Today it is the turn of our dear friend and talented photographer Giulia! We invite you to periodically take a look at new website Giulia is developing and working on: www.followingthenorthstar.com
All pictures by Giulia Bellini!
Hi Giulia, do you want to introduce yourself?
Ok, I try to describe myself in my way. I am:
a mother of 2 wonderful boys,
the wife of a great worker and surf addicted,
a good friend (I try) for those who know me better,
a photographer since years but still “work-in-progress”.
We live abroad since 2008 and at the moment our home is here in Denmark.
2)I’m born in Livorno, but raised in Rome. My family is from Lucca and this is actually where I belong originally. Even though I lived there only some periods of my life I consider it my town and I literally love it.
I grew up in a small city near Milano. When I was little I was used to ride my bycicle in the fields, chasing frogs and picking up poppies during summer. My origins instead are from Rimini (Italian Middle East Coast), a beautiful seaside city built by Romans where the cooking tradition is still very important.
3) And now, talking about food, what’s your favourite Italian recipe which you use to prepare often and easily?
Actually I don’t have only one recipe but if I have to choose, the Pasta with meat “ragù” is my favourite! Since I have kids I’m also used to prepare the ragú using more vegetables than meat, so it’s healthier and less heavy to digest.
4) What product do you miss mostly from Italy?
Since I have been living abroad I miss… everything!
When I go back to Italy I can stay hours in a supermarket enjoying all the delicious products we have! But…a good mozzarella with some slices of prosciutto di parma they are still in my dreams!
Passatelli is a typical dish of the region of my family, Emilia-Romagna, near the border with Marche region. I’m very affectionate to this recipe because it reminds me when I was a little girl watching my grandmother (she is now 93 years old!) preparing fresh pasta on her huge wooden board. She thought me all the secrets of her cooking and it was a special moment where she was telling me her stories about her life during the war, how she met my grandfather and how it is important to know how to cook in order to be fully appreciated by a man (this is very typical “Italian style”… a very strong feeling owned by previous generations, but I have to say that.. it’s true! )
It’s easy to prepare Passatelli even if the broth takes time, so if you decide to follow the recipe start to cook the day before.
You need few inexpensive and easy to buy ingredients to prepare this recipe and it really heats up during the danish looooooong winter.
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings
120 gr of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
120 crumb bread – day old bread
citrus peel of a small lemon
nutmeg to taste
for the broth:
1 kg meat preferably a mix of: beef bones with a little meat on them, marrow bones, calf muscle, chicken meat, chicken giblets
1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery, 3 cherry tomatoes, parsley, garlic clove, salt
4 – 5 l cold water
In a bowl (or on a wooden working surface) whisk together the crumb bread, parmesan cheese, the lemon peels and nutmeg. Make a hole in the middle and add the eggs, knead to form a ball (see the pictures below). If the dough crumbles, add a sprinkling of milk and knead. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic for at least 20 minutes.
To make the Passatelli you need a special tool called ferro, in case you don’t have it, use a potato masher to obtain the same result. Push the dough through the masher, and cut the strips of dough when they are around 4 cm in length.
Preparation of broth:
In a pot put the meats, add the cold water until cover all of the meat. Then bring it slowly to a boil. While it is cooking, remove with a skimmer the scum that will be forming on the top of the water. Add the onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, salt, and let the broth simmer very slowly for about 3 hours.
If you want a lighter broth, you can strain it as follows: let it cool then place it in the refrigerator until all fat has congealed at the top. With a skimmer collect all of the fat.
Strain the broth through a sieve, bring it to a boil, and while it is boiling, pour the Passattelli in.
When they come afloat, switch off the heat and with a ladle pour the Passatelli in broth in a dish, and serve it. Enjoy!