Antipasto, open your appetite

antipasto1
Antipasto is the quintessential Italian opener. This serves as an appetiser for dinner and can also be served when entertaining guests.

This recipe serves four and requires 2 cups chopped cauliflower, 4 cups pearl onions, 2 cups chopped red bell peppers, 2 cups chopped green bell peppers, 2 cups chopped celery, 2 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and chopped, 2 cups carrots, chopped, 2 cups vegetable oil, 1 cup black olives, 1 tablespoon pickling spice, 1 cup pitted green olives, 4 cups mushrooms, 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 1 can tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cans flaked tuna.

To prepare first soak cauliflower, carrots, pearl onions, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, celery and cucumbers in lightly salted water overnight. In another bowl boil vegetable oil, vinegar, carrots, tomato paste and pickling spice for 10 minutes.

Cook vegetables and cauliflower in water until cauliflower is tender and crisp. Add black olives, green olives, mushrooms and tuna to the mixture. When cooked remove from heat and refrigerate. When chilled, arrange on a platter and serve.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON FOOD&DRINKS: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

San Marino, mountain country

san_marino

San Marino is an enclave microstate in Europe surrounded by the Italian peninsula. Its capital city is the city of San Marino and it has the smallest population of any country in the Council of Europe and it is the third smallest in Europe.

The country sits on the border of the Emilia Romagna and Marche regions of Italy and about 6 and a half miles from the Adriatic Sea.

San Marino has claimed to be the oldest sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world after being formed in September 301. The country is mainly mountainous as it sits in theApennines. There are no major bodies of water.

The enclave is host to one Unesco World Heritage Site – the “San Marino: Historic Centre and MountTitano.”  The climate is Mediterranean and has warm summers and cool winters.

San Marino has is much like that of Italy such as the piadina but it has a very well-known cake known as the Cake of the Three Towers which is a layered wafer cake covered with chocolate. There are also unique dishes and a small wine industry.

San Marino’s music tradition is long and rich. Among the bands from the country are Love Orchestra, a Gian Luca “Luke” Mazza new age music project.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

Arancini, meaty rice balls

arancini

Arancini is an Italian dish said to have originated in Sicily and is typically served in the Sicilian port city of Messina.

The meal is fried, stuffed, rice balls which are coated with breadcrumbs and filled with meat saucetomato saucemozzarella cheese, and peas. Some other variations also include mushroomspistachios or eggplant.

The ingredients include vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, beaten, 2 cups Risotto with mushroom and peas, ½ cup parmesan, grated, 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, salt, and 2 ounces mozzarella, cubed.

For the rice mixture all that is needed is 500g of risotto, chicken or beef stock, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 medium egg and ¾ cup Parmesan.

To make the risotto melt butter in a large pan add rice and fry for a few minutes. Add stock and stir into the rice until cooked. Leave to cool at room temperature.

Then combine eggs, risotto, parmesan, and bread crumbs. Fold mixture into balls and coat with remaining bread crumbs. Place one mozzarella cube in the centre of each ball.

Add oil to a large saucepan and heat over medium flame, add balls and fry until golden brown. Add salt to taste.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON FOOD&DRINKS: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

Tiella, Italian pie

tiella
Italian cuisine is more than just pasta and pizza. There are many recipes you can try. Tiella is a layered vegetable dish which often contains tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini, baked in an earthenware dish. It is most popular in the Italian south.

Eggplant, onions, red peppers, mushroom slices, sauteed greens, and sliced winter squash can be added. For the dough use 2 teaspoons dry yeast, ¼ cup warm water, 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1½ cups semolina flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ cup cool water, and 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

For the filling use 2 pounds escarole, 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1½ tablespoons chopped garlic, ⅓ cup capers, drained, ⅓ cup Gaeta olives, pitted, ½ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, and salt. To prepare trim the base of the escarole rinse, drain the leaves and chop into shreds.

