Tag Archive | Italy

Meatless Bolognese all Paseo

……… I DO THIS, MY WAY! …..

Meatless Bolognese all Paseo

June is the month of Saint Antony of Padova and for many years we have travelled to this lovely city, saying our prayers at the shrine in the Basilica and seeing our friends, some of whom actually live or work at the Basilica.

But alas, this year sadly we were not able to travel – but we do so hope that there will be soon a ‘next time’.

So it was a chance for me to telephone a couple of our friends in Padova and have one of our pleasant little chats.

Whilst speaking with Antonia, she somehow mentioned a mutual visit to a charming restaurant on our last trip called “Bastioni Del Moro” in Via Pilade Bronzetti (roughly translated to “Ramparts of the Moor). This is a place which is mostly frequented by locals. We always prefer those kind of restaurants whilst abroad.

Antonia, who is a Vegetarian, ordered her food, Spaghetti con Bolognese. This raised an eyebrow with me – Bolognese? How could she!!! She just smiled and urged me to taste from her plate. And gosh, was I glad I did – it was absolutely delicious and no mincemeat (Keema) in sight. Pure vegetarian, a dish laden with beautiful vegetables and lentils and I really did not miss the meat at all. To be honest, I had forgotten all about this dish and now, speaking to her, I wanted this recipe very badly.

Since then I have made this “Bolognese” a few times, served with pasta, rice, to be eaten with chapatti or naan. Next time I will make thin pancakes, stuff those with my “Bolognese” and serve this dish as a ‘faux lasagne’.

So here it is, and I am happy to share it with you. Of course, as usual, I have given this recipe a little tweak here and there. Do give it a try and you too will be surprised how truly delicious it is.

Ingredients:

1 x large onion, finely chopped
4 x garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
3 x carrots, coarsely grated
2 x large celery sticks – chopped
2 x Tbsp Olive oil
½ x cup of red lentils
4 x large tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ x Tbsp tomato puree
2 x cups vegetable stock
1 x Tbsp mixed (dry) Italian herbs
1 x Tbsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
Salt and pepper to taste

And this is how I made it:

Gently fry Onion, garlic, carrots and celery in oil for appr 5 minutes or until they are all soft.

Add lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, herbs and chilli powder as well as salt and pepper. Stir.

Cover vessel partially with a lid and simmer for 20 or so minutes – timing depends on how soft you want your lentils.

That’s it – enjoy.

Namaskaram
Carina

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TILAPIA IN A LEMON-PARSLEY SAUCE

This here is such an easy and quick fish recipe, which I first tasted in Florence/Italy in one of our friend’s houses. She knew that Jo absolutely adores fish (coming from the coastal area in Kerala this is no wonder!) – and so this was really for him.

Tilapia recipes are seen in profusion all over the Net but it has not, here in Kerala, quite reached the appeal this fish has outside our State.

Compared to Seer fish/King Fish (which is the absolute number One fish here), the price of which has gone literally through the roof, Tilapia is much easier on one’s pocket and apart from that it is a delicious light fish and our freezer is always well stocked.

So I do hope you will enjoy my “<strong>Italian Tilapia dish” as we do. Buon appetito!

For 2 people you will need the following:

For the fish:
400 g Tilapia fillet
25 g Butter
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly grounded pepper

For the Sauce:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 ½ Tbsp flour
250 ml Milk
Juice from the other ½ of your lemon
A nice handful of Parsley (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste

And here is what you do:

Line a baking sheet with baking paper and keep aside.
Heat oven to 190 C.
Wash fish well and dry completely, using paper towels.
Melt butter and stir in the lemon juice.
With a pastry brush, spread this mixture all over the fish fillets, grind the pepper over this and bake in the oven for app. 30 minutes.

In the meantime melt butter on the lowest!! heat.
Add the flour into this and cook for app. 3 minutes, keep stirring all the time.
Now add the cold!! milk and with a balloon whisk, mix everything together.
Bring to a slight boil and then turn down heat to medium for 5-10 minutes – stirring all the while.
Finish this off with salt, lemon juice and chopped up parsley.

To plate:
Place your fish on a plate and top it with the sauce and some basmati rice or a few “finger chips” on the side.

That’s it – all done. Enjoy.

