Food & Wine

Meat

Rigatoni Pasta Pie

Trasform an Italian classic pasta dish into an attractive cheesy pasta pie. Just stuff rigatoni with sauce, layer with mozzarella and bake it for few minutes. Nothing simpler, nothing more delicious & succulent. Bon appétit!3-2018-05-1431-2018-05-14

Ingredients:

500 gr rigatoni pasta

500 gr ground beef meat

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bottle (500ml) tomato sauce
  • Butter, for pan
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 250gr grated mozzarella cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta; cook until slightly underdone.
    Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain. Toss pasta with 1 tbs oil to coat.
    Set aside.
  2.  Heat 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.
    Add tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan. Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.
  4.  Spread meat sauce on top of pasta, pushing it into holes. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella on top.
    Bake until cheese is pale golden, 10 to 15 minutes more.
    Remove from oven, and let stand 15 minutes.
    Run a knife around edge to loosen; unmold.
    Cut into wedges & serve with fresh Rosso di Aprilia DOC red wine

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    (Recipe by Martha Stewart)4-2018-05-145

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Beer roasted pork knuckles / Hasselback potatoes

Pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot of a pig, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.  This cut of meat can be cooked with potatoes, greens or in sauces. Beer roasted knuckle is easy, super tasty and juicy/ fork tender dish with a very crispy and flavory skin. Serve it hot with some delicious golden Hasselback potatoes. 1-Snapseed8

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Ingredients: 1 knuckle/person (about 1 kg) – 2bottles dark beer

salt -pepper (optional) – thym (optional) – grated garlic (2 cloves/knuckle) – 2 onions/knuckle,  salt, black pepper (optional)

Method: 1. Peel and slice into rounds 2 onions, lay them in a roasting pan

2. Season knuckles with salt , black pepper, grated garlic, thym. Sit the knuckles on top of the onions. Add a cup of beer (300 ml). Cook in the oven for 30 min (220°C)

[Meanwhile prepare the hasselback potatoes as you desire (empty or with bacon/cheese)]

4. After 30 min pour another cup of beer (300ml).  Place the potatoes around pork knuckle. Roast an additional 1h and lower the temperature to 180°C. After the skin has started to crisp, baste with beer about every 30 minutes or so

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Hasselback potatoes

Ingredients:

 For the empty version: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/ potato) , 2 tbs/potato grated pecorino or parmesan, 2 tbsp/potato dry bread crumbs (optional)

In a bowl mix together grated pecorino romano or parmesan or another grated cheese of your choice,  seasoned dry bread crumbs (optional),  salt , black pepper (optional) , thym (optional)

With cheesy bacon filling: Potatoes, olive oil or melted butter (2 tbsp/potato), bacon,

cheese, grated pecorino or parmesan, salt, pepper (optional), thym (optional)

Method: see below the gallery step by step

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Roast beef with mushrooms & white wine sauce

Roast beef . Great for a Sunday lunch and why not for a Christmas menu’. Enjoy a juicy and tender roast without feeling guilty.  Low in fat , rich in proteins, vit B12 & iron.  The secret is in the time cooked. 30 min at 200°C / 392°F

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        Ingredients for the beef:   

  • 1.2kg prime beef fillet
  • Sea salt
  •  A handful of rosemary leaves
  • 10-15 garlic cloves
  • olive oil – salt
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp mustard
  • 500 gr mushrooms of your choice

Ingredients for the sauce: 

1 glass white wine – 500 ml heavy cream – 1 tbsp butter – 200gr grated parmesan

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F/  Take the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it and allow it to come up to room temperature. Salt generously

1.Mix together chopped rosemary leaves and garlic witha tbs of olive oil. Stir to combine and reserve

2.Heat a non-stick frying pan with extra virgin olive oil. add mushrooms , salt , pepper and saute’ for 4-5 min or until tender

3.Remove mushrooms from the skillet.

