Recipes & Tips

Tips on how to cook dried pasta

Pasta is Italian’s favourite fast ‘ready’ meal. All you need to do is cook it in boiling water and add it to a sauce, whether you cook your sauce from scratch or find it ready-made in our Market.

 

Good quality pasta takes a little longer to cook, but you will be rewarded with its great flavour and texture. Your attention in cooking this great product is crucial. The average serving of pasta per person is 100g (3 ½ ounces) an average size pack has five servings.

 

For perfect cooking:

  • Boil water in a large pot
  • Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of salt
  • Don’t add oil to water - it is a pointless myth
  • Pour pasta in boiling water (1 quart of water per 100g of pasta more or less)
  • Keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick
  • Cook for the suggested time on pack, but our suggestion is to always try one before draining, you want to cook it ‘al dente’. Dente means “tooth” in Italian, it suggests that the texture must be firm and have a bite to it. After you cook pasta regularly, you will just know when it is ready.
  • Drain and add to sauce immediately and stir together
  • Eat straight away

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

One of Italy’s most traditional pasta dishes, originally from Rome but a staple for Italian homes across the country. An easy quick recipe to fix a delicious last minute meal with little effort. The pancetta can be substituted with crunchy roasted veggies to make the dish vegetarian.

(Recipe for 4)

Ingredients

1 pound Spaghetti

For the Carbonara sauce:
4 Eggs
½ pound Pancetta or Bacon, diced
1 tbs Butter
1/2 cup Parmiggiano Reggiano Cheese, grated
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
Salt and Pepper

Utensils needed

Large Bowl
Large pot
Pan
Large Strainer

Method

Fill the large pot with water and bring to boil.
In the mean while, peel the garlic clove and dice the pancetta. Place both ingredients on the pan at medium heat. Cook until the pancetta gets crunchy. In the bowl lightly beat 2 whole eggs, 2 yolks, butter, half the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water, according to recommended cooking time written on the box.
When pasta is Al-Dente cooked, drain and transfer directly into the large bowl, adding the crispy pancetta. Mix well and fast, so that the egg does not scramble, but evenly covers all the spaghetti with a creamy texture.

Place pasta in individual serving bowls and garnish with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.

Buon apettito!

Recipe for Lentil Soup

An effortless, quick soup that will provide a hearty and nutritious meal 

 

Yield: serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

 

Ingredients

Olive oil, 4 tablespoons

Garlic, 2 cloves peeled

Dry chili flakes, 1 teaspoon

Ripe Heirloom tomatoes, 1/2 cup, coarsely diced  

Red lentils, ½ jar (about 8 ounces) – Red Lentils by Mariangela Prunotto

Vegetable stock, 6 cups (can be substituted with water or chicken stock)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh Parsley, 4 tablespoons chopped

Fresh Cilantro, 4 tablespoons chopped

Fresh lemon, 1

 

Method

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add whole peeled garlic cloves and chili flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and stir for another minute. Add lentils and cover with stock. Cover the pot and cook for 40 minutes, until lentils are very soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Right before serving, add fresh parsley, cilantro and squeezed lemon juice.

Bean and Fresh Corn Minestrone

This is a classic summer soup recipe from the region Friuli Venezia Giulia in the northeast of Italy.

 

Yield: serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 90 minutes

 

Ingredients

Dry beans, ½ jar (about 8 ounces) – Lima Beans by Mariangela Prunotto (fresh beans can also be used when available)

Dry Bay Leaf – 1 teaspoon – Alloro by Segreti di Sicilia

White onion, 1 large

Garlic, 2 cloves peeled and minced

Celery, 2 stalks diced

Carrot, 1 large diced

Bacon, 3 ounces diced (optional)

Fresh corn, 3 cobs

Potato, 1 diced

Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, 3 ounces

Parmiggiano Reggiano rinds (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil, a few table spoons to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Utensils Needed

Large pot, strainer, large bowl

 

Method

Fill the large pot with water and bring to boil, add dry beans and bay leaf, cook for about 50 minutes or until beans are cooked through. Once cooked strain the beans putting a large bowl under the strainer to collect all the cooking water – this is where all the depth and taste of the soup comes from!

