Pork, Fresh Tomato and Fennel Seed Ragù (Ragù di Maiale al Pomodoro Fresco e Semi di Finocchio)

This summertime ragù is more elegant than ragù alla Bolognese and takes less time. It is best over fresh pasta, but as seen in the photo it is great on spaghetti or other store-bought dry pasta, too. As with many … Continue reading Pork, Fresh Tomato and Fennel Seed Ragù (Ragù di Maiale al Pomodoro Fresco e Semi di Finocchio)

Salsa Roja (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I like making everything from scratch using fresh ingredients. Chicken fajitas are one of my favorite dishes to prepare when I don’t have time and/or equipment to make everything from scratch (like when we are vacationing in an RV), as they are very tasty and store-bought flour tortillas and salsa are of acceptable quality. I had never made fajitas from scratch yet, and I wanted to try to see if it would be worth the effort compared to using store-bought components. And so I needed to make my own salsa as one of the components. Continue reading “Salsa Roja (Roasted Tomato Salsa)”

Pork Chop in Tomato Sauce (Primo + Secondo)

map
We are back home from our travels through Australia. Since this is a food blog rather than a travel blog, let me suffice by showing you a map of the route we have traveled (6000 km or almost 4000 miles altogether) in a camper van from coast to coast.

In the other posts I wrote about cooking in the Outback, I told you about how we would on most days kept the cooking to a bare minimum and simply put meat like beef, lamb or kangaroo on our small BBQ. But on one day during a long drive from the West MacDonnells to Kings Canyon I had plenty of time to think and decided to make something that would require more actual ‘cooking’ with the ingredients I had in the camper and of course taking into account the very limited equipment at my disposal. We did not have time to do any shopping, so I used only the ingredients I had bought without a clear idea of how I would use them.

I thought it would be nice not to use the BBQ for a change, and so I decided to simmer pork chops in tomato sauce and then serve the tomato sauce over pasta with additional mushrooms as a primo piatto, followed by the pork chops with the remaining tomato sauce as a secondo (click here if you’d like to know more about the Italian menu structure). I would have liked to use a better marbled shoulder chop for this, but I only had a loin chop so that is what I used. The result was quite nice and I will probably repeat this at home with a shoulder chop or perhaps even sous-vide. Here’s what I did. Continue reading “Pork Chop in Tomato Sauce (Primo + Secondo)”

Tian Provençal

When I saw Richard McGary’s vegetable tian, I knew I’d prepare one too. A tian is actually named after the traditional earthenware dish they are made in. There are vegetable tians, meat tians, and fish tians. I wanted to prepare a tian as a side dish, and so I chose a very traditional tian provençal with eggplant, zucchini, and tomato. Don’t let the simplicity fool you: this tian bursts with flavor anyway thanks to the slow roasting and the herbes de provence. I do not own an actual tian from Provence. For presentation purposes I opted to make single serving mini tians using small ovenproof dishes, but that did mean that it was more difficult to neatly arrange the sliced vegetables. Continue reading “Tian Provençal”

Home-made Orecchiette with Tomato and Basil

This post is dedicated to Natasha from Come Due Maiali. She was one of the first followers of my blog and is one of those fellow bloggers who has made this journey such a great experience. When I posted about orecchiette with mussels and broccoli almost six months ago, she commented that she’s a huge orecchiette fan and would love to get her hands on wholemeal orecchiette. I then responded that she could always make her own, even though I had never yet made orecchiette by hand. I decided to give it a try myself, and now was the time … Continue reading Home-made Orecchiette with Tomato and Basil

Insalata Caprese, how to improve the taste of Mozzarella

Insalata Caprese is almost too simple to blog about, but I do have some interesting tips to provide. At the risk of writing the same thing over and over, this dish is a classic example of Italian cuisine that relies completely on the quality of the ingredients. Use the best flavorful ripe tomatoes you can find, fresh fragrant basil, the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford, and last but not least the best mozzarella you can afford (and find!), preferably buffalo mozzarella. Real fresh buffalo mozzarella is very hard to find outside of Campania, the region around Naples … Continue reading Insalata Caprese, how to improve the taste of Mozzarella