Egg liquor (Bombardino all'uovo)

The perfect treat for cold days and nights, delicious if warmed a little, great if drunk with Christmas sweets.


3 cups of non skimmed milk

29 ounces sugar

6 egg yolks

1 cup alchool

1 cup sweet rum

1 vanillin sachet

Boil the milk with half of the sugar gently mixing now and then.

Let it cook a couple of minutes after boiling, then turn off the heat and let it warm.

In a big bowl mix egg yolks with the other half of sugar untill they're creamy and frothy: now add little by little the warm milk, mixing very well to avoid lumps: to be sure you can filter the liquid at this point.

I didn't do it anyway.

Add vanillin, alcohol and rum liquor, mix again then pour in bottles and close them.

Wait about a week before using, shaking the bottles sometimes.


Potado gnocchi (Gnocchi di patate)

Potado gnocchi are a quite famous Italian dish: it's prepared in the whole peninsula but more often in the North of Italy.

They could be dressed in many ways, the most commons are: tomato sauce, genovese pesto, bolognese sauce.

To make gnocchi you need (for about 4-5 persons):

2 lb whole potatoes unpeeled

2 cups flour

1 egg

1 tablespoon salt

Place washed potadoes in a large stock pot filled with water and bring to a boil.

Cook until the potatoes are soft.

Peel immediately while potatoes are still hot (ok, I know it's not funny but the peeling is easier) then mash them on a work surface using a food mill.

When the potatoes are still warm (but cool enough to be handled), shape them in a mound with a hole in the middle and add inside the flour, the egg and salt.

Draw the ingredients together and mix to form a dough.

If the dough is sticky sprinkle a little more flour and work the loaf of dough. add flour and work again untill the dough is no longer sticky.

Cut the dough into four pieces. Sprinkle the work surface with a little flour, and place the first piece on it.

Roll the dough into one or two long sticks approximately 3/4 inch in diameter.

Cut the sticks in little pieces (about 3/4 inch each).

Roll the pieces along the the surface of a cheese grater.

Work this way every piece of dough, work always on a lightly floured surface.

Fill a stockpot with water, bring to a boil, and add salt.

When the water is at a fast boil, drop the gnocchi in.

The gnocchi will fall to the bottom of the pot: after about 2-3 minutes the gnocchi will come up to the surface, this mean they're cooked.

Drain them then saute' for few moments in a pan with the choosen sauce.

Add a spoon of fresh grated parmesan and enjoy your gnocchi!


Bruschetta (Toasted garlic bread)

I think Bruschetta is one of the most famous Italian appetizer worldwide: it's simple, low cost, yummy, customizable.

Count about 2 slices per person, the bread must be sliced in thick pieces (approximately 3/8 inch ).

The oil is the king of the ingredients in this recipe so you absolutely need extra-virgin olive oil, a good one.

You also need salt and a garlic clove.

Preheat an oven, broiler, or toaster; grill the bread on both sides until golden brown.

Lightly rub the garlic on the surface of the bread.

Pour a thin stream of olive oil on the bread, and sprinkle with salt.

Serve hot or at least warm.

This is the basic bruschetta but surely not the only way to serve this kind of bread: on top you can add thin slices of pork lard (like Colonnata lard) and Rosemary, tomatoes chopped in tiny cubes with some basil leaves, sliced green olives, sundried tomatoes in slices, dried red pepper powder or slices and whatever else your fantasy and your taste decide.


Egg custard (Zabaglione or Zabaione)

Zabaione is a sweet egg custard very tasty, flavoured with Marsala wine.
It's often made douring Christmas holidays, when you spend time with friends and family.

You need:

4 egg yolks1/2 cup

sugar1/2 cup

Marsala wine (or Port or Madeira if you can't find Marsala)

Beat egg yolks until fluffy in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (this kind of cooking is called Bagnomaria).

Add sugar and beat again, then Marsala and beat.

Whisk over simmering water, until the cream thickens but don't let it boil, turn off the fire a little before.

Let the cream cool (room temperature) then serve in glass or glass bowls, decorate with biscuits, fresh fruit or/and whipped cream.

You can also use this cream to fill tarts, cakes or as a sauce for other sweets like Christmas cakes.


Rome sweet Rome

I'm back from the stunning city of Rome.

It's so beautiful, so full of history and heritage that sometimes you feel overwhelmed.

I know Rome is a target for many tourists worldwide so I'll give you the site of the hotel (bed and breakfast) where we stayed.

It's between Coliseum and Fori imperiali, in the heart of the city (you can visit main attractions like Trevi fountain, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona and many others on foot, anyway the metro station is near).
You can book directly from the site, they don't have a breakfast room but they'll give you a prepayed ticket and with this you can have a good breakfast in the bar right under the hotel.

