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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Green Winter Squash Gnocchi with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan Sauce Recipe courtesy of Mama Isa

Mama Isa's Green Winter Squash Gnocchi with Unsalted Butter, Sage, and Parmesan cheese sauce - Recipe of the day

Recipe courtesy of Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Venice area Italy

A perfect recipe for Halloween!

INGREDIENTS to serve 6 people 
500 g green winter squash, called Marina di Chioggia
500 g potatoes
250 g flour 00
1 organic egg
1 tsp of nutmeg freshly grated
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Squash dough is made by combining winter squash cooked, boiled potato, wheat flour 00 for absorbing moisture and providing gluten (and gluten is so important), 1 egg and a teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated, to add richness and help bind the squash gnocchi dough together.

Wash the Squash,  cut in cubes, and peel them. Then put in a large porcelain bowl and cook in microwave at maximum temperature, about 8-10 minutes.

Immediately pass squash with a potato ricer. Let cool completely.
Recipe of the day - Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)


In a large pot, bring potatoes (not unpeeled) to a boil in salted water and cook until potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Drain potatoes in a colander and peel while still hot, but use a dry kitchen towel to hold them.

Immediately pass potatoes through a potato ricer (in Italy we have a special potato ricer for making gnocchi and the name is "passapatate") onto a big bowl. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl add potatoes and squash. Then sprinkle potatoes-squash mixture with flour 00, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and salt to taste, about  2 teaspoons salt.

With a fork mix and then with your hands, work the mixture into a dough.

Knead squash gnocchi dough until smooth, dusting with flour 00 if it becomes sticky. Please don't overwork the squash gnocchi dough a lot, because it means having to add more flour 00 (so at the end the squash gnocchi are not fluffly and tender, but heavy).

Divide dough into 10 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (2 cm thick and 20 centimeters long). Cut each rope into 2-3 cm pieces.
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)

Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)


Gently roll each squash gnocchi dough piece against the back of a parmesan grater to make ridges.

Many famous chefs like to shape their squash gnocchi dumplings using a fork, but in the Veneto region (Italy) the traditional way to shape the squash gnocchi is using a parmesan grater. The proper texture of a squash gnocchi is to roll every squash gnocchi on the back of a hand parmesan grater sprinkled with flour 00 and indent it a little with your thumb: this way is hard and difficult, but funny. And the squash gnocchi will be better, not only for the presentation but for the sauce!
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)


Place the squash gnocchi onto a tray or onto a wooden board floured with semolina flour, leaving a space between each piece to prevent them from sticking together.

Bring a pasta pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls squash gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a colander.  Continue until the squash gnocchi are cooked.

FOR THE SAUCE: While your squash gnocchi cooks, melt unsalted butter in a 20 to 22-cm saute pan and continue cooking until golden color appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter (maximum in about 2-3 minutes).
Add fresh sage leaves, stir and remove from heat.
Drain the squash gnocchi, but leaving some cooking water, and gently pour into saute pan and return to heat.
Add the Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese freshly grated, toss to coat and serve immediately (if the squash gnocchi is to thick, add a tablespoon (or more) of cooking water.
Sprinkle again with Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese (if you like!).

Time: PREP TIME 1 hour nd 10 min. - COOK TIME 45 min.

Green Winter Squash Gnocchi with Butter, Sage, Parmesan cheese sauce (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)
Green Winter Squash Gnocchi  with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan cheese sauce (recipe courtesy of the Chef Mama Isa)


And if you learn how to make delicious squash gnocchi, take a cooking class in Italy with Mama Isa!

http://isacookinpadua.altervista.org/ or become Mama Isa's fan http://www.facebook.com/cookingclassesvenice

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mama Isa's Frittata with Onion, Potatoes and Parmesan

Mama Isa's Frittata with Onion, Potatoes and Parmesa - Recipe of the day


INGREDIENTS to serve 4 people 
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and thinly grated (with a vegetable grater)
4 organic eggs
100 g of freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
a sprinkle of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

DIRECTIONS

In a non-stick frying pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
Add potatoes, season with salt and cook, stirring, until cooked, 10-15 minutes.

In a bowl, crack the eggs and beat, season with salt and black pepper, add the parmesan grated.
Pour egg mixture into the pan over the onion and the potato, and distribute it.
Cook until eggs start to set, about 3 minutes, then turn the frittata out onto a dish and tumble so you can cook the frittata both sides.
To check the frittata, cut a small slit in the center. If raw eggs run into the cut, cook for another few minutes; if the eggs are set and golden, pull the frittata from the pan.
Cool for a few minutes. Slice into wedges and serve. Sprinkle with more Parmesan grated and if you like Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Serve at room temperature or warm.

Frittata with Onion, Potatoes, and Parmesan at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes near Venice Italy
Mama Isa's Frittata with Onion, Potatoes, Parmesan


And if you learn how to make delicious frittatas, take a cooking class in Italy with Mama Isa!

http://isacookinpadua.altervista.org/ or become Mama Isa's fan http://www.facebook.com/cookingclassesvenice

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mama Isa's Pasta alla Norma

Mama Isa's Rigatoni with Norma Sauce - Recipe of the day


A Famous Sicilian Dish ---> Pasta Alla Norma Sauce - true symbol if traditional Sicilian Cuisine ****************************Did you know the story? A Sicilian writer - Nino Martoglio - who liked Vincenzo Bellini and his opera Norma, was a native of Catania (Sicily, the same city where Bellini as born). Martoglio first tasted pasta dressed with a simple tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and ricotta salata cheese..... he thought it was as close to perfection as the opera "Norma" was, and gave it this name "Pasta alla Norma". ****************** **********

INGREDIENTS to serve 4 people 
4 small firm eggplants (1 per person)
sea salt for water and for eggplant
Vegetable Oil to fry
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the sauce
1 onion chopped
500 g canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
360 g of rigatoni or ziti
12 large fresh basil leaves
100 g ricotta salata, freshly shaved on a cheese shaver

DIRECTIONS
Trim the eggplants, and cut them in cubes. Toss them with sea salt, and drain in a colander for an hour.
Rinse, and pat them dry with paper towels.

Pour the vegetable oil in the pan, and set over medium heat. Spread all the eggplant cubes in the hot oil, and leave them in place for a few minutes to start browning.
Fry for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is cooked through and browned on all sides.

Lift the cubes out of the oil with a spoon, and spread them on a bowl lined with paper towels.
Put the eggplant in a warm place, while you will make the tomato's sauce and pasta.

Pour water, with salt, into the big pasta pot, and bring to a boil (usually for 100 g of pasta is 1 liter, and a tablespoon of salt).

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into the pan, toss in the onion chopped, and set over heat. Cook until the onion is translucent, then pour in the crushed tomatoes.
Bring the tomatoes to a boil, then cook the sauce for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, when the pasta water boils, pour the pasta. Cook until al dente, then pour them in a colander, drain for a moment, and drop into the tomato sauce. Toss together for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
 Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil all over, add half cubes of eggplant, and toss well.
Now spread again the eggplant cubes on top of the pasta, and sprinkle over it the ricotta salata.

Serve immediately, spooning both pasta and a portion of eggplant cubes.

Ziti with Norma Sauce - recipe of the day at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes near Venice Italy
Pasta alla Norma

And if you learn how to make delicious pasta sauces, take a cooking class in Italy with Mama Isa!

http://isacookinpadua.altervista.org/ or become Mama Isa's fan http://www.facebook.com/cookingclassesvenice