21 February, 2013

Buckwheat maltagliati with leek and potato soup

Buckwheat Maltagliati with Leek and Pototo Soup

There's nothing like a bowl of warm, hearty soup on a cold, rainy-snowy day to warm up your body and soul, and to keep you cozy.
That's exactly what I need today.
My daughter refused to get up today and go to preschool. I tried to shake her out of bed without success. Then, when I opened the windows I realized why my little one needed to stay in her warm bed, well covered. As much as I wished for the weather forcast to prove wrong, it didn't. It's snowing again and probably won't stop until Saturday or Sunday.j And this time it's more then regular town traffic complications I'm fearing. It's threatening to ruin our weekend at Lake Garda. We may have to change our plans.
At least the plan for lunch today is fixed and I'm ready for my daily amount of exercise.
First, warm up - keeping my arms in shape... rolling, rolling, rolling.
Second, exercise - a quick walk in hard weather conditions with a 6,5 kg baby and 6,5 kg dog - legs and arms, and plenty more muscles that need work out.
Third - shaping exercise, running around the kitchen, serving lunch, bringing the spoon to my mouth, and quickly, because the baby's already calling me.
Fourth - streching and finally relaxing on the couch like a cat. Oooooooops! If it continues snowing that is to say, and I decide not to take girls swimming today.

What are you up to, any comfort food on your table?

Buckwheat Maltagliati Pasta

Buckwheat Maltagliati with Leek and Potato Soup

Maltagliati pasta:
* 200 g buckwheat pasta
* 2 eggs
* 2 TBspoons extra vergin olive oil
* little salt
Leek soup:
* 3 leeks
* 2 potatoes
* 2 carrots
* 3 TBspoons exstra virgin olive oil
* salt

To make pasta: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the oil, salt and lightly beaten eggs. Mix with your hands and then knead until you get compact dough. *If necessary, add a little cold water.
Cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 15-20 minutes.

                   Buckwheat Maltagliati Pasta                                                                                                         
                   Buckwheat Maltagliati Pasta

For the soup, slice the carefully cleaned and washed leeks. Cut the potatoes and carrots into cubes.
Warm 3 TBspoons of EVOO in a pot, add the vegetables and sautèe for a few minutes.
Add about 1,5 liters water, salt, cover and cook on medium heat for at least 15-20 minutes.

Roll out the dough rather thin on a lightly floured kneading board using a rolling pin.
With a knife or a pizza cutter cut the dough into irregular sized shapes.

                 Buckwheat Maltagliati Pasta   Buckwheat Maltagliati

Add the pasta to the soup and cook everything together for 5 more minutes.
Serve warm.

Buckwheat Maltagliati with Leek and Pototo Soup

Maltagliati di grano saraceno in zuppa di porri e patate
(da Cucina naturale)

* 200 g di farina di grano saraceno
* 2 uova
* 2 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva
* un po' di sale
Zuppa di porri:
* 3 porri
* 2 patate
* 2 carote
* 3 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva
* sol

Per la pasta: setacciate la farina dentro una ciotola. Aggiungete il sale, l'olio e le uova leggermente sbattute. Mescolate e impastate bene. Se necessario aggiungete un pochino d'acqua.
Coprite la pasta e lasciatela riposare 15-20 minuti.

Per la zuppa, tagliate i porri ben puliti e lavati a rondelle, e le patate e carote a cubetti. Scaldate l'olio in una pentola e rosolatevi le verdure per qualche minuto a fuoco medio basso.
Versatevi circa 1,5 l di acqua, salate, coprite e lasciate cuocere per almeno 15-20 minuti.

Stendete la pasta su un piano di lavoro leggermente infarinato e tagliatela a rombi irregolari.
Aggiungete la pasta nella pentola con la zuppa e lasciate cuocere insieme per 5 minuti.
Servite la zuppa calda.

