Legumes bring good luck in Italy and the best example is the classic “cotechino e lenticchie” at New Year’s Eve where the lentils are said to promise good fortune (literally, money!) in the coming year. Generally Italians also prepare a broad bean and pecorino cheese dish for May 1st to bring good luck, but to expand our “fave” repertoire, here is another Italian recipe using broad beans.
While the legume itself might be healthy, the rest of this traditional Roman dish isn’t but it was made back in the days of Italian nonne who weren’t so concerned about their figures. For ingredients, this traditional Italian cooking recipe uses: 300 gr of sausage, 300 gr of pork cut for casserole, 500 gr of broad beans, 50 gr of lard, six slices of stale bread, chopped parsley, sage, mint, oil and salt and pepper.
To prepare, fry the lard in a little oil and then add the chopped herbs. Remove the skin from the sausage and break it up a little, then add to the lard, browning slightly. Add the pork as well and cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes. If it dries out, add some water.
If using dried broad beans, they need to have been soaked in water, otherwise use fresh ones with the skin removed. Add to the meat mixture and dust with a little salt and pepper. In the meantime, toast the bread and add a little olive oil. Remove the casserole from the flame and serve with the bread on the side.
We recently presented the traditional Italian product of “fave”, or broad beans, and here is an excellent spring recipe with a broad bean soup. Adding some mint leaves gives this light dish a fresher flavour, perfect for days when the body is getting used to warmer temperatures but isn’t quite ready for salad.
Ingredients for four people are: 350 gr of fresh broad beans (shelled), 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, two onions, a carrot, one celery stick, one potato, fresh mint, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
Prepare the stock if using a stock cube and set aside. Toss the beans into some salted boiling water and boil for two minutes. Drain them and remove the skin. Wash, peel and chop the various vegetables and heat them in a casserole dish with some olive oil. Add some mint leaves and the broad beans.
Add the vegetable stock and a little salt if necessary. Cook for 50 minutes on medium heat and towards the end of the cooking, remove about three quarters of the soup and blend in a food processor. Add it back to the soup and mix together to get a smoother and creamier mixture. Add a little pepper and serve garnished with a fresh mint leaf.
Photo | Flickr
I love zucchini flowers done any way - fried, stuffed, roasted, whatever. Today we bring you a great Italian recipe for summer with these courgette flowers and ricotta. The traditional Italian product is very versatile and this is the kind of dish you can use as an Italian antipasto, or even as an entire light lunch on the weekend.
Ingredients for four people are: eight large, open zucchini flowers, 300 gr of ricotta cheese, 4-5 tablespoons of grated cheese (parmesan should work), a small bunch of chopped chives, the juice of a lemon, olive oil and salt.
Clean the flowers and slice them vertically in half. Place them on a chopping board. Wash and chop the chives and place them in a bowl. Add the ricotta, grated cheese and a little salt and mix well to achieve a creamy texture. With a wet spoon, place a spoonful of the ricotta mixture in each half zucchini flower and bring the sides together to close the flower.
In a small bowl, squeeze the lemon and add a little salt and olive oil, whisking with a fork. Take four plates and drizzle the lemon juice over them, placing the zucchini flowers on top and you’re done! A nice, zucchini flower salad for summer.
If you were lucky enough to spend your Italian Easter in Naples, you may have had the chance to taste this traditional Neapolitan recipe from Campania - ricotta pie. Called la pastiera, the Italian dessert is made from shortcrust pastry, ricotta, candied fruits and the unusual ingredient of aroma of orange blossoms.
According to Barbara on Italian Notebook, you can buy the orange blossom aroma from pharmacies in Naples, while the ingredient itself is meant to represent “innocence, chastity, eternal love, marriage and fruitfulness” (from the days of the recipe being developed by nuns of the San Gregorio Armeno convent in Naples). The recipe is key to Neapolitan traditional cooking for Easter.
The recipe uses cooked durum wheat, otherwise you can buy it already pre-cooked. Ingredients for two pies are: 500 gr of flour, 250 gr of sugar, 250 gr of butter, three eggs and some vanilla powder or essence (for the pastry). For the filling: 500 gr of ricotta cheese, 275 gr of cooked durum wheat, 200 gr of milk, half a tablespoon of butter, five eggs, 250 gr of sugar, half a tablespoon of lemon zest and the same of orange zest, 25 gr of strega liqueur and 25 gr of rum.
I found this Italian recipe in an old book, so a few days ago I prepared it for my friends and it was a great success. Why not give it a try? Here’s what you need:
250 g flour; 100 sugar; 70 g butter; 30 granulated sugar; 20 g skinned almonds; 15 g yeast; 2 eggs; lemon zest; 1 glass milk and salt.
Preparation: dissolve the yeast in warm milk, then in a bowl put flour, sugar, eggs, butter and a pinch of salt ( don’t forget to pour in the milk with the yeast) and work into a ball. Done this, leave to rest for 12 hours. Next break the dough into two or three pieces, add lemon zest and work into a ball again. Place in a well-greased baking dish and leave to rest for three hours.Bake at 220 c for 40 minutes. Serve cold.
