Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Pasta (gnocchetti sardi) with courgettes, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts

A very colourful pasta recipe for today, to welcome Summer and the hot season.
This pasta can be served warm, if you like, and, in this case, you can prepare it a little in advance. Great dish for vegetarians as well!

Choose your vegetables very well: for a brighter sauce, choose the dark small courgettes and the  cherry tomatoes should be ripe and smell fresh!

Ingredients for 4

350 gr. / 0.77 lb. gnocchetti sardi (this is the name of this pasta) (if you use a pasta with a hole such as half penne, may be a little less, because it grows more in boiling...)
3 small dark courgettes
15 cherry tomatoes
2 table spoons pine nuts
4 table spoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
100 ml 1/4 pint vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
4 large leaves basil
Fresh basil sprouts (to decorate)

1) Wash all your vegetable very well.

2) Cut the courgettes into slices, put 3 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan with the garlic, let it cook until golden and add the courgettes. Cook for for few minutes until golden, add the vegetable stock, cover with a lid and let them cook until soft. Let them warm down and discard the garlic.

3) Cut your cherry tomatoes in 4 pieces, and slightly roast your pine nuts in a non stick pan or in the oven. (they burn VERY easily...)

4) Boil the pasta in abundant salted water and drain it in a colander.

5) Put the basil leaves, the courgettes and their liquid in a bowl and process them until they make a cream with a food processor. For extra creaminess you can add a table spoon of evoo.

6) Put the pasta in the pan you used to cook the courgettes, pour the courgette cream, the tomatoes, the pine nuts and over a medium heat, warm it up mixing well.

7) Serve the pasta with a nice glass of cold white wine....

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Light Bavarian yogurt cream

I know this is not exactly the original recipe, but this cream is so delicious, fresh and so easy and quick to make that I could not help sharing this recipe with all of you.

You can use many Summer fruit to garnish, peaches for example will be great, but I prefer mixed wild berries or strawberries, even frozen, and warmed up with come sugar to create a syrup which will melt the cream. A good strawberry jam will be great to garnish.
Also, you can give a special taste to the cream by using flavoured yogurt  instead of the plain one I suggest, to match the finishing touch of fresh fruits... Choose it well, it must have a natural taste...

Ingredients for 6 small molds

250 ml plain white yogurt (even low fat)
250 ml sweetened whipped cream (250 ml of cream+ 3 spoons sugar...)
3 slices gelatin
250 grs. mixed berries (fresh of frozen)
2 spoons milk
3 spoons sugar for the berries

Soak the gelatin in cold water  for about 15 minutes or until very soft.


Prepare your whipped cream, if not ready, by mixing the cream with the sugar until very soft and fluffy; keep it refrigerated.

Squeeze the gelatin very well and put it in a very small pan with the milk. Gently    warm it until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the milk.

Quickly mix the gelatin with the yogurt, incorporate the whipped cream.

 Gently pour the cream into the small moulds or in a medium pudding mold.
In this picture you see the silicone ones, but I suggest   to use metal/aluminium ones instead, because I find   easier to remove the cream from the mold.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or, better, overnight.

Before serving, prepare the sauce by putting the fruit, still frozen, in a small sauce-  pan with the sugar and , if needed , a few tablespoons of water . Cook it just a few minutes and then turn off the heat . 

Turn out the moulds onto a serving plate or small dessert dishes. If the cream does not goes out, put the bottom of the mould in a pan with warm water for about 30 seconds.

Serve the cream accompanying it with the fruit sauce.