In the same pot, over medium heat start your ‘soffritto’. Add a splash of Extra Virgin Olive oil (or other oil if preferred), garlic, celery, onion, carrot and bacon (optional). Stir and cook until brown, then add potatoes, bean water and parmiggiano reggiano cheese rinds (optional). Add at least two teaspoons salt and one of black pepper (or more depending on personal preference). Let the soup cook through about 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Shave the corn kernels off the cob using a knife. After about 15 minutes of cooking add the cooked beans and the fresh corn. Serve with some freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious served hot and cold.

 

Mediterranean Chickpea Spread

This is a great easy and nutritious recipe, enjoy over bread or as a dip with raw vegetables (carrots, fennel, celery). Chickpeas are a very balanced food, completely free of cholesterol, rich in essential nutrients: they have twice the protein of cereals, are a good source of vitamins (especially B group and PP), minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron) and contain starch and fiber.

 

Yeald: serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

 

 

Ingredients

Dried chickpeas, 1 jar (about 1 pound) Ceci by Mariangela Prunotto

Fresh Parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped

Lemon, juice of half

Garlic, 1 clove peeled

Cumin, ½ teaspoon

Salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Utensils Needed

Electric blender, big pot

 

Method

Cook the chickpeas in boiling water for about 50 minutes or until soft. In a blender mix the chickpeas with all other ingredients. Serve on bread, crackers, or as a dip in a bowl.

    Summer Tomato Soup

    This is a very quick and simple recipe, great as a starter to a dinner or as a light and healthy lunch.

     

    Yield: serves 2

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: none

     

    Ingredients

    Red tomatoes, 1 jar (12 ounces) Whole Red Datterino by Così Com’è

    Red onion, 1 small chopped

    Garlic, 1 clove peeled

    Fresh basil, ½ bunch

    Chili flakes, 1 teaspoon

    Extra virgin olive oil, 4 tablespoons

    Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

     

    Utensils needed

    Blender, strainer

     

    Method

    Blend all ingredients together but keep a few small basil leaves and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to garnish your dish. For a smoother result pass your soup through a strainer. Serve chilled with a slice of warm and crispy bread on the side.

    Cantalopue, Feta and Pesto Salad

    We all know pesto is perfect on pasta and as a spread on sandwiches. This is an alternative, a great summery fresh and easy to make recipe.

    Yield: serves 4

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: none

     

    Ingredients

    Pesto, 3 tablespoons – Pesto by Roi

    Cantaloupe, 1 whole diced

    Feta cheese, ½ pound diced

    Toasted pine nuts, 2 tablespoons

    Black small olives, 3 tablespoons – Olive taggiasche denocciolate by Roi

    Extra virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons – Roi Mosto Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Roi

    Fresh basil, ½ bunch torn

    Fresh mint, ½ bunch chopped

     

    Method

    Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve chilled. Tear the basil with your hands and don’t chop with a knife, the metal oxidizes it very quickly and will make it turn dark brown.

    Saffron Risotto

    A classic northern Italian recipe, an easy and extremely luxurious dish. The saffron is so special and unique you don’t need anything else, just a dish that exalts its purity. A few tips for making the perfect risotto are to have enough broth, to keep the rice moist throughout the cooking time, and to always keep an eye on it and stir frequently.

     

    Yield: serves 4

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cooking time: 25 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    Butter, 7 tablespoons / 3.5 ounces

    White onion, 1 diced

    Carnaroli Rice, 1 jar (12 ounces) Carnaroli by Riso Buono

    White wine, ½ cup

    Broth, hot 1 quart

    Parmiggiano Regginao cheese, 4 ounces grated

    Saffron threads, 1 teaspoon Zafferano Pistilis by Morelli

     

    Utensils needed

    Large pot with medium depth (6”)

     

    Method

    Melt half the butter in the pot at a medium-high heat. Add the onion and keep stirring, after a minute, add the rice and toast being sure not to burn the rice. Once butter is absorbed, add the wine stirring frequently. Add broth ½ cup at a time, once absorbed, add more broth, and keep stirring until the rice is cooked through. Mix your saffron in the last ½ cup of broth and let dissolve before adding to the rice. Once your last ½ cup of broth is absorbed, turn the flame off and add the butter and cheese, cover and set aside for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot and by itself – to richen the dish you can garnish with edible flowers.

