Friday, 26 October 2012


This is my favourite soup, perfect on a cold rainy, snowy day. The kids love it too. This is a recipe from my area, Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Ingredients for 4 people

200g pearl barley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
60g cubetti di pancetta
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 (400g) tins Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
3 small potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 litre water
Fresh rosemary leaves (for serving)
Extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Rinse the barley with water then put in a pan with cold water and cook for about 45/60 minutes from when the water starts to boil.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened slightly; then add the pancetta and cook until it starts to crisp up, about 3 or 4 minutes. 

Add the beans and the chopped potatoes and pour in enough water to cover. Season with salt and pepper; simmer for about an hour.

When ready blend it and add the rinsed barley. Mix well, then serve with a few rosemary leaves, some grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Ok, maybe it's a bit late for this, I think this is more summery than wintery....but I still love it, and so would most of your guests!!!!

Ingredients for 3 large dessert glasses:
100 g of Savoiardi (Ladyfingers) biscuits 
150 ml coffee

For the Mascarpone cream:
250 gr Mascarpone cheese
2 spoons of sugar
1 egg

Beat the egg until frothy. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat for other 10 or 15 minutes until creamy. Then add the Mascarpone cheese and beat 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth.

Get the 3 dessert glasses, pour some  Mascarpone cream at the bottom.

Place the ladyfingers onto a serving plate, cut them into halves, then brush each with the coffee on both sides.

Now add a layer of ladyfingers in the glasses, then again Mascarpone cream. Then ladyfingers again; go on until you reach the top, then decorate with grated cocolate or cocoa powder.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving to allow cookies to soften.

Thursday, 18 October 2012


This is something quick and nice to accompany a drink or to serve at a party. They taste great with ham but you can use whatever you like: salami, speck, Parma ham, mortadella, lonza.

1 puff pastry roll (rectangular shape)
60 g honey roasted ham, |Parma ham, Salami, Mortadella or whatever you like
1 egg  
20 g Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl mix the egg, the grated Parmesan, the salt and a pinch of Paprika.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface so that the longest side is facing you.

Spread over  the mixture of egg, Parmesan salt and Paprika. Place the ham slices onto half of the pastry.

Now fold the pastry in half and cut into 1 cm strips.

Carefully twist each piece of pastry 4-5 times so it looks like a curly straw, brush with the remaining egg mixture then place on the baking tray.

Cook for about 15 minutes. They taste really nice when they are still warm.