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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sweet and Sour Onions in Venetian style with the Chef Mama Isa


   Sweet and Sour Onions in Venetian style

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Mama Isa



Today we made  a really good side dish: Sweet & Sour Onions in Venetian style
This delicious recipe is very famous in Venice and the name is "Segoe in dolsegarbo". 
Dolsegarbo (in Italian AGRODOLCE) is a traditional sweet and sour sauce. Its name comes from "GARBO" (sour) and "DOLSE" (sweet). Agrodolce is made by reducing sour and sweet elements, traditionally red wine vinegar and sugar, with additional flavorings added, such as pine nuts and raisins.


INGREDIENTS (serves 6 people)
750 g small cipollini onions (in Italy we use Cipolle Borettane, a sort of flat pearl onions)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
water (about 3/4 cup)
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
50 g pine nuts
100 g raisins
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS 
Peel and trim the small cipollini onions  with a sharp paring knife. Then wash the onions.
Put the extra virgin olive oil in large frying pan over medium-low heat.
Add the onions and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile use a frying pan, and toast the pine nuts over low heat for a few minutes. Set aside.
Add water, red wine vinegar, sugar, raisins, pine nuts, and salt. Stir well.
Simmer the mixture over the lowest heat possible for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
You may need to add more water from time to time if the onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
It is finished when everything has caramelized well, and the flavors have blended together!!
Cool and serve at room temperature.

Buon Appetito from Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Venice Italy!!!!

Agrodolce Baby Onions Recipe Courtesy Mama Isa
Sweet and Sour Baby Onions in Venetian style: "Segoe in dolsegarbo".


#recipeoftheday #italiancooking #healthyfood #italiancuisine #isacookinpadua







And if you learn how to make a delicious side dish, take a cooking class in Italy near Venice with Mama Isa!

BOOK a cooking class now! See the website http://isacookinpadua.altervista.org/ or become Mama Isa's fan http://www.facebook.com/cookingclassesvenice

Friday, November 8, 2013

Saffron Risotto - Recipe: Ingredients and Directions (recipe courtesy of Chef Mama Isa)


   Saffron Risotto

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Mama Isa



Today we made Saffron Risotto at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice..

Saffron Risotto ("Risotto allo Zafferano" in Italian)  is one of the most famous risotto in Milan, Lombardia, Italy.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6 people)
480 g Italian rice (or Vialone Nano rice, or Arborio rice, or Carnaroli rice)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 packet of saffron (melted in a little bit of hot stock)
1 liter of hot Chicken stock (and more hot water, if necessary)
1 glass (about 100 ml) of white wine
100 g of unsalted butter (75 g at the beginning of the preparation, and 25 g at the end)
100 g of Parmesan cheese freshly grated (or Grana Padano cheese or Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese)
Salt to taste
Back pepper to taste, freshly grounded

DIRECTIONS 
In a non-stick pan for risotto, melt the unsalted butter with onion, finely chopped, until the onion is translucent (we call this first step "soffritto").
Then add the rice and mix very well, until it begins to be translucent and transparent. In Italy we call this second step "tostatura": it will ensure uniform cooking of the grain, so it’s a fairly important step.
 Make sure all the rice is nicely toasted, and then you can add a glass of wine and stir till it evaporates completely before moving to the next step.
Now the third step: add the glass of white wine.
When the wine is evaporated, continue to cook, adding a ladleful of hot chicken stock to the rice in small quantities, stirring constantly between the addictions and until the stock has all been absorbed and the rice has become sticky.
Recipe of the day - Saffron Risotto (Risotto allo Zafferano) with Mama Isa
A good risotto is only with a good stock from scratch!

Continue this step, adding a ladleful of hot chicken stock at a time (if you don't have more stock, use hot water), until the rice is tender, but still with a bite (not overcooked), about 20-25 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Now the last and most important step of them all ("mantecatura" in Italian). At this stage you will give its creamy and silky consistence that makes for a great and delicious "risotto all'onda", stirring in the remaining unsalted butter, saffron is added during the final stages of the cooking process, saffron, and the parmesan cheese, freshly grated, till you reach the right texture.
Saffron is added during the final stage of the risotto cooking process.

