SEPPIOLINE IN UMIDO –

Baby Squid Stew

Recipe n. 40

Back to Sicilian repertoire!

I inherited this delicious recipe from my mom’s cooking. To give her full credit, I should use the same ‘vocabulary’ she uses to describe the way this food needs to be cooked: ‘A tutto dentro’. There is not an easy way to translate this expression into english and it really doesn’t make much sense in italian either. Every time she uses it,  my sister and I can’t help smiling and tease my mom. What do you mean with a tutto dentro???  Literally it means ‘everything inside’. I believe it is a cooking expression used mostly in the Southern area of Italy. Basically all the ingredients go in one pot and cook slowly!

With this system the nourishing proprieties of what is cooking  inside the pot won’t be lost.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh seppioline (or calamaretti)

  • 1 onion (thinly sliced or chopped)

  • 1 bottle tomato sauce ( 750 ml)

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 tbsp fish broth (or water) or white wine

  • pinch hot chilly pepper

  • salt and pepper

  • Olive oil

  • fresh chopped basil at the end to garnish on top

  •  slices of tasted country bread to accompany the dish

 

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Rinse the seppioline under cold water and let them rest in the fridge in a colander. In a large pot add some olive oil and gently sauté the onions until translucent. Add the seppioline, tomato paste, bay leaf, hot chilli pepper. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes and then add the liquid of your choice (broth, water or wine). Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato  sauce. Cover and simmer slowly for 30 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil leaves and serve with toasted country bread on the side.

Buon appetito!

 

Pollo al curry  – Chicken curry

Recipe.34

This recipe is an exploration and appreciation of flavors which are very different from the Mediterranean ones I grew up with. The first time I went to England I was eighteen year old and I spent the entire Summer in a very small village, not too far from London. I still have imprinted in my mind the memory of a very strong smell of  curry and other spices coming from the little streets next to the house where I was living back then. Among many things I discovered about English culture, I learned that English people love curry! After colonizing India, the British developed a taste for curry and  indian food in general,  which has been permanently absorbed by British cooking. In Sicilian cooking you will find many other spices such as saffron, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, which are the result of the influence of the Arab culture that once dominated Sicily. They in fact ruled Sicily for  over two centuries. Many of the most popular Sicilian foods trace their origins to the Arab period.

I learned how to make this delicous dish from my mother in law many years ago. She used to cook it for us everytime we would visit her in Ireland. Even Irish people adopted some Indian food in their cuisine. To reduce the spiciness of this dish, Pat used to serve it with some sliced banana.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken (you can either use the meat from a bought roasted chicken or sautee some chicken breast cut into bite sizes in olive oil )

  • 1 cup of coconut milk

  • 1  yellow onion sliced

  • 1 clove of garlic crushed

  • 1 red bell pepper sliced and cut in 1 inch pieces

  • 1 or 2 dry bay leaves

  • A handful of raisins or dry currants

  • 1 unpeeled apple, cut in small pieces – seeds discarded

  •  2 to 3 tbsp curry powder  (medium to hot)

  • 1 tsp of cocunut sugar (or any other sugar of your preference)

  •  A few basil leaves (to add at the end – this is optional – my personal touch)

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil

  • short grain brown rice to accompany the dish

 

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Start by sauteeing the chicken breast pieces or roasted chicken in a large pan with the onions and the garlic in some olive oil. After a few minutes add the red bell pepper, raisins, bay leaves and cook for  10 to 15 minutes. Add the cococnut milk,  curry powder, sugar and the apples pieces.  Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add some broth or water if needed.  Season with salt and pepper and add basil leaves at the end. Serve with some  rice  on the side.

 

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FLOURLESS  SPINACH  and  RICOTTA QUICHE

RECIPE N.31

This is what I made yesterday for dinner. I love this dish because it’s quick , easy to make and tastes delicious!    Plus you sure are going to get all your proteins and vegetables at the same time. It’s a complete meal. However, I like to serve it with roasted vegetables of your choice on the side, just to add some more colors to your plate  (a very important component when you are eating according to ancient Ayurveda, along with the six tastes) and also to give  your quiche ‘some company’!

 

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Ingredients

(Serves 4 people)

  • 2 bunches of Spinach
  • 1 cup of fresh ricotta
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper

 

In a large pot bring 2 inches of water to the boil, add the spinach (previously washed) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water and squeeze out the remaining water from the spinach. Put on the side and let it cool. In the meantime beat the eggs in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients except the ground flaxseed. Cut the spinach coarsely and add it to the mixture.

Pour everything in a baking dish. Sprinkle the top with  some parmesan cheese and the ground flax seeds to form a nice crust on top.

Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes.

Tip: You can also bake it in a mini muffins pan and obtain fancy mini quiches to serve as an appetizer.  Your guests will love them and  for sure there won’t be any left over.