Sunday, 7 February 2016

Carnival donuts

Carnival, the most amusing time of the year!
When I was a young girl I used to dress up, my mother and brother were big supporters and we all worked hard. So one year I was a pretty Japaneese, the other year Scarlett O'Hara, or a cave woman.. It was difficult to dance at parties, but this was part of the fun! Anything goes at carnival time.
Now I can at least cook some very sweet and fried food, not too loose the tradition. From "fat Thursday to fat Tuesday (mardi gras)", let induge in these nice feast!
I made only half portion of this recipe, because for our family it was enough. 


500 grs flour
3 medium potatoes
30 gr brewer's yeast
4 spoons sugat, plus more to dust the donuts
grated zest of an orange
2 eggs
1/3 glass of warm milk.
1/2 a bottle vegetable oil 

Wash and boil your potatoes until soft.
Prepare 4 trays with a tea towel on each of them.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, put them on a board, peel the potates while they are still warm and pass them through a masher with the flour.

Add the eggs, the dissolved yeast, and mix it all until you  obtain  a smooth dough. Add a pinch of salt and work it a little bit.

Dust your board with flour and roll the dough until about 5 mm. thick.

Cut your preferred shape, donuts, 
flowers, rings. put them on a tray.

Let them leaven for at least an hour in a warm place, far for the air streams, inside your cold oven, light on, for example.

Bring the oil to the boil  and prepare the trays with some blotting paper.

Fry just few donuts each time, they take about 10 seconds each to cook, 5 seconds each side, and you have to turn them up side down.

Drain from the oil and lay them on the blotting paper.
Then roll them on both sides on a dish with some sugar.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Bucatini amatriciana

Today I describe an other classic dish of the Italian cooking, once again made with poor ingredients, once available to everybody, and  still so delicious. 
If you ate this pasta in a typical osteria in Rome, you will never forget it!

I was asking some ladies at the supermarket in Rome while buying the pork jowl and each one had her own recipe and a way to cut the meat. Cubes or thick stripes, anyway, I suggest be careful not to burn it, it must not be chewy.

Choose the ingredients very well! They are just 4 and humble, but must be good.

Ingredients for 4

320 grs / 11 oz. Bucatini (or spaghetti)
100 grs / 3.5 oz.Guanciale (Pork jowl) unsmoked
200 grs./ 11 oz. pecorino romano - grated
4 ripe tomatoes
1 or 2 - up to you -  hot peppers
1 spoon lard

Wash and clean the tomatoes and peel them (gently cut the skin on bottom with an X cut, drop in a pan of boiling water, drain and peel them when warm…)- you can use the same water in which you will cook the bucatini) and cut them into stripes.

In the meanwhile cut the pork jowl in cubes or long stripes, melt the lard and gently sautè the pork in a large frying pan with a hot red pepper. Let the pork become golden, add the tomatoes and make them sauté for about 10-15 minutes. The tomatoes will melt.
Take off the hot red pepper, add fresh ground pepper. And keep warm.

Cook your pasta in abundant salted water (10 grs/ liter)  - al dente – as shown on the packaging, drain it well in a colander and put it in the pan with the sauce.
Stir well and add the grated pecorino romano. 

Serve immediately.