Posts with tag main dish

food matters monday – indian cuisine

happy monday! this week i’m the Food Matters Project host (my first time) – responsible for the recipe of the week. and I have chosen to give a shot to indian cuisine (one of my favourites).
 

 

dal with lot of vegetables from Mark Bittman The Food Matters Cookbook
ingredients
1 tbs vegetable oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs gee
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups cauliflower florets and stems cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup cubed eggplant (salted, rinsed, and dried if you like)
1 cup cubed zucchini
4 cardamom pods
1 tbs mustard seeds
curry powder
garam masala
2 cloves
1 dried mild chilli optional
1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
Salt
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
 
directions
put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. add the cardamom, mustard seeds, curry powder, gara masala, stir until the spices are fragrant but not burning, just a minute.
add 1 tbsp gee and then add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
add the vegetables and lentils and cover with water by about 2 inches. cook until lentils and vegetables are tender about 25 to 35 minutes.
season with salt and pepper to taste. garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
 

black beans masala
ingredients
2 cups black beans (1 cup dried), soaked over night and drained
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
1 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and squeezed
½ can chopped tomatoes (3 small tomatoes or 2 large fresh)
1 tsp gr coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
chilli flakes (optional)
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
 
directions
drain and rinse black beans well. add 6 cups* of water and buy leaf into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 1 hour.
drain the beans, reserving the liquid and set aside.
heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat; add ginger, garlic and mustard seeds until the seeds start to pop.
add the rest of the spices and heat thoroughly in the oil.
add chopped tomatoes, black beans and reserved liquid from the beans. add water if it’s necessary to just cover the beans. cover and cook for 10 minutes.
add the chopped cilantro and serve.
 
* beans that have been soaked will require about three cups of water for each cup of beans. still, it is always best to add more water and drain at the end. be sure to routinely check the water level during cooking, if you run out of water, the black beans will start to burn and acquire a burnt, smoky taste.
 

tofu masala
ingredients
tofu, sliced
4 tsp oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
pinch of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
1 cm ginger, chopped
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tsb of sugar (to taste)
chilli to taste
3 cardamon pots
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
200 ml coconut milk
bunch of cilantro and mint leaves, roughly chopped
 
directions
heat 2 tsp oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat, add sliced tofu and fry them on both sides until golden brown, set aside.
heat remaining oil, add spices and fry for 30 sec.
add onions and fry about 3 min.
add garlic, ginger and fry for few more minutes.
add tomatoes, sugar, coriander and mint leaves (reserve some coriander leaves to garnish), cook about 5 min.
finally add tofu and coconut milk, cook about 10 min.
garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or naan bread.
 

tomato onion salad
Ingredients
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
chilli powder
coriander leaves, finely chopped – as much as you like
 
directions
mix all ingredients together

food matters monday – roasted veggies in the oven

The recipe of The Food Matters Project this week is Provencal Vegetables and Chicken in Packages, chosen by Nancy. I made four different veggie recipes

Roasted potatoes with caraway/ rosemarie or thyme (up to your taste)
Ingredients
1000 g potatoes, sliced 5mm tick
1 tbsp caraway
oil
salt, to taste
 
Directions
Boil the water, add potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Dry them, add oil, thyme (or another flavor) and salt, mix carefully. Place potatoes on the baking dish and bake until golden brownish. Serve.

 

roasted tomatoes with thyme
ingredients
500 g cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
fresh thyme springs
1 tsp sugar
2 glove garlic, minced
salt&pepper, to taste
 
directions
heat the oven to 200 degrees. mix oil with garlic, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. place tomatoes on the baking sheet and spoon over with oil mix. sprinkle with sugar and place baking dish with tomatoes in the oven. bake about 25 – 30 minutes. serve.

