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.
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.
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
This butter bean and tuna salad is simply divine! It’s very tasty, nutritious and hearty. It is a rustic, unpretentious salad, but at the same time the flavor and texture combination give it a particular charm. It’s so easy to make and to gain some time, I start the recipe by roasting the cherry tomatoes just until they caramelize nicely and burst with flavor. While my tomatoes brown patiently in the oven, I make the creamy mustard dressing and I chop the rest of the ingredients and the dinner is ready. Or the lunch. Or the brunch, if you’re as greedy as I am. I serve this lovely salad on a garlicky whole-wheat toast and I enjoy every last bite of it. Continue reading Butter Bean, Tuna and Cherry Tomato Salad
I’ve been testing quail egg recipes for quite a while and I include them almost daily in my diet. I serve them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as appetizers, main dishes or even desserts. They are so versatile, nutritious and they are also, given their size, ready in no time.
Quail egg salad is simply mouth-watering. It’s ready in less than 20 minutes, it’s smooth and velvety and it’s a true texture and flavor symphony. Homemade mayonnaise gives this salad its creaminess; homemade mayonnaise is so inexpensive and definitely more delicious and nutritious than the store-bought version. For this salad I boiled the quail eggs for 3 minutes, I chopped them and I combined them with scallions, celery and homemade pickled cucumbers. I flavored the salad with Dijon mustard, parsley, lemon zest and chili powdered. Three tablespoons of mayo, salt and freshly ground pepper and the salad was ready. Extremely easy and over-the-top delicious! Continue reading Quail Egg Salad
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 love veggie creams so much, not because I am lazy (fine … that too, I admit), but because creams are a great method to include more vegetables in your diet. In my case it’s difficult to pick a favorite, in general I like everything that’s savory and creamy. Anyway, this broccoli and ricotta soup, which is a relatively recent discovery, has quickly become my obsession. It’s so rich, smooth and fragrant, and the subtle minty flavor gives this dish such a nice touch. Continue reading Creamy Broccoli and Ricotta Soup
Tuna, onion and mayonnaise is a match made in heaven, from my point of view. I’ve never tried to perfect this combination because I found it perfect in the first place. The problem occurred one day when I ran out of eggs and it was impossible for me to make mayonnaise (I’m old school, I always make my own mayonnaise, don’t judge me). I was desperately looking for a substitute in the pantry when a (probably) 100 year old ripe avocado was looking back at me. It seemed such a good idea. And it was a wonderful idea! From that day on I’ve never used mayonnaise in my tuna salad again. Continue reading Paleo Tuna and Avocado Salad
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
Today I have the following idea: a hearty kidney bean and quinoa warm salad wrapped in a homemade flatbread, served with a delicious and tangy avocado sauce. It’s a vegan dish, extremely tasty and very nutritious. It is a very satisfying salad, packed with protein, vitamins and healthy fats. Continue reading Warm Kidney Bean and Quinoa Salad Wrap