    Creamy Polenta and Wild Mushroom Sauce

    A comforting northern Italian traditional recipe. Polenta is very similar to grits; the main difference is the variety of corn used (Flint versus Dent) and how the meal is grinded. Polenta is coarser and has a more toothsome texture.

    Yield: serves 4

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 25 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    For the Polenta

    Butter, 7 tablespoons / 3 ½ ounces

    Broth, hot 1 quart

    Sea salt, 2 teaspoons

    Parmiggiano Regginao cheese, 4 ounces grated

    Polenta corn flour, 1 jar (1 pounds) Polenta by Mariangela Prunotto

     

    For the wild mushroom sauce

    White onion, 1 diced

    White wine, 2 tablespoons

    Wild mushrooms, 1 jar Wild Mushrooms by Mariangela Prunotto

    Fresh Thyme, 2 tablespoons chopped

    Salt and black pepper, to taste

     

    Utensils needed

    Pot and pan, whisk

     

    Method

    Bring the broth to boil in a pot, add sea salt. Gradually whisk in the polenta flour, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until mixture thickens and the polenta is cooked through. Stir frequently. In a separate pan, while cooking the polenta, melt a third of the butter and add onion. Once the butter is absorbed, add a splash of white wine. Once evaporated add your mushrooms (can leave them whole or chop them). Add thyme, salt and pepper. When the polenta is cooked add the remaining butter and cheese, stir well. Serve a ladle of polenta with some mushroom sauce over the top.

    Cornbread Recipe

    Yield: 8 servings

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 25 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    All purpose flour, 6 tablespoons                                                        

    Cane sugar, 2 tablespoons                                                      

    Sea salt, ½  Tablespoon                                  

    Baking Powder, 1 ½ Tablespoon                               

    Cornmeal, 1 pound (1 jar) Farina di Mais by Mariangela Prunotto      

    Unsalted Butter, 2 ounces                              

    Whole Eggs, 2 small                                                  

    Buttermilk, 1 ½ Cups                                     

    Whole Milk, ¾ Cups                                      

    Lard or Bacon Grease, 1 ½ Tablespoons                              

     

     

    Utensils needed

    Cast iron skillet or baking dish

     

    Method

    Heat iron skillet or baking dish in a 350 F degree oven along with the lard or bacon grease. Sift together dry ingredients and blend the butter into this mixture by hand. Mix wet ingredients and add dry ingredients and mix well. Carefully remove hot pan from oven making sure fat coats the insides well. Add hot grease to batter, mix and then pour back into the baking dish and bake in oven 20-25 minutes.

    Olive Crispy Focaccia

    Focaccia is an Italian flat bread that comes in many variations throughout the country. Try this easy traditional recipe from the northwestern region Liguria. All you need is a little time plan to make it when you are at home for a few hours, like on a Sunday afternoon. We choose to use a whole grain unrefined, unenriched and unbleached flour, stone ground made from only Italian wheat. Whole flours are rich in nutrients and taste and will make a darker and more flavorful bread.

    Yield: Makes a large tray

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cooking and leavening time: 3 hours

     

    Ingredients

    Mother yeast, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) - Lievito Madre by Molino Rossetto

    Whole flour, 1 pack (1 kg)- Petra 3 by Molino Quaglia

    Luke warm water, 2 ½ cups

    Sea salt, 2 tablespoons – Sale di Cervia by Parco della Salina di Cervia

    Sugar, 1 tablespoon

    De pitted Olives, ½ jar Olive Taggiasche denocciolate by Roi

    Extra virgin olive oil, 9 tablespoons– Roi Mosto by Roi

     

    Utensils Needed

    Oven, oven tray, electric mixer or bowl, tea towel, rimmed baking sheet

    Method

    Place all ingredients but the olives and oil in the electric mixer or in a bowl and mix or knead until smooth and uniform. Add 4 tablespoons of oil and mix. Cover the bowl with a damp clean tea towel and let sit for about 2 hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease the tray with a little oil (1 tablespoon). Now knead lightly and gently press into the baking tray, flatten to fill whole tray and obtain a sheet no higher than 1 inch. If the dough is too sticky use some flour on your hands. Spread the olives on the whole surface and drizzle the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust looks crispy and light brown.

