Garbanzo Bean and Tripe soup

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Buseca or Garbanzo Bean and Tripe soup is one of those special tastes of Milan visitors can enjoy. There are several varieties from parts of Europe and Spanish South America.

To make the soup you will need 1 pound honeycomb tripe, 1 cup white vinegar, 7 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 onions, diced, 4 plum tomatoes, diced, 6 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, 1 gallon beef stock, 1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans,1 c up dried white navy beans, 2 turnips, diced, 4 carrots, sliced, 1/2 head white cabbage, shredded, 1 cup long-grain rice, 12 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced, 12 ounces morcilla sausage, thinly sliced, 1 cup grated queso blanco, 5 sprigs basil.

Rinse the tripe under cold running water and fill a large bowl with ice water and add vinegar. Place the tripe in the bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and cut into small cubes.

In a large pot combine the tripe, bay leaves, pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, 1 gallon water and the remaining vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook at a full boil for 1 hour. Drain the tripe and rinse. In another pot over a high flame, combine the oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and remaining bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, reserved tripe, garbanzo beans, white navy beans and turnips, and boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add the carrots, cabbage and rice and simmer for another hour. Add the chorizo, morcilla, cheese and basil. Stir and simmer 10 minutes.

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Antipasto, open your appetite

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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.

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