Here are the recipes for the Roman dinner we made in cooking class the other night, incase anyone wants to try it!
1. First Course: Tagliolini fatti a mano con Pesto alla Genovese (Fresh homemade pasta with Pesto)
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 4 bunch fresh organic basil
- handful of pine nuts
- 250gr / 1/2lb freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic (remember to keep the heart away as it might be very heavy to digest)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- coarse salt
For the pasta dough all you have to is mix 4 cups/400gr all purpose flour with 4 eggs. Then roll out the dough powerfully to a thin, almost transparent sheet (don’t forget to use flour on the marble surface). Now it's time to cut the pasta into the tagliolini shapes, long and thin, as thin as you possibly can. Let the pasta sit before cooking, then put a large pot of boiling water over high heat. When the water is boiling, toss in a tablespoon of salt with the tagliolini pasta. Stir to keep the pasta from sticking. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until a piece of pasta tastes cooked.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the frying pan with the pesto sauce and add freshly grated parmesan cheese, serve hot.
In the meantime you have to prepare the pesto, blending or even better using a mortar to mix basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic (remember to get rid of the heart of it to make it easier to digest) and salt.
Cook the pasta into a salted, boiling water until al dente. Use a slotted spoon to drain the pasta and toss gently with the pesto. Serve immediately, it's gonna be delicious!
2. Second Course: Eggplant Parmigiana (Parmigiana di Melanzane)
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 5 tablespoon of E.V. olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggplant, cut into 1 cm. slices
- 200 ml/2 cups sun flower oil to deep-fry
- 1kg./1/2 lb italian fresh tomato skinned-chopped (Tomatoes on the vine or Roma tomatoes are the best types that you can get back home)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh organic basil
- 250 gr./ 9 Oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 100 gr/ 3.5 Oz. grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the sauce first. In a large frying pan over low heat, stir in the clove of garlic (remember to keep the skin on, just smash it an saute into extra virgin olive oil) and cook until it starts to brown. Boil the fresh San Marzano tomatoes and remove the skin, then chop them and add to the frying pan. Cook it for about 15 minutes, then add salt and freshly chopped basil leaves.
In the meantime place the eggplant sliced into circle in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt. Let drain for 1 hour (we skipped this in the class, because we didn’t have time, but it’s okay because the eggplant I got for you at the market were very small and seedless). Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan until very hot. Shake the salt off the eggplant and frying small batches until golden brown, 5-7 minutes per batch. Drain onto paper towels. Add salt.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a medium baking dish. Spread a layer of eggplant in baking dish, topped with tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, few leaves of fresh organic basil and top it with parmesan cheese. Repeat eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan layers. Bake the tray of eggplant until hot and bubbly for about 10 minutes. Serve with it covered in Parmesan cheese and decorate with a leaf of fresh organic basil. Can be served hot or cold.
3. Dessert: Crema al Limone con Pesche al Brandy (Custard flavored with lemon zest and fresh seasonal peaches poached with Brandy)
Custard filling Ingredients & Instructions:
- 7 egg yolks
- 1 litre of milk
- 140gr / 1 1/3 cup of sugar
- 140gr / 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2tbsp granulated sugar and juice of 1 lemon to season the peaches
- 1 tbsp Brandy liqueur
- mint leaves and whipped cream for garnishment
To make the custard all you have to do is mixing egg yolks and sugar in a bowl whisking until smooth and soft. After add the flour and in the meantime over medium heat bring the milk to a boil with lemon zest in infusion. Add the milk to the flour mixture as soon as it will start boiling and put back over the flame stirring for a few minutes, until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and let sit until cool.
For the peaches all you have to do is to clean them, chop them into small pieces and let them cook into a non-sticky pan with lemon juice and sugar for about 15min before you will be able to add Brandy and let it evaporate lighting it up. Then adjust the peaches on top of the cream in a Martini glass for a nice presentation. Garnish with mint leaves and whipped cream for decoration!
It takes a while to make, but is very good!