Pesto comes originally from Liguria, a coastal region in the North of Italy. I don’t come from that region so in theory I wouldn’t be entitled to teach anything about pesto, a great product known and loved by everyone. And at the same time I shouldn’t be talking about trenette, which is an amazing type of narrow and flat pasta coming from the same region. However I have a very close friend of mine who comes from a town called Alassio in Liguria; she gave me her personal recipe of trenette with homemade pesto. This dish is a variation of the classic pesto and I want to share it with you because I think it’s great!
Amsterdam is a wonderful and international city, full of opportunities and dreams but certainly, the weather is not at its best. Autumn begins very early: while Italians are still going to the beach and my friends start complain because they have to put a blanket on their bed, I’ve already been wearing scarves and sweaters for weeks. The end of last summer (weather wise) was terrible and the rain and the wind were incessant: August was a preview of what we had to expect in the months to come.
So what can I do when I arrive at home completely soaked after a long working day? My personal remedy is cooking a bean soup that warms the heart and reminds me that Autumn and the cold can be nice. The smell of the bean soup in the kitchen makes me thinking of the evenings spent in the mountains when I was a kid, the lazy lunch on Sundays, the winter trips to Tuscany, the beauty and the ease of slow cooked food.
I am a great lover of beans: simple but complex ingredients, genuine but versatile and they are a core element of great dishes belonging to more than one Italian regional cousine. I love looking for several beans types at the market or at the organic food stores and then combine them in different ways.
Over the years I have tried a lot of bean soup recipes, but the more I experiment the more I believe my favorite one is the one from the first cookbook I ever bought (a REAL book made of paper!): “Il Cucchiaio d’argento”. Here is my favorite bean soup recipe!
Lasagne means comfort food to me. Vegetarians aside, everybody loves lasagne. Full of taste, fragrance and tradition. When I eat this dish I can say I’m happy. The most difficult step in making lasagne is the preparation of bolognese sauce. In this post I’ve explained how to make it according to my legendary mum’s recipe. Once the bolognese sauce is ready, put it aside and dedicate yourself to the bechamel sauce and to assemble the remaining ingredients. I’m sure your lasagna will be a success!
ingredients to make lasagne for 4 PEople
In Italy I have an amazing neighbor: she’s from Emilia Romagna and she has a radiant personality, I can talk to her about anything and everything, she has always delicious cookies at home and she makes fresh pasta at least once per day (I quote her: ‘making pasta brings joy’). She worked in several countries in Europe, she can speak 4 different languages, she’s truly passionate about ayurveda and spices. She’s a very interesting person. It’s a pity she spends 6 months per year in Emilia-Romagna, because in Milan there’s not enough sun and ‘there’s no respect for those who want to cycle’.
Everytime we are both in Milan I go to her place to get some cooking lessons with a particular focus on classic recipes from Emilia-Romagna. I believe Italian people who love cooking should know how to roll the dough to make fresh pasta or how to prepare a proper filling for tortellini. It’s part of our culture and of who we are.
Last time we met we prepared tagliatelle with borage, a delicious variety of the more common version with spinach. Here is the recipe my sweet neighbor taught me!
TAGLIATELLE: INGREDIENTs for 6 people
I love lasagna and I love asparagus. For me the combination lasagna + asparagus is the closest thing to heaven. When I read the delicious recipe Lasagna with asparagus, scamorza and almonds on one of my favorite Italian food blogs Gnambox, I understood it would have become one of my favorite recipes of all times!
Here is the result of my efforts:
Lasagna with asparagus, scamorza and almonds – ingredients for 4 people
- 10 fresh pack lasagne sheets
- 1 kg asparagus
- 500 g ricotta
- 600 g scamorza
- 100 g peeled almonds
- salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil