Category Archives: Italian foods

Vitellone arrosto (Pot – Roasted Beef)

Serves 6

1.25 kg (2 1/2 lb) topside

fat from 4 slices bacon


freshly ground black pepper

a few marjoram leaves

a sage sprig

a rosemary  sprig

100 ml olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 small onion

200ml white wine

1 beef cube dissolved in 300ml boiling water

For the gravy

1 tablespoon flour

150ml water


Make some holes in the meat about 5 cm (2 inches) apart, and push in the squares of fat which you have prepared, first rolling them in salt and pepper.

Wash and clean the herbs and push a few small pieces into the holes as well.

Put the oil in a casserole, add the meat and cook quickly to brown all over, turning it a few times. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic, onion and herbs and  after 5 more minutes, the wine.

Lower the heat, cover and cook very slowly. Make stock in  a basin with the beef cube and water.

Turn the meat often adding a little of the stock.every now and then. Cook for at least 2- 2 1/2 hours. Try it by pushing a long needle in, the needle should go in easily and the juice that comes out should be free of blood.

Lift out the meat, cover with foil and keep hot. Skim the fat from the top of the cooking liquid with a spoon, add the water to the pan, mix well with a wooden spoon, then strain it. Return it to the pan, mix the flour with 2 tablespoons water, stir it into the gravy without any lumps, bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute. Serve with the roast.

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Beef, Italian foods


Chicken with Spaghetti

1 large chicken

a little salt

1/2 onion, cut into 2 pieces

2 heaped tbsp butter

1 onion, cut in long slices

1 1/2 tbsp flour

1/4 tbsp chili powder

salt to taste

1/2 cup whipped curd

2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

250gg spaghetti, cooked and drained

a few slices of capsicum


Boil the chicken in a little salt, 1/2 the onion and enough water to boil, as well as extract 2 cups of stock. Heat butter and saute the onion slices, add flour and fry till golden adding a little stock at a time so that no lumps form.

Finally add the entire quantity of stock and the seasoning and cook till the sauce is thick. Remove from heat and slowly add the whipped curd. Keep on fire and simmer so that the curd does not curdle.  Check for seasoning, add coriander  leaves and diced chicken and keep warm.

Serve spaghetti onto a platter and pour over it the chicken sauce. Serve hot garnished with slices of fresh capsicum.

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Chicken, Italian foods


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Zuppa Inglese (English soup)

Serves 6

3 eggs and 1 extra yolk

4 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornflour

900ml (1 1/2 pints) milk

a strip of lemon rind

a small piece of cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon cocoa mixed with 1 tablespoon caster sugar

6 trifle sponge cakes or 12 sponge fingers

3 tablespoons Marsala and 2 tablespoons Amaretto or just over 3 tablespoons Alchermes


Beat the eggs and the extra yolk with the sugar. In a basin dissolve the cornflour in 2-3 tablespoons of the milk, then mix it with the eggs and while mixing, gradually add the remaining milk, lemon rind and cinnamon stick.

Place in a saucepan over moderate heat and mix continuously while it gradually comes to the boil and thickens.

It should only just boil, before you remove it from the heat.

Discard the lemon and cinnamon.

Pour half of the custard into a basin and gradually add to it the cocoa and sugar mixed together.Blend well, making sure there are no lumps.

Line the bottle of an oval serving dish with the sponge cakes. If your using the trifle sponge cakes, cut them in half .

With the spoon, sprinkle the Marsala and Amaretto on the cakes. Pour some of the yellow custard over them,  then some of the mixture with the chocolate. Alternate the two until they are both used up. Refrigerate and serve when cool.

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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Italian foods, Soups


Italian Sauces

Sauces are used extensively in Italian cookery, to enhance the flavours of everything from meat, fish,pasta or risotto to salads. Whether a fragrant Pesto or a sweet, sumptuous Amaretto cream, they will bring delight to your tastebuds and style to your cooking.

Sugo di Carne(Meat sauce)

Serves 4

75 g / 3oz unsalted (sweet) butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 celery  stick, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

450g / 1 lb minced (ground) beef or lamb

4 large tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

4 tbsp red wine

120ml beef or lamb stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry (saute) the onion for 2 minutes. Stir in the celery, garlic and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook stirring until browned and all the grains are separate. Add the tomatoes, thyme, wine and stock and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper and serve hot over pasta.