It's also quite cheap, it's not a luxury hotel or a pretentious one but it's clean, quiet at night, with anything you need to recover from your visits around the city.

I hope I gave a good hint for your next trip! ^^



Tomorrow I'll leave to Rome for a week end with my sister in law and a friend of her.
I'm really excited because it's a beautiful city and because I really need some rest and relax with friends: I have a lot of mates there but I can see them seldom.
We've already organized a dinner^^.
Unluckly I had an awful week and I had no time to be prepared, it's ten pm and I still have to pack luggage :S


Orange and fennel salad ( Insalata di arance e finocchi)

It's a very peculiar recipe, light and tasty, great to break the long series of heavy lunch and great dinners of the Christmas period.

It's a winter recipe because oranges and fennels are typical winter vegetables, it's most used in the South of Italy where citrus grown.

If you like the two main ingredients you'll love it!

I had a housemate at univeristy than used to eat it almost everyday...

For two persons:

2 oranges

2 fennels

salt and pepper

3 - 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Slice the oranges (peel them carefully and keep off the white part) and arrange them in a serving plate.

Clean the fennels, cut them very thin then transfer the fennels in a bowl to season them with oil salt and pepper.

Transfer the fennels on the oranges, dizzle with a little more extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

If you like you can slice thin a little red onion too and add it to the salad.


Rosemary focaccia ( Focaccia al rosmarino)

Another Italian must where rosemary is protagonist, very popular as street food, a good treat for children douring school break, the delicious focaccia.
It seems a little bit demanding, the recipe is long but it's longer to read than to prepare!
If you have a bread machine or something similar you can prepare the dough with it then spread it in the pan and let it rise once again, it's even quicker.
You can eat it plain as snack or you can serve it diced in squares, warm, with salami, ham, cheese...
It could be a strong appetizer of an informal dinner if served with that sort of things or a great, cheap, quick idea for party buffets (even children party).

You need:

2 - 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 - 1/3 cups water lukewarm

6 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

3 - 1/4 cups flour

1 tablespoon coarse salt

2 - 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
Set aside for a few minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil to the mix.
In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 teaspoons salt to the flour.
Add the yeast-water mixture into the flour.
With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir vigorously stir to combine.
Knead with your hands until soft dough is obtained.
Lightly spread another large bowl with olive oil, transfer the dough into the bowl.
Rub the dough around the walls of the bowl to cover its surface with oil.
Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm corner of the kitchen (like the oven, turned off) to rise for about 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
Spread extra-virgin olive oil lightly on a 12 x 16 inch baking pan.
Invert the dough from the bowl into the pan.
At this point the dough is very light and soft.
Avoid pressing or stretching it too much or it will not rise weel in the oven.
Flatten the dough with the point of the fingers until it reaches the edges, and the pan is fully covered.
Dimple the focaccia with your fingertips to create small depressions.
Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm corner of the kitchen to rise for 1 more hour.
Preheat oven to 450 F °, spread the remaining olive oil, the coarse salt, and the rosemary leaves uniformly on the surface of the focaccia.
Bake the focaccia on the lower shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the surface is golden and the bottom is gold.
Lift a corner of the focaccia to check readiness before removing it from the oven.


Grilled chicken breast (Petto di pollo grigliato)

Grilled chicken breast: anything easier than this recipe?
Or more banal?

No, but you can create a tasty dish if you take care of the preparation and of the ingredients, the preparation is quick and you can surely afford and recover the things you need.

It's a light second course, ideal for the ones on a diet: low fats, digestible.

You need:

2 chicken breasts

2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil

salt and pepper

a stick of fresh rosemary

1 garlic clove

half a lemon

Slice each chicken breasts in 3 thin slices.

Pound the slices with a meat pounder to make them thin and tender.

Cook the chicken on a simple grille or even a non-stick pan.

Do not use any fat or oil to grease the pan, just rub the garlic clove on the whole pan few times to give a light garlic smell.

Season with the extravirgin olive oil, add salt and freshly grated pepper if you like then some rosemary needles and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve warm with plain fresh salad or with stirfried spinach.


Rosemary ( Rosmarino )

It's time to speak about another herb: Rosemary.

Frequently used in Italy, well known abroad too; it is a resistant plant, it growns especially in Mediterranean zones but it's acclimated to colder places.

You can cultivate it in the garden or even on terraces or just out of the window in small pots.

From flowers you can obtain good honey, Rosemary is famous for its medical properties ( it's a good tonic and purifyier).

Rosemary is great on roasted potadoes, on red meats (especially on roasts), with some kind of fish, on bruschetta, on borlottis' or chickpeas' soup.

Yesterday evening I ate a good appetizer: on a thick slice of bread there was a spoon of grated cheese (Parmesan ), then a spoon of porcini mushrooms stirfried in a pan with butter, then a generous sprinkle of Rosemary needles: the "crostino" was crisped in the oven.

