Saturday, September 27, 2014

Black Tagliolini with Calamari, Roasted Bell Peppers and Spicy Squash Sauce

Very eye-catching dish due to the way the colors are put together, but interesting also because of the combinations of flavors and textures.

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Brush squash and bell pepper (cut into strips lengthwise) with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake until squash is soft and pepper is roasted, about an hour. You might have to remove the peppers from the oven before the squash.
In the meantime, prepare the dough gathering flour, eggs and squid ink in a food processor and working it in impulses until you get a medium cous-cous texture. Pour the mixture onto floured counter and knead until you get a smooth feeling ball. Wrap in kitchen wrap and rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then roll the dough and cut the tagliolini.

In a large skillet heat up oil on medium heat, with minced garlic and shallot, cooking for about a minute, without browning. Add calamari rings and halved tomatoes, salt and pepper, sprinkle with wine and briefly cook on medium-high heat, just enough to cook the calamari. Add the minced parsley and mix. Remove the calamari from the skillet and reserve, keeping the sauce on the stove until reduced.
Remove from stove and put the calamari back in the skillet.
Cut the roasted bell pepper in chunks and add to the sauce.

In a deep cup put the peeled cooked squash, the pepper flakes, a little olive oil and some rosemary leaves (about a teaspoon). Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper, then strain and reserve.
Boil your tagliolini in salted water (about 3 minutes), drain and add to the skillet with the condiment. 

Plate with a spoonful of squash sauce on the side, a nest of tagliolini on the other and garnishing with more sauce, fresh parsley and some olive oil. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall 2014 “Ready-To-Eat” Cucinamore Collection

Hello Cucinamore Fans!

Fall is at our door and a Cucinamore party is just what you need to celebrate it in the warmth of your kitchen, surrounded by the joy that a Cooking Class Party brings to your home!
You get the friends together; I bring the food, the tools and the fun!
Here are only some of the many ideas for a “fall menu” that we could make together:

·        Crescenza and Salsiccia Crostini – OR – Gorgonzola, Mascarpone and Pear Crostini
·        Butternut Squash Risotto – OR – Carbonara Spaghetti
·        Pancetta and Puff Pastry Wrapped Shrimp – OR – Marsala and mushroom Scaloppine

The cost per person is $40.00, and it includes class, recipe cards, ingredients and all necessary tools. A minimum of 6 participants is required. One free attendance is granted once the minimum number is reached, if the host has already been a part of a Cucinamore party before.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pancetta - Makes more than a terrific sandwich or a Carbonara pasta!

Pancetta is made by seasoning a pork belly side with salt and lots of pepper, curling it into a tight roll, and wrapping it in a casing to hold the shape. It’s cured, but it isn’t smoked, like the American cousin, bacon, is. Excellent as is..., in a bread roll still warm from the bakery, it is a very common ingredient in many, many Italian dishes

Today I used it to make my Rosemary and Pancetta Shrimp, wrapped in Puff Pastry. They can be a nice buffet finger-food item, an appetizer, or even do as an entrée, simply paired with a fresh salad!

p.s.: The picture of Pancetta was recently taken at Eataly Milan by my friend Silvia Negrotti

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Host a Cucinamore - Italian Cooking Class Party In Your Kitchen!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pasta con Olive e Capperi

There will always be days like this. There will always be days when a simple plate of truly Mediterranean pasta is all I need to make everything better. And it will work! (At least it did today ) How is your day going today? Need some of the same therapy? Give it a try!

Very complicate ingredients! Fresh tomato, kalamata olives, capers, garlic and fresh basil. And your favorite shape of pasta

Monday, May 26, 2014

Crema di Melanzane - Eggplant Spread

One of my favorite vegetables of the Summer is Eggplant! I love it in any possible imaginable way! Today I made a simple Crema di Melanzane, eggplant spread ,that is great as is on a toasted slice of ciabatta bread, or can be used for a quick pasta or to pair with grilled white meat! I love the combination of lemon juice and a hint of fresh mint in it: it tastes just like Summer!

Melanzana (Eggplant): one of my fav veggies!

Poke the eggplant with a fork and bale it at 400F for about 40 minutes, until it's easy to scoop it out of its skin

Salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and some fresh herbs (mint, parsley, basil in this version). A hint of garlic helps too!. Then my beloved hand blender does the rest!

Crostata di Frutta con Crema Pasticcera

Moms love Crostata di Frutta con Crema Pasticcera. Did you know that? This year, this was my Mother's Day dessert of choice! I made this crostata with a simple shortbread-like crust, homemade custard and fresh fruit. I then polished it with a clear glaze (water-sugar-cornstarch). Simplicity is the key. And a dash of love, as usual.