Tag: first courses

Cold fregola instead of rice or pasta salad – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Cold fregola: which ingredients choose for the preparation of this fresh and tasty dish? That’s the beauty of it! You can really indulge your fantasyexperiment with delicious variations and please everyone, from those who love vegetarian cuisine to those who love fish and shellfish. Yes, because among the main alternatives we find the combination of cold fregola with octopus and seafood.

Fregola, or typically called fregulait’s a dish of Sardinian origin. This is a typical, very ancient pasta, made starting from durum wheat: tradition explains that one of the words capable of telling its origin is the Latin word “ferculum”, that is “crumb”The consistency of fregola, which recalls the famous couscous, actually evokes the “crumb” effect.

Cold fregola is a perfect dish for summer. It will be a delicious alternative to cold pasta and rice salad: a lesser-known ingredient that will give us the opportunity to experiment with new combinations. We propose a very simple version, with lots of vegetables, cubes of ham and cheese. If your pantry is short, know that the basic recipe for many centuries it simply used ripe tomatoesgood extra virgin olive oil and pecorino cheese. Olives, green beans, courgettes, fresh onion and all the vegetables you love most will enrich your cold fregola: don’t forget to add a handful of chopped fresh herbsto add the scent of summer to the dish.

Cold fregola: the recipe


  • 300 g fregola
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • 150 g cooked ham
  • 150 g mixed cheeses
  • 100 g green beans
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons Taggiasca olives
  • aromatic herbs of your choice to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper as needed


  1. How to prepare cold fregola? First of all, start with the vegetables which need to be cooked, like green beans: blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. In the meantime, wash and dice the courgettes and yellow pepper.
  2. In a pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil, then add the courgettes together with the pepper, onion, Taggiasca olives and cherry tomatoes cut in half. Sauté for a few minutes, adding salt and pepper.
  3. Separately, bring the water to the boil, add salt and let it boil. cook the fregola for about 10 minutes about before draining. Let cool or rinse under cold running water.
  4. Then pour the fregola into the pan together with the vegetables and add a mixture of aromatic herbs: you can use basil, thyme, marjoram.
  5. Finally, add the baked ham in cubes and yours cheese favorite: perfect pairing with pecorino, parmesan or the Greek feta. If you want a vegetarian recipe, simply remove the ham.

Fregula with cod

Fresh cream, celeriac, parmesan and saffron: here is the recipe for fregula with cod.

30 summer risottos: recipes to make even when it’s hot – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Risottos summer? Of course, it is not an oxymoron! Of course, it may seem like a dish far from our sunny imagination. Either because of the heat that risotto gives off fork after fork, or because we always tend to overdo it with fried ingredients and condiments, it is never at the top of our summer recipes. But that is a mistake. This simple dish allows us to play with the ingredients as if it were a blank canvas on which to draw and it is ideal for enhancing the delicate flavors of summer.

A light sauté

The classic risotto recipe involves the preparation of sautéed onion. But if you want to make the dish more digestible and lighten the first step, there are several alternatives. The first is that of replace it shallot or the spring onion with onion. Otherwise you can also use the leek cut very thinly and cooked slowly until almost melted with the help of a ladle of broth. If instead you want to prepare a risotto that you will then serve just warm and make sure that you do not find cold pieces of onion on the plate, proceed in a similar way to how you do with garlic. So heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add plenty of sliced ​​onion. Stir carefully, being careful not to burn it and remove it once brownedThe oil will have absorbed its aroma and will be ready to release it on the plate.


If classic carnaroli is one of the most suitable types of rice for preparing a traditional risotto, in summer we can opt for something different. As a Venere rice, red and whole wheatless suitable for stirring, but capable of giving freshness to our summer risotto.

The creaming

Creaming the rice is the favorite step of those with a sweet tooth. In fact, after this step the risotto is creamier, tastier and richer. But butter and cheese add calories and a bit of heaviness to the preparation and we can think of a very light alternative for the summer. To get one really light creaming try with a spoonful of ricotta. If you are looking for a more traditional result, instead, opt for a radical choice: either butter or cheese grated. Fresh result guaranteed!

