This Italian-inspired dish is so delicious and extremely easy to make. Basically, we are speaking about some small pasta cooked in a basil-flavored tomato broth, together with buttery cannellini beans, carrots, celery and onion. With some organisatory work done ahead this no fussn dish takes no longer than 30 minutes. Those vegetables I’ve mentioned above combine together in a genuine taste symphony, creating an absolutely delicious dish which is also heart and packed with nutrients. If I’d have to place it in a category I’d say it stays somewhere between a soup and a stew. I love my pasta e fagioli on the thick side but if a soupier dish is your cup of tea, please feel free to add more liquid.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions (200g, chopped)
- 2 large carrots (200g, chopped)
- 3 celery stalks (150g, chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 10 basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 4 – 5 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cans cooked cannellini beans (500g)
- 1 cup dried small pasta (120g)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Broth. I heated the vegetable broth over high heat. If you use room temperature broth, it would take longer for the soup to reach boiling point.
- Vegetables. Peel the onions, carrots and garlic cloves. Chop the onions, celery and carrot. Finely chop the garlic and basil.
- Sautee the vegetables. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee them until translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the carrot and the celery and sautee for further 3 minutes.
- The liquid. Add the chopped basil and bay leaves. Add the crushed tomatoes and about 4 cups of hot soup. Cover the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and cook the soup for 15 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and cook for further 10 minutes.
- Pasta. Finally add dry pasta and cook it until tender (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and serve in large bowl with olive oil drizzled on top.
My heart fills with joy whenever I think of this mouth-watering salad, whenever I think of its amazing taste, its vibrant colors, its contrasting textures. Undoubtedly, this is my all-time favorite salad; this salad is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also absolutely delicious. There are some really interesting things going on in my plate, the discrete nutty aroma of the quinoa is being amplified by the roasted almond flakes, and the fresh taste of the carrot goes so well with the earthy sweetness of the cranberries. What a treat!
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 100g dry quinoa (1/2 cup)
- 120ml water (1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot (50g)
- 20g almond flakes
- 40g dried cranberries
- 2 spring onions
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp of any neutral oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork.
- Almonds. Brown the almonds in a skillet, on medium heat. Set aside.
- Carrot, spring onions, cranberries, parsley. Peel the carrot using a vegetable peeler and grate it. Chop the spring onions finely. Halve the cranberries.Wash the parsley, pat it dry with a clean paper towel and chop it finely.
- Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl the lemon juice with the oil and the parsley. Take a large bowl and place the quinoa in it. Add the carrot, spring onion, cranberries and almonds. Pour the dressing, give it a stir and season with salt and pepper.
- Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Chicken lollipops are always a great idea, whether you have to prepare a party buffet or a simple lunch. Underneath their crispy crust lays a tender, juicy and flavorful meat. It is a wonderful dish, yet quite simple and budget-friendly.
I make lollipops very often and every time I use only the drumettes (the thick part of the wing, the part that has only one bone). I generally marinate the drumettes with a lemon, olive oil, garlic and sage mixture and I refrigerate them overnight. Yesterday I did the same thing and this morning I prepared some flavorful, tender and adorable lollipops. They were simply amazing but I decided to serve them with a spicy tomato and chili sauce which made them even better.
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
- 12 drumettes
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
for the marinade:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- juice and zest from half a lemon
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves
- 7 sage leaves
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Prepare the marinade by mixing in a large bowl all the ingredients above.
- Prepare the drumettes. Grab the thin part and cut the skin and the ligaments surrounding the bone. Scrape the bone with a knife and pull the meat up, towards the thick end. Carefully pull the meat over the fat to create a sphere (picture).
- Place the drumettes in the marinade bowl and toss to cover. Place them in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Remove them from the refrigerator and take 3 bowls; place the flour in the first bowl, the bread crumbs in the second bowl and the egg, milk, salt and pepper in the third.
- Roll the drumettes in the flour, dip them in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.
- Deep-fry them at 340°F/170°C for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown.
- Carefully remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll fall in love with this dessert / snack / energy booster. It’s incredibly easy to make, you basically mix a few ingredients in a food processor, and the whole shenanigan doesn’t take more than 10 minutes, from start to finish. These balls are raw vegan, they are made from nuts, seeds, cereals and dehydrated fruits, which makes them not only tasty but also very healthy and kid-friendly. For this recipe I used carrots, walnuts, oats and dates, which I’ve seasoned with cinnamon, orange peel and vanilla and I made 20 adorable, sweet, flavorful, fragrant, burnt-orange balls that simply melt in your mouth.
