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! ❤

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.

Home-made meat stock cube

To complete the series “stock cubes”, after the veg stock. 🙂

It can not appear so beautiful, but if only I could make you smell it… Believe me, it is fabulous, try it and you won’t never come back to buy industrial cubes!

You need (to make stock for 1 year):

200 g beef pulp

200 chicken pulp (not necessarily breast, that is too lean; I use thighs)

200 g onions

200 g coarse salt

celery

carrots

garlic

rosemary

sage

The process is really simple.

Clean the meat from nerves, skin, bones and other not regular things, and wash the vegetables and herbs. Chop everything into pieces, put it all in a big pot with the salt and simmer one hour and a half. Do not add any water, and mix frequently.

meat stock cube

Then, blend very well the mixture and froze it. I froze it in little bags, and when I open one of them I arrange it in the fridge.

This stock cube lasts for at least 1 year, and it won’t get damaged because of the salt. You can use it for risotto, soffritto, a quickly tomato sauce, soups and more.

Aromatic herbs home-made ravioli

Hello everybody!

Hope you feel better than me today .. I’m not very good-humoured but I’m lucky I can cheer me up in the kitchen! 😛

Please, make this dish!  Especially if you have aromatic herbs in the garden, you should make this ravioli! They are an explosion of flavourings in your mouth, and I feel like to advice you to eat half raviolo a time to taste the various flavours into them 🙂

You need, for 2 people:

2 egg

200 g white flour + a lot for the work top because the eggpasta is sticky

100 g ricotta

some leaves of parsley, mint,  basil, lemon balm and a little bit of thyme

extra virgin olive oil, sal, ground pepper

butter

parmesan

Essential: mould for ravioli / something to cut them

First, make the eggpasta: mix flour, eggs, salt and some water.

To make the filling: mix the ricotta with salt, a bit of oil, pepper and the leaves (washed, dried and finely chopped with a pair of scissors).

Then, you have to roll out the pasta until it’s very thick (the best thing is to use a pasta machine like mine – however, you can use a rolling-pin and good muscles).

To make them with the ravioli mould: put a lot of flour in the ravioli mould (very important) and cover it with a layer of pasta. Fill the center of each raviolo with a bit of the filling, not too much if you want your ravioli to close well. Then, cover with another layer of pasta and press a bit with your hands. Now, it’s time to cut and separate the ravioli: put some more flour and press well in each cross of the mould to cut them. Separate them and put them aside, with some flour. We made a whole mould par person (36 ravioli) because they were little.

To make them without the ravioli mould: you need something to cut the pasta, a cookie shape can be fine. Roll out half of the pasta on a work top with a lot of flour, track in the pasta the edges of the shape, and fill each of them with a bit of ricotta. Cover with another layer of pasta and cut the ravioli. Close them pressing with the fork prongs.

That’s it! 🙂 Cook them in salty water for 3-5 minutes, serve hot with a some butter and parmesan.

Bon appétit and.. enjoy the different aromatic flavours in each raviolo: wonderful!!! 

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

Con questa ricetta vorrei partecipare al contest Get an aid in the Kitchen, avendo scoperto che il Kitchen Aid fa pure la pasta all’uovo (si vede che non ce l’ho eh?!)  😀

Se potete, provate questi ravioli! Io me ne sono innamorata, ognuno dona un’esplosione di sapori diversi… Mentre il mio fidanzato mi dimostrava il suo apprezzamento mangiandone due alla volta, io li ho gustati mezzo per volta, con l’aria sognante delle donne che degustano  i prodotti in pubblicità 🙂

Ecco gli ingredienti per due persone:

2 uova

200 g di farina + altra generosa quantità per il piano di lavoro, dato che la pasta è appiccicosa

100 g di ricotta

foglie fresche di prezzemolo, menta, basilico, melissa, e un rametto di timo

olio extra vergine di oliva, sale, pepe nero macinato

burro

parmigiano

E poi, è consigliato uno stampo per i ravioli. Si può far senza ma è più lungo!

Il primo passo è quello di fare le pasta all’uovo, mescolando la farina, le 2 uova, un pizzico di sale e un po’ d’acqua, circa mezzo bicchiere. Formate una palla e lavoratela un po’ (tutto ciò si può fare con il Kitchen Aid).

Per preparare il ripieno, schiacciate la ricotta con la forchetta e mescolateci dentro un po’ di olio, sale e pepe. Lavate con cura le foglioline, asciugatele e tagliatele finemente nella ricotta con una forbice.

Il passo successivo è quello di stendere la pasta, o con la macchina per la pasta o con il mattarello (in questo secondo caso, più sottile riuscite a farla meglio è). Usate molta farina per il piano di lavoro e la macchina/il mattarello!

Per fare i ravioli con lo stampo: mettete molta farina nello stampo e ricopritelo con una striscia di pasta. Riempite ogni raviolo con un po’ del ripieno (non troppo, altrimenti i ravioli non si chiudono) e coprite con un’altra striscia di pasta. Spolverate con altra farina. Poi con il mattarello, meglio quello piccolino se l’avete, premere sui bordi dello stampo e su ogni “incrocio”, in modo da separare i ravioli tra loro. Ripetere l’operazione per fare abbastanza ravioli.

Per fare i ravioli senza stampo: è necessario qualcosa per tagliare la pasta, una formina per biscotti di forma non troppo irregolare può essere l’ideale. Stendete la pasta e ritagliatela con la formina, poi adagiate un po’ di ripieno su metà della forme. Chiudete ogni raviolo con un’altra forma di pasta e serrate bene i bordi con i rebbi di una forchetta.

Fatto! Cuocete i vostri ravioli in acqua salata (io metto anche un goccino d’olio per non farli attaccare tra loro) per 3-5 minuti, e servite con burro e parmigiano.

Buon appetito!!!!

With thise recipe I enter the contest… / Con questa ricetta salata partecipo a Get an Aid in the Kitchen di Cucina di Barbara