Yesterday I covered the basics about frittata when I posted about “frittata con le salsiccie” (frittata with sausage).

We have a pescetarian in the house.  So, at the last brunch I had to make also a vegetarian frittata.  I used potatoes and leeks.  It’s simple and very good.

Ingredients (this makes an 8×1 inch frittata):

  • one leek 
  • three potatoes
  • 10-12 eggs
  • salt, pepper and herbs (i used thyme)
  • extra virgin olive oil

The steps:

1.  slice the leeks (white part only) and dice the potatoes (small pieces).

potatoes     leeks

2.  start sautee’ing the potatoes in 3-4 tablespoon of olive oil.   It will take a good 10-15mins for the potatoes to cook properly.  After about 10mins add the leeks and let sautee for another 5mins.

 potatoes  leeks and potatoes

3.  Time to add the beaten egg mix.  Let it cooked at medium-low heat for about 5-10mins (in my pan it took about 10mins).  

 frittata is cooking 

4.  it’s now time to turn the frittata around.  When do you turn it?  A good test is to check the bottom of the frittata with a spatula.  If the bottom is a nice golden brown it’s time to turn the frittata around.  Quick steps:

cimg2939-600.jpg  cimg2940-600.jpg  cimg2941-600.jpg

5.  Cook it now for another 3-5 mins and the frittata is ready to go!!  

cimg2942-600.jpg

Enjoy!!!

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If you are in the mood for a good fresh vegetarian pasta with a kick then this pasta should be in your short list of candidates.

Final

It’s not the fastest dish to make. it does take a bit of preparation and good cooking time. I would give it about an hour for a good sauce. More if you have time.

For the ingredients (feeds 2-3 people):

Below the steps to put it together. I usually overlap a few steps to make things quicker. You should do how it would work best for you.

Step 1: Prepare the eggplant. If you don’t “dry” the eggplant you will see that they will not cook properly. I honestly don’t know the chemistry behind this (I should look it up), but empirically speaking it is better to dry them. There are different ways to do it. You can cover the eggplant with rock salt for a few hours. You will see that the salt absorbs the water out of the eggplant. This is probably the best approach, but it is too time consuming so I use a different one. I simply put them on a hot non-stick pan and keep them there for a few mins (about 2 mins each side).

Preparing the eggplant

Step 2: Get the sauce going. This is classic approach, that I have discussed a few times in my previous postings. Start the “soffritto” with the olive oil, chopped onion, slices carrots and celery. In the meantime slice the eggplant that you prepared above. When the soffritto is ready (the onion turns translucent) add the the eggplant to the mix. Stir it well. After couple of minutes add a little a little wine. I use red wine. I have used some balsamic vinegar in the past. If you use wine you just need 1\2 a glass. Couple of pix:

Cucina di Max Cucina di Max - Italian cooking

Step 3: Finishing the sauce. Once the eggplant look good add some of the freshed chopped tomato (it gives it a touch of freshness) and let it cook for two minutes. At this point add the crushed tomatotoes and the spices. Let is simmer it for about 30mins .You could leave it simmering more, up to 45-60mins. Just make sure that it does not get too dry…you could add some water (use the pasta water) to balance it. The sauce is done!

Cucina di Max - Italian cooking

Step 4: Pasta and sauce come together. As the sauce is in the last minutes of cooking you can start boiling the pasta. Once the pasta is done you can just drain it and mix it with the sauce. Cook it together for about a minute and your dish it ready to go!!!

Enjoy it!

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Ready to serve!
Linguini with broccoli and anchovies. I had not cooked this dish for at least two years. The first time I had it was when I was leaving in Lisbon. My friend Michele (from Bolzano) thought me how to make it.

I do agree that this may not be ideal for all taste buds and the reaction for many may be “ugh”. I guess you gonna have to try it and see if you like it… I do!

As many of the recipe I have been posting lately the great thing about this dish is that it takes very little work and it’s done in about 20-30 mins (end-to-end…you can do other thngs in the meatime).

Anyway, let’s get down to business. Here’re the ingredients (for 2-3 people, depending on how hungry their are):

  • 1 box of anchovies
  • 1/2 pound of Linguine (De Cecco, Del Verde or Barilla will do it)
  • Couple of cloves of garlic
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 pound of broccoli (I used frozen ones)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil (extra virgin)

The steps:

  1. Bring water to boil in a pot.  This is the same pot you’ll use to cook the pasta as well.  Before you forget you should also add salt to the water.
  2. When the water is boiling pour the broccoli.  You need to cook them for about 5 minutes, after the water starts boiling again.
  3. Once the 5 mins are up and the broccoli cooked, take them out and save them in a bowl.  If the broccoli are very big, you can just cut them quickly using a knife.
  4. The water is already boiling and you can put the pasta in.  No worries on the “soffritto” for the pasta, it will just take a few mins.
  5. As the pasta is cooklng we start preparing the anchovies\garlic soffritto.  Warm up a deep sauce pan, add the olive oil and the fine chopped garlic.  Let the garlic cook for a minute or so, until it start looking “gold”.
  6. Add the anchovies and make sure that you stir it so that it almost create a “paste” (see pix below). Keep the heat medium\low.  This is a good time to add a few chilli flakes.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in the sauce pan.  This is also the time to add back the broccoli as well.
  8. Stir everything well together for a minute over medium heat.
  9. You are done..just need to plate it and add some pepper and fresh virgin olive oil.

Enjoy your dish and let us know how it goes!

anchovies and garlic  all starts coming together



Penne alle zucchine

July 30, 2006

I have not had pasta wich zucchini for a long time. It’s really fresh and light. Ideal as a summer dish. Added bonus: it’s super easy and quick.

Pasta con zucchine
Ingredients (for 2 people):

  • One big zucchini (or two smaller ones). Chopped.
  • 3 fresh tomatoes (chopped)
  • onion (chopped)
  • olive oil (4 tablespoons)
  • salt, pepper (at wish)
  • a bit of chilli pepper (depending on your spicy tollerance level)
  • 2 cups of penne (De Cecco is reccomended, Barilla will do it)

Here’re the easy steps:

  1. In a sauce pan start with the oil and the onion, medium heat.
  2. When the onion starts to become translucent add the zucchini (pix)
  3. When the zucchini start cooking (also becoming lightly translucent) add the fresh tomatoes. The key is to not overcook the zucchini, otherwise you’ll end up with a zucchini puree! If in doubt lean toward keeping the zucchini. Check out this pix for reference.
  4. The tomatoes don’t need to cook too much. It may take 3-4mins. You don’t want to overcook them.
  5. Spice it up…time to add some salt, fresh pepper and if you like a spicy kick you can add either chilli flakes or even better use the fresh chillis.
  6. You are done with the sauce!
  7. In the meantime you should have started cooking the penne on a different pot with lots of water. Drain the pasta and pour it in the sauce pan, bring the sauce and pasta together, over medium heat, for about a minute (don’t forget to stir it a few times).
  8. Serve in a plate, sprinkle some fresh pepper and enjoy! (pix)

Let me know how it goes!

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