Stinging nettle risotto

This is my favourite risotto. It has a plenty, but also soft and delicate flavour. Can’t describe this cheap but truly sophisticated dish – you have to cook it and enjoy for yourselves!

You will need (for two people):

200-250 g fresh stinging nettles (just the top part)

2 and a half espresso cups of risotto rice (Carnaroli)

half an onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

meat bouillon or, if you don’t have it, a teaspoon of home-made meat stock cube

a glass of white wine

salt, extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan and double cream for topping

It is made like a normal risotto:

0. Prepare the nettles: wash very carefully (because they will sting you, and because they need an accurate washing) and boil them in salty water. Then strain and squeeze them with your hands (they won’t sting you any more! :D). Chop very finely.

1. Make a soffritto with olive oil and the chopped onion and garlic. When browning, add the nettles and allow them to cook for five minutes, stirring every so often. Add now the stock cube, if you are using it.

2. Add the rice, stir and leave some minutes to roast. Pour the wine, stir again and allow to dry.

3. Cook at least 15 minutes, until ready, by pouring hot bouillon and water. When semi-cooked, taste and add the salt.

4. Turn off the fire and leave your risotto to rest for a couple of minutes. Serve with generous Parmesan and cream.

I’m sure you’ll love it!

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.

Valentine’s day menus

Menu 1

sea fruits risotto

Menu 2

.Don’t make big quantities

.Menu 1 goes with white wine

.Menu 2 goes with a young red wine

.I love to serve desserts with a Sicilian dessert wine (moscato, passito, marsala, ..), that you can keep drinking also when the dessert is finished 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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!

Pears in red wine

An amazing and very easy fall dessert!!

You will need some pears good to cook. In general, they have to be medium or small size, firm and hard; not very tempting to eat them raw.

Ingredients: pears, red wine, sugar, cinnamon, single cream.

Procedure: wash the pears, take an oven dish and put the pears into it. Pour the red wine over the pears until it reaches 2 cm high in the dish. Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon at pleasure over each pear (I’ve put about 1 tablespoon of sugar per pear). Put a bit of cinnamon stick in the wine. Put in the oven at 170°C. Time depends on your pears, mine spent 1 hour in the oven.

Serve cold or warm with some very soft-whipped not sweetened cream.

Believe me, they are wonderful! You will ask for another one!

Berries panna cotta

A classic italian recipe, loved all over the world! Follow this recipe and you won’t be disappointed about the result.

Ingredients for 3 people:

3 gelatin-leaves (colla di pesce)

200 g whipping single cream

100 g whole or semi-skimmed milk

55 g sugar

vanilla

250 g mixed frozen berries

2 tablespoons of sugar for the berries

a little bit of lemon zest

Panna cotta

Put the gelatin-leaves in a dish with cold water for 10 minutes.

Heath up the milk (but it mustn’t boil). Turn off the fire and add the gelatine, squeezed. Mix very well immediately.

In another casserole heath up the cream with sugar and vanilla and make it boil. When boiling, throw away the vanilla (if you use the bean) and, immediately, join the milk and mix well.

Wet the little moulds in cold water, and put the mixture into them. Let them cool down over a worktop and, when it’s possible, in the fridge (if you are late you can put them in the freezer for 10-20 minutes).

This is the base recipe: fast and easy,  isn’t it? 🙂

1. If you desire, you can put more milk and less cream (take care to preserve the total weight). For a big change in the proportion, it’s better to add  more gelatine.

2. It’s fab just like that, but you can prepare a topping (I love the berries one). You can also put other flavouring instead of vanilla (lavender, black tea…) and let them boil in the cream with a tea strainer (this). I suggest not to put lemon, because of the acidity.

Berries top

Put the berries in a pot with the sugar and a very little bit of grated lemon zest. Let them to simmer about 10 minuets, then cool down.

Serving

Take the panna cotta out of the fridge. With the help of a knife, if necessary, remove them  out of the moulds and put them into dishes. Cover with the berries top and serve.

And… mmh! Enjoy!