venerdì 2 dicembre 2016

Mousse cioco-avocado in soli 5 minuti! :)

Avete appena finito di cenare e avete voglia di un piccolo dessert?
O vi è appena presa voglia di qualcosa di dolce (ma non troppo 😉) e cioccolatoso, e avete a disposizione 5 minuti, un paio di avocado e un po' di cacao?
Vi presento una mousse super semplice e super veloce, senza cottura e che può durare in frigo per qualche giorno! Inoltre è a basso contentuto di carboidrati e perfetta per uno spuntino per chi è in dieta chetogenica, visto che una porzione da 100 g contiene solo 4 grammi di carboidrati netti.
Personalmente è stata una rivelazione, non pensavo l'avocado fosse così versatile.

300 g avocado maturi e morbidi
40 g cacao dutch processed (cacao olandese)
4 g dolcificante in polvere (stevia o quel che più vi aggrada)

In un buon tritatutto, mixer, chopper, frullatore o insomma quello che avete che frulla bene tutto in modo omogeneo, unite gli avocado a pezzi, il cacao e il dolcificante, e tritate tutto finchè non avete ottenuto una mousse omogenea, densa, ma soffice.
Chiaramente potete sostituire il dolcificante con lo zucchero o il miele e regolare la nota dolce come preferite.
A me piace con un po' di panna montata sopra e qualche frutto di bosco, specialmente i lamponi trovo che siano una combinazione perfetta.

PESOFoodcalfatprotnet carbcarbfiber
40Cocoa powder dutch1228831511

TOT: 344 g
588 Kcal53 g14 g13 g45 g32 g
x 100g
171 Kcal16 g4 g4 g

cal %
100 %82 %10 %9 %

domenica 20 novembre 2016

Pumpkin soup with mushrooms

50 g pancetta or bacon in small pieces
1 Tbsp fat from meat stock (or stock cube)
1 garlic clove
2 onions
2 pieces of celery
1 butternut squash
1/2 chicken cube
1 slice of smoked cheese
salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves (all ground), rosemary to taste.

- Stir fry the bacon with the fat
- With my fantastic Ninja master prep blender/chopper (Bought just few days ago and very happy about it!!) I chopped the garlic, onions and celery and stir fried with the bacon
- Added the chicken cube, cheese and spices.
- Let it cook for long time (about 2 hr)
- Blended everything until super smooth.

Mushrooms *I found them special with these spices!!
Butter, oil,
Oregano, dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili flakes 
Closed cup mushrooms

- Melt the butter and oil and add the spices
- Add the mushrooms in coarse pieces 
- Cook quickly with high heat to avoid they become soggy in their water

- Serve the soup with the mushrooms on top with few drops of single or double cream

- I also sliced a little bit of goat cheese, and was wonderful

- I like it very much! Hope someone else will find it tasty!

Zuppa speziata di zucca con funghi

50 g pancetta
1 cucchiaio di grasso di brodo di carne (o dado)
1 spicchio d'aglio
2 cipolle
2 coste di sedano
1 butternut squash (una zucca di quelle oblunghe)
1/2 dado pollo
1 fetta formaggio affumicato
sale, pepe, noce moscata, cannella, chiodi di garofano in polvere, rosmarino qb

- Soffriggere la pancetta con il grasso del brodo,
- Con il mio fantastico Ninja master prep comprato qualche giorno fa (frullatore e chopper)  ho tritato a crudo l'aglio, la cipolla e il sedano e fatto rosolare il tutto.
- Frullato anche la zucca con un po' di acqua e aggiunto al resto.
- Aggiunto il dado, il formaggio e gli aromi
- Fatto cuocere a oltranza
- Frullato di nuovo fino ad ottenere una crema vellutata

Funghetti  *sono SPECIALI con questi aromi!!
burro, olio,
origano, aneto, aglio in polvere, sale, pepe, peperoncino 
funghi champignon

- Sciogliere il burro con l'olio e unire le spezie 
- aggiungere i funghetti a pezzi
- Cuocere a fuoco alto velocemente per evitare che tirino fuori troppa acqua.

- Servire la zuppa con i funghetti sopra e un filo di double o single cream o una qualsiasi panna non zuccherata va bene.

- Dato che sono una golosa, ci ho pure grattato un po' di formaggio di capra :D

Mi è piaciuta molto devo dire!!

martedì 15 novembre 2016

Tuscany suggestions - Part 2

Part 2: Tuscan food, Restaurants and other "food shops" closeby Versilia and Apuan Alps
so here the second round and as in the other email, I put already the links.