Salsa Besciamella (Basic White Sauce)

Serves 4

40g / 3 tbsp unsalted (sweet) butter

25g / 1 oz plain (all-purpose) flour

300ml milk

1 bay leaf

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Blend in the flour. Heat the milk and add it to the flour a little at a time, stirring well. Add the seasoning and bring to the boil, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens. simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before use.

Salsa Napoli (Napoli Sauce)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

1 tbsp savory or thyme, chopped

3 tbsp lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic, rosemary and tomatoes for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Add the savory and lime juice and puree in a blender if desired. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve with pasta,fish or chicken.

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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Italian foods, Sauce


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There are over 600 different Italian pasta shapes in a variety of colours and flavours They are all interchangeable with any sauce or topping with the exception of lasagne and cannelloni of course! There is no difference in the cooking method for dried or fresh pasta-the only rule being that fresh pasta takes much less time to cook. Always drain as soon as it is cooked, pour the topping or sauce over  and serve at once. Likewise, baked pasta dishes are best served as soon as they are ready, or the pasta continues to absorb any liquid in the sauce and the dish can became dry.

Pasta alla Salsa Verde (Pasta with Green sauce)

serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion,chopped

4 rashers bacon, rinded and chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh basil

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly grounded black pepper

350g/12oz fresh or frozen peas

175ml water

120 ml single (light) cream

350g pasta twists

2 tbsp unsalted (sweet) butter

75g Parmesan cheese, grated


Heat the oil and fry(saute) the onion and bacon for 3 minutes. Stir in the basil,salt,pepper and peas. Pour in the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes until the peas are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and puree the contents. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the cream over a very low heat. Keep warm. Add the pasta to a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and return to the pan. Add the butter and toss well. Place in a warmed serving dish, pour over the green sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Manzo con Pasta (Steak with Pasta)

serves 4

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

100g / 4oz Parma ham, chopped

175g / 6oz top rump steak, diced

100g / 4oz mushrooms, sliced

60ml / 4 tbsp white wine

175ml beef stock

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

salt and freshly grounded black pepper

2 tbsp double (heavy) cream

350g/ 12 oz conchiglie


Heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and cook the onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add the Parma ham and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add steak and fry (saute) until browned. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid has reduce by three-quarters. Stir in the stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Cook the conchiglie in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes until just tender, then rinse in hot water. Drain well and turn the pasta into a warmed serving dish. Pour over the steak and ham mixture.

Pitto Affumicato con Spaghettini (Smoked platter with Spaghettini)

serves 4

225g / 8oz Parma ham/salami/dried salt beef slices, mixed

275g / 10oz sapaghettini (very thin spaghetti)

175g / 6oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil

salt and freshly grounded black pepper

90ml / 6 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

175g / 6oz creamy, soft goats cheese

75g / 3oz Parmesan cheese, grated


Divided the sliced meats between individual serving plates. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the spaghettini. Cook until just tender. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil, and chop roughly. Drain the spaghettini. Return to the saucepan and toss in the tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Add the reserved tomato oil if desired. Stir in the goats’ cheese and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve the pasta with the sliced meat.

Spaghetti con Frutti Mare (Pasta with Seafood Topping)

serves 4-6

2 onions, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

150 ml white wine

225g / 8oz shelled small scallops

225g / 8oz peeled prawns (shrimp)

Salt and freshly grounded pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

450g / 1lb spaghetti


Fry(saute) the chopped onions in the oil for 5 minutes. Heat the white wine in a saucepan and add the scallops. Poach for 3 minutes and add the prawns. Continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring contentiously. Stir in the onions and season with the salt, pepper and parsley and heat through. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and pour in the pasta. Cook for 10 minutes, drain and serve with the seafood mixture.

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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Italian foods



Italian Salads

Italian salads are famous throughout the world. Largely I suspect, due to the wonderful olive oils used dress them. All vegetables can be served in a salad with the traditional olive oil dressing-the dressing is an integral part of the salad and not merely an addition to it. Oranges feature in many savory Italian salads. They are in plentiful supply and their natural affinity with chicory, pinch and fennel makes them an ideal ingredient. Although often served as a side dish, a salad of raw crunchy vegetables is the idea antipasto if tossed well in a mixture of herbs,  olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and vinegar or lemon juice.

