Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gnocchi di palate step by step

To make gnocchi you need big floury potatoes, like agria, wash them and boil them with the skin. Do not peel first! Peel the potatoes only after they have been boiled, then press with a potato ricer. This is very important, if you you a blender or food processer you will not get the right texture.

I added a bit of cooked pumpkin too (not necessary, but I had it!). Then salt, pepper and ground nutmeg. And then a bit of flour, enough to get a workable dough. There is no exact dosage really, it all depends on how floury are your potatoes, and adding pumpkin does require a bit more flour too.

Take a piece of potato dough and roll it into long strips, then cut off the gnocchi.

Shape the gnocchi with the help of a fork to make some incisions on the top.

The gnocchi is ready! Cook in salted boiling water and as they rise to the surface remove with a slotted spoon and place in the pot with the sauce of your choice (or just melted butter with sage!).

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And the winner of the Kimono Tango bag is...

Thank you all for entering the Kimono Tango's competition. The winner was selected using  
Congratulations Martina! 

And if you like to find out more about this beautiful and unique brand please check out their Facebook Page.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Persimmon agar agar

This dessert is perfect after a Japanese meal, maybe not a traditional Japanese dish (I invented it, after all, like most of the recipes in this blog) but it taste great and and it is made with only two ingredients: persimmons and agar agar (and a little water). So it is sugar free, gluten free and vegan! All you need to do is peel two persimmons and cube them. Put the fruit in a blender with a just enough water to be able to blend it. Mix half tsp of agar agar powder with 50 ml of water and add to the persimmon 'smoothie'. Put everything in a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for just one minute then pour into a mould (rectangular is better). Let it cool down and cut into slices.

And if you love Japanese things remember that this contest ends in two days, you could win a beautiful Kimono Tango Bag!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kimono Tango and a Giveaway!

A while ago my friend Chizuko made me with these beautiful cushions (she calls them pillows), plus some table runners. The the other day in the post I got 5 amazing handbags, one more beautiful than the other!

They are all made by hand using kimono and obi (Kimono belts) materials, and you can get them from her cottage industry shop Kimono Tango

If you like Japanese design and craft do have a look at Kimono Tango's website in English: they make cushions, bags, iPhone and iPad covers, Laptop bags and more… made to order and sent all over the world. Kimono Tango is made up by a group of Japanese mothers and grandmothers who are trying to make ends meet in the current economic crisis, which was worsened by the recent earthquake and tsunami.
They make everything themselves, often using their heirloom kimonos and obi. You can only make about 6 or 7 bags from one obi, and Kimono Tango uses fabrics exclusively from 1955 to 1965 circa, to make sure that they are real silk, and handcrafted. The handles are leather. Also have a look at their Facebook Page to keep up with new designs and news!

And what will I do with five bags? Well, the one above is my favourite, and it is MINE!!, The first one in the post I gave to my friend Flavia who is a super stylish person and came over for dinner the day after I got the bags when they were all displayed in the entrance and she was so taken by them that I asked her to choose one! Then I'll give one to my mother and one to my sister in law in Italy, and the last one is for …. you!

Yes, this is a giveaway, to enter just pop by Kimono Tango's website or Facebook Page, then come back here and leave a reply to this post saying what you liked best (bags, cushions, covers…). You have one week from now! Good luck!

 Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Baking fairly for Sweet New Zealand

There are so many good Fair Trade and Trade Aid ingredients for baking, and although I have already submitted my entry for the Big Fair Bake I thought of using more 'fair' ingredients for Sweet New Zealand. The August edition is hosted by Munch Cooking as a celebration of Wellington on a Plate, so they have suggested using a Wellington ingredient, like Whittaker's (in my pack of Fair Trade goodies!)

I made some cupcakes using 3 eggs, 130 g of Trade Aid cane sugar, 1 tbsp of Trade Aid baking cocoa,  120 g butter, 1 banana and 150g of self rising flour. And then I added one square of milk chocolate in each cupcake. 

We ate half of them very quickly they were so good, and the other half Arantxa decorated and took to a sleep over to share with her friends.

 I made them again after a few days, but this time I put some of my date and chocolate truffles in the centre, plus I topped them with some whipped coconut cream, thus using 4 more Trade Aid ingredients.

Sweet NZ image
I like to enter this post for Sweet New Zealand #37, the blogging event open to every one blogging in NZ, and all the Kiwi bloggers living overseas! This month of July is hosted by Munch Cooking. Click here to enter! And let me know if you are keen to host Sweet New Zealand in September!

 Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Win a trip to Rome!

In occasion of our Festival Italiano'14 the Dante Auckland is proud to announce the annual raffle with fantastic prizes! There are only 3000 tickets so be quick for your chance to win a trip to Rome!

First Prize

A fabulous trip to Rome offered by United Travel Newmarket

The prize includes: 
1 return economy class airfare to Rome on Cathay Pacific
 3 nights accommodation in a standard room at Hotel Rimini
Rome Hop on Hop off Tour (2 day ticket)

Second Prize, offered by the Blues!

In Italy we support the Azzurri, and in Auckland we support the Blues
Win a Blues Rugby jersey signed by the Blues team and framed.

Third Prize, offered by Aceto Downunder!

A $250 Aceto Balsamico di Modena Hamper form Aceto Downunder.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena is the most luxurious and delicious balsamic vinegar in the world,
 used by the top chefs and the discerning gourmands!

Fourth Prize, offered by O'Sarracino!

      O'Sarracino dinner for two (value $160).
      O'Saraccino is an elegant Neapolitan restaurant voted by Metro as one of Auckland' top 50 restaurants.

And five more prizes offered by 

Italian Film Festival in NZ

5 x double tickets for the Italian Film Festival 2014
Take your date out of an Italian night in Auckland with this  great selection of Italian movies! Click below to watch the trailer.

Tickets on sale at the Dante Alighieri Society of Auckland, $5 for one or $20 for a pack of 5. Remember that there are only 3000 tickets for sale, so be quick! 
The winning tickets will be draw on September 28th, 3:30pm, 
at the Festival Italiano


All money raised will go towards the Dante Auckland school for children to run our classes and holiday programmes. The school of the Dante Auckland doesn't receive any funding from Italy or New Zealand and relies entirely on its own finances, donations and the work of our volunteers. This raffle is our yearly fundraiser so thank you all for your support. 

(And don't forget to Like the Festival Italiano on FB to win even more prizes, this week we have $50 voucher for Settebello Pizzeria Italiana!)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Florence Fennel and avocado salad with walnuts

This is a lovely salad and also a light main, filling, nutritious and full of different textures and flavours!

For two serving use:
1 medium Florence fennel, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 small carrot, grated
A little red cabbage, finely chopped (this is mostly to add a dash of colour, red radicchio would work well too!)
8-10 walnut kernels, crushed
A few drops of lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste (optional)

Usually I just put the lemon juice on the avocado and the carrots only, and then assemble the salad, and it taste great even without salt or olive oil (avocado and walnuts are full of good fats anyway).

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


Related Posts with Thumbnails