Buckwheat Maltagliati with Leek and Pototo Soup

Maltagliati od heljdinog brašna s varivom od poriluka i krumpira

* 200 g heljdinog brašna
* 2 jaja
* 2 žlice maslinovog ulja
* malo soli
* 3 poriluka
* 2 krumpira
* 2 mrkve
* 3 žlice maslinovog ulja
* sol

Za tjesteninu, stavite heljdino brašno u zdjelu, dodajte jaja i ulje pa zamijesite črvrsto tijesto (po potrebi dodajte sasvim malo vode).
Ostavite tijesto da odmori 15-ak minuta, pokriveno.

Za varivo, narežite poriluk na kolutiće, a mrkvu i krumpir na kockice.
Zagrijte 3 žlice ulja, dodajte povrće i pirjajte 5 minuta na laganoj vatri miješajući.
Dodajte 1,5 litru vode, posolite, poklopite i kuhajte barem 15-20 minuta.

Razvaljajte tijesto tanko na pobrašnjenoj podlozi.
Izrežite ga na manje, nepravilne rombove.
Dodajte tjesteninu u varivo i kuhajte još 5 minuta.
Poslužite toplo.

Buckwheat Maltagliati with Leek and Pototo Soup

14 February, 2013

Be my Valentine!


Many people love San Valentine's Day.
Many people hate it.
They all have their reasons. And that's perfectly fine.
As for myself, I neither love it or hate it. I take it because it's there and because I like to feel loved and not only one day, but every single day of the year.
Otherwise we might just as well stop celebrating everything, from our birthday to Christmas.
So put negative thoughts aside at least for today. Colour the world with pink and red, check out for a pink rainbow...


And share a slice of your favourite cake with someone you love, life is sweeter if covered in sugar.


Just go out, love and be loved!


I've really been getting into cake decorating during the last few weeks. And I'm quite happy with the progress I've made in such a short time. I've also been learning from my own mistakes.
So it's one more reason to wish the world was a bit more pink, happy.


Almost forgot the recipe, for the cake check HERE, and the White chocolate cream cheese cream HERE, and if you'd like to learn more about marshmallow fondant, I've got that, too, right HERE ^__^  
I made these cakes really small, barely 10 cm in diameter, and they are sufficient for 4 servings.

13 February, 2013

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf with zucchini

I started writing this post the other day saying what a relief it was to see some sunshine after weeks of fog, mist, rain and clouds. The sky was actually so blue that day that it almost felt like spring was here to stay.
And then to my surprise I woke up with snow two days ago. I admit it, the winter's been pretty kind to us this year, but decided to show it's teeth in February, as usual.
As much as I love comforting, warm winter food, there are moments when I wish the spring was already here, to bring something lighter to the table. For spring vegetables to find their way to my kitchen.
Well, with this Chicken and ricotta meatloaf I took a step out and as much as I love to eat seasonal food, every now and then I reach fot that hint of warmer season. I really liked it. It's delicate and tastes light. It tastes fine even the following day, I made myself a great sandwich with the leftovers.
It definitely makes a great summer dish, but I can't resist making it over and over again.
It is not a cold remedy, but it might help brighten your day.
And save you from eating cookies and milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner ^__^
What has that got to do with this meatloaf?
I'll tell you. My almost-6-year-old said today: Santa Claus lives on the North Pole, right? So, there's snow everywhere and he can't grow any vegetables in his garden, right? He can't do any gardening. The only thing there is to eat are cookies and milk. He eats that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That's why he's so fat.
Since I don't want to get as fat as him, I'll have my portion of winter zucchini.
By the way, we had one question in this story unresolved, how does all the milk Santa Claus needs get transported so far?

