Tag Archives: Anchovies

Peperoni Grigliati (Grilled Peppers)

17 Feb

An appetizing and tasty antipasto to serve with toasted bread or a side dish with meat.

When peppers are grilled, they taste completely different from raw ones and, in my opinion, are more appetizing and certainly more easily tolerated, since the indigestible substances that are contained in the peel are removed. This is an easy recipe and quick to prepare; you can prepare it a day in advance and then store it in the refrigerator. The dressing is made with parsley, anchovies and chilli peppers. All these ingredients enhance the smoky flavor of the peppers and make this dish a delicious antipasto (appetizer) that you can serve with fresh bread or baguette croutons.

Peppers are originally from South America, but nowadays they are used all over the world in many delicious recipes. They contain a lot of water (90%) and are, therefore, indicated in low-calorie diets. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene and are, consequently, very healthy .

There are several ways to grill peppers; I suggest this one which is, in my opinion, the most simple and effective method.

PEPERONI GRIGLIATI (GRILLED PEPPERS)
Preparation time: 40 min. Cooking time: 25 min. Servings: 4

Peperoni grigliati

INGREDIENTS
4 bell peppers of different colors
6 anchovy fillets in olive oil, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
2 teaspoons of parsley, chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 250 °C (475 °F)
1. Wash and dry whole peppers. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 25 min. turning when the side in contact with the heat is charred. The cooking time may vary depending on the size. As soon all the skin is charred, remove from the oven
2. While the peppers are still hot, place each one in a plastic food bag (to facilitate removal of the skin) and wait for 15 minutes. After this time remove from the bag. The skin will come off very easily. Remove stalk using a sharp knife. Cut peppers in half and lengthwise into strips, removing seeds and white filaments. Cut peppers into strips
3.In a small bowl, combine the anchovies , garlic , parsley and chili pepper with oil. Put the peppers on a serving dish and sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Allow to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour. Serve at room temperature .

Note: At the time of purchase make sure that the peppers are well attached to the stem; they should also be shiny, compact and with the skin taut. They keep fresh in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, or in oil and vinegar (refrigerated) for several weeks. Paola

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Tortino con Bietole ed Acciughe (Swiss Chard and Anchovies Pie)

29 Jan

This pie makes a colorful and a tasty starter or a delicious main dish. The crust is made ​​with brisee dough while the filling is prepared with Swiss chard, first boiled, then sautéed with anchovies and mixed with fresh ricotta cheese. This is a superb combination of flavors.

Swiss chard is native to southern Europe where it grows spontaneously. It belongs to the same family as beets and spinach; its bitterness fades when cooked, leaving a more delicate taste than spinach. Like all dark green vegetables, it contains large amounts of vitamin A, fiber and folic acid. It is a low-calorie vegetable and is therefore a perfect choice for a weight-loss diet, especially if eaten boiled and dressed with oil and lemon. Furthermore this tasty vegetable can be a nutritious addition to pasta (see pizzoccheri ) and soups!

 TORTINO CON BIETOLE ED ACCIUGHE (SWISS CHARD AND ANCHOVIES PIE)
Preparation time: 70 min.          Cooking time: 45 min.           Servings: 6

Tortino bietole fetta

INGREDIENTS
Brisee dough (see tortino al cavolo nero )
600 g (about 1 1/2 pounds) Swiss chard (leaves)
2 garlic cloves
3 anchovies “sott’olio” canned
3 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin)
130 g (heaping 3/4 cup)  ricotta cheese
Salt and fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare brisee pie crust 
2. Wash Swiss chard, cut off the white stalk (you can use in other recipes see note) and blanch the leaves for 8-10 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut into segments of about 1 cm (0.4 inch) long
3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat sautée garlic in the oil for 4-5 min., being careful not to burn it. Chop the anchovies, add to the oil and stir until they beging to “melt”. Add chard, season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 10 minutes , stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let cool
4. In a bowl work ricotta cheese with a fork, add the vegetable mix and season with salt and pepper
5. Heat the oven to 170 °C (350 °F)
6. In a 25 cm (9 inch) round baking pan, roll out the dough to 2-3 mm thick, puncture the bottom with a fork, pour in the filling and bake for about 40-45 min. Serve warm.

