Category: Italy

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza, photo by JMorton

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza


For the base:

  • 1 packet of Dried Yeast
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 140 ml Warm Water
  • 180g Strong Plain Flour (for baking bread)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp  Dried Basil
  • 1 small tin chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • Grated Cheddar or Mozzarella
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly
  • Pepperoni slices


  1. To make the base, mix the salt and yeast together in a jug with the warm water.
  2. Place flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the water mixture.  Also add the olive oil.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything to create a wet dough.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on a flat clean surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. Place in a bowel and cover with tea towel. Leave at room temperature to enable the yeast to do its work.  After half an hour, the dough should have doubled in size.
  6. Flatten the dough into a circle, as the pizza base.
  7. Now create the topping.
  8. Using a spatula, spread the tomato puree all over the base.
  9. Place the chopped tomatoes on top.
  10. Then add onion and garlic, spread them.
  11. Sprinkle over the roughly grated cheese and arrange Pepperoni, put as many as you like.
  12. Season with a little salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
  13. Sprinkle in the dried basil.
  14. Place the pizza on a lightly greased baking sheet..
  15. Cook at 200° for 20 minutes.


Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu, photo by JMorton


Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu is that indulgent taste of great pudding.  It has that liqueur taste that would satisfy a decadent palate.

Below is a recipe which is courtesy of Gino D’Acampo for the BBC Food.



  • 3 cups of strong black coffee, preferably espresso, cooled
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 250ml whipped cream
  • cocoa powder, to dust
  • 1 packet sponge lady finger biscuits



  1. Place the cold coffee in a bowl, add three tablespoons of the Amaretto and put to one side.

  2. In a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks and sugar for about three minutes until thick and pale.

  3. Add the mascarpone and beat until well mixed.

  4. Fold in the whipped cream gently with a metal spoon.

  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites quickly but gently into the cream mixture. Add the remaining liqueur, taking care not to loosen the volume.

  6. Dip each biscuit into the coffee liqueur mixture for about two seconds on each side and shake of the excess.

  7. Cover the bottom of an eight individual 8cm/3in dessert glasses. Spread some of the cream mixture over the biscuits and then repeat the process again, using up the biscuits and finishing with a cream layer.

  8. Smooth the surface and dust the top with the cocoa powder.

  9. Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm. The longer it is left, the more the flavours will develop.

Aglio Olio with Shrimp Recipe

aglio olio with shrimp, photo by Crissa Mercado

Aglio Olio with Shrimp Recipe


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves minced (more or less according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon rock/sea salt
  • 1 big pinch hot pepper flakes (make it spicy 🙂 )
  • 1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 300 grams spaghetti
  • 3 heaps tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch spinach leaves, stalks trimmed


In a large pasta pan or casserole pan, bring a salted water into a boil.  Tip in the spaghetti and cook according to the packet’s instruction. Drain when ready.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over low heat (extra virgin olive oil tend to burn if heated on high heat).

Saute the garlic while adding the salt and hot pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and golden. (Burnt garlic leaves a bitter taste.)

Turn up the heat to medium temperature.

Add the shrimps and drizzle with the lemon juice and stir-fry for at least a couple of minutes or until they are lightly pink.

Toss in the spaghetti and spinach leaves.

Finally add the chopped parsley.

Serve with buttered crusty bread and a dish of pitted olives.

Buon Appetito!

Tutte De Mare Recipe

Tutte de mare, photo by Carol Elep

Tutte De Mare Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, slice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup clams, shelled
  • 315 grams linguine (like a flattened spaghetti 🙂 )
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup mussels, shelled
  • 1/2 cup shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 120 grams calamari, cut into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


    1. Cook the linguini according to the packet’s instruction.  Ensure to add a generous drop of oil and salt to the cooking water to prevent the pasta from sticking together at the same time, they can absorb the salt from the water. Drain.
    2. Heat oil in a large casserole pan over medium heat.
    3. Sauté the garlic until it starts to brown and fragrant.  Don’t not burn as it will leave a bitter taste.
    4. Add red pepper flakes to taste (more or less according to amount of heat you can take.)
    5. Pour in the wine and let it boil for a few minutes.
    6. Add tomato sauce.
    7. Stir in the clams, shrimps, mussels and calamari.  Cook for at least 3 minutes.
    8. Toss in the linguine.
    9. Check the seasoning by adding (or not) salt and a generous twist of freshly ground black pepper.
    10. Finally sprinkle the chopped parsley and serve with freshly buttered slices of baguettes.


Buon Appetito

Creamy Beef Tagliatelle

Beef Tagliatelle, photo by JMorton

Creamy Beef Tagliatelle


  • 500g Minced Beef
  • 500 g Tagliatelle pasta
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 heaps tsp capers
  • 50 g Tomato Purée
  • 400g Chopped plum tomatoes, run through a sieve)
  • 1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 30g butter
  • 6 cloves garlic (more or less according to preference)
  • 100 ml Double Cream
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp of dried or fresh Herbs, combination of Basil, Oregano, Parsley
  • Salt to taste

    Method of Preparation:

  • Boil the pasta according to the packet’s instruction. Add a little oil and a little salt to the tagliatelle while cooking.  The oil will prevent the pasta sticking together and the salt will be absorbed.
  • Using a large casserole, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until softened and fragrant.
  • Add the minced/ground beef and stir until brown all over. Transfer the beef into a plate and set aside.
  • Make up the sauce using the same casserole pan. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the rapeseed oil over medium heat.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, which should be run through a sieve to remove any solid bits.  Slowly bring it to a bubbling point. 🙂
  • Stir in the double cream and tomato puree.
  • Sprinkle the oregano, parsley and basil.
  • Add the capers.  I find that the sourness and saltiness of a pickled capers complements the richness of double cream sauce.
  • Season with salt.
  • Return the cooked minced beef into the casserole and stir in the sauce.
  • Add the parmesan sauce.
  • Drain the tagliatelle pasta and mixed it into the creamy beef sauce.  Leave to heat for at least 3-4 minutes.

