Three Delicious Italian Inspired Meals
WORDS :: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
IMAGES :: LISA ATKINSON
It's always bittersweet landing in Melbourne after an amazing holiday.
On one hand, I am so happy to be home, being able to sleep in my own bed and potter about my home - but on the other, I absolutely love travelling with all the new sites, tastes and experiences it brings. I have returned with more energy and a little more spring in my step, I am excited about what the second half of 2018 has to offer as we have some very exciting ventures planned and with half the year already gone (oh boy don't get me started on how times flies when you're having fun!!) dare I even whisper the word....Christmas? No, I won't. Not just yet...
Having just returned from Italy, I must say I had my fair share of amazing Italian food. At parties, on the streets, in markets and in little cafes that dotted the laneways. When I landed at home I began looking through the archives of Chyka.com and I am excited to have a collection of those recipes here, on the blog to share with you. So if you are stuck for dinner ideas, this post is for you!
ZUCCHINI PROSCIUTTO SPAGHETTI
- 400g dried thin spaghetti pasta
- 250g prosciutto, cut into thin strips
- 1 small brown onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 large zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated
- 40g (1/2 cup) shredded parmesan
- Shaved parmesan and parsley, to serve
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
- Meanwhile, cook the prosciutto and onion in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini softens slightly. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
- Add the zucchini mixture and shredded parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Divide among serving dishes and top with shaved parmesan and parsley. Season with pepper.
- 500g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g salt
- 10g fresh yeast
- 325 ml lukewarm water
- Dried breadcrumbs, for sprinkling
- 300g tinned plum tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 25g Parmesan, freshly grated
- a few basil leaves or some dried oregano
- 150g mozzarella, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/Gas 9.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and gradually add to the flour, mixing well until you obtain a dough. If you find the dough too sticky, just add a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball and leave to rest, covered with a cloth, for 5 minutes.
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes and split it in half. Knead each of the pieces for a couple of minutes and shape into balls. Sprinkle some flour on a clean kitchen cloth and place the dough on it, then cover with a slightly damp cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a bowl, crush them slightly with a fork, season and mix well.
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and spread the dough into a circle about 35-40cm in diameter, making it as thin as a pancake (being careful not to tear it), with the border slightly thicker. Repeat with the other dough ball. Sprinkle a few breadcrumbs on two large baking trays and place the pizza bases on them.
- Spread a little of the tomato evenly over each base, not too much, or the pizzas will be soggy.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the Parmesan, add a few basil leaves or sprinkle over some oregano and top with pieces of mozzarella cheese.
- Place in the oven for 7 minutes (a couple of minutes longer if you prefer your pizza crisp).
- Remove from the oven, drizzle with some more olive oil and consume immediately.
Resting time 5 minutes/ Rising time 30 minutes
THE PERFECT SICILIAN PASTA
- 1/2 packet of Spaghetti
- 2tbs. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bulb fennel, finely sliced and fronds kept
- 110g sardines in oil (fresh or tinned)
- 1/3 cup currants
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup of Pecorino, freshly grated
- Salt & Pepper
- Lemon Zest
- Bring Water to boil and cook pasta.
- Toast the breadcrumbs with a little oil over medium heat until golden brown and crunchy.
- While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large pan and saute the garlic, fennel and pine nuts for five minutes or until softened.
- Place the pasta in the pan and combine, gently adding in the sardines.
- Add the breadcrumbs and the lemon zest
- Garnish with pecorino and fennel fronds.
Credits : Pizza recipe is an extract from the book Two Greedy Italians by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo. Sicilian Pasta recipe via Everyday Gourmet TV.