When we talk about Italian food, who doesn't know about pizza, pasta, etc... Beside almost everybody like the taste, it's also easy to make and fast. There are so many recipes of them, but I am sure that these recipes below are worth to try.

Monday, March 31, 2008

classic - NAPOLITANA

Serve : 4-6
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

The basic recipe for this sauce comes from Naples, where it is enjoyed not only on pasta, but also, for instance, on a freshly baked pizza.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick celery
500 g tomatoes
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp sugar
120 ml water
freshly ground black pepper
500 g pasta salt to taste fresh herbs to garnish

1. Cut the tomatoes, vegetables, and parsley into pieces and chop finely.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and lightly saute the onion, carrot, and celery over low heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Stir frequently.
3. Add the tomatoes, parsley, sugar, and water and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and cover. Allow to simmer about 45 minutes.
4. In goood time, before the sauce has finished cooking, cook the pasta al dente in a big saucepan full of bubbling, salted water.
5. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and divide between prewarmed plates. Add the sauce and garnish with fresh herbs as desired.

classic - PUTANESCA

Serve : 4
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Outside Italy, this sauce, with its distinctive taste of ripe olives and flavorsome anchovy fillets, is not as well known as bolognese or carbonara. In its motherland, however, putanesca is a classic and highly prized.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlics
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 peperoncino
500 g fresh tomatoes
1 tbsp capers
3 anchovy fillets
3 1/2 black pitted olives
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan
500 g pasta

1. Squash the garlic cloves with a knife held slantwise. Finely chop the parsley and peperroncini. Blanch and skin the tomatoes, remove the core and seeds, and cut the flesh into small cubes. Cut the anchovy fillets into small pieces.
2. Cook the pasta al dente in a big saucepan of boiling, salted water.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. LIghly saute the garlic, parsley, and peperoncini for about 1 minute, stiring constantly.
4. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Cover and simer over low heat for about 5 minutes.
5. Add black pepper to taste.
6. Pour out the pasta and drain. Divide among pre-warmed plates, pour the sauce over the pasta, and add the anchovies. Serve straightaway with grated parmesan.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Classic pasta – SALSA DI POMODORI

Serve 4-6 persons
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Salsa di pomodori is not used just in pasta dishes, but also needed, for example, when preparing pizza, various different meat dishes, and fish stews. The outside sine qua non here are tasty tomatoes that have ripened on the vine. Only they have the right note of fruity sweetness. Elongated plum tomatoes are the most suitable. In late summer, most Italian households stock up on the basic ingredients for making tomato sauce at home. Whole family even get together to cook pounds of tomatoes to a purée, called passato. Outside the summer months, it is a good idea to use pelati – Italian tomatoes. The best come from the regions of Naples or Parma. Of course, it is also possible to use other canned tomatoes.

1 kg ripe tomatoes
1 carrot
1 stick celery
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 spring fresh rosemary
1 bunch basil
1 pinch sugar
Freshly ground pepper

1. First, skin the tomatoes. To do this, make a cross-shaped cut into the skin, then blanch in boiling water. Plunge the tomatoes into cold water and remove the skin with a knife. It is also possible to use canned, skinned tomatoes.
Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the carrot, celery, and garlic.
2. Sauté the vegetables in the heated oil. They should take on just a hint of color and not be allowed to brown too much. Add the tomatoes and spices. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes. The sauce should eventually have the consistency of mush and be quite viscous.
3. Press the sauce through a sieve, or purée it in a blender, and mix in the chopped basil.


Serve 4-6 persons
Cooking time: 45 minutes

The basic recipe originated in Bologna, as its name indicates. Here, the sauce is cooked with a mixture of chicken liver and ground meat. But pasta bologna can of course be cooked without liver and made, for example, with ground beef. Other cooks leave out the celery and thicken the sauce with cream.
When all is said and done, the main rule with this dish is: prepare it whichever way you prefer! Or rather; if it tastes good, that is the way to cook it!


