Italian recipes

Mains

Pizza Margherita

Serves 8
Ingredients:

Pizza dough

  • 750g “00” flour or all-purpose flour
  • 20g fresh yeast/ 8g dry yeast
  • 500ml water
  • 10g salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Topping

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g mozzarella cheese
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 600g tomato sauce (sieved ripe tomatoes/passata)
Method:
  1. On a wooden or marble work surface, shape the flour into a well. Place the yeast, salt, and warm water in the centre. Knead the dough vigorously with your hands for 15-20 minutes, or in a mixer, until the dough is soft and smooth, adding water if needed. Keep working it until it is perfectly homogeneous.
  2. Put the dough inside a bowl, cover it, (e.g. with cling film) and leave it to rise for at least 2 hours (ideally not in a cold place or it might need more time).
  3. In the meantime, cut the mozzarella in small and thin slices.
  4. Once the dough is proved, grease a baking dish, and “stretch” the dough carefully maintaining a uniform thickness of around 1 cm.
  5. Distribute the tomato sauce, a couple of basil leaves, olive oil, and the mozzarella.
  6. Put your (almost ready) pizza in a pre-heated oven at 220 °C leaving it to cook for around 15/20 minutes, depending on the thickness you gave it. Once ready, serve it immediately on the table.

This is the classic Margherita, but the great thing about pizza is that it is totally customisable according to your taste and the ingredients you have at home (please, just avoid pineapple if you can, Italians really do care about that!)

Serving suggestions: add seasonal vegetables to this pizza (e.g. in summer, add grilled aubergines and courgette) and/or serve with a seasonal salad (remember changes and additions will alter the nutritional analysis outlined below)

Rich in Protein, B vitamins (B1, B6), vitamins E, K, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and iodine.

Parmigiana

Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 700g aubergines
  • a pinch of salt
  • 20g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g tomato sauce (sieved ripe tomatoes/passata)
  • 250g mozzarella, sliced
  • 15g parmesan cheese, grated
Method:
  1. Slice your aubergines, salt them, and leave them to drain in a colander. Rinse and dry them carefully and then flour them and fry them in warm oil. Once done let them drip on kitchen paper.
  2. Spread two tablespoons of tomato sauce on to the base of a baking dish, put a layer of fried aubergines in the dish, then a couple slices of mozzarella, some of the parmesan, and more tomato sauce. Keep going in this way alternating the layers of aubergines and other ingredients (approx. 3 layers).
  3. Put the baking dish in the oven for around 25 minutes at 190°C. Let the Parmigiana rest for a couple of hours to better blend the ingredients’ flavours and serve it cold or room temperature.

It is possible to prepare a healthier version, by not salting the aubergines and grilling them without the flour, this will change the nutritional breakdown outlined below.

Serving suggestions: Other ingredients can be added to taste e.g. hard-boiled eggs to increase protein content. Can also be served with seasonal vegetables or salad (remember changes and additions will alter the nutritional analysis outlined below).

Rich in B vitamins (B1, B6, B12), vitamins D, E, K, phosphorous, and iodine.

Pasta with turnip greens

Serves 2
Ingredients:
  • 500g medium sized turnips with leaves (small white turnips with tops)
  • 1 shallot (approx. 40g)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g orecchiette (or other kinds of pasta)
Method:
  1. Separate the greens from the turnip, then peel and cut the turnips into small cubes.
  2. Wash the greens then chop them along with the shallots and garlic (the latter more finely chopped). 
  3. Pour the olive oil in a pan large enough to contain together the turnips and the pasta and heat it to a high temperature before adding the turnips. Keep cooking them until they begin to brown (around 8 minutes).
  4. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pan and wait until they begin turning golden (another 5 minutes, more or less). At this point turn off the heat.
  5. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil. Add the pasta (we suggest “orecchiette”) and after 5 minutes, add the chopped greens. When the pasta is about 2 minutes from being ready, heat the turnips, adding a ladle full of pasta cooking water.
  6. Drain pasta and turnip greens, reserving a cup of the cooking water, and add it to the hot pan with the other ingredients, stirring it to mix everything together, adding at least half of the reserved cooking water, or more if it seems dry.
  7. Once the pasta is well coated you are ready to serve!

Rich in B vitamins (B2, B6, Folate), vitamins C, K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium.

Ravioli with ricotta and spinach

Serves 6
Ingredients:
  • 100g semolina flour
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 400g spinach
  • 6 tbsp parmesan cheese (approx. 35g)
  • 300g ricotta cheese
  • 300ml tomato sauce (sieved ripe tomatoes)
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Method:
  1. On a work surface, make a well with the flour and crack 3 eggs at its centre. Whisk the eggs with a fork, adding the flour a little at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Knead the dough until you have a smooth, elastic ball, then flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film, and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Clean the spinach, then drain and squeeze it. Crumble the squeezed spinach and put it in a bowl with an egg, grated parmesan, ricotta, nutmeg to taste, pepper (to taste) and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  3. Roll out the dough and make strips 6cm wide (can be done with a rolling pin if you do not have a pasta machine).
  4. Make small balls with the filling and put the balls 4 cm apart on the dough. Cover with another strip of dough, press over the filling to eliminate any trapped air bubbles, and cut, isolating each ball.
  5. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to boil. Add the ravioli and cook them for 5 minutes. In the meantime, in a pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and then add the tomato sauce. When the ravioli is ready, drain and add them for a minute to the pan with the tomato sauce.

Rich in B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, Folate, B12), vitamins D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, iodine, and selenium.