Sunday, October 30, 2011


Happiness has many faces.

I've seen one today, actually, two. 
Those of my children, being back from a visit to the cultivated field of a family friend.
My parents, extraordinary granparents, drove the two rascals to the beautiful garden, while my husband and I stayed home with little Mickey Mouse, downhearted with his roseola infantum.
They were back in three hours time, with a massive crate filled with fruit and veggies such as peppers, leeks, aubergines, black cabbage and green beans. 
They, of course, brought me an incredibly fragrant bunch of multicolour flowers as well, which I placed into a vase at the centre of my table.

I cooked the aubergines straight away and here is what I made.


2 small aubergines cut in slices (1 cm thick)
200 g of caciotta cheese (but mozzarella would do the trick as well!)
200 g of grated mature sheep cheese or parmesan cheese
a handful of basil leaves
3 eggs
salt, as needed (I don't use much anyway)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs

Stirfry the aubergines in a large pan with the olive oil and add very little salt. 
When they change their colour into a slight golden shade turn the heat down and cover with the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Apart beat the eggs with the black pepper and sheep cheese or parmesan, depending on what you have in the fridge.
Arrange the first layer of aubergines in an oven dish, top with basil leaves and thinly sliced caciotta (or mozzarella, again depending on what you have) than lay the remaining aubergines on top. Finally pour the beaten cheesy eggs on the whole surface and garnish with breadcrumbs and more grated cheese.
Pop in the oven and cook at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Perfect for a rich pic-nic in the country, but also nice as an apetizer, cut in small, nit square, while you're sipping a glass of fresh, sparkling, white wine with your guest, waiting for a special pasta to be cooked "al dente".


4 eggs
1 red pepper (remove pepper's stalk and seeds and dice it)
2 potatoes speeled and diced
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
100 g of grated parmesan cheese and 50 g of grated mature sheep cheese
1 small courgette (for a nice hint of green), sliced in rounds
1 teaspoon of dry rosemary
1 teaspoon of dry marjoran 
ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil for stewing the veggies and half a glass of olive oil for frying the frittata

In a large pan, stirfry the red pepper, the potatoes, the courgette and the shallot. Add salt, black pepper and the herbs. Let the veggies get a nice golden colour on their surface, turn the heat down and cover with the lid. 
Apart beat the eggs with parmesan and sheep cheese and very little salt, add to the veggies and blend. Pour the nice chunky mixture you got  in a frying pan with half a glass of olive oil and fry carefully both sides of your frittata.
Serve at room temperature


More and more leeks. I think I'm just fallen in love with these gorgeous veggies and it's so hard to stop me from buying them!
Frankly I  believe that they have a "just-perfect-for-every-dish-taste" and that they give to your food a hint of irresistible homey flavour.

Ingredients for ten souffles

200 g grated parmesan cheese
350 g of bechamel
6 egg yolk, beaten
6 egg whites, beaten until stiff
2 leeks sliced in rounds
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
breadcrumbs for dusting the oven shapes

Stew the leeks in a large pan with butter and olive oil.
Add the cooked leeks to the beaten egg yolks; pour the bechamel and the parmesan cheese, add salt and ground black pepper.
At last pour the egg whites and stir very gently from the bottom to the top.
Butter the shapes and dust them with breadcrumbs.
Divide the mixture into the shapes and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees and for 15 minutes at 150 degrees.

Friday, October 7, 2011


 I love smooth soups, but every now and then I long for one of those old fashion, chunky ones, the ones the one italians call minestrone
Here's a very easy one, perfect for this season. Fall hasn't kicked in quiet yet, it's struggling against a very stubborn summer which doesn't want to be left behind.

Ingredients per 4

250 g di peas (Birds Eye's are perfect)
10 small champignons mushrooms (sliced along their wide section)
6 baby potatoes (diced)
1 leek (sliced in thin rounds)
a mix of chopped herbs (dry or fresh depending on what you have at home) such as marjorane, basil and parsley.
1 tablespoon of butter 
3 tablespoons of e.v. olive oil 
half a teaspoon of very hot chopped dry chilly pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the olive oil and stew the leek, potatoes and champignons. Pour the peas, hot chilli pepper, salt and herbs i piselli. Cover with boiling vegetable stock or  boiling water and add salt according to your taste.  
Cook for about one hour and serve with croutons.