.: In the pines, again

I am trying to detox myself a bit and combine this idea with a good general rule: use seasonal vegetables and fruits. So this is asparagus time, that means I’m cooking them once more.

For a change, though, I’m combining them with some nut fruit… and enjoy the beauty of this new rendition of “In the pines” by Delaney Davidson


Previous versions of risotto agli asparagi, listed here for you:

Risotto asparagi e frutta secca

butter * burro
onion (shallot) * scalogno
rice * riso
broth * brodo
asparagus * asparagi
cheese: Asiago (cubes)
almonds slices * mandorle a fette
pine nuts * pinoli
peanuts * noccioline
walnuts * noci

Boil the asparagus and chop them in a cream. Put some butter in a pan with the chopped onion. Brown
the rice then add the broth slowly and blend *
Bollite e tritate gli asparagi. Rosolate la cipolla in padella con il burro. Aggiungete il riso e tiratelo a cottura con il brodo.

Chop the nut fruits as you like. * Tritate i pinoli e la frutta secca come preferite

When the rice is almost done, add the asparagus, the nuts and lastly the cheese . Quando il riso è quasi cotto, aggiungete la crema di asparagi, le noci e noccioline e infine il formaggio.

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food that is high in folic acid and is also a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and vitamin C, and thiamine. Extensive research into asparagus nutrition has resulted in this funny-looking vegetable being ranked among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to reduce the effect of cell-damaging free radicals.

Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, asparagus has been used as a medicinal vegetable for 2,500 years. The list of asparagus nutritional benefits is long, for it helps your heart, digestion, bones and even cells.

.: Kids just wanna have fun

I ran out of biscuits, so dovevo fare un po’ di biscotti e… I decided to try something slightly different. This biscuits should be more healthy:

200 gr whole flour (spelt and buckwheat) – farina integrale (farro e grano saraceno)
100 gr flour type 2 – farina tipo 2
150 gr sugar – zucchero
30 gr butter (sweet) – burro
70 gr yogurt
baking powder – lievito vanigliato
1 egg – 1 uovo
* cinnamon – zenzero
* almonds – mandorle
* almond flavour – aroma alla mandorla
Oven 170°C for 15 minutes – Forno 170°C per 15

sciogliete il burro – melt the butter

montate il bianco a neve, poi mischiate con tuorlo
e zucchero, e aggiungete il burro e lo yogurt (e l’aroma se volete) – whip the
eggwhite then mix with the yolk, the sugar; add
the melted butter and the yogurt (and the flavour if you like)

poi la farina e il lievito – add flour and baking powder

stendete e fate le forme, decorate con le mandorle e mettete su una teglia – lay the dough, make the shapes, top with the almonds and put on the tray.

il forno farà il resto – oven will do the rest

After getting into a row with his mum, a 12 yo boy stole his mum’s card, researched which airlines would allow him to fly unaccompanied without permission from his parents, and booked himself a flight. He then tricked his grandmother into giving him his passport, took a train to the airport and flew to Indonesia. Once there, he told the receptionist that his sister was coming but he had come to check in early and spent several days living in a luxury hotel.
“It was great because I wanted to go on an adventure” he said. He must have seen “Home alone”

Maybe her mum should have done some more biscuits for him…

.: Upside down

We have to experiment, don’t be afraid of trying new combinations. How does that look ?

Ok, but not all you try turns out good or non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco. I mean this chicken-ginger-nutmeg-zucchini-onion-almonds is ok, but something could be replaced and something could be better done. For example: I shouldn’t have started with onion

This is what I did, which means the order I put ingredients in the pan throughout the cooking: [questo è l’ordine in cui ho messo gli ingredienti in padella]

1. evo oil – olio evo
2. onion – cipolla
3. ginger – zenzero
4. nutmeg – noce moscata
5. zucchini – zucchine
6. chicken – pollo
7. almonds – mandorle
8. salt – sale

Problems: onion got burnt and zucchini was not the best combination of taste. [La cipolla si è fritta un po’ troppo – anche se a me piace – e le carote forse si sposerebbero meglio delle zucchine]

And this is what I should have done:

1. replace zucchini with carrots
2. evo oil – olio evo
3. ginger – zenzero
4. nutmeg – noce moscata
5. julienne carrots – carote alla julienne
6. chicken – pollo
7. onion – cipolla
8. almonds – mandorle
9. salt – sale

Ok now you know what to do. But as to me, for this evening I appreciated this, anyway.

But when you have two genius, “Upside down” is the chance for a successful improvisation (quality is bad, but performance is great!)

.: Sometimes to fail is to succeed

I didn’t know about this. Wandering around Youtube, looking for songs by Patti Smith and Bob Dylan, I came across this: Patti got frozen at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in 2016, while singing a beautiful Dylan’s song in his honour. And I heard the story from her lips. Non sapevo fosse successa questa cosa: Patti Smith che si emoziona tanto da interrompere la sua performance alla cerimonia dei Nobel. Wow.

This is what I got from her words: that moment of “failure”, was actually a moment of extraordinary empathy. In that place, so formal, every word and every gesture must be so controlled, so perfectly measured, everyone was feeling nervous there , and she, with her “failure”, gave back to all of them the sense of what they were actually being and doing: human beings celebrating how much human beings can be passionate and can get the most out of their lives and give pleasure and beauty to whole humankind. Il suo gesto, il suo “fallimento” ha restituito una dimensione umana a un momento totalmente formale, tramutandosi in qualcosa di emozionante per tutti i presenti.

Maybe one day there will be a Nobel Prize for farmers or for cooks, not meant for a single person, but for that small % of people that actually produce food for whole humankind or for those who make the everyday work of preparing good food for others. Because food is essential and good food is even more essential. Quando mangiamo, dovremmo sempre pensare a quanto lavoro ha richiesto produrre quel cibo e portarlo fino a noi. Forse un giorno ci sarà un riconoscimento per chi fa questo lavoro. Non penso a un premio per qualcuno, ma a un momento per dare riconoscimento a chi produce e a chi prepara il cibo, globalmente, nel mondo, ogni giorno,  per miliardi di persone. Perchè il cibo è essenziale ed è ancora più essenziale il buon cibo.

So I decided to make a pumpkin risotto with something unusual: almonds. You will judge whether it’s a success or not, but I liked it.

Put the pumpkin in the boiling water for about 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, go with the usual onion sautéed. Bollite la zucca per 10 minuti e intanto fate un soffritto

Poi schiacciate la zucca ammorbidita. The press the pumpkin (with a fork) to make a kind of cream. Hey don’t throw away the water where you boiled the pumpkin: make a broth with it and cook the rice in it.

Al brodo di cottura della zucca aggiungete un po’ di dado oppure di brodo (se lo avete!) e cuocete il riso con quello. Poi mettete la zucca e qualche mandorla insieme al soffritto e scaldatelo poco (il soffritto non deve bruciare). Infine aggiungete il riso e un po’ di parmigiano-reggiano.

Add the pumpkin to the sautéed, with a few almonds slices and warm it all a little (don’t burn the onion). In the end add the rice, some parmesan cheese and blend it all.

Fail or success, depends on your taste. I like it!