Last 7 Days of Cooking #4

Welcome to the fourth episode of the Last 7 Days of Cooking series! This time there is no specific theme; the dishes, ranging from first courses to desserts, are mostly Italian with some Asian diversions.

Orecchiette with broccoli and Italian sausage

Do you know this kind of pasta? It is called orecchiette which literally means “small ears” in Italian. Don’t they really look like ears? :-D I cooked them with broccoli, Italian sausage, Italian cream (panna da cucina), and crushed red chilies. As you can see from the picture, orecchiette hold the creamy sauce and the other ingredients very well. That’s why I like to cook them like this. As usual, I am curious about how to make orecchiette at home, so I searched the Internet and found a video on how to make orecchiette. I was so surprised by the skill of the lady in the video. Her fingers are amazing! One day I would like try it myself.

Spaghetti with toasted bread crumbs and sun dried tomatoes

What would you do if you have stale bread at home? I usually make bread crumbs with a cheese grater. I then store them in a freezer bag or an airtight container so that I can use them at any time. A few days ago I used them to cook spaghetti with toasted bread crumbs and sun-dried tomatoes – if you wish, you can add some anchovies as well. Bread crumbs give a different and distinct texture to the pasta. Just make sure to add the right quantity with respect to the condiment, otherwise spaghetti will stick together.

Agedashi tofu

Agedashi tofu is a Japanese dish consisting of deep fried tofu with dashi sauce. Dashi is a basic Japanese stock that can be used in different ways, for instance, for soups and sauces. I made my own dashi with dried sea tangle (kombu or edible kelp), Korean dried anchovies, white wine, garlic, soy sauce, water, sugar, and ginger. I garnished the fried tofu with grated radish, sliced cooked sea tangle, red chili, and chopped green onion.

Lamb rack with cabbage rolls

Lamb rack is one of the ingredients that I’m getting into. In my last experiment, I marinated it with crushed garlic, herbs, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. I kept the marinated rack of lamb in the refrigerator for about an hour and then seared it in a hot pan with butter. I then put it into a parchment paper pocket with thyme and white wine, and then cooked it in the oven at 220°C for about 20 minutes. I like to eat lamb when it’s pinky and juicy as you can see from the picture. It was very tender and delicious indeed! I served lamb with cabbage rolls filled with barley and porcini mushrooms.

Jujube and pistachio biscotti

Biscotti are not just as snack. They can be a great breakfast – of course one of my favorites! One day I was thinking to use Korean dried jujube for baking and I eventually made jujube biscotti with pistachio. They are a great combination, also for their colors. How beautiful! Don’t you think so?

Plumcake with yogurt

I saw the recipe of plumcake with yogurt from one of my favorite Italian food websites long time ago, and I finally gave it a try. What I like the most about this recipe is the presence of yogurt and the use vegetable oil instead of butter. This plumcake turned out incredibly well, even though I was expecting more flavor from the lemon zest. Maybe the lemon I had was not big enough. Anyway, next time I will add more lemon zest and I hope to get a better result.

Homemade tagliatelle

The traditional ratio of fresh egg pasta is one egg to 100g of flour and a pinch of salt. If the dough is too dry, you can add some water or extra virgin olive oil at a time. I usually use Italian 00 flour for tagliatelle and lasagne. In Italy flour is classified by how finely it is grounded – for instance, 00, 0, 1, and 2 – where smaller numbers mean finer grain. A pasta machine clearly makes the process much easier and faster ;-)

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25 thoughts on “Last 7 Days of Cooking #4

    • Eventually you are here, my sis! :-D Welcome to my world! Btw are you talking about Maoerdo?(I’m not sure it’s correct though). How does it spell in Chinese? I have tried to research it on the internet, but I failed! Please, let me know! Have a good week. Miss ya both of you!

      • Chinese call “Mao er duo” (猫耳朵)。I want to have your recipe. How are you during those day? Long time didn’t see you. Missing you.

    • 녹차가루 같은거 말씀하시는거예요? 아하! 감사합니다… 한번해봐야겠어요 ㅎ 아.. 언제쯤 직접 crostata 같은걸 함께 만들어볼 날이 올까요? 그날을 손꼽아 기다리며!!

      Ho cucinato le melanzana alla parmiginana per i miei amici ieri. Molto buono! :-D Grazie Signora, Patrizia! A presto.

  1. Pingback: Spaghetti cooked Risotto-Style | Silvia's Cucina

  2. Thanks for the tip re breadcrumbs. As I don’t have a grinder I’ve never thought of using a cheese grater! Doh…

    Really like the plum and yoghurt cake as I’m not overly keen on a lot of butter. Must check that recipe out.

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