Monthly Archives: July 2013

aubergine parmigiano


This is the last recipe until September. We’ll be away on holiday!

I grill long slices of aubergine in a dry non-stick pan for a few minutes each side. I put them on a plate, season with salt and pepper and dribble a little olive oil over them. I make a tomato sauce with onion and a tin of plum tomatoes. I slice some cheese (mozzarella or Asiago),grate some parmesan and chop some herbs.  I oil an oven proof dish and make layers of vegetable, sauce, cheeses and herbs.It bakes for 25 minutes at 180°C.

You are supposed to deep fry the aubergine, but I find this too “heavy” and prefer to grill. Augusta makes no objections!


This is a recipe from Claudia Roden, the queen of Middle Eastern cooking.


I sauté courgettes and onions. I soak two thick slices of white bread in a little milk. I beat 6 eggs and add the squeezed out bread, the vegetables, a handful of chopped herbs, salt and pepper. I pour the mixture into a well-buttered oven dish, cover it with dampened oven paper and put it into a 160°oven for 30 minutes. I remove the paper and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. I turn it out of the dish (actually, a non-stick roasting tin would make life easier here) and serve it at room temperature.

Eggah is really nice cut into small squares to serve with drinks.

lentil salad


I cheated and used tinned lentils here. If I cook dried lentils myself ( it takes about 30 minutes), I dress them while they’re hot but don’t add the fresh herbs until they’re cold.

I finely chop a little onion and add to a dressing of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh chilli, salt and pepper. I add a tin of drained lentils , some chopped tomato and cubes of feta cheese. Finally, a little chopped mint (or parsley) is nice.

I’m a bean fan, so can eat any amount of this! The bowl is a souvenir from Palermo.

spaghetti tortilla


This should be a way of using leftover pasta, but there never is leftover pasta in my house!

First I cook 200 gm of spaghetti and mix them with 3 eggs beaten with a tablespoon or two of parmesan, salt and pepper. I melt some butter in a frying pan and add half the spaghetti mix. On top of this I put a filling of mozzarella and herbs (actually, yesterday I used some grilled chicken breast, feta and tomato). I add the rest of the pasta, cook until golden underneath and then I turn the “tortilla” with the aid of a large plate and cook the other side.

You can experiment with all sorts of filling, or it’s good with nothing at all in the centre! To be eaten hot or cold.

warm chocolate sponge


The centres of these little cakes should be runny, so timing in the oven is essential for the right result! (But even if they are cooked through, they’re still very nice.)

I melt 100 gm dark chocolate and 100 gm butter. I mix two egg yolks, two whole eggs and two tablespoons of sugar. I add the slightly cooled chocolate mix, two tablespoons of flour and a packet of baking powder. I pour into  9 well-buttered patty tins two thirds full. They rest in the fridge until I’m ready to cook. 6 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180°C.

I serve them with orange icecream. Nice.

focaccia, slightly burnt


You have to watch this like a hawk as it burns very quickly. Cooking time is 25 to 30 minutes, burning time is ONE minute!

First I boil 300 gm of  peeled and cubed potato, reserving the cooking water. I mash the potato and when it’s cool enough to handle, I put the following into the Magimix: 500 gm of flour,2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the potato, and a packet of yeast granules. I mix with enough potato water to make a softish dough. I knead the dough a bit and set aside, covered, to rise for an hour and a half. I then roll it out into a large rectangle and put it onto a well-oiled baking tray. I press small cherry tomatoes into it and leave it, covered, to prove for 15 minutes. I sprinkle on top some coarse sea salt, some dried origano and olive oil. The oven should be hot (220°C).

This is nice with Parma ham.

roast peppers


Today’s my birthday, but we had the celebration last night. The menu was mozzarella and tomato, focaccia, roast peppers, parma ham, chocolate cakes and icecream.

Roast peppers are nice, especially for those people who find them otherwise indigestible. They go into a hot oven (220°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. They need turning once. When they’re roasted, I seal them in a plastic bag and leave them for 15 minutes. At this point they should be fairly easy to peel.  I put the peeled and de-seeded peppers on kitchen towel to drain well. Then I cut them into strips and dress them with salt, anchovies, capers and extra-virgin olive oil.

A classic Italian antipasto.