Cucina Bianca

Well I have hit the 1000 views mark, so big thanks to all who have visited my page. I really hope you have enjoyed reading and maybe even been inspired by my dishes. I haven’t posted for around a week now as I have been very busy at work. I have been cooking of course, so here’s a little catch up…..

Cucina Bianca is a way of cooking in Italy using very basic, white ingredients. Although this sounds boring, I combined cabbage, potatoes and a smoky cheese and the finished product was amazing. I began by putting some chopped Savoy cabbage leaves into boiling water to boil away for around 10 minutes, then I turned my attention to the humble potatoes. I peeled, chopped thinly then blanched the potatoes for a few minutes.
Once your vegetables are ready, grease a baking dish with plenty of butter. Lay down a layer of potatoes, covering with a couple of knobs of butter. Cover with a layer of Savoy cabbage and top with thinly cut strips of cheese (I used a smoky cheddar). Repeat the layers until you have used all ingredients. Finish with a layer of cheese and into the oven for 25 mins.

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Simple is not the word and this dish is so hearty, healthy and can be notched up on a budget, it’s just fantastic!

Gnocchi with butter and sage

Well last night, I made some homemade potato gnocchi with a sage and butter sauce. I just love making gnocchi add I added some grounded nuts to the potato mix this time. I seen Gennaro Contaldo make a Gnocchi using chestnut flour and the result was supposed to be really delicious. I didn’t have chestnut four so thought I’d blitz a mixture of nuts I had in the cupboard.

I just love Gnocchi, and just like many other foods I can remember when I first had experienced it. I was back home from university for the weekend ad my mum served up Gnocchi with sauerkraut and bratwurst. This is almost more of an Austrian recipe rather than Italian but it was simply delicious, and the Gnocchi was just so light, fluffy and delicious. I now make Gnocchi regularly and have combined them with lots of different sauces.

Once you have a nice creamy mash, add a good deal of ’00’ flour and the crushed nuts and mix until you have a nice dough. Officially, for 1kg potatoes you will need 300g of flour but alter the quantities as you need.
Once you have a dough, take a handful of gnocchi and roll out into a long sausage shape and cut into 2cm chunks. Boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes until the Gnocchi float to the top.
For the sauce, I very simply mixed 1 tbsp of butter, a good deal of chopped sage, 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and a little water. Bring all ingredients together to the boil and cook for several minutes whilst your Gnocchi cooks. Mix your gnocchi into the sauce and ensure each Gnocchi is fully coated in the sauce.
Simple, quick recipe with maximum flavour. The Gnocchi should be nice and light and the sauce nice and velvety.

Em is in charge of dinner tonight so I can just look forward to eating! Thanks again to all who have visited my page so far and I hope you continue to visit.

Happy eating everyone

James

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Vegetable Mosaic

I was a lover of Taste Italia magazine and was devastated when it ceased publishing. I have a scrap book full of recipe cuttings from different issues ranging from slow roasted veal to lavender panna cotta. Another recipe that caught my eye was a Vegetable Mosaic, a mixture of different vegetables combined together with eggs and cream. So this is what I was going to try for tonight’s dinner to go along with a lovely salmon fillet.

I part boiled salad potatoes and carrots and combined with onions, artichokes, celery, kidney beans, mozarella, savoy cabbage and chives. I then added eggs with creme fraiche, salt and pepper and added to the vegetables, coating them evenly. I transferred to a savarin ring and placed into another oven tray filled with boiling water and paced in the oven at 190degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, and then take care to remove it from the savarin ring!

I served this with salmon, deliciously cooked with a crispy skin and bursting with flavour. This was a very filling meal, packed full of flavours, amazing textures and you can’t get much healthier!

Hope your weekends are full of food folks

Happy eating

J

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Lunch in Minutes

I am beginning to get good at conjuring up dishes with available ingredients and cooking them very quickly to take to work for lunch. This morning my meal was a combo of cupboard favourites and leftovers. I’ve made capers and olives in a tomato sauce served on top of leftover crusty bread.

I quickly, but carefully, slices 1 onion, 1 red chilli and added to a saucepan.

I then added 1 tbsp of capers and a handful of black pitted olives.

To finish, a generous dashing of passata to cover all the ingredients, and 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar.

Whilst it cooked on the stove I cut a piece of Emily’s delicious home baked bread and placed at the bottom of my little plastic tub. Pour over the sauce and add a sprinkling of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil, delicious. I just cannot wait for lunch now!

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Emily was feeling a little under the weather this morning so I may have to try a centuries old recipe from Tuscany, one that is said to have healing properties, Garmugia. Watch this space……

Hope you all have a great day, fuelled on good food

Happy eating

J