lunedì 21 novembre 2016

L'inverno incontra l'estate!

Even if  it is already winter in Milan, last Saturday I found some fresh figs at Antonio’s stall. Antonio is an old man from South Italy who has a very nice and fresh stall at my local Milan market. Antonio fills in my fridge every Saturday but buying from him is much more, he is so sweet and he really is my Saturday cuddle.
I did not want to have figs as usual I enjoyed to have, namely with some prosciutto di Parma but I wanted to try something I tasted in a restaurant in Milan: figs and anchovies.

4,5 fresh figs
200 gr anchovies
4 potatoes
150 gr buffalo mozzarella
Lemon zest
Brown sugar
Steamed the potatoes with the rind, once cooled them peeled them and cut into pieces and put over medium heat with some hot water (I did not use any dairy products such as butter or milk). Mash the potatoes with a fork and let cook till  you get a homogenous cream. Add some nutmeg.

In a very hot pan put the clean figs cut into pieces, add a spoon of brown sugar and cook till the figs are browned.
Clean the anchovies and put a slice of mozzarella (leave the mozzarella one hour on a napkin to dry the milk) between 2 anchovies. Sprinkle with some evo oil, ginger and lemon zest. Cook into the oven at 180°C for 12/15 min.

Plate some potato cream with the anchovies and the caramelized figs.

giovedì 13 ottobre 2016

Les Navettes de Marseille

Few months ago I was in Marseille for a workshop and during the break my attention was caught by some biscuits that looked like mini baguettes. Their fragrance was something very familiar, reminding the long days spent with my grandma when I was a child, because these navettes marseillaises are made with orange blossom water, the same essence used for a typical Neapolitan dessert, called pastiera.
They are very crunchy, fragrant and light. I found a recipe on the web and modified a bit.
500 gr flour “0”
80 gr brown sugar
50 gr sugar
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp orange blossom water
2 eggs
A pinch of salt and ginger
Mix the egg with sugar till you get a creamy texture very airy, add salt, orange blossom water, ginger and olive oil. Fold in the flour little by little. Hand kneading the dough till you get an homogenous ball. Set aside covered for 1 hour.
Cut the ball dough into slice and roll each slice for a length of 10 cm. Pinch the extremities and with a knife make a cut lengthwise. Brush with some water and put into a pre heated oven (180°C) for 15/20 min. 
Let them cool and keep into a nice box for maximum a month (the pictures are not so nice as the taste of these navettes).

giovedì 15 settembre 2016

My birthday cake

Yesterday I turned 32 and yes, I baked my own birthday cake, a Caprese! This cake was made for the first time on the island of Capri and it was the result of a mistake because the chef forgot to add flour and so the  recipe is suitable for all gluten free diet followers.
200 gr dark chocolate
180 gr butter
200 gr almonds
5 eggs
100 gr sugar
50 gr brown sugar
1 tsp coffee powder
Melt dark chocolate and butter and let them cool aside. Roast almonds and mix them roughly.
Wisk egg whites till soft. In another bowl mix the yolks and sugar till a soft cream. Add chocolate and butter and the almond afterwards, then add the tsp of coffee powder. Fold the egg whites in gently.
Put in a preheated oven to 180° for 35 min.
Aggiungi didascalia

                                                    Dust with powdered sugar once the cake is cooled down.

martedì 30 agosto 2016

Lisboa, o meu amor!

