Fava beans recipe

Italian Food and Flavours 

Fava beans recipe Cossignanese: Fabio

 

This fava beans recipe is simple but delicious, when I was a boy my mother used to make this all the time in the spring and like many young boys I was reluctant to eat my vegetables. Now though it has become one of my favourite recipes, I cannot wait for the new fava beans and as soon as they are ready in the garden i make this delightful and yet simple dish.

Fava beans recipe

ingredients:

1 kg fava (fresh broad beans)

plenty of good quality olive oil

finely chopped garlic – to taste

splash of white wine vinegar

pepper

fresh mint leaves some chopped some for garnish

Method:

Simply boil the beans in water until they are soft, this will depend on how young and fresh they are. The newest beans need only a couple of minutes, older beans have thicker skins which should be removed, it is easily done. When the older beans are soft, five minutes or so, as soon as you can handle them, squeeze gently between thumb and forefinger and the bean will pop out of it skin. Add all the hot cooked beans to a bowl containing all the other ingredients and toss together, let the flavours mingle for five to ten minutes and serve still warm.

 I like to add a little balsamic vinegar dressing or for variety a little sweet chili sauce.

enjoy! Fabio 

Facebooktwitterpinterest

spinach, garlic, olive oil and chili recipe

Italian Food and Flavours 

Spinach, garlic, olive oil and chili recipe

This Spinach, garlic, olive oil and chili recipe from Le Marche is simple to prepare but the flavours work so well together and the crisp garlic adds a surprising and delightful contrast to the spinach as well as the bite of the chili that this dish will not go without comment. This  makes a good lunch dish or will work as a starter or as an accompaniment to roast or grilled meats.

Spinach, garlic, olive oil and chili recipe

Ingredients:

fresh spinach, about 500g , enough for a side dish or starter for 4, washed and de-stalked

two cloves of garlic crushed and chopped coarsely

olive oil 

2 fresh sliced and 3 dried chilies chopped , add more or less depending on your preference

salt pepper

Method:

Pop the cleaned spinach in a pan of boiling water until it wilts, drain in a colander, as soon as you can, squeeze the water out of the spinach and chop coarsely. In a high sided frying pan, a wok is perfect, heat a good splash of olive oil – not your best and when smoking, fry the garlic and dried chilies until the garlic is golden brown and crispy. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and keep to one side, add the chopped spinach with care – there will still be some water with it and it will spit together with the fresh chilies. quickly toss the spinach in the flavoured oil to coat and heat through, a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and add some more – good quality olive oil and toss again, then serve topped with the reserved garlic.

While the recipe here is for spinach only you can use the same method for spinach with other spring greens but most other green leaves need slightly longer cooking and they should be blanched separately from the spinach as the spinach water will flavour other leaves.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterest

Lettuce soup: zuppa di lattuga

Facebooktwitterpinterest

turbot, asparagus and courgette

Italian Food and Flavours

Turbot, asparagus and courgette

Turbot, asparagus and courgette is a lovely combination of light and delicate flavours and with the addition of traditional Le marche deep fried zucchini, there is the added interest of the crisp texture of the courgettes.

Nowhere in Le Marche is far from the Adriatic and arguably the best fish is brought ashore in the southern port of San Benedetto del Tronto. We are based just 30 minutes from San Ben and while that is a bit of a drive for fresh fish we have discovered a fantastic fish supermarket that specialises in freezing fish straight from the boats as well as preparing a wide range of fresh fish dishes in their own kitchen. The interesting aspect to the freezing is that the whole fish are glazed, this apparently means that the fish suffers little or no dehydration. As it thaws the glaze comes off in sheets of ice and it is difficult to tell the difference from a thawed glazed fish from a fresh one. Whatever the effect, these fish are as delicious as any I have tasted. 

wholeweb

For this recipe one medium sized Turbot serves two. The Turbot is filited – a proper filleting knife that bends through 90 degrees is pretty much essential for this job – and simply pan fried in a mix of butter and oil (not olive)

filletsweb

The asparagus is cooked in a little boiling water – just enough to cover and served with butter.

