Tag: Learn

Homemade Trofie like in Liguria: let's learn the recipe – Italian Cuisine

It is the best known and most appreciated Ligurian pasta. Let's learn how to make it with our hands: three ingredients and a little manual skills are enough

It is one of the most famous dishes of all Liguria, although its origin dates back to a small village on the east coast of Genoa, Sori: le trofie they are a must try for anyone who loves pesto and fresh pasta. And like any type of fresh pasta, they can also be prepared at home. Do you want to try?

An ancient pasta

Trofie are a pasta that Ligurian women have always made at home, thanks to the fact that only three ingredients are needed to prepare them: water, semolina and salt. Once, their particular and elongated shape was obtained with a wooden knitting needle, along which a small piece of dough was rolled up and then crushed with the palm of the hand. Now the production is mostly industrial, with special machinery. Trying to make them at home gives, as always, a very special taste.


Semolina, not flour

The recipe for hand made trofie involves the use of semolina and not flour. But what is the difference between the two? And how do they recognize each other? The flour is the result of the grinding of soft wheat, while the semolina comes from the grinding of durum wheat. The first has a more rounded shape and a more crumbly consistency, while durum wheat has a more elongated shape and is, in fact, harder. The flours deriving from these two grains also show some differences: the first has a whiter color and is softer to the touch, the second instead has a more yellow color and is more grainy.

The recipe for homemade trofie

For 6 people: arrange 400 g of semolina on a fountain table, add a pinch of salt and as much water as you need to have a homogeneous and elastic mixture. Add it little by little. Then work the dough for ten minutes and then let it rest out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, covered with a cloth. Then detach some pieces the size of a marble and with the palm of your hand roll the pieces of dough on the pastry board, obtaining twisted dumplings, with the thinner ends of the central part. Throw them in a pot with boiling water and salt and let them cook for 4 minutes and then drain them, keeping a little cooking water, which you will need to dilute the pesto.

Here are our recipes with trofie

Meatballs, what a passion! Let's learn how to cook them – Italian Cuisine

Meatballs, what a passion! Let's learn how to cook them

Round and of the perfect size to be eaten in very few bites: this is how meat, fish or vegetable balls are for us. The best part? The crunchy crust, golden to the right point and which wraps a soft and tasty dough. To eat with a fresh salad, with a side of vegetables or with a plate of spaghetti with sauce… In short, land meatballs all agree: omnivores, vegetarians and above all, they are the perfect trick to make children eat more vegetables, fish and meat, and more! We, just talking about it, we already smell it and begin to feel a strange desire for meatballs … and you? But how are meatballs made? Follow our few and simple rules to try to prepare them!

To cook excellent meatballs it is not necessary to buy very expensive cuts of meat: just buy a cut of meat that has a good balance between fat mass and lean mass. Because? This will ensure a balanced flavor to the meat and the right texture. The meatballs can be made by choosing only one type of ground meat or by mixing them together. For the beef or veal you can choose different cuts such as the belly, the shoulder or the neck. And the pig? Obviously, as per tradition "nothing is thrown away from the pig", and in fact its very tasty meats are perfect for preparing delicious meatballs. The cuts to be preferred are shoulder and pancetta (both fresh and smoked). Even the meats of chicken and turkey they are well suited to be transformed into meatballs, in this case we recommend using the breast or the spindles.

The eggs
They are a natural thickener that also acts as a "glue". However, they should be used in moderation: add one egg at a time and knead. Make sure that the dough is not too moist. If the consistency is too soft, you can adjust it this way: add some breadcrumbs (about 1 tablespoon), mix and check the consistency of the dough again. Continue like this until you get the desired consistency, but remember: it must never be too wet or too dry. In both cases the meatballs will fall apart during cooking.

The aromas
Grated parmesan, pepper, chilli, salt, spices, aromas and imagination. Meatballs must absolutely be flavored with everything you prefer to make them more unique and with a more inviting taste. Do you want to make them more ethnic? Add a mix of spices such as curry, chilli and coriander.

The dimensions
If you think of grandma's meatballs, how do you remember them? Many and small in size. Let's dispel the myth that meatballs must be large: in order to be cooked evenly and in about half an hour they need to be small balls of about 50 g each. Imagine biting into a crispy and very hot meatball on the outside and raw and cold on the inside? No. So, remember: prepare lots of regular-shaped balls. If you prepare them slightly larger than an olive, you will prepare delicious aperitifs based on meatballs!