Risotto with Saffron with Mama Isa
Saffron is added during the final stage of the risotto cooking process

Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Cover the risotto pan and leave the saffron risotto to stand for about 2-3 minutes, then serve it while it is still hot.
I use some cooking rings to improve risotto presentation skills. Simply place the ring on the pasta bowl, then spoon in risotto. Compress lightly if necessary and level off with a spoon or a spatula, then wait for a minute, and remove the ring. Place the risotto in a cooking ring (for the presentation), remove the ring, and top with more parmesan cheese freshly grated and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Recipe of the day - Saffron Risotto with Mama Isa
Saffron Risotto with the Chef Mama Isa




Cooking Rings
Cooking Rings for the presentation
#risotto #italiancooking #healthyfood #saffron  #italiancuisine #isacookinpadua







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

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

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Maccheroni alla Molinara with the Chef Mama Isa


  Maccheroni alla Molinara with the Chef Mama Isa



Maccheroni alla Molinara is an elementary fresh pasta, made completely from scratch.
It is a specialty from Abruzzi region, in particular from Teramo. Maccheroni alla Molinara date back to around 1340, whend this pasta dish was eaten to the table of the king Robert d'Anjou. In the 1340 
Today we made Maccheroni alla Molinara at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice.
Maccheroni alla Molinara  (= the miller’s wife’s pasta)  is an ultra-long, loopy noodle that is rolled and shaped completely by hand. It is really quite simple and fun to roll out these loopy noodles maccheroni.

On a wooden board, make a well in the center of the flour (semolina flour: durum wheat flour) and pour in tepid water, salt, and extra virgin olive oil. With a fork, slowly incorporate the semolina from the outside.  Once the maccheroni dough comes together, knead 10-15 minutes, until the maccheroni dough picks up all the semolina flour and becomes soft, firm and elastic.

Form the maccheroni dough into a disc, cover, and let it rest for about 20- 30 minutes.

Later poke a hole in the center of the disc, making a sort of doughnut shape.

Slowly start stretching the maccheroni dough from the inside out, making a continuous loop (the best way is with your fingers covered with oil) with rapid and decisive movements

Lay the dough on a wooden board and start rolling out the loop with your hands, continuing to stretch the maccheroni dough until you get a thick, rough spaghetti-like shape.

A hand-rolled single-strand pasta that hits the table at about 180 cm long.

#freshpasta #italiancooking #healthyfood #pastadish #italiancuisine #isacookinpadua #pastadish #maccheroni




Maccheroni alla Molinara with the Chef Mama Isa
Maccheroni alla Molinara tossed with Tomatoes, Capers, Chilli, and Evoo




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

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fettuccine with Garlic, Chilli, Tomato and Basil | Mama Isa

  Fettuccine with Garlic, Chilli, Tomato and Basil

with the Chef Mama Isa



This recipe is one of the essence of simple Italian cooking.

The Mama Isa's kitchen is full of a wonderful array of fresh produce. She picked out garlic, "datterini" tomatoes, chilli and basil. This recipe is so healthy: garlic with the antibacterial and antiviral properties, tomatoes are treasures of riches (with many vitamins (Vitamin A, C, K) and many antioxidant nutrients, basil wiht its unique health-protecting effect in two basic areas: volatile oils and basil's flavonoids. But please remember since the oils in basil are volatile, it'ss best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum flavor and essence.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

300 g Egg Pasta dough rolled into one thin sheet
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
500 g of canned "datterini" tomatoes
1 or 2 red chilies (depending on how spicy you like it!!!)
Fresh Basil leaves
Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cut the pasta into 5 mm-wide ribbons (fettuccine). Most chefs have a pasta roller attachment which will do this but it makes little difference if you just use a sharp knife to cut your tagliolini ribbons, like Mama Isa does.
video

Hang the strips of pasta on a wooden board and let it dry for 10-20 minutes.

Heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Mama Isa repeats it’s important to use good, Italian extra-virgin olive oil (she says "any extra virgin olive oil" that costs less than € 10 for a bottle “isn’t extra virgin olive oil”!!).

Add the garlic and cook until it is translucent. Then add red chilies, the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes. Salt to taste.

Then add the fresh basil leaves.

Submerge the fettuccine in salted, boiling water for 1-2 minutes then add to the frying pan.
video

Tagliolini with the Chef Mama Isa
 Tagliolini with the Chef Mama Isa

video


Toss everything together and sprinkle with more extra virgin olive oil. If you like add fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and a few shavings of Ricotta Salata cheese on the top!


Recipe of the day: Fresh Fettuccini with Garlic, Chilli, Tomato and Basil (recipe courtesy Mama Isa)
Fresh Fettuccini with Garlic, Chilli, Evoo, Tomato and Basil




#freshpasta #fettuccine #italiancooking #italiancuisine #recipeoftheday #isacookinpadua




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

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

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How to hand-roll fresh pasta dough with the chef Mama Isa

  How to hand-roll fresh egg pasta dough

with the Chef Mama Isa


video

  How To Hand-Roll Pasta Dough at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Venice

Mama Isa loves to roll out fresh egg pasta dough by hand on a wooden surface. This traditional way gives fresh pasta the texture that holds a delicious sauce!

So she places pasta dough in the center of a wooden work surface (the best surface is wood, because marble is too cold and reduces the elasticity). Using a special long rolling pin for fresh pasta, she flattens in center. Then she rolls out pasta dough using a gentle motion, then she turns pasta dough 90 degrees and again repeat.

She continues to gradually roll and turns pasta sheet.

Then, she begins to stretch the pasta sheet by rolling the far edge of the sheet around the long rolling pin. Mama Isa holds the side of the pasta sheet while gently pushing the rolled edge outward. She turns the pasta dough a quarter and repeat stretching and turning several times. Working quickly to avoid drying out pasta dough, she rolls up half of the pasta sheet around the rolling pin and, with her palms at the center of the pin, gently roll the pin back and forth while she is stretching the pasta dough outward under her hands.

At the end you should be able to see your fingers through the pasta dough.

video



Now you can cut this pasta sheet in the traditional way, only with a sharp knife!
#freshpasta #handrolled #italiancooking #italiancuisine #tajarin #tagliolini #isacookinpadua




And if you learn how to hand-roll fresh egg pasta dough, take a cooking class in Italy with Mama Isa!

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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The importance of Gluten to make the best fresh egg pasta

  Gluten - its importance to make the best fresh egg pasta


  The importance of the Gluten (in Italian "glutine") for fresh egg pasta.

Gluten is a composite of 2 insoluble proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Glutenin, one of the largest of proteins, provides elasticity and structure. It develops a stable 3-dimensional network connecting protein molecules during the kneading process (and in particular it is so important for fresh egg pasta, but also for pizza dough).

Gliadin, a plant protein, is extensible and viscous, allowing the dough (or fresh pasta dough) to be rolled out and providing firmness and bite to the fresh pasta dough.

Fresh egg pasta rolled with a rolling pin by Mama Isa
Fresh Egg pasta dough rolled by hand with a long rolling pin (Photo courtesy by the chef Mama Isa)

video


And if you learn how to make fresh egg pasta, 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, November 1, 2013

Homemade Potato Gnocchi - how to make gnocchi with chef Mama Isa

Homemade Gnocchi - how to make the best potato gnocchi

Mama Isa presents how to make gnocchi- She shares her Sweet Potato Gnocchi Dumplings Recipe

Mama Isa's Gnocchi: 

The original and traditional gnocchi (pronounced NYOH-kee), is always totally homemade, by hand, and served with a easy but tasty tomato sauce. The meaning of "gnocchi" is little dumplings. Like many of the best recipes for classic dishes, Mama Isa's gnocchi recipe came from her Italian nonna Grandma! Nonna's Isa taught her how to make the perfect "gnocchi di patate".