I don't love the marriage mushrooms/Rosemary but with Parmesan and good bread it's really an happy mix.
You can also prepare a plain bruschetta and add some Rosemary on top.

So tasty!

Soon I'll post the many variations I know to make crostini and bruschetta: they're a must as appetizer in my zone you could be sourprised because of the variety!


Teryaki chicken with leeks (pollo teriyaki con porri)

Ok maybe it's not an Italian recipe, you can called it "fusion" but I use to cook with ingredients I discover during my travels.

I've been in Japan during my honeymoon and I loved it so much.

I've tried this recipe in a small food stand in the old part of the Kyoto's station, I loved it, my husband loved it and once at home we would like to eat it once again: it's not the very same of the japanese one but it's ok, tasty and quick to prepare.

It' really really easy: chop chicken breast in small pieces, put it in a bowl with teriyaki sauce, mix well and let it rest in fridge for about 2 hours.

Then prepare a pan, add extravirgin olive oil, leeks cutted round ( don't add the green part of course), salt and chicken with the sauce.

Stirfry untill leeks are tender and chicken is well cooked, if it dries add a little more teriyaki sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.

You can serve it with white rice, it's perfect!


Homemade mascarpone cheese (Mascarpone fatto in casa)

This is a great thing to impress your friends when you serve Tiramisu' dessert or other dishes made with this creamy and yummy cheese.

"I did the mascarpone cheese too": oh yes, it's impressive!!

It's easier than you can think: for about 24 ounces of cheese just take 1.6 quart of fresh milk cream and half a teaspoon of citric acid (fresh lemon juice).

Put the citric acid into the cream then put on the stove: it must be hot but not to boiling point.

Turn off the fire then mix well, pour the mixture into a colander covered with a clean dishcloth and let the serum drains for about 12 hours.

Now you must store the cheese into the refrigerator, it has no preservatives so you must use it quite quickly, in about 3-4 days.

At least you can freeze it and then it's good for about 3 months.



No time to update my blog, many things to do, a new bakery course, work, relatives to visit, friends to keep in touch with.
But not too busy to forget a happy halloween to everybody!!!


Canned tuna tomato sauce (Sugo al tonno)

Surfing the web I saw we are all on the same boat: financial crisis is a global matter and families with low incomes and on a budget are a lot here in Italy and abroad.
So today I want to post a cheap sauce for pasta, so cheap and easy that here is quite famous as "student dish": ingredients don't need to be refrigerated and everyone can afford them.


half a bottle or a can of tomato sauce


basil (even dried one)

garlic (even dried one)

1 can of tuna (with oil if you like or just steamed if you want a light dish)

chili pepper if you like

extra virgin olive oil

Put in a pan two spoons of oil, add garlic and let it fry for a while.

Add tuna, well crushed, mix then add tomato sauce.

Let it boil gently for half an hour then add salt basil and chili as much as you like.

Here you are your sauce, it's perfect with spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, farfalle.


Chocolate salami dessert (Salame al cioccolato)

The shape it's the one of salami, it's served sliced like a salami...But it's not a real salami!^^
Today it's time for a chocolate delight, a sweet dessert easy to prepare, you can even involve children, for their joy!
I remember when I was little and I had the occasion to prepare it with my mum, I always had had a lot of fun!


3 onces cocoa powder

1/2 once hazelnuts

3 1/2 onces sugar

2 1/2 onces butter

5 onces biscuits (plain ones)

1 egg + 1 yolk

icing sugar

Bake hazelnuts in the oven untill they're toasted (if they're not still), break them in little pieces.

Put biscuits in a plastic bag for food and crush them with a rollpin or something similar: they must be well broken but not completely pulverized.

Keep off the butter from fridge and let it getting soft.

Put in a bowl the egg and the yolk, mix them with sugar untill you have a smooth cream.

Add cocoa powder and butter and mix again very well.

Add hazelnuts and biscuit, mix untill everything is well amalgamated.

Pour the mixture on a big oven paper sheet, give it the shape of a big salami and put in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

Before serving keep off the paper and powder the dessert with icing sugar, then slice it and make your family and guests happy! ;)


Cheese and courgettes tureen (Terrina di formaggi e zucchine)

This recipe comes from a cooking magazine I book every month: it's pocket, well organized and it's also have menus and shopping list for the whole month.

It's called "Cucina no problem", Mondadori ediction: maybe you can find it abroad, I see on the first pages foreign prices...

For this recipe you need:

a tureen plum cake shape

9 onces ricotta cheese

7 onces robiola cheese (or philadelphia or any similar creamy cheese)

4 courgettes

3 eggs


5 spoons of grated parmesan

1 garlic clove


extravirgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Wash and clean courgettes, cut in thin slices, then stirfry them in a pan with oil and the garlic clove for about 3-4 minutes.

