Insalata di pasta ai tonno

Delicious, portable, healthy – pasta salads are perfect dishes for versatility, because they are easily portable and can be served in a myriad of ways. The ingredients used vary widely by region, season, and/or preference of the cook. Pasta salads can be very simple, or as elaborate as several short pastas tossed together with a variety of fresh, preserved or cooked ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, spices, meats, poultry, or seafood. Even though pasta salad is often regarded as a spring or summertime meal, it can be easily served year-round. Here, penne pasta is combined with fresh tasty tomatoes, tuna, anchovies, and hard-boiled eggs. By avoiding fattening and calorie rich dressings, you can enjoy the true taste of the ingredients with a touch of raw olive oil.

Insalata di pasta con tonno

Ingredients: 

100 grams/ 3.5 oz penne rigate or penne pasta

100 grams/ 3.5  oz green beans

280 grams/ 10 oz tomatoes

fresh basil leaves

2 tins of Rio Mare tuna

2 hard-boiled eggs

8 anchovies fillets

a handful of capers

back olives (optional)

olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool down.

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise.

Cook the trimmed green beans in salted boiling water for ca. 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

On a large platter, arrange the tomatoes side by side. Mix the cooked pasta together with the drained tuna and shredded basil leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Put the pasta mix in the middle of the platter, and add the green beans and anchovies fillets. Set the halved eggs right in the middle of the salad. Drizzle some olive oil and season with black pepper. Garnish with capers and basil leaves. Serve as a lunch or dinner.

Insalata di pasta ai tonno

Advertisements

Hamburger di salmone

Hamburger di salmone

This salmon burger recipe is an original, quick and easy alternative to the classic meaty hamburger. You can serve it with a fresh salad, French fries, or boiled potatoes, but you can also have it in the hamburger style. If you refrain from adding mayonnaise and other calorie-rich dressings, you have a tasty and healthy dinner at your fingertips. Some are already calling salmon a super food, and this fish undoubtedly has deserved its reputation as a healthy food, and not only because of its unusual omega-3 fatty acid content. Intake of salmon has been connected to a decreased risk of numerous cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Salmon contains particularly high levels of vitamin D and selenium, which is also associated with prevention of certain types of cancer. It also contains high levels of DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) which is the main structural fatty acid in the central nervous system and retina. Feeding salmon to preschool children also aids in the prevention of ADHD and can even boost academic performance. If that’s not enough to convince you, this might: The omega-3s found in salmon lock moisture into skin cells, encouraging the production of strong collagen and elastin fibers, which contribute to more youthful looking skin.

Ingredients: 

500 gr/ 1.1 lb salmon fillet

1 onion, chopped

dill, chopped

2-4 dry chilies (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

olive oil for frying

Hamburger di salmone

Instructions: 

Chop the salmon fillets into very small cubes. Put the cubes in a bowl, and add the chopped onions, dill and chili. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs and the breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly.

Shape the mixture into salmon burgers. Fry each burger for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Pasta con verdure grigliate

Pasta con verdure grigliate

As a favorite with gourmet cooks, sea salt has risen to high status. Although there is little or no health benefit to using sea salt over regular table salt, as both are primarily sodium chloride, many believe that sea salt has better texture and tastes better than the salt from the salt mines. Sweating with sea salt helps to draw out moisture from the vegetables and enhances their natural flavor. It will purge for example eggplant of its bitterness, and it will also prevent it from absorbing excess fluids or oil. Sea salt is produced by evaporating seawater and harvesting the salt that remains. Because the production method is more expensive than mining the salt deposits left by salt lakes, the price tag associated with this type of salt is also heftier. You can also try boutique sea salts, like pinkish gray salt from Korea and France, or Indian black salt.

Ingredients: 

1 eggplant, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

coarse sea salt

olive oil

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

4 tomatoes, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

penne or penne rigate pasta

Pasta con verdure grigliate

Instructions:

Slice the eggplant and the zucchini and sprinkle coarse sea salt on them. Set the slices aside for 30-60 minutes. Shake the sea salt off and slice the pieces into smaller cubes.

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the minced garlic and the bell peppers together with the tomatoes for a few minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the eggplant and the zucchini and continue frying for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain and mix with the vegetables. Garnish each plate with Pecorino Romano and fresh flat leaf parsley.

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare

Spaghetti ai frutti di mare (Spaghetti with Fruit of the Sea) is one of the dishes that is known all over Italy, but the best versions can be had on the coastal regions, where fresh seafood is readily available. Nothing beats locally sourced seafood that has been prepared with the reddest tomatoes of the season, and is offered to you with a glass of beautiful white wine. Fast and easy to prepare, the pasta sauce simmers in its own juices, some white wine and fresh tomatoes. You only need to cook spaghetti, sprinkle some parsley on top, and you will have a night to remember. This is a proven success story.

