " Pasta Grannies" on You Tube? Lovely ideas from some magnificent Italian grannies!
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 1st, 2018, 5:30 am

Jamie O’s Cooking Italian has been featuring real Italian Nonnas showing how real Italian food is prepared ... and disagreeing amongst themselves of course :lol:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby StokeySue » October 1st, 2018, 10:27 am

Someone (can’t think who now, but someone I trust) said she was taught to make pasta carbonara by her nonna

So much cream she has since cut it down :twisted:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby PatsyMFagan » October 4th, 2018, 7:43 am

I actually have more than one of Jamie O's books, including an Italian one :rolleyes: :oops: Trouble is there's generally only me to eat what I make, but will take it down from the book-case and peruse. I also have a pasta maker …. :oops: I have tried it out and loved making pasta. :tu:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 4th, 2018, 7:46 am

Looking at some of the dishes the Nonnas cooked for Jamie in the market, I think they would lend themselves very easily to one person quantities.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby PatsyMFagan » October 4th, 2018, 7:52 am

:tu: :tu: :tu:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Zosherooney » October 6th, 2018, 6:50 am

In my head I am still in Italy and thought these looked easy and different..https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... tti-recipe
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Herbidacious » October 7th, 2018, 7:19 pm

I bought Jamie O's Italy in an attempt to cheer me up last week. It looks good. I think there is a bit of recycling. Ribollita recipe is now Tuscan soup. But there are plenty of recipes to like. Just opened it and it feel open at baked risotto pie: chilli, garlic, squash, lots of cheese, breadcrumbs... Mushroom bread soup... Lots to like.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 8th, 2018, 7:08 am

Mushroom bread soup sounds very interesting!

I am finding the new JO Italy series very watchable, mainly for the insight into Italian living and the scenery. Maybe that was the intention now that he has pretty much done all the recipes under the sun...

Italian food question please. :grin: If I make a huge portion of risotto and have a mountain of leftovers, is there anything I can do with it other than arancini? I'm thinking maybe stuffing something. Peppers first sprung to mind, followed by courgettes?
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 8th, 2018, 8:31 am

I'm sure it'd make a good stuffing for the veg (and you can stuff a chicken with it too) but arancini are my first option :hungry:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby earthmaiden » October 8th, 2018, 9:00 am

I think you could stuff all sorts of veg with it (or even put in a pastry case for a naughty treat). You can just reheat it to eat as is if you are not too much of a purist. Just make sure you cool the portion you are going to keep as quickly as you can.

I've never made arancini - I don't deep fry things at home and they look a faff. It might be nice to put into a gratin dish and top with a crumble/crumb mixture.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby StokeySue » October 8th, 2018, 10:21 am

Risotto is great for stuffing veg, or of course making arancini, risotto balls, very trendy round here. The only thing is, I think they may need deep frying, I’ve eaten loads but never made any

I am working my way through a pot of River Cafe Winter Minestrone, the kale based one. Got the chopping and cooking just so, but it uses a whole head of garlic and I used a lovely head of new season garlic and it’s a bit strong even for me! Handily used up some leftovers, I had used two hearts of celery for supper club, and some oddments of kale and cabbage.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 8th, 2018, 10:30 am

This is my go to arancini recipe https://www.cooked.com/uk/Antonio-Carlu ... lls-recipe and I shallow fry as he suggests.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby earthmaiden » October 8th, 2018, 10:34 am

This board makes dieting very hard :|. I haven't come across the Jamie Italian programme yet, I will have to try and find it.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 8th, 2018, 10:38 am

Think it's finished EM ... but it's here https://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamie-cooks-italy
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby earthmaiden » October 8th, 2018, 10:41 am

:tu: :tu:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Seatallan » October 8th, 2018, 12:21 pm

StokeySue wrote:I am working my way through a pot of River Cafe Winter Minestrone, the kale based one.


Oooh I adore that! Must make some soon. :chops:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby StokeySue » October 8th, 2018, 12:28 pm

suffolk wrote:This is my go to arancini recipe https://www.cooked.com/uk/Antonio-Carlu ... lls-recipe and I shallow fry as he suggests.


Could easily do that in a wok or chef’s pan :tu:
In fact could reduce it to a formula - add one beaten egg + extra cheese and seasoning to each 200g risotto, egg and crumb, then fry
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 8th, 2018, 12:32 pm

That's sort of what I do ... my amounts are very much '...ish' ;)
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby liketocook » October 14th, 2018, 8:58 pm

I made this https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/s ... clams-tart pork & fennel meatball recipe for dinner with friends today and it was utterly delicious :chops:
I did make a couple of changes based on what I had in/can get locally
I replaced the white wine with vermouth - neither my friends or I drink white wine so it wasn't worth opening a bottle
I only had 10g of dried porcini so added few sliced white mushrooms
I used ordinary green lentils as I had loads and can only get ready cooked puy ones anyway
I discovered after I had mixed the meatballs that the parsley was still on the counter :oops:

I served it with charlotte potatoes roasted with sea salt, black pepper & rosemary, savoy cabbage and carrots batons. It made a lovely dish for an informal get together but equally would make a good make ahead meal for a family. It's definitely on my make again list. :D
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby earthmaiden » October 15th, 2018, 8:37 am

I have been looking for a nice meatball recipe and they look lovely! Do you think it needs the clams? They are not exactly storecupboard items in this house!
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby liketocook » October 15th, 2018, 8:58 am

earthmaiden wrote:I have been looking for a nice meatball recipe and they look lovely! Do you think it needs the clams? They are not exactly storecupboard items in this house!

