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Cover: Kitchen in the city

Pasta

13Apr 14

Sardinian Fregula Pasta!

fregula-sarda-ape-uk

Translation by Alessandra Dubini – Marlborough College

The Sardinian Fregula is an excellent ingredient to have in ones kitchen because it can easily become an unique main course. It kind of reminds me of the Spanish Fideuà which is just like a paella and has very similar characteristic to the cous cous. It seems that on the coast of the Mediterranean there are many similarities within the primary products used. The sea and lands produce the same products like fish and vegetables. Normally you cook it with clams but I had some squid leftovers and some fish broth and some good cherry tomatoes.

Cooking tips: The fregula is a kind of pasta that a long time ago women used to prepare from scratch by mixing semolina, water and egg in a round container using their hands.

They would work the dough until they got small little balls.

So here is the recipe:  Whilst 1l of fish broth is boiling, I warmed up in a casserole 4 teaspoons of oil with 10 cherry tomatoes washed and cut up into quarters with a clove of garlic. The garlic does not have to fry, but give up all it’s flavour, since if it burns it becomes bitter. So I left it warm up before adding 250g of Sardinian Fregula. I toasted it until it became crunchy just like you do with rice. Before starting to add a ladle of warm fish broth. The flame has to be quite high. The Fregula absorbs the broth because it wants to rehydrate so its better to keep an eye on it. After 5 minutes add 300g of squid, sliced length with the tufts. More or less it takes 15 minutes. When it is completely cooked but stil ‘al dente’ I turned out the flame and added salt and pepper and a bit of lemon.

You can decide if you want it soupy or not. Of course I would have loved to teach you how to make it yourself, but kitcheninthecity is a website for typical kitchen cooking, so I bought it like you will as well.

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05Apr 14

Bread Crumbs spaghetti! Pasta Ammuddicata!

w-pasta-ammuddicata-uk

Translation by Alessandra Dubini – Marlborough College

Pasta ammuddicata, with the crumb. There are recipes that belong to the Mediterranean coast. Take the following ingredients: long pasta, anchovies (fresh or pickled), and breadcrumbs. Put them in the Google bar and you will discover what globalization means. As usual kitchen docet, globalization is born with ladles and pans, along with this recipe. Ammuddicata Mediterranean notes … but strongly urban recipe, because it is good and fast.

This recipe can reminds me very much of Shrove day, also known as Pancake day were Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar. Likewise this is a recipe made to empty fridge, because even when there is nothing left I always having a jar of anchovies and breadcrumbs, believe me these two ingredients are essential, always.

In Calabria it is called the “pasta ammuddicata”, in Salento is the generous addition of fresh tomatoes, even in Basilicata it is quite commonly found, Sicily is the “pasta cu ancioi and ‘to muddica.” Its important to know that in Spain the anchovies are called “anchoas” and especially the Cantabrian are very good, some say the best in the world, because the sea in which they breed is cold and rich in nutrients. In Italy there are anchovies from the Gulf of Cetare (Campania) and those of Cefalu. The best are the spring, and are also less fattening.

But back to the recipe. If it is possible try to make your own anchovies lying in oil and make your own breadcrumbs since they are easy to prepare.

Although I had the Zarotti’s anchovies in oil, in the version Cetara grandicelle and more flavourful, and a half a pack of pasta Coconut calling from the pantry. (This is free advertising … let this be known)

What is missing? Extra virgin olive oil, garlic and chilli.

Then it’s really simple. While the water is boiling in a pan large enough to fit all the pasta, I warmed to low heat 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic with hot pepper. After two minutes, I added at least 6 anchovies in oil well drained and waited line-up. Every now and then I used a wooden spoon to mix all the ingreadients to make sure that nothing would burn, the garlic gives a bitter taste if it burns.

As soon as the pasta is al dente, with the clamp (not the colander!) Move it to the pan, add a spoonfull of cooking water and wait for the sauce and pasta to blend.  With no hurry at all stir the pasta and the sauce together and if needed add more of the cooking water, rich in starch which makes it well tied. Finally the breadcrumbs.

 

 

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15Jun 12

Mozzarella and cherry tomatoes lasagna

Translation by Alessandra Dubini – Marlborough College

Welcome to Kitcheninthecity! Urban kitchen, means easy good cooking. Urban life here in Milan is quite tough: work+ 2 hungry teenagers+one great husband.  Cooking is passion, eating with family and fiends is sharing love. I’ll just ask  you to be comprehensive to my “english” mistakes…

Let’s start with a Lasagna! No meat ragù, just flavoury Bufala mozzarella (but f you have normal mozzarella it works!) and fresh cherry tomatoes. Basil bechamel. Tasty, quick, perfect for dinners, picnic, Sunday brunches. Would you ask more? You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen…just follow few step and you’ll get a delicious green bechamel + great lasagna. Prepare it the day before, most of the work is the bechamel. Here they say it tastes like pizza, what do you think?

If you’re a fan of this recipe then you should also try out Mozzarella & Tomato Calzone.

Mozzarella and cherry tomatoes lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 250g fresh lasagne
  • 500g mozzarella
  • 600g cherry tomatoes
  • 6 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic
  • 30 fresh basil leaves
  • 600g milk
  • 80g flour
  • 80g butter
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 200°
  2. Bechamel!
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth.
  5. Whisk in warm milk until thickened by the roux.
  6. Add basil leaves, pinch of salt and pepper and work it with a food processor
  7. Tomatoes!
  8. In a pan cook washed and cut in half tomatoes with garlic and oil, for 7 minutes
  9. Add salt and pepper as you like, keep apart
  10. Lasagna!
  11. To assemble, spread 3 spoons of the bechamel in the bottom of rectangular baking dish.
  12. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise over the bechamel
  13. Top with mozzarella cheese slices and cherry tomatoes
  14. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella Cherry tomatoes.
  15. Cover with foil and bake for 20 min.
  16. Remove foil, and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  17. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

 

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