Posts Tagged ‘italian’

It’s Friday. Time to eat some pizza slices.I love making and eating homemade pizza, it is always the best. But then, I didn’t wanted the same old round pizza, so decided to do some experiment and ended up with this rectangular pizza.I like trying out different crust recipes, different toppings and different shapes of pizza.

This pizza is so good.  It’s flavorful, colorful, and delicious to the core.What I like the most is the thin, light and crunchy crust which is so incredibly good.

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water plus 1 tbsp
  • 2  1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano

For the topping:

  • 1  (12 ounce ) can chopped tomatoes, drained and washed
  • 1 jalapeno, deveined and thinly chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Method:

  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the 2 tablespoon of olive oil, dried oregano, garlic powder and salt to the yeast-sugar-water mixture.
  • Dump the flour in a large mixing bowl, slowly adding the yeast mixture , knead the dough until smooth and no longer sticky.
  • Shape the dough into a large ball and coat lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Place in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.
  • Brush a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  • Punch down the dough and roll in rectangular shape such that it can fit in the sheet pan. Brush the top with olive oil.
  • Cover and let it rise again until slightly puffed about 1 hour or so.
  • Pre heat oven to 500 degree F.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine all the ingredients under topping  except mozzarella cheese and keep aside.
  • Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with grated mozzarella cheese leaving 1/2-inch border on all the sides. Layer tomatoes and jalapeno evenly on the pizza and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle little salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tomato-Jalapeño Thin Crust Pizza
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I like to make Italian food especially pastas which is easiest and quickest meal to prepare with flavorful ingredients and rich sauce. This dish with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes along with a healthy portion of shrimp and veggies is perfect for a week night dinner or weekend lunch and warms up nicely for leftovers. The tang of cherry tomatoes really brighten the flavor of the dish. This recipe works well with any shape of pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • To roast the cherry tomatoes, wash and slice it in half and place it on a baking dish cut side up. Drizzle with  olive oil and then sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper. Mix the tomatoes around on the tray with your hands so they’re all coated with the oil.
  • Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 2 hour. Let cool on the baking sheet.  You don’t want the tomatoes to be totally dried up, there should still be some moisture left in them.
  • You can store the tomatoes in a jar or container in the refrigerator for a week. Usually I do this step couple of days ago and use it whenever I want. Make sure to collect all the juices released from the tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb bow tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced in big chunks
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced in big chunks
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and devined
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • fresh black pepper to taste
Method:
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Toss the shrimp with ginger-garlic paste, salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep aside for 4-5 minutes.
  • Warm a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated shrimp in the pan and sauté the shrimp, turning over as needed, until just cooked through. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
  • Using the same skillet (do not clean), warm the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and garlic. Sauté just until the onions are tender about 2-3 minutes. Season lightly with salt,pepper, oregano and red chilli flakes.
  • Add the peppers to the skillet. Continue to cook just until the peppers is crisp tender about 3-4 minutes.If the pan seems too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and scrape up any browned portions from the pan.
  • Stir in the dried cherry tomatoes, cooked shrimp and stir gently, to bring everything together, and let the mixture cook for 1 minute to bring the liquid in the pan to a boil. Add the cooked pasta, stirring frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes until the pasta is heated through. Taste, and season with black pepper. Add the coriander leaves, and toss to combine.
  • Serve hot.

Pesto

Posted: May 25, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Italian, Pasta
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Recently, we have been to farmers market and there I saw some fresh and beautiful basil leaves which was very difficult to pass by. Hence even without thinking of any recipe I have decided to buy two bunches of those fresh herbs. It was so fresh that I was in love with the sweet and pungent smell of the leaves. Immediately after coming home,I started looking for some recipes with it. Then thought the best way to use both the bunches would be making some pesto.

The word pesto derives from the Italian for pestle, pestello. Pesto is a versatile sauce, can be made in different ways using different ingredients. Traditionally it is made with basil leaves and olive oil using a mortar and pestle. I have had a pesto pasta long time ago in one of Italian restaurant. Ever since then, I wanted to make some  at home. To my surprise, this is the easiest and versatile sauce to make. You can pair this with any kind of pasta and make a light and fresh meal anytime. Also, pesto can be used in marination for veggies, fish and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  •  2 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  •  3 cloves garlic
  •  1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the pine nuts, walnuts, garlic and process for 1 minute or so.
  •  Add the fresh herbs, parmesan cheese and run until it’s a thick paste.
  •  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the paste leaves the sides of the bowl and looks like a thick sauce.
  •  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin-film of olive oil on top.

I like to make Italian food especially pastas which is easiest and quickest meal to prepare with flavorful ingredients and rich sauce.

Traditionally, this sauce is served with spaghetti, although you can use any pasta you like. The flavors of Kalamata Olives and Capers in this dish compliment each other very well.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounce Spaghetti, cook as per package directions
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 anchovies fillets, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small white onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon capers, washed and drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in halves
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh tomato, chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese for garnishing

Method:

  • Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat, add onions, garlic, anchovies fillets and crushed pepper. Cook until onions are translucent and anchovies completely melted in oil about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add onions, tomatoes, capers to the skillet and cook covered until the sauce is bubbly and thickens a bit.Stir occassionaly about 7-8 minutes.
  • Now add kalamata olives , black pepper to taste and cook until your pasta is ready.
  • Toss sauce with cooked pasta, basil leaves, grated cheese and serve.
Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

 

Recipe Adapted from: Food network

Tiramisu is one of the most popular Italian dessert. It is made with biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with mixture of egg yolks, mascarpone cheese and cream. And garnish with unsweetened cocoa powder sifted on top which compliments the sweetened cheese mixture.

