I have been lacking of inspiration lately when it comes to my daughters meals. I felt she was short on variety so there was only one thing for it – a Skype call to her Nonna for a few recipes. You see this is fabulous on two levels 1) my daughter develops her taste buds from not eating the same thing all the time and 2) my Italian mother-in-law is not only impressed that I’m asking her for advice but also that I’m learning to cook important Italian food.
This evening I have been slaving over a hot stove to throw together a nice little Melanzane Arrosto con Agnello (roasted aubergine with lamb) and a lovely Goulash di Manzo (beef goulash).
Melanzane Arrosto con Agnello – makes 5 servings
1 splash extra virgin olive oil
4 oz minced lamb (this is a bit more than a palm full)
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
Sprinkle of parsley and rosemary
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Right, heat the over to about 200deg. Take out the middle of the aubergine and cut it into really small pieces – leave it on the side. Heat the oil in a frying pan, throw the mince in with the onion and brown it off. Then, add the onion, chopped aubergine and garlic (NEVER EVER add onion and garlic together in the oil, it’s an Italian sin, apparently it changes the flavour of the dish…). Simmer and stir for a bit longer. Add the herbs, stir and pour the mixture over the aubergine shell that should now be in an oven dish (although i forgot to tell you to put it there, so do that now..). Pour over the chopped tomatoes and bung it in the over for about 45 minutes. When its ready, chop it up into smaller pieces and divide into individual portions. Delicioso!
Goulash di Manzo – makes 4 servings
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 8 oz
A good hand size of diced stewing steak (I always buy Organic meat)
A generous sprinkle of paprika
1 tsp plain flour (not self raising like I just used because I had run out of plain!)
1/2 cup of boiled water with 1 melted Boots Organic baby veg stock cube (or your own stock)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
Good handful of button mushrooms (I usually prefer chestnut mushroom as they’re tastier)
1 bay leaf
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp natural yogurt
1/2 tbsp parsley
Ok, so heat the oil in a pan and brown off the meat. Turn it down and lash in the paprika and flour. Stir. Pour in the stock and give it a whirl. The, put this in an oven dish and leave on the side. Put the butter in a pan and once melted add the onion, carrots and mushrooms – give them a whirl too until softened a bit. Stir. Add the chopped tomatoes (told you Italians love everything with a tomato!!). Stir. Put that little concoction in the oven dish with the meat, add the herbs and put the dish in the over for about an hour. Check it mid way through to make sure the juice hasn’t dried up. If it has you can just moisten with a bit of boiled water. Once done, add it a delicious dollop of full fat natural yogurt. Stir. Serve up into individual portions.
If you know any Italian receipes I can try, give me a shout so that I can impress shock my Mother-in-Law! C’mon, one for the Brits!
Va bene?? Buon appetito bambini… x