Archief | januari, 2013

Dutch Peasoup with an Italian Twist

23 Jan

Last week I was in the Netherlands for my new job and I realized that I had missed the winter conditions so much! Here in Rome it’s just around 13 degrees and this weekend it was raining constantly. But, even though I am complaining right now, in 2 months the weather will definitely be much better!! Anyway, I got this amazing cookbook of Sophie Dahl from the girlfriend of my brother over christmas, and one of the recipes is a perfect example of the situation I am in right now. A peasoup with homemade pesto! When I told my boyfriend, or ‘fidanzato’ in Italian which sounds more mature than boyfriend :-), that we were about to eat peasoup, he looked at me almost disgusted! The peasoup that we dutch people are supposed to eat when we go iceskating outside, is not an extremely delicious dish.. however, this recipe of Sophie Dahl made the whole memory of thick and not so tasty peasoup go away!! And please, make the pesto yourself, because it’s soooo good..

Ingredients

For the pesto: 1 hand of fresh basil (only the leaves), 1 clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of oliveoil, 25 g. of grated Parmezan cheese (Grana Padano for instance), salt and pepper. For the soup: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small onion, 2 small zucchini chopped in pieces, 8 dl. of chicken or vegetable stock, 450 g. of peas (from a can or from the freezer), 1 large hand of rucola.

Preparation

Add the ingredients for the pesto together in a bowl and blend them until you will get a smooth sauce. You can also make it a bit thinner with some water. Flavor it if you’d like. Then, add the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Wait until the onion is soft, then you can add the chopped zucchini and stock. Let it simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and the rucola and heat the soup until it cooks. When the soup cooks, let it on the fire for about 3 to 4 minutes until everything is soft. Take the blender again and blend the soup until it is smooth. Let everyone add the pesto to their soup themselves. Buon appetito!

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Cordon Bleu

21 Jan

Last week I was watching the movie Julie & Julia with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. The movie is about a woman who thinks she needs a new goal in life next to her boring job at an insurance company. She decides that she is going to write a blog about making the 524 recipes of Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in one year. I loved the movie because it resembles my passion for cooking and writing a blog about it! In the movie, Julia Child, the wife of Paul Child who worked for the United Stated Information Agency in Paris, needs to find a new hobby, because she needs something to do in the city she loves, Paris. She starts with going to a hat-making club, but decides that a cooking club is more convenient. The name of the school where she goes to, is “Le Cordon Bleu” and that was my cue for this new recipe. I have never made Cordon Bleus myself. I always buy them in the store and then think they are okay. However, I started to think that making them yourself must be a boost for the taste, and god I was right! You can read the recipe below.

Ingredients

400 g. of pork meat (1,5 cm thick), 2 slices of cooked ham, 2 slices of young cheese, 1 egg, 25 g. of flower, 25 g. of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, butter or olive oil.

Preparation

Preheat the oven on 180 degrees. Add the flower, breadcrumbs and the egg in three low bowls. Take the pork meat and make sure they are 1,5 cm thick. If not, take a wine bottle or rolling pin and roll the meat until it’s more thin. Take two slices of meat that are of the same size (or cut them until they are) and put cheese and ham between the slices. Do this until all of the meat is used. Take the packages and roll them gently through the egg, flower and then breadcrumbs. Heat up a pan and use some butter or olive oil. Take the Cordon Bleus and bake them until they get brown along both sides. Then, put the Cordon Bleus to the heated oven for about 8 minutes. Then you are done! Buon appetito!

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Zucchini filopie with chickpeas and rice

13 Jan

For Christmas I got this wonderful Nigella Lawson book with the hilarious title: “How to become a domestic goddess”. The book features all kind of baking recipes like pastries, cookies, pies and flans. Many of the recipes need strange ingredients such as baking soda and I am very curious where I will be able to find these ingredients here in Rome.. I will keep you posted!

Today on this rainy Sunday afternoon I chose this nice recipe to try out. Again with no meat in it! Sorry Tom 😉 However if you’d ask me, you can easily add chicken to the pie.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of cumin (large seeds), 1 small onion (finely diced), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of tumeric powder (‘kurkuma’ in Dutch), 1 teaspoon of diced coriander, 3 small courgette(s)/zucchini, 125 gram of basmati rice, 500 ml. of vegetable stock (or chicken if you’d prefer), 2 cans of chickpeas (about 460 gram drained), 100 gr. melted butter, 200 gr. of filo pastry (‘filodeeg’ in Dutch) and a Springform.

Preparation

Preheat the oven on 200 degrees. Cut the onion and the courgettes in small dices and let the chickpeas drain. Bake the onion dices together with the cumin seeds on high fire until they’ll soften. Add the coriander, tumeric powder and courgettes. When the courgette dices are softened, add the rice. Wait until the rice is well coated in the oil of the other ingredients. Add the stock 1 dl. at the time and stir until all the stock is absorbed by the rice. This is a sign that the rice is ready. Take the pan off the fire and add the chickpeas.

Let the butter melt in a pan and brush the insides of the Springform with the melted butter. Add a few layers of filo pastry and butter each layer carefully. Leave a little filo pastry overlapping the sides of the tin form. Add the cooled rice filling and fold the overlapping pastry to the middle. If the pie is not fully covered with pastry, add a layer on the top. Butter the last layers of pastry and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes until the filo is golden brown.

Buon appetit!

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Pasta alla Norma

9 Jan

After three fantastic weeks with family for christmas and friends for new years, normal life has begun again this past monday. I have never liked the weeks after the holidays, because you have to put the christmas tree away and now I have to miss everyone again. But, I will also be starting my new job next week! So this will be very exciting 🙂

Because the past few weeks have been so busy, I did not have the time to write about food. However I did eat fantastic meals! In my upcoming posts I will feature some of these great experiences.

But for now, a post about healthy vegetarian pasta to forget the voracious diners! This pasta was recommended to me by the lovely wife of my landlord. When we went to pick up her mother from the train station, they immediately started talking about food and recipes after they greeted each other. Oh how I love Italians! Although I had just eaten, the recipe sounded delicious, so here it is :-).

Ingredients

2 onions, 1 cloves of garlic, 1 large eggplant or 2 small ones, 2 cans of tomato pulp, 300 g. of whole-wheat (here is the healthy touch!) spaghetti, 1 hand of basil.

Preparation

Cut the onions and garlic. Put some olive oil in a pan and bake the vegetables until they glaze. Meanwhile cut the eggplant in small pieces and and them to the stir. Cook some water in a pan and add the spaghetti. I added a little guy called ‘Al Dente’ we got as a present! He starts to whistle the Aida after 7 minutes, so we know the pasta is ready 🙂

Serve the spaghetti with the sauce and a few leaves of basil. Buon appetito!

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