Keep off garlic and add salt and pepper.

Open eggs in a bowl, add ricotta cheese, robiola or philadelphia, 5 spoons of grated parmesan, a little grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Mix ingredients with a fork untill you have a smooth cream.

Pass butter on the tureen walls, cover bottom with the cream, then add half of the courgettes and another cream layer and finish with courgettes.

Cook putting the tureen in another saucepan with a little water ( it's called "bagnomaria" here in Italy) at medium heat in the owen for about 45 minutes.

Let it getting warm before serving, you can decorate with chopped mint leaves if you like or put ham or bacon between layers.

Light and healthy but tasty!!


Perch fish with lemon sauce (Pesce persico al limone)

Today I have a very quick and easy recipe, light and tasty, a great solution for dinner when you don't want to cook for hours.

Take a perch fish fillet (one per person), flour it on each side, put it in a pan where you melted a little butter with a garlic clove, let it golden then add the juice of two lemons and salt.

Let it cook for a while (perch is really quick to cook), keep off garlic and at the end add a little parsley if you like.

Here you are the dinner!

So fast and so good...Isn't it easy?

If you don't like lemon you can do the same with white wine.

Of couse you can serve it with any kind of side dish, boiled potadoes and carrots are the best according to me.


Stuffed mushrooms with sausage ( Funghi ripeni con salsiccia)

Another mushrooms recipe today: we're in the season and I love them so much I buy them almost every week.
Stuffed mushrooms are ok as appetizer or side dish, count about 2-3 each person, now we count about 8 persons.
24 mushrooms (champignons, not too big)
5 oz sausage
parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon milk cream
1/2 glass white dry wine
extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
Clean mushrooms and keep off the stems.
Leave the caps apart, chop in very tiny pieces stems, stirfry them in a pan with oil, salt, pepper, parmesan and the white wine, then add ginned (? I'm not sure about the word) sausage, add parsley and milk cream at the end.
Put everything in the mixer and give a quick turn, then fill the caps with the cream and put in the oven, bake at medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
They're really great, one leads another!


Pot roast with porcini mushrooms ( Arrosto ai funghi porcini)

To celebrate Fall today I post the recipe of a great "sunday special": pot roast with porcini mushrooms.

You can use any other kind of mushrooms of course but porcini are definetely the most yummy according to me!

I often prepare this pot roast when I've friends for dinner: it's always loved.


2 lb beef roast

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil

1/5 oz dried porcini soaked in warm water

1/2 lb fresh porcini, chopped or frozen chopped porcini

1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup white dry whine

1/2 cup meat broth (or canned broth)



Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper, in a saucepan put the butter, the oil and the garlic cloves turn the heat (medium) and when the fat starts foaming add the meat.

Brown the meat on each side add wine and let it evaporate.

Drain the soaked porcini and chop them, filter the brown water and add it to the roast with broth and mushrooms.

Add also fresh/ frozen porcini and turn the heat to moderate.

Turn the meat a couple of times during the cooking, let it cook covered until the meat is tender, near the end add parsley .

To slice the meat you must let it become cold or at least warm: then put it again in the pan with sauce and warm it, then serve.

So good with roasted potadoes or potadoes puree!

Have a nice fall!



I've converted all the quantity in U.S. measures: enjoy my recipes in an easier way!
It's not simply, I just had had a little bit of time and will...
But now everything it's ok.
If I missed something let me now!


Tiramisu' dessert (Tiramisu')

Tiramisu' is a very famous Italian dessert but it's quite new even on our tables.

It hasn't got a long history but, because of it's own great taste, everyone loves it.

Tiramisu’ can be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer.

Remember to remove it from the freezer enough time in advance to serve it cold but soft, not frozen.


1 cup and half of espresso coffee

about 40 savoiardi biscuits (ladyfinger cookies)

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites, whipped

1 lb. mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup of sugar

cocoa powder or chocolate chips/ drops

1/2 cup of marsala wine (if you like, it's an optional, I never use it)

Prepare espresso and let it be cold (you can sugar it when it's hot and mix but I don't love very much too sweet desserts so I don't usually do it).

With a rubber spatula mash mascarpone cheese untill it's creamy, mix yolks and sugar untill sugar is melted and pour the mixture in the bowl with mascarpone.

Beat very well, untill everything is well mixed, if you want add marsala wine now.

Whip the whites and add them to mascarpone: fold the whipped whites in the cream mixing up and down (not round) gently.

Now take a glass container of about 12 X 8 inches, soak ladyfinger one at time and places them in a layer on the bottom of container.

Pour and spread half of the mascarpone cream over the cookies, repeat the step with a second layer of biscuits and top with the rest of the cream.

Sprinkle with cocoa powder or cover with chocolate chips (my favourite!).