They are not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients (protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and omega3 and omega6 fatty acids). These carrot balls are sweetened with naturals from dates and carrots, without the addition of any processed sugar, which makes them a great alternative to store-bought sweets. I must confess that since I’ve discovered this type of dessert, I quit visiting the chocolate isle from the supermarkets. Me, the ultimate sugar-lover… Continue reading Carrot & Walnut Energy Bites (Raw Vegan)
Quail soup with homemade duck noodles is undoubtedly my favorite soup. Personally, I find this soup the very quintessence of a Sunday, it’s the reason we gather around that familiar, round, wooden table, it’s what makes a sunday, Sunday. It’s happiness in its purest form, it’s the very reason I felt deeply in love with gastronomy.
I’ve had quail several times before, and I grew fond of it more and more on each occasion. It’s definitely more chewy than chicken and it resembles from this point of view with duck breast. I’d rather place it in the dark meat category, it has an earthy, rich taste and a subtle gamey flavor. This quail soup manages to preserve that lovely aroma, it is tasty, rich and nutritious; also, homemade duck noodles are a wonderful addition to this flavorful soup. Since it’s may, I thought it would have been terrible if I didn’t use spring vegetables, freshly picked from my own veggie garden. I seldom use a bouquet garni for soups, but I found that the freshness of the thyme and the earthiness of the sage complements wonderfully the gaminess of the quail. Continue reading Quail Soup with Homemade Noodles
Cream of pumpkin soup is one of my favorite soups. I know I say the same thing about almost every soup I try and I’m also aware of the fact that I might have a problem. I wouldn’t call it a problem, though. I would rather call it an affinity for everything that’s nutritious, delicious and hydrating.
Pumpkin-wise, this year has been extremely productive and rewarding. I harvested some huge pumpkins from my own veggie garden. And when I say huge, I mean huge-huge, that’s-the-biggest-vegetable-I’ve-ever-seen kind of huge. If last year I had two semi-decent looking pumpkins (who am I kidding, they were a cross between a melon and a tennis ball, to be more accurate), this year I had about a dozen giant ones. And they were so incredibly tasty! Sometimes I looked at them and I felt it would be a shame to cook them, and then I remembered their perfect flavor and their addictive sweetness. And that was the nudge I needed to get things going! Continue reading Cream of Pumpkin Soup
As soon as the first leaf turns brown, I immediately start preparing soups, creams, stews and other semi-liquid and preferably hot dishes. I simply love the idea of having a melting pot on a stove, a pot that simmers quietly and makes the entire kitchen smell like fall. On this chilly Saturday morning, I decided it’s suitable, if not perfect, to make a delicious Tuscan bean soup, a flavorful Italian cannellini bean and prosciutto soup. It is so easy to make, you just have to saute some prosciutto, onion, carrots and celery, you deglaze the pan with wine, you cover the ingredients with cubed tomatoes and broth and you let the soup simmer. Before serving you add the beans and some baby spinach and the soup is ready. Simple as one, two, thee! The most intriguing part of this dish, and the source of its complex flavor profile, if I may, it’s the addition of a parmesan rind. This element gives the soup an unbelievable flavor! Next time you’ll be tempted to throw away a parmesan rind, think again and let the rind elevate a Tuscan bean soup. You won’t regret it! Continue reading Tuscan Bean Soup
I’ve finally found a recipe for cream of carrot soup that doesn’t taste like baby food. It is made from roasted carrots and fennel, two vegetables that go so well together. I must confess that I picked my carrots from my garden this morning, on a warm summer rain. It sounds enchanting, doesn’t it? So, I chopped the vegetables, I drizzled some olive oil and I roasted them in the oven, just to enhance their flavor. After they were nice and brown, I simmered them in vegetable soup, with red onion, wine and thyme. At the end I flavored the soup with some fragrant roasted garlic. The result was a delicious and hearty soup. The funny thing is that only long after I enjoyed this divine soup I realized that it was in fact vegan. My family never suspected! Continue reading Cream of Carrot Soup
I simply can’t figure out why people avoid tripe. When cleaned proper and cooked well, this humble cut magically becomes an exquisite dish. It is so inexpensive and it is a great source of protein, vitamins and enzymes. Continue reading Trippa alla Romana