Love your discard

I have got a confession to make: I am one of those people that made sourdough during the lockdown.

Actually, I became obsessed with it, and I tried to follow as many recipes as possible with my lovely starter: pizza, bread, pancakes, pretzel; you name it, I have probably done it (hundreds of times, with a decent amount of successes and some “interesting”, less successful, results).

I attempted several “miraculous recipes” for sourdough starters, that promised me everything: an unbelievably bubbly bread, the crunchiest pizza ever, the most amazing fluffy pancakes, a new shiny car (spoiler alert: I still have my super old car and all the entartaining noises it makes).

All of these recipes had one thing in common, something that I could never accept in my life: at some point of the development of my starter, I had to discard half of it. I know, I don’t make the rules, but there was no way that I was going to put perfectly good starter in the bin. NO. WAY.

I had to come up with something that would give my discard the glory it deserved: it was just a small piece in the world of sourdough, a world that doesn’t show any mercy or compassion towards my half starter, but I couldn’t be just a spectator or even worse the perpetrator of such a horrific action. I had to do something. (Yes I know I am such a drama queen).

So I started a very long research process on google, all the baking books in my flat, youtube, instagram, my mum, and I came up with a super tasty recipe that I promise you, won’t let you put your discard in the bin ever again. These little snacks dont last more than 24 hours in the house, so I warn you: if you have guests around and you are planning to serve them these crackers, have some backup snacks because I am sure they will be all gone by the time your friends arrive!

Ingredients for one tray of crackers:

-unfed sourdough starter, 130g

-white strong flour, 130g

-olive oil, 60g

-melted butter, 35g

Ingredients for the topping:

-sea salt

-red onion, 1/4

Equipment you need:

-rolling pin

-greaseproof paper

-a tray

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° fan assisted
  2. Mix together the flour and sourdough starter
  3. In the meantime, melt the butter
  4. Mix the butter to your dough
  5. Add the oil and knead until you have a smooth texture
  6. Cut the onion finely
  7. Take the greaseproof paper you are going to use on the tray, cut as much as you need
  8. Put your dough in the centre of the paper and using a rolling pin, flatten your dough until you get a 3-4 mm width
  9. Spread the onion on your dough and gently push it
  10. Spread the salt evenly
  11. Cut the dough in squares
  12. Put in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden

Are you obsessed with sourdough as well? Did you come up with interesting recipes? Let me know!

Red onion focaccia

Baking is not my forte, I admit it, but focaccia is one of the few things that I can successfully bake.

For this recipe I used fast action yeast, so proving times are not too bad – you only need a couple of hours, so I usually make the dough and then I move on with my life: I watch an episode of my favourite programme, call a friend, question my life choices, as you can see the list is endless!

Ingredients for the focaccia- 8 people:

-strong flour, 500g

-fast action yeast, 1 sachet

-water, 370 ml

-salt, 3 teaspoons

-olive oil, 6 tablespoons plus abundant oil to grease a bowl

For the topping:

-red onion, 1/4

-flaky salt

-olive oil

Steps:

  1. Mix together all the focaccia ingredients, except the salt
  2. once you get a smooth texture, add the salt and keep kneading for 10 minutes
  3. the texture will be very sticky, dont worry about it
  4. grease a bowl with abundant oil, and put your dough in the bowl, covering with a damp towel, and leave it to prove 1 hour
  5. line a tray (or grease it with abundant oil) and transfer your focaccia there, spreading it evenly
  6. leave it for 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel
  7. preheat the oven to 200 fan
  8. chop the red onion finely
  9. take off the towel, make the dimples with your finger and spread oil evenly
  10. spread the red onion and the flaky salt evenly
  11. put it in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden

Creamy pasta with mushrooms and pancetta

Mushrooms and pancetta are just meant to be together! I love the combination of these flavours and it is such an easy recipe to make with pasta!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Mushrooms, 250g
  • Pancetta, 4 slices
  • Cream, 150 g
  • Pasta (mezze maniche or rigatoni) 320g
  • White onion, 1
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon

Recipe:

  1. Peel the onion and cut it finely
  2. Melt the butter in a pan
  3. Add the onion and leave it to cook until softened but not golden
  4. Wash the mushrooms, cut in slices and add them to the pan
  5. Add some water to the pan
  6. Cut the pancetta in squares
  7. Put the pancetta in a separate Pan and Cook it in its own fat
  8. Cook the pasta
  9. Mix the pasta with the mushrooms
  10. Add the cream
  11. Add the pancetta on top

Enjoy!!