Refrigerate for about 3-4 hours.

You can also choose individual servings in glass cups, here just put one layer of ladyfingers and then a generous quantity of cream, in this case 2 hours in the freezer are enough.


Meat broth ( Brodo di carne)

Meat broth is often used to cook risotto, to give flavour to roasts and dishes: I don't know if it is usually served as a soup abroad but it's how we mainly eat it in Italy.

If you use it for cooking no one will blame if you use canned broth (better the pownder one than the cubes, less chemical things in the first) but if you want to serve it with pasta (tortellini, angel hair or other tiny shapes) you have to prepare a good homemade meat broth.

It's easier than you can think: the longest part is the cooking but you don't need to take a lot of care of it while it's boiling...

You need ( I found the conversion in gallons and pounds, sooner or later I'll change even the meaures of the ingredients of past recipes):

a large stockpot

a gallon of water (more or less)

2 lb. of meat ( beef with a little fat, bones, hen) in big pieces

1 whole onion

2 whole carrots

2 celery sticks

1 whole tomato

1 tablespoon salt

You can add:

a little bunch of parsley

nutmeg freshly grated

2-3 cloves

To be honest I don't use these ingredients because they give broth a too spicy flavour that not always fits what I put in it.

Place the meat in the pot, add tomato, onion, carrots and celery then fill with water.

Add salt and bring the water to a boil.

Cook untill the meat is tender, for 2 lb. of meat you probably have to wait 2-2 1/2 hours, let it gently boil, not too strong or the water will evaporate too soon and too much.

When the meat is ready remove it from the pot (don't throw it, it can be eaten or used in other recipes: the meat from the broth boiling it's called "lesso").

Filter the broth through a fine strainer to clarify it and remove all the small particles. Let the broth cool at room temperature.

When the broth will be cold, the fat will solidify on the surface.

Remove most of the fat with a spoon, how much dipends on you: some people here love fat bubbles in the hot broth, my husband does, I don't (can you imagine the battle when I prepare it?^^ "Leave fat!", "No, it's too much!" and so on...).

Now the broth is ready: just cook in it what you prefer, if you don't use within two days you can preserve it in a bottle in your freezer on into ice forms if you need small portions.


Genovese pesto (Pesto alla genovese)

As said few posts ago it's time for basil: what recipe can give all the best from this herb if not Genovese pesto?

It's worldwide famous but often the one you buy at supermarket is: expensive, made with low quality oils, low percentage of basil or dried basil, cashew nuts instead of pine-kernels.

Having a good and healthy pesto is not that difficult, so why don't you give a try?

To prepare a real pesto you should have a lot of patience and a marble mortar and pestle.
Probably you don't have it (I don't have it!) and then I'll give a quick solution at the end of the recipe, but it's an Italian kitchen blog so let's have the traditional recipe first!

Ingredients / 6 persons:

about 20 oz.. pasta ( trofie as seen in the photo are the best but you can also use linguini, spaghetti, gnocchi, penne)

a big bunch of fresh basil (tradition says 30 basil leaves each garlic clove, of course it's up to you at the end)

a glass of extravirgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 spoon pine-kernels

3 spoons of grated cheese ( parmesan, grana padano or pecorino from tuscany, sicily or sardinia: your choice)

a little salt

Important things to know before starting: you should end the preparation as soon as possible to avoid oxidation and having it at enviroment temperature.

Wash basil leaves in cold water, let them dry on a kitchen napkin.

Put a garlic clove in the mortar, crush it and then add, little by little, the leaves: the movement of the pestle should be round and gentle, you haven't to crash leaves, it's the only way to let basil's essential oils spread at their best.

Add salt (big grains, just some).

When you see a green juice comes from leaves it's time to add pine-kernels: they help to mix the sauce and give a gentle flavour.

Turn pestle again and again and then you can add cheese and oil very slowly while mixing.

Now your pesto is ready to give taste to your dish, just remember to save some spoons of the cooking water when drain the pasta: they'll help amalgamating pesto sauce and pasta and have a creamy and soft Italia dish.

Ok now...What can you do if you don't have a mortar and/or no time to act like a 19th century cook?

Whas the leaves, put all the ingredients into a mixer and then mix untill you have a fine cream.

Not to much or the basil and oil become hot with the mixer's turning and it's really bad.

It's not the perfect way of which a Ligurian would be proud of , but it's good enough to invite your friend for dinner and save your wallet and your health in a tasty way!



And once again holidays are finished.

I' m tired, as usual, more than when I started them but I' m sure I' ll manage my routine once again...Sooner or later!

Thailand is a beautiful country but maybe I wasn't prepared to the mess of Bangkok, I' m still thinking if I liked it or hated it.

Surely it's great for shopping, no dubt about it, but just because of it at the very end you spend more than in more expensive countries!

