Chicken Breast Involtini

… and your mouth will literally water.

Hello everyone,

This is another recipe that my amazing grandma used to make at least once a month. It is a very simple one but so tasty and rich in flavor that will make you, your family and guests so festive and joyful.

Made with simple ingredients that you normally have at home, it is a dinner dish or even appetizer, if sliced, that will save you once you don’t have a lot of time and/or patience.

I promise that you’d want more and literally steal some from your neighbor’s plate.

Here are the ingredients and procedure for these delicious involtini:

  • 4 x 150g free-range chicken breast fillets
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sage leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 8-10 pancetta slices
  • 250g smoked provolone
  • 1 Lay chicken fillets on a board. Beat with a rolling pin to flatten to an even thickness of about 2cm. Combine 1 tablespoon oil with the sage and garlic in a bowl. Season.
  • 2 Lay 4 pancetta slices, overlapping, on the workbench (so they form a sheet large enough to enclose the chicken). Place a chicken fillet across the slices, brush with a little of the oil mixture, then top with a layer of cheese.
  • 3 Starting at one short end, roll up chicken and filling, using pancetta to enclose. Tie in 2-3 places with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining chicken and filling. Chill for 15 minutes while you preheat oven to 180°C.
  • 4 Heat remaining oil in a large ovenproof frypan over medium-high heat. Brown chicken all over, turning, for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked and cheese is melted.
  • 5 Remove string, then thickly slice the involtini if you want to serve as an appetizer. Otherwise just simply serve one per person with your favorite veggies, roasted potatoes or whatever makes you happy.
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There’s More Behind That Espresso

Yes, it is cultural for sure!

The Italians do love coffee and the good one. Although some of us can be fooled by some main chains and the kind of crap they are trying to serve us, the real Italian, maybe the stereotypical one, adores a delicious espresso.

However, there is more than the simple enjoyment behind drinking that little cup that resembles more to a tequila or vodka shot. Italian people like to meet for coffee, share their secrets in front of those cups, laugh, say jokes, even cry and whatsoever.

I could not count the times people were over to meet for coffee in the little kitchen of the apartment where I grew up. My mom, my grandma and many other relatives or friends were stirring the sugar in the “tazzina” like a sort of simple ritual or a witchcraft, while the steam and the aroma were spreading around.

Drinking coffee in Italy represents a type of initiation to the adult world. Kids are wondering what is behind that liquid, what is the magic potion that the older people are drinking. Sooner or later, one of those more grown-up people will initiate them, maybe just with a little hint from a spoon. The kid will smirk for the funny and bitter taste of it and probably will proclaim that beverage will never ever be consumed. It is somehow similar to the reaction children have the first time they taste any alcoholic beverages.

The Italians enter cafés and literally take shots of espresso. Other times they drink cappuccino, rarely during or after lunch, or many other versions of beverages containing caffeine. But there is nothing comparable to the atmosphere of an Italian cafè, maybe a French one gives the same feeling, but I guess that is what happens to cousins.

Welcome to Italy, where we love coffee and we celebrate it every single day.

The Focaccia Pugliese

Welcome to this amazing region, Puglia, so rich of delicious food, amazing wine and great people. Puglia is the heel of Italy and it’s probably made of crystal glass because it is so damn cool.

Among the hundred different recipes and typical food of this region, focaccia is one of my favorites. Yes, I am carb lover and I won’t ever give up on that.

Thanks to my dear friend Rosanna, talented hairdresser in Corato, BA, I was able to learn how to make it. As usual for the secret tricks, you know the rule, send a message and I’ll reveal it to you.

Here follow the recipe and the instructions:

– 300 grams of water

– 40 grams of extra virgin olive oil

– 20 grams of yeast

– 10 grams of sugar

– 300 grams of stone ground soft wheat flour (Italian type “2”)

– 200 grams of semolina

– 20 grams of salt

Make the dough as for a regular pizza and let rise for several hours. Once it’s done bake the focaccia. The oven should be around 230 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes or so until the bottom part is cooked and the cheese melted. Send me a private message and I’ll reveal the toppings to you, together with some other tricks.

Nonna Lina’s Carbonara

My awesome grandma Lina, middle name Maria, but don’t tell her I told you that ‘cuz she cannot stand that name, used to prepare this super delicious recipe at least once a week.

I cannot express how excited we were to sit at the table and taste these yummy spaghetti so rich in different flavors with this combination of ingredients that were literally melting in our mouth and delight our taste buds.

The recipe seems so simple, but there are tricks that you’ll need to know and that I’ll share with you in a private message so like a real chef I’ll be keeping some secrets not so covert but not even that public.

For this dish we normally use spaghetti. However, more than once I substituted them with other different types of pasta. My favorite one is rigatoni.

Are you ready to cook this amazing carbonara?

Here are the ingredients and the procedure.

Enjoy and buon appetito

  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs&3 large yolks
  • 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 ½ ounces of slab guanciale, pancetta or bacon, sliced into pieces (using a pair of kitchen scissors will make your life easier)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (about 3/4 box)

Preparation:

– whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper

– sauté the pork in a skillet and keep the grease.

– cook the pasta in a large pot with plenty of water (remember that it has to be al dente)

drain pasta and add to the skillet. Stir for a minute or so. Add the eggs and stir over low heat. Not to much but just enough not to have runny eggs. Turn off the fire, add the cheese and stir.

– serve immediately with some extra cheese and ground pepper on the top.

Buon appetito!!

Why Do You Even …

One day, sooner or later, I will be out of all these social networks. I will be lying naked on the beach and only the ones who will survive in my existence will still be part of it. I smile while I think how much I used to care about material things while now all I really care is to be healthy, take care of myself and be happy. Sooner or later I will be there, the past will melt in the present; only some shells will be there around me while the sun is shining on my butt. Let it go of all the drama, the struggle to make it happen in this fucking society, let it go of all the desire to succeed when to be successful means to lose it all for the sake of it. Cheers to moments of happiness, peace, good food and great sex. Cheers to me and to the ones who still be there!!

Let’s Be Silly or Whatever

When you are too busy with your creativity there is no other space for other feelings. I don’t know if you feel the same but for me being silly is everything. I don’t think that you should spend a day without doing or saying something frivolous. It may only make you laughing; at least you chuckle and what is a life without giggling?

Next …

When your mind is so full of creativity and you just have to find your way or someone, not only yourself who believes in you …

I am sure all of us had some moments when we questioned ourselves about the next step to make in order to feel more gratified. Some times it is not even that but more deeply to actually wonder about the reason why we should even care about doing more. 

In the past I believed that as long as I had money to pay bills, buy expensive clothes and do something fun, I was ok. I remember that once a person read my handwriting and she pointed out the fact that I had a lot of potential and that I should just venture mysel more.

Over 8 years ago I changed continent and of course I had to deal with all the bureaucratic system and to find a new way of supporting myself in the new environment. I found something that is way more exciting than what I used to do. 

No matter that, I still question myself and I have been working on my inner, spiritual essence. In the last two years I have progressed deeply, but there is always a sort of dissatisfaction that pushes me to do more, makes me complain about myself, and try something new. However, with the excitement comes also the fear but most of all the big question? What the heck am I doing this when all I want is maybe just to be naked at the beach? 

Somebody says that as long we have fun doing what we are doing, we are already on the right path. Day by day we get caught in a circle of interrogative sentences that nobody can answer but us. However, those questions will only find an answer when their time comes. 

Do things not for the outcome but for the pleasure. Am I writing this for me, for you or for whatsoever? I guess I’ll find out one day.