Tag Archives: Italy

Cannelloni with Ragu Bolognese

Cannelloni is not as complicated to make as one would think. It might take a few times to learn it just like learning to do anything else.

We often have spaghetti Bolognese for a meal and on Sunday I wanted to make a bit more special dish as my sister and brother-in-law were coming over for lunch.

For 8 people you will need
Meat sauce: 400 g minced meat, 2 tbsp olive oil,  2 large onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot, 2 dl beef stock and 1 dl red wine. Salt, pepper and thyme.
One packet of cannelloni, 2 dl grated Parmesan, 2 dl rocket, one can of crushed tomatoes, 2.5 dl boiling water, salt and pepper

Chop the onion, garlic and carrot, and saute in olive oil. Add the meat and brown it. Add the beef stock and 1 dl red wine. Let simmer and add salt, pepper and thyme.

Grease an oven pan and turn the oven on 175 C. Start filling the cannelloni tubes with the meat sauce and place them in the pan. Once the pan is full, cover the cannelloni with rocket and spoon the crushed tomato on it. Add the grated cheese. Pour over some boiling water.
Cook for 25 – 35 minutes. Enjoy!

Cannelloni with rucola



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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.


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

#30 Melon Salad

imageI just found a recipe for this delightful and light starter in an old gourmet magazine. I’m trying to clear the clitter in the cupboards a la ConMari and old magazines had to go. I was clipping this and this recipe is one of the clippings.

For a sattwr for two, you will need one honey dew melon, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 5 mint leaves.

Cut small balls of the melon wilt a ball knife and place them in a small bowl. Pour over the oil and vinegar, and shrewd the mint leaves in the bowl. Refidgerate for an hour and serve in small glass bowl.

A delightful and light starter!

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#26 La Pizzaoila

This meal takes me to Tuscany, to a calm evening of a summer Sunday. We are on holiday and invited to dinner at a friend’s. We dine and there is a cousin there too. It is a long and lovely dinner with much discussion.

Our hostess has a story with the secondo, la pizzaoila. As a child, she was not a good meat-eater and her mother was worried that she’d not get enough proteins. Hence the mother often prepared this dish that resembles pizza. The daughter would gladly this pizza-like beef.

For two persons you will need 200-250 g thinly sliced beef, a can of tomatoes, oregano, salt, black pepper and olive oil, 1 dl grated Parmesan, a splash of red wine.

Warm a pan and brown the beef in a bit of olive oil. Remove the from the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the tomato and season with oregano. Heat up and add a splash of red wine. Place the beef into the pan, sprinkle on the Parmesan and bring to boil.

I served the pizzaoila today with ratatouille and deep-fried dandelion.

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#17 Tagliatelle with Bolognese and Spinach

Another delightful dish with freshly made pasta -tagliatelle. My husband is getting to be a real pro at pasta making. This time it was served with a ragu of tomato, onion, minced meat and spinach.

A wonderful weekend dish.

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#Gnocchi di Patate a la Artusi

Another recipe from my lovely Artusi book. The recipe is for  gnocchi, and you need 400 g floury potatoes and 150 g flour.

Boil the potatoes. Let then cool a while, peel and press. Mix in the flour. Roll into finger thick sticks and cut into three centimeter pieces. Press with a fork, set a side on a plate and sprinklerit with flour.

Cook in salted water for 5-10 minutes. Serve with butter and sage. Or tomato sauce or with broth.



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Artusi’s Gnocchi Baked with Cheese 

The blog may start repeating itself but I simply cannot stop testing different versions of my favourite dishes.

Potato gnocchi a la Pellegrino Artusi baked with blue cheese, Pecorino and rocket.

The gnocchi are quite easy to make and my fingers seem finally have learnt to turn the dough and roll it.

For a batch of two huge portions for two, you will need

Four large floury potatoes and 150 g flour, and water and salt for cooking them. For the oven bake you will additionally need 50 g Pecorino, 100 g blue cheese, 50 g rocket, nutmeg and olive oil.

Start with boiling the potatoes. Let them cool and peel and mash them with a fork. Work in the flour and roll into four inch thick rolls. Cut into 1/3 inch pieces that you roll in flour and press lightly with a fork. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water. They are done once they surface. Place the gnocchi into an oven formimage .

Great 50 g of Pecorino, mash 100 g blue cheese, rinse 50 g rocket salad. Place the “filling” in the form once you have cooked half of the gnocchi and save some of the Pecorino for the top. Grate some nutmeg on the form. Place the rest of the gnocchi in the form and top with grated Pecorino. Bake in 175 C for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! With or without a good red wine and green salad. Fresh fruit for dessert.

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Saara’s Zucchini Pizza

Another Pizza Friday behind us and this time it was pizza baking with the family. One of my sisters and nieces were over and one of the pizzas was to be a 21st century/Generation Y pizza.

The bottom is as in my old recipe: 1 large pizza = 2,5 dl water, 1 tsp dried yeast, 1 tsp salt, 5 – 6 dl flour (durum and ordinary), 1 tbsp olive oil.

Mix the water, yeast and salt with a fork in a bowl. Add the flour and place the dough on a baking surface one it becomes thicker. Work in the rest of the flour with hands, and add the olive oil last. Turn and knead the dough until it is elastic and does not stick into your hands. Let the dough rest in the fridge, covered with a towel, for 30 minutes to a day. The longer the better.

Filling: 1/2 zucchini, 150 g spinach, olive oil, 100 g Mutti pizza sauce, 2 garlic cloves ,  1 onion, 50 g feta cheese, 3 tbsp sour cream, black pepper.

Slice the zucchini thinly and sauté in olive oil. Remove from the pan and  sauté the spinach. Mince the feta cheese, chop the onion and press the garlic.

Pre-heat the oven to 225 C. Place the dough on baking paper and make a large pizza bottom. Spoon on the sauce and then the filling. Bake 10 – 15 min. Enjoy!

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Pizza con la Zucca e Chevre 

Thursday night and almost Halloween. This week Thursday is our pizza day. It is ages since I last baked pizza. I simply had to try pumpkin in pizza and I think this turned out much better than the one I had in an Italian restaurant in Helsinki.

The pizza bottom: 2 dl water, 1/2 tsp dried yeast, salt, 4,5 dl durum flour, 1 tbsp olive oil and basil

Topping: half of a small pumpkin roasted, 100 g chèvre, 1 dl chopped mixed nuts, 2 small cooked potatoes, dried chilli

Make the pizza dough, wrap it in plastic foil and refrigerate. The longer you let the dough rest the better.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Clean and slice the pumpkin. Spare the seeds and roast them. Peel and roast the sliced pumpkin for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven to 225 C. Shape the dough on a baking sheet and place the topping on it:pumpkin, cheese and potato in thin slices, nuts and fresh basil.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown.


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