Bolognese sauce known in Italy as ragù alla bolognese or simply ragù, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. In Italian cuisine, it is customarily used to dress “tagliatelle al ragù” and to prepare “lasagne alla bolognese“. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine. Then topped with Parmesan cheese or any other cheese of your preference.
Bolognese sauce is a slowly cooked sauce. Ingredients include a characteristic sautéing of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef, often alongside small amounts of fatty pork. Red wine and a small amount of tomato paste and peeled tomato, the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce. Rosemary and parsley are the two herbs that compliment the taste of the bolognese sauce.
I am going to bring the bolognese sauce to whole another level by adding my spicy mix. Which is a mixture of dried Guajillo pepper / chili pepper,dried onion, garlic, grains of paradise / cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, ground black pepper and salt. All of these ingredients will be roasted, let cool then grind. I will write a post on the spicy mix that I usually use to make my tasty dishes.
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 1 celery without string and diced
- 2 tablespoon my spicy mix ( chili flakes)
- 150 g( ⅔ cup ) minced beef
- 100 ml red wine
- 1 can of peeled tomato
- 500 ml( 2 1/4 cups) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 fresh garlic
- Olive oil
- Chopped parsley
- Using a food processor mince the onion, the carrot and the celery.
- In a big pot on low heat, cook the minced vegetables until they finish their water.
- Add the oil, cover the lead and cook till they are soft and transparent about 7-10 minutes. Stirring every now and then.
- Add my spicy mix or the chili flakes and cook for another 10 minutes. If it tends to burn add a little bit of hot water.
- Now add the minced beef( make sure that they don’t attack to each other and form a ball) cook for another 10 minutes – 15 minutes. Until it finishes its water.
- Flavor the beef with red wine and let the alcohol evaporate by putting the heat on high.
- Then lower the heat on minimum, add the peeled tomatoes, the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stirring occasionally cook at least for an 45 minutes or until the tomato paste is reduced by half. If it is not dense enough keep it cooking for another 10-15 minutes
- Add the freshly minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add rosemary, chopped parsley and ENJOY
Italians say pasta al pomodoro ( spaghetti /pasta/ with tomato sauce) is the best dish ever. It is a comfort food. I agree, I do. It is simple, not time consuming, yet one of the best dishes in Italy. Every bite gives you a balanced flavor and freshness which according to my opinion any kind of meal should have.
I am trying to teach my daughter what a good and healthy food is, in the process create a positive memory through food which I believe is incredibly powerful. Almost for every bodies comfort food is the one they are used to eat as a child. A food which has good memories with family, relatives and friends. A food that they would have any time of the day.
My favorite comfort food (as silly as it may sound) is a simple fresh home made bread with a flavorful tea. Now this might seem silly, like I said, but the memory that I have with it is incredibly amazing. I can still smell the fresh bread, the warmth of our house my mother’s lovely smile, my father, my sisters and my brothers all around enjoying our silly tea and bread. So I am trying to teach my daughter the value that a comfort food might have in a family.
The spaghetti sauce is hearty, with just the right thickness to top any kind of pasta. It’s not too acidic thanks to the sugar and a medley of herbs and is loaded with flavor. I like to garnish my plate with a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a few torn leaves of fresh basil. If you feel like it a dash of red pepper flakes on top of your pasta will give you a nice kick.
- 500 grams of dry spaghetti
- 1 red onion chopped finely
- 2 teaspoon chilly pepper flakes/ chilly powder
- 200 grams peeled tomatoes cut in to small pieces
- 300 gram tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 fresh garlic finely chopped
- Freshly chopped parsley
- 3 basil leaves chopped and some more for decoration
- Good quality olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh grated cheese
- Salted boiling water for the pasta
- Cook the onion with a little bit of oil until soft and transparent. It would take about 5-7 minutes
- When the onion is cooked add the chilly pepper flakes/ chilly powder and mix well, If it tends to burn add a little bit of hot water, cook for another 5-7 minutes
- Then add the peeled tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Cook the spaghetti al dente ( when it still has a bite to it)
- Add the sugar, the garlic and the chopped basil leaves, stir well and leave to cook for another 3 minutes
- Drain the pasta, add it directly to the delicious sauce ( a little bit of pasta water would make it even succulent) and mix together.
