Spaghetti alla chitarra al pesto di pomodori secchi e mandorle

E’ arrivata l’estate e allora si festeggia portando a tavola piatti colorati e pieni zeppi di verdure! Adoro adattare le mie ricette secondo la disponibilità della verdura di stagione pertanto non c’è nulla, per me, che urli estate come dei bei pomodori maturi e del basilico fresco!

Monitoro il mio orto da oramai più di un mese e mezzo e benché il tempo, quest’anno, non sia stato fra i più favorevoli, comincio piacevolmente a raccogliere i primi frutti. I primi cespi d’insalata, le prime zucchine e non potete capire la mia gioia quando ieri ho trovato il primo piccolo peperoncino!  I pomodori dell’orto però, sono ancora troppo verdi per poterne fare un qualsiasi utilizzo, allora son riuscita a soddisfare la mia voglia d’estate con una piccola scorciatoia.

Ho creato un pesto veloce ma davvero strepitoso con gli ingredienti che avevo in casa: pomodori secchi sott’ olio, mandorle, parmigiano e un po’ di olio d’oliva buono e in pochissimi istanti son riuscita a preparare un primo piatto dal risultato davvero soddisfacente. Una rivisitazione della pasta al pomodoro più cremosa e più gustosa grazie a questo pesto! Perfetto non solo con la pasta ma anche da spalmare sul pane o perché no? Anche come sostituto della semplice passata su una pizza o una focaccia rustica. A voi la scelta!!

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Per 4 persone:

320 g spaghetti alla chitarra di semola di grano duro

220 g pomodori secchi

30 g mandorle pelate

20 g parmigiano grattugiato

qualche rametto di timo

4-5 foglie di basilico

peperoncino fresco (facoltativo)

sale e olio evo q.b.

1) Salate abbondantemente l’acqua della pasta e una volta raggiunto il bollore, fate cuocere gli spaghetti per il tempo indicato sulla confezione.

2) Per il pesto, versate le mandorle e il parmigiano nella ciotola del mixer, azionate il robot per pochi istanti, poi aggiungete i pomodori sgocciolati, una presa di sale e le foglioline di timo e di basilico ( precedentemente lavate e asciugate). Se volete e se vi piace, potete aggiungere anche pochissimo peperoncino fresco, privato dei semini interni ( darà uno sprint maggiore al vostro pesto). Frullate ancora versando l’olio a filo fino ad ottenere la consistenza cremosa di un pesto.

3) Conservate una tazza di acqua di cottura e scolate la pasta al dente. Fate saltare la pasta in padella a fiamma medio-alta con 2 cucchiai di pesto a persona e versate l’acqua di cottura avanzata poco a poco, in modo tale da legare il sugo alla pasta. Servite con qualche foglia di basilico fresco.

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GUITAR SPAGHETTI WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND ALMONDS PESTO

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Italian food lovers around the world here’s the meal of your dreams, a real taste of Italy and of summer too!

This recipe is a nice twist on a classic Italian dish, namely pasta with tomato sauce. In fact there’s no tomato sauce in these spaghetti, still you get all of the wonderful flavours of tomatoes and basil in this pesto.

Since the freshly homegrown produce of my vegetable garden is not quite done yet I’ve found a loophole to get the same creaminess and yumminess of a tomato sauce with the very few ingredients I had at home. Some sun-dried tomatoes, some almonds and some parmesan and I got a pretty satisfying result, ending up in serving a delicious meal to my family! Try this pesto on some bread or some crostini, it works just as well!

For 4 people:

350 g spaghetti

220 g sun-dried tomatoes

30 g pealed almonds

20 g parmesan

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

4-5 basil leaves

some fresh chilly ( only if you like it)

salt and extravirgin olive oil

1) Add salt to a large pan of boiling water and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.

2) Meanwhile prepare your pesto: in a mixer grind the almonds and parmesan together, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, a large pinch of salt, some thyme, some basil leaves and some fresh chilly after removing the internal seeds (leave the chilly out if you want). Blend evething for a few minutes adding enough olive oil, bit by bit, until you get the texture of a pesto.

3) Save a cup of your starchy pasta water and drain the spaghetti “al dente” and toss it in a frying pan with a generous spoonful of pesto for each person. Add some of the pasta water and give it all a good stir, coating the pasta in the lovely sauce. Serve with a little grated parmesan and garnish with some extra basil leaves. I ensure you guests will appreciate! Buon appetito!!

