We have a lot of zucchini, as has almost every one I know. There is quite a harvest of spring onions, too. We have used up all the garden’s onions, but Mrs BYF decided to combine the lot and to use it for pasta sauces, on pizza, in frittata and fritters. The discovery we made was that slow sweated spring onion sliced finely, including the green part becomes really soft and tasty. Add the slices zucchini to that and braise over very low heat. Then, create magic by adding fresh mint and basil! It tastes so good that it may be eaten straight out of the pot in stead of being a part of another dish.
20 Spring Onions
1 Kg sliced Zucchini
1 Hand full of fresh Mint leaves
1 Hand full of Basil
6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Cut about 1/3 off the top of the spring onions to get rid of the harder leaves. Slice the rest very finely. Fry the onions for about 5 minutes in the olive oil and then cover and sweat on very low heat until soft. Scrub the zucchini and slice very thinly. When the onion is soft add the zucchini and braise for about 10 minutes over very low heat . Add the shredded mint and basil, cover and cook on low until the flavours have blended. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
We had lemons from the tree of a friend of a friend and lots of flowering rocket that we had to use or lose. Mrs BYF came up with this delicious pasta using the ingredients at hand, while I was busy making cheese.
Lemon and Rocket Pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 chilli or some flakes, as much as you prefer, but at least a bit is essential
2 handfuls of fresh rocket + 1 handful of fresh rocket
zest of 2 lemons + zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
Add the pasta to salted, fast boiling water. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli in a pan that can hold everything including the cooked pasta. When the garlic is translucent add the 2 handfuls of fresh rocket to the pan. When the rocket has wilted slightly add the zest of 2 lemons and the lemon juice. When the pasta has cooked, add a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water to the sauce. When al dente, remove the hot pasta from the pasta pot, drain the water and add the hot pasta to the sauce in the pan. Stir the sauce through the pasta. Portion out the pasta into the plates and scatter a few of the fresh rocket leaves, a bit of the lemon zest and cracked black pepper over the pasta. Add liberal amounts of parmigiano reggiano and serve immediately.
Do not forget a glass of home made red to finish it all!!
Yet another crop with many uses! This time it is rocket which is in abundance in our garden at this time of the year, sowing itself all the time.. Apart from great salads and pesto, the flowers make a really nice display for the kitchen window sill. Also enjoy the pesto as a pasta sauce, with fish or on fresh bread or toast
100 g Pesto Leaves
25 g roasted Pine Nuts
20 g fresh Garlic
150 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 g Salt
Blend all the above ingredients well in a blender, or if you have the energy, mash it up in a mortar and pestle
50 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese
20 g grated Pecorino cheese
40 g melted Butter
Fold the above indigents into the blended product
It will last up to a week in the fridge, but is better fresh (after resting for about an hour from making it – the pesto not you)
ENJOY and do not forget a glass of the home made red!!!
A friend brought us a wonderful, big yellow swede. We admired it for a day while it sat on the kitchen bench, and this morning it got too much for Mrs BYF. She attacked it with the large chef’s knife and about 30 minutes later we had a delicious pasta. I only post the recipes I have used a lot and those that I am certainly going to use again. This recipe is one of those!
1/4 or less of a massive yellow swede cut into pencil shaped pieces
3 Cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
1 pinch of chilli
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 eggs, lightly whisked
a few silver beet leaves optional ( I was digging and the plant was in the way)
salt and pepper
grated parmigiano cheese
Pour the olive oil in to a large pan with a lid. Add the garlic and the pinch of chilli. Add the rinsed and dried swede pieces and fry for a few minutes. Add a few spoonfuls of water and the silverbeet and cover the pan. Once the swede feels a bit soft and has turned a lovely dark yellow, uncover and let the water evaporate. Put the pasta in the salted boiling water and cook until done. Fry the swede a bit more until a little brown appears but turn off the heat before the swede disintegrates. Drain and put the pasta in the pan on top of the swede, wait until the sizzle has subsided then pour the egg over the pasta. Mix well by gently turning the mixture in the pan over a few times.
