21st June 2017

CAPONATA 

Caponata (Siciliancapunata) is a Sicilian eggplant (aubergine) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce.[1]

Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green bell peppers, and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.

2 onions – roughly chopped

1 celery – chopped in large slices (include leaves )

1/2 kg   San marzano or Piccadilly tomatoes cuts into small cubes OR fresh tomato sauce 

4 eggplants –  chopped in cubes of around 2cm diameter

5 peppers.-  chopped i squares of 2 cm diameter

basil  just the leaves

salt

pepper

100 g of pine nuts 

100 g raisins  

2 teaspoons of sugar

3 tables spoons of vinegar

handful of basil chopped

olive oil

peanut oil

Preparing the eggplants

Take most of the skin off with a peeler  and cut 3 of the aubergines into cubes of around 2-3 cms .

Add a generous amount of salt to all the eggplant and place in a drainer and let them drain for around 1.30 -2 hours  . (This will take all the bitterness out and water from the eggplant  , meaning they will absorb less fat ) .

Preparing the base of the Caponata

in a frying plan add a large lug of olive oil and add the onions and celery and gently fry , adding a few table spoons of water once and while so it stays nice and soft .  Add the tomatoes , capers and olives and slowing continue frying for around 5 minutes , then dd the sugar and vinegar and gently mix together . Turn off .

Fry the peppers and all aubergines separately  in pan with a large quantity of hot peanut oil  gently fry until the aubergines are golden and soft and the peppers the same .

Once finished add the eggplants  and peppers to the caponata base and on a low heat stir and add the large handful or basil .

The caponata is done.

MACCHERONI ALLA NORMA 

Pasta for 4 -6 people 

Long thin metal skewers  .  called ferro, a metal spike . . However, a thin wooden skewer works as a substitute too.

1/2 kg  of semola flour

a lug of olive oil

250 ml of water

a large pinch salt

Preparing the pasta

On a clean surface add all the flour and add the pinch of salt .  With your hands create  a hole in the middle .

in the hole gently add the water and with your hand slow mix the flour into water . continue adding the water , until you get a nice firm dough. kneed the dough together , stretching it for about 10 minutes

now cover the dough and let it rest for minimum an hour .

Once the pasta has rested , we can start making the maccheroni .

Cut small pieces of the pasta dough  and place the skewer on top .

The trick, so to speak, is to apply enough pressure on the piece of dough so that it flattens and spreads around the ferro as you roll it, but not so much as to make it stick to the ferro. At the end of the process, you want to be able to slide the maccheroni from the ferro without misshaping it (if that happens, you can always re-roll the dough and try again).

It helps to flour the skewer often. I have two of them at hand: while I am using one, the other is inside the flour bag. When the first one becomes a bit sticky, I put it in the flour and take up the other.

Cook the maccheroni in salted boiling water for around 8 – 10 minutes

Tomato sauce & Aubergines 

3 Aubergines – Peeled and sliced in 50 mm slices – fried gently in vegetable oil (we used peanut oil)

500 g of Piccadilly tomatoes  – briefly boiled and skinned and cut in quarters  (we can keep the seeds as they are not bitter)

2-3  garlic gloves

A large lug of good quality extra virgin olive oil

Procedure : In a pan , place you tomatoes and keep on a medium heat for around 45 minutes , the tomatoes will loose their water and then the sauce will start to thicken and dry up . Add 2 teaspoons of salt

Once its the right consistency , turn off the heat , add the basil and the 2 garlic cloves  and the oilve oil . (you can remove the garlic before you use the tomato sauce ) .

Your sauce is done.

 


IMG_6183Involtini di sword fish  with lemon x 4 

400 g of sliced hammered down sword fish  –
1 lemon grated
200 g of Fresh breadcrumbs
Parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper

100 g of Parmesan cheese grated

Mix the breadcrumbs with parsley and parmesan.

On your  sword fish  add a large lug of olive oil and mix well , add the grated lemon and salt and pepper . Mix well

Take each piece of sword fish and roll into the breadcrumb mixture , rolling it tightly making sure there is breadcrumbs in the middle and give a final gentle squeeze .  Put each involtino on the wooden skewer , max 4-5 pieces per skewer.

 

 

RiCOTTA AND SPINACH ROLL

 

SPINACH AND RICOTTA ROLL 

1 roll of ready made puff Pastry
300 g Fresh Spinach
150 g Fresh Ricotta
100 g Parmesan
2 eggs – beaten
1 mozzarella diced
Pinch of salt and pepper

Roll you puff pastry and place in a round baking tin 

Briefly boil your spinaches and drain well  or steam them , always  make sure that afterwards you take as much water  out as possible, leaving them to drain and squeeze with your hands. 

In a mixing bowl , mix together well  the following ingredients : the ricotta , 70 g of parmesan , spinach , 2 eggs , diced mozzarella and salt and pepper .  On top on the mixture add the 30 g of remaining parmesan. 

Place mixture  on top of your puff pastry and place in oven at 160 °c for 20-30 mins. 

Buon apettito.