The courgettes though need a bit more attention. First cut the ends off and then cut in half. with each half slice 4 sides off to make a chunky square profile. Then cut these sections into chips about 5mm thick. put the chips in a colander and salt well.

cutcourgetteweb

Leave for a hour or longer for the salt to draw out moisture. now rinse salt off  the courgette chips and dry them on kitchen roll – they need to be good and dry. Now drop them in a bowl of plain flour and toss them in a sieve over the bowl until they are all separate and coated in flour. Then drop carefully into hot oil – 200C – remove with a wire spoon once they colour, about 1/2 mins. drain on kitchen roll and serve immediately.

courgetteweb

Facebooktwitterpinterest

torta di mele: apple cake recipe

Italian Food and Flavours

torta di mele: apple cake recipe

I remember a school trip around the Peak District in Derbyshire when I was about eight or nine. On the itinerary was a last stop for “high tea”. I had no idea what this entailed and to be honest still don’t quite know the difference between high and afternoon tea. Despite having spent quite some time in Italy where of course coffee is the drink of choice the idea of tea and cake on a sunny afternoon is an English tradition I still hanker after.
Now dont get me wrong, I am sure there are some delicious Le Marche cakes out there but the ones I have tried are a tad dry for my taste so we have had to adapt and this apple cake recipe from Maryberry, it uses the traditional italian ingredients for the “pasty” mix but the addition of apple adds moisture and creates a cake that is perfect for afternoon tea, or breakfast, or after dinner or…

apple cake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g self-raising flour
  2. 1 level tsp baking powder
  3. 225g caster sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ½ tsp almond extract
  6. 150g butter, melted
  7. 250g cooking apples, peeled and cored
  8. 25g flaked almonds
Instructions
  1. Beat the the the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond extract and melted butter together for a minute or so. spread half the mix on the bottom of a cake tin - 20cm spring sided best - lined with buttered grease-proof paper. layout the cut apples and cover with the rest of the mix and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. cook for about an hour and a half.
Adapted from maryberry
Adapted from maryberry
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
Facebooktwitterpinterest

sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

cucumberonionweb

Italian Food and Flavours

Sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

This sweet cucumber and red onion pickle recipe is quick and easy to make and you can eat it the same day, just leave it for the flavours to mingle for a few hours, but it also lasts several weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. The red from the onion will bleed into the vinegar after a few days which makes it look even more impressive though it doesn’t change the flavour much. Great for this time of year when you have cucumbers coming out of your ears – literally!

jarweb

Ok well not literally then. This one of those times when it is worth getting the slicing gadget out of the cupboard to add to your food processor if you are not so good thinly and evenly slicing with a very sharp knife. Have a couple of smallish sterilised preserve jars ready.

Sweet cucumber and red onion pickle

 

sweet cucumber and red onion pickle
Yields 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kg cucumber
  2. 3 red onions
  3. fresh dill or fennel, to taste
  4. 250g white sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 200ml vinegar, cider or white wine
Instructions
  1. peel the cucumber and slice thinly, cut the onions in half and slice thinly, make sure onion rings all fall apart. Toss them together with the chopped dill or fennel. mix the rest of the ingredients in a jug and pour over. pack the pickle in the jars and turn them over a couple of times to make sure it is all mixed up. turn the jars again over the next few hours.
Notes
  1. This is a delicious pickle to serve with pecorino cheese, salami and good crusty bread for a perfect spring or summer lunch.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Fava beans recipe

fava bean recipe

 

Italian Food and Flavours

Fava beans recipe

This fava beans recipe is a perfect antipasti dish for a warm spring evening, the mix of flavours is something special. Serve on its own or on some good toasted bread with a glass of chilled prosecco. 

ingredients

The first fava (broad beans) are now ready in the gardens here and they are ideal for this recipe as it needs light crisp and sweet beans. it can be made with older beans but they will need longer cooking and will have to be removed from the hard shell that forms as they get older. So to save the faff use the young fresh beans that are available now.