They are separate recipes EM :) , fresh clams are hard to get round here though I do keep a tin in the cupboard to satisfy my spaghetti and clams cravings :)
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby earthmaiden » October 15th, 2018, 9:05 am

:lol: :lol: I am half asleep this morning! I quickly scanned the clams ingredients and though they'd be an interesting addition to meatballs. The meatballs still look good and just the kind of recipe I was looking for.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby liketocook » October 15th, 2018, 9:18 am

earthmaiden wrote::lol: :lol: I am half asleep this morning! I quickly scanned the clams ingredients and though they'd be an interesting addition to meatballs. The meatballs still look good and just the kind of recipe I was looking for.

:tu: :D
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Kavey » October 15th, 2018, 11:44 am

I must try that chicken liver pasta!
I don't have a tonne of Italian recipe books but here are two favourite Italian recipes, one from Italian book and one from a general home cooking one:
https://www.kaveyeats.com/2018/05/lasag ... ecipe.html
https://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/07/smoke ... coast.html
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby karadekoolaid » October 15th, 2018, 5:33 pm

Yesterday I made Caponata. 8 jars of it - to satisfy the nibbling urges of my wife´s Canasta group :D
Aubergines, celery, red onions, a courgette, olives, capers, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Yum.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Ratatouille » October 16th, 2018, 9:09 am

There's risotto on the menu tomorrow. I've got some wild mushrooms to use soon. I never has left-over risotto Mr R sees to that!

One of my favourite sweets is Torta della Nonna = which is not a million miles away from the gorgeous Potuguese custard tarts we all seem to love.
The recipe I use is this one and I haven't made it for ages, so it's about time I put that right
http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/38109/to ... scana.aspx
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Herbidacious » October 17th, 2018, 1:47 pm

I love capanata. Never managed to make was as good as I want it to be though.

I plan to make risotto cake on Friday/Saturday.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 18th, 2018, 2:48 pm

Talking of risotto cake, Herbi, this Claudia Roden recipe is fantastic! https://www.e-rcps.com/pasta/rcp/ris/to ... spin.shtml and highly recommended.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 18th, 2018, 3:25 pm

That does look good :hungry:

What do you serve alongside that?
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 18th, 2018, 5:27 pm

We have it with a leafy salad. Often adding artichokes from a jar. It's great warm, and the left-overs are even better as the herbs have melded in.
The last one we made had loads of fresh rosemary in it and the one before had lots of fresh sage. The nutmeg in it is gorgeous.

DS likes to spread home-made pesto on it - but then he is a bit of a pestoholic! I make it with kale and basil, or spinach, or rocket, or fresh coriander and also substitute pine nuts with cashews or toasted / untoasted walnuts or ground almonds. The variety is infinite ... and always the same basic proportions. Happy to share our t & t quantities which I got from the Cafe Paradiso cookbook if anyone would like them :D
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 18th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Ooooh yes please :D :tu:

We've just had a sage and butternut squash risotto for supper this evening ... I added some saffron as well ... yummity yum yum :chops:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 18th, 2018, 6:06 pm

suffolk wrote:
We've just had a sage and butternut squash risotto for supper this evening ... I added some saffron as well ... yummity yum yum :chops:

:chops: :chops: sage and bns is just made in heaven! OH is the risotto chef and he makes a fantastic squash and sage puree which makes the risotto an amazing colour.

Pesto:
100g of whatever your main ingredient is or a mixture of green leafy veg like spinach and rocket etc I often use a lot of basil leaves with kale.
50g of whatever nut you decide to use, toasted or untoasted, depending on what you fancy
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
200-250ml olive oil
40g grated parmesan (I don't use parmesan in coriander pesto, which Denis Cotter makes with a fresh chilli. We don't really go in for chilli so I never use it with this pesto.)

Put everything except the oil and cheese, if using, in a food processor.
Blend to a coarse puree.
Add half the oil and the parmesan and blend again.
Transfer to a jug or a bowl and stir in the rest of the oil, or as much of it as you think the pesto needs.
Store it thick and dilute to the consistency you want.
When you store it, keep a thin layer of olive oil on top, to help preserve its colour.

