Top 50 Italian Food Blog Award

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Gnocchi Fritti

By Matthew Luca      .

I know its bad to promote fried food but Sicilians love it and pretty much try and deep fry anything. This alternative Gnocchi recipe is great as a snack or side dish. I have added Harissa to flavour the gnocchi and I think it makes the dish.

1 Pack Gnocchi
2 tbsp. Harissa spice
salt & pepper to season
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

In a deep fryer at 180c cook the gnocchi until golden and floating on the surface of the oil. When cooked transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the harissa, bit of salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic, add 2 tbsp. of the hot oil and then give a good shake. The result is phenomenal. I have also made a dip using some mayonnaise and a sprinkle of harissa.

Cozze Prosecco (Mussels steamed in Prosecco)

By Matthew Luca          .

I can never resist fresh mussels when I see them and this recipe is delightful. It's fresh and fizzy, this combination is gorgeous.
1 bag fresh mussels
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
1 tbsp. butter
300ml prosecco
1 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon corn flour
handful of fresh parsley chopped
A few pan-fried scallops (optional)
Add the onions, garlic and butter to a large saucepan and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions soften and the flavour of the garlic infuses into the butter. pour in the Prosecco and turn up to a high heat, when hot add the mussels (discard any open shells) and stir the mussels around the stock gently, then place a lid on the pan and leave for 3-4 minutes until the mussel shells have opened fully.
Using a colander train off stock into a separate pan, add the corn flour to the stock and stir continuously until thickened. You can strain off any lumps if necessary.
To Plate, Put the mussels in a large serving bowl discarding any that have not opened, pour over the stock reduction and garnish with chopped parsley and pan fired scallops if you have them.
Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Salmone al forno siciliana (Sicilian Baked Salmon)

By Matthew Luca    .

A Salmon dish born out of the Mediterranean Sea perfect for al fresco dining. This succulent baked salmon is perfect for those sunny days and BBQ's as its wrapped and cooked in aluminium foil. Best enjoyed with a cool glass of Italian Sauvignon by So Prosecco

Ingredients (serves 4)
4 Salmon fillets
2 tbsp. capers
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp. paprika
4 cloves garlic
4 lemon wedges
200g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp. Olive oil
salt & pepper for seasoning
Aluminium/Kitchen foil for wrapping

pre heat oven to 200c. Place salmon filets on individual sheets of foil, sprinkle over the capers, paprika, chilli flakes and add a lemon wedge on each salmon along with a clove of garlic and a few cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Wrap each fillet like a parcel ensuring its packed very loose as the steam from the salmon is important to cook the fish. Fold over the ends of the foil to ensure a tight seal. bake in  hot oven for 10-15 minutes.
To serve, you can either serve in the foil parcels or on the plate. best served with a side of fresh salad leafs with tomato and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Calamari Fritti

By Matthew Luca  .

Fried Calamari rings are a must for any Italian feast but this version goes one better as it's gluten free so that everybody can enjoy it.

2 squid tubes or cut calamari rings 500g
200g Rice flour
70ml Sparkling water
Coarse sea salt & pepper for seasoning
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 lemon cut into wedges

Cut the squid tubes into rings or use pre-cut calamari rings, pat dry between a few sheets of kitchen paper.
In a mixing bowl add the flour, pinch of salt and pepper add the sparkling water a little at a time until silky and a thick enough to coat the squid rings.
In a deep fat fryer set to 180c, add the calamari and cook for around 2 minutes until crisp and floating on the surface of the oil. remove the calamari from the oil when cooked and place on kitchen paper to drain of excess oil. season with a generous helping of sea salt and balsamic vinegar. serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Frutta Pavlova

By Matthew Luca

Wondering what to do with left over egg whites? who can refuse a good pavlova anyway.
Oodles of cream and crisp but gooey meringue, soo tasty.
6 egg whites
300g Caster sugar
1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
200ml double cream (whipped)
200g chopped strawberries
100g raspberries
50g blueberries
Using a food mixer with balloon whisk or bowl and electric whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, add the sugar, vanilla essence and white wine vinegar and whisk for a further 5 minutes until smooth and very firm.
Preheat oven to 130c. On a large baking tray lined with greaseproof/baking parchment, place the soft meringue on the middle, spread to form a round and make a well in the middle so that when cooked the cream can sit inside.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, 30 minutes until firm but slightly soft in the middle. transfer carefully to a cooling rack.
When the meringue is completely cool spread the whipped cream around the middle of the pavlova, garnish with the fresh fruit.
Chefs tip; put a little of the soft meringue mix into a piping bag and make little nests, they take around 40 minutes to cook. why not try some spun sugar for decoration.
Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.

Real Spaghetti Carbonara

by Matthew Luca

If you give an Italian a carbonara with cream then it's vito for you.
People often have a fear when using eggs in cooking although they really shouldn't, its authentic Italian cooking at its best.

6 Egg Yolks (keep the whites as you can use this for other amazing recipes like my Pavlova)
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
250g Spaghetti
200g bacon lardons or pancetta
sprig of rosemary
1 onion (finely diced)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed, using garlic press or finely chopped)
1 tbsp. olive oil
bunch of parsley (chopped)
Parmesan to garnish
Black pepper
1 tbsp. salt

In large pot of boiling water, add the salt and spaghetti and cook for around 10 minutes until tender but aldente.
In a frying pan add the olive oil, pancetta or bacon lardons, rosemary, onion, garlic and fry until bacon is browned and crisp, then turn heat down to lowest setting.
In a mixing bowl add the egg yolks, 2 tbsp. parmesan and whisk until combined and silky.
when the spaghetti is cooked, using pair of kitchen tongs lift the pasta out of the hot water and into the frying pan with the bacon etc as this keeps a little hot water within the pasta to ensure a glossy finish to the sauce, immediately pour over the egg yolks, mix in to the spaghetti to ensure an even coat as this gives carbonara its creaminess. (if the pan is too hot the eggs will scramble).

Garnish with fresh parsley, parmesan and good grind of black pepper.
Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.

Caponata su purea di melanzana (Sicilian Aubergine stew, aubergine puree)

By Matthew Luca

I absolutely love capunata, a traditional Sicilian aubergine stew. Often served with fish or simply as a delightful vegetarian dish. This version is a little more refined than the one I grew up enjoying but tastes stunning.

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 aubergines (one finely diced and one skin off and roughly chopped)
200ml double cream
200ml water
2 vine tomatoes (finely diced with seeds removed)
1 red onion (finely diced)
8-10 green olives
1 tbsp. capers
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic (2 cut to razor thin slices)
4 tbsp. Olive Oil
few basil leafs, chopped.
salt & pepper for seasoning

To make the puree, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a sauce pan, add the roughly chopped aubergine, season with a little salt and pepper, toss in a clove of garlic and fry for around 5 minutes until golden, add the cream and water and continue cooking until the aubergine is soft and cream becoming thick. Transfer the aubergine to a food processor and blend until smooth, pass through a fine sieve, pressing all the thick pulp aubergine through the sieve. return the puree back to a saucepan and heat until thick then set aside for serving.

For the Caponata, in a large frying pan on a high heat, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, the aubergine, sliced garlic, onions, capers and fry until the aubergine have browned in colour. Toss in the tomatoes, white wine vinegar, olives, chopped basil leafs, season with a little salt and pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.

To serve; Place some aubergine puree on the base of the plate or dish, then spoon over some beautiful caponata. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.

Chefs tip; Using a piping bag, pipe the aubergine puree in the bottom of a tall dish or if thick enough pipe stiff peaks on the plate.

Like my recipes and want to see me cook? Follow me on my Social Networks.