Whether it is eating this dish here in the Marche that makes it so delicious, or whether it would taste good anywhere I don’t know but if there is one dish that sums up this region this is it. The ingredients reflect the provence; with anchovies from the adriatic just 20k away, fava beans and fennel from the garden, local capers and olive oil and mature pecorino cheese from the mountains 30k in the other direction, this is dish made in le Marche.

fava bean salad
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 anchovy fillets, preserved in oil not salted
  2. 1 tbls capers
  3. clove of garlic
  4. 2 handfulls fava beans
  5. olive oil
  6. white wine vinegar
  7. pepper
  8. lemon juice
  9. grated pecorino
Instructions
  1. with a fork mash up the anchovies and capers in a small bowl, mash the garlic in a pestle and mortar and add to the anchovy mix. pour in small glass of oil and good spash of vinegar. make sure they are good quality, grind in a little pepper but no salt. this mix will benefit from being allowed to stand for 30 mins or so in the fridge but you can press on if you dont have time. Cook the beans in already boiling water for 3 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain and mix the hot beans in with the anchovy paste, making sure everything is well coated. Pile the beans on a serving plate and squeeze the juice from half a lemon over before topping with a handful of grated pecorino and finally a last drizzle of olive oil.
Notes
  1. This dish is wonderful warm as the beans absorb all the amazing flavours and the residual heat brings everything to the fore on your tongue, but I am told it is also good cold. Personally I have never had any left over to try.
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Italian meatballs recipe

rolling

 

Italian Food and Flavours

Italian meatballs recipe

“Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh…? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.”

It may not be exactly Clemenza’s Italian meatball recipe but the next time you have to “take to the mattresses” it might be you that has to cook for 20 guys so it is worth knowing how to make something like the great man’s. They take a bit of time to make but once you get into the swing you wont notice, the trick to the perfect meatball manufacture is to just keep humming .. do do do do do do do doooo, do do do do do do do do doooo …

You may have spotted that we on Italian Food and Flavours like our films. I think perhaps we should create a blog just on food and drink from films. What do you think?

Italian meatballs
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 500g minced pork and beef
  2. 1/2 egg
  3. 2 tbls grated parmesan
  4. 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  5. 1 tbls fresh oregano finely chopped
  6. 3 tbls dry breadcrumbs
  7. salt and black pepper
  8. for the tomato sauce
  9. 1 onion
  10. 2 cloves garlic
  11. 1 tsp dried oregano
  12. 1 tbls butter
  13. 1 tbls olive oil
  14. 700g passata
  15. salt and pepper
  16. 100 ml full fat milk
  17. oh and dont forget "a little sugar"
For the meatballs
  1. put everything in a large bowl and get in there and squidge, when mixed up roll a small amount - about the size of meatball - between the palms of your hands.
  2. Place the meatballs on baking trays and put in the fridge
For the tomato sauce
  1. whizz the onion, garlic and oregano in a food processor. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, wide pan, cook the onion mix over low heat until the oil seperates, 10 mins or so. pour in passata and cup of water. pinch in your sugar and salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes more. add the milk, and using a spoon add the meatballs. leave the pan, if you stir too soon the meatballs will break up, once the egg has done its stuff you can stir gently.
  2. Cook for about 20 minutes, partially covered.
Notes
  1. In Italy the butcher will always mince the meat while you watch so you know what you are getting. Try this yourself, it does make a difference.
  2. Serve with tagliatelle.
Adapted from Clemenza
Adapted from Clemenza
Cooking Holidays Italy http://www.italianfoodandflavours.com/
Facebooktwitterpinterest