4.Heat the same skillet and when is hot add the beef. Sear for 2-3 min on each side until browned all over

5. Brush roast with mustard , then spread herb-garlic mixture all over

5 Transfer the beef to the skillet over mushrooms, add the butter on the top of the beef and place it in the oven. Roast for 30 min for medium rare

Transfer the fillet to a warm platter. Cover with a double layer of tin foil  . Leave to rest for 10 min. Serve it warm or at room temperature with the mushrooms and some wine sauce. Slice it thickly and overlap the slices on a serving platter

WHITE WINE SAUCE : In the same skillet used to roast the beef and the mushrooms, add the wine and simmer for about 4minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter & the cream .Bring to a boil .add the parmesan or  another cheese of your choice such blue cheese, grana etc. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened.

 

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Herb crusted rack of lamb

Extremely inviting , flavorful & delicious rack of lamb. Green crust outside, juicy pink inside. A colorful idea for Easter. Incredibly easy recipe in 4 simply steps. Enjoy!1-CARNE58-002

 

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Ingredients: 2 large racks of lamb cut in half with their bones per serving

salt – ground pepper – olive oil – 2 tablespoons Dijon or other mustard of your choice

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • sprig of parsley
  • sprig of mint
  • sprig of thyme
  • sprig of rosemary
  • sprig of basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • CRUST: Place all ingredients for the crust  into a blender and pulse several times until is homogeneous green. Set aside.

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°.

  1.  Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat.

    Add 1 lamb rack to pan and “seal it “. Cook few minutes (about 4min) on each side enough to develop color. Remove lamb from pan. Repeat with remaining lamb rack.

    2. Brush Dijon mustard over every side of each rack ,

    3. Then press green breadcrumb mixture all over.

    4.Transfer the pan with the lamb into the oven and bake for 7-8 min.

    Let stand 10 min, then cut into chops. Serve with herb  roasted baby potatoes, stuffed mushrooms and a fresh glass of Leone Rosso wine, doc Orcia 2010 (By Donatella’s Cinelli Colombini factory). Enjoy a happy Easter!

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Marinated Greek lamb souvlaki

Delicious , succulent , crispy outside – juicy pink inside – lamb souvlaki previously marinated in olive oil , oregano , thyme, onion, lemon or lime  juice, coriander , garlic , salt and pepper

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Ingredients for 3 souvlaki 

250 gr lamb leg or shoulder cut into 2cm cubes

1 red onion

1 red pepper

Marinade: Olive oil,  1 lemon, mediterranean herbs such oregano,  thyme, mint, coriander. Onion,  garlic, salt & ground pepper

Method:

  1. Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes
  2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients for marinade.
  3.  Put the lamb pieces into the bowl with the marinade, cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  4. After 4 hours (or after one night) peel and cut the onions, chop the peppers into 2cm pieces and assemble the lamb souvlaki alternating lamb, wedges of onion and pieces of pepper.
  5. Brush the lamb with olive oil and cook over hot grill for about 8-10 minutes,  until cooked to your liking.
  6. Serve with hot Greek pita bread,  tzatziki sauce and fresh Retsina of Attica “Kourtaki” (Greek resinated – with pine resin – wine)

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MEATBALLS WITH APRICOT DIPPING SAUCE

Great for an appetizer or served with cheese , rice, toasted bread, fry or oven roasted potatoes, these  meatballs are served with a sweet apricot, mustard & chilli dipping sauce. 1-carne38

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

1/2 kg ground beef, 300 gr white bread previously soaked in milk and squeezed dry, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 egg , salt , pepper

1. Heat oven to 200°C /400°F. Line a pan with parchment paper

2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture with your hands into meatballs. Place in pan.

3. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE APRICOT  SAUCE

1 can (350gr) apricot jam

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  1. In a large skillet mix  all ingredients together
  2. Cook the mixture for about 1 min on low heat
  3. Add (previously cooked) meatballs in a single layer and cook 2 minutes.

Serve immediately. This mixture is suitable for dipping kebabs, meat or veggie balls and it also makes a great sauce for burgers. Enjoy!

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BLUEBERRY BARBECUE MEATBALLS

Simply to make. Glazed , sticky, oven roasted meatballs with a super easy sweet bbq sauce. They require only 2 ingredients. Jam & a barbecue sauce of your choice. I have used blueberry  jam because i had it from last summer but really work great with whatever preserve you have. If you desire you can add chilli  or tabasco , you can add more than 100 gr bbq sauce. Depends on your personal taste. I use more jam because i like  sweet flavors but if you desire more bbq sauce you can add it. No limits for your fantasy. Serve hot with cheese, fry potatoes , rice or simply as an appetizer.1-carne361-carne43-001

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

1/2 kg ground beef, 300 gr white bread previously soaked in milk and squeezed dry, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 egg , salt , pepper

1. Heat oven to 200°C /400°F. Line a pan with parchment paper

2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture with your hands into meatballs. Place in pan.

3. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BBQ SAUCE

1 can (350gr) blueberry jam

100 gr barbecue sauce of your choice

  1. In a large skillet mix well blueberry jam & barbecue sauce
  2. Cook the mixture on low heat until bubbly and looks like dark caramel
  3. Add (previously cooked) meatballs in a single layer. Stir to coat completely
  4. Let cook -always on low heat – for about 4-5 minutes

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Roast leg of lamb with mint sauce / Ψητο αρνισιο μπουτακι γαλακτος με γλυκοξινη σαλτσα δυοσμου

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Ingredients for the sauce :                                  

  • 1 bunch mint (chopped)                               2 kg quality leg of lamb,  salt
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbs brown sugar

Method:  In a large bowl mix together all ingredients for the sauce ( chopped mint, vinegar, olive oil . brown sugar) Stir to combine.

Score the leg with a knife. With a pastry brush, rub part of the mint mixture all over the leg. Sprinkle all over with salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F . Roast for 1 hour – 1 h &15 min for a mediun rare.

Serve with the mint sauce and a fresh Merlot wine.

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Wild boar ragù with pappardelle/Ραγου αγριογουρουνο με παπαρδελες

A traditional recipe of Tuscany (a region in central Italy) is wild boar ragù with pappardelle (Ragù di cinghiale con pappardelle).

Boars are highly widespread throughout the region, especially in the Maremma, where it has became a local symbol. In Tuscany, wild boar hunting is both a tradition and a passion.

With pasta or in a stew, there are countless Tuscan specialties made with wild boar and you can taste them all at many food festivals (sagre del cinghiale), maybe accompanied by some other local delicacies, such as “tortelli” or “pappardelle” . Here  a 4 steps recipe from “Jamie’s Italy” cook book by Jamie Oliver. Enjoy with a fresh red “Chianti lo Sterpo”

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Sugo di Cinghiale di Mercatello (Jamie Oliver recipe)

2 1/4 lb wild boar cubed, trimmed of fat and sinew
2 large carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled
6 stalks of celery
a handful of sage leaves
1 tsp juniper berries
1 bottle red wine
4 pieces of pancetta, black olives
2 – 3 small dried chilies, to taste
1 1 1/2 lb tomato puree
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

2.Remove the meat from the marinade, discarding the liquid and vegetables. Decide how you wish to serve your sauce and cut the meat accordingly

3.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

4.Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper,  turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook pappardelle in boiling salted water, drain it, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Divide it amongst the plates and sprinkle with Parmesan.   Enjoy with a fresh “Chianti lo Sterpo” red wine from Tuscany.

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A.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. ( I use a large Pyrex glass bowl). Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

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B.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes.

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C.Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

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D. Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper, turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

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Great food in a typical Florence taverna

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Bacon wrapped beef muscle

1-CARNE74-CARNE121-CARNE3Ingredients:  2 beef muscle fillets 2 inches thick –  butter  1 tbs  – 4 slices thick-cut bacon -salt – pepper – asparagus – peas – edible  flowers of your choice

Method: Preheat the oven to 400 ° F

  1. Generously salt & pepper both sides of muscle
  2. Wrap it with a strip of bacon , secure it with a lenght of kitchen string
  3. Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium – high heat. Add butter. When melted, add the fillets , now sear for about 2 min per side until you get a nice crust. Then turn fillet on the bacon side and roll it  for a minute more.
  4. Place the skillet directly into the oven. Roast 5-6 minutes each side for medium rare.  Adjust cooking time for desired doneness.
  5. When fillets are done , remove from the oven , cover with  alluminium foil and let them  rest for 5-10 minutes. This tip give to juices time to  redistribute evenly throughout the meat.
  6. Serve with  grilled asparagus , grilled peas , edible flowers of your choice and a fresh glass of  Brunello di Montalcino (red) wine.

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