Tag: Clean

Panocchie: how to clean and cook them – Italian Cuisine

Panocchie: how to clean and cook them

Call them panocchie, canocchie or squid: from the seabed to the table, here's how to prepare them and serve them in 4 simple recipes

The panocchie, also known as shrimp or sea cicadas, are crustaceans that live on sandy and muddy bottoms between 20 and 50 meters deep. It is easy to find them and catch them especially after heavy storms because they are more easily caught outside the destroyed dens.

How to clean pancakes

To clean the canocchie There are different methods and depending on the use you want to do, you proceed differently.
In any case, we must wash them still alive under running water paying attention to the spiny tail.
Enough to prepare sauces or soups cut them into pieces with kitchen scissors.
Instead, to cook them whole you have to practice a cut along the back, so that the pulp is more easily flavored during cooking.
Finally, to use only the pulp, dip them for a few minutes in one pot full of boiling water and then remove the shell.
Now that you understand how to clean them, all you have to do is choose the recipe that's right for you among the ones we offer.

Gratinated pancakes

This is perhaps the most famous recipe and also the easiest to prepare.
It is a very tasty and quick second course because it is sufficient to cut the panacchie's armor to stuff the meat with a mix of breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic. Baking is in the oven at 180 ° for about 15 minutes.

Corncobs sauce

This condiment is perfect with either a short pasta dish, such as half-sleeves or a calamarata, which is as long as the spaghetti.
Cut the panocchie with scissors eliminating the head and tail and then cook them in a pan with oil and shallots first, sprinkle with white wine and then add the chopped tomato.


For a light and super light cooking we suggest you to cook the steamed pancakes and then season them with oil and lemon or with a kind of green sauce prepared by blending the parsley with oil, lemon, garlic and salt.


When you really want to enjoy a fish dinner, prepare a broth: it is good, easy and super delicious especially if accompanied with toasted bread seasoned with oil and rubbed with garlic.
In the brodetto you can put all the types of fish and shellfish you want, but we suggest you, in addition to panocchie, small monkfish tails, sole, gurnard, hake, cuttlefish, prawns and scampi.
To prepare it, sauté with garlic and slowly cook the fish and shellfish starting with those that have a longer cooking time, cuttlefish and squid. Then add the others and the tomato and if you want also some peppers as from Marche recipe.

How to clean the pumpkin in a few moves – Italian Cuisine


Native to the Americas, the pumpkin it is one of the most popular ingredients in the autumn and winter period, the true protagonist of many sweet and savory recipes.
It can have very different sizes, shapes and colors depending on the variety, and the most used in the kitchen are often so large that they have a weight and bulk that complicate cleaning and preparation. Fortunately, there are also small pumpkins with a thin skin that can be easily removed with a potato peeler. Furthermore, the pulp is usually compact and free of seeds and filaments. When it has any considerable size, with hard and lumpy rind, cleaning it and removing the peel can be more complex. It is enough, however, to follow some small tricks to render peel and clean the pumpkin a simple and quick operation.

Wash the pumpkin well
It is essential to clean the pumpkin thoroughly under running water, rubbing well with a brush if there is soil residue and dry it with a dry cloth.

The right blade
When cutting, put the pumpkin on the cutting board and with a sharp knife with long blade cut it in half; if it is very large, it is better to cut the rind by sliding the knife along the entire diameter until it is half open.


Seeds off!
With a special one corer or a spoon you can dig the pumpkin and remove all the seeds and filaments.
However, it is forbidden to throw the large and full seeds which, in addition to being a mine of mineral salts and fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acid, are also rich in vitamin E and B. Once all the filaments have been washed and removed, I can be toasted : just cook them in the oven at 200 ° until they are golden, arranged on a baking sheet lined with wet and squeezed baking paper. Adding salt makes them perfect snacks for the aperitif.

Everything in pieces: precision and attention
Better to cut the pumpkin in quarters and then in eighths: the smaller the pieces, the easier it will be to eliminate the rind. Before starting, it is advisable to scrape the inner surface to eliminate any filament residues and to obtain a smaller knife, with a smooth and well-sharpened blade, which can be handled without the risk of cutting yourself. The blade must be inserted between the pulp and the peel, making it slide to peel the skin from the pulp. This can be done by holding the piece of pumpkin on the cutting board and holding it firmly with one hand, cutting it with the other hand to remove the rind. At this point the pumpkin is ready to be cooked, making sure to choose the most suitable format to the dish to prepare.

