May 29 2019

Three Colours Rice Ring with Stracciatella

There is an unmistakable touch of Sicily in the flavors and colours of this dish (although the rice comes from Piedmont), which goes all too well with the delicacy of the stracciatella, or burrata if you opt for that one. It features a magnificent look, full flavours and you can even make it the day ahead. 

Serves 10-12

  • 250 gr red wild rice
  • 250 gr black rice
  • 250 gr white Arborio rice
  • 80 gr pecorino cheese, grated
  • 80 gr almonds, skin removed, coarsely chopped
  • 170 gr dried tomatoes, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 12 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed under running water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 600 gr fresh stracciatella (it is the stuffing of burrata: you can use a burrata as well, thoroughly chopped)
  • 80 gr black olives

Boil separately the three kinds of rice and let cool to room temperature.

Combine the tomatoes, almonds, pecorino cheese and capers in a food processor and work until you reach the consistency of a rough cream.

Divide the sauce in three parts, and with each one dress the rices, one at a time. Squeeze the lemon juice into the rice, mix well and set aside.

Grease a tin with some oil and first place the black rice with the help of a spoon. Even the surface, then add the white rice, and finally the red one on top. Press well with the spoon in order to eliminate any bubbles and tap the tin on the table to stabilize the content. Close the tin with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Unmold the tin on a plate, pop the stracciatella into the center and decorate with some black olives and additional whole almonds.



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Posted in First course, Vegetarian
Nov 15 2018

Cauliflower Pudding with Black Olive Pesto

As I would simply put it, this pudding is my signature dish. The pudding in itself is delicate yet savory, while the pesto sauce features a real triumph of aromas.  Please notice that the real zing to the pesto comes from the olives, so take care of choosing the best possible quality. 

Serves 4

  • 800 gr cauliflower, florets removed and washed
  • 150 ml milk
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 80 gr pecorino cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp extravirgin olive oil

for the pesto:

  • 100 gr black olives, deseeded: if you are lucky enough to find the Taggiasche sort that will be the best! Otherwise, a good alternative is Greek black olives, which are surely easier to locate.
  • 100 ml top quality Italian extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, accurately washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 3 anchovies in oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or chilli flakes, if you prefer it less spicy)
  • rind and juice of 1 organic orange

Boil the cauliflower in hot salted water, drain and sautéè in a large pan with the oil until golden. Reduce to a purée using the back of a spoon. Let it cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the pecorino cheese and milk and add a little black pepper powder.  Add the cauliflower and mix thoroughly.

Grease the inside of a plain bundt cake tin with some olive oil and pour in the batter. Bake in the oven, still, at 190°C, bainmarie, for 50 minutes.

Prepare the pesto by putting all the ingredients in a food processor until creamy and blended.

Leave the pudding to cool a little before turning out, garnish with the pesto and serve. You can make the pudding a day ahead and warm it in the microwave just before serving: cover with the pesto only after warmed up, so that the sauce won’t cook.

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Posted in Sides, Recipes, Main dishes, Vegetarian
Jul 28 2017

Mediterranean Pepperonata

The secret of a perfectly tasty and creamy pepperonata is the breadcrumbs. Enjoy this wonderful recipe, whose results stay perfect even in the days to come.

Serves 4

  • 2 yellow pepper
  •  red pepper
  • 1 fresh chilly pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 spoon capers,
  • 3 spoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 spoons vinegar
  • 1 spoon breadcrumbs
  • pine nuts to garnish

Chop the onion and garlic and place in a large pan with the oil and red chilly pepper; let it golden, then add the pepper, previously sliced and cubed. Cook for 20 minuts, stirring every now and then. Pop also the capers into the pan.

Bring to the boil and add the vinegar; let it reduce and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.  Add some salt to taste and serve lukewarm or at a room temperature, even better the day after.  Garnish with some toasted pine nuts.

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Posted in Sides, Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
May 16 2017

Gaeta’s Tiella with Italian Endives

This recipe comes from the beautiful city of Gaeta, located south of Rome, right in the heart of the Mediterranean; the smells and flavours of this dish remind me of the sea, beautiful sunny days and picnics.


for the dough

  • 400 gr flour
  • 20 gr fresh beer yeast
  • 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 ml water

for the filling

  • 2 kg fresh escarole (a type of Italian endives; you could substitute endives to escarole if you can’t find it!)
  • 2/3 garlic cloves
  • good quality black olives (if you can find taggiasche olives, they’re perfect for this recipe!)
  • 100 gr raisins
  • 60 gr pine nuts, toasted
  • 30 gr capers (rinsed if salted)
  • 10 anchovies
  • chilli powder or flakes to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil

Wash escarole or endive, cut into strips and dry very well. In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil and cook garlic cloves for a few minutes. Remove them and add the olives to the pan, cook for a few minutes and then add the escarole (or endive) strips. Stir well. Cover pan with a lid and let cook until soft. At this point add pine nuts, raisins and capers, as well as the anchovies (break them into smaller pieces first). Add chilli flakes or powder to taste. Stir and cook on high heat until all water from the vegetables has evaporated. Add salt to taste and set aside.  

To prepare the dough, break up the yeast and melt in in 100ml lukewarm water and add flour in a large bowl. Slowly add the remaining water and mix in. Without mixing up the dough too much (as this might make it too tough) shape the mix into a ball. Let rest for one hour, during which the dough should double in size. Now take the dough, and press it with your hands to create a fairly thin round layer (sort of like a pizza base). Cover a 25cm oiled cake tin with your stretched dough,  and let the excess around the sides be. Preheat oven at 180°.

Stuff your base with the escarole filling, then take the remaining dough and shape into a thinner layer, and place this over the top of your filling like a pie. Now fold the excess around the sides over the top layer. Lightly pierce the top layer with a fork and drizzle some olive oil on top. Now bake in the over at 180° for one hour. Once the top looks crispy and golden, your tiella is ready!

Though this dish takes a little bit of work, it is really worth it. You can make more than one and keep them in the freezer- if you don’t end up eating all of them in one sitting- which could definitely happen.

Servite la tiella tiepida, meglio se il giorno dopo.

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Posted in First course, Recipes, Main dishes, Vegetarian
Mar 7 2014

Carciofi morbidi al pane


Un contorno o anche un secondo leggero per vegetariani. I carciofi restano morbidissimi e la ricetta non richiede aglio.

Ingredienti per 4 persone

  • 6 carciofi
  • 12 capperi sotto sale
  • 6 olive taggiasche
  • un paio di fette di pane fresco casereccio
  • 2 cucchiaini pasta di acciughe o 4 acciughe sott’olio
  • 1 ciuffo abbondante di prezzemolo
  • 4 cucchiai parmigiano grattugiato
  • olio evo
  • mezzo bicchiere di vino bianco secco
  • 1 limone

Tagliate la crosta dal pane,  fatelo  a pezzetti e mettetelo nel congelatore per 20 minuti, poi frullatelo: in questo modo il pane rimarrà sgranato, anziché fare una pappa. A parte tritate i capperi dissalati, le olive, il prezzemolo, e unite anche le acciughe o la pasta. Incorporate il trito a 8 cucchiai di pane, unite anche il parmigiano e tanto olio quanto basta per ottenere un impasto umido. Aggiustate di sale e pepe.

Pulite i carciofi, tagliateli a metà (conservate anche il gambo), eliminate il fieno interno e metteteli a bagno in acqua e succo di limone perché non anneriscano. Leggi tutto ›

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Posted in Sides, Recipes, Main dishes
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