Namaskaram
Carina

Carina’s Version of “Polpette al Sugo”

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This is my very own quick version of a sort of “Polpette al Sugo” – the original we often have when back in Italy – nothing can beat those wonderful fresh Italian tomatoes and their addictive (at least for us) “ mozzarella di buffalo

Prep time 20 mins cooking time 45 mins Serves 4

1 lb. lean beef, minced 2 x (or Chicken, if you prefer)
1 x cup fresh white breadcrumbs
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
3 x Tbsp Parsley, chopped finely
Salt and pepper, to your taste
1x egg, slightly beaten
150 g x mozzarella cheese (cut into appr. 16 small cubes)
1x Tbsp vegetable oil
1 x large onion, finely chopped
400 g x fresh tomatoes, skin removed and squashed with your hands
1 x pack of spaghetti

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1.. Take a bowl; add beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, half the parsley, salt and pepper and the egg, mix well.
2.. Take one of the previously cut cheese cubes and 1 large tsp of beef mixture and cover the cube with this.
3.. Take large pan, heat oil, add prepared meat balls and brown on all sides on medium heat.

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4.. Add chopped onion, cook for 3-5 mins, and then add all the tomatoes with their juice. Simmer, cover with lid and cook for another 30 minutes.

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5.. Uncover pan and continue cooking for another 10 mins, so that sauce will reduce and slightly thickens.

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6.. While all this is going on, boil your spaghetti following packet instructions; but keep ‘tasting and testing’ – don’t overcook pasta.
7.. When done, drain and put into a slightly warmed big bowl.

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8.. Serve with the Meat Balls, sprinkled with the remaining parsley, from a separate bowl.

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NOTES:
With this I often just serve a nice crisp green salad or a tomato salad, which JS loves very much.

Also occasionally I add a couple of teaspoons of Curry powder to the meat mixture – it always depends who is coming and joins us for a meal. It really is purely a question of individual taste.

Of course you can also use tinned chopped tomatoes if you really have to.

Buon Appetito – Guten Appetit
Carina

‘TUSCAN CHICKEN WITH CAPERS’ or memories of Le Celle!

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Once again, Easter came and went. Life here has turned very quickly back to its normal hectic happening, and with that for me the question “what to cook for the family and what to post on my Blog” became a sort of minor issue.

Instead of going to sleep at night I lay awake thinking what to shop, cook etc. etc. I wanted to go away for a little while from my Indian dishes – like going international; to places where we had been in the past and where we sampled the local food.

So, Chicken jumped into my mind (I love chicken, cooked any which way!) So, one quick look into my freezer and having found a pack of Drumsticks I then opened my fridge and found a freshly opened bottle of Capers. And with that my memory jumped back just a few years ago when Jo and I once again were staying in Florence, this beautiful city. During that holiday friends took us in their car out into the Tuscan country site past the little town of Cortona to the beautiful Convent de Le Celle, which is a 13th-century Franciscan Convent located in Le Celle, just outside Cortona. A visit never to be forgotten – so beautiful and peaceful.
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On the way back we then briefly stopped in Cortona for a light lunch and when I saw this dish, Chicken with Capers, I simply had to try it. I love Capers and use it quite often in my cooking, especially with fish, eggs, etc. And also I had just seen the courtyard walls at Le Celle covered with Capparis spinosa, the caper bush but unfortunately for me the fruit was not matured enough to be picked.
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Now back home here in Kerala I now like to cook this dish whenever I am able to find a jar of capers.
So, not to leave you too long in suspense, here is my re-creation of this delicious dish, which I named simply:

‘TUSCAN CHICKEN WITH CAPERS’ or memories of Le Celle!
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For 2 people you will need:

4 chicken drumsticks (or more, if you are hungry)
1 large Onion, finely minced in your Mixy
Some salt and black pepper
Minced parsley, a very generous amount, app. ½ cup or so
2-3 Tbsp. of well-rinsed capers (whole)
Chicken broth, app. 1 ½ cup
3 Tbsp. of white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Some extra parsley for decoration.
How to cook:
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Heat your Wok with ½ the oil over medium heat, add the minced onions with a sprinkling of salt, and cook until soft. Stir once in a while.
When cooked transfer onions to a plate. Add remaining oil to Wok and turn up heat slightly.
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Now add your Chicken drumsticks (I like to rub them lightly with a mixture of salt and black pepper) and gently fry those all around until they are nicely golden. Remove and also keep on a plate.