Every recipe, the right pumpkin
To season pasta or risotto it is better to cut it in cubes of about 1 cm on each side; if it is to be boiled or used in the soup preferable the cubes a little bigger, to prevent disfiguration during cooking. The cloves they are the right size for the oven, at 160 ° it will take about 30-35 minutes to cook.
A trick when added to other vegetables is to first pass it in the oven at 180 ° for a few minutes to dry it to prevent it from releasing too much water during cooking.
The whole pumpkin is maintained up to 2-3 months. Cut into pieces it is preserved in the fridge for a maximum of 2-3 days. If you want to stock it all year round, you can cook the pulp in the oven or steam, blend it and freeze it in well-sealed disposable trays.

"Peel" the pumpkin with the oven? You can!
Another way to peel the pumpkin quickly is baking in the oven. Cut the pumpkin into not too thick slices and then transfer them to the plate lined with wet and squeezed baking paper, cooking it at 180 ° for about ten minutes. Once warm, the peel will go away easily with a sharp knife.


Not only in the kitchen …
In addition to the carved pumpkin that now appears everywhere in the days preceding the Halloween party, the pumpkin lends itself to become original objects to embellish the table. If it is large, it can become one scenographic container to bring to the table a risotto or pasta seasoned with the pulp. Just trace a thin horizontal line on the rind with a felt-tip pen: following it, cut the top cap of the pumpkin with the knife at about 2/3 of the total height. After cleaning the inside from seeds and filaments and removing all the pulp with a digger, the pumpkin is ready for service. The smaller ones instead can be used as bowls or originals soup plates.

179207The pumpkin is also perfect to transform into centerpiece. After having washed and dried it is sufficient to cut a circle of 16 cm in diameter around the petiole with a knife, remove the cap and dig a large cylinder in the pumpkin, eliminating pulp, seeds and filaments. Just place a sponge for florists soaked in water in the center and insert branches and dried flowers of various colors and heights, following your own imagination, shortening them with scissors.
To create cute place card it is sufficient to choose small ornamental courgettes of similar size but of different shapes and colors, without defects. Polished and embellished with a note with the guest's name will make the table truly original.

Silvia Tatozzi
7 November 2016
updated November 2019 by Claudia Minnella


How to clean and cook white asparagus – Italian Cuisine


Widespread especially in the North-East of Italy, the white asparagus they are much loved for their delicate flavor, so much so that they are often eaten raw, in carpaccio or in salad.

The term "asparagus" or asparagus comes from the Greek "aspharagos", which in turn derives from the Persian"asparagus Cimadolmo"which means sprout. With this word we can refer to the whole plant or to the tip of the same. Among the most famous species, there is that of thewhite asparagus from Bassano which does not take the typical green color thanks to the cultivation technique known as "forcing". Discover all the secrets of Salt & Pepper to buy and cook the best white asparagus!

What is their season?

The best time to appreciate white asparagus is the spring. In fact, in this period they are usually collected and remain available until the end of June. In this period you will find them fleshy and stiff, a sign that they are fresh. Give it a try: if you try to bend it and don't break it, it means I've been on the counter for a while.

Cultivation and characteristics

THE'white asparagus of the season it must also show a nice homogeneous color, a sign that it has recently been picked up from the ground and has not come into contact with the light. This plant is grown with the "forcing" technique: they are grown under the ground, covered with sheets that make them grow larger while remaining white.

According to some historical sources, white asparagus was discovered by accident. During the sixteenth century there was a violent hailstorm in Veneto that destroyed the asparagus tips that spilled from the ground. The peasants were therefore forced to eat only the part that remained intact underground. Those stems did not have the typical green or violet color, but they were white. The white asparagus proved to be sweeter and more delicate to the taste and it began to be cultivated in this way areas of the North-East.

The result of this cultivation technique is that, in addition to having no green pigmentation, the white asparagus will be longer and more fibrous, so you will need more time to cook it.

How to clean white asparagus

White asparagus should be cleaned from the base. First of all you have to to cut at least 4 centimeters of stem, the part that is more hard and woody. Then, after immersing them in cold water, you have to peel so as to eliminate even the bitter part and keep only the tastiest part.