Insalata al fresco (Rice salad with Olives and Tomatoes)

serves 4

225g/8oz/1 cup arborio rice

1 onion, thinly sliced into rings

45ml/3tbsp olive oil

30ml/ 2tbsp balsamic vinegar

5ml/1tsp caster (superfine) sugar

3 stoned (pitted) black olives, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped

4 mint leaves, chopped


Cook the rice in plenty of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until just cooked but still with texture.. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. turn into a bowl. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the oil gently for 3 minutes until softened. stir in the vinegar, sugar, olives and some salt and pepper and simmer very gently for 5 minutes. Pour the hot onion mixture over the rice, Add the tomatoes and mint. Toss and serve straight away.

Insalata di barbabietola (Beetroot Salad)

serves 4


450 g/1lb beetroot (red beets)

2 red onions, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

15 ml/1 tbsp oil

30 ml/ 2 tbsp tarragon or wine vinegar

50 ml/ 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley or chervil


Cook the beetroot in boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Cool, peel and cut into small cubes. Gently mix with the chopped onions. Mix the seasoning with the oil and vinegar. Pour over the beetroot and onions and arrange in a dish. Decorate with the chopped parsley or chervil.

Insalata Alla Romana (Roman Salad)

serves 4-6


225g / 8oz young spinach, torn in pieces

2 large tomatoes, chopped

100g / 4oz white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

45 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil

15 ml/ 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 garlic clove, crushed

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Toss the spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms together. Blend the olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and pour over the salad. Toss gently and serve.

Insalata di Araggosta (Lobster Salad)

serves 2

1 cooked lobster

1 egg

Green salad leaves

5ml / 1 tsp white wine vinegar

15ml / 1 tbsp olive oil

5 ml /1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Salt and freshly grounded black pepper

100g /4 oz peas,cooked


Remove the meat from the lobster tail and large claws and chop roughly, reserving the washed , small claws for garnish. Boil the egg for 5 minutes and rinse under cold water. Peel, halve and slice the egg and salad leaves on a serving dish. Add the lobster meat. Blend the vinegar, olive oil and basil in a bowl and beat well. Season with the salt and pepper and pour over the lobster. Add the green peas, garnish with small claws and serve.

Insalta di Pesce Bianco ( White Fish Salad)

serves 4-6

150ml dry white wine

150ml water

1 onion, quartered

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Few springs of mixed fresh herbs

Salt and freshly grounded black pepper

450 g / 1lb white fish fillets

1 egg yolk

5 ml/ 1 tsp made mustard

30 ml/ 2 tbsp olive oil

150ml single (light) cream

30ml/ 2tbsp finely snipped fresh chives

12 olives, to garnish


Put the wine, water, onion, lemon juice, fresh herbs,salt and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the fish fillets and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 10 to 12 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

Lift out the fish with a fish slice.Boil the fish stock until the liquid has reduce to one-third, strain and allow to cool. Flake the fish into 1cm in pieces, discarding any skin and bones. leave to cool. beat the egg yolk with the mustard in a bowl until creamy. Slowly add the oil, drop by drop and gradually beat in the strained fish stock. Whisk in the cream and season to taste. Stir in the chives and fold in the fish. Spoon into a serving dish, garnish with the olives and serve with a mixed salad.

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Italian foods, Salad


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Lasagne di Mare (Fish Lasagne)

serves 4

1 onion,finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

100g mushrooms, finely chopped

1 large can(400g) chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 lb cod fillet skinned and cubed

Salt and freshly grounded black pepper

50g  unsalted (sweet) butter

2 1/2 cups milk (600ml)

100g hard cheese, grated

8 sheets no need to precook lasagne


Put the onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano in a saucepan.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until pulpy. Stir in the fish and cook for a further 5 minutes.Season to taste.

Meanwhile blend the flour butter and little of the milk in a saucepan. Stir in the remaining milk.Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened.

Season to taste and add half the cheese. Spoon a thin layer of the cheese sauce in the base of a 2.25litres ovenproof dish.Cover of a layer of lasagne, breaking it to fit. Cover with a third of the fish sauce,then a little more cheese sauce. repeat the layer twice more, making sure you have panty of cheese sauce for top.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 190C/ 375F/ gas mark 5 for about 35-40 minutes until the pasta feels tender when a knife is inserted down through the center.

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in Italian foods


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