Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 5

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -Federico Fellini

So, pasta. Specifically, gnocchi. I love that stuff. They’re like pasta, but better than pasta. They’re like riotous balls of glorious Italian sunshine. They’re endlessly versatile. You can make them out of cheese.

Gnocchi are the food of the gods. Forget nectar and ambrosia. When no one was looking, or while the Spartans and the Athenians and the Persians where killing each other, or while the Greeks were hiding in their wooden horse at the gates of Troy, or while – well, you get the picture – while their worshippers were busy elsewhere, the gods were stuffing their faces with gnocchi. No, seriously, I’ve been reading into it. Prometheus was chained to that stone not for stealing fire, but for stealing the secret recipe for gnocchi. There’s been a massive mistranslation throughout history. Not fire – gnocchi.

OK, I may or may not have made up that last bit.

But they’re seriously good.

And this recipe is seriously easy. And you end up with crispy-soft gnocchi, a creamy sauce, and even vegetables, to keep the health-nut in you happy.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Other Parmesan recipes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Potato Wedges, Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Parmesan Lollipops, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 7

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 1/2lb, or 300gr, fresh gnocchi
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4oz, or 100gr corn
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Parmesan
  • basil, fresh or dried, to taste
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the gnocchi and leave unstirred for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned and crispy. Toss the gnocchi and continue cooking until browned all around. Set aside.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 3

In another skilled, cook the zucchini and corn, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 2

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the Parmesan cheese into the cream until well combined.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 4

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the cream and cheese mixture. Finally, add the gnocchi to the vegetable skilled, season with salt, pepper and basil to taste, and serve hot from the pan.



Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 6

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 7

Yes, you read that right. Three cheeses. Three different types of Italian cheese. In one dish. One glorious, comforting, soul-warming dish. One pan, minimal preparation, no need to throw on the oven, 30 minutes and you’re set. This is a bit too easy for our own good.

And it has three cheeses.

Have I mentioned the three cheeses?

I love this lasagna. I mean, take a look, three cheeses.

It doesn’t get much easier than this.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

Why, even Cicero swooned over this. Well, maybe not excatly this, but man did the guy love his lasagna (go on, google that). I’m telling ya, the man was wise. He wore a toga.

Plus, there is a chance the word originates from the Greek lasana, or lasanon, meaning “chamber pot”, which the Romans borrowed as lasanum. Something got lost in translation, though, because the Romans, despite wearing togas, firmly believed the word to mean “cooking pots”.

I find this the most hilarious story ever. We’ve been eating chamber pots for millennia.

Personally, I need no other reason to cook this every day this week. In case you do: Have I told you yet that this has three cheeses?

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 8

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Braised French Onion Chicken

Other Parmesan dishes: Parmesan Potato Wedges, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Lollipops, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Other Ricotta dishes: Lemon Ricotta Pasta, Vegetable Ricotta Pasta

Other Mozzarella dishes: Pistachio Mozzarella Salad, Vegetable Cannelloni, Potato Dauphinoise, Caprese Bread, Veggi Mozzarella Turnovers, Ultra fast Pasta with Mozzarella


Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 250gr, or 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
  • 2 cups, tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-6 lasagna noodles, depending on the size of your pot, soaked in warm water
  • 8oz, or 250 gr grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2oz, or 60gr Parmesan cheese
  • 15oz, or 400gr Ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil to garnish, optional

First off, heat some olive oil in a deep pan or pot, and cook the ground meat until no pink bits remain. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil and chili, and stir well to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 second.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 1

Stir in about a third of the tomato sauce and water, then top with the lasagna noodles, taking care to cover the meat as evenly as possible. Break up the noodles if it helps.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna

Pour the remaining sauce and water over the noodles, and whisk a bit to combine the liquids. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Once the noodles are nice and tender, uncover and sprinkle with half the Parmesan and Mozzarella. Place dollops of Ricotta all over the top, and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella on top of that.

Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna 2-side

Cheese heaven.

Cover and cook for a few more minutes until the cheeses melt.

We definitely want the cheese to melt.

Garnish with basil, if desired (I didn’t), dish up, and enjoy!

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Dig in. I did 🙂

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A cheese-laden birthday feast!

Happy birthday to us!

We’ve been cheesing it for a year now, and we have been celebrating.

With cheese.

Of course.

So today we bring to you not one, not two, not three, but four recipes to put together an entire scrumptious meal orbiting around cheese.

We begin with an appetiser, featuring Feta cheese and ground walnuts, which technically make these little taste-bomb healthy. Almost. Be that as it may, these were absolutely, totally, like, awesome.

Our first course starred creamy pasta with Ricotta, paired with the freshness of lemon. The sheer simplicity of this dish belies the wonderful taste, which manages to transport you straight back into summer.

We chose chicken for our main course, and of course Parmesan, which simply had to make the cut. Dried tomatoes and basil rounded up this lovely, comforting one-skillet dish. We do, however, apologise for the pictures, but this was so good we literally forgot to take any more… You’ll just have to trust us on this one. Have we ever led you astray? 🙂

And last, but indeed not least, you cannot have a birthday without a cake. A cheesecake, of course. Scroll down and find out more about this little crowning jewel of today’s feast…

How can you say no?

Walnut Feta Cookies

Walnut Feta Cookies 6

Servings: about 40 cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 40 g ground or chopped walnuts
  • 120 g, or 1/2 cup flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 120 g feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

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Let’s start out with the walnut. If you couldn’t find them ground, you can use a pestle and mortar to do the job. (We did 🙂 )

Walnut Feta Cookies 1

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until you obtain a homogeneous dough, then roll it out to a thickness of roughly 1,5 cm.

Walnut Feta Cookies 2

Cut them out in any desired shape. We used a round cutter, but any shape will do, really.

Walnut Feta Cookies 3

Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them, but not much is needed, since they really don’t grow at all. You can brush them them with a slightly beaten egg, or even milk, at this point, but this really isn’t necessary.

Walnut Feta Cookies 4

Place in a low oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until light golden.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 5

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 5

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes (seriously)

You will need:

  • 350gr short pasta
  • 200gr fresh Ricotta cheese
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried, or 10 leaves fresh basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 3

Cook the pasta as per package instructions.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Reserve two cups of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, beat together the cheese, lemon zest and basil until thoroughly combined.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 2

Thin out with pasta water until fairly liquid, but still creamy. Return the drained pasta to the pot and mix in the Ricotta mixture.

Serve garnished with Parmesan and a few basil leaves.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta 6

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken

Creamy Parmesan Basil Chicken 2

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 mintues

You will need:

  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 bread crumbs
  • olive oil to cook the chicken
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup minced dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large skillet on low heat with the olive oil. Salt and pepper both side of the chicken breasts. Dip in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs and place in the pan. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (times may vary here depending on the thickness of the breast).

Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken 1

Remove from the pan, and add the broth to the same pan. When it boils, stir in cream and tomatoes and give it a good stir. Add the remaining ingredients and give it a few minutes to cook through.

Return the chicken to the pan.

Eat up. 🙂

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

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Servings: 8

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 50 minutes baking time, plus 2 hours chilling

You will need:

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 cup shortbread cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, cut into squares and melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar (optional; I didn’t think it was necessary)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs

For the raspberry sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

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Combine the crushed cookies with the ground almonds.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 11-side

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 13

Mix in the melted butter until it forms a crumbly paste. Press into the bottom of a greased pan.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 16

Combine the cream cheese with the melted chocolate.

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Add the sour cream, sugar and eggs. Pour on top of the cookie crust.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 14-side

Bake on medium high for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and centre is still slightly wobbly, but set. It will firm up as it cools.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 1

Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 4-side

Meanwhile, place the raspberry jam in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it melts down. Add the raspberries and bring to a simmer. Cover and chill until serving time.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 7

Spoon the raspberry sauce over the cheesecake slices as you serve.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake 9

Enjoy! 🙂

Ultra fast pasta with mozzarella

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La recepta d’avui neix d’un dels molts vespres de “merda, són les 10 i encara no tinc res pel tàper de demà”. Sí, sabeu de què parlo. Allò que vas a la nevera a veure si encara queda una ració de l’arròs del diumenge o si per casualitat algú va tenir poca gana durant la setmana i queden restes del seu sopar, però no, no hi ha res. I és tard, i no tens cap ganes de posar-te a cuinar res complicat. L’únic que vols és fer algo ràpid però que sigui bo, perquè ara et fa mandra però si no té una mica de cara i ulls demà a les 2 del migdia te’n penediràs, i poder anar a seure tranquil·lament al sofà a veure aquella sèrie horrible que segueixes mentre esperes que surti la nova temporada de Game of Thrones.

Doncs bé, si l’útima vegada que vaig voler omplir el tàper em trobava davant de dos porros i un tros de formatge de cabra (i en va sortir una pasta deliciosa), aquesta vegada tenia una mozzarella fresca (de vaca, que la de búfala la troben massa forta a casa) i un grapat de tomàquets cherry. I, com sempre, l’Antonella em va resoldre el problema.

ultrafast pasta prep 2

Ultra fast pasta with mozzarella

Servings: 1

Prep time: 10 min

You will need:

  • 80 g of your favourite short pasta (I used elbow macaroni, like the ones in our macaroni and cheese)
  • 1 fresh mozzarella, cut into dices
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes (depending on their size and your love for tomatoes)
  • some fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is gonna be fast. Like, really fast.

Cook your pasta in plenty of water with salt. While the pasta is partying in the boiling water, cut your tomatoes in half and heat them up in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, just until slightly softend and warm. Add the chopped parsley and a pinch of salt, and stir for a couple of minutes.

ultrafast pasta prep 1

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the tomatoes. Stir for a minute and then add the mozzarella. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes until the mozzarella starts to be deliciously half-melted.

And that’s it. You can add some freshly ground pepper and some extra parsley, if you’re in the mood. Enjoy!

ultrafast pasta 2


Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

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I cannot believe we’ve been hosting a cheese blog for nigh on a year now, and have not uttered a word on Mac and Cheese. I’m half American, for crying out loud. This is a comfort food staple if ever there was one. This is not the first time this has happened (see the grilled cheese incident). It is high time we remedy that.

Brace yourselves, lads.

Macaroni and cheese had been around for centuries, literally, before it spread throughout the US, imported by none other than Thomas Jefferson himself. Believe it or not, it was an upper class delicacy for a very long time – until factory production and widespread recipes made it more accessible, naturally obliterating it’s fancy appeal along with it.

Their loss, our gain, I say.

The fur has been flying ever since, arduous debates tearing the country apart. I jest, of course, although there seems to be a fair amount of competitiveness as to which pasta, cheese, extra ingredients or whatnots to use. Rumors have reached my ears of (gasp!) deep fried mac and cheese being sold at fairs. Even mac and cheese pizza. Lord save us.

Please don’t go there. Mac and cheese is glorious as is. Creamy, cheesy, hearty, comforting.

As crisp fall nights prowl the streets, leaves fade to breathtaking hues of gold and fire, and sweaters and warm socks sneak their way back into our everyday lives, so does comfort food become a necessity.

Trust me on this one. Next time you feel bone-tired and chilled the bone and any other fall-induce bone-related discomfort, whip this up, curl up on your couch with a good book or movie, and simply enjoy the magical healing powers of comfort food.

For other pasta recipes, check out one of these wonderful ideas:

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese

Goat cheese and leek pasta

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Vegetable Cannelloni

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Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep time: 25 minutes

You will need:

  • 500 gr elbow macaroni, or any other type of short-cut extruded or decorative cut pasta
  • 1l, or 4 generous cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 750ml, or 3 cups water
  • 200gr of cheddar, or mozzarella, or 100gr each, grated
  • a dash of cayenne pepper and garlic powder, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a shot of tabasco, optional

Macaroni and Cheese 1-horz

Combine the pasta, milk, butter, cayenne, garlic and water in a large pot.

Macaroni and Cheese 6

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often and adding water as needed to avoid drying out.

Macaroni and Cheese 8

When the pasta is tender enough for your taste, remove the pot from the heat.

Macaroni and Cheese 7

Stir in your cheese, or cheeses, immediately.

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Season with salt and pepper to taste, and, if so inclined, add a shot of tabasco for a extra little kick.

Feel free to play around with this. Switch out the cheddar for something more fancy and exotic, top with breadcrumbs and brown in the oven, add bacon, onions, mushrooms, or any other extra ingredient you think might pair well with the cheese. There are infinite variations, and don’t rule out a second appearance of this, modified, of course, on our blog. Stay tuned further recipes 🙂

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Vegetable Cannelloni

vegetable cannelloni

Sóc una fan incondicional de la beixamel. Des de sempre. De fet, una de les meves primeres memòries d’infància involucra una torrada amb un ou dur al damunt tot cobert de beixamel. Mmmmmm

M’agrada calenta, m’agrada quan es refreda i fa aquella capa més sòlida per sobre i inclús m’agrada quan no l’has remenat prou bé i hi queden grumollets de farina amb mantega. I, evidentment, encara m’agrada més si té al damunt una bona capa de formatge fos. Però la beixamel té un problema, i és que, a banda que només mirar-la ja engreixa, acostuma a formar part de plats més aviat pesats, i això fa que durant els mesos d’estiu el seu ús quedi pràcticament eradicat. Penseu-hi: pair una lassanya amb totes les seves capes de pasta i de carn i de pasta i de carn tot recobert de beixamel i de formatge gratinat al bell mig de l’agost? Ja t’agafa calor només d’imaginar-t’ho. Però no trobeu desolador no poder menjar beixamel durant gairebé 4 mesos a l’any per culpa dels seus companys de plat?

Doncs bé, és per això que avui us presento un dels companys més fidels de la beixamel, els canelons, però en una versió més lleugera i estiuenca perquè pugueu seguir-ne gaudint encara que estigueu a 30ºC a l’ombra.

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Vegetable Cannelloni

Servings: 20 cannelloni

Prep time: about 1 hour

You will need:

  • 20 pasta sheets (you can use pre-rolled cannelloni too and fill them, but I did it the traditional way)
  • bechamel in abundance, the concept “too much bechamel” doesn’t exist (feel free to use any recipe you have)
  • grated mozzarella (not the fresh one, the “dry” one usually used for pizza)
  • any kind of vegetables you happen to have in the fridge (I used the ones in the picture below). The amount needed is really difficult to say, but don’t worry, the leftovers turn into a great side dish to use another day!

vegetable cannelloni prep 1

Start by cutting all your vegetables into sticks. In fact, you can cut them any shape you want (diced, hearts, stars…) but then the cannelloni’s assembling will be more difficult. Add some olive oil to a large pan and cook the vegetables until just tender (if they are overcooked at this point, you’ll end having a disgusting vegetable-purée inside your cannelloni).

vegetable cannelloni prep 2

Cook the pasta sheets in plenty of water with salt and some oil (just read the package, it’ll give you the instructions) and, when cooked, carefully transfer each and every sheet into a bowl filled with cold water. Let them cool for a while and then place them one by one on a kitchen towel, just like I did in the picture below. Again, do it veeeeeery carefully, think that one broken pasta sheet will be one cannelloni less in your stomach.

vegetable cannelloni prep 3

Now the fun part: wash your hands and get ready for the mess of the day. Put some vegetables on one side of each pasta sheet and roll it trying not to lose the vegetable filling along the way. Sounds easy, but i’ts quite tricky. You’ll probably lose part of the vegetables and your rolls will unroll themselves many times. Sorry, it is what it is. No one said cannelloni making was easy.

Now pour some bechamel (which you made during the pasta-cooking process) on the bottom of a baking dish and play tetris with your cannelloni until you have them all in place.

vegetable cannelloni prep 4

 Cover it with the rest of your bechamel and sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top.

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Bake them until brown and crispy.

vegetable cannelloni 3Enjoy!


Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Carbonara 9

Carbonara: pasta, Parmesan, bacon and black pepper. The stuff of legends. Need I say more?

Yet the origins of this legendary dish and its name are obscure. Its genesis has perplexed and eluded gastronomers for over five decades. Avid debates are tearing entire countries apart. The slow implosion of black holes is triggered by the mystery that is Carbonara.

First discovered after WWII, one popular theory speaks of the valiant carbonari, or charcoalmen. Since the dish really only has 5 ingredients, this does seem a plausible explanation. Note, though, that during the 19th century, the carbonari were also members of a Neapolitan secret revolutionary society, not unlike the Free Masons, called the Carboneria. The  group took their name from a fifteenth-century Scottish group of rebels who masked their subversive activities by pretending to be colliers. Thus, alla carbonara, by association, also means “in a secretive or subversive fashion”.

It’s riveting. Imagine an entire underground movement devoted to eating Spaghetti alla carbonara (in the associative sense) in remote caves and crumbling safehouses all across the country. Imagine doors stamped with a C, leading to hidden tunnels and ancient treasures. Imagine secret rites and initiation rituals involving the consumption of inordinate amounts of Parmesan cheese and bacon.

Oh, dear carbonari, please please let me into your secret society. I’m the person you are looking for. I was born to work for you. I am a bacon-and-Parmesan-cheese-devouring fiend. I hace been looking for you. I will find you. I will eat all your Parmesan and bacon and pasta.

On a side note, there is also a rumor that the Carbonara might get it’s name from the word carbonata, a term widely used in Renaissance Italy to denote a type of salt-cured and smoked pork, which is, of course, an ingredient in today’s dish, or even that it refers to the pepper we sprinkle on it, which resembles charcoal.

All of these are, of course, ludicrous. The theory involving pasta-adoring revoltionary independence fighters, surreptitous culinary orgies in the dead of night, and, quite possibly, witchcraft drawing from the power of Parmesan eaten at the stroke of midnight, is so much more appealing. Oh, the possibilities. My imagination has put some fruit on its head and is dancing a conga.

The more perceptive amongst you will have noticed, however, that I have not once uttered the sacrilegious word, banned from all Carbonara-related conversations: cream. I did my research. Carbonara does not include cream. Eggs, and plenty of cheese, yes. When beaten and mixed with the pasta they transform into a gloriously creamy goo. Yes. Cream? No. It’s unnecessary, grossly irreverent and utterly superfluous. Extra cheese and bacon? Yes. Cream? No.

I guess you catch my drift.

Carbonara º0


Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Servings: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

You will need:

  • 400gr Spaghetti
  • 200-300gr bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, or similar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1cup grated Parmesan, plus more to serve
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Carbonara 1

Cook the Spaghetti in generously salted water until al dente, or according to package instructions. Before you drain them, remember to reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Carbonara 5Carbonara 6

While the pasta is cooking, sauté the bacon/pancetta/whatever you used  in a large skillet until nicely browned and crisp. Leave in the skillet.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and the Parmesan until nicely blended.

Carbonara 4

Reheat the bacon-skillet (oh yes… bacon grease), add the reserved pasta water, toss in the drained spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for a few seconds, until the bubbling subsides.

Now comes the part where you need to work fast. You need to cook the egg, but not over direct hear or it will scramble. It might scramble anyway, so go ahead and reach into that hidden-superhero-part of you that lurks at the bottom of your mind. Now is the moment to step forth and man up.

Back to cooking. To achieve the creamy-not-scrambled egg texture, remove the skillet from the heat source, pour in the egg mixture and stir quickly and thoroughly until the eggs thicken. Remember, you need to work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce seems to thick, thin it out with pasta water.

Dish up, season generously with black pepper and extra Parmesan, if so inclined. If you find you are not so inclined, I recommend that you find that inclination. Fast 🙂


Carbonara 7

Goat Cheese and Leek Pasta

goat-cheese-leek-pasta 1

Sí, jo també dino de tàper. No és que no tingui paladar, no us equivoqueu: m’agrada menjar bé, m’agraden els arrebossats cruixents, els gratinats torradets i la pasta al dente, però per motius econòmics m’he vist obligada a renunciar als plaers del dinar acabat de fer. I per compensar aquesta pèrdua m’he autoanomenat encarregada oficial de tàpers, així com a mínim m’ho passo bé obrint la nevera i tenint moments creatius pensant què m’agradarà reescalfar demà dins d’un microones.

Clar que la meva imaginació culinària està molt limitada pel que tinc a mà, perquè a les 9 i pico del vespre, que és quan em poso normalment a fer el tàper, no és hora de sortir a comprar res, i això es complica a mesura que passa la setmana, perquè el contingut de la nostra nevera és totalment variable. De fet, ara que ho penso, té un comportament d’ona de serra inversa que flipes. Més o menys seria una cosa així:


I és que a casa fem la gran compra setmanal els divendres i els dissabtes. És molt pràctic, perquè tots anem molt atrafegats i no tenim temps d’anar cada dia al mercat a comprar els quatre ingredients que necessitem pel sopar corresponent, però porta a dues situacions límit: situació de dissabte al vespre, que obres la nevera i et cauen al damunt enciams, carbassons, tomàquets, iogurts, formatges i embotits quan tu només volies un got d’aigua, i situació de divendres al matí, que obres la nevera i només hi queden un parell d’ous, un flam caducat i un pernil dolç d’olor inquietant. Això fa que els tàpers de començament de setmana siguin d’allò més creatius, però que quan arribes a dijous al vespre ja pràcticament no et quedi res pel dinar del dia següent.

Doncs bé, la recepta que avui us proposo va néixer un d’aquests dijous de què us parlo, que l’única cosa aprofitable que vaig trobar al fons de la nevera van ser dos porros oblidats en un estat ja força terminal. No era com per fer-ne un menú de gala, però havia de dinar i tampoc els podia pas llençar, no? Així que vaig entrar al blog de l’Antonella a buscar ajuda amb el meu problema: un tàper pendent de ser omplert en una mà i un parell de porros a l’altra.

goat-cheese-leek-pasta 2

Goat Cheese and Leek Pasta

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 min

You will need:

The preparation of this recipe is quite similar to the pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese, but with leeks instead of zucchini and goat cheese instead of ricotta. You’ll see.

Wash, peel and cut the leeks into slices. Cook them in a large pan with butter until they are all golden and soft. Add some salt and pepper to taste and  set aside.

goat-cheese-leek-pasta 3

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in plenty of water with salt. When the pasta is almost done, place the goat cheese in a bowl and add one ladle-full of pasta water. Beat well until it’s all nice and creamy. Reheat the leeks, drain the pasta and finally add the goat cheese cream. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes and we’re done!

goat-cheese-leek-pasta 4


Pasta with Vegetables and Ricotta Cheese

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_2

Avui us he de presentar un altre participant d’aquest blog, que sempre treballa a l’ombra, i que es diu Mala Consciència. Aquella veueta interior que, quan deixes volar la imaginació i comences a pensar plats bons per fer, et diu: “això engreixa molt, vols dir que cal??”. No sé si vosaltres en teniu una, però jo sí, i és com un corcó. I, és clar, ara que tot just acabem de passar el Nadal, viu com una reina instal·lada al teu cervell i intercepta totes les bones idees que venen del teu pobre estómac. Doncs bé, la recepta que avui us proposo és fruit d’un d’aquests múltiples debats interns que s’han produït aquests últims dies.

La història comença quan et dius: “em ve molt de gust un plat de pasta”. I, com era d’esperar, la nostra amiga Consciència ve i et diu: “avui no has de fer cap tipus d’esforç físic, deixa la pasta i menja verdura, que et convé més”. Però tens el dia tossut, i vols pasta. I llavors penses: “calla! Faré pasta amb verdura i estarem tots contents. Però pasta amb verdura així sola quedarà com seca, no? I si hi poséssim crema de llet…?” I ja la tens a sobre una altra vegada dient-te: “crema de llet no!! Que t’has tornat boja? Hi poses verdura perquè sigui menys engreixadora i hi acabes afegint crema de llet??” I et fa ràbia, però saps que té raó: necessites una alternativa a la crema de llet per lligar la verdura i que no quedi tan sola.

I així és com, navegant pel meu blog de pasta preferit, La pasta per als catalans, he trobat aquesta recepta de pasta amb carbassó, tomàquet cherry i ricotta, que m’ha encantat. Sovint associem aquest formatge, semblant al mató, a plats més aviat dolços, però en combinació amb el carbassó i el tomàquet fan una mescla suau i deliciosa, especialment recomanable per a fer menjar una mica de verdura als més petits d’una manera menys traumàtica que el mític puré verd.

Res més, us deixo amb la meva versió d’aquesta recepta. Que vagi de gust!

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 320g penne rigate
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, diced
  • about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 basil leaves, shredded
  • parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

diced zucchini

Start by heating the olive oil in a large pan (you will have to fit in the pasta later!) and cook your zucchini on high. As soon as it acquires a nice golden color, add the tomatoes to keep it company.  Cook both the zucchini and the tomatoes until the latter begin to soften. At this point you want to grab a fork and mash your tomatoes mercilessly – this is great stress relief, by the way. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cook on high heat for another 5 minutes. Next turn off your heat source, toss in the basil, cover and let sit. The poor tomatoes need to rest. 

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_ Prep1

In a separate pan, boil the pasta in plenty of water with salt. When the pasta is almost done, place the ricotta in a bowl and add one ladle-full of pasta water. Beat the water into the cheese until it’s all nice and creamy, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_Prep2

Reheat the tomatoes and zucchini. Drain the pasta, then add to the tomato-zucchini-pan.

Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese_Prep3

Now add the ricotta to the same pan, stirring for a couple of minutes on high heat. And we’re pretty much done! Serve with some grated Parmesan if you like, but don’t overdo it, or it’ll cover up the ricotta yumminess. Adjust the pepper to your own tastebuds and…


Pasta with vegetables and ricotta cheese