Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuscany: cooking classes about #Veggie Italian Sauce for Pasta and Risotto...and my happiness to get the Chef Diploma!

Many things happened in these days: I held cooking courses with my students, I was private Chef for a dinner and I passed the exam to become a Chef ... what an experience!
I'll tell you later about my "Chef Diploma" and about the Menu I prepared to get it.
Nowaday, I'd like to pass you the recipe about Veggie Ragu, just becouse I held 2 cooking classes in Tuscany, at a distance of a couple of days both with something vegetarian.
During the first cooking class we'll prepare fresh hand made pasta, while in the second one was the turn of a creamy risotto with seasonal vegetables. This last pleasantly enjoyed by two wonderful girls who usually do not like vegetables!
Well, this is what always happens; prepare something together stimulates appetite and increases the desire to taste the fruits of our labor.
And because the vegetables are all the rage, here is the recipe for a wonderful ragout of seasonal vegetables, the same as we prepare for our courses with great satisfaction of all.
How will you enjoy them? Both with pasta (fresh or dried, egg or not), and with the risotto, you will have the impression to savor every aroma and flavor of this colorful springtime in Tuscany.

Veggie Tagliatelle

Veggie Risotto

Veggie Ragu

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 zucchina
  • 3 zucchina flowers
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leak
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 spoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 4 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 spoons butter (if Risotto)
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the vegetables into small cubes or julienne (at will). They get so separated from the extra virgin olive oil. pumpkin flowers (to be added at the end as they're very delicate).
  2. In a pan pour oil EVO up to cover the bottom. Add the leak, turn on the fire, and expect to soften.
  3. At this point add the vegetables, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. This procedure must be very short for two reasons:
  5. 1) the flavor of the vegetables remains intact with a short cooking
  6. 2) the minerals are lost if the cooking is too long.
  7. After about 3 minutes, add white wine, wait it evaporates and add the chopped zucchini flowers.
  8. After 5 minutes max, you add the salt and a little of basil ripped with your fingers and the “ragu of the garden” is ready.
  9. This kind of ragu is a tasteful sauce for pasta
VEGGIE RISOTTO Directions: soften the leak on a pan with 2 spoons of butter and 1 spoon of Then add the white rice Carnaroli or Arborio (1/2 glass for person) and toast it for about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and let it evaporates. add the vegetables and cook them together with the rice. Add the flowers at the end together with the salt. Both, Pasta and Risotto, will be reallly creamy and tasteful, if you'll add (turned off the fire) grated Parmigiano Reggiano (4 spoons).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crespina: Cooking Classes Season's started: "Who well begins is half done!"

2014-04-06 13.11.39
Alla Salute!
Here, my work Season has officially begun; they ask me for a cooking class in Tuscany with "something" vegetarian. Ok, I think about one moment and then I realize that it's Spring! Here in Tuscany, at this time, we can find some really delicious vegetables. So let's go with  pasta and a wonderful fresh vegetables Ragu! 
My students, this time, come from Scotland, wife and husband which would like to be able to reproduce a dish for their daughter who is a vegetarian ...I know that in Scotland there are plenty of vegetables and definitely will not have difficulty finding ingredients; even though we have different taste and aroma, I know.
In Italy we say: "Who well begins is half done", and with them, I started really well. 
Yes, because the cooking class with them was a really special experience, we talked about a lot of our interests, and passions. They told me of Scotland, pastures in the north, the cows with long hair and the delicious berries to dive into the porridge. And here I was getting at; at some point Ewan looks at me and asks: "Do you know how making porridge? ", and I said, "No, not at all".  
It took a moment and then ... it's off to the kitchen with milk, cereal and fruit in his hand; took a pot and... taught me how to make a real Scottish Porridge!
You wont believe, but I'm having porridge at breakfast, since last day. It' gorgeous! As I wrote on FB ... these are  things making wonderful my job: the people you meet , their smiles and their teachings.
I'll write here the vegetarian Ragù recipe, nowaday I leave you some pictures about these special people.


 Click here for Tiramisu Recipe



Friday, April 4, 2014

A special sweet and confort recipe in Tuscany: #No Eggs Chocolate Cream and Gluten Free Tart

no eggs chocolate cream
No eggs chocolate cream Tart
Today it takes me something comforting. My neck is getting worse and my oldest daughter has a high fever with cough and cold. In addition to that, the sun; yes, that beautiful sun that lit the Italian recent days, now just is not there. The sky is leaden gray and if you put your face out even feel a bit of mist on your skin. In short, the day does not bode very good. :( 
Yes , I know, I already told you, I am totally "meteropatica": when I wake up and I see the light, everything takes a different turn and I hear a great desire to do and to have fun; on the contrary, with the grayness and the rain ... I would be only to bed. Since I am a mother, I learned however, that "You can not !" Life goes on and we have to get busy... 
I finally decided! I'm going to make a light cake, so Virginia'll enjoy it too. The important thing, however, is that it is tasty, I can not stand diet foods, those you realize that are diet as soon as you put them in your mouth. I'll prepare a tart filled with chocolate cream without eggs! I'll prepare a brisee pastry with rice flour, as a basis. It is a tart suitable to celiacs, but also to all those who want to stay light, without sacrificing a really rich taste. Tonight I'm going to a meeting with my  slow food colleagues, I really think that 'll bring a piece ... if it'll get in tonight.

no eggs chocolate cream0
No eggs chocolate cream Tart
no eggs chocolate cream3
No eggs chocolate Cream Tart
No Eggs Chocolate Cream and Gluten free Tart

Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1,25h
  • For the brisee pastry For the brisee pastry
  • 1 lb rice flour
  • 10,500 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup very cold water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3,52 oz sugar
  • 3,52 oz dark chocolate bar
  • 1,76 oz Rice flour
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1/2 l whole milk
Cooking Directions

Brisee Pastry: 
  1. Soft the butter at room temperature and cut it in very small cubes.
  2. Mix the ingredients all together very quickly.
  3. Let to rest in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.
  4. Spread with a rolling pin and line a tart mold. 
 Chocolate Cream:
  1. Chop the chocolate and mix with sugar
  2. Prepare white roux, by melting the butter over the fire with flour.
  3. Add sugar and chocolate.
  4. Continue stirring with a whisk, adding milk (hot) from the top.
  5. When it has reached the consistency of a cream (about 3 minutes from the boil), turn off the heat.
I prefer to cook the pasta brisee separately: put it in the oven the the mold lined by pastry crust alone, at 392 °F, 25 minutes (baking in white).
Once cooked fill it with chocolate cream.
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No eggs Chocolate Cream Tart