giovedì 25 agosto 2016

Cheesy Zucchini Bread



Brunch means have the possibility to choose between sweet and savoury foods, that's why I cooked this bread for my guests. 
It bakes up with a light crust on the outside and an interior that’s moist, soft, tender and fluffy. The onions hit you first when you take a bite, followed by the other flavorful ingredients.
You could even mix some chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes in for a different variation.
The zucchini bread is delicious just sliced as it is or popping a slice in a toaster oven or griddling it in a pan.
For 1 loaf:
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/3-inch cubes (a little over 3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Put the zucchini into a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and use both your hands to toss together. Leave the zucchini in the colander to allow the salt to draw out some of its liquid.
In a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, and milk until combined.
Returning to the zucchini, squeeze it thoroughly to extract excess liquid, allowing it to drain through the colander. Do this several times to eliminate as much of the moisture as possible. The zucchini will remain moist but should not be wet. Add it to the egg mixture, then add the scallions and stir well with a spoon.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a spoon just until the streaks of flour disappear. Add the cheese and stir just enough to distribute it throughout the dough, being careful not to overmix.
Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan and use a spoon (or your fingers) to smooth the top a bit. It will be rough and craggy.
Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you aren’t sure if it’s done, remove the loaf and pat it firmly with your hand: it should sound hollow.
Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the bread, tip the pan over, and gently dislodge the  bread onto the countertop. Set it upright and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve sliced, toasted, and spread lightly with butter and top the toasted bread with smoked salmon, if you like.

giovedì 21 luglio 2016

BBQ Pasta Salad



Finally is summer in London!! 
Parks are full of people and what's better than a pasta salad for your pic nic, barbcue and summer party?

This one is very tasty and you can prepare it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator!



Ingredient:

300 gr. of conchiglie pasta
4-6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup red kidney bean
1/2 cup feta, chopped
1⁄2 red onion, finely diced

For the dressing:

3 tbsp red pesto sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1⁄2 tbsp dried parsley
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
1⁄2 tsp dried basil


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. In the meantime, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. 
In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, bacon, beans, red onion and dressing. Toss until well combined and finshed with feta on top.

This pasta salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

sabato 16 luglio 2016

Taco salad box!



Give a twist to your salad with this edible cup made with a wholewheat tortilla cup!
It's very easy to do, all you need is a large tortilla (8inch diameter) and a oven-proof bowl.


The first step is heating the tortilla in a pan for 30 second each side, now take your oven-proof bowl, coat it with cooking spray, gently press the tortilla inside the bowl, and bake. The edges of the tortilla bowl browned before the bottom, so keep an eye! If bottom of the finished bowl wasn't crisp, don't worry it harden as the bowl cooled. 


And now it's time to make your salad! The one I have prepared is very simple but delicious with a zesty dressing, which is my favourite!

For 2 servings:

2 tortilla cups
Iceberg lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber
Yellow pepper
Red kidney beans, drained
50 gr of cheddar cut into stripes

For the dressing:

3 tbsp of plain fat free yogurth
1 tsp of english mustard
2 tsp of lemon juice
1/2 tsp of italian seasoning
1 tsp of olive oil
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp of garlic powder 

I think that you don't need an explanation to make that salad, it's salad, not rocket science! 
But I'm sure that your guests will be impressed by this edible cups! Bring them  to your next pic nic or barbecue :)

Enjoy it!

lunedì 11 luglio 2016

Zoodles with Sun dried tomato Pesto



Zoodles is a funny way to call the Zucchini Noodles.
To create this dish you need a spiralizer to create the noodles, but if you cannot find it or you do not want you buy it, God bless Sainsbury's with his ready to cook Zoodles!

You can add to your Zoodles the regular basil pesto or, as I do, prepare an amazing sun dried tomato pesto!

For two servings you need:

300 gr. of  Zoodles
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoons salt + ¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more if you want a very spicy pesto)
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Basically prepare this dish is the easiest thing in world. You need a spiralizer and a chopper, and that's it!

For the pesto you have to add all your ingredients in the chopper and blend until it reach a super creamy consistency.

Then pour your sauce into your Zoodles, you do not have to cook them, you eat them raw!

And... that's it! A fast, tasty, healty and super summer lunch is served!








domenica 3 luglio 2016

Peaches and Caramel Coffee Cake




Sundays are made for spending your time doing what you love with someone special and you can't start your Sunday without a delicious breakfast!

And what is better than a slice of cake with a foamy cappuccino with a sprinkle of cocoa? 

Ingredients:

Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 peaches, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices (peeled if desired)

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180° degrees C.

Now, place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy, you can do it with your hand whisk as well. Beat in the sugar and gradually increase the speed to high, beating until fluffy and scraping down the sides if necessary, it will take about 2 to 3 minutes, beat in each egg until combined and finally add  in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter just comes together.

Now take the peach slices and place them over the batter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, finish with small pieces of butter.


Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving it with vanilla ice cream.


giovedì 30 giugno 2016

Pennette al ragù vegetariano di zucchine//Pennette with vegetarian ragù





Com'è che si dice, chi non muore si rivede! No, non ho abbandonato il blog, la cucina fa ancora parte di me, soltanto che questi mesi sono stati un po' turbolenti... cambiare città, trasferirsi, nuovi studi da intraprendere. 
Ma ora che tutto è diventato più stabile, o quanto meno gestibile, eccomi di nuovo con tante ricette, in questi mesi ne ho sperimentate un bel po', nonostante tutto!