 

cauliflower with brazilian nuts, by Četras sezonas
Ingredients
700 g cauliflower, roughly divided and steamed al dante
40 brazilian nuts, chopped
70 g sharp tasting cheese of your choice, shredded
oil
salt&pepper, to taste
 
directions
heat the oven, place cauliflower on the baking dish, sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, cheese and Brazilian nuts. bake until cheese is melted and brazilian nuts are golden brownish. serve.

 

honey glazed carrots in the oven
ingredients
500 g carrots, sliced lengthways in halves
oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 gloves garlic, minced
salt&pepper, to taste
 
directions
heat the oven to 210 degrees. boil the water, add carrots, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. dry them, add oil, salt and pepper. place carrots on the baking dish. bake about 20 minutes. meanwhile mix honey, mustard and garlic. spoon mixture on the carrots, mix and bake another 10 minutes, until caramelized. Serve.

food matters monday – cabbage rolls

 
the recipe of the week is rolled cabbage chosen by Keely Marie. i did a little research and found out the wide variety of cabbage rolls are quite popular all over the world.
 
for my recipe, i decided to mix different versions and made my own one with pickled cabbage leaves (often used in Southeastern Europe), rice/vegetable mix and ginger flavor (recipe below).
 

 
bits and peaces about cabbage tools

a cabbage roll (also stuffed cabbage) is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. it is common to the ethnic cuisines of the Balkans, as well other parts of Europe such as finland (kaalikääryleet) and sweden (kåldolmar), russia (golubtsy) and the middle East (dolma).
 
in sweden on 30 november is even the day of the cabbage roll called “kåldolmens dag”, celebrating the death day of charles XII of sweden with the purpose stated by its initiators to hail the multifaceted swedish cultural heritage involving national symbols with immigrant background. it is arranged by “kåldolmens vänner” (friends of the cabbage roll).
 
in croatia stuffed cabbage is favourite dish at christmas. also in romanian stuffed cabbage rolls (sarmale) are traditionally served on christmas and new year’s eve and also served throughout the year at weddings, baptisms parties and other large celebrations.
 
in europe usually the cabbage rolls consist of meat (beef, lamb, or pork) seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. also, common is a vegetarian version with rice, barley, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables. in turkey vegetarian dolma consists of pickled grape leaves for wrapping and rice, olive oil, pinenuts, currants (or dried figs/cherries), herbs (fresh parsley, dill and mint) and spices (usually allspice, cinnamon and black pepper) for filling.
 
in asia for stuffed cabbage is used chinese cabbage with seafood, tofu and shitake.
 
in russia golubtsy is one of the comfort foods and for most of the soviet union children cabbage rolls bring back memories of mom or grandma and long, comforting meals in a warm kitchen.in russia, this dish appeared in the 18th century, at a time when french cooking was getting its first wave of maniacal followers in st. petersburg. the dish earned its name for the french practice of cooking pigeons wrapped in cabbage leaves – the russian word for a pigeon is “golub.”
 

cabbage rolls

for my recipe i decided to mix different versions and made my own one with pickled cabbage leaves (often used in southeastern europe), rice/vegetable mix and ginger flavour.

ingredients
1 pickled cabbage head (from authentic Russian shop)
1 cup basmati rise
1 big carrot shredded
1 onion chopped
2 garlic gloves crushed
200 g champignons chopped
2 cm ginger chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
6 bay leaves
salt, pepper
smoked paprika powder
chilli flakes

directions
heat the fry pan with oil, add onions and cook for 3 min, add ginger and garlic and cook another 3min, add carrots, salt (be careful not too much, cabbage leaves are already salty), chilli flakes and cook until tender for about 4 – 5 minutes. Set aside.
heat fry pan with oil again, add mushrooms, salt, paper and cook about 6 minutes.

combine together cooked ingredients and rinsed rise and mix well.
Put a large 2 – 3 spoonful of the rice mixture into a cabbage leaf, taking care not to overfill it, and roll loosely. you’re shooting for 8 – 10 cabbage rolls, but if you have extra filling, use all of the leaves. Put the rolls seam side down in the bottom of a large heat resistant pot; it’s okay to stack them on top of each other in the pot.