Now I have to unpack my luggage and manage jet lag, back soon with some tasty recipes!

Greeting, Claudia.


Basil (Basilico)

I had some suggestions about what to put in this blog.

Some ask me to learn more about typical Italian herbs and spices.

I'll start with basil: it's the king of all the herbs used in our dishes, I love it so much!

Basil has got so many varieties: little leaves - Ocimun minimum-(the most common here), big leaves (each leaf could be 10 cm!), violet basil (it's of a deep violet with pink flowers, it's a little bit spicy and good in salads).

It's quite easy to grow up: you can plant seeds in a pot around march-april, water often and keep it in a very sunny position: on july- august you'll have leaves enogh to be conserved in freezer all year long.

Basil doesn't like long cook: you have to use it fresh if you want his best, in hot preparation put leaves just a minute before serving.

It's the king of herbs so it's not ok to be mixed with others like rosemary or oreganon.

The most well-known recipe with basil is PESTO ALLA GENOVESE: it's fantastic but unluckly long to prepare, the ones you buy at supermarked usually have dried basil and many chemical flavours, nothing compared to the real one (recipe will come soon!).

Do you usually use basil only in tomato sauce?

Try it in a pasta fresh salad: cook pasta, drain it, let it get cold, then chop tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in tiny pieces, add extravirgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves and mix the pasta.

It's a great lunch or dinner douring the hottest day of summer!!

More recipes to come, now holidays are everyday nearer!! :)



Happy to say I'm a new member of this nice site: it's a great source for whom wants to trade postcards and know something from all over the world.

My firsts postcards arrived in the past days, I hope to receIve some back before leaving to Bangkok: on 12th I'll start my holidays in Thailand with my husband and a couple of friends.

We'll stay a week in Bangkok and ten days in Samui, having some seaside holidays.

So I'll not able to update this blog until my return, on 31st (and even more, because of jet lag!).


Peruvian coffee cream (Crema peruviana al caffè)

I must admit I've been so lazy!

This blog hasn't got an update since the end of april, big shame but I was very busy and a little bit not motivated beacuse of the very few visits.

But I have to say the same story was for my Italian blog and now it's quite appreciated!

Then I'm here to write again now and then, probably this will be the only update untill september because I'm ready to leave to Bangkok for my summer holiday.

You know it's an Italian kitchen blog, then you may ask why I post you a creamy dessert from Peru'...

Well I don't really know why this sweet is called peruvian but the ingredients fit perfectly the Italian taste and I found it on an Italian cooking newspaper! :)

Boil gently half a liter of milk with 3 1/2 oz. of sugar, a vanilla stick and ten whole coffee seeds.

Filter milk and let it get warm.

Caramel in a pan 2 1/2 oz. of sugar with half a glass of water, add 3 1/2 oz. of black chocolate and melt it well.

Wait untill this is almost cold then add the milk, 3 eggs and mix 'till you have a soft cream.

Put this cream in single servings bowls, put on a leak with a little water on the bottom the cook "bagnomaria" for about 30 minutes at medium temperature.

Serve it cold, with some chocolate coffee seeds on top.


Grandma's lemon chicken (Pollo al limone della nonna)

ingredients/6 persons:

6 chicken tights (or even better the upper part)

4 carrots

1 onion

2 celery stalks

1 lemon

3 laurel leaves



white wine



extra virgin olive oil

Keep off skin from chicken tights then pass them in the flour.

Chop in tiny pieces carrots celery and onion, put in a pan with a little butter and a little E.V.O. oil, add a glass of white wine, laurel leaves, 3 slices of lemon (keep off skin and white part and seeds) salt and half a glass of water.

Cover and let it cook gently for about 15 min. then add tights.

Add a little water if needed (the vegetable sauce must remain really creamy) and cover again.

Cook for about 45 min., turn the meat sometimes.

5 min. before turning off fire add juice of half a lemon and parsley as much as you prefer.

Keep off laurel leaves before serving, it's fantastic with mashed potadoes.

This is my grandma's best recipe according to me: enjoy it!!


Vegetable pastries ( Fagottini con verdure)

4 serves, easy recipe, great results!


1 carrot

1 courgette

1 little white onion

2 red and saucy tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil


2-3 basil leaves

1 pack of pastry

Chop tomatoes in little cubes and put in a bowl with abundant oil, salt, basil leaves mix and let it rest in fridge for at least 2 hours.

Wash carrot, courgette, put them in the mixer to obtain a sort of purea, peel the onion and chop in tiny pieces.

Put the onion in a pan and fry gently with oil and salt, let it get gold then add purea.

Cook on low fire for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile open the pack of pastry, divide it in 4 squares; when the vegetable purea is read put in the centre of each square a big spoon of purea and close squares in the desired way.