Food I suggest you to try:
• Tuscan dishes:
-          Cecina (chick peas flour): you’ll find it in many pizzerias where you can buy just one slice of pizza on the go. Maybe is not common in pizzerias in the middle of the Tuscany, but closer to the coast you should be able to find it everywhere.
-          Castagnaccio (chestnut flour) oven cooked: a bit more difficult to find, maybe in some “gastronomia” or small supermarket (“alimentari”)
-          Necci: still chestnut flour but cooked in the pan as a crepe. Often filled with ricotta.
-          Tordelli filled with meat and served with ragù
-          Buccellato: Typical kind of cake of Lucca. Be aware that sometimes can be a bit too dry, but I hope you’ll be lucky to find a good shop J
-          Cacciucco alla livornese: Fish soup typical of Livorno
-          Ribollita: A rich vegetable soup (minestrone) with legumes and bread. Originally was a “poor” soup, done with leftover and old dry bread, but actually is super delicious! :D
-          Crostini con fegatini di pollo: Bread like bruschetta spread with a patè of chicken liver
-          Panforte: typical cake of Siena
-          Cantuccini: typical biscuits of Siena, usually served with Vin Santo (kind of liqueur)
-          Ricciarelli: Delicious almond biscuit of Siena, very common during Christmas period.
-          Lardo di colonnata: Very fat and very tasty type of Ham typical of Colonnata (a small village)

• Other Italian food:
-          Ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach served with only butter, sage and a bit of grated parmisan
-          Frittura mista di pesce: Deep fried mixed fish. Actually often is just a mix of Shrimps and squid/calamari, without fish. But you can find also a big mix with shrimps, squids, small fishes (called “paranza”) and some thin vegetables. I love eat this with Prosecco :D
-          Polenta Fritta:  Cornmeal mush sliced and deep fried. Nice as a starter, excellent when spread with Stracchino (soft cheese) or eaten with prosciutto or mushrooms.
-          Panzanelle fritte (or panzerotti fritti, quarti fritti, gnocchi fritti etc…): Yes, they are called in a thousand of different ways… however they are super delicious deep fried pizza dough usually served as a starter with a variety of salami, ham and cheese.

Restaurants and other food shops:
• If you decide to visit the small villages on the Apuan Alps, you’ll find these along the route (more or less)
-          Pasticceria Futura: For a typical Italian breakfast with a cappuccino and a variety of sweet wonderful pastries (suggest you to try some mignons…. But everything is so tasty here!)
-          Pasticceria Gherardi: same as above.
-          Locanda di Bruno: Restaurant maybe not so easy to reach, but I think they cook quite well and you should be able to find some typical Tuscan food as well as more sophisticated food. Tripadvisor here.
-          Osteria la Brocca: easier to reach than the previous one. Tripadvisor here.

In Pisa:
-          Pizzeria Pisa Pizza: During the University I used to go here to eat their delicious “focaccia ripiena con spinaci e ricotta”. They should have also the Cecina.
-          Ristorante poldino: I love this one. It cooks special things like boar meat, duck and deer. It is in the middle of the park, to enter you have to ask to a person to open the entrance. Here is the website, but I haven’t found the English version…
-          Gelateria De’ Coltelli:  Good ice cream on the river of Pisa.

Hiking the Alps:
-          I found this English website with some hikings:
-          Then this is one of the mountain refuge I told you today:
-          And about possible hiking I would recommend going to Foce di Mosceta (where there is the refuge) and Monte Gabberi that are easy with a safe path. However if you are feeling brave and fit you can go to the “Pania della Croce” mountain… it’s quite long and hard but in the end you will be at the top of a 1858 m mountain and admire an incredible landscape.

Other info that came in my mind:
-          In Pietrasanta there is an exposition of Dalì. There is a beautiful church (Duomo) to visit and the small town is pretty too.
-          Lago di Porta: Nice small lake where you can have a romantic promenade
-          Lago di Massaciuccoli: Another beautiful lake in a natural reserve.

For the moment I have nothing else to add :D :D
After all this info, I feel a bit nostalgic and I just would like to prepare my luggage and come back to my beloved Tuscany!!! :D :D

Tuscany suggestions - Part 1

Some days ago, a colleague of mine asked me some suggestion about what to visit in Tuscany... and of course a very long list of things and places and food came into my mind, but I had to refrain myself to write an infinite list, since he has just few days.
I tried to summarize some places that for a British person I think can be really particular to see, so not only the well known cities like Pisa or Florence, but also tiny villages that probably without the suggestion of a native Tuscan person he would miss.
Since I spent about two evening to put together the following suggestions, including direct links to show what I am speaking about, I thought that would be nice to share that email on my blog, so that maybe (I hope) some other persons can take advantage of this!

