AMATRICIANA WITH SPAGHETTI

Amatriciana is a first dish typical of Roman cuisine. It is so delicious and an easy dish to make, it takes just 15 minutes. It is so good that you can’t stop leaking the fork when you are done eating. Knowing that it is being more and more difficult to find on the market the seasoned pork cheek, I propose that you  substitute it with smoked bacon.

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Seasoned pork cheek or smoked bacon always have a very balanced, sweeter and delicate taste. They tend to go really well with the sour taste of the tomato pest. I also like the smell of the meat when toasted with the onion, ginger and garlic. I have to tell you to not use a lot of oil, because the fat from the pork cheek will melt and it is enough to flavor the sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 red onion chopped finely
  • 1 fresh garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 dried or fresh chilly pepper diced
  •  100g/ 2 cups seasoned pork cheek (remove the tough rind and cut into thin slices and then into strips with a thickness of about 0.5 cm or cubes)
  • A splash of white wine
  • 400g/2 cups tomato sauce
  • olive oil

For pasta

  • 400gram spaghetti
  • salted cooking water

Garnish

  • Grated peconrino cheese
  • Basil leaves

Yield :3 – 4 servings

Procedure

  1. Let’s start by boiling salted water for the pasta
  2. In a large non stick pan in medium heat cook onion, ginger and garlic, with oil, till soft and transparent
  3. Then add the pork cheek, the chilly pepper and cook till the fat is transparent about 5 minutes not more
  4. Then raise the heat and add the white win, when the alcohol has evaporated in like 10 seconds lower the heat. Stir well and pour it out in a bowl and let it rest
  5. By now the water must be boiling, so add the pasta and cook al dente(cooked just enough to retain a somewhat firm texture)
  6. Then in the same pan cook the tomato paste till dense about 10 minutes add the cooked pork cheek back to the pan taste the seasoning
  7. Take out the cooked pasta (useful tip: If you are not going to use the pasta right after it is cooked spill a little bit of oil mix so that it will not stick together )
  8. Add the cooked pasta, mix well so that it flavors after 5 seconds serve on a plate with pecorino cheese and basil. ENJOY.

FETIRA

Fetira is one of my favorite breakfast ever. It can also be a snack or a Sunday brunch. Once again I give my thanks to my friend Maky, who showed me the recipe. I have made it as simple as possible, illustrated with a step by step photo.

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If you want a variety, beat an egg and after you cook the fetira on one side turn it over spread it with a spoon of beaten egg after two minutes flip it again to cook the egg. You have got your carbohydrate and your protein too.

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Ingredients

  • 200g(1 and 1/4 cups) white flour ( some more for dusting)
  • 150ml( 1/2 cup) salted water
  •  Butter(enough to spread over the dough)
  • Sunflower oil (just enough to cover the pan every time you cook the fetira)

Garnish

  • Maple syrup

yield – 6 to 8 servings

Procedures

  1. In a big bowl mix the flour and water till you make a dough
  2. Take it out on your working border and stretch it out thinly

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3.Picking a little butter with your fingers spread it all over the rolled out pasta

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4.Tear the pasta right at the center and fold it towards the outside and make a circle

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5.Smash it against the working border so that it gets lose and fluffy

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6.Cut the dough in 6-8 equal sizes

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7.Roll out each one to a small disk, spread some butter again fold all the edges to the center and roll it out again

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8.Heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil and cook till golden brown about 2 minutes on each. Drizzle some maple syrup and ENJOY.

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APPLE PIE

This apple pie is so easy to make. We are going to use a top quality store bought apple pie crust, so it is only the filling that we have to prepare. Hear in Trento, there is a similar dessert called strudel. which is made with apple, but there are different ingredients add to that and the shape is also different. I promise to make it in on of my posts in the near future.

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Any way this apple pie is to die for.  I hope it becomes one of your favorites as it is mine. I have also liked the apple pie that I have seen on  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/old_fashioned_apple_pie/ . It is quit good.

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yield – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 store bought pastry crust (at room temperature)
  • 6 golden delicious apples (peeled, cored and sliced thinly)
  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon white sugar
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon butter cut in small cubes

Garnish

  • Icing sugar

Procedure

  1. Heat the oven to 150C /302F. We are going to use a 2 and 1/2 quarts or 9 inch round tin baking dish with parchment paper or oil spray
  2. In a big bowl, we put in the sliced apple and the rest of all the ingredients listed above and mix them well
  3. Then lay the first pastry crust on the baking dish and fill it with the mixture of apple. Spread the cubed butter all over the apple.
  4. Unfold the second pastry over filling trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal and cut slits in the top of the pie crust for steam vents.
  5. Cook pie for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  6. Transfer the apple pie to a rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature garnishing with icing sugar. ENJOY

CREAMY SMOKED SALMON PASTA

This is One of the easiest, fastest and delicious pasta dish you’ll ever make. This smoked salmon pasta recipe is also filled with fresh flavors of lemon zest and chives.smoked-salmon-1

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yield – 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped finely)
  • Smoked salmon (cut in to small pieces)
  • A splash of White wine
  • 200ml ( 3/4 cups )Heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pasta

  • Salted boiling water
  • 400gram Fresh or dry tagliatelle pasta

Garnish

  • Lemon zest
  • Chives

Procedures

    1. Boil the water for the pasta
    2. Heat a non stick sauce pan on a medium heat and Sauté the onion with oil till soft and transparent
    3. Add the salmon and cook till light pink about 3-4 minutes
    4. Now it’s time to add the white wine and let it evaporate on high heat for about 10 seconds, of course stirring continually.
    5. Then lower the heat to medium and add the heavy cream. When it starts to boil at the border of the pan and the cream is hot, add the pasta directly into the pan from the boiling water and mix well
    6. Place on a plate. Garnish with chives and lemon zest. It should be served hot. ENJOY.

