Autumn risotto

Picture this: it is a nippy day, it is raining, you are super annoyed with work, your dog chewed your favourite chair, your hair is super frizzy, basically it is a disaster. You have two choices here:

  1. Be super grumpy and start arguing with everybody to have an even worse day tomorrow + go to bed with a super size pack of crisps and 2 chocolate bars
  2. Give yourself a treat wiht a super tasty risotto that will make you forget about everything

Option 1 looks easier and more satifsying, obviously – but trust me, sometimes option 2 is a life saver!

Even if I am the great master of grumpiness, I am sure nobody needs a recipe or instructions for that, so I will move on with the risotto recipe!

Ingredients for 5 people:

-Risotto carnaroli, 320g

-white onion, 1

-sausage meat, 150g

-beef stock, 1.5L

-mushrooms, 150g

-aubergine, 1

-olive oil, 4 tablespoons

-red wine, half a glass

-mascarpone, 150g

-grated parmesan cheese for topping, if you like

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan at medium temperature
  2. chop the onion finely and put them in the pan, let them cook for 3/4 minutes
  3. chop the mushroooms and the aubergine
  4. add the sausage meat in the pan, let it cook for 3/4 minutes or until done
  5. add the mushrooms and aubergine, and let them cook for 3/4 minutes
  6. add the rice and the wine, and keep stirring until the wine evaporates
  7. keep stirring,and once the wine evaporated, start adding the beef stock and keep doing it any time it dries out
  8. once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and add the mascarpone
  9. if you like it, add the parmesan on top and stir

Pasta alla norma

Pasta alla Norma is a traditional recipe from Sicily, it takes its name from the Bellini masterpiece Norma 🙂 I am not surprised that such a lovely recipe has been compared to the perfection of this opera!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Pasta (rigatoni, sedani, mezze maniche, penne) 320g
  • Aubergine, 500g
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Salted ricotta to grate
  • Basil leaves
  • Vine tomatoes 800g

Recipe:

  1. Wash and chop the tomatoes
  2. Peel and cut the garlic
  3. Warm some oil in a pan and add the garlic
  4. When the garlic starts to bubble, add the tomatoes and let everything cook at very very low temperature for 30 minutes
  5. In the meantime, cut the aubergines in slices, put them in a colander and layer them covered in sea salt
  6. Put a pan with water on top of the aubergines so they release their bitter juice and leave them in the colander for at least half an hour
  7. When the tomatoes are cooked, blend everything together
  8. Put the sauce again in a pan and let it cook for 15 minutes until the sauce is more thick
  9. Add salt and pepper as you like
  10. Rinse the aubergines and dry them well with a towel
  11. Put some oil in a pan and fry the aubergines until golden
  12. Once they are fried, put them in a dish covered with kitchen towel to absorb the oil
  13. Cook the pasta
  14. When the pasta is done, mix it with the tomato sauce and add the aubergines slices on top of it
  15. Grate some salted ricotta and put it on top of the pasta
  16. Add the basil leaves

Enjoy!

Aubergines parmigiana

Parmigiana is one of my favourite dishes. There are hundreds of versions of this recipe, and you can add any filling you like to make it even more tasty and scrumptious!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Aubergines, 500 g
  • Mozzarella slices, one pack
  • Tomato sauce, 500 g
  • Spring onions, 3
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Salt crystals

Recipe:

  1. Wash the aubergines and cut the green bit on top
  2. Cut the aubergines in slices of 4-5 mm
  3. Put the slices in a colander, put the salt on top of the slices so that they don’t become brown
  4. Add several layers of the slices with salt on top
  5. Put a pan with water on top of your colander, so that the aubergines release their water, too butter for the frying process
  6. Leave the aubergines for 40-60 minutes
  7. In the meantime, add some oil in a pan
  8. Wash and cut finely the onions
  9. Add the onions in the pan
  10. When they are clean, add the tomato sauce. Add salt, pepper and sugar until you get the taste you like, and let the tomato sauce cook for 35-45 minutes at low temperature
  11. Take some aubergines (not all of them), rinse them and dry them using a towel – do this quite well otherwise the wet aubergine will “explode” in the pan when you fry it
  12. Put the oil in a pan and heat it
  13. When the oil is hot, add the aubergines you dried with the towel
  14. In the meantime the dry aubergines are cooking, dry some more for the next batch to fry
  15. When the aubergines have a lovely golden colour on both sides, take them out the pan and put them in a tray you covered with kitchen towel
  16. Keep drying and frying the aubergines
  17. Put some tomato sauce in the tray
  18. Add the first layer of aubergines
  19. Cover this layer with some tomato sauce
  20. Cover this layer with mozzarella slices
  21. Add a new aubergines layer
  22. Add mozzarella slices
  23. Add the remaining tomato sauce
  24. Add some grated parmesan
  25. Put the tray in the oven, fan assisted, at 200° for 40 minutes

Enjoy!!

Tip: you can add anything you like to your layer, my mum adds boiled eggs and ham for example 🙂 it is up to you!