Spaghetti with fave and barba di fratte

It's hard to say which is my favorite time of the year vegetable wise. But spring is just so exciting. Suddenly all this lovely bright green veggies start to turn up again. What you don't get on the market here are the typically spring veggies like fave - my all time favourite and barba di fratte. I always plant my own fave in the garden but this year it does not not look like it's going to be a good fave year. Only half of the seeds germinated and the cold may did not do them a favor either. Luckily we have a italian wholesale shop ( who also retails) more or less around the corner and they sell every possible italian speciality.

I spend my days in the garden at the moment ( garden holidays this is called ) an have no time for big cooking.

Spaghetti with fave and barba di fratte is a fast and delicious dinner.

20 pods of fave
A bunch of barba di fratte quartered
1/4 lemon zested
1/3 feta cheese crumbled
good olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring a big pot of saltwater to boil

Take the fave out of the pads and blanch for 4 minutes. Take of the skin.
Cook the spaghetti in the salt water after 3 minutes ad the barba di fratte, when done drain

In a large sauce pan, combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Related Entries:
Spring vegetable stew with fregola sardo
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Orecciete with sardines and wild fennel

Wild fennel grows everywhere here in sardinia so I was happy to find a recipe
in the fantastic "Made in Italy cook" book from Locatelli that uses wild fennel.

  • 2 tbs sultanas
  • 2 good quality tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 2 tbs pine nuts
  • 12 sardine filets roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 glass of dry white wine
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • handful of chopped wild fennel

Soak the sultanas in hot water for 30 min.
Spread the pine nuts on a baking tray and put into the preheated oven (180°), just long enough to turn them golden. Remove from the tray.

Briefly fry the garlic till he starts to color, don't let burn. Add the chopped sardines and cook for 1 minute. Season and add the with wine. Allow to evaporate the alcohol. Put in the tomatoes, pine nuts, drained sultans and turn off the heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta. Add to the sauce add a little more olive oil. Toss in the parsley and the fennel.

wild fennelsardines

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Sardines with wild fennel
Back in the kitchen - Little tarts of celery stalks
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Spaghetti vongole

spaghetti vongole

To prepare the vongole let them sit in a bowl of salt water 30 min, they will breath and filter the water, releasing any sand they have inside.
Rinse in cold water and separate any open ones, they are dead. You can drop every single one into a metal bowl, dead but closed ones will open and you can throw them away.

Heat some olive-oil in a pan. Fry lot's of chopped garlic till they start to colour, add a some chillies ( we like the dish rather spicy ) and the clams. Let them cook for approximately 30 seconds then add two glasses of dry white wine and cover the pan with the lid to allow the clams to steam open.

Don't eat any clams that did not open.

Meanwhile cook the pasta, mix with the clams and some more olive oil.

here in sardinia we bought local, slightly different clams than we buy at home.

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Pappardelle with chiccorino rosso and walnuts

Fry garlic and walnuts in olive oil, throw in the chiccorino, stir briefly adding salt and freshly ground black pepper, quench with a little fresh lemon juice (alternatively use white wine if you prefer).

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Strozzapreti with crab and lemon sauce


Yesterday we had cha ca and fresh spring rolls for dinner, so there was some crab meat left.
Something had to be done with it today...
Here a pasta with dish I really like and which is very simple.

Of course you can  do it with every pasta type but I really like the curly types. We brought Strozzapreti  home from Sardinia, they are a good choice for this dish.

Cook the Strozzapreti in lot's of salt water. Meanwhile slightly  fry some garlic in olive oil, I used fresh one from the garden, add chili flakes salt and pepper. Add the zest of one lemon. And the crabmeat and 1dl of the pasta water.

When the pasta are done mix with the crab sauce and ad 5 tbsp of double cream.

Decorate with some lemon basil if you can finde.

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Puttanesca time

Sardine Angelo Parodi

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Calemari & Trevisano Pasta


Got some beautiful fresh Calimari from Italy in the Globus store in Zurich and prepared the following dish:
Calimari beaten and sautéd in olive oil, garlic, peperoncini for 2 minutes while adding salt, in the end sprinkle with lemon juice.

Orechiette with trevisano and rocket salad:
heat olive oil in pan, add onions and garlic, throw in the trevisano, cook for short time then add a splash of white wine. In a bowl mix this with the pasta and the rocket. Dead simple and utterly georgious!

Treviso Tardivo

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Fresh pasta with pumpkin chestnut filling


small ones

I tried to make fresh pasta last week. We live next to a pasta manufacturer where I can buy fresh pasta dough ready to fill.
I tried a filling of pumpkin, chestnut and oregano. Served only with butter, parmesan and black pepper. It turned out quite nice. Next time a will ad some cilli to the filling to make it a bit spicier and I'll make a bit more and put them in the freezer.

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Tagliatelle with figs and chili

A simple and very nice pasta dish adapted from the river cafe pocket cook book recipe.

Mix 100 ml double cream with the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of one. Wash and cut off the fig stalks and cut into quarters.
While cooking the tagliatelle fry the figs very shortly (just to caramelize) on each side. Set aside and season with chili flakes (from two chillies).
Drain the pasta, put back in the pan, ad the cream mixture and the figs season with salt and pepper.
The different tastes and the spice of the chili works beautifully in this dish.

The river cafe pocket cook books I keep in my office, the place where one really needs cook books - I think. After work I usually have no Idea what to buy and cook for dinner. I think with every cook book one buys, one should get a login to an online recipe service...

Related Entries:
Autumn caprese
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Fresh gnocchi

les gnocis

The menu tonight was a tomato soup homemade gnocchi alla burro e salvia and baked ricotta.

The gnocchi turned out very nice but unfortunately we dropped 1/3 of them (together with a bowl of water...)

dramamore drama

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