Serve with a generous sprinkling of parmigiano cheese and a bit of black pepper. A dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil will enhance the flavour.
I took some rabbit back straps from the freezer yesterday as well as harvested fresh salad this morning, hoping to have it as a main today, but after four helpings of Mrs BYF’s swede pasta, the quails were very happy with the salad and the rabbit is back in the fridge.
The Cherry and Black Current Wine complimented this wonderful dish perfectly
After spending a whole day combing through Archives of Mezzano Martello in Milano, I was thrown out at 15H00, because they wanted to close for the day.
On recommendation of my wife, I made my way to the Navigli in Milano for a memorable lunch / dinner.
The Navigli of Milan are the artificial canals constructed between 1179 (Naviglio Grande) and the 16th century (Naviglio Martesana) with the purpose of making Milan accessible from the Ticino and Adda rivers.
I enjoyed the home made Gnocchi as a Primi and Polenta with Eggs and Truffle as a Secondi with fried Artichokes as a Contorni. Even though the place was still very quiet and empty as it only comes to live at night, it was a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Ravioli Pigeon Filling
In a pan add a handful of chopped Pancetta and fry slightly. After a few minutes add some chopped garlic, carrots, celery and onion. Fry all together until the onion is well soft. In another pan add some olive oil and brown the pigeons on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste. When well browned add a cup of good red wine and let the wine evaporate for some minutes. Now add the contents of both pans together and combine with about 500 g of Passata. Simmer slowly in an open pan and keep moist with some good stock, Cook until the meat is very soft and coming off the bone. When cooled, remove the meat from the carcass and cut it fine, then return it to the pan with all the sauce. Cook only for a few minutes and make sure it is well mixed and the correct moisture content, if too dry add some more stock. Taste for salt and pepper and correct if required.
● 100 g Pancetta
● 6 Cloves of garlic
● 2 Medium carrots
● 2 Celery sticks
● 1 Pinch of dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli
● 4 Medium sized onions
● Salt and Pepper
All of the above finely chopped
● 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
● 6 Pigeons
● 200 ml Good red wine
● 500 g Passata
● 1 Litre stock
Mix the egg and flour together and knead until uniform and smooth. It should be a fairly firm dough and if not correct, adjust by adding either more milk or more flour. I coloured mine by adding green Cavolo nero sauce to one third and red plum sauce to another third, thus getting tri colours
● 5 Eggs beated slightly
● 500 g Plain flour – Preferably Tipo 00
Roll pasta dough out with a pasta machine to a medium thickness. Lay one sheet down and place enough filling in little balls on top of the dough so that your pasta press will cover it. Make many rows of filling, spaced to accommodate the ravioli press. Now layer another sheet over the first and the filling balls, then press and cut with ravioli press. Flour well and keep until used.
Boil enough water to accommodate tall the pasta and when boiling well dump the ravioli in the boiling water. When they are floating, cook for another two minutes and then scoop out with a slotted spoon. Serve on pre warmed plates and dress with melted butter and sage sauce
● Grated Parmigiano or Grana Padana
● 10 Sage leaves
Add enough grated Parmigiano and do not forget the Home made Red Wine
If you have any lemons left after making Limoncello, you may as well make some delicious PASTA AL LIMONE
When my friend joined me for an afternoon of cheese making Mrs BYF had collected all the leftover ricotta (1/2 cup) and about 1 cup of mascarpone (which had turned out a bit sour) I had made a few days ago and made a great pasta sauce. She melted the cheeses and a tablespoon of butter over a very slow heat while the pasta was cooking, added some lemon rind and a few squeezes of lemon juice, bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. After adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water she added the drained pasta to the pan and served it with a generous dusting of parmigiano cheese. It was delicious and my friend wanted the recipe. As with a lot of her best dishes her passion for using the ingredients at hand it can never be repeated!
The secret is home made cheese. The ricotta we can buy here is not edible, whereas one can buy reasonable mascarpone made by Tatua. Having lovely organic lemons from a neighbour’s mum’s tree in Wellington is also an inspiration to make this simple but elegant dish.