Gnocchi dough contains in its simplest form just 1 kilo of potato (in Italy we call the best potatoes for gnocchi "patate da gnocchi", or older potatoes, or Jukon Gold or Idaho or other Russet baking potatoes), 00 flour (for 1 kilo of potato, about 200 - 250 g of farina di grano tenero 00, soft as talcum powder),  egg (1 egg per kilo), and salt to taste. Exactly how much flour 00 to use is where judgment comes into play. It all depends on the water content of the potatoes, which varies very very significantly!!! Make a great potato loaf can take a person years to master! But now Mama Isa offers gnocchi making class!

INGREDIENTS
1 kg of potatoes
200-250 g of Flour 00
1 organic egg
semolina flour, for dusting the board at the end

TECHNIQUE: Gnocchi dough is made by combining boiled potato, wheat flour 00 for absorbing moisture and providing gluten (and gluten is so important), and 1 egg per kilo of potato to add richness and help bind the gnocchi dough together.  Please don't knead the dough a lot, because it means having to add more wheat flour 00 (so at the end the gnocchi are not fluffly and tender, but heavy).
Boil the potatoes in salted water, but don't peel them. When the potatoes are tender, drain and rice the potatoes with a potato ricer (in Italy we have a special tool, "passapatate"). Let them cool in a bowl.
Special potato ricer for making gnocchi called passapatate in Italy by Mama Isa
This is the "passapatate", a special potato ricer for making gnocchi


Add the flour, egg and salt to taste. It's time to make the gnocchi dough. Working quickly the potato dough, distribute the potato dough evenly across your work wooden surface, then drizzle with just a litte more flour 00.
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potato Gnocchi - recipe of the day by the Chef Mama Isa


The gnocchi dough should be elastic, but not gummy! Make a big potato roll dough as dense as possible using your hands. Working with one section at a time, roll the gnocchi dough into a log about 2-3 cm thick.
Homemade Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potato Gnocchi handrolled at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes near Venice Italy
Potato Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa
Handmade Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa
Potato Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa

It is hard to control the gnocchi dough when rolled in a thin cigar. Keep in mind that you need to work through the rolling process fast, fast, fast. Use your pasta spatula cutter to divide it into 2-cm-long pieces. And there's your gnocchi.


Many famous chefs like to shape their potato gnocchi dumplings using a fork, but the traditional way to shape the gnocchi potato in Veneto region, Italy (where the gnocchi was born!) is using a parmesan grater. So the Chef Mama Isa learn how to make the gnocchi in this way. The proper texture of a gnocchi is to roll every 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 gnocchi will be better, not only for the presentation but for the sauce!
Handrolled Potatoes Gnocchi recipe courtesy of Mama Isa
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice

Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potatoes Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa

Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Place the 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.
Handmade Potatoes Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice

Bring a pasta pot with salted water.
Place over a high heat, put on the lid, and bring to the boil. "Il momento della verità" (=the moment of truth) arrives when you cook your gnocchi!
When the water boils, put the gnocchi from the tray into the boiling water.  Leave to cook, until the gnocchi float and to reach the surface: now they are done. Transfer it to a colander.

Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Potatoes Gnocchi with the Chef Mama Isa

Potato Gnocchi from scratch
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice

Potato Gnocchi homemade with the Chef Mama Isa
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice

Be prepared that your gnocchi may not come out "perfetto" (=perfect) the first time!!! In fact, they probably won't. Keep trying. Homemade Potato Gnocchi take patience, but they're worth it! If the gnocchi fall apart or appear to be fraying at the edges, it can mean one of 2 things: you let gnocchi cook for too long or you didn't combine the potato and flour 00 into true gnocchi dough!!!
Now stir the gnocchi into a warm sauce of your choice.    
 
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking School
Potato Gnocchi at Mama Isa's Cooking Classes in Italy near Venice
Be prepared that your gnocchi may not come out "perfetto" (=perfect) the first time!!! In fact, they probably won't. Keep trying. Homemade Potato Gnocchi take patience, but they're worth it!



And if you learn how to make delicious 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