Carrot velvet soup with marjoram and goat cheese

carrot velvet soup

I made this recipe yesterday for dinner, and I knew it would have been good, but I didn’t think it was so delicious!!! So, I left my dish in one side to write down the recipe (even if it’s so simple, but I didn’t want to forget anything!).

You will need only a few things (2 people):

3 carrots

2 small potatoes

1 very small onion

1 teaspoon of veg stock

2 tablespoons of dried marjoram (if you use the fresh one, put only 1 tablespoon)

extra virgin olive oil and sea salt

semi matured goat cheese (I love when it gets a bit creamy).

Allow the sliced onion, half of the marjoram and the veg stock to brown in a pot with oil. Add the carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped. Cook for a few minutes, then add some water and the potatoes, peeled and chopped. When the vegetables are cooked, blend it all very carefully (it has to become very thick and creamy).

Serve with the rest of the marjoram and some goat cheese.

Enjoy!!! I’m sure you’ll love this soup as I do! ❤

Sea fruits risotto

sea fruits risotto

 

Ingredient list:

  • Carnaroli rice (no more than 120 g for a light and romantic dinner in couple)
  • Mixed sea fruits and shells, as you like, ready to cook (200 g) plus some beautiful ones to garnish
  • Parsley
  • Fish bouillon (you can easily make it with some fish and shrimps’ discard)
  • 1 garlic clove and a half
  • A small piece of onion
  • A glass of white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground black pepper

 

To make the fish bouillon, you can follow the procedure for the beef bouillon. Put fish discard, shrimps’ skins, etc. instead of the beef, and put parsley instead of the Juniper.

 

First, you need to prepare a pot with the boiling bouillon (strained). Then, in a pan make a soffritto with oil, the garlic clove (whole) and the chopped onion, and some leaves of parsley.

Allow the soffritto to brown, then add the rice and stir. Wait some minutes for the rice to roast, add the wine and stir again. When it gets dry, add some bouillon. Keep adding the bouillon, taste and add the salt, until the rice is semi-cooked. Meanwhile, carefully cook the sea fruits to garnish your dish in another pan with oil, garlic and parsley. Add the others sea fruits in the rice pan to cook them with the rice. Wash and chop some parsley leaves. Move the rice away from the fire when is cooked; stir in some ground pepper. You can keep it only a few minutes with a lid before eating it – 2 or 3 (for a S. Valentine’s dinner, I can suggest to move the rice from the flame a bit earlier and suddenly cover it with a lid, so it keeps going on while you are eating the appetizer – about 10 minutes). To serve, arrange the rice in the dishes, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and garnish with the sea fruits.

Beef bouillon

beef bouillon

 

This is the only italian bouillon recipe that my family has ever done. My grandmother taught it to my mother, my mother taught it to me, and I simply love it. And of course I’ll teach to my (future) children.

Just a few actions:

–         Fill a pot with cold water.

–         Put the meat in the pot. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, celery, carrot, peppercorns (I think black pepper has a too decisive taste, I prefer to use pink pepper, or green), cloves and 2 Juniper berries. The quantities you can see in the picture are for a small bouillon. Do not add salt.

–         Switch on the gas and allow it boil over a gently heath for a  minimum of 1 hour.

–         Allow the meat to cool down in the water (it will take back 10% of the water it lost in the cooking process).

That’s it.

You can eat the meat with sauces: the green sauce that I’m going to post, mayo, ketchup, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, tartare sauce, kebab sauce.

But what I really love, what I really want to eat, is the bouillon. Strain it from the vegetables and the spices and use it to make a perfect risotto; or simply cook into it a small pasta variety and serve this soup with a generous quantity of grated Parmesan.

A simple dish for a winter supper that won’t never, never delude me. Enjoy.

Rosa carpaccio

The italian title of this recipe, rosa carpaccio, in English is pink carpaccio or rose carpaccio, maybe both. This recipe is from Academia Barilla antipasti recipes book, but I improved the original version with some changes.

It’s a carpaccio with champignon mushrooms (champignons de Paris) and artichokes.