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Asparagus tortelli

Pasta is a staple, here in Italy. And learning how to make it has been on my to do’s list for quite some time. My mum tought me how to make the dough and now I’m having fun reproducing the several different pasta shapes existing

Making homemade pasta is a true art, to me.  Every single shape is linked to a specific region of Italy.  Each different shape has its own story behind. This is what fascinates me. Pasta is part of our culture.That’s why I want to keep alive the tradition and make my own pasta.

This recipe in particular, is about a stuffed kind of pasta which was born in Emilia Romagna. I filled them with fresh asparagus because they’re in season but there are plenty of different fillings you could use. Let’s see how to make them!

For 4 portions ( about 40 tortelli):
For the pasta dough:
  • 2 large free range eggs,
  • 100 g durum flour;
  • 100 g plain flour.
For the filling:
  • 190- 200 g asparagus;
  • 4/5 tbsp breadcrumbs;
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese;
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • olive oil.

 

1) Peel the asparagus and remove the final ends, then cut them into small chunks and boil them in plenty salty water.

2) Once cooked, drain the asparagus and pop them into a food processor, fitted with steel blades, then add the parmesan, a good splash of olive oil, the bread crumbs ( add some more bread crumbs just in case your asparagus absorbed too much water, in order to get a mixture neither too dry nor too soft). Finally season the filling according to your taste. Put the filling aside and make the pasta dough.

3) For the pasta dough place your flours on a large clean surface, make a well in the centre and break  2 eggs. Start combining the ingredients with a fork, then go on kneading with your hands until you form a dough. Cover it in cling film and let it rest for 15 minutes, so that the gluten can relax.

4) Roll out your pasta dough with a pasta machine or with a rolling pin. You make tortelli by cutting squares out of your rolled pasta dough. Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each square, fold each one into a triangle, seal the edges pressing down with your fingers and finally bring the two corners together.

5)Boil them in plenty salty water until they are ” al dente” and toss them in a pan, in which you’ve previously melted about a tablespoon of butter with some sage’s leaves. Serve your tortelli with some freshly ground pepper and a good sprinkle of parmesan. Bon Appétit!

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Ricotta and spinaches easter pie

Hi bakers,

wondering what to prepare for the upcoming Easter lunch? Here I am with answers! Here’s the ultimate recipe for an Easter savoury pie that will make your guests gasp!

It’s super easy to make, it can be made ahead of time and it tastes… de-li-cious!!! This makes the best appetizer you could ever dream of. Everybody will ask you how you relized such a funny pattern, even my grandma remained astonished!

The only flaw it has is that it won’t last that long so I suggest you to make two at least, if you have loads of guests.

For about 10 people: 
  • 500 g puff pastry ( feel free to make your own);
  • 500 g frozen spinaches;
  • 300 g ricotta;
  • 100 g grated parmesan cheese;
  • a splash of olive oil;
  • salt and pepper for seasoning;
  • a few basil’s leaves;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  •  a beaten egg;
  • sesame or poppy seeds to decorate.
Method:

1) In a large frying pan gently fry your garlic with a generous splash of good olive oil, then add the washed spinaches and cook them over a low heat for about 10 minutes, covering the pan with a lid.

2) Once cooked through, remove the garlic’s cloves and transfer the spinaches into a food processor, add your ricotta, the parmesan, a good drizzle of oil and the basil. Pulse the mixture until nicely blended and season the filling to taste with salt and pepper.

3) Roll out two circles of puff pastry with a diameter of about 30 cm. Set aside one layer of puff pastry, then take the other one and spread the filling with a spatula as you can see in the pictures below. Brush the empty spaces with the beaten egg to make the other layer of pastry stick. Now gently cover with the second layer and press with your fingers in the empty spaces.

4) Cut the pastry in 4, then in 8 , then in 16 and finally in 32 slices (as you can see in the photos). Rotate each slice 90° so that it resembles a sunflower’s petal and make the same for every slice.

5) At the end you should get a nice savoury pie that looks like a flower; brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle some sesame seeds in the middle, if you like. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 392°F and bake it for about 25 minutes. Serve it warm!

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