I travelled a bit around Europe and I went to Lisboa just few months ago. I know, I am so unforgivable but I tried to recover my pity and so I went there twice last few months. I’ms ure that there will be a third time…I need to discover more, especially some nice beaches and its Feiras. I suggest you to stop in Lisboa at least 3 days because it is a city that needs time to be enjoyed as a local.
Lisboa is tangy, vibrant, fragrant. The river, the light, the colours, the street, the breathtaking miradouros! !People...humble, smiling, happy, respectful, cultivated, polite, generous, polyglot.
You cannot leave Lisboa without:
-        a relaxing walk at Chiado and Barrio Alto. Enjoy the great atmosphere of Largo do Chiado (rest in the small square in front of the Opera Sao Carlo). Through Largo do Camões you arrive at Barrio Alto, an area full of bars and restaurants, especially in Rua Nova do Carvalho  (well known as The Pink Street for its pink painted asphalt). There is also a wonderful area close to Parque Príncipe Real, my favourite,  full of nice shops and inspiring atmosphere, one of my favourite place together with Largo do Carmo: a small square full of jacaranda trees, a timeless and a very charming place.
-        a stroll at Baixa, the tourist area that will leave you breathless especially for the Santa Justa miraduro. The area is delimited by two wonderful squares: Praça dos restauradores and the magnificent Praça do Comércio.
-        a climbing up to Alfama. I love this quartier, because it is so authentic, old and full of life. The voices of fado that you can listen from the streets is moving and touching. There is the nice church of Santo António da Sé and during the Feiras in june, the quartier is a never ending stage for parties and events where grilled sardinas and great wine are the perfect entry for your Lisboan night. Near the top of Alfama, there is the Castelo de São Jorge where the view of Lisboa and Tagus river are amazing.
-        a stop at Apolonia Station an try to look fi Jeremy Irons is still there J.
-        a tour out of Lisboa. I will suggest Cascais, a very nice place on the coast in which you can enjoy long beaches and great seafood (in Guincho, have a lunch at Santa Maria, great arroz de marisco) or Sintra, a UNESCO world heritage site with a special microcliamte (cool and grey), full of wonderful and coloured palacios.
-        a visit to Belem. The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a majestic monastery built in the late Gothic style just in front of the famous Belem tower, completely surrounded by water. After your walk you will deserve a delicious pastis de nata at the pasteleria de Belem. Make the line because it’s worth the wait.
-        some shopping at “A vida portugesa” to buy some local products.
Now the most amazing chapter of this post: FOOD in Lisboa!!!
I always had very very very very very very good food. Bacalhau is the national dish and they have 365 ways to cook it.  I enjoyed two of those and I loved because I do love bacalhau. Another traditional dish is the Pica pau, a sort of meat stew but Portugal is a fish paradise, try Percebes, Lingueirão, Conquilha, Carabineriros, Polvo..etc you will never disappointed because the ingredients are always very fresh and well cooked with a perfect balanced seasoning.
Coffee is so delicious and less expensive than Italy. Wine? Unbelievable, I did not know that Portugal is a so wonderful wine Country. Alentejo and Douro are the best regions that offer great wines, very competitive with Italian and French standard.
I will give you some restaurants in which you MUST stop, if you wanna live happy J
-        TASCARDOSO: I never had so delicious food for a so cheap price (at least not in Europe). The place is very cozy an rustic. I had wonderful seabass with veggies;
-        PHARMACIA: the restaurant is very nice and food delicious with outstanding cocktail. I had razor clams risotto (very very good) and a fig and prosciutto salad with pica pau: amazing! In front of the restaurant there is a nice miraduro;
-        BICA DO SAPATO: wonderful and romantic restaurant on the sea. I drank a great wine from Douro region, enjoing a nice octopus salad, cod tartare and a delicious risotto with veggies (Portuguese are very good with risotto dish);
-        SANTO ANTONIO DE ALFAMA, it is a very romantic restaurant that I would choose more for  the atmosphere than for food;
-        CERVEJARIA RAMIRO: fish, fish and fish. Try to be a bit before the opening because there is always a long line since they do not accept reservations. I had percebes, carabinerios and wonderful small clams;
-        BELCANTO and ALMA; Michelin starred restaurants held by two amazing chefs José Avillez and Henrique Sa Pessoa. Pricey restaurant but an experience to make ,especially if you choose to enjoy their tasting menus. Remember to book;
-        MERCADO DA RIBEIRA, a wonderful food market and food court in which you can enjoy every kind of food. Be ready to fight to have a seat, it is always crowded;
I lived and travelled in different cities and Countries but Lisboa is a world apart. It is alive! Yes, this is a declaration of love!
Lisboa, eu te amo!!!
A special thanks go to Marta and Lia Flores da Silva, a part of my family, who always host me in Lisboa.

