Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegan/Vegetarian

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino

Loreto October 30, 2020

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chili peppers). It is one of the quickest, most simple pasta dishes you could ever make and one that will become a favorite because it tastes too good!

Song of the day: “Always Remember Us This Way” by Lady Gaga

spaghetti aglio olio-plate

That’s a true classic in Italian cooking. Especially popular in Rome, where it is called ‘ajo e ojo‘ and it is considered a late-night staple or an impromptu dinner. After coming home from dancing this dish would be a popular one for a late-night meal with friends. More so, for such a simple pasta with  5 ingredients, this  Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino houses some pretty profound flavors!

[This post was first published on Feb. 2015, it has been updated for photos and writing].

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Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino)

Nicoletta October 27, 2020

Sauteed Kale, Italian-style (aglio olio & peperoncino). Beautiful kale leaves are boiled first, then sauteed in a pan with garlic, oil, and chili flakes. This easy method of cooking is typically Italian; we cook all kinds of greens like that: cicoria (dandelion), kale, broccolini, rapini, Swiss chard, spinach. Kale sauteed the Italian way is very flavorful, perfectly tender, with some crispy bits. A wonderful side dish, that we like to accompany with any kind of toasted bread.

Song of the day: The Way It Is – Bruce Hornsby

 Sauteed Kale-platter-pita

The “trinity” of aglio olio & peperoncino is the base for many Italian recipes. It is the start of some amazing dishes: from pasta to protein, to side dishes, they all have in common the first sautee in the pan of garlic, oil & chili flakes which create a sinfully delectable combination.

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Cookies, Dessert

Flourless Almond butter Chocolate chunk Cookies

Nicoletta October 21, 2020

Flourless Almond butter Chocolate chunk Cookies. These flourless cookies have crispy edges, a soft gooey center, pools of dark chocolatey goodness, with just a hint of sea saltiness on top. Furthermore, they have the right amount of decadence with a side of wholesomeness. Try it, you will love how easy, fast, and delicious they are! 

Song of the day: Magic by Coldplay

flourless almond butter chocolate chunk cookies-cookies on a rack

For one thing, I don’t like cookies that are neither too dry nor too chewy, and especially not too sweet. In general, when I bake, I am always trying to find a balance between what is good and what is good for you. Hence, these cookies have the best of both worlds: they are enough decadent to satisfy your sweet cravings while being a little on the healthier side. Indeed, they were highly appreciated by grown-ups and kids alike!

[This post was first published on  Feb 15, 2015, it has been updated for pictures and writing]

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Gluten-free, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Mixed Mushroom Risotto

Loreto October 18, 2020

Mixed Mushroom Risotto. A creamy, flavorful risotto, made using Carnaroli rice, organic, fresh, mixed mushrooms, finished with a pat of butter, and a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano and parsley. The end result, a creamy yet so rich comforting dish of goodness!

Song of the day: “Here comes the rain again” by Eurythmics.

Mixed Mushroom Risotto-plate and glass

Mixed Mushroom Risotto. Here is a dish perfect for the changing season. It has an incredible flavor with the wonderfully plump, earthy mushrooms, and plenty of texture from the creaminess of the starch that comes from the rice and that bit of bite when the rice is cooked perfectly! Don’t know what to make for supper? How about a delicious risotto!

[This post was first published on May 2nd, 2015. Updated for photos, recipe, and writing.]

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Appetizers and Snacks, Cakes, Pies & Tarts

Savory Crostata with Zucchini and Prosciutto

Nicoletta October 14, 2020

Savory Crostata with Zucchini and Prosciutto. This is an easy and tasty recipe that your family will love. A light flaky crust hosts a luscious egg filling with highlights of zucchini and prosciutto. Crumbly, creamy, sweet, salty, you have it all. Perfect as an appetizer, or as a full meal.

Song of the day:  Diamonds by Sam Smith

Savory Crostata with zucchini and prosciutto-whole on rack

That I am a fan of crostata you already know, but what you do not know, maybe, is that you can make a wonderful savory crostata to change things up a bit for your family meals. It is fun to eat, and also to make. The homemade crust is an amazing base for a luscious creamy filling. We loved it, I am sure you will too.

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Gluten-free, Vegan/Vegetarian

Laotian Sweet and Sour Tofu

Loreto October 10, 2020

Laotian Sweet and Sour Tofu. This dish screams color, texture, and humungous flavor!  The play on sweet and savory plays so well with the stir-fried vegetables and crisp tofu creating a delightful experience for your taste buds!

Song of the day: “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan.

Laotian Sweet and Sour Tofu-plate and pan

Laotian Sweet and Sour Tofu. If you like Asian cuisine, then do I have a dish for you! It will tantalize your taste buds to no end and you will find that you may feel like you are finished eating, however, it keeps calling you back for just a bit more, similar to eating chips, you can’t just eat one serving!

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Petite Peach Ginger Streusel Pies

Nicoletta October 8, 2020

Petite Peach Ginger Streusel Pies. The sweet peaches and zesty ginger are a match made in heaven for these lovely and delicious mini pies. The macadamia streusel marries perfectly with the overall flavors and brings a delightful crunchy texture. Fresh or frozen peaches can be used.

Song of the day: Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd

Petite Peach Ginger Streusel Pies-on the rack

Just when Summer was merging into Fall, and all the summer fruit shared their spot with the first Autumn produce, I bought some beautiful peaches and made these delightful mini pies. The peaches blend their sweet flavor with ginger, cinnamon, and lemon juice. The topping is a macadamia nut streusel that adds a lovely crunch and nuttiness. Truly, a wonderful dessert from the crust to the top!

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Gluten-free, Soups, Stews and Sandwiches, Vegan/Vegetarian

Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives

Loreto October 5, 2020

Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives, the perfect warm you up, and taste so good meal. Great ingredients and so easy to make. Are you craving a creamy soup?

Song of the day: “Love never Felts So Good” by Michael Jackson.

Romanesco broccoli soup-feature-two bowls and pita

Romanesco Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese and Chives. This soup is luxuriousness in a bowl. The flavors highlight the sweetness of this broccoli combined with the basics of a good broth. Carrots, onions, celery, and a wonderful creamy acidity from some sour cream. The end result, divinely scrumptious especially with a blue cheese and chive garnish!

[This post was first published on Oct. 9th, 2015. It has been updated for content and photos.]

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Torta Bertolina, Italian Grape Cake

Nicoletta September 30, 2020

Torta Bertolina, Italian Grape Cake. It is a traditional cake made in the Autumn with a kind of grapes called “uva fragola“, a small grape, sweet and aromatic. I used Coronation grapes, a variety that is seedless, sweet, juicy, and plump. There is a layer of grapes in the middle and one on top and a dusting of cane sugar before it hits the oven. The result is a fragrant, delectable, lick-your-fingers cake, perfect for dessert, and why not, breakfast! 

Song of the day: “To Live” by Nora Jones  

Torta Bertolina, Italian Grape Cake-cake whole

This is one example of simple Italian cakes that pack a ton of flavor. Torta Bertolina is a traditional harvest cake from Crema, Lombardia, in the North of Italy. It is made with a kind of grapes called “uva fragola“, literally translated as ‘strawberry grape’, small, sweet, and aromatic. This kind of grape is also known as the ‘American grape’ because it was imported from the United States in the 19th century and was then hybridized with grapes of local origin.

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