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!

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Apricot ice cake

Fantastic, I took the picture at the last slice 😛

This is a perfect dessert for a summer lunch!

I did it for my family to celebrate the homecoming of my sister from one year in Panama in a student exchange.

It’s a sponge cake filled with apricot home-made ice-cream and covered with whipped cream.

Ingredients:

For the sponge cake: 

150 g sugar

150 g white flour

1/2 sachet of baking powder

5 eggs

lemon zest

For the ice-cream:

500 g apricot

250 g sugar

300 g whipped single cream

ice-cream maker

Extra ingredients: 

300 g sweetened whipped cream

2 more apricots

 

Sponge cake: Heat the oven until 180°C. Whisk very well the 5 yolks with the sugar; sift and add the flour,the baking powder and some lemon zest (of about half small lemon). Beat well the egg whites until stiff, and gently add to the mixture. Take care to whisk well the eggs and sift the flour, if you want your cake to rise well. Pour into a baking tin (with baking paper or butter and flour) and bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes. Cut in half and cool down (I was in a hurry so I put the cake in the freezer to cool completely, as soon as it was possible).

Apricot ice-cream: wash, clean and stone the apricots. Blend them until they get into puree. Add the sugar and the whipped cream and put into the ice-cream maker (at least 30 minutes).

The ice-cream cakes have a problem: if you prepare it too early and put in the fridge, the ice cream becomes too hard. If you assemble it at the dessert’s time, it’s too liquid (with the home-made ice-cream). My tip: stop the ice-cream maker, assemble the cake and put it in the fridge just before having lunch, so the cake will spend 30-60 minutes in the freezer, not enough for it to become a rock.

To assemble: blend 2 apricots and mix the puree with some sugar and water. With this mixture, wet the base of the cake by spreading some tablespoons of it over the bottom disk. Put all the ice-cream in the middle of the cake, cover with the top disk. Spread the whipped cream over the cake. Cover with plastic film and put in the freezer.

I love it!

 

Strawberries and cream cake

I love all the fruits of June! Strawberries, blueberries, cherries… and I love cream so much! So this is the right cake for me 🙂 🙂

It’s quite simple to make!

Ingredients:

For the sponge cake

150 g sugar

150 g white flour

1/2 sachet of baking powder

5 eggs

lemon zest

For the strawberries cream

250 g strawberries

250 g milk

130 g sugar

30 g flour

2 eggs

lemon zest

(optional: 2 tablespoons strawberries syrup, and cherry liqueur)

For the decoration

400 ml single cream

sugar

strawberries

 

Instructions:

Cake: Heat the oven until 180°C. Whisk very well the 5 yolks with the sugar; sift and add the flour,the baking powder and some lemon zest (of about half small lemon). Beat well the egg whites until stiff, and gently add to the mixture. Take care to whisk well the eggs and sift the flour, if you want your cake to rise well. Pour into a baking tin (with baking paper or butter and flour) and bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes.

Strawberries cream: in a small casserole, blend the strawberries with some lemon zest (less than before) and 65 g of sugar. Let simmer 10 minutes, then add the milk (and the syrup, if you want). In a bowl, whisk the 2 eggs with the others 65 g of sugar and add the flour. Pour into the casserole, mix and let simmer for 5 minutes (until the cream reaches the right thickness). Let it cool down.

Whip the cream, and add some sugar.

Assembling: cut the cake in half. Before spreading the strawberries cream, cold, I prefer to sprinkle over the base some cherry liqueur or syrup with water (but it’s also okay to use centrifuge fruits juice, like grapes juice). Then spread the cream but let a bit of it. Cover with the second half of the cake, and spread the left cream. Decorate with the whipped cream and some strawberries.

 

 

Courgettes and mint frittata

Simple and perfect recipe for a hot day lunch. Or fabulous to make sandwiches, with some tomato slices.

