MTChallenge May: Giant Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Licorice and Orange Toast Crumbles / MTChallenge Maggio: Penne giganti al sugo di pomodorini, liquirizia e pane tostato all’arancia

Pasta pomodoro mtc 1

Another month, another challenge. This month’s MTChallenge Paola Sabino from the blog Fairies’ Kitchen challenged us with a “simple” tomato sauce pasta. Nothing more difficult than an “easy” dish. The challenge lies in being able to enhance the dish in all its components, first of all of course the tomato that should not be overwhelmed by other flavours and blend well with the pasta with its creamy texture. Another considerable detail is the degree of doneness of the pasta (it is known that overcooked pasta in addition to being sticky and unpleasant to taste is difficult to digest) for which Paola specifically requested a photograph that proves the perfect “al dente” cooking. Paola also called for a brief cooking of the sauce, even though not of its individual ingredients, and forbid us the use of onion. She tied our hands a little, something I particularly like when confronted with a challenge. More limitations and more the challenge gets interesting! For my dish I chose to stick to simplicity, but with the eccentric touch which distinguishes my cooking. To enhance the natural sweetness of tomatoes I used licorice powder and orange as pairings and added a bit of crunchiness with toasted bread. The result is very fresh, with notes of orange paving the way first to the tomato, blending with the licorice at the end of the bite. To make my life easier for the photograph of the doneness of the pasta I chose giant penne, although I personally recommend to pair this sauce with linguine.

Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Caramelized Pecans Ciabattas / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciabatte alle noci pecan caramellate

ciabatta pecan 1

This Friday for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I’m going back to one of my favourite bread recipes: ciabatta. Those who know me best are well aware I’ve spent whole months working on several ciabatta recipes. Yeasted, both with fresh and instant yeast, with bread flour and with buckwheat flour too, up to my special version of garlic and lemon thyme flavoured ciabatta. In short, ciabatta is one of my favourite breads ever (as well as my dear friend Flavia‘s). This time the input for the recipe came to me from a long standing acquaintance, Anna Lucylle, who already inspired me a basil flavoured bread. I met her the first time more than ten years ago, but mostly communicate with her through facebook. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…