zuppa di zucca

 charlotte's kitchen, food, idee  Commenti disabilitati su zuppa di zucca
Ott 292017

in previsone della festa più amata dai bambini, Halloween, ecco una ricetta per non sprecare il contenuto della tua zucca: la crema di zucca..

  • 1 kg di zucca
  • 80 gr di cipolle bianche
  • 60 gr di olio
  • 200 gr di patate
  • 1 l brodo vegetale
  • 1 pizzico di sale, pepe e noce moscata

tagliate l’interno della zucca a cubetti, togliete i semi, pelate le patate e tagliatele.

Fate soffriggere la cipolla, tagliata finemente, a fuoco basso una volta che avrà cambiato colore unitela con la zucca e le patate.

Aggiungete il brodo vegetale fino a coprire le verdure, mettere sale, pepe e noce moscata e lasciate cuocere per 25-30 min. Infine frullate il tutto per farlo diventare cremoso.


Lug 152016

Being coeliac in Italy makes me feel like I’ve made the worst possible choice ever of where to live in the world.

Delicious fresh breads, pizzas, pasta and pastries. It sometimes seems like everything good there is to eat contains gluten. It’s a good job I like risotto!

Luckily lots of gluten free products are improving and many pizzerias are learning how to make great gluten free pizzas. If you’re visiting Italy then this is a handy list or restaurants. In Sardinia I can definitely recommend Tiffany’s in Sassari and Bonvincino near Tempio!

I love cake, I love cream and I love coffee, so for me Tiramisu is the ultimate dessert. Unfortunately gluten free lady fingers just don’t cut it for a Tiramisu, luckily my husband told me you can replace these for sponge cake. So this is how we make Tiramisu.

gluten free tiramisuFirst I make a gluten free sponge cake, I always use glutafin white mix as I get a really light and airy sponge which works great for this.

4oz Flour

4oz Sugar

4 oz baking margarine

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of milk

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Throw all the ingredients in together and whisk well, pour into 2 round cake tins and bake at 180c for about 20 minutes.

Once cooled I slice them in half or into 3 if they have risen a lot. (you don’t want them to be too thick).

You should then follow the Tiramisu recipe of your choice. Some people like to omit eggs and mix cream with the marscapone. Some people like to use brandy or another liquour, some people add this to the cream but we mix it with the espresso. We always use Marsala and a traditional cream recipe using seperated eggs. There are lots of alternatives.

I don’t recommend dipping the cake in your coffee mixture, It will only end in a soggy mess. We paint the coffee mixture on, it’s a bit slow as you need to make sure you apply enough but pouring is just too much!

Then layer with your zabiaone mix. The final layer should be dusted with cocoa powder. We always place it in the freezer to set for a few hours or overnight if you can wait, it’s best eaten the next day allowing the flavours to mingle together.

I follow this method for a zabiaone.

7 egg yolks whisked with 170g of sugar until very pale.

in a seperate bowl, the 7 egg whites whisked until stiff

Slowly mix in by hand 250g of marscapone to the egg yolks and sugar then very very gently add the egg whites.

We make about 3 or 4 long shots of espresso and add roughly 2 shots of marsala (you could add port or another fortified wine).

I should mention this makes quite a large Tiramisu but we tend to split it and keep one in the freezer (for a few days!)

tiramisu in a glass

If you cut your sponge into smaller pieces they look great in glasses where you see all the layers as tiramisu can get a bit sloppy once you start portioning it out.

Buon appetito!


Lug 092016

Stuffed-CourgettesMmmmmm, stuffed courgettes, a tasty typical mediterranean meal. This is a rough guide to making stuffed courgettes but basically you can throw anything in. You should try not to have too much moisture in there though as they will flop. You may want to add breadcrumbs to prevent this from happening.

You could opt for a egg based filling which would be similar to any quiche filling or tomato based which will be wetter but perhaps more Italian.

Depending on the size of your corgettes you can slice them length ways or into deep ringss. Scoop out the seeds in the middle Then you’re ready to fill.



I gave a friend a big bag of courgettes and in return he gave me some of the stuffed courgettes he’d made with them. As they were huge courgettes he’d sliced them into very thick rings like in the photo above.

They were filled with eggs, cooked ham, mozzarella cheese (mozzarella for pizza as less liquid), fresh chopped cherry tomatoes and bread crumbs. Combine the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Fill your courgettes and prinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook for roughly 40 minutes or until the egg and courgette are cooked.

stuffed courgette rings

The great thing about these is that often with smaller courgettes cut lenght ways the filling tends to spill over or the cougettes flop and don’t keep their shape well unlike these.

Courgette and Ricotta tart

 charlotte's kitchen, children, cooking, food, ideas, Italian meals, life, recipes, veg patch  Commenti disabilitati su Courgette and Ricotta tart
Lug 042016

On my never ending mission to eat all my courgettes, I came across a great recipe from the bbcgoodfood site which I slightly adapted.courgette and ricotta tart

If you’re coeliac like me, you’ll know lots of recipes are off limits because gluten free alternatives just don’t work out.

Luckily the range of gluten free products is constantly increasing, Schar have a great frozen puff pastry so I decided I’d give this tart a go.

I mixed one tub of ricotta cheese with a clove of crushed garlic and then on top layered my finely sliced courgettes, drizzled olive oil, added salt and pepper and top with parmesan cheese. Cook for about 30 mins.