Part 1: Famous cities, and some tiny villages close to the North-West coast

Here a list of some things that came into my mind that may be worth visiting…. And I omitted so many others! Of course there are already too many, but at least you have some choices!
I already put a link on the cities, so you just have to click on them to have an idea of what to expect.
If you have some questions please feel free to ask more… I love my place, and I hope you will enjoy! 
Here the list:

- Lucca is a really nice town. The ancient walls around are still intact and you can walk on for a length of 4 km. There a characteristic oval square to visit (piazza anfiteatro) and a particular tower with trees on it (Torre Guinigi).
- Pisa is ok, but really apart from Piazza dei Miracoli and some other few spots I don’t think is particularly beautiful. However if you go in Pisa it’s quite beautiful the river (Arno) in the middle of the city (Lungarno) where there is a pretty church (S. Maria della Spina).
- Florence is all beautiful, so it’s pointless to give you advices, you’ll find amazing stuff to see by yourself :D
- If you want to hike or visit super small and particular villages I suggest you to visit the Apuan Alps. I lived for a couple of years in one of that small towns and I loved waking up every morning with this view. If you decide to come here I can suggest you to have a meal at the Norcineria Barsanti, to visit Pruno, Stazzema and Farnocchia where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful view of the Apuan Alps. All these small villages are reachable almost only with the car. If you then decide to hike, I can give you further suggestion to which mountains to go! :)

Here you can choose among a few nice boroughs (not correct if it is correct in English..) that worth a visit and a lunch/dinner or a glass of wine :)
-          Monteriggioni: This is really super super small, but so cute! San Gimignano and some other small villages around are also nice, and you are very close to Siena.
-          Going a bit to the south there is Montalcino where they produce a super good (but expensive) wine (brunello di Montalcino), closeby there is the pretty Pienza that is famous for its tasty pecorino cheese (pecora=sheep). All this area is called Val d’Orcia and I think is amazing for its landscape and hills (of course in Spring is more amazing than now) English website for info.
-          In the south of Tuscany, but maybe too far away…
Pitigliano, Sorano, Sovana (but maybe they are a bit far away…)
Laguna di Orbetello: Beautiful nature and nice walk around

Ok, I have finished.... for now!

venerdì 4 dicembre 2015


Da settembre una nuova avventura è iniziata.... PhD at the University of Sussex in Brighton! :D
I will study the blood brain barrier in insects, from a neurobiological, ecological and evolutionary point of view... so excited!
At present I am still reading a lot, trying to find new ideas, interesting animals to work with, and possibly with a practical implications, like a better understanding (and improving) of future insecticides and pesticides.


martedì 25 marzo 2014

Biscotti bicolore

E allora cosa c'è di meglio se non inaugurare questo ritorno con una ricettina di biscotti??
L'ho presa da un libro di ricette per bambini, quindi è facilissima da realizzare, ma quello che sorprende è la semplicità degli ingredienti, non ci sono nemmeno le uova. Una di quelle ricette che se ti viene voglia di biscotti all'ultimo minuto e non ti va di fare la spesa, probabilmente li puoi fare lo stesso perchè un po' di farina/zucchero/burro/cacao di solito in dispensa ci sono :)
Unico svantaggio è che sono troppo buoni... burrosi... si sciolgono in bocca, non riuscirete a resistere!

Pasta frolla bianca:

100 g burro ammorbidito
50 g zucchero
175 g farina 00
1 cucchiaio di latte

Pasta frolla cioccolato:
100 g burro ammorbidito
50 g zucchero
15 g cacao amaro
160 g farina 00
2 cucchiai latte

Per la pasta frolla bianca: Setacciare la farina e unire lo zucchero. Aggiungere il burro a pezzetti e sfregare tutto tra le dita fino ad ottenere un impasto friabile. Unire un cucchiaio di latte e impastare con le mani formando una palla.
Per la pasta frolla al cioccolato il procedimento è lo stesso, solo che all'inizio va aggiunto il cacao alla farina.

Si possono creare i biscottini in tanti modi, si può stendere la pasta con il mattarello e usare le formine oppure si possono fare dei salsicciotti bicolore e poi tagliarli con il coltello.
Il secondo metodo è sicuramente più veloce e il risultato è ugualmente carino. Se avete delle mandorle potete fare dei biscotti che ricordano la faccia di un gufetto (vedi foto) e sono tanto carini :) Una volta messi sulla teglia si infornano a 180° fino a doratura.