Pour ¼ cup of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add garlic. Cook for a minute then add the escarole, capers and olives, add salt and peperoncino. Steam for 5 minutes.

To make the dough, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water and leave for several minutes to and start to bubble. Put flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and run for a few seconds to blend the dry ingredients. Stir the yeast with the cool water and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the liquid into the flour and continue processing for 30 seconds.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead to form a smooth round. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. When filling is prepared, heat the oven to 375°. Place a rack in the centre of the oven. Brush the bottom of the baking pan with olive oil.

Knead the dough to form a round and cut off 1/3 for the top crust of the tiella. The larger piece from the bottom. Put the round in the baking pan then scrape add escarole filling in the bottom crust and spread evenly. Fold the rest of the dough over the crust making indentations with the fingertips to seal. With a knife, pierce the top crust all over, brush extra-virgin olive oil and bake for about 45 minutes. 

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON FOOD&DRINKS: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

Antigua, the paradise

antigua
Antigua is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is part of a twin-island country known as Antigua and Barbuda. The name Antigua comes from the Spanish word meaning ancient and was named by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus when he discovered the island.

Antigua is said to have 365 beaches – one for every day of the year- and the economy is heavily reliant on tourism. St. John’s is the island’s capital and largest town.

English Harbour in the island’s southeast is famous and is also site of a restored British Colonial naval station known as Nelson’s Dockyard. The area is famous for yachting and sailing. There is an annual sailing season – Antigua Sailing Week – at the end of April and start of May, which is a world-class regatta.

The island also has legalised, regulated, and licensed online gaming. Sport fishing is also popular and a number of big competitions are held each year. Among the other popular sports are wind-surfing and kite-surfing, both of which take place at Jabbawock Beach.

Several famous persons have homes on Antigua including designer Giorgio Armani, musician Eric Clapton, and cricketer Sir Vivian Richards. The island has one international airport, the VC Bird International Airport.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

Corsica, Napoleon’s birthplace

corsica

Somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy, southeast of France, and north of Sardinia is the French island of Corsica.

The island, an departement outre-mer or overseas region of France, is dominated by amountain chain which comprises two-thirds of the territory. Corsica is the most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands.It has three separate climatic zones – hot coastal zone, temperatemountains, and an alpine zone.

For the nature lover there is the Parc Naturel Regional de Corse which boasts several protected species while the Scandola Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Ajaccio, the capital is in Corse du Sud while the second largest city Bastia is in Haute Corse. The Corsican culture is a unique blend of French and Italian.

The French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica and his home is currently a museum while the town of Calvi claims to be the birth place of the explorerChristopher Columbus.

Along with French, Corsica has its own language which is recognised as an official language by the French government.

Corsica has interesting cuisine which includes wild boarseafood and river fishficatellu coppalonzu made from Corsican pork and cheeses such as brocciucasgiu merzucasgiuand veghju made from goat or sheep milk.

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL

Malta, where centuries of history live

malta
One of the most densely populated countries in the world, the small Mediterranean island of Malta remains popular among British touristsThe island sits south of the island of Sicily and just north of Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.

The island has a warm climate and many recreational areas which makes it a tourist favourite.There are three Unesco World Heritage Sites on the island which is filled with architectural and historical monuments.

Among them are the Megalithic Temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. The island has a strong historical background having once been a base for Phoenicians, Hapsburg Spain, Romans, Aragonese, Arabs, Norman, French, and British.

Carnival has had a strong place in Maltan culture and it also has a strong Christian legacy. The architecture has been highly influenced by its Roman culture with classical and marble structures. Mosaic floors and Christian frescos decorate catacombs and Romanesque as well as Southern Gothic movements also have a place in Maltan culture.

The Italian artist Caravaggio painted seven of his works in Malta, two of the most notable being on display on the island.  

DISCOVER OTHER INTEREST ON PLACES: SIGNUP IN CIRCLEME SOCIAL