Tag Archives: Parmesan

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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#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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#7 Super Lunch Salads on a Super Weekend

imageMy weekend has been full of super food, and the company has been super too! It had been quite a while, a month that is, since I’d spend some quality time with my sisters.

The weekend seemed to start on Thursday already thanks to an invitation to stay overnight in Helsinki. We had a cosy sauna evening and with a lovely meal: warm salad with sweet potato and zucchini and chia pudding with blueberries. A breakfast with no haste and a very short drive to work (15 min instead of the usual 50 min!). Come Friday afternoon, and a date with sis no. 2. Off we drove, east of Helsinki and time for another super food dish and a long talk at the fireplace. See yesterday’s post for our quinotto.

A good part of the Saturday was spent at the kitchen table. Reading the papers, coffee drinking, eating pancakes,  reading recipes and so on.  Then a nice stroll in the old town, some shopping and more coffee. A late lunch of the following:

Kale-avocado salad with roasted almonds

3 large kale  leaves, 1 dl unpeeled organic almonds, 2 avocados, one small red onion, juice of one lime, 8 cherry tomatoes, 1 dl Parmesan shavings, olive oil and herb vinaigrette (with rosemary, thyme and lemon)

Rinse and shred the kale. Place it in a salad bowl. Roast the almonds in a dry pan or in the oven.  Chop the onion and sauté in olive oil. You can also use it raw, but I prefer it cooked. Dice the avocados and sprinkle with half of the lime juice. Build the salad placing the avocado and the cooled and chopped almonds on the top. Add the Parmesan shavings and sprinkle with olive oil. Serve with herb vinaigrette. If you like, and if your quests are very hungry serve also some freshly baked  bread or croutons.

As a teenager, I dreamt of living in an old house with a large kitchen where I would spend time with the family and friends. Cooking, baking, talking, entertaining guests … I realise that this is where I am today. A dream come true.


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#6 Quinotto of Kale, Spinach and Bell Pepper

imageThis is absolutely delish and aother gorgeous recipe found in ELLE mat & vin and pimp,ed according to what’s in the pantry. This pot is full of protein and oh so very tasty.

For three persons you need:

A small red onion, olive or coconut oil, 3 dl cooked quinoa, 0.5 l water or vegetable stock, 2 large kale leafs, a large red pepper, 75 g baby spinach, salt and pepper, 1.5 dl grated Parmesan

Set the oven to 200 C. Cut the pepper into four pieces and roast for ten minutes. Put it in a plastic bag, let cool and peel the skin. Cut it into smaller pieces.

Chop the onion and sauté in oil. Add the quinoa and the liquid. Rinse and chop the kale, and add to the pot. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes. I use a tagine pot that simmers on a very low heat.

Add the spinach and the pepper, and salt and pepper for taste. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan saving some for the table. Let the Parmesan melt and then your quinotto is ready to be served.

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Comforting Pasta with Black Chantarelle

A dark November evening, Thursday of a busy week. Pitch dark at half past six. Do not feel like grocery shopping and rummage in the pantry. A half full jar of dried mushroom, from the neighbour. Some spaghetti in the pasta jar, a splash of red wine and some herbs. And Parmesan. Just right for a meal.

This recipe is for two:

1,5 dl dried mushroom, 2 dl water, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 dl red wine, salt and pepper, 2 tbsp chopped parsley and the same amount of rocket and grated Parmesan. 150 g pasta per person.

Soak the mushroom in water in a pan for half an hour or hour. Enjoy a good glass of wine and olives while the mushroom is soaking.

Put the heat on and add the tomato. Put the pasta water on and cook the mushrooms  on low heat while the pasta is cooking. Mix the two together, and add the rest of the ingredients while the pan is still on the stove.

Enjoy! And have a restful evening.






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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.


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.


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.

image image image








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Risotto di Zucca II

Butternut squash has arrived to the grocery stores and it’s time to make lovely roasted squash and risotto. This risotto has a bit of different flavours than what i usually have ‘case changed to red to white wine and the thyme to rosemary and garlic.

I could eat the whole pot at one sitting but want to share with my husband and save some for tomorrow.

This is for four portions

150 g carnaroli rice, 1/2 small onion (chopped), 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, 0,6 dl chicken stock, 1 dl white wine, 1,5 dl grated Parmesan

225 g diced butternut squash, 1 tbsp butter; a twig of Rosemary, one small garlic clove

Melt the butter and oil. Sauté the onion and add the rice. Turn in the pan for a couple of minutes. Pour in chicken stock to cover the rice. Let cook on low heat and add the wine once the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add liquid until the rice is almost done -Al dente, a bit whiteish in the middle. This will take 15-20 minutes.

In the meanwhile roast the diced squash in another pan in a dash of butter, for about 20 minutes.

When the rice and squash are almost done, take out a small pan and melt the rest of the butter. Sauté the chopped garlic and rosemary. Put all the ingredients into one pan and add the Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. The risotto should be moist and delicious, keep turning it and add water /stock if needed.

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Splendid Barolo Risotto with Mushroom

It is time to go back to work on Monday. This last weekend is full of events- visiting our mums and a confirmation party. Hence we prepared the grand the-end-of-the -holiday meal on Friday evening. As we started cooking it was time to open a well saved souvenir from a trio to Pedmonte, a bottle of Barolo. The excuisite wine also found its way to one of the pots and into this risotto.

Risotto for 2

150 g risotto rice, 1/2 small onion, 2 tbsp butter, 1 dl red wine/Barolo, 5 dl vegetable or meat stock, a small handful of dried forest mushrooms, 3 tbsp grated Parmesan, salt and pepper

Set the mushrooms to soak in ca. 1,5 dl of water. Chop the onion. Melt 1tbsp butter and sauté the onion lightly. Add the rice and sauté. Lower the heat and pour in the wine. Cook on low heat and add the mushrooms and their liquid. Let the rice absorb the liquid and add a decilitre of the stock at the time. Add liquid and cook until the rice is done – Al dente and while the risotto has somewhat liquid consistence. Do not let it get too dry. Turn down the heat and add some grated Parmesan, salt and a dash of black pepper.

Serve as promo piatto with the same Barolo/the same wine that you’ve used for the risotto.

We had crostini with sardines, tomato and Parmesan as antipasti. The deck do was sautéed  carrots and ribs of lamb, and the dolce cherry cake with cherry ice. It is not often we prepare a full four course meal but it can pubs so much fun and oh so good!

Happy Sunday!

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