All posts tagged: Italian

Uova da raviolo, the mother of all ravioli

In a previous post I’ve written about the anecdotical assumptions on the history of tortellini and Lucrezia Borgia’s navel. This time I’ll show you how to make an epic and rich raviolo. Uova da raviolo is a a single raviolo with a ricotta and spinach nest and a raw egg yolk that when boiled and lightly fried in butter cooks gently but remains tender and gooey, adding a luscious creamy texture that balances the freshness of the cheesy next and earthiness of the brown butter sauce. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, if anything it takes practice to achieve a thin, even pasta sheet and be careful when boiling it, otherwise is a straight forward, comforting dish at its best. Quick note on the name, in Italian the nouns ending in o in their singular form, change to i in plural. Raviolo = singular > Ravioli = plural. Just like gnocco > gnocchi; spaghetto > spaghetti, etc.) On with the recipe. To make 6 ravioli to feed 3… or 2, you will need:  100g strong wheat flour 2 …

Macella Hazan: The soul of Italian Food

Having a certain nationality may define and explain our dietary preferences but it’s hardly enough to make us experts on our country’s gastronomy. It always helps to have a healthy appetite, be interested in learning about traditional cooking techniques and use as many authentic ingredients as possible. But there’s also another factor that could potentially turn an appreciation for your own food into a passion that moves you to share it with the rest of the world, and that is travelling or living abroad. Our cultural identity is as defined by our ways of interaction, accents, physical features, the way we dress and of course what and how we eat. And when we are abroad, food becomes highly significant as a way of reaffirming our identity, sharing a “taste” of our culture with others and a tangible expression of how we identify and relate to these foods. Every generation or so there’s an unassuming cook that out of nostalgia, affiliation or an irrepressible need to share their culinary heritage, they “unveil” the secrets and mysteries …

Let ’em be pizza balls

I’m sure this happens to you too: Monday begins and you feel like running on sand, Tuesday comes because there’s no option, then midweek, somehow we made it. Thursday and I’m full of energy with long to do lists and ready to tackle every entry. Friday and a sense of accomplishment settles, we made it. In spite of the snow storms, election-saturated news and beached whales. And at last, weekend comes in. and just when I… me! the relentless cook cant face pans and chopping boards… Fortunately the no-nonsense man in my life simply looks at me and says: don’t worry I’m making dinner tonight. And while he’s at it, he pops out of the kitchen with a bowl of joy: pizza balls to keep us going until dinner is ready. I mean, that’s what makes life worth living right? And just if you think that all things can’t be improved by honey, think again this dough proves it. To make a dozen pizza balls you will need: For the dough 200g Strong white flour …

Tortellini, edible pockets of goodness

Many have been the solutions we’ve given to two basic needs: prepare food ahead and transp orting it. Convenience, portability and efficiency have determined the evolution of the solutions.   Nomadic cultures have very efficient and simple ways to eat on the go without interrupting their journeys, typically involving dried or cured meats, transporting dried fruits, roots or nuts. Rotting, smoking, dehydrating, pickling and baking are common methods to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables. Some great solutions for transporting involve edible pockets: Pasties, dumplings, empanadas, pies, vareniki, calzone… The vessel always responds (at least historically) to the needs of the eater: How far ahead in the day will the food be eaten Travel conditions Can it be eaten cold Will it be the only meal Will it require cutlery… and here is when the refinement of each dish comes into play.  We can easily picture farmers or miners happily munching a pasty – pastry and all– at this point the beauty of the food is irrelevant as long as the content is safely preserved and the pastry merely complements …

Easy Peasy Radiant Ravioli

I remember the first time I made pasta, it was epic, I’m not saying it was perfect, it was EPIC. We had some friends coming over, got our aprons on, cracked numerous eggs, got started and in no time we were all-covered in flour. Many years had to past until I attempted making pasta again, but this time I did a thorough research, cross referenced many recipes and took a plunge. The first result was very decent and like many things, with some practice my skills have improved. I went from making farfalle to linguini, lasagne and ravioli. Making pasta is surprisingly  simple, however you must learn to differentiate simple from fast.

Throw a Perfect Pizzette Party

Making pizza is really easy and nothing compares to the taste of a fresh, light, thin pizza base with flavourful toppings. However sometimes it can be slightly boring to have the same combinations over and over again. That’s why these pizzette will offer a nice twist to a Friday night dinner, they are lighter because they have fewer and barely cooked ingredients that will maintain their freshness even after baking them.