- Still on the heat, put in some grated cheese mix again about a minute
- Take out on your plate sprinkle some more cheese, basil leaves on top and a drizzle of olive oil. ENJOY
I have already posted on the hamburger that we usually eat on Saturdays. This is almost the same recipe but really different result. The sun side up egg and the speck give it the moist and the crunch with the particular taste of smoked flavor.
- 3 burger bread
- 1 small red onion
- 1/2 celery with out the strings
- 300grams (1 and 1/3 cups) red meat
- a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 egg
- 30g ( 1/3 cup) bread crumbs
- 3 lettuce leaves
- 6 slices of tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- chop the red onion and celery
- heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil and cook the onion and the celery till transparent and soft
- season with salt and set aside
- put the meat in a bowl, beat one egg in a separate bowl and add to the meat
- add the cooked onion, the dried herbs, some salt and mix well
- then add the bread crumbs and mix again (if the meat is sticky on your palms add more bread crumb)
- take a hand full (about 70g/0.15lb) for each hamburger make a ball and flatten it between the palms of your hands
- heat a big non stick pan with a bit of oil on a medium heat
- cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side turning it every now and then
- cut the burger bread, put it on a hot grill to give it the smoky flavor and the beautiful look. You can also sear the speck next to the bread
- on another pan with a little bit of oil cook the sun side egg
- Assemble first the lettuces then tomatoes, the burger, the egg and the speck. Fill free to add ketchup or mayonnaise as you please. ENJOY
In Trento, strangolapreti are typical dumplings made with breadcrumbs that mix with milk, eggs and spinach (cooked vegetables). It is one of the simplest, fastest and healthiest ( not 100%) dish I prepare. It is also one of the ways that my daughter eats spinach.
Due to the fact that we are going to make our strangolapreti with out eggs, will allow us to anticipate and prepare it a day or two days before and put it in a fridge.
We can also frizz it in a freezer and when we want to cook it just take it out the day before, put it in our fridge and do the rest of the procedure the day after.
- 250g dry bread( broken into pieces)
- 250ml ( 1 cup) milk
- 2 kg ( 8 cups) spinach
- 3 tablespoon grana padano cheese
- Bread crumbs as needed
- Boiling salted water
- 100g( ⅜ cup) Butter
- 6 leaves of sage
- Add the dry bread in a big bowl . Boil the milk and pour it into the bowl and cover
- Cook the spinach in a little bit of salted water for about 5-7minutes, when cooked drain and strain out the remaining water
- Then chop the spinach, add to the bread and mix well
- Now add also the bread crumb, the Parmesan cheese and incorporate until homogeneous( the quantity of the bread crumbs you are going to add depends on how wet your mixture is but at the end it doesn’t have to be either too dry or too wet )
- Take a handful of the mixture and make an oval shape pressing it and tightening it in your hands. This helps that it will not break up later when cooked in water. Now roll it on a flour dusted table top, making it longer( you have a free will to choose the shape and the size of your strangolapreti). Then cut it to the desired size.
- When finished put them in a container or on a plate, separated from each other, then refrigerate at least for 30 minutes
- Boil a salted water and cook until the strangolapreti float on top of the water
- Take them out on a plate and flavor them with sage infused butter and ENJOY.
The Mozzarella in carrozza is a typical recipe from countrysides of Italy: a tasty appetizer consisting of fried sandwich with melted mozzarella filling passed in flour, egg, bread crumbs and then fried. It is economical and we use readily available ingredients, it is a delicious dish and can also be used as finger food.
