Category Archives: Primi

Gnocchi with Ricotta, Spinach and Gorgonzola

Tried a new recipe for gnocchi this Saturday – the gnocchi was actually with the same recipe as earlier but the company was new.

For a four small portions of gnocchi you need 300 g floury potatoes, 100 g flour and 1 egg. Peel and cook the potatoes. Mash them and let cool. Add the flour and egg. Knead until smooth and let rest. Bake into finger thick sticks and cut into 3 cm long pieces. Roll and press with a fork. Let rest until you are ready to cook them.

I baked the gnocchi in oven with cheese and spinach, and for this I needed a packet of Ricotta, 200 g baby spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp sun flower seeds, 40 g Parmesan and 100 g Gorgonzola. 

Mix a packet of ricotta and 100 g of baby spinach. Add some freshly grated nutmeg and 40 g Parmesan. Take an oven form and brush it with oil. Place a bed of spinach leaves on the bottom. Add a layer of cheese mix and them baked gnocchi. Add another layer of cheese mix and gnocchi. Sprinkle on 2 tbsp sun flower seeds, add salt and pepper and 100 g Gorgonzola. Bake in 180 C for 20 minutes.

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Homemade Ravioli with Mozzarella and Truffle Oil

We have had a pasta machine for a couple of years but it was only recently I have started using it. My husband seems like a pro with tagliatelle already. Who would have thought of the emotions with the first turnings of the pasta machine wheel? I was moved and bop very happy over my self-made tagliatelle ever. This week it was time to try making ravioli. It was Monday and freezing, we had no winter tyres in the car and had to create a what’s-in-the-fridge-n-pantry dinner. Not much fuzz though and rather quick to make.

Vittoria, my dear Italian friend, has given me many recipes and the basic pasta recipe for two is one of them.

You need 100 g durum flour and one egg for the pasta. The filling is my invention and you need 100 g Mozarella, fresh oregano, 50 g butter and truffle oil.

Put the flour on a baking surface and make a well in the middle. Crack the egg in the well, and turn mix it first with a fork. Then work in the flour with fingers. Knead until smooth and fine. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and voila!
Prepare the filling and mince 100 g of Mozzarella and 10 leaves of oregano. Add some olive oil.

Cut the pasta dough into two and flatten it first by hand. Then work it through the machine twice or three times making it thinner and thinner. Place the rectangular pasta sheets on a floured baking surface. Take half of the sheets, and place 2 tsp of the filling on each circle and brush the dough with water. Place the rest of the sheets on, press the dough together with fingers and cut with a roller or a glass. Press the creases tight. 

Cook in boiling water with lots of salt for 3-5 minutes. Melt 50 g of butter and place some more oregano in it. Dish the ravioli on plates. Pour on some melted butter and spray with truffle oil.

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Melanzane grigliate – grilled aubergine 

We had the first bbq of this summer the other day. The weather was finally warming up and there was no rain either. My husband masters steaks and such, and I wanted to try this aubergine recipe on a coal grill. It turned out fabulous, I cannot believe how quick and easy it was to grill these baby aubergines. 

For two 2-3 portions you need 2 baby aubergines (mini ones, about 15 cm each), 1 garlic, olive oil and salt.

Put the abergines on the grill and roast them, turning every once in a while, for about 20 min OR until soft and well done. Roast also a garlic at the same time. Don’t worry when the skin burns. Place the aubergines on a plate, cut them into 1 cm slices and open into fan shape. Sprinkle with olive oil, squeeze half of the garlic on them and add some salt. You can also add parsley and lemon juice. Enjoy as a side dish, a starter; hot or cold. 

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Risotto frutti di mare

What’s for lunch? Salad or pasta? Risotto?

Yes, risotto. It’s a while since the last batch with asparagus so I decided to go for a seafood risotto

1 onion, 2 dl risotto rice, 1 dl white wine, 7,5 dl fish stock, salt, 1,5 finely grated Parmesan

300 g mixed seafood, olive oil, salt and pepper

Make the risotto – start with sautéing the onion in butter, add the rice. Pour in the wine, let come to boil, and add water as the rice absorbs it and gets ready.

Fry te seafood lightly in a pan, and add to the risotto with the Parmesan. Mix together, taste and add salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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#31 Filled Zucchini Flowers – Fiori di Zucca Ripieni


Zucchini flowers are my favourites and I order them when they are on the menu. Unfortunately the Finnish grocery stores and markets seldom offer them. Hence I was delighted to find an abundance of them when on holiday in Tuscany in early July. They were I season and ‘our local’ Hipercoop had the in a splendid display (see the pic).

I filled my zucchini flowers (8 pieces) with a mixture of Parmesan (1.5 dl) and Ricotta cheese (1 dl, a 75 g packet) with a bit of rosemary. I started with making the filling. Next I checked that the flowers were ok. Then I took out two plates and poured a beaten egg on one of them and some bread crumbs on the other. As we were on holiday and there was no pantry to dig into in the house, the crumbs  were grated of yesterday’s bread.

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This is the place in Tuscany where we have stayed many times. A lovely and peaceful place in the countryside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I filled the flowers with a teaspoon or two of the filling. You can close the flowers by twisting the, to keep the filling inside. Once all the flowers were filled, I soaked them in the egg and turned in the bread crumbs. Lastly, I fried them in a pan with olive oil until golden brown.

I removed the fried flowers from the pan and placed them into a large one that is on low heat. When preparing these, you can add some salt and pepper if you like. The Parmesan is quite salty and this is why I skip the salt.

The ones in the picture below are of the very first ones I’ve ever made.

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Filed under Cooking, Miscellaneous on travelling, cooking and life in general, Primi, Recipes

Artusi’s October Chicken Gnocchi

A warming soup is best for chilly and crisp autumn days. I was ready to cook a pot of vegetable stew with chicken and turned to my Artusi cookbook to see his recipe for gnocchi. To my delight one of his October menu suggestions started with gnocchi and hence our Sunday lunch starts with gnocchi today.

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I love the Artusi book, La Scienza in cucinare e l’Arte di mangiar bene collected by Pellegrino Artusi, given as a present by my dear friend Vittoria. Let this be the start of my journey of culinary Italian as the book  is to teach be both the art of cooking and the language,

This recipe is for seven to eight portions. It is slightly different from the traditional gnocchi recipe because the chicken mixed in with the gnocchi dough.

Ingredients:

200 g floury potatoes, one large or two small cooked breast of chicken, 40 g grated Parmesan, salt, nutmeg, 2 egg yolks, 30-40 g flour, chicken broth (1,5 l).

Cook the potatoes in water or steam. Press them immediately while still warm.

Mince the cooked chicken with a knife and combine with the pressed potatoes. Add the grated Parmesan, two egg yolks, salt and a dash of nutmeg. Place the mixture on a baking surface on a heap of flour, 30 – 40 g. Roll the dough into thin rolls the size of the little finger. Cut the rolls into small pieces, press with fork and cook in chicken broth.

The gnocchi floats on the surface one cooked, in  five to seven minutes. Place the gnocchi carefully on warm plates and spoon the broth on them. Prepare the gnocchi and cook them just before serving.

he secondo, main course, is to be pizzaoila (filet of beef brised in tomato) and the dolce, dessert, Angelfood cake.

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