How to cook white steamed asparagus

175402As everyone knows the cooking technique more suitable for asparagus – white and not – is the steaming. In this way the organoleptic properties of the raw material are maintained more or less unchanged. Ten minutes are enough to get the right degree of softness, but set the time also according to the thickness of asparagus. If they are very robust, it lengthens the cooking by a few minutes up to a maximum of 20 in total.

A trick to cook steamed asparagus and keep them straight and swollen is to tie them tight in a bunch with the upper points pointing upwards. In this way the steam will cook the buds gently, while the boiling water will soften the harder and more fibrous stems. For a perfect result, you can then get yourself the pot special dedicated to asparagus cooking: la Asparagus.

How to cook baked white asparagus

After being steamed, the asparagus is ready to be retouched and flavored with sauces or other sauces. You can use the oven to finish their preparation next to the meat or fish they will be served with. Try for example the recipe of marinated salmon pie with white asparagus!

How to cook white asparagus in a pan

You can cook the white asparagus also directly in the pan. Just clean them and cut them into small pieces, taking care to brown the stems first and then the tips. As these are more tender, you risk damaging them with too long cooking.

Risotto with white asparagus

One of the preparations in which asparagus gives the best is risotto. The white asparagus risotto it exploits the softness of the flavor of this vegetable, agreeing with the acidity and freshness of an excellent white wine or rather of sparkling wine. When the risotto is cooked, the stems are first cooked and then, almost towards the end of the preparation, the tips are added so as not to damage them too much. If presented with a bit of originality, this is a perfect dish to amaze your guests.

Pasta with white asparagus

White asparagus also lends itself very well to season pasta. Among the recipes you can try at home, try the tagliatelle with white asparagus and crispy ham. In addition to pasta and vegetables, put 40 grams of butter, shallots, prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano in your shopping list.

After cleaning and trimming the asparagus on the spikes side, legal together and boil for a quarter of an hour in salted water. Heat 20 grams of butter and finely chopped shallots. When it is golden, add the boiled asparagus cut into pieces to flavor. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In another pan, brown the ham cut into strips into 10 grams of butter. Boil the noodles and add them to the aspargi with the remaining butter. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with Parmesan and complete with the crispy ham.

The tagliatelle also lend themselves well to one asparagus carbonara, where the tips are added to the egg and bacon. Moreover, always with white asparagus, you can prepare one cream with which to dress your favorite die.

Seconds with white asparagus

White asparagus is a perfect accompaniment to a second course of meat, but they are also the ideal protagonists of the rich flans, like the one of marinated salmon and white asparagus.

Try also a semifreddo dish, perfect for the first summer heats: thewarm trout and white asparagus salad. After having cleaned, boiled and cooled, put aside the white asparagus and fish. Cut the trout into slices and place it on a baking pan, together with the asparagus and herbs (parsley, dill, chives, shallots, chervil), sprinkling everything with white wine, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Bake everything at 200 ° C.

Meanwhile, burn the tomatoes in boiling water and then immerse them in cold water to stop cooking. Peel them and cut the pulp into cubes. Put them together with the mixed salad on a plate. After that, all you have to do is add the trout, the asparagus and season with the cooking juices.

Creams and velvety with white asparagus

Even the white asparagus, like many other vegetables, lend themselves well to the preparation of sauces and creamy sauces with which to dress pasta, to accompany seconds or to be consumed as simple velvety. To prepare the white asparagus cream all you need is two medium potatoes, some vegetable broth and half a kilogram of white asparagus. Enrich the recipe with poppy seeds, rosemary and toasted wholemeal bread.

After having skinned the asparagus with the utmost care, cut away the tips (which you have to keep aside) and let the chopped stalks season in the pan. Cut the potatoes into slices and add them to the stems with the vegetable stock. Cook for 30 minutes and then, with an immersion blender, turn everything into a soft one cream.

Wines to pair with white asparagus

Combining the right wine with asparagus is a big challenge. Given the very characteristic taste partly similar to that of the artichoke, this vegetable should be approached with great care. The ideal combination with this type of asparagus is a White wine with a good consistency, a marked acidity, aromas and quite intense aromas. One of the wines suited to accompany this dish was born in Breganze, a place where the white asparagus of Bassano is usually consumed. Is called Vespaiolo. Equally valid are the alternatives present in the Vicenza area, such as the Gambellara Classico D.o.c.

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