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Posts from the ‘Pasta e basta!’ Category

Vegetarian pasta al forno (baked pasta): everyday is Sunday lunch!

vegetarian pasta al fornoCountdown: – 3 days! Yes, just 3 days and I will be back in Italy! My heart is running fast with joy. Visiting parents, walk in the city center, make some shopping, drink tons of cappuccino, … and the great thing: living faraway means that your mom is so happy to see you that will cook the best food she’s able to. You can request everything you want and she will spend time in the kitchen just for you, so I guess that we’re going to have almost 3 days of “Sunday lunch”.

I call it “Sunday lunch” because really in Italy, and especially in my family, Sunday was the day when mom had more time to cook and is the traditional day to eat lasagna, or home-made pasta al forno (baked pasta). I’m so happy to come home that I want to celebrate sharing my recipe for vegetarian pasta la forno with you! Hope you will enjoy it, buon appetito!!



–          3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oils

–          1 onions finely chopped

–          2 pepperoni (1 yellow and 1 orange)

–          1 eggplant

–          1 zucchini

–          1 cup of frozen peas

–          2 bottle of tomato sauce

–          500 g rigatoni

–          Salt

–          250 g Appenzeller cheese (or mozzarella or Emmethaler)

–          Parmesan cheese (grated)



Pour 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan, add the onion finely chopped. Cook for few minutes at low flames, till the onion becomes soft. Increase the heat and add the 2 pepperoni wash and cut in small cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add all the other vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes mixing well then add the tomatoes sauce and adjust with salt. Let boil, then put medium flames, cover and cook for around 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water, drain it al dente (meaning that it shouldn’t be too soft) and mix with your vegetarian sauce. Add cheese cut in small cubes and a generous bunch of grated parmesan cheese. Toss well and cook in pre-heated oven (180°C or 360°F) for around 30 minutes, till cheese is completely melted.



Small ears pasta with broccoli, sundried tomatoes and black olives: go vegan!

pasta broccoli sundried tomatoes and black olives

Hallo world, it’s been a long time since my last post. In these months tons of things happened in my life: most important is that, after 2 years being a full time mom, I started again to work. It has been a great challenge start again, find a new routine, try to find the right approach to do everything but I enjoy every minute! I just miss the time I used to spend in the kitchen… now is not that much, but I’m try to cook at my best, to be creative and to find again time to write in this blog!

So here we are with a new recipe that represent perfectly what is my approach in the kitchen in these busy days: cook genuine, easy and fast dishes, healthy and not boring, trying to be as creative as I can be. Few months ago an American friend of mine explain me the great healthy advantages of the vegan diet and told that she tries to cook vegan almost 3 times per week. It’s funny how I realized that actually Italian Cuisine and Mediterranean diet actually have a lot of vegan recipe (think at the basic ingredients: pasta, tons of wonderful vegetables, olive oil, fruit, bread…). I will never stop to eat meat or fish, but the idea to cook vegan almost 3 times per week really seems to be a good start.

I hope you’re feeling hungry by now so let’s go to the recipe, my way to the Italian super classic “orecchiette coi broccoli” (small ears pasta with broccoli). Buon appetito!


Ingredients: (serves 4)


–          360 g small ears pasta

–          2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

–          1 garlic glove

–          1 big broccoli already boiled

–          20 sundried tomatoes under olive oil grossly chopped

–          A handful of black olives grossly chopped

–          Salt


Pour the extra virgin olive oil in a pan with the garlic, add the broccoli grossly chopped. Cook at medium flame for a couple of minutes, then add the sundried tomatoes and the black olives. Adjust with salt, add a spoonful of boiling water and cook at low flame for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook the pasta in salted boiling water, when it’s ready drained it and pour in the pan with the vegetables. Toss well adding some olive oil. Buon appetito!


How to make meat sauce: a traditional Italian Sunday lunch

italian sauce with meatIf you look at Italy on a map you immediately realize how small it is. That’s why I often ask myself: how it’s possible that in such a small country you can find hundreds of different ingredients and tens of different traditions. Let’s talk for example of the Sunday lunch: that’s a super classic, something that assemble the entire family together but it’s not the same lunch in every house. In some houses, especially in the centre of Italy, spying on the Sunday table you will find lasagne, in other houses you will find pasta al forno (baked pasta) with almost one hundreds different ingredients. In the northern part of Italy polenta with meat or agnolotti (that is a particular kind of ravioli) with broth… In southern Italy, together with pasta al forno, it’s pretty common cook pasta with sugo di carne (meat sauce). I’m from the northern part of Italy, but trust me if I say that, one you’ve learned how to cook this particular sauce, you will never forget it and you will cook it quite every week. The point is not only that is incredibly good, but it’s super easy to do and the most important ingredient is time. Let me explain: to make this sauce you will need around 3 hours and a half but you need to work or actively cooking just for less than half an hour. For the other 3 hours you can watch tv, read a book, or whatever you like to do: the magic is done by low flame and the fat of the meat that slowly melt till create a magical fusion with sauce. I do it with different kind of meat (you can use pork, veal, lamb, even chicken drumsticks, the important thing is to chose a kind that has some fat) almost once a week: that’s because it’s a great way to flavor pasta (and we are Italian so we eat a lot of pasta!) and it’s a complete dish that doesn’t require too much work. Just try it and let me know! Buon appetito!