     

    Enjoy with some of Bellina’s delicious spreads, cheeses and salumi (cured meats).

    Rustic Rosemary Wholegrain Bread Recipe

    Making bread from scratch at home might seem like a big commitment, but it is actually a very simple enjoyable and inexpensive process. All you need is some time, plan to make it when you are at home for a few hours, like on a Sunday afternoon. Impress your guests with this amazing comforting recipe.  We choose to use a whole grain unrefined, unenriched and unbleached flour, stone ground made from only Italian wheat. Whole flours are rich in nutrients and taste and will make a darker and more flavorful bread.

    Yield: Makes a large loaf

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cooking and proofing time: 3 ½ hours

     

    Ingredients

    Mother yeast, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) - Lievito Madre by Molino Rossetto

    Whole flour, 1 pack (1 kg)-  Petra 9 by Molino Quaglia

    Luke warm water, 2 ½ cups

    Sea salt, 2 tablespoons – Sale di Cervia by Parco della Salina di Cervia

    Sugar, 1 tablespoon

    Rosemary, 1 tablespoon Rosmarino by Segreti di Sicilia

    Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon to grease pan (can use other oil if preferred)

     

    Utensils Needed

    Oven, loaf pan, electric mixer or bowl, tea towel

    Method

    Place all ingredients but the rosemary and oil in the electric mixer or in a bowl and mix or kneed until smooth and uniform. Cover the bowl with a damp clean tea towel and let sit for about 2 hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled. Now add the rosemary and knead lightly and shape into a loaf. If the dough is too sticky use some flour on your hands. Grease the loaf pan with a little oil and place the loaf in it. Place the pan in the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes, if you have a gas oven with a pilot or a bread proofing setting it will make your loaf raise even more. After 20 minutes turn the oven on at 375 F and bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the crust looks crispy and light brown.

     

    Enjoy with some of Bellina’s delicious spreads, cheeses and salumi (cured meats).

    Penne all'Amatriciana

    This is one of Italy’s staple pasta sauces. Easy, quick, spicy and comforting.

    Yield: serves 5

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 25 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    Garlic peeled, 1 clove

    Yellow onion, 1 diced

    Chili pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon

    White wine, a splash

    Pancetta or bacon, ½ pound diced

    1 jar cherry tomato sauce (23 ounce) - Bottle Cherry Tomatoes Sauce by Segreti di Sicilia

    Penne dried pasta, one pack 500g Penne Matt by Felicetti

    Sea salt, 2 table spoons

    Fresh basil, about 10 leaves

    Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons

    Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, 3 ounces grated

     

    Utensils Needed

    A large pot and a shallow pan.

     

    Method

    Fill the large pot with water and bring to boil. In the meantime, heat the pan and add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or other oil if preferred). On a medium to high heat add garlic, chili flakes and onion, stir and when it starts to brown add the splash of wine (or water). Once the liquid evaporates add the pancetta, when it is cooked through add the cherry tomato sauce, add 1 large pinch of salt, lower the flame and let simmer. At this point the water in the pot should be boiling, add the remaining sea salt to the water. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for the suggested time on box. Stir occasionally so that it does not stick. The pasta should be still firm and ‘al dente’ when ready – try one! Drain the pasta in a colander and then add the pasta directly to the pan with sauce and toss for a minute or so. Serve with some torn fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese.

    Summer Black Rice Salad

    This variety of black rice has an intense aroma and is rich in iron and silicon, very important for its antioxidant properties.  Can be used in many different preparations, or just as a side. Here is a recipe for a great, cold, summer rice salad, something Italian’s love as a side or as a healthy meal.

     

    Yield: serves 5

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 35 minutes

     

    Ingredients

    Artemide Rice, 1 jar (12 ounces) Artemide by Riso Buono

    Mozzarella cheese, 12 ounces

    Fresh tomatoes, 4 diced

    Salted Capers, 2 tablespoons Capers in sea salt by Segreti di Sicilia

    Depitted olives, 3 tablespoons Olive Taggiasche denocciolate by Roi

    Fresh basil, one bunch

    Fresh prawns, 10 cleaned

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tablespoons Il Sincero by Viola

    Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

     

    Utensils needed

    Large pot, pan and bowl

     

    Method

    Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about 35 minutes, taste to determine when it is ready. Slice the prawns is smaller pieces, in a pan heat 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cook prawns for about 3 minutes, stirring so that they cook through. In a separate bowl prepare your dressing: mix all other ingredients, then add the cooked prawns. Once rice is ready set aside to cool for about ten minutes, then add to the bowl to all other ingredients. Serve cold.

