Eat the Season: The Gnudi from Tuscany

Spinach is available year round but in this period you find the fall variety characterised by more succulent leaves. Spinach is a good reservoir of minerals and vitamins, as long as it is consumed strictly raw. If you have to cook them as in this recipe, it’s better if you steam the spinach to preserve the nutrients. Now you are all set to prepare this recipe from Tuscany: the Gnudi. This name, in Tuscan dialect, means naked, as they are not covered with dough. The lightness and delicacy of this dish is the strength of the Gnudi, which are best accompanied by a fresh dressing light tomato sauce or butter and sage.

The Gnudi, Spinach and Ricotta based Dish from Tuscany
Tuscan Gnudi

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Savoury Mediterranean Fish Stew

Seafood soup (zuppa di Pesce) is a typical Italian dish, mainly made along the Italian coasts. Every region facing the sea has its own recipe. The recipe changes according to the type of fish fished in the area. One of the most popular recipes is called the Il Caciucco alla Livornese from the Tirreno sea (Tuscany). This recipe was introduced a few centuries ago by coastal fishermen. They discovered a way to use the unsold fishing catch. The tradition states that, to prepare a good Cacciucco, you should have at least 5 different types of fish (of for each letter c in Cacciucco).

Here is our version of the fish stew. We prepared it with the seafood we found at our trusted fishmonger in Copenhagen.

With this recipe, we brought a taste of Mediterranean food on our table, to feel the longing of a summer which is unfortunately almost gone.

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Energizing Sweet Plum Gnocchi from Friuli Venezia Giulia

Plum Gnocchi are one of those dishes featuring the culinary tradition in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italian Northeastern region). These Gnocchi actually have a Bohemian origin, as they were introduced when the Austro-Hungarian dominion was in the region.

When I’m in Italy for the autumn break to visit my husband’s family, my mother in law never fails to prepare these Gnocchi for me, as she knows that it is my favourite dish of her repertoire. Recently I was authorised to “steal” the recipe, which she jealously keeps in her recipe book, just because I had to share it on the blog 😉

This is a dish that can be served either as a main dish or as a dessert. In my family we use to eat it without pairing anything else beside as it is a complete meal in itself.  Perhaps the only thing you’ll want to ask at the very most, after eating a few, will be a digestive. :-))

(Francesca)

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Let’s eat outside! Mediterranean Cous Cous

In Sicily the Cous Cous is used daily for the preparation of numerous dishes and is well integrated into the local gastronomic tradition. The most famous event which sees the Cous Cous as the protagonist is held in San Vito lo Capo every summer in September. If you are going to spend your holiday in Sicily this is an event which is not to be missed out.

Meanwhile, try the following recipe to prepare a Mediterranean Cous Cous.

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Let’s Eat Outside! Watermelon, Cheese, and Red Onion Summer Salad

It’s time to go on holidays! And therefore, for this reason, the recipes we are going to present from now till the end of July are very simple, extremely fast and made of fresh ingredients to refresh you. We tasted this delicious summer salad from a friend of ours during a dinner outside. We assure you it was love at first sight!

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Early Summer Minestrone

Summer is around the corner, and so is the dreaded bikini test ;-)).  Taking advantage of the fact that my children are in a field trip, my husband and me decided that this week would be THE detox week, in anticipation of the upcoming summer.

If you are looking for a light vegetable soup, this is what you need. You’ll appreciate the freshness and the crunchiness of the seasonal vegetables.

Enjoy!
Francesca

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Lemon Custard Puff Pastry with Fresh Berries

This week we wanted to make a sweet treat and we started thinking about what is served in Italy in summer time. We both came to the conclusion that Custard Puff Pastries are a very popular choice from the North to the South of Italy.

These pastries are easy to make and they will add an elegant Italian touch to your meal. The lemony flavour of the custard will surprise you with a fresh taste. Enjoy!

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Homemade Tagliatelle with Wild Garlic

Thanks to the nice weather and the pleasant temperature, on Whitmonday, I went hiking with my family to further discover the stunning landscape in the Zurich area. It was a long time since we wanted to reach the top of the Uetliberg mountain and its peak, the Uto Kulm. The peak offers a scenic view over Zurich, the lake and the Alps. I have to admit that the trail up to the top was a bit of a challenge, as it was very steep. As we were hiking to the top, we started to notice that we were surrounded by different species of plants. Among them, we spotted wide clusters of wild garlic, also known as Bear’s garlic, Ail Des Ours or Bärlauch. This plant is widely used throughout Europe due to its blood-purifying properties, and to lower cholesterol.

How could we not have gotten attracted by these fresh leaves? As we started to collect them, we began to wonder how to use this precious mountain plant in an Italian recipe.

Keep on reading and you’ll discover it!

(Francesca)

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Agretti Savoury Pie

A few days ago, while I was shopping at my favourite grocery store in Switzerland, I saw a packet of vegetables I had never seen. Once I read the name on the label (agretti, monk’s beard, mönksbart) I realised those were the vegetables I’ve been hearing everyone talking about lately. These green shoots grow in Italy, from Central Italy to the South, but I have to admit that they are not so common in the area where I’m from (North-east of Italy). So I didn’t pass up the chance to buy them and to prepare this savoury cake, after consulting Marinella who is the expert when it comes to Southern Italian recipes. Hope you find the Agretti at your local market ’cause they are really delicious and especially super healthy!

(Francesca)

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