A blog in Collaboration with Barilla
This year, I ve gained a little confidence in my cooking skills. I ve had more time to be at home, working from home, less events to attend to practise cooking a little more. In previous years, I didn’t really enjoy cooking, It was just not one of my best talents or passions, but in the past year, this has changed, like many things have changed around me and I ve adapted or changed previous patterns to adapt to the changing environments.
I have some friends in our community who are very good cooks, and their enthusiasm for making wholesome, creative dishes has rubbed off a little, so I ve been trying some things and I have some dishes they really love, like a special soup and a white cream sauce they really look forward to. However, I’m just learning and I don’t wish you to expect anything fancy from me for the time being OK? I ll leave that to the professionals! Let s stick to the simple, basic dishes!
Every Christmas, we go to my parents for Christmas Lunch. We get together and it’ s always a beautiful day. Family is everything to me and Christmas Time feels so special, open hearted and a time to share and give. It is our tradition to have two starters, a main dish and many other surprises for dessert and coffee time. It’s challenging to eat it all without feeling like an oversized stuffed piglet, but we manage somehow to survive the challenge and start a “Diet” the next day haha.
Mum cooked the main dishes. This year, however I offered to cook the pasta as the starter for Christmas Lunch, an offer that they accepted out of sheer curiosity. Would Grazielle pull it off? Did I pull it off?
I wanted to share how tasty the Barilla Vero Gusto pasta and sauces are, in case they hadn’t tried them and I wanted them to taste my delicious Mediterranean Bolognese recipe! Mum prepared the rest of the dishes including cooked pork, potatoes, cauliflower served with a mushroom sauce. This is a pic of my starter portion.
MEDITERRANEAN BOLOGNESE PASTA
Here is My Secret Recipe – To Serve 8 persons
3 Vero Gusto – Pepperoncino jars, Sliced Carrots , One large Onion Sliced , Olive Oil
Peas , 12 oz Minced Pork, some Worchester Sauce, a glass of red wine, fresh thyme.
Heat a pan with oil and cook the onions until they become caramelised. Add Minced Pork and while it it cooking pour some Worchester Sauce for a sweet yet spicy flavour. Add the carrots and peas. After some time, add the bottles of Vero Gusto sauces. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes. Add a glass of wine at the end to the sauce as well as some thyme and turmeric curry.
Cook pasta of your choice – and then mix them together! In my case the Castellane
My family loved it and I gained some points for helping out. Better late than never they say!
LASAGNE ALLA SORRENTINA
Another classic baked pasta recipe to prepare in advance that is guaranteed to impress your crowd.
Tomato and mozzarella is one of the most popular combinations in Italian cuisine, sliced up with olive oil dressing for a summer lunch or used as a classic sandwich filling.
They are also the main ingredients of the mouthwatering “alla Sorrentina”, or Sorrento-style sauce, used to top a variety of baked pasta and gnocchi dishes. This basil-infused rich tomato sauce with melted mozzarella is a traditional recipe of Sorrento, a town in Southern Italy on the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast with breathtaking views of the bay of Naples. It is a region known for its prized tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
The Sorrento-Style sauce makes a perfect topping for cannelloni, a staple Italian dish of tubed-shaped pasta filled with a meat or vegetarian stuffing and baked in the oven. This tasty crowd-pleaser doesn’t necessarily require complicated cooking techniques and can produce elegant results when using some kitchen helpers from Barilla.
Barilla Wavy Lasagne sheets, cooked in just a minute in boiling water and then dried, can be easily rolled in a cannelloni shape. Another secret ingredient, Vero Gusto Tomato & Basil Sauce, will add a delicate Mediterranean taste for the topping. This premium sauce, handcrafted in Italy with locally grown ingredients and high quality olive oil, will bring a taste of Sorrento right into your kitchen.
Sorrento-style Cannelloni is a must-try for lunch or dinner. This recipe can be prepared in advance and will definitely impress your family and guests.
SORRENTO- STYLE CANNELLONI
6oz ground pork, 6oz ground meat, 1 ½ cups Vero Gusto Tomato & Basil Sauce, 12 oz. ricotta cheese, 5 oz mozzarella cut in ½” cubes, 1/3 cup dry white wine, Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese divided (½ cup for filling ½ for cup for garnish), 3 tbsp. tomato paste, 8 Barilla Wavy Lasagne sheets , 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 10-12 basil leaves, chiffonade , butter, 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
How to prepare it
Step 1 Prepare the filling
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Lightly oil a pan and heat. Add finely chopped onion, lightly fry and then add the meat and toss over high heat. Deglaze with white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, basil and ladleful of water to moisten. Simmer on low heat for 35-40 minutes. Place all the meat, tomato paste, onion and basil mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses to blended mixture, then use a spatula to blend and transfer filling to a pastry bag.
Step 2: Cook the lasagne sheets
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Barilla Wavy Lasagne pasta sheets for 8 minutes, then soak them in iced water for 1 minute.
Step 3: Fill the cannelloni
Arrange the Barilla Wavy Lasagne sheets on your work-space and pat dry with a towel. Lightly drizzle olive oil on wavy lasagne sheets. Squeeze the filling in the pastry bag along the longest side of each pasta sheet, and roll into a cylinder.
Step 4: Assemble and bake
Butter a 7”x12” baking dish, spread 2 tbsp. Vero Gusto Tomato & Basil sauce over the bottom and place the cannelloni on top. Cover with the remaining Vero Gusto Tomato & Basil sauce and mozzarella cubes, and sprinkle with Parmigiano. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Another easy Dish I tried during the Christmas and New Year Holidays!
This recipe is super easy
SHEET PAN SALMON WITH PESTO, TOMATOES & HERBS
Ingredients for 4 people
• 1 jar Barilla Vero Gusto Oive Taggiasche & Origano di Sicilia
• 4 4-ounce salmon filets
• 1 cup Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
• 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
• ¾ cup chives, sliced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to the broiler setting.
• In a foil-lined cookie sheet place the fish skin side down, season with salt and pepper.
• Top each filet with ¼ of the Vero Gusto Sauce and cook for 5 minutes
It is so much fun to cook with Barilla pasta and ingredients. You know that you always have a good chance of impressing your friends and loved ones. Good quality mixed with love and good intentions brings magical dishes to every home!
I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen. Thanks to Barilla Malta for pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to share these goodies with my family and friends.
Kisses and hugs to all
Vero Gusto Brand Ambassador 2021