Carrot and mussel soup

trentino crestCrema di Carote e Cozze. This dish is from Trentino Alto Adige so it is heavily influenced by it’s northern neighbours. Don’t tell my Barese friends, but I found it rather good ūüôā Serves 4

 

carrot and mussel soup ingredients

carrot and mussel soup ingredients

  • 32 large mussels, cleaned
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 700g carrots
  • 70g butter
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • sugar
  • salt
  1. Dice half of the carrots. Fry in half the butter with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar until caramelized. Put aside.
  2. Finely chop the rest of the carrots. Fry in the rest of the butter for a few minutes with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Add the stock, cover and cook until the carrots are soft. Liquidize.
  3. Put the mussels in a pan with the wine and garlic. Place over a high heat until the mussels have opened. Shell the mussels. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve.
  4. Reheat the carrot purée. Add the mussels and their cooking liquid and the diced carrots. Served with the chopped parsley sprinkled over each portion.

carrot and mussel soup finished dish

 

Soused chicken breasts

Petti di pollo in carpione. I got this recipe from the English translation of il cucchiaio d’argento – The Silver Spoon. This book is I think on the whole a clever marketing trick. It is a 1950s cookbook with a few modern recipes tacked on the end. Add to that an appalling translation, don’t trust any measurements! The recipes still appear in the original Italian alphabetical order even though they have been translated into English. I have met some people who have heard of it here, a bit like the good housekeeping books in the UK, but I have yet to find anybody who has used it. It can be useful for ideas if you already know what you are doing. The following recipe is in fact very nice ūüôā Serves 4

Soused chicken breasts ingredients

Soused chicken breasts ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast portions
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g breadcrumbs
  • 25 g butter(or use all oil)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (I usually use much less)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 350 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 4 fresh sage leaves (or a teaspoon of dried)
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  1. Beat the chicken with a meat mallet until evenly thin.
  2. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt in a dish, add the chicken and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Spread out the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Drain the chicken and dip in the breadcrumbs to coat.
  3. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan, add the chicken and cook over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in another pan, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the vinegar and wine and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat and add the sage and garlic.
  5. Place the chicken in a dish, pour the hot marinade over it, leave to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

Soused chicken breasts

Easter lamb

Easter lamb

Easter lamb

puglia crestAgnello di Pasqua. This is another Pugliese dish. Very young ‘suckling’ lamb with eggs and peas. It will be difficult to find agnello di latte outside of Italy, but spring lamb will do just as well. You’ll probably need your butcher’s help to cut the leg into slices.Serves 6

Lamb with peas ingredients

Lamb with peas ingredients

  • 1kg¬†leg of spring lamb (or other cuts), cut into 2cm slices through the bone.
  • 500g¬†very young fresh peas (unshelled weight)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2¬†medium¬† eggs
  • 50g¬†pecorino, grated
  • 100¬†ml¬†dry white wine
  • plenty of olive oil
  • plenty of chopped flat leaf parsley

In an oven proof dish, soften the onion in the olive oil.

Lamb with peas frying onions

Lamb with peas frying onions

Add the lamb pieces and fry until well sealed.¬†Add the wine, cover and transfer to an oven preheated to 180¬įC

Lamb with peas browning meat

Lamb with peas browning meat

Cooking time will depend on the lamb, so a bit of guesswork will be involved. When the lamb is about 3/4 done, add the peas.
Mix together the eggs, parsley and pecorino. When the lamb is cooked, pour over the egg mixture. Leave for a couple of minute until the eggs have set and serve.

Smoked salmon risotto

Risotto alla salsa di salmone.

Serves 4
smoked salmon risotto ingredients

smoked salmon risotto ingredients

  • 1 1/2¬†litres¬† vegetable stock
  • 40 grams¬† butter
  • 1 ¬†small¬† onion (optional)
  • 350 grams¬† risotto rice
  • 1 glass¬† dry white wine
  • 100 grams¬† smoked salmon
    1. Prepare the risotto in the usual way

using half the butter.

  1. Finely chop half the salmon and coarsely chop the other half.
  2. Cream the remaining butter in a bowl and beat in the finely chopped salmon with a wooden spoon.
  3. About 2 minutes before the rice has finished cooking, stir in the butter mixture and the coarsely chopped salmon.
smoked salmon risotto finished dish

smoked salmon risotto finished dish

Chicken with mushrooms

Chicken with mushrooms finished dish

Chicken with mushrooms finished dish

Pollo ai funghi. If you don’t have enough dried mushrooms, you can¬†add a few regular white mushrooms to bulk it out. Serves 4

  • 150 grams dried mushrooms (preferably wild mushrooms)
  • 1 whole chicken cut into portions (or chicken pieces, legs and thighs etc)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 25 grams butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots (or baby onions) — sliced
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons passata
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, add hot water to cover and leave to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out. Keep the liquid for flavouring soups or stews.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a pan. Add the chicken and fry, turning frequently, until browned all over.
  3. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook for a few minutes, then add the wine and cook until it has evaporated.
  4. Add the passata and 3 tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until the chicken is tender. Cooking time will depend on the chicken – it could take up to an hour
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley.

Tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies

Tagliatelle con carciofi e acciughe. If you are unsure how to prepare the artichokes, click here. Serves 6
tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies finished dish

tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies finished dish

 

  • ¬†500 g fresh tagliatelle
  • ¬† 6 small artichokes
  • ¬† 1 lemon
  • ¬† 12 tinned anchovies in oil
  • ¬† 2 cloves garlic
  • ¬† 75 ml dry white wine
  • ¬† 100 ml vegetable stock
  • ¬† 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ¬† 30 g butter
  • ¬† ¬†olive oil
  • ¬† ¬†salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the artichokes in the usual way. Slice thinly.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan. Fry the whole cloves of garlic until they are well coloured and then remove them from the pan. Drain the artichokes well and add to the pan. Fry for 5 or 6 minutes until they start to colour.
  3. Remove the artichokes and put to one side. Add the anchovies and break them up with a wooden spoon. When the anchovies have completely dissolved, return the artichokes to the pan. Add the wine and stock. Reduce the liquid to half over a high heat. Remove from the heat, seasons with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
  4. Cook the tagliatelle. Drain and toss with the butter (optional). Add to the pan with the artichokes, mix well and serve immediately.

 

Radicchio risotto

This is another dish from the north. I think the last time I cooked it was more than ten years ago when my brother came to visit. Radicchio is a little bitter, but the harsh flavours mellow into a great, creamy risotto.

radicchio risotto ingredients

radicchio risotto ingredients

Serves 4

  • 160 grams¬† radicchio di treviso
  • 320 grams¬† risotto rice – pref Vialone Nano
  • olive oil
  • 30 grams onion – about 1/2 a small one — finely chopped
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 1 litre¬†vegetable stock
  • knob of butter
  • 50¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†grams¬† parmesan cheese — grated
  1. Wash the radicchio and cut into 1cm strips
  2. Fry the onion in plenty of olive oil for a few minutes
  3. Add the radicchio and fry until it has wilted
  4. Add the rice and continue to cook the risotto using the standard method.
  5. Remove from the heat, add the butter and cheese, and serve
radicchio risotto finished dish

radicchio risotto finished dish

Fusilli with white ragu

This is a lighter alternative to ragu bolognese, ragu bianco. It doesn’t include any tomatoes. Serves 6

White ragu ingredients

White ragu ingredients

  • ¬† 500¬†grams¬† fusilli
  • ¬† 400¬†grams¬† minced beef
  • ¬† 3¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†medium¬† carrots — finely chopped
  • ¬† 2¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†medium¬† onions — finely chopped
  • ¬† 1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†stick¬† celery — finely chopped
  • ¬† 1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†tablespoon¬† fresh marjoram — chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¬† 1¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†glass¬† white wine
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† olive oil
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† meat stock
  • ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† salt and pepper
  1. Fry the celery, onions and carrots until softened.
  2. Add the wine and let it reduce to almost nothing
  3. Add the meat and enough stock to cover
  4. Cook uncovered, slowly, for at least an hour, adding more stock from time
    to time when it starts to dry out.
  5. Serve with the cooked fusilli and parmesan cheese.

White ragu finished dish

White ragu finished dish

Sausage risotto

It may be difficult to find Italian sausages¬†outside of Italy. This needn’t be a problem as they are usually 100% minced meat, encased in a sausage skin. Therefore, if you can’t find Italian sausage,¬†replace it with minced pork.¬†This is another of the recipes that I remember from my time in the north.¬†Very¬†easy to cook but delicious!¬†Serves 4
Sausage risotto ingredients

Sausage risotto ingredients

  • 150g¬†Italian sausage, skinned
  • 200g¬†risotto rice
  • 1¬†stick¬†celery,finely chopped
  • 1¬†medium, onion, finely chopped
  • 1¬†glass dry white wine
  • Grana Padano cheese to taste (or parmesan)
  • 40g¬†butter
  • 20ml¬†olive oil
  • Beef stock (As much as is needed, maybe as much as a litre)
  1. Fry the onion and celery in the olive oil and half the butter until they start to colour
  2. Break the sausage into small pieces and add to the pan
  3. Fry over a low heat until the sausage is well coloured and then add the wine
  4. Allow the wine to reduce for a while and then add the rice.
  5. Continue in the usual way for risotto Рadd hot stock, little by little, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente
  6. When the risotto is ready, mix in the cheese and the rest of the butter.
Sausage risotto finished dish

Sausage risotto finished dish