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^^!!