cooking basics

How to cook the besciamella

Ingredients for 500 ml

50 gr butter
50 gr all-pourpose flour
500 ml milk

Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan until it melts. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Let cook over medium heat, while still stirring, until it starts to get a golden color (around 4 to 5 minutes).
Slowly pour the warm milk into the mixture, while whisking, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat after 30 seconds since the first bubbles.

Season with salt and nutmeg.

How to cook the pasta al dente 

1 lt water, 100 gr of pasta, 7 gr of sea salt.

Pour the water in a pot, cover it (the water will boil faster) and bring to a boil. When the water comes to the boil add the salt and then put in the pasta all at once. Bring it back to the boil without the lid. When the water comes back to the boil, give it a good stir with a wooden spoon to make sure that none of the pasta is sticking together. Cook the pasta for no longer than it is written on the pasta packet, if you like an “al dente” pasta.

How to prepare “pasta frolla” dough

Ingredients for a round shallow baking tin (∼20 cm)

  • 300 gr flour
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 200 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
  • butter and flour to grease a tin

In a bowl (or on a wooden working surface) whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest or vanilla (optional). Then add the egg until well incorporated into the mixture. Add the butter, cut into little pieces, and lightly knead to form a ball. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic for at least 20 minutes.

Before using the “pasta frolla”, let it stand at room temperature until softened, but still firm enough to roll out.

How to make bolognese sauce or ragú alla bolognese

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 150 gr onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 150 gr carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50 gr celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 500 gr ground pork and veal meat
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 400 gr jar of tomato puree
  • 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ glass of milk
  • salt

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Time to cook 2hr

Put in a heavy pot the olive oil and turn on the stove at medium heat, after 2 minutes add the onions, the carrots and the celery. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper, let cook over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until the meat changes color (no longer pink but light brown), about 10 min. Pour in the wine; you will smell the alcohol immediately, let it cook until it has evaporated. Then add the tomatoes, lower the heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for approximately 1 hour. Pour the milk and cook for another hour. All along the process, check if the sauce is too thick or is condensing onto the bottom, in this case add a bit of water and stir.

Quick tomato sauce

INGREDIENTS for 4/6 people

  • 400 gr of tomato puree
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • basil

Put in a heavy skillet the olive oil, tomato puree, ½ glass of water and salt, turn on the stove at low – medium heat. Cover with a lid and let simmer for approximately 15-20 min. All along the process, check if the sauce is too thick or is condensing onto the bottom, in this case add a bit of water and stir. When it is ready add the basil leaves.