Tag: good

because cooking together is good for the whole family – Italian Cuisine

because cooking together is good for the whole family

Involving children at home in the kitchen promotes calm, stimulates creativity and trains self-esteem. Find out here what benefits it has and why start doing it

Children at home? Cooking with your children can be a constructive way to spend time with your family. «Preparing recipes and dishes helps to relax because it engages the mind. In addition, it gives satisfaction because we cook for the people we care most about, "he comments Rosanna Schiralli, psychotherapist psychologist, creator together with his colleague Ulisse Mariani of the method of emotional education. Sharing the preparation of recipes and dishes with the people we love is a real nourishment for our emotional well-being. «For example, seeing children happy to mess and read in their eyes the wonder they feel is a real cascade of substances of calm, well-being and pleasure in our brain. It favors the production of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine ", continues the expert.

How to involve children in the kitchen

"You can start getting them involved in the kitchen as early as the age of 2. In the beginning, to stimulate their participation, it is important to prepare a special recipe such as a dessert, meatballs, biscuits or croissants. Especially in the early days it is essential to stimulate their curiosity and their desire to "venture" into something new. First let's prepare the shopping list together. During the preparation it is fundamental then to encourage and gratify them as they perform the different operations, saying how useful their help is , explains the psychologist Rosanna Schiralli.

Cooking together helps them grow

The kitchen can be a real growth gym for children. "The elements that come into play in this experience are manifold both from the emotional-emotional point of view and from that of learning and sensory, motor and intellectual development. Shared emotions, for example, make the child grow up in a playful, creative and peaceful atmosphere. Cooking can also be an excellent stimulus for the senses, motor skills and intellect. Following the realization of a recipe, the child trains to smell and taste. Learn to distinguish them gradually. It also learns new terms and concepts. Then cultivate creativity and inventiveness. Train your focus and attention. Finally, learn the importance and value of waiting. All this contributes to improving self-esteem and acquiring greater autonomy, "says psychologist Rosanna Schiralli.

Would you like to know more? In the gallery you will find 5 useful tips to involve children in the kitchen

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


Things to know to drink good espresso – Italian Cuisine

Things to know to drink good espresso

To drink a good espresso, there are things we should know before going to the bar

"Coffee is a pleasure, if it is not good, what pleasure is it?" Said Nino Manfredi in a well-known spot in the 1980s. Very true, although many claim to sip one of the most popular, analyzed and discussed drinks in the world, just to stay awake.

Thanks to the increase in coffee culture, the spread of specialty coffees and the creation of dedicated events, in recent times this drink has been increasingly talked about. We then asked Massimiliano Marchesi (coffee expert and trainer) what are the essential characteristics of a good espresso.

«Harmonious, like all the foods we taste. The set of aromas must be balanced, as in an orchestra: in the absence of olfactory or tasting sensations that dominate the others ". If a coffee is balanced, first of all, it is not necessary to add sugar (a separate discussion would deserve the use of milk). Why add something to an already perfect drink? Usually (and sometimes unconsciously) to correct a defect: too much bitterness, a hint of burning or excessive body (when it is said that it is too strong). A good variety or blend, extracted optimally, therefore does not require the addition of sugar due to its characteristics: it is already an excellent coffee thanks to its natural sweetness. Having said that, we also know that the Arabica and Robusta varieties have specific characteristics that bring particular notes of body and aroma to the mixture. The former is known as the best species of coffee, however there are varieties of poor quality Arabica and, conversely, very valuable varieties of Robusta.

Arabica and robust

Arabica, which represents 70% of world production, is grown in the mountains above 1000 meters in more than 70 countries in the tropical belt and is low in caffeine. It is a variety more sensitive to atmospheric agents and parasites characterized by sweetness, acidity, fruity and floral notes that depend on the territory, exactly as for wine.
The Robusta grows in the plains or hills below 800 meters. It is a more resistant variety also to insects (which often attack the plant that uses them as pollinators) and lives in a more aggressive ecosystem from which it defends itself by producing more caffeine, contained in every part of the plant: leaves, fruits, flowers. On average it contains twice as much caffeine as Arabica.

«Another fundamental element is the cream. That must be compact, uniform and composed of very fine bubbles, since it is an emulsion of coffee fats that is formed thanks to the pressure generated during extraction ", explains Marchesi. The color and consistency of the cream depend on the variety and roasting, so it can vary from a lighter color, when the roasting is shorter and / or at a more moderate temperature (in jargon it is said to be clear), to a darker color in coffees roasted at high temperature and / or for a longer time.

The Robusta allows you to obtain a more voluminous cream even if it is sometimes less persistent as it is more airy. A "separating" cream is an indication of a badly extracted coffee, typically over-extracted.

We reach another crucial point, extraction: the process by which hot water is passed through a filter of roasted and ground coffee. For a good quality espresso it is necessary that the coffee is neither overextracted (taking out an excessive amount of extracts due to too long extraction time, too fine grinding, water temperature or too high pressure that will give too much espresso bitter and astringent) nor under-extracted (in this case the extraction time is too short, the grinding is coarse, the temperature or pressure of the water are too low and therefore a little full-bodied and aromatic coffee will result).

In conclusion, "a good cup of espresso must be naturally sweet, have the right level of acidity and bitterness, a good body and rich and pleasant aromatic nuances". Forget also the myth of the 3C so dear to the Neapolitans. A fundamental parameter is the extraction temperature which also determines the tasting temperature. A good espresso is extracted around 92 ° / 93 ° and must be tasted in a lukewarm cup.

So how do you recognize a good espresso at the bar?

Coffee beans must have a "friar's tunic" color, a not too dark shade of brown, and not be "too shiny, sweaty". Coffee must be ground at the time of extraction, because oxygen is its worst enemy. Think that 15 minutes after grinding the coffee has already lost 50% of the aromas, after 24 hours the first aromas of rancid appear (which also give hints of mold in the coffee). The bartender must purge (or flush) after each dispensing, by running water through the machine. The coffee powder must be pressed with energy (imagine a pressure of 15/20 kg) from top to bottom with a press and the extraction must last from 25 to 30 seconds. Finally, very important are the cleaning of the machine and the coffee grinder, to be carried out at least once a day. The major defects, in fact, often derive from the extraction of residual coffee powder or traces of dirt inside the machine. Ask your trusted bartender what type of blend he is serving: the variety, whether Arabica or Robusta; the percentages of coffee in the blend, to know what kind of taste to expect; the origin. But remember: if you see a lot of coffee already ground in the container of the coffee grinder, don't expect a good espresso!

Text by Romina Ciferni

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