Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted Bell Peppers

Bell pepper, or capsicum as they are known here in Australia, are among my favourite vegetables.  I have always liked them, ever since I was little.  In summer, they would make a regular appearance on our table and I was always delighted.  My mother would make them in many different ways and even though my all time favourite were Stuffed Bell Peppers, I have also always liked them simply roasted.  This recipe is my mum’s and it is a very easy side dish or appetiser that can be served by itself or together with fresh mozzarella or on crostini and bruschetta.  You can grill the peppers, if you like or use the flame of the stove to roast them, but I prefer to use my oven: it’s fuss free, easier to clean up and the result is just as delicious.  All you have to do after you cook your peppers is to clean them and put them to marinate with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and parsley.  Easy!  Enjoy and buon appetito! Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Baking, Italian, Mediterranean, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarde Allinguate

Sarde Allinguate

I know I have said this before, but sardines are my favourite fish ever.  They are cheap and so good for you and I highly recommend you try them.  I just wish I could find them more often here in Sydney!  Today I will share with you a traditonal Sicilian recipe, very common in the city of Palermo: Sarde Allinguate.  The term allinguate apparently derives from the Spanish word lenguado (sole).  Sicily was under Spanish (Arab and French) dominations for many years and the Sicilian dialect reflects all these influences, so you will find many terms that sound like Spanish, French and Arab words.  In this specific case, it appears that while the rich Spanish nobles would enjoy expensive sole, the common people were left with sardines, which they butterflied to make them look like sole.  Also, they would marinate them in vinegar to kill any germs as they could not afford to buy the freshest fish.  Nowadays, the fish is fresh and even though common people can afford sole, sardines are still a favourite with Sicilians.  This recipe is very easy to make and it is one of my dad’s (and my) favourite dishes, so I dedicate it to him <3.  They taste tangy, crunchy and just plain delicious.  My mouth is watering just as I type this and I wish I could have these sardines for dinner!  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my other Regional Italian Recipes. Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Fish, Italian, Mains, Mediterranean, Regional Italian Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Apple and Dulce de Leche Tart

Apple and Dulce de Leche Tart

Apple tarts are my favourite cakes hands down.  I love the contrast of the soft baked fruit with the crunchy pastry that you get with every bite.  Besides, who doesn’t like Dulce de Leche?  It goes really well with apples, just like every caramel sauce. It’s always a winning combination.  Spring has just begun down here and the days are getting longer and warmer, but to me, it’s always a good time to bake with apples.  And I am sure, this will also be a very useful recipe for my friends up in the Northern hemisphere, where autumn and apple season will soon begin.  You can serve this cake with some vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness, or eat it on its own (like I did).  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Roasted Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

Roasted Strawberry Barbecue Sauce

It is time again for the “Secret recipe club” reveal!  I am sure you all know what the club is about, but for the few of you who still don’t know about it, here goes a brief explanation.  It is a great concept… each month you are assigned a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and in turn someone else will be assigned your blog.  All you have to do is choose a recipe, make it and blog about it on the specified date.  The only rule is to keep it a secret!  If you are interested in learning more, or want to join the club, please visit the Secret recipe club website.
This month I was assigned Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen, written by my very talented friend Bobbi.  I was so thrilled to get Bobbi’s website!!  We are both in the Sunday Supper Movement and I love her recipes, so I couldn’t wait to get started!  While browsing through all her delicious dishes, I kept coming back to one that really intrigued me… so I simply had to make it:  Roasted Strawberry Barbecue Sauce!  How good does that sound?  And I can guarantee that it tastes as delicious as it looks.  It goes incredibly well with grilled meats and ribs and it is sweet and tangy, with a subtle strawberry flavour.
Thank you so much for this great recipe Bobbi!  Please, make sure you drop by Bobbi at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen and check out her beautiful site! Continue reading

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Posted in American, Fruits, Sauces, The Secret Recipe Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Passion fruit Béarnaise Sauce