Ingredients:

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

olive oil

500 gr/ 1 lb seafood mix (mussels, shrimp etc.)

1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine

5 tomatoes, sliced

fresh flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

spaghetti or spaghettini

Spaghetti ai frutti di mareInstructions: 

Heat olive oil in a pan and add the minced garlic. Fry for a moment without burning the garlic cloves and add the seafood mix. Lower the heat and add the sliced tomatoes and the dry white wine. Let the sauce simmer on a low heat until it thickens. Season with fresh flat leaf parsley, and salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and mix it thoroughly with the sauce. Garnish each plate with some parsley and serve immediately.

Pasta verde

Pasta verde

Sometimes it’s good to get creative! This refreshingly different pasta recipe features a new vegetable, broccolini, which is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan a.k.a. Chinese broccoli. It is similar to broccoli although it has smaller florets and long, thin stalks. The taste of this newcomer – developed in Japan in 1993 – is similar to broccoli and asparagus. And you definitely can’t complain about its nutritional values, because it is high in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, calcium, folate, and iron. The second creative aspect of this dish is the recipe for the pesto. This Ligurian delight is traditionally made with basil, garlic, pine nuts with olive oil and Parmigiano. This time around the basil gets replaced with the strong taste of the rocket. At the end you will have a pasta plate that awakens your palate to a whole new world of endless possibilities.

Ingredients:

40 gr/ 1 2/3 oz rocket

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

50 gr/ 1 2/3 oz Parmigiano, freshly grated

salt (optional)

olive oil

2-3 tbsp pine nuts

130 gr/ 4.5 oz pancetta, in cubes (optional)

400 gr/ 14 oz broccolini

black pepper to taste

penne rigate

Instructions:

Pesto di rucola: Mix the rocket, garlic, Parmigiano, the pine  nuts and olive oil in a blender. If needed, add salt. The end result should be creamy and smooth. The pesto can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

The pasta: Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the pancetta cubes and fry them over a low heat. Add the rinsed broccolini and continue frying for ca. 4-6 minutes until the broccolini has softened a bit. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Mix the pesto with the pasta, and arrange the pancetta cubes and the broccolini on them. Sprinkle some black pepper and serve immediately.

Pasta verde

Mezzi rigatoni con crema di ceci

Mezzi rigatoni con crema di ceci

Tuscans love chickpeas, ceci, so much so that in the coastal areas of Livorno and Pisa a chickpea flour cake has been named boldly as ‘gold of Pisa’. But this protein bomb is a good source of zinc and folate and can assist in lowering of cholesterol in the bloodstream. It is also one of the earliest cultivated pods, and in the Middle East they have found remains that were 7500 years old. By the Bronze Age chickpeas were already known in Italy. The ancient Romans found some good use for them and roasted them as a snack or cooked them into a broth. This creamy pasta dish mixes the subtle characteristic taste of the chickpeas with tomato and fresh rosemary. You get the best results by serving it with short hollow pasta.

Ingredients: 

2 cans (à 265 gr/9 1/3 oz) chickpeas

olive oil for frying

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

120 gr/4 1/3 oz bacon, sliced (optional)

1 can peeled tomatoes

fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

mezzi rigatoni or other hollow pasta

Mezzi rigatoni con crema di ceci

Puree 1 can of chickpeas in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Set aside. Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the bacon slices and continue frying. Add the pureed chickpeas and mix well with the onion and garlic, then add the peeled tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and fresh rosemary. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add water if necessary. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and mix it with the chickpea sauce. Garnish each plate with fresh rosemary and serve immediately.

Minestrone di verdure

Minestrone di verdure

Minestrone, a thick vegetable soup, is a prime example of cucina povera cooking. Common ingredients include pasta, beans, tomato, celery, carrots and onions, but because there is no set recipe, you can use your favorite vegetables that are in season. Like many Italian dishes, the original minestrone was probably not made for its own sake, but the ingredients were pooled from available left-overs. There are also vast regional differences – Minestrone alla Genovese has pesto in it, but the Milanese version contains potatoes, bacon and pork rind. Minestrone soup can be served cold, too.

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

leek, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 large carrot or 3 small, in cubes

1.5 l/6 1/3 cups cold vegetable stock

3 tbsp tomato puree

3-5 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Parmigiano rind

200 gr/7 oz peas

200 gr/7 oz brown beans

100 gr/3.5 oz spaghetti

fresh parsley, chopped

100 gr/ 3.5 oz bacon (optional)

Instructions: 

Minestrone di verdureSlice all the vegetables. Saute the onion, garlic, leek, zucchini and carrots in a pan. Add the cold vegetable stock and the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper, and add the bay leaves. Let the soup simmer on a low heat for ca. 45 minutes. Half way through, add the Parmigiano rind. Add the spaghetti together with the peas and beans after 45 minutes and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes. If necessary, add water. Garnish each plate with fresh parsley. Serve with Italian countryside bread.