Put in the oven for about 15 minutes, medium heat.

Serve them hot with cold tomato cubes and its sauce.


Chicken with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan (Pollo al balsamico e parmiggiano)

After a while I'm back with a little quick recipe.
Just take a chicken breast, chop in pieces and put it in a bowl.
Add abundant balsamic vinegar, a little salt and abundant grated parmesan cheese.
Mix well and let it rest for about 2 hours in fridge.
When dinner time comes put the chicken and the balsamic in the bowl and put in a hot pan.
Let it cook well, serve hot with fresh salad as side dish.
Light, healthy, tasty...
What do you want more?



After bad flu I passed an Easter with toothache.
The result is a tooth extraction (don't know the name in english, you not those awful teeth that comes when you grow up? so painful).
Now I've got a face that is twice the normal size, a bad pain and I'm not eating anything harder than baby food.
Passed the week end with ice bag on the cheek :S
You can figure I can't think about cooking at the moment =.=



I didn't post for so long but I had a bad flu, I'm very sick and weak and thinking about food makes me feel...ugh!


Fennel gratin (Finocchi al gratin).

 Inspired by a request from a member of DC (Discuss cooking) today I post the recipe to use in a tasty way fennels.
Chop each fennel in four, then boil them in salty hot water untill they're soft.
Put them in a pirex pan with thin slice of butter and cover with grated parmesan.
Let them golden under the grill and serve.
If you want to add taste and softness you can use bechamel instead of butter: cover fennels and mix well then use parmesan.
You can do the same with boiled cauliflower, it's fantastic!
It's a light alternative to pasta al forno or a tasty side dish.



In Italy we use metric system but I know in U.S.A., U.K. and other countries around the world measures are different.
So I post this link, it's a converter for every kind of misure: weight, lenght, heat...
It's easy and quick.


Bolognese sauce (Ragu' alla bolognese)

On request today I'll give you my recipe of Bolognese sauce.
I told "my" because every cook got his/her version.
"Ragu'" is one of the recipes that if you ask 10 different persons you'll have 10 different versions.
I'll try to give you all the best advices, this version is the one I've learnt from my mum and my mum from my grandma so it's fully tested, of course it could be different from your expectations or wants or habits but I can assure it's 100% Italian^^.
The preparation is quite long even if not so difficult so I usually prepare a lot of sauce then freeze it in little aluminium containers: so I can take it for lunch/dinner whenever I want, it can rest in freezer for about 2 months (or you can give a little to mum, to mother in law, to friends...Get rid of ragu' is not so difficult^^).
You need:
a large pot,
e.v.o oil,
one carrot,
one celery stick,
one little white onion,
7 oz. of beef minced meat,
3 1/2 oz. of pork minced meat,
3 1/2 oz. sausage meat without skin,
a tube of tomato concentrate (if you find it)
a bottle of tomato sauce,
2 cups of skimmed milk.
Mince carrot onion and celery together, put them in the pot, add abundant e.v.o. oil and let it get hot and fry for one minute.
add the three kind of meat in the pot, probably the meat will be in a block, you must have the patient to "cut" it with a wood spoon mixing and mixing and mixing.
Boring but important.
When the meat is well mixed and starts to become white add skimmed milk.
You have to cover all the content of the pot so pur it^^.
Why milk?
Because it gives a sweet aftertaste that support perfectly the taste of meat and vegetables that is quite strong.
If you can't use milk or think it will not your taste add 2 glasses of white wine.
The Bolognese will be a little bit more bitter according to me, but it's so individual!
Let it boil on low fire for about 10 minutes then add tomato concentrate, mix well, then add salsa, the whole bottle if the sauce is quite "hard", less if it's liquid.
Count it must boil on very low fire for at least three hours, so the most part of the liquid will be absorbed.
Taste it and add the right quantity of salt.
Mix sometimes, it doesn't need a lot of attention if the fire is low.
You can use a fire net on the cooker to expand heat.
When the time is over let it cold and divide in container.
Freeze the part you don't use in the next 2 days, put the rest in the fridge.
What is the best pasta to use ragu'?
Egg noodles!
You can use maccheroni or penne anyway, spaghetti "alla bolognese" is something a bolognese person would never eat:P but if you like eat your spaghetti and be happy:D .
(don't forget to mix pasta with the sauce, don't simply pur it on top of the dish leaving the most part white...it's so sad!
And add a sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan on top!)


Borlotti soup with pasta (Pasta e fagioli)

It's a winter soup, it's eaten especially in North of Italy (Veneto, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna and in Tuscany too).

For 4 persons you can use 200gr. of dried borlotti or a can of boiled beans with its water /person (and trust me, the soup with them is pheraps even tastier!).

