Cannelloni

Cannelloni

Cannelloni  – large tubes stuffed with meat, vegetables, or cheese and baked in a tomato or cream sauce – is one of the most iconic Italian recipes. Originally from the Emilia Romagna region, this dish is prepared all over Italy and beyond. This particular recipe with minced beef, chicken and pork is one of the most traditional ways to prepare this delicate and delicious first course meal, but there are endless variation options. Cannelloni can be prepared for example with spinach and ricotta, or with more adventurous fillings, like shrimp and cream. You can also prepare it in advance, and just pop it into the oven when you’re ready to eat. Cannelloni can be stored in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container, for about 2-3 days. Serve cannelloni with a refreshing salad, and make sure you enjoy the taste of every single bite – it tastes like summer’s first peach.

Ingredients:

Filling:

2 Italian pork sausages, casing removed

1 chicken fillet

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Parma ham

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Parmigiano

1 tbsp breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

200 gr/ 7 oz minced beef

1 egg

Pasta:

300 gr/ 10.5 oz flour

3 large eggs

(alternatively, ready-made cannelloni)

Béchamel sauce:

5 dl/ 2 cups fresh milk

40 gr/ 1 1/3 butter

30 gr/ 1 oz flour

freshly ground nutmeg

salt to taste

25 gr/ 2/3 oz grated Parmigiano

Tomato sauce: 

olive oil

salt to taste

fresh basil leaves

300 gr/ 10.5 oz passata di pomodoro

On top:

Parmigiano

Cannelloni

Instructions: 

Start with the pasta. Put the flour in a large bowl, make a hole in the middle where you place the eggs. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.

Meanwhile, saute the onion until it becomes golden and add the minced beef, sausage, Parma ham and the minced chicken. Continue frying for a few minutes, stir occasionally, and season with salt and pepper. If the pieces are too big, you can grind them in a mixer or a food processor. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool down before adding the eggs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Knead with your hands. At this point the mixture should be fairly dry.

Prepare the tomato sauce by heating olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and the passata di pomodoro. Cook for ca. 10-15 minutes over medium heat, then take the pan from the heat and add the fresh basil leaves. Prepare the Béchamel sauce.

Cut the already prepared pasta sheet into 10 rectangular sheets. Boil the sheets in salted water for about 3-4 minutes, and drain. Let them rest on a clean cloth.

Put some of the filling into the center of each pasta sheet, then roll them shut. Place the rolls into a baking dish and pour some tomato sauce over. Once you have filled all the rolls, pour the Béchamel sauce over, then add a few tablespoonfuls of tomato sauce. Finish by sprinkling Parmigiano. Bake the cannelloni in the oven, preheated to 180C/355F, for about 40 minutes. Let the cannelloni rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Cannelloni

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)

Pasta bolognese – or simply just ragù, like it is known in Italy – is a complex sauce which involves a variety of cooking techniques. There is plenty of room for creative interpretation, and it seems that every cook has their very own version. Common sources of differences include which meats to use (beef, pork or veal) and what form of tomato – and how much – is employed (fresh, canned or paste). Cooking liquids can also differ from broth to tomato juices, or from wine to milk. The simmering time of the sauce can also vary from one hour to five. The earliest documented ragù recipe hails from the Bologna region, and the first printed version appeared in 1891. Traditionally the Bolognese sauce is served with broad and flat pasta shapes, like tagliatelle or pappardelle, and sometimes with penne or rigatoni.

Ingredients: 

2 onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

500 gr/ 1 lb minced beef and pork

2 Italian sausages, casing removed

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of chili powder

a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated

250 ml/ 1 cup red wine

750 ml/ 3 1/3 cups (biological) passata di pomodoro

tagliatelle, pappardelle, or pasta of your choice

freshly ground Parmesan cheese

Ragù (Pasta bolognese)Instructions: 

Saute the finely chopped onions, carrots, and celery together with the minced garlic in a pan for about 10 minutes. Add the minced meat and the sausages and continue frying. Season with salt and pepper, and chili powder and freshly ground nutmeg and pour the red wine. Let the wine evaporate before adding the passata di pomodoro. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer on a very low heat for about 3 hours. Don’t forget to stir the sauce every 5 minutes, or when needed. Serve with tagliatelle or pappardelle, or some other pasta of your choice. Sprinkle freshly ground Parmesan cheese on top.

