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Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 1322
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject:

Hello Kat

Seems we are writing both at the same moment - about 800 km as the crow flies ! Hellooooooo !!!

Hope for us to dream this night your beautiful Tropical Island Dream - haha

Thank you and Good Night my dear, fighting Katwoman in the sun !
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 662
Location: roma, italy

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject:

Ok girls,
time for a simple pasta lunch.
Some time ago our friend Lavinia aka Daniela told us that in her Country people can't have a space to grow crops, and that forgot the recipes to cook vegetables. If you are keeping tabs on the forum, Daniela, this recipe is especially dedicated to you.

This is Pasta with a wild weed, the Borage.

Any acquaintance non-gardeners might have with borage is liable to be made through a simple walk in the park. The starry flowers are small, blue or pink, with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Borago officinalis is a self-seeding herb with rough, hairy leaves which often gate-crashes the garden party and pops up here and there among herbs or vegetables. Its prolific, pretty flowers, with their strange pointels, have a sweet honey-like taste and are often used to decorate desserts and dishes. They are beloved of bees and produced over many months. Tea made from the dried flowers is a traditional calming drink in Iran. It has a rich purple color that amazingly turns into a bright pink by adding a few drops of lemon juice.
Although native to the Middle East, the range of borage has expanded throughout the Mediterranean region and into central and eastern Europe (yes, even Czech Republic), along with introduction to other regions of the world. The leaves taste like fresh cucumber and are used in salads and soups.
Borage is a neglected horticultural crop; its cultivation as a crop is relatively scant, despite its many food uses.

x 4 people take:
2 beautyful bunches of fresh borage
300/400gr short pasta
one peeled and crushed clove of garlic
extravergine olive oil
parmesan cheese

Clean the borage separating blossoms and flowers from the leaves, the leaves from the stems; eliminate the bigger and harder stems and and cut in pieces the tender ones. Cook together the borage and pasta in plenty salt water at a rolling boil (usually about ten minutes); drain the pasta and vegetables and sautè into a large pan with olive oil and the garlic clove, add the blooms of borage, then the parmesan cheese. Decorate the dishes with the flowers and a pinch of black pepper.

Enjoy for now.
This evening just barbecued fish!!!!!!!!!
“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world”

Sadako Sasaki
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 662
Location: roma, italy

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:26 am    Post subject:

... Where were we?
Ah, yes!

... The sea is turquoise... and the sand is white, for all the black stone of the mountains. A trip on a dhow. We bring the boat ashore in a narrow inlet, beaching it on, yes, white sand between high, jagged rock walls that reach out into the sea. Beyond the beach, green grass and stunted trees grow in what looks like a hidden valley - a secret place.

At top of the beach a picnic has already been set up, a carpet spread in a patch of shade (I didn't forget you fair skinned!), thick cushions thrown around on it, a brazier with a coffee pot on it, and a wicker basket promising an array of delights to eat.

We sank down among the pillows, and and collectively sigh with the sheer delight of it. We laze, pluck some grape, drink coffee and relax till someone says, "Come" and haul us to our feet. We enter the warm, clear water, feeling it wrap around us, cleansing and supporting us. We lay on our backs and kick legs, feeling our hair float around our faces like seaweed. We swim long clean strokes out to the entrance of the inlet, then back again, loving the freedom of it.

After the swim, we brush us dry, then go on exploring along a narrow path into the green valley. Moss and lichen grow on stones in what might, when it rains, be a tiny creek. More rocks form a waterfall, dry now but greenly beautiful with delicate, dangling ferns. We climb the rocky fall and reach a high point from where we can look out over the sea...

evil And now I dare you to go back to your everyday errands!!!!!!!!! evil

“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world”

Sadako Sasaki
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 662
Location: roma, italy

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject:

After loong talking,
and following a thread that makes use of wild weeds (listen Daniela)
I invite you to dinner with

Pasta con le Sarde (Pasta with Sardine Sauce)

This is a classic Sicilian dish from Palermo, created when the Saracens ruled Sicily. Legend says that during the Arab siege in Sicily the officer of General Eufemio that had to feed the troops had nothing else than pasta and sardines, not too fresh to boot. So he had to be inventive, and used what nature offered: the wild fennels that were tasty and very scented, to cover the stinking sardines, and added pine nuts, at the time thought as a natural remedy for food poisoning. AND toasted breadcrumbles, often used as a substitute of parmesan cheese.

400 g di pasta (bucatini, vermicelli, spaghetti)
½ kg wild fennel ( a simple walk in the park can solve the "find the right ingredient" problem, seen that you need just the tender green extremities)
½ kg di sarde fresche
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
4 anchovy filets
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 package saffron
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs

As I said, I took the tender fennels leaves, washed it then thrown in boiling salt water and let them cook till tender, about five minutes. I drained it (reserving ALL the water I boiled the fennel in) and cut it roughly.
I opened the sardines in two halves, like books, and removed heads, tails innards and backbone. Washed them. Then cut in 1 inch pieces and left a couple still intact.
I heated 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan. I sautéed onions over medium heat until golden. Added anchovies and mixed til they melted, then added the sardines, the cut and the whole ones. As they cooked, I crushed the sardines with the back of a spoon to make a thick paste, but was careful to cook the whole ones and to put them aside without breaking them. Added the fennel, the pine nuts, raisins, saffron, salt and pepper. Few spoonful of the water of the fennel and let it simmer with a lid on for about ten minutes.

Using fennel water, I boiled pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes.
In the meantime I toasted the bredcrumble this way: I put it into a pan over medium heat, and mixed til it became golden (not burned), then I closed the fire, added few spoonful of olive oli and kept mixing till it was absorbed.
Then drained the pasta. Put in the pan and mixed it with the sardine sauce. Sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbles.

Put into the dishes and decorated with few raw fennel leaves and the whole sardines.

This pasta may be served hot or cold. You can also put it in the oven.
You do all til it is ready to serve. At this point, anoint an oven container and sprinkle it with toasted breadcrumbles to cover the sides and the bottom of the container wher we will pour the mixed pasta with the sardine sauce, then we cover all with other breadcrumbles and put in preheated oven at 180°C for about 10 min. This preparation is good also if served cold.

With this dish is almost obligatory the pairing with a white of the Alcamo wineyards, the Alcamo DOC, that is a wine of strong character, up to this consistent dish.

Recommended eccellent and abundant both the pasta and the assorted cruditées to follow. Relaxed small talk, a pinch of gossip, chuckles shared between old charming foxes. Few sicilian wines, and to close a great zibibbo that goes arm in arm with the almond biscuits that can't go amiss. On the terrace pours a sun sweet and soft like a caramel drop.

There are nice moments, there are enjoyable breaks, interesting moments. Better, way way better than fight all the time.

“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world”

Sadako Sasaki
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