With dried beans you have to put them in water for 12 hours, then boil them in new salty water for 1 hour and half (about) with canned one you just have to open the tin:D.
Some uses bacon in the base , I prefer ham (just a thin slice crushed tiny).

Put the ham in the pot, add 3 spoons of extra virgin olive oil a clove of garlic crushed gently with the large part of a knife and a little rosmary (on your preference).

Let it fry for a couple of minutes then add all the borlotti except an abundant fistful.

Using the immersion mixer (don't know if it's have a particular name in english, it's the mixer you can immerse in liquids hot or cold directly in the pot or in a bowl or in a tall glass) make a cream blending all the beans then add the rest of borlotti.

Cook on low fire for around 20 minutes, if you want you can add 100 gr. of short pasta (100 gr. for 4 persons, it's seems not so much but the soup is creamy and pasta tend to absorb liquids, if you add more at the end you'll have a concrete block ^^)

If soup results too solid add a glass of water.

Remember to remove the garlic clove:P

Serve hot with grated parmesan and a little olive oil, if you don't add pasta you can toast a slice of bread, pass over it fresh garlic (just a caress^^) and olive oil and serve this plain bruschetta with the soup.


Carbonara spaghetti (Spaghetti alla carbonara)

Today I have time enough to post the second recipe.
It's another celebrity of Italian kitchen: the Carbonara.
It's quite simple to prepare, just remember that spaghetti is the only right pasta format to serve with and try not to evercook them ;)
Carbonara is a very antique dish, tipycal of Rome zone.
There are many stories about how it was invented, the most interesting sees Carbonara as a result of the fantasy of Roman cooks at the end of the Second World War, when Americans comes to Italy with many food stocks as bacon and lyophilisate eggs but probably in those years Carbonara was old yet^^.
To reach the real Italian taste you should use GUANCIALE (pig cheek very similar to bacon) but I suppose it's not easy to find everywhere so bacon is ok anyway:)
Here is the preparation:
Count about 100 gr of spaghetti/person (it's quite a big plate, if you're not a great eater use less pasta)
1 egg/person
20 gr. bacon cubes/person
10 gr. grated pecorino cheese/person
black pepper as you want

While the pasta is cooking put the bacon cubes in a pan and fry them (with a little oil if you want, of course witout is lighter) until the grease is trasparent and the meat a little crunchy then mix in a bowl eggs with pecorino and pepper (you can add a sprinkle of salt but ingredients shouldn't need it).
when spaghetti are ready put the bacon in the bowl with eggs then pasta, mix quickly and serve immediatly (Carbonara is great but if you wait just a couple of minutes it becames a sort of glue:P).
You can add pecorino and or pepper if you like.
Enjoy your dish!!

The perfect tomato sauce (Sugo di pomodoro)

Let's start from the basics ;)
As many know tomato sauce is one of the most important thing in Italian cooking: it's perfect when plain with pasta, it's the base for amatriciana, ragu' alla bolognese and other worldwide famous dishes.
How to make the perfect sauce?
Of course the quality of the "sugo"can't be indipendent from the tomato quality.
According to me MUTTI sauce is the best on the Italian market, truly I don't know if it's avaliable abroad too.
For 3 persons I usually use half a bottle of sauce (350 gr.), you can anyway count about 100 gr. of souce/person.
Cover the bottom of a pot with olive oil (extra virgin olive oil, I always use that in my recipes if not specified) and add a garlic clove crushed gently with the side of a large knife.
Let the garlic get blonde (no black!! it's bitter!) then add a sprinkle of salt (how much only your taste can say;) ) then 2/3 leaves of fresh basil (yes you can use the dry one or the frozen chopped one but to have the best you must use the most fresh ingredients) and the sauce.
Lower the fire under the pot at minimum, mix once then let it cook for at least one hour.
Tomato sauce needs a long cook, it's not a well known detail.
of course pay attention not to burn it:)
The sauce is ready to use on pasta (spaghetti, penne, maccheroni) with a bit of fresh grated parmesan, or on a slice of good toasted bread, you can store the sauce into the fridge for 1-2 days.
GREEK TOUCH: at the end of the cooking, minutes before tourn off fire add some cubes of feta cheese and dissolve them in the sauce.
use it on pasta...
It's simply delicious!



My name's Claudia, I'm Italian, from Bologna (city called "the fat" for its fantastic cooking).
I love travelling, I love cooking and sharing my creations, my tips, my little tricks.
I've already got a blog but it's in italian: I've decided I need more ideas sharing so I'm starting this one.
I know so many foreigners from all over the world love italian dishes but I also know that not always you can find genuine Italian recipes outside the country: my idea is giving advices about my "mother kitchen", original recipes (traditional or my creations, I love to "contaminate" Italian taste with ingredients from places I visited or kitchen I know quite well like the Greek one).
The big matter about my English blog are grammatical mistakes :S so if you see any please tell me^^!!