italian sauce with meat

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Broccoli cannelloni & a macaroni factory in Brooklyn

milianelli macaroni factory brooklyn

When I started this blog, I did it thinking that in every kitchen you can find pots, pans, ingredients of various types but over all stories, emotions and memories. So it may happen that you come across an old picture, yellowed by time and memories, and meet a nice person like Elisabetta that tells you a story of pasta and dreams, of Italian flavors in American sauce and of difficult times and solidarity. It was 1920 when Elisabetta’s grandfather left Italy, a country which was just emerging from World War I and, with his brother Santi, after a long travel by sea arrived in the promise land. After years of war and weeks in the ocean, New York must have seemed closer to hell than to heaven but Giovanni and Santi, like many others, managed to find their way. From the work and the determination of these 2 brothers was born the Milianelli Macaroni Factory, a laboratory – shop where they produced tortellini, macaroni and tagliatelle. The Italian community was very close and the Milianellis brothers hired only Italians, a great help for those that, coming from far away in a country with different cultures, different traditions and over all a different language, felt lonely and lost. Read more

Lobsters, linguine & champagne: happy birthday … to me!

linguine with lobstersRule n. 1: special days need special food! I suppose you will trust me if I say that my birthday IS a very special day… so this post is about getting older, be happy and eating the great food my  husband cooked for me! Lobsters have always been considered a sophisticated and very good food, that’s maybe the reason why they are so expensive (almost in Switzerland!). We really love them and I remember perfectly that during our honeymoon in New England we had one almost every day, starting from the great one that we had at the Boston Legal Seafood the first night! Of course in the US it’s not so common cook lobsters with pasta, but we are Italian and we are used to cook all kind of seafood and fish with pasta and lobsters are no exception.As far as I can remember, every lobster I had in my life, is linked to special and happy moments so I really hope that, together with this recipe, some of my happiness  pass to you! Enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 2):

– 160 g. of linguine

– 1 clove of garlic

– 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

– 3 lobster tails

– chopped parsley

– half a glass of cognac

– 500 g. of cherry tomatoes

lobster tails– salt

Wash the lobster, break one and coarsely chop the pulp. Cut the other 2 in two halves. In a pan fry lightly the garlic with the extra-virgin olive oil, add the lobster pulp and the other tails. After 30 seconds sprinkle with parsley and add the cognac. After 1 minute add the cherry tomatoes cut in 2 halves. Reduce heat and cook covered for about 10 minutes. Cook the linguine in salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and pour it in the pan with the sauce, mix well and… buon appetito!


Saffron & bacon pasta: a week-end of kilts and bagpipes


saffron and bacon pastaConfession n. 2: the thing I love most of this blog is that it let me mix together so many different things like an Italian symbol (pasta), an exotic spice (saffron) and…kilts & bagpipes??!! You probably think I’m crazy but the story is not so complicated. As you know I left my hometown in Italy and now I live in Switzerland. Basel it’s really a lovely town but I suppose it’s normal that we miss a lot our families and friends and it’s normal too that when they come to visit our hearts fill with joy. That is exactly what happened few weeks ago when my beloved friend Lucia came here. It was a special week-end for almost 2 reason:

1) I’m the food blogger and she’s the beauty and make-up blogger… guess who cooked? Just a suggestion: not me!

2) It was the Basel Tattoo week-end. It’s not of course as famous as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo but it’s a nice show with military band coming from all over the world, fireworks and a free parade in the heart of the city. The strangest thing is that, even if I’m certainly not a military fanatic, I’m moved every time I see something similar and, watching a band after another, my comment always was: “Ok, my favourite are always that with the skirt!” meaning of course that my favourite are always the Scottish. I think there’s something touching in the way they are so proud of their history, their kilts and bagpipes. Read more

Linguine with red pesto, Ulysses & the Pillars of Hercules

linguini with red pesto sundried tomatoesRed pesto or red passion? I have already talked about my tomatoes addiction and here is another recipe that combines my beloved pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, an ingredient that is very typical in all the Mediterranean Sea. If you take a map you can easily understand why all the countries bordering this sea have so many things in common: it seems so small, doesn’t it? But there was a time, hundreds of years ago, when this pond was as big as the entire world. His waters were perilous and the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans plied this sea asking themselves if they would return. Few of them tried to cross the Pillars of Hercules (geographically speaking that means cross the strait of Gibraltar, leaving the Mediterranean Sea and entering the Atlantic Ocean).

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