Category Archives: Italian

Three cheese Ravioli with tomato sauce

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for  ravioli using three cheeses which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course.  First make the pasta  by adding the flour to a large bowl, or just tip onto a large dry surface.  Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil.  Gradually work the flour into the liquid in the middle until it starts to come together, it takes a but if practice but you soon get the hang of it.  For a good tip watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twG7PCPDPEE

When the mixture starts coming together knead it roughly until it it forms a shiny ball, this will take 5-10 mins, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge.

Next make the tomato sauce, this is a classic Italian staple and can be eaten just with pasta.  Add the olive oil to a pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and onion, fry until soft before adding the chopped chilli and finally the tomato, salt, and sugar.  Leave on a low heat with the lid off until it reduces to a rough sauce, basically once the tomato has broken down, typically around 45 mins  set aside until ready to use.

Next make the filling by simply combining the ingredients in a bowl into a smooth mixture; taste for seasoning.

You are now ready to put everything together, remove the pasta from the fridge a good 15 mins before you roll it out, preferably using a pasta machine.  Roll the pasta out and then cur circles onto the sheets, use the beaten egg to wash around the circles before placing some filling in the centre, don;t use too much or they will burst, for more tips check this out although she uses a cutter but you’ll get the idea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGCe_qujRtc

Place another sheet of rolled pasta over the layer with the disks cut out, use your hands to form the pasta around the filling making sure to get the air out as you go along before cutting the ravioli out into disks and placing on a floured tray to stop them sticking.

For the final dish warm the tomato sauce through and add the pasta to a boiling pan of salted water, they will take about 3 mins to cook.  Serve with the sauce and a nice salad with balsamic vinegar.

Salmon fishcakes with salsa verde

This is a bit different as the salsa verde is mixed into the fishcakes but go with it, they taste amazing.

To make the Salsa Verde, soak the breadcrumbs in the vinegar briefly, then put into a food processor with the herbs, garlic and seasoning. Process briefly to a coarse paste. Continue reading Salmon fishcakes with salsa verde

Focaccia breaded chicken with salad

This is an excellent twist on a simple breaded chicken recipe using an old foccacia to give it an Italian twist.  Its better if you can make your own focaccia.

First make your breadcrumbs by finely blending the foccacia – you need one that was flavoured with rosemary, garlic and salt.  Next mix with 50g of parmesan cheese and set aside in a bowl.

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Gnocchi with tomatoes, pinenuts and blue cheese

Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat as the gnocchi aren’t homemade but it’s still damned good and let’s face it, sometimes needs must! It’s such a quick and easy dish and the soft pillowy gnocchi with the garlicky sauce and oozy cheese are the perfect comfort food after a busy day. Glass of red wine mandatory.

Continue reading Gnocchi with tomatoes, pinenuts and blue cheese

Pesto stuffed chicken with parma ham

First make the pesto – place basil and pine nuts in food processor. Cover; process a few times with on-and-off pulses. Add garlic; pulse a few times. Slowly add oil in stream while processor is running, stopping to scrape down sides of processor with rubber spatula. Add Parmesan cheese; pulse until blended.

Continue reading Pesto stuffed chicken with parma ham

Chicken and Tuscan bread salad

This is a really simple chicken recipe which captures Tuscan flavours and is ideal for using up old bread, in this recipe it was a focaccia which was just too hard to eat!

First make the croutons, heat the oven to 150 and toast whatever bread you are using in the oven for ten minutes or until golden. Continue reading Chicken and Tuscan bread salad

Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts

Soak the sultanas in hot water and put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add salt and then the linguine.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots over a low heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the Marsala and let it bubble for a minute before adding the mackerel, the sultanas (after squeezing out the water), capers and a few drops of red wine vinegar. Add the dill and pine nuts and stir well to heat through. Continue reading Pasta with mackerel, Marsala and pine nuts

Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe for chicken and mushroom ravioli which serves 4 as a starter or two as a main course.  First make the pasta  by adding the flour to a large bowl, or just tip onto a large dry surface.  Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, salt and olive oil. Continue reading Chicken and mushroom ravioli with fresh tomato sauce

Pearl barley risotto with roasted squash, red peppers and rocket

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the squash and peppers in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of olive oil and the leaves picked from the thyme sprigs. Season and toss well and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until tender. Give it a good mix halfway through.

Pour the stock into a small pan and keep warm over a low heat.

Meanwhile, heat a good drizzle of olive oil in another pan (I used a deep-sided frying pan with a lid) and add the onion and garlic. Cook gently for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Add the barley and cook for one minute.

Start adding the stock a ladle or two at a time, stirring well and making sure all the stock has been absorbed before adding more. This will take 30-40 minutes – the barley should be tender but still al dente. When you’re happy that it’s cooked, put the lid on, turn the heat off and leave to stand.

Take the squash and peppers out of the oven. Add these to the risotto with the parsley and gently mix through. Divide between two warmed bowls and top each with the rocket and parmesan. Another drizzle of olive oil and some balck pepper and you’re good to go.