Borage: 5 reasons why it is good and how to cook it – Italian Cuisine


An annual herbaceous plant of the Borraginacee family, equipped with characteristic-looking leaves and delicate blue flowers, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
And the borage, already known in Roman times, useful and precious for ours health.

The best known recipes that never fail at Easter and in general on spring tables, there are the Genoese ravioli and the always Ligurian and always stuffed tordei. But borage can also be used for savory pies, lasagna, bread dumplings or spectacular stuffed paccheri.

Here you will find many ways to cook it and here instead we tell you five reasons so help us feel good.

It is anti-inflammatory

20510There borage is rich in beneficial fats for the organism. The seeds, in fact, as the doctor specifies Nadia Fiorentino, nutritionist biologist in Naples, "they contain high quantities of essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), which seem to have a positive effect on inflammation and on the balance of the immune system".
In the form of herbal tea, it is often used to relieve inflammatory pathologies such as sore throat.

Useful for disorders related to the menstrual cycle

152969There borage also contains of phytoestrogens and for this reason, in addition to its anti-inflammatory action, it is useful for disorders related to the menstrual cycle. Near the cycle, it is easy to feel exhausted and in a bad mood, irritable and sad, presumably because the hormonal balance is altered in our body.

There borage helps in case of pain syndromes related to the menstrual cycle (such as chamomile for example). As Dr. Fiorentino tells "Borage oil, in particular, seems to be supportive, for its anti-inflammatory action, for female cycle disorders characterized by pain (dysmenorrhea) also in association with feverfew, another anti-inflammatory plant".

It helps in case of skin problems and dermatitis

147135This plant also has properties beneficial on the skin thanks to the high content of substances antioxidants and thanks to the anti-inflammatory action. L'borage oil, cold extracted, regulates the production of sebum e normalizes the skin, both in case of dryness and, conversely, in case of oily skin. “It also proves to be a valuable aid in case of dermatitis, in association for example with burdock".

Benefits for the intestine

159167The presence of mucillagini, in borage (like Malva) makes it a valid remedy in case of constipation and intestinal inflammation problems.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

There borage it is healthy because it contains vitamins and minerals.
It is a source of vitamin C, with an antioxidant and beneficial effect for the immune system; of vitamin A and manganese, as well as of group B vitamins, which modulate the metabolism.
In addition there are folate, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium (essential for the health of bones and teeth), potassium, iron and copper, important for the production of red blood cells.

Situations where it is contraindicated

In general, borage is contraindicated in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding, but also
in case of liver disease, surgery and for children.

Borage in the kitchen

But the borage it is also widely used in the kitchen, particularly in the Ligurian tradition, such as stuffed with pansotti, quadrucci and the well-known Easter cake. Often it is also used for the preparation of the dough lasagna. It is also used only boiled in a little water and seasoned with oil, both for the preparation of soups or soups.

Here is a recipe by chef Gennaro Esposito of the Torre del Saracino restaurant in Vico Equense (NA) to experience it in the kitchen


Ingredients for 4 people

500 gr of fresh prawns
300 cl of vegetable broth
300 gr of chicory
250 cl of extra virgin olive oil 200 gr of borage
50 gr of chopped celery, carrots and onions
2 sprigs of wild fennel
a few sprigs of aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary, fresh oregano, tarragon)
1kg "00" flour
16 egg yolks
1 pinch of salt

Prepare the ravioli filling.
Shell the prawns and toast the heads in the oven for about 2 hours at 110 °, transferring them to a fairly high pan, adding the chopped celery, carrots and onions to a ladle of oil. Brown for a few minutes, adding the broth and cook for a few minutes without ever boiling everything. With the help of a mortar, crush the heads, pass through a passage and keep the so obtained stew aside.
Clean, wash and boil wild vegetables. Separately, brown the finely chopped vegetables in a pan with 100 g of oil, garlic and wild fennel for a few seconds and leave to cool.

For the ravioli pasta join in a planetary mixer the kilo of flour, the egg yolks and a pinch of salt. Work the ingredients until a homogeneous mixture is obtained, leaving to rest for 1 hour. Roll the egg pasta into 2 sheets of equal size 1 mm thin with a rolling pin or with the help of the special machine, then arrange many small quantities of stuffing on the pasta 4 to 5 centimeters apart. Brush the empty spaces around the filling with a few drops of water, cover the pastry with the other by pressing with your fingers so that they adhere and preventing air bubbles from forming inside the ravioli.

In a saucepan with plenty of salted water, cook the ravioli.
In a pan, add the rest of the oil and brown the flaky herbs. Add a ladle of vegetable broth and add the previously drained ravioli, mixing for a few seconds.
In the meantime, sear the prawns in a pan with a little oil and over high heat.
Compose the dish by veiling the dish with the scampi soup, add the ravioli and garnish with the scampi.

Elisa Nata
April 2018
updated in March 2020
by Barbara Roncarolo


This recipe has already been read 929 times!

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