1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick celery
50 g pancetta or streaky bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
400 g mixed ground meat (beef/pork)
125 ml dry white wine
125 ml meat stock
500 g skinned tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper

1. First peel the onion, carrot and celery, then wash and dice. Cut the pancetta into small cubes.
2. Sauté the vegetables lightly in the heated oil. Add the pancetta and fry until glazed.
3. Add the ground meat. Stirring and turning constantly, fry until it disintegrated into little pieces.
4. Add wine, stock and tomatoes, season to taste, cover, and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.

The savor of a ragú bolognese can be enhanced by fresh herbs, for example a spring of rosemary, added to the mixture as it simmers.


Serve 4 persons
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Pesto is now enjoyed throughout Italy. This traditional pasta sauce from Liguria is also often used to spice up minestrone and other tasty soups.

4 big bunches fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
4 oz (100g) pine nuts
2 oz (50g) freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
7 tbsp (100ml) olive oil

1. First wash the basil and shake it dry. Peel the garlic and finely chop.
2. Put he basil, together with chopped garlic and pine nuts into a mortar and grind with a pestle. The order in which you add the ingredients is of no importance. To save time and effort, you can also use a blender to grind the ingredients. This is particularly easy to do when you have a so-called “universal blender” and a suitable fitting.
3. When the ingredients have been sufficiently ground, first add the cheese and then gradually, the oil. The pesto should eventually take on a slightly vicious consistency. The quantity of oil added is of decisive importance, so it is best not to add it all in one go, but spoon it in gradually, keeping a close eye on how the consistency is developing. Finally, add salt to taste.

Pesto can easily be made in great quantity and then stored in the refrigerator for several days. The most suitable is a jam jar that can be tightly sealed. To prevent the pesto from drying out, drizzle it with oil once it has been put in the jar.

Classic pasta – ALFREDO

Serve 4-6 persons
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Rich and at first glance not typically Italian, this simple cream sauce is a nice and rather different alternative to the well-known salsas and sugi. So salsa di alfredo enjoys great popularity throughout Italy and, in different guises, is often used as the basis for vegetable sauces; e.g with mushroom. One of its great advantages is that it is very quick and easy to prepare – the sauce is ready to be served straightaway with pasta.

500 pasta
100 g butter
150 g freshly grated parmesan
350 ml light cream
1 bunch flat-leaves parsley
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh thyme to garnish

1. Cook the pasta al dente in a big saucepan of bubbling, salted water.
2. At the same time, melt the butter in a skillet and add the parmesan and cream, stirring constantly over low heat. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
3. Add the parsley, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.
4. Drain the pasta and keep it warm in a saucepan. Add the sauce and mix together well.

Salsa di alfedo is light and relatively colorless. When you want to create a feast for the eyes too, it is a good idea to used colored pasta to brighten up the meal a little. Red pasta works well. Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oil basil are very suitable for the garnish.

Classic pasta - MARINARA

Serve 4 persons
Cooking time: 60 minutes

When exactly a classic marinara, however, is difficult to say. For centuries, Italians cooks have worked with whatever could be freshly fished – for example, octopus, squid, mussels, crabs, scampi, clams, and whiting. There are no exact recipes for a marinara. So from one region, village, or kitchen to another, quite different sauces are prepared, all with completely different tastes.
Which seafood you choose for your sauce is thus down to individual taste – or whatever is available on the fresh fish counter at the time. Tinned seafood can also be used, if preferred.

500 g pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
120 ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
500 tomatoes
1 small bunch fresh basil
1 small bunch fresh oregano
12 mussels
30 g butter
120 g squid
120 g filleted whiting or cod
200 g shrimp (shelled)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Wash the mussels and remove their beards. Finely chop the onion and herbs. Blanch and skin the tomatoes, remove the cores and seeds, and cut the flesh into the small cubes. Cut the fish fillets into small pieces.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and brown over low heat.
3. Pour in red wine with tomatoes and tomato paste, simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir several times.
4. Stir the herbs into the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, heat a sufficient quantity of water and boil the mussels for about 5 minutes, until they open. Take the mussels out, discard any that are still closed, and set the others aside. Add some of the cooking water from the mussels to the tomato sauce and bring to the desired consistency.
6. Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the squid, fish fillets, and shrimp in succession for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft. Add to the warm tomato sauce and stir.
7. While cooking the mussels, cook pasta al dente in a big saucepan full of bubbling salted water. Drain well.
8. Mix the sauce into pasta, add mussels and serve.

