COLD PASTA SALAD

COLD PASTA SALAD 1

Here in Trento, at times the temperature is as high as 35-38 degree Celsius ( 95-100 degree Fahrenheit ). It is so so so hot, when a return home from work around 3:30 PM, I would like to eat some thing light, tasty, easy to prepare and nutritional as well.

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I have picked the cabbage, the cheery tomatoes and the basil from my own garden, I feel really good saying that. I have to thank my dear husband, Fitsum, for all the hard work. This rainbow colored past salad is fresh and easy to prepare, like I said. The pasta has to be cooked and cooled before hand, so you can cook it way before preparing your salad. Every other ingredient, with and exception of the bacon, can be prepared and refrigerated before hand. So basically it will be a 10 minutes preparation after wards.

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I have used a little bit more of sun dried tomatoes, because I like them so much. They give a lot of flavor for any kind of dish I prepare, for example BUCATINI WITH PEELED TOMATOES AND OLIVES is mouth watering.

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I didn’t use salt because the olives, the tuna and the sun dried tomatoes are kind of salty. Plus the pasta is already cooked in salted water, so it is going to be pretty tasty with out salt. And again it is better to avoid salt if possible.

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Ingredients

  • Quarter of a small cabbage
  • 50 grams( 1/2 cup ) cooked whole pasta
  • A hand full of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • A hand full of peas
  • 50 grams( 1/4 cup) canned tuna
  • 50 grams (1 cup) sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoon of olives
  • 2 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Three thinly sliced bacon

Procedure

  1. Great the cabbage with mandolin, cut the cherry tomatoes in half,  peel the carrot very thinly using a potato peeler.
  2. Cut the sun dried tomatoes in to small pieces.
  3. Drain the tuna oil
  4. Mix all the ingredients, except the bacon, in a bowl and mix well.
  5. Heat a grill / a pan cook the bacon, with out any oil, until crisp
  6. Break the cooked bacon in to small pieces and spread over the pasta salad
  7. Add oil toss every ingredient together, sprinkle the chopped basil and ENJOY.
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COLD PASTA WITH LIME MARINATED ZUCCHINI

COLD PASTA WITH LIME MARINATED ZUCCHINI 1

Hear in Trento the heat is over the roof and it definitely turns off the desire to stay on the stove, now the only answer is : cold pasta! Light, easy to prepare and fresh. This cold zucchini pasta is really special, because the zucchini is marinated with lime juice, which flavors the pasta with fresh and pungent notes of lime and mint. It does not end here: cherry tomatoes, celery, olive and feta cheese marry perfectly with marinated zucchini and make this cold pasta a colorful and inviting dish. You can prepare it with your favorite pasta and make this cold pasta a tasty dish at home or for a day out.

 

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Yield: 4 serving

Ingredients:

  • 300grams ( 2 cups )zucchini
  • 1 lime
  • 20 cherry tomatoes ( 1 cup)
  • 1 medium celery with the leaves
  • 1 medium fresh pickle
  • A hand full of green olives
  • 10grams(1 cup) feta cheese
  • some mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

Pasta:

  • Salted boiling water
  • 320grams small dry pasta

Procedures:

  1. Clean the zucchini and slice them very finely with a mandolin, to obtain a thickness of about 1 millimeter.
  2. In a bowl ( not aluminum) add the zucchini, lime zest, lime juice, chopped mint, olives and olive oil. Add salt and pepper mix well and marinate in fridge for an hour.
  3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water and drain al dente
  4. Pour into a bowl season with a little bit of oil and let it cool.
  5. In the mean time clean the strings and cut the celery in small pieces including the leaves
  6. Cut the cherry tomatoes in four pieces
  7. Cut the feta cheese in square pieces
  8. Take out the zucchini from the fridge, mix every ingredient together well. Add more oil and ENJOY.

FETTUCCINE ALFREDO WITH SAFFRON

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Fettuccine  means “little ribbons” in Italian. Fettuccine is a type of pasta popular in Roman and Tuscan cuisine. It is a flat thick pasta made of egg and flour (usually one egg for every 100 g of flour), wider than but similar to the tagliatelle typical of Bologna.

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Fettuccine Alfredo or fettuccine al burro is a pasta dish made from fettuccini tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter. As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating on the pasta. Adding saffron and heavy cream is going to make it even creamier and colorful.

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Its simplicity makes it the perfect dish for weekdays and/or for busy weekends. If you have to prepare a delicious pasta in less than 10-15 minutes this is your to go recipe. you can also add bacon or speck for flavorful result.

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For example, if you spend a whole morning preparing a succulents roasted chicken, delicious Italian TIRAMISU and the perfect salad. Now it is already lunch time Fettuccine Alfredo with saffron will save the day.

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Ingredients

  • 30grams( 1/8 cup) butter
  • 200ml ( 3/4 cup) heavy cream
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped chives

Pasta

  • 400grams dry fettuccini pasta
  • Salted boiling water

procedure

  1. In a big non stick saucepan melt the butter, add the heavy cream and stir.
  2. After a minute add the saffron and let it dissolve completely.
  3. In the mean time cook the pasta which probably will take 5-6 minutes.
  4. Now add the Parmesan cheese and make a velvety cream.
  5. when the pasta is al dente drain and mix directly with the sauce.
  6. Incorporate well and serve immediately with chopped chives on top. ENJOY.

