mushroom risotto, chicken&spinach lasagne, frangelico tiramisu!

Mushroom risotto ingredients: serves 4
1) 300g carnerolli rice( it’s a type of risotto rice, you can always use a different type, that’s destined for risotto. Rice for risotto is rice.. please don’t use the cheap quick-cooking types,nor basmati or any other curry-destined rices. It has to be good quality, otherwise it’ll taste bad. As simple as that.
2) 1,2 l of stock- I use mushroom stock of my own making. You don’t have to. You can use vegetable stock. I wouldn’t use chicken or beef-cause of their over-powering flavour.and besides, if it’s a meaty stock,vegetarians can’t eat the risotto. So vegetable or mushroom stock. Don’t be afraid to use concentrated stock. There’s nothing wrong with it!!
3) half a cube (about 150 g of cold unsalted butter.
4) mushrooms of your choice- I use a selection of dried(they add lovely dark,rich colour.)and fresh mushrooms. Such as girole mushrooms, simple champignons or chestnut mushrooms.(sometimes I add king bolete as well- dried ones)- w/e you add you will need quite a lot of mushrooms- 150 g of giroles, 2 handfuls of dried boletes, and about 150 g of chestnut mushrooms-fresh.
5) 2 cups of shredded parmezan cheese. – use good quality cheese, if you use those pre-grated pseudo-parmezans.. the risotto will come out awful.
6) 1 tea spoon of fresh thyme(do not use lemon thyme! It’ll ruin the dish and make it taste of lemon air-freshnerJ) 1 tea spoon of rosemary
7) 2 shallots- finely chopped
8) 2 cloves of garlic
9) glass of dry white wine of your choice.
10) pepper to taste.
11) generous handful of flat leaf parsley
Does it sound complicated? it’s really not! let’s start.
1 ) fry off the shallots and garlic, add the herbs and season to taste.
2) add the mushrooms, fry off for 2-3 min, add the wine and simmer until it evaporates.
3) add the rice, and coat it by stiring. 
4) start adding the stock, gradually, let the rice absorb the liquid and add next portion of liquid.
5) when your the rice absorbs all the liquid, add cold butter, stir it in. it’ll make the risotto runnier and creamier.
6) add the cheese, stir it in. season to taste if needed.
7) serve in a deep plate, eat with a spoon 🙂


Chicken & spinach lasagne ingredients: serves 4

1)      1 box of lasagne pasta leafs –verdi or natural , whatever you preffer.
2)      4 chicken fillets- diced
3)      1 can of chopped tomatoes
4)      2 cloves of garlic-chopped
5)      1 onion-diced
6)      1 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of rosemary, 1 tsp of basil, 1 tsp of oregano
7)      ½ tsp of chili
8)      1 bag of spinach- fresh
9)      ½ l of milk
10)   4 tbsp of plain white flour
11)   50 g of butter
12)   salt & pepper to taste
13)   grated cheese – about 150 g

let’s start!

1)      fry off the chicken just so the edges sear and colour a little, with 1 onion,garlic,chili, and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Poor the chopped tomatoes over the chicken and simmer 2-3 min until it reduces a little.
2)      Sauté the spinach in a frying pan with some salt and pepper until it just whilts.
3)      Prepare the bechamel sauce : melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and stir it in, gradually add the milk whisking the mixture- so the flours spreads evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t cook it, just heat it, until the mixture turns thick.
4)      Butter an oven dish, make the first layer of chicken, then spinach, lasagne pasta and bechamel,then cheese. Repeat it until you fill the dish or run out of ingredients. Final layer has to be bechamel-cheese though!
5)      Bake for about 35-40 minutes in a pre-heated oven, 180C.
6)      Serve hot! 
Frangelico tiramisu ingredients: serves 4 ( I use a form of 25x25cm)

1) 1 cup of good espresso- about 200 ml
2) 100 ml frangelico (+ extra 60 ml for the cheese-filling)
3) 150-200 g of very fine sugar (if you like it less sweet- add less)
4) about 40 savoiardi cookies (traditional italian biscits used for tiramisu (that’s how many I need for my form. You may need a little bit more or less- depending on how big your form is)
5) 2 tbsp of good quality cocoa powder
6) 500g of mascarpone cream cheese
7) 2 eggs- separated yolks, whisked whites(to a fluffy foam).
8) 150 g of hazelnuts.

Let’s start!- make sure how many cookies you’re going to need for one layer of tiramisu.I need about 15-17, and you need two layers. So about 30 -34 in total for me.

1)      cool off your espresso, mix it with a cup of frangelico.
2)      Dip your savoiardi cookies in the mixture-( they have to be really wet, but can’t be falling to pieces) lay the first layer in your deep-dish.
3)      Whisk egg yolks with sugar, add 60 ml of frangelico, and mix it with mascarpone until smooth.
4)      Pour half of the mascarpone mixture onto the bottom layer of coffee dipped savoiardi, smoothen it out.
5)      It’s time to dip half of the cookies in coffee mixture again. Dip, lay on top of the cheese mixture. If you have any of the coffee mixture left- you can drizzle it over the top layer of cookies.
6)      Cool the tiramisu for minimum 6 hours. Better if it’s over night. Before serving, top tiramisu with an even layer of hazelnuts and dust over with cocoa. Delicious!

disclaimer- I am not the author or owner of any pictures added in this blog.

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