Showing posts with label italian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italian. Show all posts

Minestrone Soup

I am fortunate to stay next to a hotel management institute (NITHM Hyderabad). They have recently started cooking classes on Saturdays and I got to attend the basics of Italian cooking class. The classes were well conducted and I got some good recipes to try. Made this soup on a windy evening and it was the perfect comfort food one could have asked for.

Minestrone Soup


  1. For this recipe all the veggies need to be cut with the Brunoise cut. Cut 1 cup of cabbage, 1/2  red capsicum and 1/2 yellow capsicum, 10 beans and 1 small carrot into cuboid pieces.
  2. In a deep bottomed vessel, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic and saute. 
  3. When the garlic is sauteed add 1 medium sized finely chopped onion and saute till the onion is pink and translucent.
  4. Now add cabbage, beans and carrot and capsicum and saute for 5 mins till they are all well coated with oil.
  5. Add 2 finely chopped tomatoes (deseed and then cut into cubes) and saute well till the tomatoes are soft. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
  6. Add 2 fistfuls of macaroni pasta and 2-3 cups of water to cover all the vegetables and the pasta.
  7. Add pepper, salt according to taste and a pinch of sugar.
  8. Mix well and let it cook till the pasta is cooked. Adjust water and spices according to the consistency you want.
  9. Make cheese pesto balls with grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped basil. Add this to the soup just before serving.

Grate some parmesan cheese over the hot soup bowl before serving
Recently we grew our own mushrooms thanks to Yash's uncle (Here is his website who gave us a mushroom kit. All we had to do was sprinkle some water every day to the pre- prepared kit that he had made and in 3 weeks we had these awesome mushrooms. This variety is called Milky mushrooms and tastes much better than the normal button mushrooms which I was used to buying. 



Here is the recipe of the sauteed mushrooms which we cooked with these mushrooms.
Sauteed mushroom in garlic and olive oil


  1. Shred the mushroom into thin strips. This gives a much better texture to the dish than cutting it with a knife...almost like the texture of chicken
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a pan. 
  3. Add finely minced garlic (7-8 flakes) and fry it. When soft, add the mushrooms and stir
  4. You need to cook this on high flame as the mushroom tends to release water
  5. Saute for 5- 10 mins till the mushroom is well coated and looks cooked. Add salt according to taste.
  6. You can garnish it with red chilli flakes and some dried herbs like rosemary. You can dribble some extra virgin olive oil too, to add to the flavor.

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

We like Italian cuisine. Being prolific rice eaters, we have  developed taste for Risottos. Tried Chicken Mushroom risotto yesterday for the first time and it turned out good.

This is how I cooked this dish.


  1. Heat  1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 thinly sliced onion and saute till translucent. Add  2 garlic pods  finely chopped and saute. Add 1 cup of Rice and saute till the rice is well coated with oil. Do not wash the rice before adding it to the pan. I used 1 cup of Riso Arborio. 

  2. Boil 500 ml chicken stock on another stove as the onions are sauteed. I used Maggi stock cubes but I am sure home made stock will taste even better. Add chicken stock to the mixture to just cover the rice and stir the mixture until the stock is absorbed. Add more of the stock and keep continuing this till the rice is just cooked right. Dont overcook the rice. This can take upto 20 mins. By the time the rice is cooked your hand surely should start to hurt :)  If you fall short of stock you can add some water.

  3. Add salt and pepper to the rice according to taste.
  4. In the meantime also add 1 tbsp oil to a  pan. When the oil is hot, add 1/2 cup of boneless chicken cut into cubes and 1 tbsp chopped garlic and saute for 5 mins. Add 1/2 cup mushrooms and chopped basil and saute for 2 mins or until the mushrooms and the chicken are cooked.
  5. Now add this to the rice. Top it with butter and grated parmesan cheese and serve hot

Tomato Basil Pasta

I was always of the opinion that pasta is a tough dish to cook and best ordered at restaurants. This was until hubby expressed the desire to eat homemade pasta one day. Now eager to please him, I searched for online recipes. Tried many but somehow they were not as good as this recipe shared by my very good friend Tejal. Here is the video shared by Tejal.
This is the best and the easiest of all online recipes. It doesn’t take more than 20 mins...the sauce is ready in the time it takes for the penne pasta to cook. I love this dish for the freshness and aroma of basil.


  1. Boil 1 lt water in a vessel. Add 2 cups of Penne Pasta and 1 tbsp of salt and cook. Initially separate the pasta with a fork as the pasta tends to stick to the vessel. Keep stirring once in a while till the pasta is al danteHere is a video on how to boil pasta.
  2. Boil 4 medium sized ripe tomatoes till soft. Remove the outer skin and mash the tomatoes. I prefer cutting them into small pieces once boiled.
  3. In a pan, add 1 tsp olive oil and cook the tomatoes. Add Salt and a pinch of sugar and let it simmer
  4. In another small pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on a low flame. Add around 10-12 flakes of garlic chopped fine. Saute but don’t let it burn. Add 1 tbsp pepper powder (preferably freshly crushed pepper) and handful of basil leaves finely chopped. Cook all this on a low flame till you can smell the aroma of basil and garlic.
  5. Now Drain the pasta, cool it under cold water (to stop the cooking process) and add it to the tomatoes. Try to cook the pasta and tomatoes simultaneously so that you can directly drain the pasta and add it to the tomatoes.
  6. Now add the garlic basil seasoning. Add more olive oil to the pasta if you like
  7. Garnish with grated cheese and olives.

Boiling the tomatoes was an easier way I had adopted but according to my friend Prasad's comments, tomato needs to be cut into pieces and cooked in the olive oil to retain the taste and flavors.

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