Stasera dopo la solita camminata giornaliera di un'ora l'unica cosa che il mio stomaco chiedeva erano CARBOIDRATI, CARBOIDRATI! Ed eccolo subito accontentato.


Ingredienti per due persone: 

200 gr. di pasta corta
1/2 scalogno
2 zucchine medie
50 gr. di macinato di soia a secco (o di tacchino)
1/2 bicchiere di vino bianco
1 cucchiaio di formaggio quark
sale, pepe

Per preparare questo piatto, la prima cosa da fare è reidratare il macinato di soia, io lo trovo disidratato al supermercato, per farlo seguite le istruzioni riportate sul pacco, ma generalmente basta aggiungere dell'acqua bollente e farla assorbire. Se vedete che dopo il tempo di attesa non è stata completamente assorbita, scolatela perchè vi servirà un macinato bello asciutto.

Successivamente tritate lo scalogno molto sottile e fatelo rosolare in una padella con un filo di olio, unite poi il macinato di soia (o di tacchino) e fate rosolare bene per qualche minuto; nel mentre tagliate le zucchine a piccoli pezzettini, io le ho divise in quarti e poi fatte a fettine sottili.

Quando il macinato sarà ben rosolato, sfumate con il vino bianco e lasciate evaporare. A questo punto unite le zucchine e fate cuocere qualche minuto, unite poi un bicchiere di acqua e fate cuocere a fiamma bassa fino a che le zucchine non saranno ben tenere, salate e pepate.
Scolate la pasta, tenendo da parte un paio di mestoli di acqua di cottura, e saltatela nel sugo insieme al formaggio quark e un po' di acqua di cottura per evitare che la pasta sia troppo asciutta.

Mantecate bene e servite subito.

Buon appetito!


Today, after my 1-hour-everyday-run my stomach was craving for CARBS!
That is why tonight I made a super fast pasta dish with a vegetarian ragù.

All you need for two servings are:

200 gr. of pasta of your choice
50 gr. of dried soya mince
1 spring onion
1/2 cup of quark
1/4 cup of white wine
2 medium courgettes
salt, pepper


First of all, follow the instructions to rehydrate the soya mince, I have used the brand Granose, it is very tasty and easy to cook.

Then chop the spring onion and fry it slightly in a pan with two table spoons of olive oil, cook for two minutes and then add the soya mince and  cook everything for 5/6 minutes until is lightly golden.
Add the white wine and let the alchool to evaporate.

Now chop the courgettes in small pieces and add them to the pan, mix everything is well combined and add 2 cups of water, cook until the courgettes are soft, add salt and pepper.

It is time to add your pasta to the sauce! Mix it with the quark and 1/2 cup of the cooking water of the pasta.

Serve it immediatly and enjoy your pasta!

sabato 14 novembre 2015

Desert Roses - Rose del deserto



It's Christmaaaaas time! Well, exactly it's one month until Christmas, more or less. 
But it is not the point, if you are looking for a sweet treat as a present, this will work for you!
My version is gluten free and these cookies are chocolaty, lemony, crunchy outside and soft inside.

With this recipe we can make 24 cookies.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup ground almond 
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspon of lemon juice
1 stick of soft butter (125 gr) at room temperature
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum
2 large free range eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Corn flakes


Firstly put all your dry ingredients, except the sugar, through a sift into your mixing bowl and set aside.
Then take your whisk and mix together soft butter, lemon, vanilla and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy, add the eggs, one at the time, and mix well. Now add your dry ingredients and mix together until they are well combined.
With the help of a teaspoon create your cookies (the dough should be sticky), roll each one in the corn flakes and put them on a pan covered with parchment paper. Don't put your cookies to closer to each other, leave a little bit of distance between them, they rise a little in the oven.
Cook them for 20 minutes at 180°C.

They are perfect as a gift and with a cup of tea!

Enjoy them!



Io ve lo dico, questi biscotti sono una bomba!
E siccome il Natale si avvicina, ho pensato che potevano essere una idea carina per fare qualche regalino! Questa versione è senza glutine, ma potete farla anche con la farina 00, in tal caso non vi servirà la xanthan gum!

Ingredienti per 24 biscotti circa:

1 cup di farina di riso 
1/2 cup di farina di mandorle
1/2 cup di fecola di patate
1 fialetta di estratto di vaniglia
1/2 fialetta di estratto di limone
125 gr. di burro morbido
1/2 cup di zucchero di canna
1/2 cucchiaino di bicarbonato
1/4 di cucchiaino di xanthan gum
2 uova
1/2 cup di gocce di cioccolato (opzionali)
Corn flakes


La ricetta è semplicissima!
Con uno sbattitore montate lo zucchero e il burro, che deve essere molto morbido, fino a quando non otterrete un composto chiaro e spumoso. A questo punto unite gli aromi di vaniglia e limone e le uova, una alla volta.
Setacciate le farine, il bicarbonato e lo xanthano e unite le polveri alla crema di burro, per ultime unite le gocce di cioccolato. Il composto dovrà risultare morbido e leggermente appiccicoso, questo vi aiuterà a far attaccare i corn flakes.
Per formare i biscotti aiutatevi con due cucchiaini e rotolateli uno per volta nei cereali, a questo  punto dategli una forma leggermente arrotondata con le mani, dovranno avere circa la dimensione di una noce.
Sistemateli su una teglia rivestita di carta da forno, distanziandoli di qualche cm l'uno dall'altro, in cottura aumenteranno leggermente di volume.

Cuoceteli a 180°C per 20 minuti.

Buon appetito!