Artichoke risotto

Spring means artichokes! This recipe is very easy and simple, you can also add to your risotto anything you like: pancetta, shrimps, olives, etc…

Ingredients for the vegan option- for 3 people:

  • Artichokes, 3
  • Rice, 240g
  • White wine, half a glass
  • Vegetable stock, 1 litre
  • lemon, 1
  • White onion, 1
  • Salt
  • Pepper

If you don’t want the vegan option add the following:

  • Butter, 2 tablespoons
  • Grated parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons
  • Double cream, 3 tablespoons

Recipe:

  1. Prepare the artichokes: remove the external leaves, remove the top and the base
  2. Cut the artichokes in 4 pieces and place them in a bowl with water and lemon juice – leave them for 30 minutes
  3. Peel and cut the onion
  4. Warm some oil in a pan and add the onion
  5. Rinse the artichokes and put them in the pan, let them cook for 15 minutes
  6. Boil the vegetale stock
  7. Optional: If you want, add the butter
  8. Add the rice
  9. Add the wine and let it evaporate
  10. Add some stock and keep stirring until the stock doesn’t get absorbed
  11. Add stock any time the rice becomes dry and keep stirring all the time
  12. Add salt and pepper as you like
  13. Optional: when the rice is almost done, add the parmesan cheese and the cream

Enjoy!

Potato and red onion frittelle

This recipe is a delicious starter, easy to make and full of flavours!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Potatoes, 4
  • Red onion, 2
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour, 100g
  • Water 50ml
  • Rapeseed oil

Recipe:

  1. Wash and boil the potatoes
  2. Peel and cut the onion
  3. Warm some oil in a pan and add the onion
  4. Add some water and let them cook for 15-20 minutes until soft
  5. Peel and cut the potatoes in slices
  6. Make your pastella: mix the flour, water, salt and pepper until you have a thick not watery mixture
  7. Add flour or water if necessary
  8. Add the onions in the patella
  9. Add the potato slices in the pastella
  10. Warm the rapeseed oil in a pan
  11. With a spoon, take 1 potato slice and the onions covered in the pastella and put it in the pan (1 potato slice covered in pastella with some onions=1frittella)
  12. Add several tablespoons of the mixture in the pan to get several separate frittelle
  13. When they are golden, take them out and put them in a dish that has been covered with kitchen towel

Enjoy!

Asparagus and potatoes vellutata

This is a very delicate recipe, it combines the bitter taste of the asparagus with the creamy and sweet taste of the potatoes, and the result is great!

Ingredients for 5 people:

  • Asparagus to clean, 500g
  • Potatoes, 300g
  • Vegetable stock, 1 litre
  • White onion, 1
  • Double cream, 150g
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Recipe:

  1. Cut the onion roughly
  2. Add some oil in a pan and warm it up
  3. Add the onion
  4. In the meantime boil the stock
  5. Add some hot stock to the onion
  6. Peel and cut the potatoes
  7. Add the potatoes in the pan with the onion
  8. Take the white ends off from the asparagus and peel the body until you see the white
  9. Cut the asparagus and add it to the potatoes and onions
  10. Add the rest of the stock
  11. Let everything to cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft
  12. Add salt and pepper as you like
  13. Blend everything together until you get a nice cream
  14. Add the cream and stir

Enjoy!

Chickpeas soup with herbs

This is a very tasty and colourful recipe, it is not the usual boring soup and I am sure you will love it!