LASAGNA WITH HOME MADE SPICY PESTO

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The word “pesto” comes from “pestare”, which means to crush or grind, as with a pestle. I make my pesto in the blender in immersion, but to truly mash up the garlic, basil and flavor a mortar and pestle is the way to go. The basic ingredients are basil leaves, pine nuts, salt, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pecorino cheese and a very good quality olive oil. But to satisfy my unconditional love for that spicy and pinch flavor I added a dry chilly pepper flaxes, which goes really well with the delicate pesto.

lasagna with home made spicy pesto
Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air, so if you want to store you have two options:
    1. Cover tightly with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto and not allowing the pesto to have contact with air.
    2. Drizzle a light layer of olive oil over the top the pesto so that it will not have contact with air, this way it will not have a darker color

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If you want to freeze the pesto, it is better with out the cheese. Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and fill each pocket with the pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use, defrost and add in grated Parmesan and pecorino cheese.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoon garlic oil
  • 2 teaspoon dry chilly pepper flakes
  • 50 gram basil leaves
  • 6 tablespoon grated pecorino cheese
  • 6 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Enough extra virgin olive oil to dissolve  mixture

Pasta

  • A fresh lasagna pasta ( if not available we can use the dry lasagna pasta, it is just gonna take a little bit longer to cook)
  • Salted boiling water

Garnish

  • A little bit of pine nuts
  • A little bit of pepper flaxes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • some basil leaves

Procedure

  1. To make a pesto you can use a blender in immersion, food processor, or move over to pestle and mortar. Add the pine nuts and the salt, start blending them together
  2. Add the garlic oil, the chilly pepper flaxes, a little bit of basil leaves, a little bit of pecorino cheese, a little bit of Parmesan cheese and a little bit of oil, then blend till homogeneous
  3. Finish all the ingredients alternating each of them
  4. cook the lasagna in the boiling water then drain al dente
  5. If you are going for a thinner pesto you can add more oil ( that is the reason I didn’t put a measurement for the oil)
  6. To store the pesto, put it in an air tight container ( useful tips: cover the top of the pesto with olive oil this way it will not have a darker color)
  7. In a bowl pour the pesto add a little bit of cooking water, just to warm it up, add the cooked lasagna cover each lasagna leaves with the pesto
  8. Serve on a plate with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, pepper flaxes and some basil leaves on top. ENJOY

BUCATINI WITH ANCHOVIES, RAISIN, PINE NUTS AND SAFFRON

 

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Bucatini also known as perciatelli is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning “hole”, while bucato or its Neapolitan variant perciato means “pierced”. It is quite popular and really versatile.

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When we prepare the sauce, it is better if we can avoid overcooking the anchovies because they would lose consistency and become soft. A couple of minutes of cooking, another two minutes to flavor the pasta, are perfect.

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Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 anchovies in oil
  • Hand full of raisins
  • Hand full of pine nuts
  • Pinch of saffron

Pasta

  • 400grams of Bucatini pasta
  • Salted boiling water

Garnish

  • 4 anchovies
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  •  Chopped parsley

Procedure

  1. First boil the water for the pasta with enough salt
  2. In a small bowl add worm water and put in the raisins so that they will be puffy and soften a little bit
  3. Heat the pan over medium heat add a little bit of pasta water, serves for melting the anchovies, and put 3 anchovies per portion then let them melt takes around 2 minutes
  4. By now the pasta water must be boiling add the pasta and cook al dente
  5. In a small bowl pour hot water from the boiling water for the pasta and dissolve the saffron
  6. Now add the raisins and pine nuts in the pan and toss around so that they will flavor each other ( useful tips: When making a sauce for any kind of pasta, if it tends to dry add a little bit of pasta water in the sauce)
  7. Pour the dissolved saffron in the pan and stir
  8. Add the cooked pasta in the pan coat with the sauce and put on a plate
  9. Sprinkle some toasted breadcrumbs and chopped parsley
  10. Then on top put one anchovy drizzle with olive oil and ENJOY.

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ORECCHIETTE WITH GORGONZOLA AND BROCCOLI

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Spring is knocking in our doors. It is coming with fresh breath and bright sun, I am excited. Aren’t you? It is the right time to make one of my favorite pasta dishes ORECCHIETTE WITH GORGONZOLA, BROCCOLI AND FRESH CHEERY TOMATOES.

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Thinking that it might be difficult to find Gorgonzola, I have proposed an alternative blue cheese Roquefort.  Roquefort and Gorgonzola are two kinds of blue cheese. Roquefort is a French sheep’s milk cheese and Gorgonzola is Italian and made from cow’s milk. Roquefort has a sharper flavor, but is not as strongly flavored as robust and aromatic Gorgonzola. Of course the taste is going to be different, but if you can’t find Gorgonzola use Roquefort.

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In order to melt the Gorgonzola we have two options:

  1. We can heat heavy cream in the pan and add the Gorgonzola so that it will melt
  2. We can use the already boiling pasta water and melt the Gorgonzola

It is obvious that there are going to be differences in taste and calories. But it is once decision to use either one.

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Ingredients

  • One medium broccoli (steamed or cooked in water)
  • 200g / 2 cups Gorgonzola ( cut in to pieces)
  • Cherry tomatoes ( cut in small pieces)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Pasta

  • 400g/ 4 cups dry orecchiette pasta
  • Salted water

Garnish

  • Parsley
  • olive oil

Procedure

  1. First boil the water for the pasta with enough salt, when boiled add the pasta and cook according to package instruction
  2. In the mean time heat a large pan over medium heat ( like I have explained above it is your choice to use heavy cream or the pasta water to melt the Gorgonzola) then over the pasta water or the heavy cream add the Gorgonzola give it a stir
  3. Add the broccoli and stir again
  4. By now the pasta should be ready, take it out of the water directly in to the sauce that you have just prepared. Stir it again.
  5. Put it on a plate, spread the cherry tomatoes,the parsley and drizzle a little bit of oil and ENJOY.

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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.