~ Recipes From Our Kitchen
Zuppa di farro e porcini ~Farro and porcini mushroom soup
Farro is a grain also known as spelt, but it is in fact emmer wheat. Most types don’t need to be pre-soaked, but read the instructions on the packet just in case.
Serves 4 to 6
- 50 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- Small stalk celery, finely chopped
- 50 g pancetta, diced
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- Bouquet garni with rosemary, sage, bay leaf and thyme
- 200g farro
- 1 liter boiling vegetable stock
- Handful finely chopped parsley
Farro is available in specialty shops and some supermarkets, but pearl barley would make a good substitute. Place the porcini in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Leave to soak for 30 – 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large earthenware pot, and add the chopped onion, celery and pancetta. Cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the onions are transparent. Squeeze the extra liquid from the porcini mushrooms and chop roughly, reserving the liquid. Add the porcini, the chopped potato, the tomato concentrate, the herbs and the farro to the pot and toss together for a couple of minutes. Season with salt. Filter the porcini liquid into the hot vegetable broth and pour over the contents of the pot. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until the farro is just tender, adding more hot water if necessary. Check the seasoning. Garnish with the chopped parsley and a final drizzling of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
- Strangozzi take their name from shoestrings due to their long shoe lace form. People from Terni in Umbria created and love strangozzi, but the whole of Umbria knows this pasta, and when you know how to cook it, the result is always the same – hearty and delicious.
Serves 4 to 6
For the Strangozzi
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose or ‘00’ flour
- 1 ¼ cups semolina flour
- 1 cup water
- Semolina flour for tossing
Combine the two flours on a large bowl or wooden working surface and make a well. Add the water to the well and incorporate the flour and water with your hands until the dough and water are well mixed.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Cover the dough with a clean cotton tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Place the dough on the wooden working surface that has been sprinkled with semolina. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough in a rectangle or round shape until it is ⅛ thick. Roll up the dough into a log and cut the strangozzi ¼ to ½ inches wide (not too thin, not too thick). Gently unroll them and spread on a floured surface to prevent them sticking together.
When you are ready to boil the pasta, fill a large pasta pan with water and sea salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook pasta until it is al dente, leaving it a little hard. When the pasta is boiling, melt three tablespoons of butter (or more to taste) in a pan on low heat. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan with the butter. Mix well. Shave white truffle on top and serve.
Serves 2 or 3
- 250g fresh ricotta
- 1 fresh vanilla bean
- A couple of amaretto cookies crushed
- A small handful of almonds, chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon of almond butter
- 2 shots of espresso
- Cocoa for garnish
Whip the ricotta with the seeds from the vanilla bean until well mixed and creamy. Chop the almonds finely and blend into the ricotta along with the almond butter. Crumble in the amaretto cookies and mix gently, leaving a few crumbs to one side for the garnish.
Take two or three glasses and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Evenly scoop the whipped ricotta into the glasses then pour the hot espresso on top in each glass.
Garnish with cocoa powder and a few leftover amaretto cookie crumbs. Serve with amaretto cookies.