Pesto is great in sarnies, or with good cheddar cheese on crackers or baguette ...
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Zosherooney » October 18th, 2018, 6:13 pm

On the subject of pesto...... Whilst in Ischia recently I had a hankering for pesto slathered on plain chicken. I bought an Italian brand not known over here and it was so very different, not cheesey at all, just a great basil taste. Mr. Z is not a cheese lover and he loved this. It went great with the chicken and with some local 'holey' bread made a lovely lunch.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 18th, 2018, 7:45 pm

ooh chicken slathered with pesto ... wonderful! And with local "holey" bread .... :chops: :chops:
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Zosherooney » October 18th, 2018, 8:17 pm

It was lovely KC2, you know what it's like when your tastebuds have a mind of their own and demand a certain flavour......!
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 18th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Zosherooney wrote:It was lovely KC2, you know what it's like when your tastebuds have a mind of their own and demand a certain flavour......!


:D :D
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby karadekoolaid » October 18th, 2018, 11:34 pm

I´m pretty sure pesto is not meant to be cheesy. To me, it´s a Basil -flavoured sauce; just like a good Chimichurri is oregano flavoured.
I make my pesto with blanched almonds, mostly, but we just came back from the USA and found a huge bag of pine nuts at a reasonable price. Yep, they´re Chinese, but they taste good to me.
The pine nut pesto is delightful! I surmise the cheese is only there for added texture, rather than strong flavour.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby Zosherooney » October 19th, 2018, 7:05 am

Hi Kool, Unfortunately most UK pestos have parmesan (or other cheaper alternatives) in them and Mr. Z. is not a cheese lover, he can detect it at 100 metres...
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 19th, 2018, 8:02 am

Zosh when in Tuscany some years ago we loved the little jars of Salsa verde we could pick up in the shops ... could that have been what Mr Zosh liked? They were in the same sort of jars as pesto and next to them on the shelves and the first time we bought it it was by mistake as we’d intended to buy pesto ... not really a basil sauce but it’s certainly very delicious on grilled chicken. I’ve not seen it in the supermarkets here but it’s so easy to make at home.
If Mr Z doesn’t like cheese then I think salsa verde is the way to go :chops:

Edited so that it makes sense :oops:
Last edited by suffolk on October 19th, 2018, 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby StokeySue » October 19th, 2018, 8:28 am

All authentic recipes I have seen for pesto alla Genovese contain cheese but I wouldn’t describe the result as “cheesy” as such - it should only be enough cheese to make it definitely savoury - that hint of umami

However the pesto we think of as standard / authentic comes from Genoa in Liguria, in the north near the French border. A local pesto in Ischia / Calabria which is in the south and where Parmesan, made in the north is not that much used might be different? If they use cheese it’s more likely to be pecorino which isn’t quite as strong as Parmesan IMO
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby KC2 » October 19th, 2018, 9:30 am

Zosherooney wrote:Hi Kool, Unfortunately most UK pestos have parmesan (or other cheaper alternatives) in them and Mr. Z. is not a cheese lover, he can detect it at 100 metres...


Well Zosh, home-made 'pesto' minus the cheese would seem to be the way to go!! If you like coriander, you should give that one a go! Or indeed, make your own with anything else not using it.

Suffs, I will seek out a salsa verde recipe for a change from pesto!
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Re: Cooking Italian

Postby suffolk » October 19th, 2018, 11:00 am

I use Marcella Hazan's recipe

Salsa verde

2.5 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
6 flat anchovy fillets mashed in a mortar or bowl or 1 dessertspoon anchovy essence
half a clove of garlic peeled and finely chopped
half a teaspoon strong Dijon mustard
half a teaspoon red wine vinegar if sauce is for meat, or 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice if it's to use with fish (vary amounts to taste)
8 tablespoons good olive oil.
Salt if necessary.

Put parsley, capers, mashed anchovies, garlic and mustard in a bowl and stir, mixing thoroughly.
Add vinegar or lemon juice and mix again.
Add olive oil beating thoroughly into the other ingredients.
Check salt and piquancy ... adding very small amounts of vinegar or lemon juice if you want it sharper .

Keeps in the fridge about a week. Stir well before serving.

Delicious with steamed fish. A must with bollito misto .... I love it on grilled/baked chicken :chops:

You can of course whizz it all up in the blender or with a stick blender thingummy but I do find that the ingredients need chopping/mashing first so it really doesn't save much if any time or energy and makes more washing up.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
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trieRe: Cooking Italian

Postby karadekoolaid » October 19th, 2018, 12:09 pm

I´m not saying DON´T put cheese in the pesto; God forbid! But as Sue so rightly points out, it´s just a touch - just enough to "bind" the flavours together. I´ll give you my recipe for Pesto "con le Mandorle" - using blanched almonds instead of ( severely expensive Chinese) pine-nuts:
80 gms blanched, skinned almonds, ground
8 large cloves garlic
300 gms fresh basil *
4 tbsps Pecorino cheese, grated
250 mls olive oil ( may take less!)
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

*After many experiments, I discovered that 300 gms fresh basil, stalks and all, renders about 150 - 160 gms basil leaves. In civilised countries, you can probably buy just the leaves :lol: :lol: :lol:

Grind all the ingredients together in a blender or processor, adding the oil little by little, until you have a smooth paste and a texture you are happy about! ie. you may like the pesto a little "looser" - more olive oil - or thicker - less olive oil.
" Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like Hell!"
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