    Anchovy Tips

    Anchovies are very common in the Mediterranean food culture as they are plentiful and typically inexpensive. They are consumed fresh or preserved in oil or salt. Thanks to their meatiness and richness in flavor they work perfectly to enhance dishes and sauces.

    Here are some cooking tips on how to enjoy our delicious Filetti di Alici Sott'Olio – Delfino or for an even more sophisticated touch our Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil with Truffle - Tartuflanghe

     

     

    Pane, burro e acciughe

    A classic all over Italy – a slice of toasted bread, a good quality creamy butter and an anchovy, perfect party finger food.

     

    Salsa verde

    Traditional sauce from the Piemonte region great to jazz up meat, fish and roasted vegetables or on sandwiches and as a dip. Ingredients: one large bunch fresh parsley, one clove peeled garlic, two tablespoons capers, three anchovy fillets, one tablespoon mustard, four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon red wine vinegar, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Blend everything together until smooth.

     

    Caprese Salad

    A very simple salad: sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced ripe heirloom tomatoes, anchovy filets, fresh torn basil leaves, sea salt, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.

     

    Bagna Cauda

    Literally translates to ‘hot bath’, this very traditional dish from the Piemonte region is a dipping sauce for raw and cooked vegetables. Blend 4 cups extra virgin olive oil, 12 anchovy fillets, 6 chopped garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons room temperature butter. Then transfer mixture in a saucepan and heat at a medium flame. Season with salt and black pepper. Place in the middle of the table in a fondue dish, or flame proof casserole and keep heated with a burner or candle. Serve with whichever raw and cooked vegetables you wish, and enjoy at a table filled with family and friends.

    Capers Tips

    These capers are cultivated in the island of Pantelleria and preserved in artisanal sea salt from Trapani.  They have an intense aromatic taste, high content of vitamins A, C, and B. Capers are the unopened flower buds of a Mediterranean bush. A great ingredient that brings sour-salty flavors in dishes, especially in sauces, fish recipes. Salt-packed capers are known for being less onion / radish aromas and more floral with notes of violets and raspberries.

     

    Salsa verde

    Traditional sauce from the Piemonte region great to jazz up meat fish and roasted vegetables or on sandwiches and as a dip. Ingredients: one large bunch fresh parsley, one clove peeled garlic, two tablespoons capers, three anchovy fillets, one tablespoon mustard, four table spoons extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon red wine vinegar, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper. Blend everything together until smooth.

     

    Fish Marinade

    Mix capers, sundried or fresh tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, black olives, extra virgin olive oil and basil. Rub mixture onto fish fillet, wrap with tin foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with potatoes or steamed rice or salad.

     

    Leftover roast salad

    This is a great way to finish up left over meat from your roast. Boil some potatoes until cooked through, set aside and let cool down. In a large bowl mix shredded left over meat, fresh diced tomatoes, capers, olives, pickles, fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh mint and finely sliced red onion. Add the sliced cool potatoes and season with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. This makes a great summer salad.

    Cantaloupe and feta salad

    This recipe celebrates the peak of cantaloupe season!
    Fresh, Mediterranean and incredibly easy to make.

     

    Yield: serves 4
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: none

     

    Ingredients:

    • Cantaloupe, 1 whole diced
    • Feta cheese, ½ pound
    • Toasted pine nuts, 2 tablespoons
    • Black taggiasca olives, 3 tablespoons
    • Extra virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
    • Fresh basil, ½ bunch torn
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Method:
    Scrape seeds out of the cantaloupe, dice and mix with all other ingredients in a bowl. Crumble the feta with your hands, the texture will be more pleasant. Tear the basil with your hands and don’t chop with a knife, the metal oxidizes it very quickly and will make it turn dark brown. Serve chilled with a glass of crisp white wine.

     

    Buon Appetito!