add the tomatoes wit their juice and 1 cup of water on top of the wrapped cabbages, add bay leafs, cover the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture barely bubbles and cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes. check to see if there’s still liquid in the pot. The cabbage should be just submerged; if not, add a little water. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes before checking again.
When the rolls have plumped up and absorbed most of the liquid, and are firm, turn off the heat and let rest, still covered, for at least 10 minutes (or up to 20). serve with chopped spring onions.
 
click here to see what the other members of the project made this week!

food matters monday – smoked bell pepper paella


Welcome to the east corner of Spain!
This week Meg of Fledging Foodie chose our recipe of the week: paella. And just for a minute it turned me back in andalucía, costa del sol, where I ate the most delicious paella ever. The flavor is still there, in my gourmet memory box.
 
bits and pieces about paella
paella is a valencian cooking metal pan (paellera) and a rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century in valencia, on the east coast of spain. many non-spaniards view paella as spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional valencian dish. valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
 
paella is a catalan word, which derives from the old french word paelle for pan, which in turn comes from the latin word patella for pan. valencians use the word paella for all pans, including the specialized shallow pan used for cooking paellas. Paelleras are traditionally round, shallow and made of polished steel with two handles.
 
according to tradition in valencia, men are cooking paella on open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine-cones. this produces an aromatic smoke, which infuses the paella. also, dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the paellera.
 
there are three widely known types of paella: valencian paella (spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well.
 

smoked bell pepper paella
i cooked my own vegan version of paella (last week I’ve started fasting, so no seafood until easter, at least).
 

smoked red bell peppers paella
i cooked my own vegan version of paella (last week i’ve started fasting, so no seafood until easter, at least).
 
ingredients
1 cup short grain rice (also used in risotto)
2 1/2 cup water
2 red bell peppers smoked and cut (you can also use fresh ones or canned)
1 can chopped tomatoes (in summertime – fresh tomatoes, about 700 g)
1 onion chopped
1 garlic glove minced
1 cup cooked or canned red beans, drained
2 tsp sweet paprika
A pinch of saffron (optional)
2 rosemary sticks (optional)
Salt, pepper
 
directions
heat oil in a big pan (wok pan). add green vegetables: onion, red bell peppers (if u use it) and sauté until soft. add garlic, chopped tomatoes, beans, smoked red bell peppers and sauté. add salt, pepper and paprika and sauté. add water, saffron and rosemary. boil to make broth and allow it to reduce by half. add rice and simmer until rice is cooked. if it gets too dry, add more water.
garnish with more rosemary or parsley.
 
p.s. great paella
paella usually has a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan called socarrat in spain. this is considered a delicacy there and is essential to good paella. the toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire. if cooked in an oven, however, it will not. to correct this, place the paellera over a high flame while listening to the rice toast at the bottom of the pan. once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards, remove it from heat. the paella must then sit for about five minutes (most recipes recommend the paella to be covered with a towel at this point) to absorb the remaining broth.
 
indoor smoked red bell peppers
you can use special grill pan. this time, i roasted them on the fire, on our gas stove. i’ve put the red bell pepper one by one on the cooker ring and occasionally turned them to get smoked on all sides. it took about 10 – 15 minutes. then, you have to set them aside in a bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap (or a tight fitting lid) and let them sit for about 15 minutes. the steam will loosen the skins so they’ll peel right off.

 

food matters monday week – polenta layer cake

happy birthday food matters project!!! hip hip hooray to Kate and Sarah who got this all started, and to all of you guys, who let this project developing further, you all did great job :)

 

1 year anniversary recipe is polenta cakes with garlicky mushrooms, chosen by sandra, you can see it here and all other variations here. this week i was super creative and i made my own polenta layer cake with mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh basil filling. see the recipe below.

