Italian Recipies

Bruschetta with Mozzarella, Tomato and Garlic

Crusty bread, tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil

This is such a tasty, simple snack that you can put together in no time.   It is a fabulous combination of fruity olive oil, crunchy fresh bread smothered with ripe baby tomatoes, garlic plus a slight peppery taste of basil topped with mozzarella

Ingredients Serves 4
125g Mozzarella Cheese
1 loaf of white crusty fresh bread
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
14 baby tomatoes
20 basil leaves
salt and pepper to season
1tbs olive oil (Additional oil will be required for the bread)

Place the garlic, tomatoes, basil leaves, olive oil and a twist of salt and pepper to season in a food processor and blitz till you have a smooth consistence.  Leave to stand and after a couple of minutes it will naturally thicken

Sliced white bread smothered with olive oil
Next slice the bread (2 pieces per person) and place on a grilling tray.  Smother the bread either side with olive oil, use your finger to gentle work the oil into the bread to cover the whole surface area. Then place under the grill and toast both sides till golden brown.

Spread generous amounts of the tomato, basil and garlic mix onto the bread, ensure you have the whole surface area covered, otherwise the bread will burn and then place under the grill again.  After about a minute when the the topping is cooked remove and place the sliced mozzarella on top.

Add a little bit more pepper to the mozzarella and return under the grill until the cheese has melted.


Serve the bruschetta with some salad and enjoy the vibrant taste of the garlic combined with the freshness of the basil and tomato. 

Serve with salad, an excellent snack on a warm summer's day.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara.jpg

This is one of my youngest daughter's favourite dishes (because it has pancetta in it, when we can get it here in rural North Wales or otherwise we use lardons or Edwards of Conwy bacon which is quite a thick cut of bacon)

This is a very quick dish to make and can be ready in about 15 minutes. My daughter enjoys helping by beating the eggs and frying the bacon.

Serves 4

Spaghetti - between 80 to a 100g per person depending how hungry you are.
3 free range eggs beaten together.
50 to 60g preferably pancetta if not use lardons or cut up two strips of thick bacon
70 to 80g of Parmigiano (Parmesan) or for a slightly saltier taste add equal amounts of Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese.
2 Cloves of garlic crushed slightly.
1/2 tbs Oil to fry with - I use Sunflower Oil. (Olive oil should be kept for salads, to drizzle onto cold dishes or soups).

1. You will need a large pan of water, too little water and the pasta will stick together. Add a good pinch of salt to season.
2. Heat the water till it is boiling then add the pasta.  Stir the pasta this will also help to prevent the pasta sticking together.
3. The pasta will take about 8 to 10 minutes before it is ready.  Best way to check, take one strand of pasta out and try, if there is a slight bite to the pasta (al dente) it is ready.
4. Whilst the pasta is cooking, in a frying pan add the oil and heat till hot, add the garlic cloves and pancetta/bacon and fry till crisp, about 4/5 minutes (after a couple of minutes take the garlic out as it has done its work of flavoring the oil and pancetta/bacon).
5. Once the pasta is ready drain but keep back some of the pasta water.
6. Place the pasta back in the hot pan.
7. Add the hot pancetta/bacon and the oil it was cooked in and stir together.
8. Add the eggs and stir well.  Add a little of the reserved pasta water to maintain a sauce.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Add half the cheese and stir well.
Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Eat and enjoy with a good glass of red wine.

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