Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Home made potato gnocchi made from scratch are the best! They are so much better than chewy store-bought ones. I’ve only posted about potato gnocchi once before: gnocchi with gorgonzola was the first recipe I ever posted on this blog. The city of Sorrento is near the island of Capri, the island that gave its name to the famous Insalata Caprese with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. You can think fo Gnocchi alla Sorrentina as the gnocchi version of this salad, because the gnocchi are dressed with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and parmigiano reggiano. This combination is always a winner, and it is even more so with feathery light homemade potato gnocchi.
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Eggplant Caprese Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are great summer food and perfect as a side for a cook out. I like to prepare pasta salads with lots of vegetables, as a cook out or BBQ as we call it here usually involves a lot of meat. For some variation from a Greek style pasta salad, I prepared this pasta salad with eggplant, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. These flavors go together very well, also without pasta. Continue reading “Eggplant Caprese Pasta Salad”

Smoked Halibut ‘Pizza’

The following I dish I prepared for the Sicilian dinner was very loosely based upon one of the appetizers at La Madia, the best restaurant in Sicily with two Michelin stars.

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The ‘pizza’ at La Madia

This is what I wrote about this dish in my review of our dinner at La Madia: “We were thoroughly fooled by this pizza, because we were wondering how we were going to survive 8 courses if they were all going to be this big. It turned out to be very light actually. What looks like melted mozzarella is actually potato mousse. The crust was only a very crispy very thin round of dough, and underneath the ‘cheese’ there was lovely cod smoked on pine wood and some semi-dried tomato. Great flavors and wonderful presentation. 10/10”

The dish I prepared is by no means an attempt at recreating chef Pino Cuttaia’s dish, but it has been heavily inspired by it. My ‘pizza’ was made with hot-smoked halibut, potato mousse, and semi-dried tomatoes. It was more substantial than at La Madia and I served it as a main course. Continue reading “Smoked Halibut ‘Pizza’”

Sea Bass poached in fresh Tomatoes (Branzino al Pomodoro Fresco)

I have tomato envy. I read all those posts of fellow food bloggers who are buying heirloom tomatoes at farmers markets, or even harvesting perfectly ripe tasty tomatoes from their own backyard. And given the local climate here, I have to make do with tomatoes that come from a greenhouse and are just not the same. If you do have access to good tomatoes (as well as fresh sea bass), do yourself a favor and make this recipe. I promise it will be an outstanding way of tasting what summer is supposed to taste like! This is one of the … Continue reading Sea Bass poached in fresh Tomatoes (Branzino al Pomodoro Fresco)

Esther’s Tomato Salad

This is my version of the tomato salad that my friend Esther always used to make. Unfortunately she passed away much too young. Today would have been her 14th wedding anniversary, so I thought it an appropriate day to tell you about this recipe in her memory. Esther loved to cook and unfortunately we haven’t cooked much together because we lived too far apart and only saw each other about twice a year. Although her birthday was in February, she liked to celebrate this in summer with a BBQ and she usually made a tomato salad with basil, red onion, … Continue reading Esther’s Tomato Salad

Pasta with Peas and Tomato (Mafaldine Piselli e Pomodoro)

This is a very simple light pasta dish with vegetables, and the nice thing is that you don’t have to go shopping for it if you sieved tomatoes and pasta in your pantry, peas in your freezer, parmigiano in your fridge, and parsley in your garden. In other words, all ingredients keep very well. If you can get good fresh tomatoes where you are, by all means use them instead! But with the ridiculously cold summer we’ve been having here, fresh tomatoes just aren’t good enough. The white wine is optional, it adds freshness and complexity to the dish. I … Continue reading Pasta with Peas and Tomato (Mafaldine Piselli e Pomodoro)