If you are looking for a recipe for your Easter meal, you have come to the right place. This Italian lamb-based dish is simply delicious. Here are the ingredients: 600 g chopped lamb; 3 carrots, 100 g shelled peas; 300 g new potatoes; 100 broad beans; 100 g turnips; ½ cup of white wine; 1 cup of stock; flour; oil; aromatic herbs; salt and pepper.
Preparation: Wash, clean and cut all the vegetables. Next coat the meat with flour and fry on high heat for 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and wait until has evaporated, then add all the vegetables except the broad beans and peas and cook for a few secs. Next pour in the stock and cook for about 1 hour. At this point add the broad beans and peas and cook for 15 minutes more.
This recipe serves 4.
Italian desserts for summer range from the classic gelato to semifreddo (great if you haven’t got an icecream maker) and they also know how to do a good mousse as well. This Italian recipe uses the traditional product of lemons - famous in southern Italy and also to be found in some areas in north that enjoy patches of temperate climate. The town of Limone on Lake Garda is one, but back to our recipe.
The mousse uses yoghurt and lemons and the ingredients for four people are: 250 g of natural yoghurt, 200 g of sugar, 50 g of butter, the juice of five lemons and four eggs (separated).
Beat the egg yolks and then in a heat-proof bowl over boiling water melt the butter, add the lemon juice, sugar and yolks. Heat for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. When done, take from the heat and leave to cool. In the meantime, beat the egg whites until they form peaks. When the lemon mixture has completely cooled, add the yoghurt and fold in the egg whites.
Using four small cups or cocktail glasses, divide the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least two hours. When serving, you can decorate with raw sugar or a little grated lemon rind.
Photo | Flickr
Many Italians celebrate birthdays and other important events with a large fruit tart made from shortcrust pastry, custard and fresh fruit. Called a ‘crostata alla frutta’ you’ll often find it considered a traditional Italian dessert, and as we’re now in spring, we’d thought we’d bring you the recipe. Some supermarkets have shortcrust pastry bases already available, but it’s still nice to make your own. For the pastry, you’ll need the following ingredients:
350 g of flour, 150 g of sugar, 150 g of butter, three egg yolks, grated lemon skin, a little salt, and if you want it softer and not so ‘biscuity’, you can add a little yeast. Likewise, homemade custard is tastier and if you’re careful it doesn’t turn into scrambled eggs, it’s not difficult to do.
For the custard: 100 g of sugar, 100 g of flour, 500 ml of milk and two eggs. For the fruit decoration you can choose anything, seasonal fruit is best, but here you can let your imagination run wild, especially with how to decorate your tart.
If you are on a diet, this delicious pasta recipe is not for you, but it’s so delicious that if I were you, I would give it a try it all the same. But remember the fish must be absolutely fresh and if you can, use fregole instead of spaghetti. I don’t know if you are acquainted with it, but fregole is an exquisite variety of pasta from Sardinia; made from semolina flour, it looks (and taste) a little bit like Couscous. Here are the ingredients:
400 g fregole; eggs; onions;; hammer fish fillet; dry tomatoes; prawns; mussels; pecorino cheese; parsley; marjoram; vegetable stock; lemon zest; oil and butter.
Preparation: in a large pan melt the butter and brown the chopped onions; then throw in the hammer fish cubes and add the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes and then stir in fregole. Next add the chopped dry tomatoes and gradually pour in the vegetable stock (keep stirring the mixture) In the meanwhile cook the mussels until the shells open. When they are done, add the chopped prawns. Next cook the eggs in a bain-marie, throw them in and then sprinkle with marjoram. Stir in the pasta and add pecorino cheese and lemon zest. Bon apppetit .
This recipe serves four.
This regional Italian dish comes from the south of Italy and is particularly famous in Campania. I was very tempted to write “bloody” cake in the title but thought better of it. In any case, the name “torta di sanguinaccio” reflects the colour of the ingredients used in this sweet pie from Italy’s regional cooking.
Ingredients required are: 350 g of pork blood (best to check with your butcher about just how you might procure this - Italians never throw away anything of the pig), 250 g of cooked rice, 250 g of bread crumbs, 200 g of fig jam, some cocoa powder, 150 g of sultanas, 150 g of mixed walnuts and almonds, 150 g of sugar, 20 g of ground cinnamon and finally seven to eight cloves. For the pastry you’ll need: 500 g of flour, two tablespoons of oil and some salt.
Prepare the pastry by mixing and kneading together the ingredients. Roll it out quite thinly and place it in a pie dish. Mix all the above ingredients together to create a smooth mixture and then cook over a low heat in a casserole dish while stirring constantly. Leave it to cool and then place in the pie dish. Bake in the oven at 180° for half an hour.
Foto | Flickr