Thursday, 28 March 2013

Tuna Steak on a bed of Swiss Chard

     I haven't been eating any red meat for a while now, so I have started buying more fish. I have also started going to a gym that is right next to an amazing fruit and vegetable shop, so when I finish my workout I can't resist coming back home with bags full of fruit and vegetables. One of the things this shop has that I hadn't really noticed anywhere else is Swiss Chard. So I decided to combine the two.
Since the Tuna is best left simple, I decided to add something to the Chard: cherry tomatoes, capers,
and black olives.

For the Swiss Chard:

1 clove of garlic
10 tomatoes
tablespoon of capers
tablespoon of pitted black olives

- Cut the garlic in small pieces and let cook in a small pot until golden
- Add the chard (sliced into pieces)
- add some white wine to make it more wet and tasty
- When the chard starts cooking down, add the tomatoes, capers and olives
- Stir and let cook

In the meantime cook the tuna in a pan (with some olive oil) for about 1 minute on each side. When ready put it on top of the chard and enjoy!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Riso Amaro (1949)

One of my favorite movies, directed by Giuseppe De Santis. It's the story of the 'mondine' who travel North towards the rice plantations in the Po Valley.
The word 'riso' in Italian means both rice and laughter, and within the movie has both meanings: bitter rice and bitter laughter.
There isn't much food in the movie apart from large quantities of rice, this is one of my favorite scenes where Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman dance the boogie-woogie.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pasta with Squash

The other day I was feeling experimental and since I have never cooked anything with Squash and barely use my oven, I decided to do both.
I had no idea what to do with the Squash until I remembered my mother often makes a pasta dish with Squash as the main ingredient for the sauce. So I phoned her up asked for the recipe and added just a couple variations.

Here is the recipe (for 2 people):

200 gr pasta (short shape is preferred)
1 small squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
oil and salt
fresh goat cheese
fresh basil

Turn on the oven to about 200-230c
Place the cut peaces of Squash on a baking sheet, drizzle oil, salt and pepper on top, and mix them around using your hands. Leave the squash to cook until the outside is brown and inside is soft, turning the pieces over at least once.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil and throw the pasta in
Put the cheese, basil and squash in a bowl, throw the pasta in with a bit of its cooking water (remember to save some to make the sauce creamy!)
Mix all together

It is better to use a softer cheese because it will melt and make the sauce more creamy, I made the mistake of using one that was a bit too hard, but it still turned out delicious!
If you think the pasta turns out too sweet, you can add some hot pepper to give it an extra punch.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Domenica d'Agosto

The clip I would like to share today is from the movie Domenica d'Agosto directed by Luciano Emmer in 1950. Shot mostly at the Lido di Ostia, its the story about a crowd of people from Rome who decide to spend their one day of holiday at the beach. Its a comedy and a good opportunity to dream about how different the 'beach experience' used to be compared to how it is today. My favourite scene is the family lunch at the beach because although some things have changed, Italians still love and continue to eat a big lunch at the beach. Even if it's 40 degrees outside, you can't say no to a plate of pasta.


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Liver cooked Sophie's way

Ever since I was a little kid I have loved all food. I would try and eat anything, and that includes liver and all the other innards.
Most people think they are gross and don't want to be anywhere near them, but I love them.
So I had some liver in my fridge and decided to cook it without looking at a recipe, just making it up along the way. And so I came up with Liver a la Sophie. It's quite simple and might even exist already, but I like to believe it's my personal one.

So here is what you will need:

200 gr Chicken livers 
1/2 white onion
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons dry white wine
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
fresh mint leaves

Put some olive oil in a pan and let the onions cook until golden.
Then add the liver and let cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the butter, and as soon as it has melted add the wine.
Let cook until they loose that pink colour on the inside.
Add some mint leaves and the lemon juice towards the end.
Add some mint leaves for garnish if you want to make it look pretty!

My personal touch was the mint and the lemon, I don't think I've ever had it with those 2 ingredients before. Enjoy!