Add onion puree, parsley and the capers to Wok, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. After this add broth and vinegar (check, you might want to use a bit more or less of vinegar – depending on your personal taste), followed by the chicken drumsticks and their juices.
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Gently stir, cover, keep heat on low and simmer until cooked to your liking.
Creamy mashed potatoes and some slightly steamed vegetables taste particularly good with this.
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Guten Appetit, my friends,
Carina

EPIPHANY– 6th January

It is today that Christians across the world celebrate the feast of Epiphany which marks the official end of the Christmas season.

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These are the “Three Wise Men” from our own private Collection.
And here is my last music video for this season – just enjoy!


The Mediaeval Baebes ‘We Three Kings’

I leave you now with 3 beautiful pictures of the Magi

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Adoration of the Magi by El Greco, 1568, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City (Photo: Wikipedia)

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Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Photo: Wikipedia)

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The Three Magi: Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar, from a late 6th century mosaic at the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Carina

Meine eigene FREIE Uebersetzung:
Heute ist der Tag wo Christen in der ganzen Welt das Fest der Heiligen Drei Koenige feiern welches auch das offizielle Ende der Weihnachtszeit ist.

Dies sind die Figuren der Drei Koenige aus unserer eigenen Sammlung.

Und hier ist mein letztes Musik Video fuer diese Weihnachtszeit – geniesst es!

Und hier sind noch drei wunderschoene Photos der Weisen.

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L’Adoration desmages by Albrecht_Dürer – Photo. wikipedia

Vatican City ….. and two birthdays

Christ, our Saviour was born today and around the world Christians celebrate His birth.

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There has never been a time that Jo and I would visit Italy without having a few days break in the Eternal City, known as Rome! But today I am not taking you on a journey through this breathtaking city, but to another city – Vatican City!

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On 17th December was also the birthday of our Holy Father, Pope Francisco (Pope Francis), who was born in 1936 in Buenos Aires/Argentina.

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Amongst many other things the Holy Father is also known for his great fondness for the traditional music of Argentina.

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A long time ago I was given an LP recording of the complete “Misa Criolla” (loosely translated: Creole Mass) by its composer Ariel Ramirez when I lived for 3 happy years in Trinidad/W.I. But I have to confess, that in my ignorance in those young days  I did not think for a moment that I would enjoy or even play “church music” that often, but …. as soon as I heard the voices of ‘Los Fronterizos’ I was hooked.

Navidad Nuestra. Ariel Ramírez, Los Fronterizos, Jaime Torres y Domingo Cura. 1967

The voices, the instruments, the harmony and the joy in their performance took me over and for literally years this record became one of my precious ones – it manages to stir up a lot of emotions in me.

So, could I find a better group to say musically “Happy Birthday Holy Father from my family” – no, in my opinion I could not!

And so, here ends my little musical journey around the world for today. Hope you still enjoying this.

Carina
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Vatican City… …. und zwei Geburtstage.

Christus unser Retter wurde heute geboren und um die ganze Welt feiern Christen seine Geburt.

Da war nie eine Reise nach Italien ohne dass Jo und ich nicht fuer einige Tage in die Ewige Stadt, die als Rom bekannt ist, kamen. Aber heute will ich Euch nicht auf eine kleine Reise durch diese atemberaubende Stadt nehmen, aber in eine andere Stadt – Vatikan Stadt!

Am 17. Dezember war auch der Geburtstag unseres Heiligen Vaters, Pabst Francisco (Pabst Francis) der im Jahre 1936 in Buenos Aires/Argentinien geboren war.
Abgesehen von vielen anderen Dingen ist der Heilige Vater auch fuer seine grosse Vorliebe fuer traditionelle argentinische Musik bekannt.

Vor einer langen Zeit bekam ich eine LP Platte mit der kompletten “Misa Criolla” (frei uebersetzt: Creolische Messe) komponiert von Ariel Ramirez geschenkt. Ich lebte damals fuer 3 sehr glueckliche Jahre in Trinidad/W.I. Aber ich muss hier eingestehen, dass damals in meiner jugendlichen  Unerfahrenheit ich nie fuer einen Moment daran dachte, dass ich diese music moegen wuerde oder sogar diese “Kirchenmusik” oft spielen wuerde, aber …. sobald ich die Stimmen von “Los Fronterizos” hoerte war ich eingefangen.

