La Cucina

La Cucina purports to be Italy’s most complete and authentic cookbook.  It may well be.  900 odd pages, no pictures, more than 2000 recipes each referencing region of origin makes it a mighty reference, the type of book I like to have a few of.

I also like eggplant, especially deep fried – the crunch and flavour of the skin is wonderful.  So I was able to combine this craving with the requirement to keep pasta up to a hungry rower by making Pasta alla Norma from La Cucina.  I’ve made variants of this before but this recipe also required ricotta salata which I substituted with feta.

Its a fairly simple recipe.  Most of the time and effort is spent deep frying the eggplant in batches.  While you are doing that, make a tomato sauce of 2 cans tomato puree, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 sliced onion, salt and pepper.  Cook this in a pan until it has reduced by 1/3.  Cook your pasta (I used Barilla Casarecce).  Drain and add 50 g crumbled feta, the tomato sauce, a handful of basil leaves and some more pepper.  Combine well.  Serve up and top with eggplant some more feta and a few basil leaves.

We have also been continuing on with our Isola Farm beef pack.  We used one of the 1.5kg mince packs on the weekend by making a cottage pie with Guinness on Saturday and burgers on Sunday.  For the burgers I made brioche burger buns using the recipe here.  The dough is quite wet so the moulds mentioned in the recipe would have been useful but I think they turned out quite well.

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4 Responses to La Cucina

  1. That burger looks amazing, as does the pasta! Can you come over and cook them for us? Homemade brioche buns are a nice touch, Dave. 🙂

  2. Delicious, I could bite into that burger right now!

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