In Italy many recipes have a “rosso” version (with tomatoes) and a “bianco” version (without tomatoes). For instance, a “pizza bianca” means a pizza without tomatoes. This also goes for pasta sauces, amatriciana is usually rossa, but amatriciana bianca also … Continue reading Pasta with ‘White’ Wild Boar Ragù (Pappardelle al Ragù Bianco di Cinghiale)
There isn’t much wildlife in the Netherlands, but there is some. The nearby dunes that are used to filter the drinking water for the city of Amsterdam (Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen) have so much deer running around in them, that the authorities … Continue reading Venison Shank Sous-Vide
A pizza crust made from cauliflower is often presented as a low-carb substitute for real pizza. I put the word ‘pizza’ between quotes in the title of this post, because I do not think it is a substitute for real … Continue reading Cauliflower ‘Pizza’ with Smoked Mozzarella
Making traditional Italian venison pasta sauce is pretty straightforward, but it does require some patience because of the long cooking time involved. As you only have to stir every half hour or so, this is a perfect sauce to prepare during … Continue reading Venison Pasta Sauce (Ragù di Cervo)
Pollo alla Cacciatora is an Italian classic. It means chicken prepared in the style of the hunter’s wife (traditional recipes usually do not assume that the wife would hunt herself), which is chicken stewed in tomatoes with herbs, wine, and … Continue reading Pollo alla Cacciatora (Chicken in Tomato Sauce)
This dish is a play on the classic pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale. Since I had made a big batch of the sous-vide version of wild boar ragù, I thought it would be fun to stuff ravioli with the solid part … Continue reading Ravioli al Ragù di Cinghiale (Wild Boar Ravioli)
In 2007 during our first wine discovery tour through Italy, we visited Castello di Brolio in Tuscany and had dinner at the restaurant that was part of the winery. They served a tasting menu to showcase their wines, and with … Continue reading Cheese Ravioli
Fish soup is prepared all along the Mediterranean coast. There are many varieties such as bouillabaisse from France and zarzuela from Spain. Cacciccuo alla Livornese is a fish soup from the Tuscan coast that has three distinguishing features: it is made with … Continue reading Cacciucco (Tuscan Seafood Soup)
This is more a serving suggestion than an actual recipe, but since I liked it so much I’m sharing it with you anyway. You see, the place where I found imported burrata before, had it again (after a few botched … Continue reading Fusilli with Bolognese Ragù and Burrata
Conor has invited me to join his board. He had commissioned four handmade chopping boards to be cut from the same block of walnut by his friend Terry from 2 Wooden Horses and has sent them as Christmas gifts to Richard, Nick and myself. As chairman of the board, Conor challenged us to use the board. And so all four board members are showing today what they have done with their boards.
The first thing that came to mind was a dish that is certainly fit for a board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is a T-bone steak as it is served in the Tuscan city of Florence. I have prepared the Bistecca alla Fiorentina in the traditional way that doesn’t take into account the latest ideas on how to prepare a steak but is delicious anyway. A true Bistecca alla Fiorentina should be of a special Tuscan breed of cattle called Chianina. It should be about two fingers thick (4 cm or 1.5 inches, about 750 grams/26 oz). It should be cooked over a charcoal fire and otherwise as little as possible should be done to it: only salt and freshly ground black pepper should be added, strictly after cooking. Such a simple preparation with such a lot of flavor is certainly fit for a board of which Conor is the chairman.
And so thanks to Conor, Kees was building a charcoal fire in our back yard in the middle of January. Luckily the local hardware store still had some leftover charcoal from last season.
Continue reading “Fit for a Board: Bistecca alla Fiorentina”
Eggplant Parmigiana is a very tasty oven dish, consisting of eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese. Using fresh tomatoes for the sauce (rather than from a can) takes it over the top. Eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil go very well together. This is a classic Italian dish that is clear evidence of how good simple Italian food can be. The main drawback of the classic preparation is that the eggplant is pan-fried with lots of oil, as the eggplant slices are like sponges. I’ve found a way around that: I roast the eggplant in the oven after only lightly brushing it with oil. Salting the eggplant slices helps to cook them. In this case I forgot to buy the mozzarella that I usually put on top, and made an even ‘ligther’ version. The parmigiano does not melt as nicely, but it still makes for a nice dish. It’s your choice whether you want to put mozzarella on top or not. Continue reading “Eggplant Parmigiana ‘Light’ (Parmigiana di Melanzane)”
As I pointed out before, although both are furry and have long ears, a hare (“lepre” in Italian) is red meat and different from the white meat of a rabbit (“coniglio”). The recipe for Lepre alla Cacciatora (Hare Hunter’s Style, or in fact the wife of the hunter) is however quite similar to the recipe for Coniglio alla Cacciatora. Both are stewed in wine and tomatoes. The main differences are that hare is marinated and cooked in red wine with just a bit of tomato, whereas the rabbit isn’t marinated and cooked in white wine and tomatoes. I made this … Continue reading Lepre alla Cacciatora (Hare Legs Stewed in Red Wine)