Mussels that are already open should not be cooked or eaten – they may betoxic. Discard them immediately.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Makes 8-9 servings

360 g pasta shells
285 g chopped spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic
¾ lb (335g) ground veal
¾ lb (335g) ground beef
1 cup (250ml) parsley, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons (45ml) grated parmesan cheese
3 cups (750ml) spaghetti sauce
Sautéed zucchini slices (optional)
Salt to taste

1. Cook pasta in a boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and olive oil.
Place in colander and rinse under warm running water. Drain well.
2. Cook spinach in a boiling water. Place in a colander to drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Squeeze spinach with hands to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir whole garlic cloves in hot oil until garlic is lightly browned. Discard garlic.
4. Add veal and beef to skillet. Cook until lightly brown, stirring to separate meat; drain drippings. Cool slightly.
5. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Grease 12x8 inch (30x20cm) baking pan.
6. Combine spinach, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, minced garlic and cheese in large bowl; blend well. Season to taste with salt. Add cooled meat mixture; blend well. Fill shells with meat mixture using spoon.
7. Spread about 1 cup (250ml) of spaghetti sauce over bottom of prepared pan. Arrange shells in pan. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover with foil.
8. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with zucchini. Garnish as desired.


Makes 6 servings

9 lasagna noodles
1 small onion
2 lb (900g) ground beef
135 g chopped ripe olives
120 g mushroom stems and pieces
1 jar (45g) spaghetti sauce
1 ¼ cup (310ml) frozen corn, thawed
1 ¼ cup (310ml) frozen peas, thawed
2 cups (225g) shredded mozzarella cheese
Dash pepper
Dash dried oregano leaves, crushed
Dash Italian seasoning

1. Cook lasagna noodles in a boiling water. Drain in colander.
2. To chop onion, peel skin. Cut onion in half through root with utility knife. Place cut side down on cutting board. Holding knife horizontally, make cuts parallel to board, almost to root end. Next, cut onion vertically into thin slices, holding onion with fingers to keep its shape. Turn onion and cut crosswise to root end. (the closer the cuts are, the finer the onion is chopped). Repeat with remaining onion half.
3. Cook beef in large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is brown, stirring to separate meat, drain drippings.
4. Add olives, mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add spaghetti sauce, pepper, oregano and Italian seasoning. Heat through, stirring occasionally; set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
6. Place 3 noodles in bottom of 13x9 inch (32.5x22.5cm) baking dish. Spread half the beef mixture over noodles, then half the corn and peas.
7. Repeat layers ending with noodles.
8. Bake lasagna 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes more or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish as desired.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


makes 8 servings

Ingredients :
3 pounds (1.35 kg) zucchini
¾ cup (175 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) butter
4 cups (1L) chopped onions
8 cups (2L) tomatoes, cut into eights
1 can (48 ounces/1.5L)chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoons (5ml) Beau Monde seasoning
1 teaspoons (5ml) salt)
1 teaspoons (5ml) pepper
1 pound (450 g) noodles
Garlic bread (optional)

How to make:
1. Scrub Zucchini with vegetable brush under cold running water. Slice lengthwise into halves. (if zucchini is large, cut into 4 lengthwise pieces). Cut each half into 4 to 6 lengthwise strips. Holding strips together with fingers, cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces.
2. Combine zucchini and water in stockpot; cover. Cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes until partially done, stirring twice.
3. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir in hot butter until tender.
4. Add onion mixture, tomatoes, broth, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper to zucchini mixture; cover. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water. Drain well.
6. Add noodles to soup, heat through. Serve with garlic bread.


