Archives for gennaio, 2010
It’s a bit risky posting a video about a specific pizzeria in Naples because there are so many fantastic places. I have never been to Sorbillo’s ( this will change when I go back to Naples in Feburary ) but it has become a bit of an institution in Naples and being located in Spaccanapoli goes some way to confirming it’s traditional credentials. Enjoy the video!
Posted on 2010 under Italian Recipes, Starters |
Today after waking up and seeing the dull, dreary sky all I wanted to do was go back to bed. However, I mustered my energy and promised I would make something that reminded me of the summer to come. So here is my favorite recipe for the very summery tuna and bean salad.
- 1 tin of Cannellini beans
- 1 tin of Borlotti beans
- 1 ciabatta bread
- Flat leaf parsley (chopped)
- 1 tin of tuna
- 3tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 lemon
Drain and mix the beans together. Dice the onion and add that, the tuna and the extra virgin olive oil. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the chopped parsley and season well. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
While the salad marinates slice the ciabatta bread, brush each side with olive oil and toast on a griddle pan until golden brown.
To serve spoon the tuna & bean salad on top of the ciabatta and serve immediately.
Posted on 2010 under Other Interesting Things |
Today’s post will attempt to raise a bit of awareness for “The Slow Food Movement”. The Slow Food Movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy to combat the rise of fast food in his beloved Italy. The movement attempts to preserve cultural cuisine and traditional farming/production techniques. Although the movement started in Italy, it has now become global boasting over 100,000 members in 132 countries. I can’t state how much I agree with movements like this, down with microwavable meals, we should all be able to enjoy quality, local produce! Not only do they promote a healthy, balanced diet, but also supporting the LOCAL economy and not global corporations.
The Slow Food Movement has acted as a catalyst for similar groups such as CittaSlow, a movement started to preserve quality of life in towns with less than 50,000. The general idea is that local communities should mutually support each other with each town having its own butchers, tailors, joiners etc. The group is against globalization, the mass produced foods sold by supermarkets and mass produced services. If you want to find out more about either group please see the links below, lets try and make a difference!
Posted on 2010 under Sport |
Just a heads up for all you motor sport fans, the new F1 Ferrari was unveiled today at Maranello, it goes by the name of the “F10″. Hopefully this car will be a stark improvement on last years model which contributed to the teams dismal performance.
One of the most notable difference is the length of the car, this year’s model is longer to accommodate a larger fuel tank due to the ban on refueling mid race. The nose has also changed notably with the wings now being colored white.
In initial interviews both Alonso and Massa have reiterated their excitment about getting behind the wheel of the F10 and early signs are very positive for a Ferrarri team. One things for sure, the team wont tolerate another lack luster year so there is no wonder team principle Domenicali is being upbeat about the teams chances this year.
Posted on 2010 under Tourism |
Today I’ll be writing about about Palermo, a city of incredible energy, beauty, chaos and manic driving. A beautiful mix of Arab, Byzantine, Norman, Renaissance and Baroque works of art. A bustling port city with a unique charm. The beauty of Palermo lies in fact that it’s treasures have to be searched for, much like Naples, however they are present, and in their droves in fact. When visiting Palermo prepare to be adventurous, the sites of the city wont be clearly marked by droves of tourists, but in my opinion this only serves to increase the city’s charm.
One of the first things that an outsider will notice when visiting Palermo will be the WW2 bomb damage still present on many of the city’s palazzi. The former glory of their beautiful facades can sometimes be seen behind the hanging washing. Like Napoli this is a city of contrasts, the richer business areas where you will find beautiful boutiques and fantastically preserved 19th-century apartments are only a 15 minute walk from middle eastern looking bazaars.
Palermo’s past Arab and Norman rulers have led to a fusing of various cultures and creates one of the most unique cities I have ever visited. The beating heart of this city is located around Piazza Pretoria, the exotic fountain that forms the center piece of this piazza was constructed by the sculpter Francesco Camilliani the Florentine sculptor in 1544-55.
Other notable tourist attractions can be found in the Quattro Canti district in the historic center of Palermo. Here resides the Royal Palace (highly recommended) and a host of churches and cathedrals such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta ( with its wonderful attention to detail ) and the medieval Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi.
In my opinion, one of the most interesting and unique places in Palermo are the Capuchin Catacomb where thousands of mummified bodies are stored. Palermo also caters for the budding photographer, a trip up the Monte Pellergrino will provide breathtaking views of this corner of Sicily and parts of the city.
Palermo also caters for those in need of a bit of pampering at the resort town of Mondello. The beautiful sandy beaches provide an oasis of calm in contrast to the chaos of the city. Venturing further out of town will reward anyone with wonderful views of the spectacular Sicilian countryside and Mount Etna.
Posted on 2010 under Italian Recipes, Meat |
Today’s recipe is a personal favorite, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 4 skinless & boneless chicken breasts
- 6tbls Marsala wine
- 200ml double or single (if you’re on a diet) cream
- 1 cup of plain white flour
- 10tbls Italian olive oil
- 3 large potatoes (par-boiled)
- 3 sticks of fresh rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves
- Half a lemon
Tenderize the chicken ( between 2 sheets of cling-film) with the aid of a cooking hammer. Heat 2tbls of olive oil in a frying pan, now dip the chicken in flour and fry each side for 1 minute. Add the Marsala and flame for around 30 seconds, now add the cream,lemon juice, season and finish cooking for around 4 mins allowing the sauce to thicken.
