SERVES 8 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 25 MIN -COOKING TIME 70 MIN
12 lasagne sheets
2 bunchs of Chinese broccoli, cut into pieces
800g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
100mls vegetable stock
1 spring of rosemary
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 fresh chilli, deseeded
1 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of grated parmesan
salt and Black pepper to season
White sauce (Bechamel)
55g plain flour
600ml hot milk
50g Parmesan, finely grated
a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the fry pan. Add the broccoli and crushed garlic. Stir frequently for about 8 minutes until cooked. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a plate to cool slightly.
Chop the garlic, chilli and rosemary finely all together. Heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the used frypan, cook the garlic, chilli and rosemary over a moderately low heat for approximately 1 minute. Add the pumpkin and stir frequently over a high heat for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add the stock, cook with a lid on until tender, about 15 minutes. Season with pepper and set aside.
Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, then adding the flour and cooking over a low heat for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot milk until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and nutmeg.
Lightly grease a 24cm square baking dish with butter and spread 2 spoons of pumpkin pieces over the base. Next, layer 4 sheets of pasta to cover the pumpkin. Then spread one third of the pumpkin, the Bechamel sauce, followed by half the broccoli. Finally, spread two handfuls of grated parmesan on top. Repeat the layering, pasta, remaining third of pumpkin and Bechamel sauce.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Cover the lasagna with foil baking for about 30 minutes, until heated through and slightly firm. Take out of oven and remove foil. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Place under the preheated grill. Ensure the dish is about 4 inches from the heat source. Cook until golden brown and crisp on top (about 5 minutes). Rest the lasagna for 15 minutes, cut into square slices and serve.
SERVES 8 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 45 MIN -RESTING TIME 2/3 HOURS
400g mascarpone cheese
500g whipping cream
200g caster sugar
200g coconut milk
600g pineapple juice
600g fresh pineapple, cut into pieces
300g ladyfinger biscuits
small springs of fresh mint
fresh coconut finely sliced (optional)
Pour the cream and sugar into a mixing bowl. Whip with the electric beater until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
In a separate bowl, place the Mascarpone cheese and coconut milk. Beat using electric beater for a few minutes until fluffy and airy.
Fold the whipped cream mix into the Mascarpone cheese. ‘Folding in’ is done carefully to make sure the mix remain formed and do not deflate during mixing.
Warm the pineapple juice in the microwave. By warming the juice the lady
finger biscuits will absorb more liquid. Pour the juice into a pie dish or short sided bowl. This is placed beside the 22 x22 cm assembly dish.
Dip the lady finger biscuits in the juice, then cover the bottom of the dish with them. Follow with a layer of the cream mix, smoothing out with a spatula.
Next, spread a layer of pineapple pieces to cover all the cream. Repeat the sequence with more biscuits and cream, making sure to reserve some cream to use with the final garnish.
Spread some more pineapple pieces on top.
Using a piping bag with a star nozzle, decorate with cream mix. Add the last few pineapple pieces, some fresh coconut and mint leaves.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.
Tiramisu will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Picture and recipe from www.soniaperonaci.it
Gnocchi with basil pesto sauce
SERVES 6 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 45 MIN -COOKING TIME 5 MIN
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic (roasted or fresh)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice -
(optional but recommended)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 kg medium size yellow potatoes
250g all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently until nice and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour them into a bowl to cool. Toasted pine nuts give extra flavor.
Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing until the mixture is well blended but still has some texture, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Add black pepper.
Store leftover pesto, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen—my favorite way is in an ice cube try. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag, then you can thaw only as much as you need later.
Add the potatoes to a large pot of cool, salted water. Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce a potato. Drain the potatoes. While hot, using a peeler or your fingers, remove the skin from the potatoes. On a marble, steel or wooden surface mash the potatoes with briefly with a fork, then sieve them through a colander for a fine consistency. Spread them to allow them to dry and cool down. Add salt, pepper and mix together. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and place the egg yolk in the hollow. Whisk the eggs briefly. Using your fingers, gently mix the yolk into the potatoes evenly.
Add the flour. Working quickly and carefully, knead the dough until it loses stickiness and becomes more solid. Be careful not to over knead the dough, otherwise it will become gluey. Dust your working surface with flour. Slice the dough into 4 parts. Roll out 1 part into a long sausage, about 2 or 3 cm (1 inch) thick. Work with 1 half of the roll at a time if it is becoming too long. Slice the roll into 2 or 3 cm (1 inch) squares and set aside on a lightly floured surface.
Repeat with the remaining dough. If desired, place a fork on your work surface and press each gnocchi square from the base of the fork prongs to the top so they make a decorative imprint.