makes 6 servings

5 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
6 medium artichokes for cups
1 lemon, cut into halves
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth
1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil, divided
1 package (2 oz / 60 g) artichoke hearts
8 ounces (225 g) corkscrew pasta or pasta twists
½ teaspoon (2 ml) dried basil leaves, crushed
Basil vinaigrette dressing

How to make:
1. Place garlic and wine in 1 litter saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare artichoke. Cut bottom from artichokes with utility knife so that artichokes will sit flat. Remove outer leaves.
3. Cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) off tops of artichokes. Snip tips from remaining leaves with scissors. To help prevent discoloration, rub ends with lemon.
4. Place chicken broth in 6 litters Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add artichokes, wine mixture and 1 tablespoon (15ml) oil. Reduce heat to low. Cover, simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until leaves pull easily from base. Drain.
5. Cook artichoke hearts according to package directions. Drain well. Cut into slices to make 2 cups(500ml). Set aside.
6. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander. Place pasta in large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon (5ml) oil and basil.
7. Prepare Basil vinaigrette dressing.
8. Add artichoke hearts and 1 cup (250 ml) dressing to pasta, toss gently to coat.
9. Carefully spread outer leaves of whole artichokes. Remove small heart leaves by grasping with fingers, then pulling and twisting. Scoop out fuzzy choke with spoon.
10. Fill with pasta mixture. Cover; refrigerate until serving time. Serve with remaining dressing. Garnish as desired.


makes about 1 ½ cups (375 ml)

1/3 cup (75 ml) white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon-style mustard
3 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup (250 ml) olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make:
1. Place vinegar, mustard and garlic in blender or food processor. Cover, process using an on/off pulsing action until garlic is well mixed. Add basil; continue to pulse until mixture is blended.
2. With motor running, slowly pour in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


makes 6-8 servings

1 bunch broccoli
1 package (16 ounces / 450 g) ziti macaroni
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup (90 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup (125 ml) grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup (60 ml) butter
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken broth
3 tablespoons (45 ml) white wine

How to make:
1. Trim leaves from broccoli stalks. Trim ends of stalks. Cut broccoli into flowerets by removing each head to include a small piece of stem. Peel stalks, then cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
2. To steam broccoli, bring 2 inches (5cm) if water in large sauce pan to a boil over high heat. Place broccoli in metal steamer into saucepan. Water should not touch broccoli. Cover pan; steam 10 minutes until broccoli is tender. Add water, as necessary, to prevent pan from boiling dry.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander.
4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir garlic in hot oil until golden.
5. Add broccoli; cook and stir 3-4 minutes. Add mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, butter, chicken broth, and wine; stir. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until cheese melts.
6. Pour sauce over ziti in large bowl; toss gently to coat. Garnish as desired.


makes 4 servings

3 cup (750 ml) corkscrew pasta
7 green onions
2 to 3 ribs celery
8 mushrooms (optional)
60 g frozen snow peas
1 lb (500 g) ground beef
3 tablespoon (45 ml) soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 can (225 g) tomato sauce
3 fresh tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup (120 g) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 green pepper, cut into thin slice

How to make:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in colander. Set aside.
2. Remove roots from green onions. Cut green onions diagonally into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces.
3. Place celery flat side down on cutting board. Cut celery diagonally into 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces.
4. Wipe mushrooms clean with damp paper towel. Cut thin piece from stem; discard. Cut mushroom into slices with paring knife.
5. To quickly thaw snow peas, place in colander. Rinse under hot water until no ice crystals remain and pea pods are easily separated. Drain well; pat dry with paper towel.
6. Cook beef, onions, soy sauce and ginger in wok over medium-high heat until meat is brown, stirring to separate.
7. Push mixture up the side of wok. Add celery and mushrooms; stir-fry 2 minutes. Push mixture up the side. Add snow peas and tomato sauce; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
Add pasta, tomatoes and ¾ cup (175 ml) cheese. Stir gently to combine all ingredients. Cook 1 minute. Add green pepper; sprinkle remaining ¼ cup (60ml) cheese over top. Reduce heat to low, cook until heated through.