You need (5-6 serves):

15 thin slices of beef meat, for the carpaccio

1 fresh artichoke

250 g champignon mushrooms

2-3 lemons

Parmesan

a good extra virgin olive oil

salt and ground pepper

Remove the mushrooms’ stem and skin, wash and cut them in thin slices. Immediately dress with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper (I love to dress the raw champignons with a teaspoon of white vinegar, in addition to the lemon). Dispose the dressed mushrooms over the platter and cover them with the meat slices.

Clean the artichoke (remove all the exterior leaves, all the sharp points and the hairy portion in the inner part by cutting the artichoke in half), then slice it in very thin slices.While slicing it, put the slices already done in cold water with some lemon juice, for the artichoke not to oxidize.

Make an emulsion by mixing 1 little glass of oil, salt and the juice of a little lemon. Then sprinkle the artichoke slices over the meat and pour the emulsion over it all. Condition with a bit of ground pepper and sprinkle with some Parmesan chips.

Wait 10 minutes then serve. Enjoy!

Red cabbage with apples

I love this German style recipe. It’s an unusual way to cook and taste the cabbage, and I think the final result it’s fantastic.

I make it to eat as second dish, as I don’t like (and I don’t want) to eat meat or fish every day, but it can be good as side dish, with a roast.

You will need (3-4 serves):

1 red cabbage

1 little garlic cloves

sugar

1 apple (not too big)

apple vinegar

olive oil, salt

Wash and slice the cabbage. Brown the chopped garlic in a pot with some tablespoons of oil, then add the cabbage. Cook for a while over a medium heath to brown the cabbage, then add a bit of water. When the cabbage starts to shrink, add 1 little tablespoon of sugar, 6 tablespoons of apple vinegar, some salt and the apple, chopped into cubes. Sugar and vinegar’s quantities go at pleasure: I suggest you to start with less tablespoons and then to add more of them if you like (I like 1 and 6). Cover and wait for the cabbage to cook (minimum 20 minutes), then serve.

Enjoy!

Ps. The dish in the picture was painted by me, for the method read here.

Pumpkin risotto

Voilà my last risotto.

I used, for 2 people:

a piece of pumpkin

170 g of rice for risotto (Carnaroli is the best one because the grain is perfectly shaped for risotto and hard, so it’s difficult to overcook it)

1/2 onion

1 garlic clove

1 glass of white wine

a bit of chopped parsley

olive oil

vegetal cube (I use an home-made one, click here to read the recipe)

Parmesan

Peel the pumpkin (if necessary), wash it and chop it in little cubes. Grab a pan and put in it some tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion and the chopped garlic clove. Let brown and add the pumpkin, mix and let cook. When the pumpkin become soft, squash it with a fork. Then add the rice and mix. Wait 1 minute (the fire has to be low) to roast the rice, then add the wine. Wait another minute to roast one more time the rice, then add 1 teaspoon of vegetal cube and some hot water. Mix and let cook. Every so often, mix and add hot water. Try it to adjust in salt and to know when it’s cooked. There is an important thing you have to be careful when making risotto: when risotto is cooked, it hasn’t to be dry and it hasn’t to have too much of the cooking water. You can’t add water when it’s already cooked, because the water won’t amalgamate with the rice. So, be careful and taste the rice often when it’s nearly cooked, to put the right quantity of water in the right moment. When ready, let it to rest for 2 minutes. Then, serve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and taste with grated parmesan.

Stuffed courgettes

A recipe I love making from June to October, when there are courgettes in the garden and you can pick them fresh just for your recipe, choosing the right size for.

For 16 half-courgettes you need:

8 medium size courgettes

300 g minced beef

1 egg

onion, celery, carrot

parmesan

parsley

nutmeg

butter, salt and pepper

 

Cut the courgettes into half and empty them with a spoon. Now, I prefer to boil them for 1 minute in water – so I’m sure they won’t be raw when they came out from the oven, but this is not necessary.

Grab a pan, put some butter (40 g) and brown into it a mix of 1 medium onion, a carrot and some celery finely chopped. Then add the minced beef and let it to cook for 15 minutes. When cooked, let it to cool down. If you prefer, you can use olive oil instead of butter.

When warm, mix into it the egg, some grated parmesan, some chopped parsley, a bit of nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Now put the courgettes over a baking tray covered with some olive oil and some tablespoons of water. Fill them with the mixture and put into the oven (180° C) for 40 minutes.
Serve quite hot and… bon appétit!