Polpette al forno

Kids just love meatballs… But how should you prepare them? What is actually better: frying in the pan or baking in the oven? Between the two, baking is actually the healthier option, because the process requires less fat. But there are disadvantages as well, because baking is definitely a slow cooking method and even preparing small quantities requires a lot of energy. But baked goods are generally speaking also very tasty – if cooked with accurate time, temperature and measured ingredients – because they cook in their own juices. These delicious Italian meatballs can be served with potatoes and a fresh salad. Alternatively you can serve them as a party snack.

Polpette al forno

Ingredients: 

500 gr/1 lb lean minced beef

2-3 Italian sausages, casing removed

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz breadcrumbs

100 gr/ 3.5 oz freshly grated Parmigiano

fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs

olive oil

Instructions: 

Remove the casing of the sausages. Mix the minced beef, the sausages, garlic, Parmigiano, the breadcrumbs and all the spices in a bowl. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll the mixture into balls (diameter 1.5 inch/ca. 4 cm). Set the balls into a lightly oiled baking dish and bake in the oven, preheated to 180C/355F, for 40 minutes or until the surface of the meatballs has browned. Serve the sizzlingly hot meatballs with potatoes and a salad of your choice.

Polpette al forno

Hamburger

Hamburger

The origin of the hamburger is unknown and we will perhaps never know with absolute certainty who was the first to combine two slices of bread and a steak of ground beef. What we do know, however, is that all the various inventors of this now global dish came up with the idea between 1885 and 1904. There are no written records, but only verbal statements supporting these different claims of invention. The birth of the burger is directly linked to the changing culinary needs of people who, due to the pressures of industrialization and rapidly transforming society, had less time to prepare their meals. The modern hamburger and fast food in general started to spread to countries outside the U.S. after World War II. You can have a burger everywhere in the world, but the best results are created at home, where you can control the preparation process and the freshness of the ingredients.

Ingredients: 

500 gr/ 1 lb minced beef

2 onions

145 gr/ 5 oz mushrooms

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Cheddar

lettuce

2 tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

ketchup

500 grams/ 1 lb potatoes, sliced

Instructions: 

Burger: Prepare the burgers with your hands and season with salt and pepper. Fry in a pan over a very hot heat without any oil. Add a slice of Cheddar on top and let it melt.

Hamburger bread: Warm the bread in the oven for a few minutes.

Mushrooms: Fry the onions and mushrooms in a pan until the mushrooms release their juices.

French fries: Peel and slice the potatoes. Deep fry them in sunflower oil until the fries become golden.

Hamburger

Fegato alla Veneziana; Bresaola con rucola e parmigiano

Cuisines all over the world have their own way to serve liver and onions – this is the way they do it in Venice. Known all over Italy, this dish is loved even by foodies who would normally shy away from the liver taste. My suggestion is that you prepare some Bresaola – air-dried, salted beef or horse meat – as a lean and tender starter. It will compliment the darker taste of the liver. Alternatively, you might replace the liver with minced meat and make some hamburger-like steaks with these delicious, golden onion rings. Serve fegato alla Veneziana with mashed potatoes, polenta or bread.

Bresaola con rucola e parmigiano: 

Ingredients:

80-100 gr Bresaola

30 gr rocket salad

olive oil

1 lemon

freshly ground black pepper

parmigiano flakes

Instructions:

Set the rocket salad on a serving dish. Add the thin Bresaola slices over the salad leaves. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and parmigiano flakes. Best served at room temperature.

Fegato alla Veneziana:

Ingredients:

olive oil

2 tbsp butter

5-6 onions, thinly sliced

salt

700 gr liver (pork or beef)

corn starch

1-1.5 dl red wine

balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Saute the thinly sliced onions over a very low heat for 45-60 minutes until they are soft but not yet colored. Remove the onions from the pan.

Slice the liver in long stripes and coat them with corn starch. Add some salt. Fry the liver slices in the frying pan for ca. 1 minute on each side. Avoid overcrowding the pan. Set aside, and keep warm.

Return the pan to the heat. Add the red wine and scrape any remnants of the corn starch with a wooden spoon. Return the onions and liver slices to the pan. Let the liver and onions simmer for a couple of minutes until the liver is tender, but cooked through. Add balsamic vinegar and, if necessary, some olive oil or butter.