Yield- two servings
- Vegetable oil (enough to deep fry the mozzarella in carrozza)
- 4 slices of buffalo mozzarella
- 8 slices of toast bread
- 2 eggs ( beaten and salted)
- A splash of milk
- Salted white flour ( enough to dust the mozzarella in carrozza)
- Bread crumbs ( enough to dust the mozzarella in carrozza)
- Pinch of salt
- Heat the oil on high
- Make 8 sandwiches with the bread and mozzarella
- Dip the sandwiches in the egg
- Dust each of them with flour
- Again dip them in the egg
- Then dust with the bread crumbs
- By now the oil must be hot, dip fry sandwiches until golden brown
- In the meantime dress the salad
- Cut the mozzarella in carrozza in half and put on a plate with the salad. ENJOY it while it is hot.
A wonderful juicy chicken recipe
with a bit of a kick!
There are so many different ways that you can cook chicken drumsticks and make it absolutely delicious. No matter what flavor or cuisine you are looking for, you’re bound to find a fantastic recipe for chicken drumsticks.
These oven roasted chicken drumsticks are so so so good, juicy, spicy, lemony and every thing that a drumstick should be. The juice that the chicken is going to release during cooking is going to keep it moist but at the end, the last fifteen minutes, it is better to get ride of it so that you will have a crunchy skin. But if you want to you can also make a sauce out of the liquid, just pour it in a pan and thicken it on medium heat with a splash of flour.
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 4 medium potatoes
- 3 medium beets
- Handful of fresh rosemary
- Handful of fresh thyme
- 2 Fresh unpeeled garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 lemon zest and its juice
- Pinch of salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat the oven to 450F / 230C.
- Use a 2 and 1/2 quarts or 9 inch square baking dish, oil it and set aside.
- Prepare also a nonstick baking tray and oil it.
- Mix the seasonings together in a big bowl. Put in the drumstick, coat them with the seasoning and leave to marinate( useful tip; you can also marinate it the night before and put it in the fridge). Cut the lemon in 4 and put it in.
- Clean and cut the potatoes and the beets in to small pieces.
- Now spread the drumstick on the baking dish and drizzle all the seasoning left in the bowl on the chicken.
- Cook in oven first for 30minutes then take it out pour out all the liquid and cook again for 15minutes
- At the same time spread the potatoes and beets on the baking tray. Drizzle oil, pinch of salt and some fresh rosemary and cook in oven for 30minutes.
- When done take it out and ENJOY.
I love this simple Moroccan-style couscous dish. It is a great way to use leftover chicken and it is also super healthy.This 15minute dinner salad is very quick to cook and lots of brightly flavored vegetables. I have done this recipe in the restaurant a lot of time and it is one of the favorites.
Yield – 4 servings
- 2 medium carrots cut in to small pieces
- 400grams couscous
- 150grams sweet corn
- 150grams peas
- 4 chicken breast
- Olive oil
- A mixture of 1 lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey
- Salt and fresh pepper
- Salted boiling water
- On medium heat put on a pan and cook the carrot, with a little bit of water and salt. Put the lid on ( if the water finishes before the carrot is cooked add a bit more)
- Now defrost the peas. Take out the corn from the can, drain and rinse.
- Heat the grill on medium heat with a little bit of oil.
- Put the couscous in a bowl, add a little bit of oil and with a fork mix them together(this will help the couscous not to attack to each other later)
- Add the boiling water in the bowl, a little bit above the couscous, and cover immediately ( I suggest a bowl of plastic or ceramic not aluminum cause it might change the taste of the couscous) takes 5minutes to cook.
- The grill must be hot by now put the chicken on and cook from 5 – 7 minutes.
- When the carrot is cooked add a little bit of oil, fresh grated pepper and caramelize for 3 minutes.
- Using a fork flake the couscous and add all the vegetables. Mix well.
- While the chicken is on the grill add half of the mixture of lemon juice and honey. Turn the chicken add the other half.
- Take the chicken out cut it in bite size and put on the couscous.
- Drizzle olive oil and ENJOY.