I’ve sung the praises of cooking from scratch before. Sure, you can buy something similar in a jar in the store. But you get to tune this homemade salsa to exactly how you like it, how about that! You can … Continue reading Chunky Salsa for Fajitas
This pasta dish is inspired by Sapori Pugliesi, a humble trattoria in downtown Amsterdam. This place is in walking distance from where I work, and perfect for a quick, delicious and cheap meal after work if I’m going to stay … Continue reading Fresh Tagliatelle with Slow-Cooked Beef Ragù
Yet another simple and delicious seafood pasta dish from Biba Caggiano that only takes as long as it takes to cook the pasta: pasta shells with calamari, tomatoes, anchovies, and chile pepper flakes. This is best with fresh squid, but … Continue reading Pasta with Squid (Conchiglie alla Pappagano)
After eating at three-star restaurants and trying complicated recipes, it’s easy to forget that simple food can be great, too. Fortunately I only need to browse one of Biba Caggiano’s cookbooks to be reminded of that, and that is where … Continue reading Gnocchi with Fish Sauce (Gnocchi con Sugo di Pesce)
Mackerel is a cheap and tasty fish, and healthy because it’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve prepared it as ceviche, in a quiche with sauerkraut, and marinated ‘in saor’. Recently I saw oven-roasted mackerel on two of my favorite … Continue reading Roasted Mackerel (Sgombro al Forno)
Besides albóndigas I served these stuffed tomatoes at the party. They work best with homemade or other good quality ricotta, vine-ripened tomatoes, and aged balsamic (aceto balsamico tradizionale). I’ve been serving them as hors d’oeuvres for years, and I keep … Continue reading Vine-ripened Tomatoes Stuffed with Ricotta, Basil and Balsamic
Tapas are in Spain simply bar food, but outside of Spain have become very famous. In Spain every bar (with the word “bar” meaning a neighborhood hangout that is open all day and night and where you can also buy … Continue reading Albóndigas (Spanish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)
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.
Continue reading “Gnocchi alla Sorrentina”
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”
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.
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’”
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)
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
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)