 Passion fruit Béarnaise Sauce

This month, the Daring Cooks got a little saucy! Jenni from the Gingered Whisk taught us the basics of how to make the five mother-sauces and encouraged us to get creative with them, creating a wide variety of delicious, fresh sauces in our very own kitchens.
I was really thrilled by this challenge!  I make some sauces very often (béchamel is one of them), but I had never tried to make Béarnaise before.  The thing is, I love to eat it and whenever it’s on the menu, I order it with my steak.  Besides, there was a particular recipe that I had been wanting to try for over a year!  So I am very happy that I finally got the chance to make it and share it with all of you!
I made a Passion fruit Béarnaise Sauce… it’s like a classic Béarnaise – flavoured with a concentrated reduction of white wine vinegar, white wine, eschalots, tarragon, chervil and peppercorns – but with the addition of fresh passion fruit at the end.  It is delicious: fruity and tangy, hearty and sophisticated, smooth and delicate all at the same time and with a touch of tropical on top of that!  I had eaten it in Moorea during out holiday in French Polynesia last year and I was so happy to be able to recreate it!  It goes amazingly well with steaks… give it a try for your next steak dinner and let me know what you think! Continue reading

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Posted in Daring Cooks, Eggs, French, Fruits, Sauces, Tahitian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Royal Tahiti

Royal Tahiti

A little over 1 year ago, my family and I were enjoying the sun and turquoise sea of French Polynesia.  The best sea in the world if you ask me!  We visited Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora and we left a piece of our hearts there.  Besides enjoying all water activities, we also ate very well and came back with a few recipes like Firi Firi, Pineapple and Passion fruit Jam and Mai Tai.  At the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa we also had some amazing drinks.  My favourite was the Royal Tahiti as it has all the flavors of the tropics: rum, coconut and banana!  This cocktail is rich, sweet and creamy and it is quite filling, as it is made with Coconut Ice cream… aren’t you happy that I also shared with you the recipe for a quick Coconut Ice cream?  Cheers my friends! Continue reading

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Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

Today’s post is all about tradition.  I often say that talking about Italian cuisine is not very accurate… every region (and sometimes even city!) has its own cuisine, so it would be more correct to say Italian cuisines.  Every area of Italy has its own traditional stuffed pasta which can differ in shape, size and/or filling.  Tortellini for example, are the traditional stuffed pasta from Bologna, Tortelli are found in Mantova etc.  Today I will take you to the beautiful city of Bergamo, in Lombardy, just 30 minutes from Milan where I was born.  Bergamo is a very ancient city as it dates back to the Celtic times and is divided between the modern area (Citta’ Bassa) and the historic area (Citta’ Alta).  The latter area is full of beautiful monuments.  Today’s recipe is a typical dish from Bergamo: Casoncelli (or casonsèi as they are called in the local dialect).  I have already shared a recipe for Cabbage, Speck and Scamorza Casoncelli in my ebook, which you can find here: Manu’s Christmas Menus.  It is a kind of stuffed pasta with a very particular shape, filled with local/poor ingredients such as sausage, breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs and garlic.  In modern times, cheese and a few other more “noble” ingredients were added too, and the dish that I will share with you today is simply to die for.  Casoncelli alla Bergamasca (aka Bergamo style) are served with a butter and sage sauce and sautéed Italian Speck (or Pancetta).  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my other Regional Italian recipes! Continue reading

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Posted in Italian, Mains, Meat, Pasta, Regional Italian Dishes, Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

My eldest daughter loves coconut flavoured treats.  She asks me to make coconut cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies… You name it.  And off course, coconut ice cream is one of her favourite flavours!  I am happy to oblige as I too like coconut.  It always makes me feel like I am on a tropical island, enjoying the turquoise sea and the warm sun on my skin… so, why not?  This recipe is very easy and quick to make and the result is unbelievably good: in no time you will have a smooth, soft and silky ice cream to eat on its own or use in other recipes (I have something in store for you, so make sure to keep an eye on this page!).  And all of this, using only 3 or 4 ingredients!!  What are you waiting for??  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Desserts, Ice Cream | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments