Orzo and spinach soup – Súp orzo và spinach kiểu Ý

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I do like Italian soup and make it all time either I or my husband craves for. I didn’t have kale to make a traditional version but spinach was not a bad idea at all. There would be less crunchy to your bite but soft to your teeth.

Ingredients

– 6 cup spinach leaves
– 3 Italian mild sausage, casing removed
– 1 garlic bulb, finely chopped
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
– 1/2 to 3/4 cup orzo
– 8 cups chicken broth
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– salt to your taste

Method

– saute the chopped onion, garlic and fennel seeds in olive oil until soften, about 5 minutes
– add the sausages and break them into pieces. Saute the sausage until golden brown, abour 10 minutes
– pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil
– add uncooked orzo and simmer until orzo is tender but still crunchy for about 12 minutes. Orzo will absorb more broth so don’t overcook it.
– add salt to your taste
– add spinach and bring to a boil then remove the soup from the heat

Serve immediately when the soup is still warm.

 

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Tiramisu layered cake – Tiramisu làm với bạt sponge cake

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Tiramisu is my all time favorite cake that spares me when I don’t have too much time for making a special cake. This cake is so popular that I think most of my readers know it. This time I made Tiramisu in an irregular way by using sponge cake as the base instead of lady fingers (or savoiardi ) . Well, the taste feels slightly different from the authentic cake. The sponge cake makes the cake lighter and easier to melt in your mouth.

Ingredients ( 9 inch round cake)

Sponge cake

– 4 eggs

– 200 g sugar

– 100 g cake flour

– 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Tiramisu filling

– 1  8 oz mascaporne cheese at room temperature, homemade or storebought

– 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

– 3 egg yolks

– 1/4 cup and 4 tbsp Amaretto wine

– 1/4 cup and 1 tbsp sugar

– 1 cup brewed Espresso coffee or strong coffee

Method

Sponge cake

– Beat eggs with sugar until very fluffy (around 10-15 minutes if you use hand mixer or 5 minutes if you use stand mixer)

– Sift the cake flour and fold in the beaten egg gently.

– Mix butter with half a cup of the batter then finally fold in the remaining batter.

– Bake the cake at 350 F for 25- 30 minutes. The cake is done when the toothpick inserted comes out clear.

Tiramisu

– Leave a bowl that you use to beat heavy cream in the freeze for 30 minutes before you use it to beat the heavy cream

– In a double boiler, use a whisk to beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup Amaretto until the yolks are beaten and sugar dissolves. This process takes around 10 – 15 minutes

– Let the beaten yolks sit for 30 minutes to cool down to room temperature.

– Beat the heavy cream with 1 tbsp sugar until stiff peak forms. Overbeaten heavy cream won’t let the cake set.

– Beat the mascaporne cheese and mix well with beaten cream and beaten yolks.

– Slice the cake horizontally into two equal layers.

– Mix 4 tbsp Amaretto with coffee. Drizzle the coffee mixture onto the cake layers so that the cake can absorb all the coffee mixture.

– Set 1 layer at the bottom of a springform pan and add in 1/2 cheese mixture. Sift the cocoa powder on the cheese mixture.

– Repeat the previous step for the second layer.

– Let the cake sit in the refrigerator for 6 hours before serve.

Spaghetti with anchovies and portobello mushroom – mỳ spaghetti với sốt anchovy và nấm portobello

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I made this recipe randomly when my refrigerator left me only anchovies in oil and one sweet onion, but thank for my ignorant time, this recipe is good enough to make me decide to cook this spaghetti again. The anchovy flavor is quite strong, making the spaghetti has the unique flavor. I do think for someone that is fed up with the red sauce spaghetti, give this dish a try and you will see that any food can be boring except the spaghetti. You can create any flavored spaghetti as long as our earth still has something that is edible.

Ingredients
– 250 g dried spaghetti
– 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
– 3 big portobello mushroom, sliced
– 150 g salted anchovies in olive oil
– salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

– reserve 2 tbsp of olive oil from salted anchovies then add the oil to a shallow pan, cook the sliced onion in medium heat until the onion is soft , around 5-10 minutes
– add in the mushroom. Stir for 3 minutes until the mushroom is soft and the water from mushroom comes out.
– meanwhile cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente ( about 5-7 minutes)
– when the onion and mushroom are soft, add in the anchovies. Stir well for 1 minutes until the anchovies become a paste
– add in the spaghetti and mix well
– add freshly ground pepper. Add more salt if needed.
Serve immediately

Spaghetti with butter white wine sauce and shrimp

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I wanna reconfirm that I do like spaghetti cooked with dry wine, and it’s unforgettable if white wine is combined with shrimp. You are wondering the outcome of that mixture, aren’t you ? I believe you will have no regret for making this dish.

Spaghetti is the most interesting pasta I like among the uncountable Italian noodle because spaghetti is not so thick like fettuccine but is firmer than linguine. I also like combining caramelized onion or anise with spaghetti. Try it and let me know your result.

Ingredients ( for 2-4 servings )
– 300 g dried spaghetti
– 1/2 cup dry white wine
– 9 jumbo shrimp, peeled
– 3/4 stick butter
– 1 anise, with white thinky sliced and green chopped
– 1 big red bell pepper
– salt and pepper
– 1 tbsp olive oil

Method
– grill the red pepper until it’s blackened outside then put it into a bowl and cover for 15 minute.
– after 15 minutes, peel the grilled pepper and slice it thinly.
– heat oil and add the white part of anise. Stir fry until it’s soft for around 15 minutes.
– cook the spaghetti in salty water for 10 minutes or until al dente
– add the shrimp and red pepper to the stir fried anise. Add in white wine and bring it to a boil. Cook the shrimp for 5 minutes then add in the butter
– stir in cooked spaghetti and green part of anise and cook for 1 minute. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste
– serve warm

Homemade Mascaporne cheese

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You know Tiramisu, don’t you? Tiramisu is a cake that every Italian girl makes it in the Valentine’s Day. I’m not distracted in this topic because you’ll see why I wrote this post of mascaporne cheese today.

Well, mascaporne cheese can be called a cousin of cream cheese. Preferably for me, mascaporne has more sweet taste and tangy feeling than its cousin. Of course, there is no sour flavor too in this very  styled Italian cream cheese. My fridge rarely has mascaporne because I know the homemade one could make it up to my work. With only heavy cream and lemon juice, you can easily make this cheese. I had some experiences working with Tiramisu. First you need to beat well the storebought mascaporne before adding it to the egg mixture, otherwise your Tiramisu wouldn’t be set firm to be ready for serving. Secondly, if you can’t remember the first tip, let’s try making mascaporne cheese at home. This easy to follow process would give you a no flaw Tiramisu, even if you forget to beat it well for having a good shaped Tiramisu. Certainly, this homemade cheese is cheaper than the store-bought one.

Ingredients

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 1 tbsp lemon juice (lime juice is okay but try to find lemon juice to have a better taste)

Method

– In a medium heat, heat the heavy cream to a boil.

– Add lemon juice and stir well frequently. You’ll start to see the water separates from the milk curds.

– Stir for another 10 minutes until you see the water is translucent.

– Remove from the boil.

– Use a find mesh strainer or cheese cloth, pour in the cheese. Cover by a plastic wrap and let it sit in fridge overnight for at least 12 hours.

– Press the cheese against the cloth or strainer to remove all the water. Your cheese is ready for making Tiramisu or any type of cake that requires Mascaporne.

Fresh Colored Fettuccine with Caramelized Onion and Dill – Mỳ ý sợi dẹt với hành tây và thì là

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You have more than a way to color the pasta. Sometimes this colored fettuccine can lure your baby if she is so picky, especially when she finishes her first birthday. I made this pasta when the refrigerator had only carrots left and in a lazy rainy day, I had no choice. The result amazingly was good, at least my family didn’t leave anything on the plates.

Ingredients

For the Fettucine

– 3 small carrots

– 3 tbsp water

– 2 cups all purpose flour (semolina flour is the best if you have it on hand)

– 3 eggs

For the sauce

– 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

– 1 1/2 inch thick salmon

– 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

– 3 tbsp olive oil

– 2 green onion, chopped

– 4 stalk of dill, chopped

– 3/4 cup pasta cooking water

– salt and pepper

Method

For the Fettucine

– Finely chop the carrots and mix with 3 tbsp water. Use a mesh strainer, strain the carrot and retain only the juice

– Mix well all the carrot juice with other ingredients. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough is a little sticky and you have to rest the dough for 30 minutes.

– Use pasta machine to cut the dough into the fettuccine.

– Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 tsp salt. Add the fresh fettuccine and cook for 3 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

For the sauce

– Chop green onion and dill. Note: to get the aroma of the dill, you should use a knife and press the body of the dill. The aroma of the dill mainly is in this part so don’t remove it. We need both the leaves and the body part.

– Sear the salmon with the skin first. Then cover for 3 minutes, flip the salmon and sear for 3 minutes more. Remove the skin and shred the salmon into big chunk.

– Heat the olive oil. Saute the thin sliced onion until it’s caramelized for about 5-7 minutes at medium heat. Then add the fettucine, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese along with chopped green onion, dill. Slowly add the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce. Add more salt to your taste and serve when the pasta is still warm.

Two cheese spaghetti with Bluefish, Caramelized Onion and Anise leaves

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I like any pasta cooked with dry wine. Seafood works well in combination with wine, preferably for me dry red wine with its pungency can delete any trace of seafood’s odor.

Many people get confused when they buy anise from the supermarket. Actually, we should call it the fennel bulb rather than anise to clarify this misunderstanding. Anise star has a much much much stronger flavor than Fennel. We can meet Anise star easily in most of Indian curry or Pho of Vietnamese. Fennel somewhat has a similar flavor like anise star, however it’s really a good idea to combine fennel with spaghetti. Don’t throw away your fennel leaves, which are the green part of the fennel. It’s a really really a unique condiment.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

– 300 g dry thin spaghetti

– 1/2 cup dry red wine

– 6 green part of anise, remove the firm part and keep the leaves and the soft part only, chopped them well

– 2 green onion, chopped

– 1  1.5 inch thick cut of bluefish

– 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

– 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

– 2 tbsp unsalted butter

– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– Salt and pepper

Method

– In a large pot, boil 5 quart water to a boil with 1 tbsp salt. Cook the bluefish for 5 minutes or until it’s just cooked. Don’t over cook it, otherwise the fish would be dry and lose its flavor.

– Shred the fish

– Retain the fish water. Add the pasta and cook until it’s just al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain it. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

– Heat a shallow large pan with olive oil. Saute the onion at medium heat until it’s caramelized then reduce the heat, slowly add the dry red wine. When the dry is boiled, add butter.

– Add the pasta along with the cheeses. Stir evenly with the shredded fish, chopped anise and green onion. Slowly add the pasta water up to 3/4 cup to thin the sauce.

– Add more salt to your taste. Sprinkle pepper and serve.