Die Stimmen, die Instrumente, die Harmonie und die Freude in ihrem singen und spielen haben mich total eingefangen und fuer echt viele Jahre wurde diese Aufnahme einer meiner liebsten – sie wuehlt eine ganze Menge Emotionen in mir wach.

So, konnte ich deshalb eine bessere Gruppe finden um musikalisch “Happy Birthday Heiliger Vater, from my family” zu sagen – nein, meines Erachtens konnte ich das nicht!

Und so, hier endet meine kleine musikalische Reise um die Welt fuer heute. Hoffentlich geniesst Ihr sie noch.

Carina

Assisi – and “….. a channel of Peace”

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There is a saying ‘… that no journey to Italy would be complete without a visit to the renowned town of Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region’– and we agree !

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Having visited this place once before, Jo and I decided to take our younger daughter Andrea to Assisi as part of her “….come and see part of Europe before entering College” trip; in preparation of her studies to become an architect.

As always we stayed for a month in our rented flat in Florence, a perfect base for taking a number of enjoyable day trips to various places in the region, like Lucca, Sienna, Pisa, Fieselo,…….

Whilst visiting the Basilica we came across a number of musical recordings on CD by Friar Alessandro (“The voice of Assisi” as he is known).

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A man so very talented and gifted with the most incredible powerful tenor voice.

Please listen to just these two videos with titles so befitting for todays troubled world we live in.

“Make me a channel of your peace”

And ‘Amazing Grace” from his album “Voice of Peace”.

After I had just finish writing this piece the electricity went off – again!!!! Which gave me a good excuse to have a hopefully short brake.

I later switched on the TV – Deutsche Welle to keep up to date with my old ‘home country’ and to my tremendous surprise I heard the voice of Friar Alessandro singing Haendels “Ave Maria” in Assisi. Sadly I only caught this program “The Saint and the Pope” (the Mexican tenor Rolando Vallazon investigates Francis) at the very end, but …… talk of coincidences!!!

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As always I wish you, my friends, a peaceful Advent.

Carina

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Assisi ….and “A channel of Peace”

Da gibt es einen Spruch der sagt: “….keine Reise nach Italien ist komplett ohne die bekannte Stadt von Assisi zu besuchen, die Geburtstadt von St. Francis von Assisi, in der Provinz Perugia in der Region von Umbria – und wir stimmen dem zu!

Wir hatten diesen Ort schon einmal besucht aber Jo und ich entschlossen uns unsere juengere Tochter Andrea nach Assisi zu nehmen als “…komm’ und sehe Europa bevor Du aufs College gehst um Architektur zu studieren” trip.

Wir wohnten fuer einen ganzen Monat wie ueblich in unserem gemieteten Appartment in Florenz, eine perfekte Basis fuer unsere taeglichen Ausfluege in die Umgebung wie z.B. Lucca, Sienna, Pisa, Fiesolo …..

Waehrend unseres Besuchs der Basilika fanden wir eine Reihe von musikalischen Aufnahmen auf CD’s von Friar Alessandro ( “die Stimme von Assisi” als er genannt wird)

Er ist ein Mann mit einem unwahrscheinlichen Talent und einer Gottesgabe – sein kraftvoller Tenor.

Bitte hoert Euch heute nur diese zwei kurze video’s an deren Titel so passend sind fuer die heutige beaengstige Zeit in der wir leben.

Nachdem ich gerade diesen Beitrag hier fertig hatte, ging unsere Electricitaet mal wieder weg, fuer mich eine gute Entschuldigung schnell eine kurze Pause einzulegen.

Und als ich spaeterden Fernseher einschaltete – Deutsche Welle, um auf dem laufenden zu bleiben, was aus meiner alten Heimat kommt, hoerte ich zu meiner grossen Ueberraschung die Stimme von Friar Alessandro, der Haendels “Ave Maria” in Assisi sang. Leider hatte ich dieses Program ziemlich am Ende erwischt; “Der Heilige und der Pabst” (der mexikanische Tenor Rolando Villazon untersucht Francis )…… sprecht mal von Zufall !!!

Und wie immer, liebe Freunde, wuensche ich Euch einen schoenen friedlichen Advent.

Carina