 

Polenta, by Pietro Longhi

 

centuries – old italian dish polenta

 

polenta is a popular comfort food in italy with more than a thousand years of history. it’s originated from Friuli an area of northeastern italy and here polenta, not pasta, is the traditional main staple and today is getting more and more a gourmet makeovers all over the world.

 

polenta is made from corn meal. the key of the popularity of this dish is that it’s amazingly versatile. it can be served with nearly anything and that is why it has spread to every corner of italy, always making use of what is locally grown or raised. it could be perfect for important occasions or every day meals. it could be as a first course, second course or a side dish, hot or cold, sweet or savory.

 

read more interesting facts about polenta strength, health benefits here:
· Bright eyes
· Peasant food has healthy rewards

 

 

 
polenta layer cake
ingredients
polenta
3.5 cups water
150 g polenta or cornmeal flour

 
filling
200 g button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic gloves
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 carrot, grated
5 middle tomatoes
2- 3 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs nutritional yeast (optional) or grated cheese
salt, pepper
big bunch of fresh basil

 

directions
polenta
bring the water and salt to the boil in a large pan; add the polenta and stir all the time to prevent lumps forming.
Simmer the mixture very gently on the low heat, stirring frequently, until the polenta becomes very thick, about 30 – 35 min. It is likely to splatter, in which case partially cover the pan with a lid.
apread out polenta into a square pan, using a wet spatula. allow to cool for a couple of h at the room temperature.

 

filling
to make the filling, warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrot, and celery and continue to sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
add garlic and chopped tomatoes, cover with lid and sauté another 10 minutes. then add nutritional yeast, 2 – 3 tbs tomato paste and big bunch of fresh chopped basil, mix, stir for a minute. switch off the heat.

 

cut the polenta into 7 – 8 cm squares.

 

heat the oven to 200°C. arrange half of the cake squares in the bottom of the baking dish. pour half of the ready sauce over the squares and spread to cover. cover with another layer of polenta; pour on top the rest of the sauce. sprinkle cheese over the mushroom sauce. bake until the polenta cake is heated through between 15 and 20 minutes. let it stand for 10 minutes.

 

serve with fresh basil on the top of the layer cake and rucola or any other salad of your taste on the side.

food matters monday – chinese risotto with lots of veggies and tofu

 

this week’s recipe is chicken jook with lots of vegetables, chosen by Erin from the Goodness Life. ihe original recipe is here.  You can also check out the other participant’s creative variations on this dish in Food Matters Project.

 

this creamy chinese rise porridge also known as congee—is a perfect cold-weather soup. i like oriental dishes and we are cooking them a lot, mostly quick dinner dishes with rise or noodles, different vegetables, sprouts and tofu.  but still my favourite asian food is sushi… yum

 

anyway, i’ve never tried chinese risotto before, it was an interesting experience. this time i didn’t experiment too much, i wanted to try the original one. i just switched out chicken for the tempeh, added some sliced carrots and instead of short brown rice i used long grain brown rice (had them at home ☺).

 

 

chinese porridge with lots of vegetables and tempeh
ingredients
salt and black pepper
400 g tempeh
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 fresh chili minced or dried chili flakes
½ cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups cabbage sliced into very thin ribbons
1 cup snow peas
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more for serving
9 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

directions
put the 3 tbsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. add 5 mm sliced tempeh, sprinkle them with salt and pepper. cook both sides until brownish. set aside and cut in smaller pieces.

put the 2 tbsp oil in a large wok over medium – high heat. when it’s hot, add the onions, cook about 2 minutes. add the garlic, ginger, chili, and ½ cup scallions and cook until they are soft, just another 2 minutes.

add the rice along with 6 cups water. bring to a boil, and then adjust the heat so it bubbles. partially cover the pot and cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom. if it gets too dry, add more water. add the tempeh and cook for another half an hour or more, again stirring. the jook should have a porridge-like consistency; if it becomes very thick too quickly, turn down the heat and stir in extra water. when it is done, the jook should be soupy and creamy but still have a little chew.

stir in the jook the cabbage, snow peas, bean sprouts, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and remaining sesame oil; cook until the vegetables are just tender, another 5 minutes. taste and adjust the seasoning. serve, passing the cilantro, additional scallions, and additional soy sauce at the table.