To cook the potatoes first wash them, then peel and slice in approx 1cm thick. Chop some garlic finely and fry it till blonde, now add the potatoes and rosemary. Season and cook until golden brown on both sides.
Finally make sure you enjoy!
Posted on 2010 under Italian Recipes, Pasta |
Today’s post will talk you through how to prepare the famous “Frittata di Spaghetti”, a dish very popular in southern Italy. This dish can be served both warm or cold and is fantastic for picnic or a lunchtime snack.
- 200g Spaghetti
1 table spoon Italian olive oil
40g salted butter
1 red onion (finely chopped)
100g salame (chopped)
100g pecorino cheese (grated)
4tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
4tbsp double cream
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Now drain, toss the spaghetti with the olive oil and set aside.
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan of around 30cm diameter. To this add in the chopped onion and fry until golden brown. Add in the chopped salame and cook for a further minute, now set aside to cool.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and make sure you season them with salt and pepper. Mix in the pecorino, chopped parsley and cream, then finally add in the fried onion mixture.
Now take the spaghetti and add it to the egg mixture making sure you mix it well.
Heat another knob of butter in a large pan. Add the spaghetti mixture to the pan, pushing the edges of the mixture down with your fingers and fry until golden-brown on both sides.
Lastly but most importantly, Enjoy!
Posted on 2010 under Tourism |
So I’ve found that writing an article on a city that is essentially a mass of contradictions is quite difficult, however I shall give it my best shot.
Naples itself is sandwiched between the Vesuvius volcano and the steaming Campi Flegrei. Extremes are common in this city and the beautiful views of Posillipo are contrasted by the grime,bustle and poverty of the vibrant inner city neighborhood of Sanita’.
Standing in the middle of Piazza Garibaldi the first things you will notice will be wild traffic, rough and ready markets, street hawkers, multiculturalism but most of all, a certain unique, distinct Neapolitan spirit. The centro storico (historic centre) is a maze of ancient Greek streets teeming with tourists, scooters, shrines and hidden treasures.
Some of the city’s beautiful sites include Piazza del Plebiscito, Palazzo Reale and the famous opera house the Tratro San Carlo. The two castles, Castel Nuovo (Maschio Angioino) and Castel dell’Ovo are definitely worth a visit. Naples is world famous for the traditional nativity scenes that are crafted in Via San Gregorio Armeno, this year many of the Napoli football teams players have been made into nativity models to take pride of place in the very traditional Neapolitan “presepe”.
One thing that really makes Naples stand out is the standard and quality of it’s street food. Being the home of the Pizza you would expect the Pizza to be first rate, and it is. However the sheer creativeness of Neapolitan’s ( who have always had to be thrifty with ingredients ) comes through in the very many fish dishes and pasta courses. One thing thats apparent is that cooking in Naples is about getting the freshest, finest ingredients, not about cooking complicated food. The sheer range of deserts is also astonishing, I would recommend the traditional sfogliatella.
As well as the inner city “rioni” Napoli has upmarket districts such as Chiaia. This is where Naples’s trendy, sleek shops and bars are located. Close to Chaia is the characteristic port of Mergellina, a beautiful traditional port where some exquisite fish dishes can be eaten.
I’ve tried to give a brief overview of the City of Naples, hopefully you’ll enjoy it and it may even persuade you to take a trip to visit this fascinating, vibrant and diverse city.
Posted on 2010 under Italian Recipes, Pasta |
Recently I gave a presentation at work about lasagna ( before you ask IBM have not undertaken a drastic diversification strategy, I presented in a presentation workshop) and I spoke about some little tips and tricks to make the perfect lasagna. Now because Italian cooking varies so much from region to region I will probably get abused by everyone apart from the 5000 inhabitants of Caiazzo and even they will slate me behind my back. However, I’ll bite the bullet and post a few unique things that my family have always done to make a delicious lasagna:
1. Layer it with eggs – When layering lasagne layer through seasoned beaten eggs, this helps the lasagna bind better and helps to create depth of flavor
2. Cover the lasagna – When cooking cover the lasagna with foil and then pierce holes in the foil. This is done to ensure the lasagna does not dry out too much and burn on the top
3. Mix Cheeses – To create a beautiful flavor mix the cheeses in the layers, I prefer to mix Mozzarella and Parmesan. Also don’t be tempted to buy cheap cheese as it contributes to much of the flavor!
Thanks for reading and take care!
Posted on 2010 under Italian Recipes, Tourism |
After a couple of years in which the only words that followed Napoli (or Naples in english ) were rubbish,dirt and mafia I wanted to write an article promoting Napoli. Hopefully the video below will begin to change your mind about what was once the 3rd capital city of Europe and by far the richest and most developed kingdom in Italy.
I’m feeling overly nostalgic today becuase I spent some of the day with my mum making a traditional neapolitan desert called “struffoli”. If you want to add a Neapolitan touch to your Christmas follow the link below.