martedì 28 giugno 2016


After a long flight of 13 hours from London then I arrived on a land full of green and orchids where people cannot chew gums: welcome to Singapore.
View from LeVel 33
The first impressions as the last one was not so so good but it depends on the fact that I grow up in Naples, a messy and a very lively place where people shout in the streets, make a lot of noise and invite you to share a coffee to share the beauty of their city…yes, I need this to feel home and comfortable.
Singapore is the perfect place for 24/48 hours more less as a visit to Disneyland (I lived in Paris 2 years and I never been there). Yes, Singapore is a permanent playground. You can enjoy wonderful hotels with their bars or infinity pools, Marina Bay Sand with its hundreds rooms is a city into the city where everything works to perfection. The environment is really multicultural since Singapore is full of expats…yes, it is also a tax heaven. Personally what I most enjoyed there was food. I had a great food experience at Tippling Club, delicious food in a wonderful well decorated restaurant.

I could experienced the most famous Singapore food hall: Maxwell Food Court. Here I had the best Hainanese chicken with rice. I suggest you to pass and stop here to have this simple but full of flavours dish. I would suggest you a visit at Little India and Chinatown that are pretty authentic more than Arab street. Botanic gardens and Gardens by the Bay are a nice half-day excursion. If you wanna enjoy Singapore nightlife, I can suggest more than one rooftop, such as LeVel 33( a brewery with a wonderful view. Yes, beer can be chic. They have a very good list of champagne and wine as well…but food is not so delicious) and Altitude, where I found great music to enjoy with a singer live performance. If you are looking for something less poshy and more “authentic” (if Singapore can be authentic ) go to Clarke Quay! Stop for an aperitivo at Waffles Hotel, their Gazebo bar is very nice.
Do not forget to buy tiger balm!!!! And to have your manicure at the Spa in Changi airport.
A special thank you to Claudio and Veronika who hosted me.

giovedì 19 maggio 2016

Yes, I run at 7 am

You re crazy?! You put your alarm clock at 6h30 am -even if you are 5 minutes walking far from your office-, to run outside? Indeed, You are crazy! You are insane!

I heard these words many times. I will try to explain in 3 points why I run so early in the morning:
1. I run so early in the morning, yes even in the wintertime –when leaving the duvet for the Park is very extreme-, because the colours and the smells of the Park are special. I have not to share it with many people  pick-nicking, squalling, etc, so the Park is mine!!!!
2. I run so early in the morning, because if I have a meeting out of the blue late in the afternoon, I have not lost my run moment.
3. I run so early in the morning, because the wellness feeling that follows me all day long, is extraordinary.

For many of you, my motivations are not enough. It does not matter. Please continue to name me insane that I will always have a thought for you when I’ll spread my raspberry and rhubarb jam after having run my 7 km.

martedì 27 ottobre 2015

Vellutata di zucca e pistacchi

Yes, I believe in simplicity. Cooking is for me a way to enjoy good food, keeping it more natural I can. Even if I don’t like orange -I could never wear something orange- I do love having it in my plate, especially if it is made with pumpkin. 

350 gr Kabocha pumpkin (serving 2 as main dish or 4 as appetizer) 
120 gr Fresh ricotta or feta cheese 
Salted pistachios 
Fresh ginger 
Red chili 
Evo oil 

Grind some salted pistachios and set aside. 
Steam or boil the pumpkin with the rind. Once cooled down, peel it and put into a food processor with some fresh ginger and a bit of red chili.Pour some water to have the desired texture. 
Warm it up and serve in a bowl with some fresh ricotta quenelle or feta cheese and garnish with the ground pistachios and evo oil.