Enjoy!

courgette (zucchini) & aubergine (eggplant) lasagne

courgette (zucchini) & aubergine (eggplant) lasagne
ingredients

1 kg aubergines thinly sliced

4 tbsp salt

8 tbsp olive oil

500 g courgettes thinly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

2 cups grated Mozzarella

600 ml passata (recipe below)

6 sheets pre – cooked lasagne

600 ml béchamel sauce (recipe below)

60 g parmesan, grated

1 tsp dried oregano

black pepper

 

directions

layer the aubergine slices in a bowl, sprinkling with the salt as you go. set aside for 30 minutes. rinse well in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) until very hot and gently fry half the aubergine slices for 6-7 minutes until lightly golden all over. drain on paper towels. repeat with the remaining aubergine slices and oil.

heat 2 tbsp oil, add the thinly chopped garlic and fry courgettes for 5 -6 minutes until golden. drain on paper towels.

place the half of aubergine and courgette slices in a large ovenproof dish. season with pepper and sprinkle over half the mozzarella. spoon over half the passata and top with three sheets of lasagne.

arrange the remaining aubergine and corgette slices on top. season with pepper and top with the remaining mozzarella and passata and another layer of lasagne.

spoon over the béchamel sauce and top with Parmesan and oregano. put on backing sheet (cookie sheet) and bake in preheated oven, 220 C, for 30 – 35 minutes until golden.

*we prefer to serve it with some green salad (e.g., rucola)

 

passata

ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil

1 big onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

3 cans (1200g) chopped tomatoes

4 tbsp chopped basil

3 bay leaves

1.5 tsp sugar

salt and pepper

 

directions

heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until translucent. add the garlic and fry for another minute.

stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, sugar, and salt and pepper.

bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half. taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. discard the bay leaves before serving.

 

béchamel sauce

ingredients

400 ml milk

2 bay leaves

3 garlic cloves

60 g butter, plus extra for greasing

45 g flour

200 ml light cream

large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

 

directions

pour the milk into a small pan and add the bay leaves. press the cloves into the onion, add to the pan and bring the milk to the boil. remove from the heat and set it aside to cool. strain the milk into a jug and rinse the pan. melt the butter in the pan and stir in the flour. stir for 1 minute, and then gradually pour on the milk, stirring constantly. cook the sauce for 3 minutes, then pour on the cream and bring it to the boil. remove from the heat and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

enjoy …

 

food matters monday – whole-wheat-pasta-with-sesame-spinach-and-tofu


Have you heard of the food matters project? I didn’t until last week when i accidentally came across this lovely project and instantly decided to get involved. you can read more about it here.

 

long story short, its a project where a group of food bloggers have come together to cook and to share healthy recipes from Mark Bittman’s cookbook- the food matters cookbook. “=the book that changed the way many people think about eating. in a nutshell, it’s about eating more plants, and in turn eating fewer animal products and processed foods.”

 

so i’m in … to gain and to share the knowledge and love about food, and most importantly to continue spreading the message about healthier eating choices.

 

this week’s recipe is sesame noodles with spinach and salmon, chosen by Sarah of Pidge’s Pantry. See the recipe here.

 

 

as i already mentioned before, i’ve been a vegetarian for quite a few years now, and more and more often I choose dishes based on vegan diet. so instead of salmon from this week’s recipe, i’ve used tofu, which makes this dish lighter and easier to digest.

to make this dish a bit more colourful i’ve added a few things of my own; my favourite winter flavour- chopped ginger; sliced carrots and also red onion.
 
whole wheat pasta with sesame spinach and tofu
ingredients
2 tablespoons rise oil
230 g tofu
black pepper
2 squeezed garlic cloves
1 tsp clopped ginger
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 thinly sliced red onion
1 peeled and thinly sliced carrot
600 g spinach, roughly chopped
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
salt
100 g whole wheat pasta

directions
cut the tofu into small cubes and mix with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tsp of sesame oil, let marinated for 5 minutes. heat the pan, add tofu, stir-fry for 4 minutes until brown.
heat the remaining oil in a wok, add the garlic, ginger and sesame seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to soften and the sesame seeds turn golden, about 30 seconds. then add the onion and carrots, fry 2 – 3 minutes. add the spinach and cook, stirring, for another minute or 2. add the remaining soy sauce and a splash of water and cook until the spinach is wilted, another 2 to 3 minutes. remove from the heat.
boil spaghetti in salted water until al dente, drain.
turn the heat under the spinach mixture to medium and add the spaghetti. toss, adding enough reserved liquid to keep things moist. taste and adjust the seasoning, soya sauce if necessary. serve.

add colours to your meal!

leisure summery new year’s days

hello from 2012!

here comes new year’s special – insane delicious vegetable lasagne with freshly made passata (tomato sauce) and italian mozzarella cheese. melting in mouth, creating tasty sensation of summer, taking us back to sicily, in sun & good friends company (sicily, we’ll be back!)

a.

 

 

courgette (zucchini) & aubergine (eggplant) lasagne
ingredients

1 kg aubergines thinly sliced

4 tbsp salt

8 tbsp olive oil

500 g courgettes thinly sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

2 cups grated Mozzarella

600 ml passata (recipe below)

6 sheets pre – cooked lasagne

600 ml béchamel sauce (recipe below)

60 g parmesan, grated

1 tsp dried oregano

black pepper

 

directions

layer the aubergine slices in a bowl, sprinkling with the salt as you go. set aside for 30 minutes. rinse well in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) until very hot and gently fry half the aubergine slices for 6-7 minutes until lightly golden all over. drain on paper towels. repeat with the remaining aubergine slices and oil.

heat 2 tbsp oil, add the thinly chopped garlic and fry courgettes for 5 -6 minutes until golden. drain on paper towels.

place the half of aubergine and courgette slices in a large ovenproof dish. season with pepper and sprinkle over half the mozzarella. spoon over half the passata and top with three sheets of lasagne.

arrange the remaining aubergine and corgette slices on top. season with pepper and top with the remaining mozzarella and passata and another layer of lasagne.

spoon over the béchamel sauce and top with Parmesan and oregano. put on backing sheet (cookie sheet) and bake in preheated oven, 220 C, for 30 – 35 minutes until golden.

*we prefer to serve it with some green salad (e.g., rucola)

 

passata

ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil

1 big onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

3 cans (1200g) chopped tomatoes

4 tbsp chopped basil

3 bay leaves

1.5 tsp sugar

salt and pepper

 

directions

heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until translucent. add the garlic and fry for another minute.

stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, sugar, and salt and pepper.

bring the sauce to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half. taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. discard the bay leaves before serving.

 

béchamel sauce

ingredients

400 ml milk

2 bay leaves

3 garlic cloves

60 g butter, plus extra for greasing

45 g flour

200 ml light cream

large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper

 

directions

pour the milk into a small pan and add the bay leaves. press the cloves into the onion, add to the pan and bring the milk to the boil. remove from the heat and set it aside to cool. strain the milk into a jug and rinse the pan. melt the butter in the pan and stir in the flour. stir for 1 minute, and then gradually pour on the milk, stirring constantly. cook the sauce for 3 minutes, then pour on the cream and bring it to the boil. remove from the heat and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

enjoy …

 

 

p.s. little photo report of how we fell in love in sicily