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf with zucchini

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf

* 500 g boneless chicken breast
* 1 slice of bread
* 50 g ricotta cheese
* 1 egg
* 1 TBspoon grated parmigiano cheese
* 1 zucchini
* 3-4 thin slices of prosciuttto cotto ( cooked ham)
* salt, pepper
* a little milk

Zucchini sauce:
* 1 small zucchini
* a handfull of fresh basil leaves
* 1 TBspoon of pinenuts or almonds
* extra virgin olive oil
* salt and pepper

Cook the zucchini in boiling, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut it lenghtwise into sticks.
Roughly crumble the bread slice (crust removed), put it in a bowl and pour the warm milk over. Let it soften then squeeze well.
Clean the meat from bones, skin or cartilage. Grind it in a meat grinder or in a food processor (be careful though if using a food processor not to reduce it into patè). In alternative you may buy already ground chicken or turkey meat. Also, to add some more flavour you may substitute 100 g of meat with turkey sausage.
Put the meat into a bowl. Add the well squeezed bread (you don't want the mixture to be too wet from milk), the ricotta, the grated parmigiano, the lightly beaten egg, and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all well with your hands.
Drop the meat mixture on a piece of lightly oiled baking paper. Spred it with your hands forming a 1 cm thick rectangle.
Cover the meat with the slices of ham.
Arrange the zucchini sticks at approx. 2 cm distance from each other parallel to the shorter side of the rectangle.
Roll everything up starting from the shorter side (the paper underneath should make it easier).
Once you've obtained a compact roll, wrap it with the same baking paper you used before and tie the ends so that the juices don't leak out during baking.
Place the wrapped meat roll on a  baking dish and bake in an oven preheated to180°C for 30 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let cool still wrapped - that way the meat will stay moist.
Serving: this meat loaf is good both when warm and cold. Simply slice it and serve either with a vignarette (mix well 6 TBspoons or extra virgin olive oil with apple vinegar- quantity to taste, a little salt and pepper) and sliced cherry tomatoes or prepare the zucchini salsa.
For the zucchini salsa you may use either a raw zucchini (if nice small and young) or shortly boiled (just a couple minutes). Purèe the zucchini in a food processor or using a stick blender, together with washed and dried fresh basil leaves, the pine nuts, a little salt and pepper and a couple TBspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
It's also great for sandwiches.

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf with zucchini

Polpettone di pollo e ricotta

* 500 g petto di pollo
* 1 fetta di pane raffermo
* 50 g di ricotta
* 1 uovo
* 1 cucchiaio di parmigiano gratuggiato
* 1 zucchina
* 3-4 fette di prosciutto  cotto
* sale e pepe
* un po' di latte

Salsa di zucchine:
* 1 zucchina piccola
* 1 manciata di foglioline di basilico
* 1 cucchiaio di pinoli o mandorle
* olio extra vergine d'oliva
* sale e pepe

Sbollentate la zucchina per 5 minuti nell'acqua leggermente salata. Scolatela e lasciatela raffreddare. 
Tagliatela prima a fettine nel senso di lunghezza e poi a bastoncini.
Spezzettate il pane, mettetelo in una ciotola e versateci sopra il latte leggermente caldo. Quando il pane si è ammorbidito strizzatelo bene.
Tritate la carne (io lo faccio nel robot da cucina). Potete anche comprare la carne di pollo o tacchino già tritata, e potete anche sostituire 100 g di carne con la stessa quantità di salsiccia di pollo e tacchino.
Mettete la carne in una terrina, aggiungete il pane strizzato, l'uovo, la ricotta, parmigiano grattugiato, sale e pepe. Mescolate bene con le mani.
Stendete l'impasto di carne su un foglio di carta da forno leggermente oleato, premendolo con le mani inumidite, formando un rettangolo di circa 1 cm di spessore.
Ricoprite la superficie con le fettine di prosciutto cotto. Distribuite sopra il prosciutto i bastoncini di zucchina partendo dal lato più corto e mettendoli a distanza di circa 2 cm uno dal altro. 
Arrotolate poi la carne aiutandovi con il foglio di carta partendo dal lato più corto del rettangolo.
Alla fine avvolgete il polpettone nello stesso foglio di carta da forno e legati gli estremi del rotolo con un po' di spago da cucina.
Mettetelo a cuocere nel forno già caldo a 180°C, per circa 30 minuti.
Una volta cotto, toglietelo dal forno e lasciatelo avvolto nella carta fino al momento di servirlo.