SAMBUSA

When I was in Ethiopia, at the time of Ramadan, I used to go to one of my best friend’s house ( Maki) to cook and eat sambusa. Thank you Maki. Now that she is hear in Italy with me we have decided to make a step by step instruction for you guys. We have made it as simple as possible. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.

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You can use it as a snack or a side dish. If there is a left over you can put it in a fridge and heat it with a microwave the next day. You can also double or triple the quantity and prepare it until the step of the filling and freeze it up to a month. When needed defrost it overnight in a fridge and fry it.

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I have made mine with a filling of lentils and spiced it up with hot green pepper. Added a coriander leaf only at the last. So I have cooked the lentils in a salted water. Finely chopped the onion, the hot green pepper and the leak and mix all of them together. The fact that we cook only the lentils and use row onion and green pepper gives it a touch of freshness.

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Ingredients

  • 200g(1 and 1/4 cups) flour ( some more for dusting)
  • 150ml( 1/2 cup) salted water
  • oil (for frying)
  • thin paste of flour and water for sealing the filled sambusa

Filling

  • 100g lentils
  • 1/2 small white or red onion (depends on your taste) chopped finely
  • 1 hot green pepper chopped finely
  • 1/4 of a leak cleaned and chopped finely

Procedure

  1. Heat your oven to 150C /302F
  2. In a bowl add the flour and the water mix till homogeneous
  3. Take it out on a working board and knead until smooth (about 8 – 10 minutes)

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4.Divide it in 4 and flatten each like a small disc

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5.Then over the two discs add a little bit of oil and flour then spread well( this helps us to separate the two discs later on )

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6.Take the two discs put them over the other discs roll them out as thin as possible, then put the pair in the oven and cook for 2 minutes then turn it over and cook for another 2 minutes

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7.Take it out separate the two tinned out discs and immediately put it in a plastic bag ( this will keep it steamed so that it wont dry)

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8.Fold each one in long rectangle shape and cut it as small or as big as your desired

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9.In a small dish or cup, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste. Using one wrapper at a time, fold into the shape of a cone.

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10. Fill the cone with the filling of your choice, close the top, and seal with the paste. Repeat until wraps or filling are used up.

11.Heat the oil to 170 C / 365 F in a deep-fryer or deep heavy pot. There should be enough oil to submerge the wraps. Fry the Sambusa a few at a time until golden brown. Turning it over and over again. Remove carefully to drain on paper towels. ENJOY it while it is hot.

GRILLED PINEAPPLE

Pineapple is delicious on it’s own, but if you want something quick and easy to make for dessert try grilling it. It becomes so testy and spicy. It is also served hot and juicy so it gives it a touch of warmth.If you add a scoop of ice cream, wow you will be satisfied.
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There are so many ways you can use pineapples to flavor your meals and it is so easy to make and adds a ton of flavor. I know it is winter but I decided to add a touch of summer in the middle of winter and it worked. Me, my family and a dear friend of mine who came to visit us from Finland (Maki) have enjoyed it sooooo much. And I am sure you will too.
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The lemon juice will help to cut some of the sweets, if you decided to go sweet all the way by all means don’t use the the lemon juice.
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Ingredients

  • 1 fresh pineapple ( peeled, cut and cored)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 small cubbed butter
  • splash of white wine
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

procedure

  1. In a big bowl add the maple syrup, the cinnamon, the white wine, pinch of salt mix very well then add the pineapple again mix till every part of the pineapple is covered and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  2. preheat grilled pan( preferably the one with a cover) for medium heat
  3. when it is hot enough trough the cubbed butter and immediately put the pineapple wedges on the grill ( don’t wait till the butter is burned)
  4. when the pineapple is heated trough, 5-7 minutes add the rest of the marinate from the bowl and the lemon juice in to the grill and cover your grill so that the steam will soften the pineapple
  5. after a minute you are done. Serve hot and ENJOY.

CINNAMON AND VANILLA COOKIES

Late Christmas cookies, finally they are here. These rich cinnamon and vanilla cookies are great for the holidays or anytime you want a tasty cinnamon treat. They are so delicious, and have the best texture. They are so fast to put together too!

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 These cookies are always a hit when I make them at home. Two days and they are all gone. You can yield about 50 medium cookies.

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Yield– more than 50 cookies

Ingredients

  • 200g (7/8 cup) butter
  • 115g ( 1/2 cup  ) sugar
  • 1 egg ( separated)
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 400g (3 1/3 cups) flour + some for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 150c/302F and cover the backing tray with parchment paper or cooking spray
  2. Now we are going to start by mixing the butter and the sugar in a big bowl.
  3.  in another bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla, lemon zest, pinch of salt and baking powder mix well
  4. separate the mixture in half using another bowl
  5. mix half of the flour( 200g or 1 2/3 cups)with the first half of the butter mixture and when mixed well and becomes a dough roll with a film and put in the fridge for 30minutes
  6. for the remaining second half of the butter mixture put in the cinnamon mix well and gradually add the rest of the flour. when mixed thoroughly roll with a film and put in the fridge for half an hour
  7. when the dough run its course,take out the first half and roll it out 1/2 an inch thick on the counter with a little bit of flour.
  8. cut the dough with the cookie cutter with the shape of your desire and spread on the cooking tray and cook for 25 minutes
  9. do the same operation for the second dough
  10. when done leave 10 minutes to cool and ENJOY.