Note: When you buy Swiss chard look for crisp, vibrant green leaves with non yellow or brown spots. You can enjoy the stalk as well. First boil them, then sautée in olive oil with garlic and pepper. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese. The cheese will melt and give a special taste to this dish. – Paola

Alici Marinate con Cipolla e Peperoncino (Marinated Anchovies with Onion and Hot Chili Pepper)

29 Jul

Marinated anchovies is a tasty, cold antipasto that can be served with homemade bread (pane casereccio) or enjoyed as a main dish with a fresh salad. The simple dressing prepared with olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar enhances the flavor of the anchovies, so reminiscent of the sea, while the onion and chili pepper make this dish even more flavorful. This is a typical Mediterranean dish, and fish is the star ingredient. Anchovies are native not only to the Mediterranean sea but are also found in the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They are tasty, rich in protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, (very important for regulating lipid metabolism and blood fluidity). You can enjoy anchovies either fresh or preserved in salt or olive oil. They are excellent for preparing sauces and, of course, on pizza – do not forget the tasty Neapolitan pizza! Marinated anchovies are something you can prepare in advance, because they keep well in the refrigerator for several days.


ALICI MARINATE CON CIPOLLA E PEPERONCINO (MARINATED ANCHOVIES WITH ONION AND HOT CHILI PEPPER)
Preparation time: 20 min.           Marinating time: 6 hours            Servings: 4

Alici Marin
INGREDIENTS
600 g (21 oz) fresh anchovies
2 cloves of garlic
1 white onion, sliced
1 hot pepper, sliced
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. First, prepare the marinade. In a bowl mix well oil, vinegar, lemon juice and add garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and pepper
2. Clean the anchovies. Flake with a knife, remove the head, cut the anchovies open lengthwise along the belly, remove the entrails and the spine and other bones. Wash thoroughly under running water and pat dry with paper towels
3. In a large glass or ceramic bowl (see note) first pour in a layer of marinade, then a single layer of anchovies, and then sprinkle with some of the onions and peppers. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients have been used, so that the anchovies are completely covered by the marinade. Marinade for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator until the flesh of the anchovies is white and firm.

Note: When you purchase anchovies you can verify the freshness from its color; it should be bright and intense, the body should be firm. The marinade is a process during which the meat is cooked by the acids contained in the liquids used. It is important not to use aluminum or copper containers, because in contact with the acids can release toxic compounds. – Paola

 

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa (Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe)

10 Apr

Orecchiette with broccoli rabe or rapini is one of the most representative dishes of Apulia (especially of the Bari area), and symbolizes the region’s so called “cucina povera” (peasant cooking).  It is a tasty and healthy dish made with orecchiette pasta and broccoli rabe.  The slightly bitter flavor of this leafy dark green vegetable blends well with the starchy taste of pasta and the hot bite of fresh chili pepper.  Orecchiette means “little ears” because of their shape; they are little concave disks.  Orecchiette are made with semolina, flour and water.  They are prepared by pressing a small amount of dough with one’s thumb pressure to create the characteristic depression. According to some legends, their shape also recalls the roof of the trulli constructions, the typical Apulian houses. The best orecchiette are, of course, homemade, but good ones also produced by some Italian pasta makers. The broccoli rabe, a leafy green vegetable and typical of Southern Italy, is very tasty and suitable for several pasta recipes.  There are mainly two types, one from Bari with a tough stalk and a lot of leaves and another one from Naples  (also known as friarielli) with a more tender stalk. If you prefer a milder taste you might use broccolini or regular broccoli. I personally love the bitter taste of broccoli rabe.  Apulia is not only known for its delicious food, but also for its traditional ceramics. You can admire the artistic decoration of the ancient plate (more than 100 years old) shown in the picture below.

