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Weekend Cook and Tell: Squash Invasion!


For 6-8

* 4,4 pounds pumpkin
11 oz fresh ricotta cheese
4 eggs
pepper (or chilli pepper as you prefer)
1.4 0z pistachios
6-7 spoon ofbread crumbs
a mixture of finely chopped onions, celery
flour, water , salt and e.v. oil for dough

Prepare dough: mix very well toghether flour, oil, water and salt till you have a smooth and elastic dough. The amount of water and oil depend on the quality of flour. Let it rest wrapped in foil.
Meanwhile, put in a large pan a mix of chopped carrots,onions,celery sauteed in olive oil. Just golden, add the pumpkin clean and cut into pieces, and let it go until, crushing with a fork, the meat will not yield. Remove from heat and mashed with the usual immersion blender. put it in a large bowl and mix with sieved cottage cheese, whole eggs, boiled and mashed potatoes, and season with salt and pepper (or if preferitre add a little pepper in cooking the pumpkin as you prefer).
Now take the dough and pull with the rolling pin rather thin. Roll out on greased baking pan that you previously selected, so that leaves a bit from the sides. Dropped on the mixture of pumpkin pulp, reaching a thickness of 2 or 3 cm up and fold the edges of the dough inside. Fairly finely chopped pistachios and add to the breadcrumbs in a bowl, stirring well. Sprinkle heavily over the filling and season all with a nice round of oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 360F and cook for half an hour grilling by the last 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold accompanied by a green salad.
Bon appetit


Weekend Cook and Tell: Homemade Holidays

Here in Italy, we use to give a lot of homemaid holiday gift- expecially jam or marmalade or others preserves.
This year, I make many jars of Lemon Curd with oil- and no butter at all- and many others savoury preserves ( as brine anchovies, Moroccan lemons and hot pepper jam)
Here's my No butter Lemon Curd recipe

juice and grated rind of three lemons
2 yolks and 2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
200 g sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ( very light)

Mix all the ingredients, except oil, in a thick bottomed pan and , stirring constatly, at low heat, until boiling: it mus boil for two minutes. Then, filter all in a very tight streiner. Heat again until boiling and add extravirgin oil. Stirr very well and pot the hot mixture. Keep in fridge for maximum one week.

And if you please, in my blog, there is a collection of homemade gift- a very little book with 10 recipes, that you can download. Unfortunatly, they are in Italian, but if you need to translate some of them, I can do it, without any problem indeed.


Weekend Cook and Tell: So Much Fruit, So Little Time

When we were teenagwers,in the summer evenings we were used to prepare this amazing, fast and easy dessert with peaches: 3 or 4 beautiful peaches, ripe but firm, brown sugar and cognac and.. et voilà, the peaches flambè, perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
the recipe in my blog (

Storing Marsala wine.

Wine goes sour due to oxidation and afterwhile it becames as sour as vinegard. Marsala is not a wine: it is a fortified wine or a liquor wine. the barrels of Marsala are not air tight, as a matter of fact, they have a lid which lets air through. The aging of Marsala is, contrary to wine, an oxidation process: the longer it ossidates, the better it becomes ( generally speaking). Therefore, an open bottle of Marsala, closed with a normal cork, will last forever, out of the fridge. Do not put it in the fridge.
Sweet Marsala, or egg Marsala, is not Marsala, but an idustrial byproduct of rather low quality (even if we also enjoy it).
I apologize for my being drastic, but we've just been indoctrinated at the Marsala Florio Cellars in Marsala- Sicily (

Need basil help NOW!!

I'm from Genoa (Italy), the land of pesto and I can assure that pine nuts are not essential, for a good pesto. Of course, it's better if you've them, but, in an emergency, you can get on with more cheese ( pecorino, for instance, tastier than Parmisan) and garlic. cover very well with extra vergin oil and keep your pesto refrigerate for one week, taking care of covering with oil every time you use it. You can also freeze pesto in little servings , for three o four mounths.

Ravioli fillings

In Italy we usually prepare ravioli and many others kind of fresh filled pasta. Fillings, of course, change according to the different region, but two are the most popular: with cheese ( usually, ricotta cheese and Parmisan) and with meat. Lately, are up to date fish- fillings, expecially sea bass.
Some examples
Ravioli with ricotta cheese and spinach; ricotta cheese and lemon; "caciotta", "mozzarella" and parmisan, with a light fresh tomato sauce with basil;with pecorino and peppers;
with sea bass and shrimps or with a pine nut sauce...
in short, a lot of ideas!!! If you like to have a specify recipe, please, ask me

Recipes are a bit long to write, but if you need something

Weekend Cook and Tell: Anchovies

In Genoa, where we live, we are used to prepare a solution with salt and water ( we call it salamoia- maybe "brine" ???) and conserve fresh anchovies over six months ( unless we eat them earlier, of course), with a stone upon the jar. My father prepare them directly in the beach, and they are incredible tasty.
One of the most popular recipe, here, is the "tortino di acciughe", a pleasant tasting anchovies pie, or simply fried, with some lemon drops and parsley, if you like.
You can find all the recipes here

Marsala Wine

Two mounths ago, I went to Sicily and I visited the "Cantine Florio", the most famous producers of Marsala. The guide told us that the wine we usually buy is the least valuable and for this reason is perfect for cooking. Here, in Italy, we use it with meat, expecially veal, and one of the most popular dish are the "scaloppine al Marsala": take thin slice of meat, batter them with flour and fried in butter or olive oil and then cover with a glass of dry Marsala. Let it boil off, salt and serve immediatly, filled with their sauce.
if you want to have a look to Cantine Florio, you can see here

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini

Here in Italy we eat a lot of zucchini, cooked in very different way. here you can have an idea of some of them:
spaghetti with zucchini, shrimps and curry, for example

or a terrina with ricotte cheese, zucchini, mint and lemon

or a little quiches, with zucchini, feta cheese and mint and lemon

or a very typicall reciper from Genoa, my town, "zucchini ripieni"
that to say boiled zucchini, stuffed with their flesh, with Pramigiano cheese, eggs and marjoran or oreganon, and then fried or oven baken. No maet, no fat, only very very very good