Ingredients for 3 people:

  • Chickpeas, 2 cans
  • White onion, 1
  • Carrot, 1
  • Celery, 1 stick
  • Vegetable stock, 1 litre
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sage one tablespoon
  • Rosemary one tablespoon
  • Tomato passata, 100 ml
  • Olive oil

Recipe:

  1. Heat the vegetable stock
  2. In the meantime, peel the carrot and the onion
  3. Chop roughly the onion, carrot, celery
  4. Put some oil in a pan and heat it
  5. Add the chopped vegetables and let them cook for 6-7 minutes
  6. Add the vegetable stock
  7. Add the passata
  8. Let everything cook for 40 minutes or until the carrots are soft
  9. When the vegetables are soft turn the heat off and let everything cool a little bit
  10. Using a blender, blend the vegetables until Creamy
  11. Add the chickpeas, salt, pepper, sage and rosemary and let everything cook for 10-15 minutes

Enjoy!

Cauliflower steak with onionutty spicy cream and cashews

This is a lovely combination of flavours, colours and textures. The recipe is not difficult at all, and the result is fantastic!

Ingredients for the cauliflower steak – 4 people:

  • Cauliflower, 1
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for the cream:

  • Cashews, 150 g
  • Red onion, 1
  • Olive oil
  • Salt as you like
  • Pepper as you like
  • Tumeric, 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika, one tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper as you like

Recipe:

  1. Wash the cauliflower
  2. Remove the leaves and the hard bits in the core
  3. Cut the cauliflower to get 2-3 slices, remove the hard bits again
  4. The rest of the cauliflower that can’t be sliced can be cut and put in a tray
  5. Put some oil in a tray
  6. Put the slices in the tray
  7. Rub some oil on the slices
  8. Add salt and pepper
  9. Put the tray in the oven, 200° fan assisted for 30 minutes, checking from time to time
  10. In the meantime let’s make the cream
  11. Cut the onion in slices very roughly
  12. Add some oil in a pan
  13. Add the onion
  14. Add some water
  15. Add the turmeric and the paprika
  16. When the onion is clear turn the heat off and leave it cooling
  17. Roast some cashews in a pan
  18. Put the onion and the cashew in a blender, and blend everything until creamy
  19. Add some water until you get the consistency you want
  20. Add salt and pepper as you like
  21. When the cauliflower is cooked, take it out the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes
  22. Put the cream on the cauliflower
  23. Decorate with some cashews

Enjoy!

Potato clouds

These are not simple potato croquettes, they are little bites of heaven that you will love, you are welcome!

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Potatoes, 750 g
  • Carrot, 2
  • Celery sticks, 1
  • White onion, 1
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Flour as needed, I will explain in the recipe

Recipe:

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft
  2. Roughly cut the carrots, celery and onion
  3. Put the carrots, celery and onion in a blender until they are a cream
  4. Using a sieve, drain the mashed vegetables
  5. Put some oil in a pan and when it is warm, add the drained vegetables and let them cook for 5-7 minutes
  6. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes
  7. Mix the mashed potatoes with the vegetables
  8. Add some flour to the mixture to make it more firm
  9. Make some balls
  10. In a pan, mix some water and flour to get a sticky mixture
  11. Put the balls in the flour and water mixture
  12. Roll the balls in some flour
  13. In a pan, heat the rapeseed oil and when it is very hot, fry the balls
  14. Take the balls out when they have a lovely golden colour

Love them!

Pasta speciale

After making your grocery shopping or your planned meals, do you ever end up having one random vegetable, that is too small to be a main meal and too much as a side? This is my never ending story with peppers 🙂 I do love them, I always get some during my grocery shopping and after I prepare my planned meals I ALWAYS end up with one single pepper. So I came up with this recipe, as usual it is very easy and delicious!

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • Red pepper, 1
  • Spring onion, 2
  • Chilli pepper, 1
  • Black olives, 10-15
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta 160g
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Recipe:

  1. Cut and de-seed the pepper
  2. Add some oil in a pan and heat it
  3. Add the pepper
  4. In the meantime, cut the chilli
  5. Add the chilli in the pan
  6. Cut the onion
  7. When the peppers are almost wrinkly add the onion and leave it for 2-3 minutes
  8. In the meantime cook the pasta
  9. Cut the olives in slices
  10. Add the olives in the pan and turn the heat off
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. When the pasta is ready, drain it
  13. Add the pasta in the pan

Enjoy!