Friday, April 18, 2014

Orecchiette Pasta, An Homage To Puglia

An homage to Puglia, today: the beautiful region of my Country that looks like the heel of the Italian "boot".



 Home made orecchiette for lunch! Orecchiette means "little ears" and they earned their name because they sort of remind the shape of the earlobes.
I am humbly trying to emulate those century old gestures that the ladies of that region so well do. 



Mine don't look nearly as beautiful as theirs do, but rest assured that they taste absolutely delicious anyway!



For the dough I choose the easy way, and I use a mix of all purpose flour and semolina


I knead the dough and then let it rest protected with wrap so that it does not dry out


I start by stretching tiny pieces of dough with a butter knife


Stretch the piece if dough around your thumb nail, so to get the typical "earlobe" shape. There you go! You have your orecchietta!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Torta della Nonna alla Nutella (Grandma's Pie with Nutella)


I very rarely do desserts, they are not my territory. But I could not resist giving this one a try. It's a twist on a very classic "Torta della Nonna": cocoa in the crust, pine seeds on the top, a generous layer of Nutella inside, and a nice vanilla custard filling.



Very simple ingredients



Making the shell. Cocoa flavored shortbread.


Let's be generous with that Nutella!




In goes the vanilla custard



Pine seeds on top: a classic feature of Torta della Nonna. In the oven you go, baby!

Sfogliatine con Pesto, Pomodorini e Pinoli (puff pastry bites with pesto, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts)



Look at these nice babies! It's easy to whip up a nice "little something" to go with a glass of chilled wine, when your friends are coming over for dinner and you want something to munch on before the real meal


Puff pastry and pesto can be bought. The rest can be assembled in a few minutes


Poke the puff pastry with a fork before adding the toppings



A little pesto, cherry tomatoes (cut side up), a few pine nuts and a little bit of Parmigiano Reggiano on top!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Katie's Bridal Shower


A Cucinamore Cooking Class Party is a great idea for a fun, different, exciting BRIDAL SHOWER! 
Check the pictures from the one Katie’s friends hosted, to honor their loved friend’s new beginning in life! All the best to this sweet bride to be!


The soon to be bride, Katie, with Jill, the friend who decided to host a Cucinamore Bridal Shower! Thank you for sharing your pictures with me!



Chef Daniela introducing the program for the cooking party




Katie wanted to know how to make a good risotto! We are pretty sure hubby will be glad she learned!



A touch of parsley and we are good 


You don't just listen or watch, at a Cucinamore cooking party! You put your hands to work!



More friends of the bride attending the cooking class pary



What an amazing group of people! Thank you so much for picking Cucinamore for Kaite's bridal shower! Our wishes for a "tasty" future to her!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Insalata di Finocchi e Arance (Fennel and Orange Salad)


Insalata di Finocchi e Arance (Fennel and Orange Salad). One of my favorite salad in the entire world! Perfect as a light appetizer or a side, for example, for a seafood meal.



Fennel, oranges, black olives and (optionally) red onion. The dressing is made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, juice from the sectioned oranges, salt and pepper


Fennel needs to be sliced very thinly. A mandolin slicer comes really handy for the purpose.



Good big navel oranges are perfect to be sectioned! Make sure you save the juice, in the process, for the dressing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Homemade Pasta Class at Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, VA

Thank you to everyone who came out for last night's cooking class at Stone Tower Winery!
The homemade pasta, wine, and great company made for a deliciously fun evening and we're looking forward to doing it again soon!




Working with the guests at putting together a salad, using the 2009 Wild Boar Blanc de Blancs for a delicious vinaigrette




Two kind volunteers among the guests are working their muscles at rolling the dough for the tagliatelle, while I work at the herbs for the sausage condiment, that will then be made using the 2011 Wild Boar Sanglier Noble red wine



A toast with Mr. Mike Huber, owner of Stone Tower Winery


The guests, enjoying the class, the food and the excellent wine

Orecchiette con Salsiccia, Peperoni e Vino Rosso (Orechiette Pasta with Sausage, Bell Peppers and Red Wine)




Savory and rustic? How about a nice plate of Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Peperoni al Vino Rosso? (Orecchiette pasta with sausage, bell peppers and red wine) Nothing like a hearty dish of pasta to put the family in the best of moods!




Look at those colors! Calls for a smile just by looking at the ingredients. Just wait until the final dish hits your taste buds...