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Boast of Italian traditional food: pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al pomodoro: the original recipe

 
The dish has ancient origins, although it became famous because of Il Giornalino di Gian Burrasca (1911) and the song Viva la pappa col pomodoro.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (about 2 cups) peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 g (about 1/2 lb) stale bread (preferably Tuscan bread), cut into smallish pieces
  • 1 liter (about 4 cups) vegetable broth, warmed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • basil, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you can also use seasoned or spicy oil)
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Place the stale bread in a large bowl and pour the warm broth over it, cover and set aside for at least 1 hour.
Over medium heat and in a wide pot, pour the oil and sauté the garlic. Add the tomatoes and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Go back to your bread, which should have absorbed most of the broth. Add the bread to the pot, squeezing it a bit with your hand as you do so to eliminate any excess broth. Cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon.
Serve warm, adding a bit of fresh-cut basil and a swirl of good olive oil on top. And remember, always cut fresh basil with your hands, not with a knife or scissors!
Buon appetito!

Boast of Italian traditional food: pesto alla genovese

Pesto alla genovese: the original recipe

 
A marvel of simplicity, pesto is a celebrated treasure of Mediterranean cuisine. If you’re lucky enough to experience this jewel of Liguria, sitting comfortably on the terrace of a local restaurant in any village by the sea, it would be unforgettable, dream-like even.

Ingredients

  • 100 gm of fresh Genovese basil
  • 30 gm pine nuts
  • 60 g aged Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese freshly grated, do not compromise on this ingredient and make sure is good quality
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 10 g Maldon flaky salt
  • 80 cc extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

The marble mortar and wooden pestle are the tools traditionally used to make pesto.
Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a paper towel but don’t rub them.
In a mortar finely crush the basil leaves the garlic clove and pine nuts, add the salt and cheese to the mixture and keep pounding using a light circular movement of the pestle ,add some of the Extra Virgin Olive from time to time and keep pounding and mixing until you obtain a very fine and smooth creamy sauce, pesto should not be greasy and the amount of oil used must be well absorbed and not floating on top
The preparation must be done as quickly as possible to avoid oxidation problems
You have now obtained less 300 g of pesto which should be more than enough to dress 6 to 8 portions of Trenette
Buon appetito!

Boast of Italian traditional food: melanzane alla parmigiana

Melanzane alla parmigiana: the traditional recipe

 
This classic northern Italian recipe is a great way to serve aubergines. By layering them with Parmesan and tomatoes and then baking them you get an absolutely moreish, scrumptious vegetable dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (about 2 medium-sized) eggplant
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • basic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cans peeled whole tomatoes
  • salt

Preparation

Wash and towel dry the eggplant. Slice the eggplant horizontally. Place the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to rest about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the eggplant and dry on towels.
In a saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just smoking. Saute until lightly golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the pieces. On a cookie sheet lay out the 4 largest pieces of eggplant. Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each piece and place a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and top each with the next smallest piece of eggplant, then sauce then mozzarella. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients have been used, finishing again with the Parmigiano. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top of each little stack is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Sauce:
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve.
This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Food is Culture!

Thank you to the school from Germany that choosed Gourmetaly for their leisure time in Rome!