Category Archives: Recipes

Pasta con piselli e fave

Springtime reminds me of my grandmother sitting on the stairs outside the house, shelling fresh fava beans and peas in her apron. While I always loved the latter, I’ve never been a huge fan of the fava beans, and haven’t eaten them for long time.

Then Sunday I went to pick some fresh legumes at the family garden; they looked so nice, green, fresh, and decided to give it a try.

I decided to pair them with my favorite food, pasta, and prepared a very traditional Mediterranean recipe, pasta with fava beans and peas, tasty and nutritious like most Mediterranean dishes.

Beneficial effects:

Peas and Fava beans are a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, folate.

Both legumes are also a good source of protein especially when they are combined with grains so that they provide all of the essential amino acids.

Concerns to be aware of:

Sometimes, raw fava beans can cause allergic reactions in some people; cooking may prevent it.

Eating fava beans could cause adverse reactions to people who take Monoamine oxidase inhibitors  (MAOIs).

People with favism, an inherited disease characterized by the lack of the enzyme G6PD, develop hemolytic anemia when eating fava.

If you belong to the above categories and still want to try this recipe, double the amount of peas.

RECIPE

Yelds: 2-3 Servings      Total time: 45 minutes (15’ preparation, 30’ cooking)

Ingredients:

¾ cup pasta (150g)

½ cup fresh peas (120g)

1 cup fresh fava beans (150g)

½ diced onion

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ cup canned diced tomatoes (100g)

Salt (optional)

Chili flakes or powder (additional)

Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Directions:

Remove the peas and fava beans from the pods. Wash.

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil and onion for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes and fava beans, and stir a little bit. Add enough water to cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas, and more water if needed. Cook for 5-8 minutes, it depends on tenderness of the legumes.

Meanwhile, put some water to boil in a large pot and cook the pasta. I used large penne this time. You can add a pinch of salt to the water if you like it.

Check the pasta, when you think it needs only few more minutes to cook, drain it and mix it to the peas and fava. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at the end.

Serve warm. No liver, some Chianti if you wish 😉

Buon Appetito!!

Pasta & Piselli

This typical dish of the Mediterranean diet contains legumes, grains, spices and healthy fat that make it light and tasty, nutritious and balanced.

Easy and fast to prepare, it requires only a few ingredients. Perfect for when you want to eat something substantial but didn’t go food shopping and have little time to cook.

So, here’s the recipe. Enjoy it.

Yelds: 2 Servings  Total time: 20 minutes (5’ preparation, 15’ cooking)

Ingredients:

3/ 4 cup elbows pasta (150g)

6 oz frozen peas (170g)

½ diced onion

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3-4 diced tomatoes

Salt (optional)

Curry powder (optional)

Chili flakes or powder (additional)

Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Directions:

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil and onion for a couple of minutes. Then add tomatoes and peas, and stir a little bit. Add enough water to cover the peas. Cook for 10-15minutes. Add more water if needed.

Meanwhile, put some water to boil in a large pot and cook the pasta. I like elbows or farfalle for this recipe. When you check and think the pasta needs only few more minutes to cook, drain it and mix it to the peas. Cook for a couple of minutes. Serve with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Notes: I don’t use salt. If you like it, add a pinch to the boiling water and/or to the peas. I prefer to spice the dish with a pinch of curry powder and chili flakes which I add to the peas while they’re cooking.

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can use peeled or diced tomatoes in a can.

You can also use peas in a can instead of the frozen peas. In this case, drain the peas and stir them with the cooked tomatoes for a couple of minutes.

Buon appetito!!

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Late Summer Harvest

I’ve been spending some time with my family in my hometown in Calabria, a region in Southern Italy. A few weeks ago I went with my brother to pick some veggies from the family garden near our house. Although it was October, it was warm so we still had zucchini, eggplants, peppers, chili peppers, watermelons too!!

I used the veggies to make a quinoa salad. It was such a delicious and nutritious dish! I’ll post the recipe soon.

Growing your vegetables really connects you with the earth and your roots, and makes you appreciate better what you eat.

From farm..

farming

… to table!!!

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MeatlessMonday Recipe

Today, for #MeatlessMonday, I’d like to share an easy pasta recipe.

Penne with asparagus, peas and mushrooms

 

Yealds: 2 Servings        Total Time: 30 minutes (10’ Preparation, 20’ cooking)

Nutrition per serving:     Kcal 384    Carbs 66.5g        Fat 8.9g/ Sat Fat          Protein 16g

 

Ingredients:

  • 100g thin asparagus (3.5 oz. or a bunch of 15-20)
  • 100g white mushrooms (3.5 oz., 10 pieces)
  • 100g frozen peas (3.5 oz., 7 tsp)
  • 150g penne rigate (5.3 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Curry powder
  • Chili flakes or powder

Instructions:

  • Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus (an inch or so), then cut them in 1-inch pieces. Slice the mushrooms. Cut the garlic in small pieces.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the garlic and the frozen peas, a pinch of curry powder, some chili flakes. Stir for a minute then add some water to cover the peas and cook for 5 minutes. Start preparing the pasta (see below for the instructions).
  • Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Stir and add a bit of water if needed. At this point add the asparagus and cook for 5-7 more minutes.
  • Add the penne. Stir in a table spoon of cream cheese and toss until it becomes creamy. If needed, you can add a little bit of the pasta water to moisten.

For the pasta:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. My penne took almost 11 minutes. Drain but save some of the water.

 

Notes:

As you can see, I didn’t add any salt. I use spices so I really don’t need salt, especially when the recipe includes cheese which is already salty. In case you prefer to add salt, you can add a pinch of it to the pasta water and/or to the veggies.

You can use Parmigiano Reggiano cheese instead of cream cheese.

This pasta tastes good even if served cold. You can prepare some extra and bring it to work the next day. In this case, don’t add the cheese.

Frittata with Zucchini

This year, for Food Revolution Day, Jamie Oliver launched The Food Revolution International Omelette Challenge! Create a healthy omelette which symbolize your nation and share it on the Food Revolution platform.

I made a traditional Italian frittata with zucchini. This simple but delicious and nutritious dish can be your breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Here’s how I prepared it…in less than 20 minutes!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Half white Onion
  • Black pepper
  • Pecorino cheese
  • Chili flakes
  • Parsley
  • A handful of Cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  • Slice or dice your zucchini and the onion. Chop some parsley. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and the zucchini and cook them till they’re tender (6-8minutes). Set aside.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, dress with some olive oil and oregano and set aside.
  • In a large bowl beat 2 eggs, some grated pecorino, the parsley, a pinch of pepper and some chili flakes. Add the zucchini and mix well.
  • In a small pan heat a teaspoon of olive oil. Move the pan a little bit so that the oil covers the entire surface. Pour the mix in the hot pan and make sure the egg and the zucchini are distributed evenly. Cook until the egg is lightly browned on the bottom (3-5 minutes). You can put a lid on the pan. Now carefully flip the frittata and cook 2-3 more minutes.

Serve it hot or cold with the tomatoes. Buon Appetito!!!