And the best part about this dessert is you do not have to go through the hassle of baking and cooking. It just required some whipping and layering. And you end up with most heavenly, utterly gorgeous and decadent dessert.

Whenever we go out to eat Italian, it’s never happened that I have not ordered this dessert. As soon as I get the menu the first thing I see if they have tiramisu on the menu and the rest you can figure it out…:).  So, far the best tiramisu I had is from Olive Garden and now made by ME.

This is my 100th post and what better dessert than this to celebrate and enjoy..

So, coming back to the recipe:

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mascarpone Cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 24  Italian ladyfinger biscuits

For Garnish

  • 1 square semisweet Chocolate bar, grated
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, dusting

Preparation:

  • To start with I chill the bowl I will be whipping the cream in.
  • Combine the egg yolks with sugar on a double boiler. I do this by keeping a bowl over a boiling water.
  • Stir it constantly, reduce the heat to low and cook this for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from heat, whisk the mixture in an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment for about 5 minutes or until it turns thick and pale yellow.
  • Lower the speed to medium, add mascarpone and whisk until smooth.
  • Take out your chilled bowl from fridge and whip cream until soft peaks are formed.
  • Gently fold in the egg yolk and cheese mixture and keep it aside.
  • Mix instant coffee granules with 1 cup of hot water and keep it in a swallow bowl. This will be your espresso mixture.
  • Dip both the sides of each ladyfinger in espresso mixture and line the bottom of a dish.
  • Pour half  of the cream mixture on top of the biscuit layer.
  • Repeat with dipping both the side of biscuits and placing them in a second layer in the dish.
  • Pour the rest of the cream mixture on the top. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the top with grated chocolate bar and also dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo 

Semifreddo is an italian dessert which is typically a frozen dessert like an ice cream but not compelety ice cream. It has a texture of frozen mousse because it is made by combining equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream. I had this dessert long time back in an italian restaurant and love the texture and wanted to try this at home. The best part is you can make this couple of days ahead if you are entertaining  and serve it as a dessert. Your guests will be thrilled to see something like this and will enjoy every bite by complimenting. Also, you don’t have to cook anything for making this dessert. You can make individual serving or can use any mould to freeze the same and cut in desired shapes before serving. 

Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo

Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo

Recipe Adapted from: here 

For Pistachio Semifreddo:  

Ingredients:  

  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pistachio paste
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 3Tbsp sugar

 Preparation:  

  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure to leave plenty of paper around the edges so that you can fold over to cover the freddo.
  • Combine egg yolks and sugar first and then add pistachio paste and mix everything well.
  • Beat in egg whites until peak forms.  In another bowl whip the cream until medium peak forms but before it loses its liquidity.
  • Combine egg yolk-pistachio mixture with egg whites and fold in lightly with the help of rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
  • Now Fold in cream with the mixture , do this gently but quickly and make sure you get a homogenous mixture.
  • Once you get the homogenous mixture, pour half of the mixture  into the prepared loaf pan.

 For Chocolate semifreddo : 

 Ingredients: 

  •  50g dark unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 100 ml heavy cream

 Preparation:  

  • Melt chocolate in double boiler until smooth and shiny or no longer solid. Remove from heat and continue to stir until it gets cool down. Now add egg yolks  and sugar and blend at high-speed until it incorporated completely.
  • Beat in egg whites until medium peak forms.  In another bowl whip the cream until soft peak forms but before it loses its liquidity.
  • Combine egg yolks-chocolate mixture with egg whites and fold in lightly with the help of rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
  • Now fold in cream with the mixture , do this gently but quickly and make sure you get a homogenous mixture.
  • Once you get the homogenous mixture, pour it into the prepared loaf pan on top of  pistachio freddo and then pour the remaining pistachio mixture on top of the chocolate as if you making a layer of three.
  • Fold the parchment paper on top and keep it in freezer. Freeze at least 4 to 5 hours before serving or overnight or even couple of days ahead. If you making this couple of days ahead make sure to take out before serving or else it will too hard on serving.
  • For serving remove the loaf pan from the freezer and open the parchment paper from top. Turn the semifreddo out of the loaf pan to a serving platter and remove the parchment paper. With a knife dip in hot water, slice the semifreddo into slices and garnish with some pistachio and serve.

  

Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo

Pistachio and Chocolate Semifreddo

 Its so refreshing!

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts 

 I have already posted spaghetti in tomato sauce but this time I had made some changes and made this pasta dish with nuts. Sometimes I get bored eating the same dish, so thought of giving slight twist to this simple spaghetti dish. I have used chopped walnuts in the sauce and it turned out awesome, so thought of posting this recipe here. 

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts

Spaghetti in Tomato sauce and Walnuts

Ingredients: 

  • 6 ounces whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • salt to taste

Directions: 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat, add onions, garlic, red chili flakes and cook it for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Now add crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, bell pepper salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked spaghetti , chopped walnuts and grated parmesan cheese to the sauce and mix everything well.
  • Garnish with little of parmesan cheese on top and serve.