Serve immediately with salad and buttered sliced baguettes.


Mango Panna Cotta (Mango Pudding)

Mango Panna cotta, photo by JMorton

Mango Panna Cotta (Mango Pudding)

Oopps, though the photo seems to be slightly saucy, LOL, this pudding is absolutely delicious.  Just right to cleanse the palate after some feasting on Chinese or Italian food or even Indian food.  It is a grown up jelly pudding. 🙂


  • 3 ripe mangoes, peel and remove the seed, be sure to scrape every bit of the sweet fragrant flesh from the seed.
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin sheets
  • 160ml milk or coconut milk
  • 60ml whole cream
  • ½ – 1 cup granulated sugar (according to your taste)


  1. To soften the gelatin sheets, they must be soaked in water.
  2. Using a heavy bottomed sauce pan,  heat half of the milk or coconut milk, sugar and the soaked gelatin over slow fire.
  3. Stir continuously to help dissolve the gelatin as well as the sugar into the liquid.  When done, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the mango cubes into a blender and whizz until liquidised.
  5. Pour the mango smoothie into the the heated milk/coconut milk.
  6. Mix well until smooth.
  7. Then stir in the whole cream until completely incorporated.
  8. For smoother texture use a sieve to pour in this concoction into individual ramekins or jelly molds.
  9. Set aside to cool down and then transfer them in the fridge to set and chill.
  10. Serve decorated with sliver of fruits and more liquidised mangoes.


Seafood Carbonara

seafood carbonara, photo by Carol Elep

Seafood Carbonara


200g salmon steak cut into cubes

150g king prawns, shelled and deveined

1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, lightly tapped by the side of a knife

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large egg yolks + 1 whole one

40g Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

200g Tagliatele pasta


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg. Add the Parmesan and generous shakes of ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.  Mix well, then set this aside.
  2. Boil water using a large pan.  Do not forget to add 1/2 tsp of salt to the boiling water; the salt is water soluble, thus automatically season a bland pasta. Cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions.
  3. Heat a good size sauce pan and add the olive oil.  Fry the garlic until golden, do not burn in order to prevent leaving a bitter taste to the dish.  Once the oil is flavoured and aromatic, remove and discard the garlic.
  4. Stir in the salmon cubes and prawns with the thyme to the oil and cook until opaque.  Ensure not to break up the salmon cubes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Reserving half a cup of the pasta water, drain the tagliatelle.  Toss the tagliatelle into the sauce pan, stir well so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour of the seafood flavoured olive oil, then remove from the pan.
  6. Using the same sauce pan, add the reserved pasta water, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture.  Tip in the salmon and prawns as well as the pasta.  Toss well until well mixed and glossy.
  7. Serve with a topping of parmesan and slices of garlic bread.

Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

Spaghetti in Shrimp Pesto, Photo by Arnold Gamboa

Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

 The above photo was taken by Arnold Gamboa, a former child matinee idol of the late 70s in the Philippines.
  • 500g Spaghetti (dried or fresh)
  • ½ lb shrimp/prawn, peeled, deveined and tailed off
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


    Fresh Pesto Recipe


  • 50g pine nuts
  • 80g basil
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves


    1. Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Dry fry the pine nuts until golden.
    2. Put the pine nuts into a food processor together with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
    3. Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for a good couple of weeks.



    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil and cook spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction.

    No 1 way:  Drain and arrange over a large serving plate as above photo. (then top with the pesto and shrimp)

    No 2 way is to return the pasta back into the pan, adding the pesto and 25g of parmesan. Toss well, then transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Then arrange cooked shrimps on top.

    Concurrently, heat a saucepan, add the olive oil, minced garlic, shrimp and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir until shrimps are opaquely reddish.  This might take about 5 minutes.

    Once shrimp are fully cooked, add the pesto and stir well.  Use as topping for no 1 way.

    Serve immediately.

    PS  No1 or No2 only differs on how you want to present the dish, both taste the same. 🙂

Sausage Balls Minestrone

sausagemeat balls

sausage meat balls

Sausage Balls Minestrone

Chill in the air, some hearty soup can only be a good thing, especially when they are scrumptiously delicious.

We have got an Italian recipe that is a total winner to whet the appetite, perfect for the autumn weather.


350g pork sausage meat

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, topped and tailed and finely chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 ½ pints chicken stock (4 chicken cubes dissolved in hot water)

175g macaroni

200g peas

a bunch of parley, roughly chopped

salt & pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


Shaped the sausage meat into balls.

Heat a large frying pan, add the oil and and fry the sausage balls until golden brown on all sides.

Remove the sausage balls from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan over a medium heat, fry the onion, celery, fennel and carrot for 10 minutes of until they’ve softened.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook until al dente.

Return the sausage balls to the pan and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Add the peas.

Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve topped with parley and a generous dusting of freshly grated  Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with some crusty bread.



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