Cook them immediately.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi in batches, stirring gently once or twice to ensure they are not sticking. Boil until they float to the surface. After another 15-30 seconds in the water, remove them all at once.
If you want to make them in advance, pre-cook them by boiling for about 30 seconds. Arrange in a steel baking dish spread with oil and let them cool down. Store in the fridge covered with a tea towel. When you want to use them, finish cooking by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi in batches, stirring gently once or twice to ensure they are not sticking. Boil until they float to the surface; after another 15-30 seconds in the water, remove them.
Transfer gnocchi to a large serving dish. Add the pesto and mix to coat the gnocchi. Serve whilst hot. If you like it, sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top.
SERVES 6 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 20 MIN -COOKING TIME 35 MIN
1 large onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large potato cut into 2-3 cm pieces
50g frozen peas
100g broccoli, tops cut into small florets, tender stems cut into cubes
½ fresh chilli, deseeded
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 can (400g) of diced tomatoes
1 cup of vegetable broth
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 30 seconds then add the celery and carrot. Cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the potato, peas and zucchini, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Add the diced tomatoes and the broth to the pot and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer 25 minutes.
Add the broccoli 5 minutes from the end of cooking.
Season with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
SERVES 6/8 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 20 MIN -COOKING TIME 25 MIN
200g dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
120g caster sugar
40g ‘00’ flour
Icing sugar for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Chop chocolate and butter. Melt them together in a bain-marie (stirring gently over a saucepan containing hot water to melt ingredients for cooking).
Cool the mix slightly while separating the yolks from the egg whites in two new bowls.
Add half the sugar to the egg whites and whip until they make stiff peaks.
Add the remaining half of the sugar to the yolks and whisk until combined. Then add the melted chocolate and butter to the yolk mix. Slowly fold the egg whites.
Finally, add the sifted flour using a spatula with a gentle folding action from bottom to top.
Line a round baking dish with baking paper. Pour into the baking dish the mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let it cool down and sprinkle top with icing sugar.
Picture and recipe from
PRAWN AND ZUCCHINI PASTA
SERVES 4 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 10 MIN -COOKING TIME 15 MIN
3 green zucchini, halved lenghways, finely sliced
1 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded, finely sliced
½ cup of vegetable stock
A tablespoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
300g dried Trofie or Penne pasta
1 large knob of unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
400 g raw peeled prawns
20 ml fresh strained lemon juice
Salt and Black pepper to taste
In a large frying pan, melt the butter and half the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli. Cook for one minute, until the garlic becomes slightly brown.
Add the zucchini, cooking for 2 – 3 minutes, stir frying them. Next, add the vegetable stock and cook for a further 10 minutes covered with a lid.
Add the prawns and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. Season with salt. Remove from heat and squeeze over the lemon juice.
Cook the pasta according to instructions (usually about 10 minutes) in boiling, salted water (two teaspoons of salt will be enough).
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the frying pan and toss with the zucchini and prawns. If you want a moister dish, add some of the pasta liquid.
Stir in the parsley, 3 spoons of olive oil and black pepper to taste.
Serve whilst hot.
ORECCHIETTE IN BOSCAIOLA SAUCE FLAVORED WITH TRUFFLES
SERVES 4 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 10 MIN -COOKING TIME 15 MIN
40g truffled sauce
320g Orecchiette pasta
500g champignon mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
100ml white wine
1 garlic glove
small bunch of parsley
100g pecorino cheese
Cook the Orecchiette in salted water, 100g pasta to 1L water.
In a pan, saute the garlic until golden. Slice mushrooms, add to the pan and saute for two minutes.
Increase the heat, pour the white wine and let it evaporate, then continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
At the end of cooking, remove the garlic, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley.
Then add the orecchiette and combine all cooked ingredients.
Serve, sprinkle with Pecorino cheese, and garnish with truffle sauce.
We are sharing with you a recipe from the book 《跟著義大利主廚學義大利語》written by SIALI ACADEMY (www.sialiacademy.com). A great opportunity to learn Italian and the culture related to food. Find the book here:
TUSCAN LENTIL SOUP
SERVES 4 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 15 MIN -COOKING TIME 60 MIN
1 cup of sorted brown lentils, rinsed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 sticks celery, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
4 cups cold vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
Warm half the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat.
Once the oil is shimmering add the onion and carrot. Stir often until the onion has softened and turns translucent. Approximately 5 minutes.
Add the drained, diced tomatoes, cooking for a few more minutes. Stir frequently to enhance the flavour. Add lentils, broth and salt.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook for 45 to 60 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir only after 30 minutes. (my grandmother's secret!)