I was a nice quick and tasty lunch served up with salad.

Unfortunately it didn’t get rid of enough corgettes so my hunt for exciting recipes continued.

However, one sneaky tip, I grate a courgette into my ragu, the pieces are so small my children don’t notice!

Lug 022016

So, when faced with a wheel barrow full of courgettes, a soup is always a great way to get rid of a lot in one go.courgette glut

The recipe I found was easy to make and I used to throw in cooked pasta, my young children really enjoyed it, well after a while my son did say “not courgette soup again!”

Basically this recipe was fried onion, garlic, courgettes (lots), some potatoes to thicken it a bit and veg stock. After cooking for about an hour I pureed then added a carton of cream, salt and pepper. It was a nice light soup and no complaints from the kids. When it’s 40c you don’t always feel like a bowl of steaming soup but you can always freeze it. I froze single portions in freezer bags so I could take them out one at a time.courgette soup

This year however, I’ve adapted the recipe a little and me and the kids really love it although we’ve not been mixing it with cooked pasta as it’s thicker. I know it’s not very Italian but they have been enjoying a sandwich and soup lately!

For this soup I used 3 sticks of cellery, 2 onions, lots of courgettes, carrots and potatoes. I lightly fried the onion, cellery and courgettes, then added veg stock with the carrots and potatoes. After cooking for about an hour I pureed it all.

courgette and carrot soupMy children aren’t great with veggies so I find soup is a great way to get them eating more and more varied vegetables. In fact my youngest (Rafi is nearly 2) asked for second helpings and my eldest (Luca is 6) asked when we were having the lovely soup again! Compliments all round. Brava Mamma!

More courgette ideas coming soon!!!

Lug 022016

One of the most amazing things about living in the Sardinian countryside is being able to have a huge veg patch, in fact, mine is allotment sized! As we live in a old farmhouse we have a walled off area that would have been used for pigs.

The soil around the house is terribe, it’s basically dust, topsoil is non existent. Luckily this walled area, next to the woods, is super fertile and benefits from lots of leaf fall.


I don’t have any fancy machinery, unfortunately just a spade and a hoe (my rake has disappeared!) So it’s difficult. I grow all my plants from seed. And I threw in a few extra courgette seeds in case they didn’t all come up. They ALL came up! So, not wanting to throw away a healthy plant, I put all 6 in. Well, it was a funny summer. We had a lot of rain, huge thunderstorms followed by really hot days then more rain, more sun…. It was nice not having to worry about watering. At first it was fun collecting all the courgettes, my children love picking our veg. In the picture below, my son is 4 and my daughter is 2, the biggest courgettes weighed nearly 2kg!


The fun aspect soon passed, we’d go to the beach for a few days and when we returned were faced with literally bucket loads of courgettes. We gave lots away but also started eating courgettes with every meal. It was challenging finding recipes that the children might like. So I’ll share a few child friendly courgette recipes with you!!!!

courget glut

Giu 302016

Since I moved to Sardinia, one of my biggest worries is that I can’t cook as well an Italian or that people think I can’t cook well because I’m English.

At home we mainly eat Italian meals and I don’t think I’m a terrible cook (even if I do say so myself).

My favourite Italian meal is Melanzane alla Parmigiana, it’s something I nearly always cook if we have guests. And I’m always complimented for it! The great thing about it is that it tastes so much better prepared in advance. I definitely would not recommend making this on the day, apart from the fact that you need quite a bit of time but the flavours just infuse into the aubergines if you let it stand for a good 24hrs.

There are a few variations, the aubergines can be dipped in breadcrumbs or flour or left plain before cooking. I find in breadcrumbs it becomes too heavy and plain doesn’t hold together as well.


As I’m coeliac I dip the sliced aubergines in flour, breadcrumbs don’t hold well, I have had good results with Schär and Glutafin products.

The key to success though is definitely going to be your tomato sauce. I’ve seen lot’s of people add carrot and celery but for me the carrot makes it too sweet, I like adding celery but I don’t want a very lumpy sauce nor do I want to puree it down so I just use onion, garlic, white wine, salt, pepper and basil. The most important thing I’ve learnt about Italian cooking is getting the onion perfect. They should be cooked on a low heat in olive oil until they become transparent, if some pieces are still white they’re not cooked, add crushed garlic, as soon as it’s cooked throw your wine in, reduce, then add chopped tomatoes (add the same amount of water), don’t use cheap tinned tomatoes, they’re full of unripe hard bits. I add my seasoning and torn up basil and allow to simmer for about an hour adding water when necessary. It should be fairly thick but not too dry.

After dipping the aubergines in flour you can either brush with oil and cook in the oven or fry. I prefer to fry (only because I tend to get distracted and burn them in the oven!).

As for cheese this is a personal choice, I use pasta filata (a stretched-curd cheese) which isn’t too strong and melts well, you could use a pizza mozzarella (bags of mozzarella are too wet) in the uk a mild cheddar would also be fine.

You then layer the aubergines, cheese and sauce, I line my dish with sauce, then aubergine-sauce-cheese and repeat. On the final layer you should replace the cheese you’ve been using for a generous helping of Parmesan. Bake in the oven for roughly 40 mins, you may want to cover with foil and then remove and allow the cheese to turn golden brown in the last 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh bread and a great red wine!!!

Buon appetito