All posts by mkpt

chocolate pots

This is for Luigi, a fan of this very simple but very good dessert.

I heat 285cl cream and add 200gm dark chocolate. I stir and when the chocolate is melted, I turn off the heat and add a knob of butter. Then I add two eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons of brandy (if I have any!) and fill coffee cups or wine glasses with the mixture. They need to stay in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

I decorate the pots with a few raspberries.

potato and tomato gratin

This is a good supper dish with ricotta and/or ham.

First I wash and finely slice the potatoes and tomatoes. I layer them in an oiled casserole dish, adding salt, pepper and dried oregano with each layer. I finish with a layer of tomatoes, a generous glug of olive oil and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. It cooks for 40 minutes at 180°C.

With new season potatoes i don’t peel them, but it’s up to you…

spinach and ricotta gnocchi

We picked some wild spinach up by Malga Zebio the other day … but this works fine with regular spinach too!

First I cook the spinach in a little salted water, drain it and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I need 250-300 g cooked weight. I mince the vegetable finely and mix it with 300g ricotta, 150 g parmesan, 200 g flour, 2 eggs, salt and pepper. The mixture should be consistent yet soft. With floured hands, on a well-floured surface, I make long sausages which I cut into pieces. I lay the gnocchi on a floured tray until I’m ready to cook them. To cook, I plunge the gnocchi in boiling salted water and remove with a slotted spoon when they rise to the surface.

I layer the gnocchi in a buttered casserole dish with melted butter, parmesan and tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is made with a tin of plum tomatoes, a little onion and carrot, salt and pepper; I cook this for 5 minutes and then whizz it smooth in the Magimix. The sauce should be quite thin.

The dish goes into the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes. OK, this is a labour consuming task but well worth the effort!

yogurt panna cotta

First I put gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes to soften. (I use a whole packet, enough to set 500 ml liquid). Then I heat 400 ml cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a vanilla pod. I squeeze out the gelatine leaves and add them to the cream. In a bowl I put 500 ml yogurt (full fat is best) and strain the cream on top. I mix well and put into a wetted dish. I cover and refridgerate.

To serve, I unmould the panna cotta and decorate with berries (blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants etc).

Alternatively, I set in a deep bread tin or in individual moulds. I sometimes make a warm fruit sauce by heating together berries and sugar. But whatever I do, this is always good!002

chicken and green beans

This is a a way to use up leftover boiled vegetables…in this case, green beans.

First i cut chicken breast into fine strips and put it in a bowl with a little salt, a tablespoon of curry and a little flour. I heat oil in a non stick pan and sautè the chicken, I add the beans. After a minute I add a ladle of water and cook briskly until the sauce is much reduced.

Plain boiled rice or a salad make a good accompaniment.

curried potatoes

This is a good supper dish with cheeses and a salad.

I wash the potatoes and slice thickly. I sautè them in olive oil in a non-stick pan. I add salt, pepper and curry powder and cook until tender. It takes 20 to 25 minutes and I have to keep an eye on them, turning often and making sure bthey don’t burn|

beef rolls


These are easy and always popular!

First I chop parsley finely and grate parmesan. Then I sprinkle a slice of carpaccio beef (very thinly sliced by the butcher) with a teaspoon of parsley and a teaspoon of parmesan and a little salt. I roll up the slice. When all are ready, I quickly sautè them in a little olive oil. I remove the meat to a warm serving plate, add a splash of red or white wine (whatever’s open!) to the pan juices with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I pour the sauce over the rolls and serve.

If the meat is really thin, you won’t need to tie each roll with string or toothpicks.

spinach spaetzle


This was the star dish when Teresa, Giovanni and Angela came round for dinner the other evening!

I had a “ball” of cooked spinach in the freezer. So, when it had thawed I squeezed out as much water as possible and chopped it roughly. I then put it in the Magimix with 500 g flour and 5 eggs. I added enough water to create a thick sticky paste. I grated the paste through the spaetzle grater and let them fall into a pan of salted boiling water. When the spaetzle rose to the surface I drained them into a colander. For the sauce, I sautèed some onion for a few minutes with a little salt, added chopped speck, and then  a generous tablepoon of butter. Finally I added a generous glass of cream and then the spaetzle and black pepper.

I served the spaetzle with a good sprinkling of parmesan.


apricot tart


My mother made this tart with shortcrust pastry, but I feel that sweetcrust is better. Anyway, making this is an act of love for me!

First I make the pastry in the Magimix with 150 g flour, 75 g butter, 75 g sugar and two egg yolks. I wrap the pastry in film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. I stone 6/7 firm apricots and cut into pieces. I toast a handful of almonds in a dry non stick pan and whizz in the Magimix. In another bowl I mix an egg yolk with two tablespoons of sugar and a glass of cream. I line a tart tin with the pastry, sprinkle the ground almonds on the base,add the fruit and sprinkle with 2/3 tablespoons sugar and a few flecks of butter. This cooks at 180°C for 15 minutes. Then I add the cream and egg mixture and continue cooking for 15/20 minutes. When cool, I unmould and put on a rack.

If you make this tart, be generous with sugar. The apricots need it!

burgul and roast vegetables


This is good for a hot summer evening.

First I roast the vegetables in the oven; I cube a pepper, two  long aubergines and a few shallots. I spread them on a foil-lined baking sheet, dribble olive oil on top and cook in the fan-assisted oven for 30 minutes at 200°C. Halfway through, I turn the vegetables and add a good handful of halved date tomatoes. When cooked I sprinkle with salt and pepper. In the meantime I cook 250 gm of burgul (cracked wheat) in salted water for 10 minutes, drain and leave to cool. When vegetables and burgul are cold, I mix together with some feta cheese,  the juice of a lemon and olive oil and add torn basil leaves.

Instead of burgul you could use couscous or regular pasta.