Ingredients:

1 quite big courgette

1/4 chopped onion

1 crushed garlic clove

5-6 mint leaves

3 eggs

80 ml single cream

extra virgin olive oil

nutmeg

salt and pepper

In a pan, put some tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion, the garlic clove, and the mint leaves. Cook some minutes to brown the onion, and add the courgette (finely sliced). Cook over a medium heath for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a little bowl whisk the eggs with some salt. Add the cream, pepper and a bit of grated nutmeg. Pour the eggs mixture into the pan, put a cover and let the frittata to cook for some minutes, over a low flame.

Have a good day!

Sangria Party

Every year we have the Sangria Party. We make a very big pot of sangria and we share it with friends in a long and happy night.

For the sangria I used:

16 l red wine

3 l peach juice

250 g sugar

900 g strawberries

700 g peaches

600 g pears

650 g apples

100 g oranges

I weighed the fruit when peeled, cleaned and chopped.

 

Thanks to all friends to took part!

Sardines Pasta – Pasta con le sarde

Voilà a famous Sicilian recipe!

These are the ingredients for 2 people:

– 150 g of spaghetti

– 150 gr of fresh sardines

– 40 g of fennel (to be clear, I mean Foeniculum vulgare)

– 1 sachet of saffron 

– a handful of pine nuts

– onion, garlic

– extra virgin olive oil, salt.

I start washing the fennel and boiling it in salty water for 5 minutes. It’s very important to keep the cooking water because I’ll cook the spaghetti into it! (I have to be careful here: I can easily forget it and throw away the water 😦 )

I chop the fennel, then I clean and wash the sardines (It’s a horrible job for me, so I usually try to find someone doing this for me, or I ask the fish monger for it). I brown the sardines in a frying pan with some oil, a little bit of chopped onion and 1 garlic clove. After 4 minutes, I join the fennel and some tablespoons of the cooking water, the saffron sachet, salt and, last of all, the pine nuts roughly chopped.

I cook the spaghetti in the cooking water of the fennel (and I add some more salt), I strain them and I mix them with the sauce.

Tasty, aromatic and healthy! What could be better? 😉

Quinoa balls with smoked provola and red peppers’ sauce

I found this recipe in a natural food’s magazine and I decided to make it. Quite weird, usually I read food magazines and, even if I find some interesting recipes, I forget them and the recipes.

I should firstly spend some words for the main ingredients.

Quinoa: do you know what it is? It’s a plant from south America, of the spinach’s family. We eat its seeds, and they look like couscous. It’s an important food for vegetarians because these little seeds contain all the essential amino acids in a good balance, like the meat. 

Provola, o scamorza: it’s a typical cheese of south Italy. It can be a smoked cheese. I think you can find it in the big supermarkets, among the italian cheeses (or you can use another one).

These are the ingredients for 3-4 people:

– 2 red peppers

– 150 g of quinoa

– 3 slices of stale bread

– milk

– 3 eggs

– 80 g of smoked provola/scamorza

– 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan

– 1 tomato

– 1/2 onion and 1 garlic clove

– breadcrumbs

– herbs: parsley, basil, marjoram

– ground pepper, hot pepper, salt, nutmeg, olive oil

I start with the red peppers’ sauce. I put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the chopped onion, the garlic clove with its peel (in Italy we say “garlic with the shirt”) and some basil in a frying pan. After some minutes under a low flame, I add the sliced peppers and a little bit of hot pepper (without seeds) and I cook with a quite high flame. After 10 minutes I add the  sliced tomato (without peel and seeds). I let cook with a cover. I add salt and pepper, then I throw away the garlic and I blend it all.

I start to make the balls: I soak the bread into some milk. I boil the quinoa (I always read the instructions over the box). I crumble the soaked bread in a bowl and I add the cooked quinoa, chopped parsley basil and marjoram, the parmesan, the egg, nutmeg, salt and ground pepper. I add breadcrumbs to reach the good thickness to make balls with my hands. I make the balls and I put some provola cubes in each ball. I put the balls in a beaten eggs and in the breadcrumbs, then I fry them.

I serve them over the red peppers’ cream and some provola cubes.

To complete the meal, I serve a spring salad.