ORECCHIETTE CON CIME DI RAPA (ORECCHIETTE PASTA WITH BROCCOLI RABE)
Preparation time: 25 minutes    Cooking time: 20 minutes         Servings: 4

Orecchiette Piatto_small

INGREDIENTS

600 g (21 oz ) broccoli rabe
450 g (16 oz) fresh orecchiette pasta
6 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin)
2 garlic gloves, coarsely chopped
2 fresh hot chili peppers, seeded and finely sliced
4 salted anchovies, rinsed and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino
Salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Wash the broccoli rabe, trim away the stalk, conserving the blossoms and leaves.  Cut the leaves into 5 cm (2 ½ inches) pieces
2. Bring about 3 l of water to boil.  Add 1 ½ tablespoons cooking salt, add the broccoli rabe.  Stir well and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove the broccoli rabe with a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside
3. Bring the broccoli water back to boil and add the pasta.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes (until “al dente”)
4. While pasta is cooking , in a large frying pan over medium-low heat, sauté garlic, chili peppers and chopped anchovies in olive oil for 1 minutes. Mix in broccoli rabe and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to mix all the ingredients well
5. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the vegetable mix.  Toss it for 1 minute
6. Place the pasta on a serving plate and serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese.

 Note: When you buy broccoli rabe make sure that the bottoms of the stems are relatively firm and green.  If you prefer using dry pasta instead of fresh, you should reduce the amount to 350 g (12.5 oz).  -Paola

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca (Spaghetti Puttanesca)

26 Feb

Spaghetti puttanesca is a tasty and piquant dish. It is one of the more popular recipes of Italian cuisine, originally from Lazio and Campania but now spread all over the world. This recipe, fast and simple, is prepared with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olives, anchovies, capers and red chili pepper. The moderate amount of anchovies gives a slight fishy taste to this recipe without overpowering the distinct flavor of the other ingredients. The term puttanesca comes from a legend in which the “brothels” served this appetizing and aphrodisiac dish to attract customers. In fact, you may already know of the stimulating, vasodilator and aphrodisiac properties of red chili pepper (Capsicum annum). In addition to these effects, this spice has other healthy benefits: it is an antibacterial and antifungal agent, it is rich in vitamins C and E, it helps digestion, and it is a strong antioxidant. This plant is indigenous to America and was used by the natives there in ancient times (5500 BC) in several dishes. In Europe, the red chili was brought back by Christopher Columbus and it is now one of the main spices of the Mediterranean cuisine. It is used especially in Italy’s southern regions to prepare various recipes, adding flavor and spiciness to many dishes. In fact, the name Capsicum, seems to come from the Greek word “kapto“, to bite, referring to one biting his tongue because the strong taste.

SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA (SPAGHETTI PUTTANESCA)
Preparation time: 20 minutes           Cooking time: 10 minutes            Servings: 4

Spaghetti Puttanesca

INGREDIENTS
340 g (12 oz) spaghetti (artisanal pasta)
600 g (21 oz) ripe tomatoes, S. Marzano or Roma (peeled and diced)
75 ml (5 tbsp) olive oil (Extra Virgin)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
110 g (¾ cup) black olives or green olives (pitted and sliced)
3 tablespoons Taggiasche olives
3 tablespoons capers (preserved in salt)
8 anchovy fillets (preserved in salt, coarsely chopped)
1-2 dried red chili pepper (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)

DIRECTIONS
1. Blanche the tomatoes in boiling water, peel and cut into cubes
2. Rinse capers and anchovies under running water. Pat dry with paper. Cut anchovies coarsely
3. Cut black olives into slices
4. In a saucepan, bring 3 liters of salt water to boil
5. In a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat sautè with olive oil garlic, olives, capers and anchovies. Add the tomatoes and red chili pepper, and cook over medium heat for approx. 15 minutes. Add the parsley
6. In the meantime, while the sauce is cooking, boil the spaghetti for approx. 10 minutes (according to the instructions on the package). Drain the spaghetti and pour into the pan with the sauce, heating all together for a few seconds, then serve. If you prefer you can also add the sauce separately to individual plates of spaghetti.

Note: The traditional recipe calls for black olives from Gaeta but I prefer to replace them with green olives and Ligurian Taggiasche olives that have a sweet and delicate flavor. You can choose the type of olives that better suites your taste. The Neapolitan recipe omits anchovies. In addition you can substitute to regular olive oil with olive oil infused with hot chili pepper. This makes your dish even hotter!!! -Paola

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