Per la salsa di zucchine, frullate la zucchina cruda (o sbollentata per 2-3 minuti), insieme alle foglioline di basilico, lavate e asciugate, un po' di sale e pepe, e un paio di cucchiai di olio EVO.

Tagliate il polpettone a fettine e servitelo con la salsa di zucchine.
Al posto della salsa potete invece servirlo con una vignarette preparata mescolando 6 cucchiai di olio EVO con aceto di mele (quantità secondo i vostri gusti), e un pizzico di sale e pepe.

Questo polpettone e buono sia caldo che raffreddato a temperatura ambiente, quindi si può preparare anche in anticipo.

Chicken and Ricotta Meatloaf with zucchini

Pileća štruca s ricottom i tikvicama

* 500 g pilećih prsa (bez kosti)
* 1 kriška (starog) kruha
* 50 g ricotte
* 1 jaje
* 1 žlica naribanog parmezana
* 1 zelena tikvica
* 3-4 tanke kriške kuhane šunke
* sol, papar
* malo mlijeka

Umak od tikvica:
* 1 mlada zelena tikvica
* šaka listića svježeg bosiljka
* 1 žlica pinjola ili oguljenih badema
* maslinovo ulje
* sol i papar

Stavite kuhati tikvicu u kipuću, malo posoljenu vodu, 5 minuta, a zatim je izvadite i ostavite da se prohladi.
Narežite je uzdužno na prutiće.
Krišku kruha (bez korice) nakidajte na komadiće, stavite u zdjelicu i prelijte toplim mlijekom pa ostavite da odmekne.
Meso očistite od kostiju i žilica pa sameljite (ja ga sameljem u multipraktiku u kratkim intervalima, da se ne pretvori baš u paštetu). Možete također kupiti već gotovu mljevenu piletinu ili puretinu. Za nešto ukusniju varijantu možete 100 g mesa zamijeniti svježom purećom kobasicom.
Stavite meso u zdjelu. Dodajte dobro ocijeđen kruh, jaje, ricottu, parmezan, sol i papar.
Dobro izmijesite rukama.

Istresite smjesu na malo nauljen veći komad papira za pečenje.
Rastanjite smjesu u oblik pravokutnika otprilike 1 cm debljine.
Prekrijte meso tankim kriškama šunke.
Rasporedite štapiće tikvice paralelno s kraćom stranicom pravokutnika.
Uz pomoć papira, smotajte meso u rolnicu počevši od kraće stranice.
Ovako oblikovanu štrucu omotajte istim papirom i stisnite krajeve ili sve uvežite kuhinjskom špagom.
Stavite peći u pećnicu zagrijanu na 180°C oko 30 minuta.
Izvadite iz pećnice i ostavite da se prohladi zamotano u papiru.

Za umak izmiksajte tikvicu (prijesnu ili je prvo prokuhajte 2-3 minute) u blenderu ili štapnim mikserom, zajedno s opranim i posušenim listićima bosiljka, pinjolima (ili bademima), malo soli i papra, i par žlica maslinovog ulja.

Narežite štrucu na kriške i poslužite je uz umak od tikvica i svježe rajčice.
Po želji umjesto umaka od tikvica možete pripremiti umak vignarette uz štrucu: pomiješajte 6 žlica maslinovog ulja s octom od jabuka (dodajte po ukusu), malo soli i papra.

Štrucu možete poslužiti toplu, ali i kad se potpuno ohladi na sobnoj temperaturi. Tako da je možete pripremiti i unaprijed.