Pasta with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs

August 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I love this Sicilian style spaghetti.

It’s quite unusual that sprinkle breadcrumbs over pasta. But the crispy toasted breadcrumbs add a nice crunchy texture and a nice flavour contrast to the anchovy sauce.

I wish I was at the beach right now, somewhere like Sicily, even though I swim like a rock.


— Pasta with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs (serves 2) —

200g spaghetti

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

10 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and chopped

1 teaspoon red cilli flakes


— for breadcrumbs mixture —

40g breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped


To make breadcrumbs: peel and lightly crush the garlic cloves, place into a frying-pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Fry the garlic until golden, then remove and discard.

Add the breadcrumbs in the frying-pan and stir-fry over medium heat until crisp and golden. Set aside.

Transfer the breadcrumbs to a plate, leave to cool. Add the parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, mix everything well. Set aside.


To make anchovy sauce: Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying-pan over low heat, add the chopped anchovies, breaking them up a wooden spoon until they dissolve into the oil. Add the chopped garlic and chilli flakes, stir-fry everything until the garlic became golden. Set aside.


Add the spaghetti to lightly salted boiling water, cook until al dente (follow the package directions). Drain and return to the pan (keep 2 tablespoons of pasta water).

Add the anchovy sauce and 2 tablespoons of pasta water in the pan, toss well. Add half amount of the breadcrumbs and mix.

Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs.


July 26th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Risotto balls with melted mozzarella cheese and fresh basil filling. Yum.

No wonder why this snack is Italian’s favourite.


— Arancini (makes 10) —

1&1/2 tablespoon butter

1/3 onion, finely chopped

200g arborio rice

700ml chicken or vegetable stock

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

A pinch of black pepper

80g mozzarella cheese

2 eggs, beaten

5 basil leaves, torn in half

100g dried breadcrumbs

Oil for deep-flying


Melt the butter in a heavy pan, add the finely chopped onion and sauté over low heat about 3 minutes until softened.

Add the rice and stir for 1 minutes to seal the rice.

Add the stock little by little, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes over medium-low heat until the rice is al dente.

Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese and the half amount of beaten egg. Season with the black pepper. Leave to cool completely.

Cut the mozzarella cheese into 10 cubes.

Divide the rice into 10 portions, take one portion in your hand , press the basil leaf and a cube of mozzarella cheese into middle. Shape the rice ball into a ball.

Roll the rice balls in beaten egg, then bread crumbs. Set aside.

Heat the deep-flying oil to 350F. Deep-fly the rice balls until evenly golden brown.

Serve hot with tomato sauce.

Pork and Clams Alentejo Style

July 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a beautiful Alentejo (south Portugal) dish.

My portuguese friend made this dish for the Christmas party a few years ago. I was quite surprised when I saw it, because the combination of pork and clams was so unusual for me, and I couldn’t really imagine what does it taste like (I thought maybe my friend just put everything what he has in the fridge…).

The taste was amazing. Pork and clams work very well together, rich and flavouful taste.

I’m a big fan of this dish since then.


— Pork and Clams Alentejo Style (serves 4) —

700g pork loin

20-30 clams, scrubbed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped

3 potatoes

1 lemon

4 tablespoon olive oil

A pinch of salt and black pepper

Vegetable oil for deep-frying


— for wine marinade —

200ml white wine

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon paprika

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes.

Mix all the marinade ingredient in a bowl, add the pork cubes and mix. Cover and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night.

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and deep fry until golden brown. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot, stir-fry the chopped onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add the clams, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until the clams open for about 5 minutes.

Drain the pork cubes (reserve the marinade). Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a fry-ng pan. Stir-fry the drained pork cubes over medium heat until golden brown. Add the reserved marinade, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the cooked pork into the clam pot, mix everything together, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the deep fried potato cubes and the chopped coriander.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Watermelon Salad

July 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I love watermelon.

It reminds me of my childhood summer memories (watermelon is one of the summer symbol in Japan), and the fresh red colour makes me cheerful.

Well, is watermelon a fruit or a vegetable?  I’ve been questioning it since I was a child.


— Watermelon Salad (serves 4) —

1/4 seedless watermelon

100g feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 extra virgin olive oil

A pinch of salt and black pepper to taste


Cut the water melon into bite-sized cubes.

Arrange them on a plates, top each one with crumbled feta cheese, chopped mint leaves and finely chopped red onion.

Mix the fresh lemon juice and extra virgin oil in a small bowl, drizzle on the watermelon salad.

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.


June 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A massive hangover… I need to get rid of this headache from hell.

Gazpacho to the rescue!

This is the greatest natural remedy for hangover.


— Gazpacho (serves 2) —

5 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cucumber, peeled and deseeded

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 small green chili, chopped (optional)

1 slice of white bread, crust removed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

A pinch of salt


— for the garnish —

Red onions, finely chopped

Cucumbers, finely chopped

Red pepper, finely chopped

Green pepper, finely chopped


Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the water.

Place the bread, tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, garlic and chili in a blender and process until combined and smooth.

Add the olive oil and wine vinegar, season with a pinch of salt and mix everything.

Refrigerate until cold.

Serve with the finely chopped vegetables.

Chorizo & Chive Broa Bread

April 24th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Broa is a Portuguese style corn bread. Thick and crackly crusts with a soft and dense interior.

I love this rustic loaf, and I added chorizo and chives in the dough this time. The chorizo gives a nice spicy kick, this savory bread is the perfect dish for a picnic.

I’m not a morning person, but I feel great to wake up a couple of hours earlier and make a fresh loaf in the morning if the weather is beautiful and sunny like today.

Happy Easter!


— Chorizo & Chive Broa Bread —

400g plain flour

200g cornmeal

2 teaspoons easy dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

200g chorizo

10g chives

Some flour for dusting work surface


Place the flour, cornmeal, easy dry yeast and salt in a large bowl and stir together, mix in 350ml lukewarm water.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface board and knead for about 10 minutes, cover the dough with cling film and let rise for 40 minutes in a warm place.

Punch down and knead the dough on a flour surface board about 10 minuets.

Chop the chorizo and chives into small pieces, add to the dough.

Shape the dough to a round loaf and place on a floured baking sheet, and dust the top of the loaf with flour as well.

Cover the loaf and let rise for a further 40 minutes.

Hear the oven to 220C/425F.

Place on oven-proof dish of boiling water in the oven (take the dish of the boiling water out after 15 minutes), bake the loaf for about 30-40 minutes until golden.

Marinated Pan-fried Aubergine

March 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Light up Japan recipe –No.2

This is another energy-saving recipe, for my friends in Japan.

It takes only a few seconds to pan-fry each side of the thin aubergine slices and then marinate in olive oil dressing at room temperature.

It’s a classic Italian flavoured side dish, enjoy and be happy!


— Marinated Pan-fried Aubergine (serves 2) —

1 large aubergine

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 small red chilli, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

A pinch of salt


Cut the aubergine lengthways into very thin slices.

Heat a non-stick frying-pan, fry the sliced aubergine, turning once until it’s soft (should be fry for a few seconds each side). Put them on a plate on top of each other, this helps them to steam and soften.

Place the minced garlic, the lemon juice, the chopped chilli, the chopped basil, a pinch of salt and the olive oil in a bowl and mix together.

Place the aubergine in a flat plate and pour over the marinade.

Marinate for 30 minutes.