Our 30 summer risottos

summer risottos

30 summer risottos to bring to the table even when it’s hot

One last risotto to try

Scrippelle ‘mbusse in fish broth with meatballs – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Today’s Best Italian Recipe is scrippelle ‘mbusse in fish broth with meatballs of shrimp, a typical first course from Teramo revisited by Carla De Iuliis, journalist and communications manager of a public body, passionate about food and local traditions, who wrote to us: «Legend has it that it was the assistant chef Enrico Castorani , in the early nineteenth century, to invent scrippelle ‘mbusse, following a gross mistake in the kitchen. Castorani worked in the canteen of the French officers stationed in Teramo, in Abruzzo, where they used to serve the soldiers revisited “crêpes” (without milk, but with water), instead of bread (made of corn flour), which was little appreciated by the officers . One day it happened that the scrippelle, ready to be served at the table, accidentally fell into a pan containing chicken broth.
The chef, instead of throwing away the scrippelle completely soaked in broth, decided (and, we add, fortunately) to serve them anyway, finding great success. Since then, scrippelle with broth have become one of the cult dishes of Teramo cuisine, once typical of the Christmas holidays, but now used on every important occasion. They are simple and cheap, to make them you only need eggs, flour, water and a pinch of salt; then, just dip them in a boiling meat broth and sprinkle them with plenty of grated parmesan (formerly with pecorino strictly from Abruzzo). Carla told us that there is a variant of the recipe, typical of Montorio al Vomano, a town a few kilometers from Teramo, where the scrippelle are accompanied by very small meatballs, fried in extra virgin olive oil. Precisely this variant gave her the idea for her dish: «I remembered the fish broth that my grandmother prepared, always trying to recover every possible waste in the kitchen; so I made a delicate broth with the fish and shrimp scraps, which I used to make meatballs.” The finishing touch? «A slightly unusual plating, which goes beyond tradition, but gives a gourmet and contemporary touch to the recipe.

The recipe: scrippelle ‘mbusse in fish broth with shrimp meatballs

Effort: medium
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Styling and cooking: Joëlle Néderlants

Ingredients for 1 person

For the broth and meatballs

  • 15 prawns
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 egg yolk
  • fish bone such as sea bream or St. Peter’s fish
  • parsley
  • bread crumbs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • seed oil
  • fine salt
  • coarse salt
  • black peppercorns

For the scripelle

  • 1 egg
  • 00 flour
  • lard or extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


For the broth and meatballs

Fill a pan with high sides with a liter and a half of water; add the heads and shells of the prawns, the fish bone, the carrot, the celery stalk, a few sprigs of parsley with the stalks, the cherry tomatoes, the coarse salt and the peppercorns; cook for about an hour, over low heat, then filter the broth.
Pour a drizzle of oil into a pan and brown the prawns for a couple of minutes. Let them cool then transfer them into a bowl with the egg yolk, a few spoonfuls of breadcrumbs, a sprig of chopped parsley and the egg yolk, seasoning with salt and pepper. Work the mixture, forming small balls, dip them in boiling seed oil for about 30 seconds, then drain them on kitchen paper.

For the scripelle

Break the egg into a bowl, add ½ shell of water, a level spoon of flour and a pinch of salt. Mix everything until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
Heat a pan (20 cm diameter), greased with lard or a drizzle of oil, and pour in the mixture, one ladle at a time; as soon as the edges of the pan lift slightly from the pan, turn it over and continue cooking until you obtain a sort of thin crepe. Repeat the operation with the remaining mixture: you will obtain approximately 3 scrippelle.
Roll up the scrippelle, cut them into rounds, a couple of cm high and place them on a deep plate. Pour the hot fish broth over the scrippelle, complete with the shrimp meatballs and serve.

Send us the description of your dish to participate in the selection of The Best Italian Recipe, an exciting challenge open to everyone – home cooks, professional chefs, simple enthusiasts – to write together the future of Italian goodness. Find out how to do it here.

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