Zoodles with Fish and Eggplant Ragù (Tagliatelle di Zucchine al Ragu di Pesce e Melanzana)

Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini. You make them with a gadget called a spiralizer. There are electric ones as well has hand-operated models. I got one of the latter after reading ChgoJohn’s blog post about the spiralizer he had … Continue reading Zoodles with Fish and Eggplant Ragù (Tagliatelle di Zucchine al Ragu di Pesce e Melanzana)

Veal Rib Eye with Mushrooms

According to my butcher, you will live to be 100 if you eat veal on a regular basis. This is not a scientifically proven statement (he bases it on a few people he knows who used to eat veal on a regular basis and have lived to be 100) and since he’s selling the veal his objectivity is questionable. I do like to eat veal though, and it is great with mushrooms.

Fresh porcini mushrooms are very difficult to obtain around here, as they are in many other places around the world. A trick I’ve developed is to soak dried porcini mushrooms in hot water, sauté the reconstituted porcini mushrooms with fresh cultivated mushrooms, and then simmer all of the mushrooms in the porcini soaking liquid to boost the flavor of all the mushrooms. The mushrooms are sautéed with parsley and garlic, which is called funghi trifolati in Italy. Together with the deep fried fennel I posted about yesterday and a good glass of white wine, this makes a great meal for Easter. Continue reading “Veal Rib Eye with Mushrooms”

Smoked Eel and Celeriac Risotto (Risotto Anguille e Sedano Rapa)

Two typical Dutch ingredients are smoked eel and celeriac (aka celery root). In Dutch cooking, they are sometimes combined in celeriac soup with smoked eel. I thought it would be worth trying some Dutch-Italian fusion and make a smoked eel and celeriac risotto. I loved the result and will definitely make it again. A nice thing about the smoked eel is that it is a “mile 0” product, as the eel is caught and smoked in the town where I live. Smoked eel is a delicacy because it melts on your tongue and has a very nice full flavor. It … Continue reading Smoked Eel and Celeriac Risotto (Risotto Anguille e Sedano Rapa)

Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

Wine is often paired with food, but it can be inspiring to take a bottle of wine as the starting point and try to cook something that will go well with it. Oak barrels can give a hint of vanilla to wines, and so I thought it would be fun to make a vanilla cream sauce to go with a creamy oaked chardonnay. It worked out really well, and the pairing was outstanding. The wine went well with the vanilla creaminess of the sauce as well as with the seafood. The combination of scallops with parsnip and peas is something … Continue reading Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

Ravioli al Salmone Affumicato (Ravioli with Smoked Salmon)

I thought it would be nice to hot-smoke a piece of salmon, make fresh ricotta, make home-made ravioli and serve it with a pink sauce. Turned out I was right, as it was delicious. For an easier version you could buy the smoked salmon (either hot-smoked or cold-smoked will work) and the ricotta, but it will be tastier, more rewarding as well as more fun to do it yourself… Ingredients For 16 ravioli (3 servings as part of a larger menu) 125 grams (1/4 pound) fresh salmon fillet, preferably with skin as that is easier to handle (substitute with store … Continue reading Ravioli al Salmone Affumicato (Ravioli with Smoked Salmon)

Penne with Cauliflower and Almonds (Penne Cavolfiori e Mandorle)

Summer still seems far away here in the Netherlands, so I felt like making this hearty pasta dish. It’s a simple dish with an original flavor, and very filling. This is not an original Italian dish; the combination of cauliflower and almonds is my own invention. Ingredients For 2 servings 150-200 grams (1/3-1/2 pound) penne pasta 300 grams (2/3 pounds) cauliflower florets 50 grams (2 oz) blanched almonds 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup home-made chicken stock (or vegetable stock) 1 cup whipping cream salt and freshly ground white pepper 6 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded 1/4 cup freshly grated … Continue reading Penne with Cauliflower and Almonds (Penne Cavolfiori e Mandorle)

Pasta with clams and green cauliflower (Orechiette alle Vongole e Romanesco)

One of my favorite pasta dishes is the combination of clams and green cauliflower (romanesco). It is both healthy and delicious and a more delicate version of the equally delicious but more strongly flavored combination of broccoli and mussels (about which I will write shortly). Ingredients For 2 servings as a full meal or 4 servings in a larger menu 1 kg (2.2 lbs) clams such as cockels or vongole 400 grams (14 oz) florets of romanesco (green cauliflower, substitute with broccoli but that pairs better with mussels) 150-200 grams (1/3 – 1/2 pound) dry flat short pasta such as … Continue reading Pasta with clams and green cauliflower (Orechiette alle Vongole e Romanesco)