The cooking
In sauce, fried or baked? How do you prefer them? It's not that easy to choose.
Let's start with tradition, the meatballs with sauce, exactly like those from the grandmother are not so easy to replicate, but we can try. The secret is slow cooking and a good homemade tomato sauce. Once browned with a drizzle of oil, add the tomato sauce and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes; halfway through cooking, turn them to cook on both sides. But have you ever tried the meatballs in sauce with double cooking? They are very tasty! The double cooking requires that the meatballs are first of all fried in abundant hot oil until the crunchy external crust is formed; drain the meatballs and pour the tomato sauce into the same pot to flavor the sauce and cook for about 15-20 minutes. At this point, place the meatballs in the sauce and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Check often that the sauce does not shrink too much: the meatballs must cook in plenty of sauce. What a smell!
The most gluttonous, the fried meatballs. Enjoyable. Once the meatballs are prepared, dip them in boiling oil and brown them on all sides. Once cooked, drain them from the oil and let them dry on absorbent paper.
For the healthiest, the Baked meatballs are ideal: they require little amount of fat. Just lightly grease a baking dish, place the meatballs on it and cook them in a static oven at 180 ° until they are golden brown, it will take about 40 minutes.

September 2021
Giulia Ferrari

let's learn to have fun with this multi-faceted spice – – Italian Cuisine


It is NOT chili pepper powder. It can be sweet, strong, spicy or smoked. In the kitchen it comes in many ways. His name is paprika, with ‘c’ or with ‘k’ that you want to write. A spice obtained from some plants of the generis Capsicum and in particular some types of peppers (the peppers, in fact, they are not all the same) and chilli (which, for the record, extends life, and even a lot). Nit doesn't even have anything to do with Tabasco, the sauce hot most famous in the world.

Talking about hot, reveal immediately one thing: in the traditional recipes of theHungary, motherland of paprika, this spicegulasch queen it's not spicy at all. Case ever exists the "strong" paprika. Or that one smoked, of which we have spoken recently and which, known in Iberian land as pimentón ahumado, dominates with its unmistakable flavor many Spanish recipes. For the rest, in the world, paprika is commonly found in its sweet and spicy version. In Italy, in any case, the term "paprika" (which is actually written with the 'c'!) Indicates the word sweet.

179519It comes in the form of dark red powder with a delicate, sweetish and vaguely spicy flavor and possibly very slightly bitter, however more or less sweet and more or less spicy depending on the variety of the Capsicum used (or any mixture) and on the way it is processed, in particular on the presence or absence of the seeds and ribs of the dried and powdered fruit. This which substantially differentiates the paprika from the chili powder (and possibly a sweet paprika from a forte) is there husking, ie the moment when the fruit of the Capsicum it is cut and deprived of the placenta and annexed seeds. Warning! In Italian the Capsicum, questor gender vegetable (part of the Solanaceae family, that of aubergines and tomatoes), it is popularly known as "peperoncino", but also includes peppers. What is it? placenta of chili pepper? There internal white membrane that bind the seeds tol pulp.

It is precisely the placenta a contenus very high quantities of capsaicin, the substance responsible for the taste hot of the chili pepper and that makes you lose weight, stimulatesI have a sense of satiety. Capsicin is present in excellent quantities even in seeds, while only traces remain in the pulp. On the other hand, the pulp is abundantly present capsanthin, a red carotenoid (antioxidant!) that is used as a natural food coloring and dyes bright orange dishes.

179525Since we have named one healthy property of paprika – to prevent cellular aging – we are talking about another important aspect: vitamin C. There paprika has sailed so much for the seas of the world. Why? Why in the 1930s the Hungarian Hungarian scientist, naturalized American, Albert Szent-György discovered that, in addition to being a very pleasant spice, paprika could have helped to significantly reduce the scourge of vitamin C deficiency in the seafaring population, thanks to its high content of ascorbic acid which, once dehydrated, increases exponentially (if not exposed to violent heat). His research on vitamin C convolved him to a Nobel for medicine in 1937.

Is in the kitchen? Enhances dishes with its spicy aromatic touch; in its sweet or even strong version, it "neutralizes" the hotness of the chili pepper. Prolonged cooking can enhance the more bitter taste of the paprika. While it is better avoid "frying" it in the fat without adding liquids.

Paprika is the protagonist of various famous spice mix, like the North African Ras-el-hanout and the medioriensuch BAHARAT and sauces, like the canarina mojo sauce – garlic, cumin seeds, paprika (sweet!) And olive oil blended together, to which is then added lemon juice and a little hot water.

179522The most delicious pairings? It is particularly suitable for plates of meat (see for example pork chops or chicken wings and in particular meat tired, like for example the stew with speck with paprika. It matches great with cream and cheese: you can dress goats or use it to flavor delicious cheese-based recipes, such as tartlets mignon. Among the vegetables, marries with the tomato and wonderfully with onion. Try cooking some traditional recipes adding this spice, which will vary and enrich the flavor. An example? Eggs with tomato (or a egg ragout on croutons) a chicken cacciatore or una onion soup (here the classic French recipe). Good also with the carrot (in velvety, for example) and in dishes based on cereals and mixed vegetables – how it can be a salad of barley and vegetables. Even the dishes based on legumes willingly incorporate it: taste for example the soup of mazancolle and red lentils with paprika or couscous with paprica with chicken and chickpeas. IS in the dessert, why not dare to combine it with the dark chocolate?

Carola Traverso Saibante
November 2019


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