When cooked, taste, adjust and season with more salt and pepper. Add parsley and remaining olive oil.
Leftovers can keep refrigerated for about 2 days or frozen for several months.
SEARED PRAWN SALAD
SERVES 4 PEOPLE -PREPARATION TIME 15 MIN -COOKING TIME 5 MIN
12 raw king prawns
40 ml extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil for frying
3 shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 peeled avocado, cut into 12 wedges
1 peeled grapefruit, cut into small pzs
1 cup arugula or mixed greens
30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
Remove the prawn heads, peel and de- vein the bodies leaving the tail shell intact.
Mix together arugula, grapefruit, avocado, lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Take a large fry pan, heat it then add a little olive oil for frying. Add the shallots and garlic, stirring for about two minutes. Add the prawns, stir frying quickly. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the pan from the heat, place the prawns on top of the salad and serve.
SUGAR FREE CARROT MUFFINS
15 MUFFINS - PREPARATION TIME 15 MIN - COOKING TIME 20 MIN
200g self raising flour
80ml olive oil
150g grated carrot
Pinch of salt
1 grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine oil, eggs, milk and salt in a mixing bowl.
Sift flour and add to the mix.
Fold in grated carrot and lemon zest.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cups to half the total volume of each cup.
Bake for 20 minutes.
SERVES 6 PEOPLE - PREPARATION TIME 15 MIN - COOKING TIME 40 MIN
50g/2 oz butter
6 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, quartered
3 zucchini, cut into cubes or slices
2 eggplants, cut into cubes or slices
3 red or yellow peppers, halved, seeded and thickly sliced
4 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 chicken, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
Heat half the butter and half the oil in a pan, add the onions, zucchini, eggplant and peppers.
Season with salt and pepper. Cook over a high heat for a few minutes. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
Heat the remaining butter and oil in another pan. Add the chicken and garlic. Cook, stirring and turning frequently until golden brown all over. Season with salt and pepper. Cook a further 30 minutes until tender and cooked through.
Remove and add the chicken to the vegetables. Mix well and serve.
SERVES 2 PEOPLE - PREPARATION TIME 15 MIN - COOKING TIME 20 MIN
1 medium-sized seabass
a clove of garlic
one or two lemons
salt and pepper
Stuff the fish with 2 half slices of lemon, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, a clove of garlic and oil.
Put the fish on a sheet of baking paper, add another on top and fold the ends on themselves, sealing well.
Bake the fish in the oven for 20 min at a 200C, open the paper and serve.
SERVES 8 PEOPLE - PREPARATION TIME 60 MIN - COOKING TIME 45 MIN
400g beef mince
400g pork mince
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 sticks celery, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped thyme
700g tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 glass red wine
For the white sauce
50g plain flour
600ml hot milk
50g Parmesan, finely grated
salt and freshly ground nutmeg
For the lasagne
12 sheets lasagne
75g Parmesan cheese, grated
For the ragù, heat a large pot until hot and add the olive oil. Cook the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until softened.
Add the mince and let it cook until browned all over.
Add a glass of wine and mix well.
Add the water and bring to the boil. Add the tomato sauce, the tomato paste and thyme, then stir well. Bring to the boil again, cover and simmer in the oven for 1-½ hours, or until the beef is tender.
For the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook over low heat for one minute. Gradually whisk in the hot milk, whisking until thickened. Add the parmesan cheese and season well with salt and nutmeg.
For the lasagna, put one third of the meat sauce in the base of an ovenproof dish. Spoon one third of the white sauce on top. Then, spread a layer of lasagna sheets on top. Spoon half of the remaining meat sauce on top of the layer of lasagna sheets, and then half of the white sauce. Spread a second layer of lasagne sheets on top of the sauce, then the remaining meat sauce and remaining white sauce. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese.
Preheat the oven temperature to 200C.
Cook in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes.
If you use fresh made lasagna sheets, cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.
SERVES 3 PEOPLE - PREPARATION TIME 10 MIN - COOKING TIME 10 MIN
6 very fresh egg yolks
4 tablespoons of sugar
180 ml Moscato d’Asti Spumante wine
Put the yolks in a saucepan. Briefly beat them and add the sugar. Whisk for a long time with an electric whisk until the yolks are fluffy, and very light in texture. At this point, slowly add the Moscato d’Asti Spumante wine.
When everything is well mixed, place the container in a warm bain-marie, over a gentle flame, and whisk continuously with the whisk, at medium speed, for at least 10 minutes.
When the mixture has thickened, the zabaione is ready.
Remove it from the heat and pour into a cup.