Rustici di sfoglia, AKA puff pastry bombs!

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Puff pastry is by far one of those kitchen staples I always stock in my freezer. I have attempted making it myself at times and, although I did love the end result, I wasn’t a huge fan of the labour involved. All that folding, rolling, naps in the fridge, turning clock wise business,  really isn’t my forte! I have now found a trusted brand that is made with 100% good quality butter and no canola oil and that means that in a whim I can turn the oven on and create a snack, a meal or a dessert, how easy is that? Let me tell you, these puff pastry bombs are as easy as cutting some disks and filling them with some classic Italian flavours. If you have traveled around Italy and sampled the offerings at local Pasticcerie (patisserie shops), you would have encountered these savoury bites, known as rustici, or pizzette di sfoglia or even  pizzette sarde, but let’s keep it simple here and stick to Rustici!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, they are a life saver when you have unexpected guests and in need of a snack or nibble to go with a Spritz!

Ciao Ciao! xxx

INGREDIENTS, makes 8

2 large puff pastry sheets

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup of crushed tinned tomatoes

8 anchovy fillets

1-2 tablespoons of capers, well rinsed

8 bocconcini

METHOD

  1. Preheat you oven to 180C (350F)
  2. Line an oven tray with baking paper
  3. Cut 16 disks out of the pastry sheets (I used an 8cm/3 inches cutter). Line 8 onto the tray. Spoon a little crushed tomatoes in the middle, leaving the border dry, then top with 1 torn bocconcini, a few capers and an anchovy fillet. I normally don’t add any salt because both capers and anchovies are super salty. Up to you, really). Feel free to add herbs too, I din’t have any!IMG_3416.jpg
  4. Top with the remaining 8 disks, pressing slightly with your fingers to seal the pastry together. Using a smaller cutter, create a indent around the top disk. Don’t press too hard so that you break the pastry, you just want to create the outline of a circle. This will help the pastry puff up nicely.  Brush with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and puffed up. Enjoy warm or at room temperature!IMG_3417.jpgOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!

MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

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Gluten Free Turkish Bread (Pide)

I bet you have been looking at this picture thinking “that is gluten-free???”… Yes, indeed, it looks rather miraculous and I would love to take full credit for this creation, but the truth is, this impeccable result is the combination of a specialty Gluten Free flour designed for bread baking and a few old tricks of mine. If you are familiar with my gluten free bread recipes, this is no surprise to you, however if this is the first time we meet, I suggest you have look at THIS post and also at THIS one.

This wondrous flour (Caputo Fiore Glut, available in Australia via Basile Imports) combined with extra-virgin olive oil and buttermilk are the hidden secrets of this dough, which is well suited to create Turkish style bread, but I would not hesitate and give this a go for pizza and focaccia as well.

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Happy Gluten free baking!

INGREDIENTS, MAKES 1

500 gr Caputo Fiore Glut (or a GF flour made especially for bread baking)

7 gr of dry yeast

125 ml of water at room temperature

1 cup (250 ml) of buttermilk

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil for the dough, plus a little extra for drizzling on top

2 teaspoons of salt for the dough, plus more to sprinkle on top

sesame seeds

METHOD

1. Mix the yeast with 100 ml of water and stand for a few minutes until frothy.

2. In a large bowl mix in flour, buttermilk, oil, yeasted water. Mix well with your hands and if it feels too dry add the remaining water. When you first start mixing this type of flour, it feels very sticky and powdery at the same time. Start kneading and after a few minutes it will almost resemble wheat flour. Add salt and knead until smooth.

3. Place back into the bowl. Cover with plastic film and allow to rise for 3-4 hours in a warm spot, until doubled in size.

4. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Lift the dough out of the bowl and, using your hands, stretch it to cover the tray, so that it’s about 3 cm thick. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for 1 hour. In the meantime, turn the oven on to 200 C

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5. Create dimples with your fingers, then drizzle with oil and season with extra salt and sesame seeds. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Take the tray out of the oven and cool the bread onto a rack

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Enjoy!

Silvia xoxo

Did you know I have launched a brand new YouTube channel? Click here and subscribe to get all my new recipes! It’s free and easy! xxx

SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!

MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

9781921384417.jpg

Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

How to make easy, no-knead focaccia!

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This is a culinary wonder! Simply mix the ingredients and let time create your dough. No mess, no fuss. The next day, bake it and enjoy! This is one of my most popular and versatile recipes. You can use this dough to create bread and pizza too. So easy, all you need is to mix, let it rest and bake. Suits vegans and people with nut, egg and dairy allergies too.

You can watch the video for this recipe on my YouTube channel! Don’t forget to leave a comment and to subscribe, it’s free and easy!

How to make easy, no-Knead Focaccia, serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 cups of 00 or all purpose flour

tip of a teaspoon of dry yeast

1+1/2 cup of water at room temperature, plus a few tablespoons, as needed

2 teaspoons of salt flakes

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling on top)

METHOD

  1. Mix together, flour, yeast and most of the water and mix with a chopstick. Don’t add all the water at once as you may not need it all, it will depend on your flour. The texture you are looking for is a very soft dough. Add salt and oil and mix with a chopstick. Cover with plastic film and allow to rise for 10-12 hours or until more than doubled in size and very bubbly. In warmer climate this will take less. FullSizeRender.jpg
  2. Preheat your oven to 220 C, 430 F. Using olied hands, gently lift the dough (it will be sticky) out of the bowl and spread it onto an oiled oven tray (or one lined with baking paper). Drizzle with oil on top, create dimples with your fingers and season with salt flakes.
  3. Bake for 25-20 minutes or until golden.
  4. Serve as it it or with thick slices of tomatoes!  IMG_0967.JPG                                                                                                                                  SUBSCRIBE to keep enjoying my recipes for free!   DAY 2 RECIPE 2.00_05_53_11.Still003                                                    Watch this recipe on my YouTube channel   DSC_4086SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

    LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

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    Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

     

My New YouTube channel!

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My dear friends, it is with great excitement and little trepidation that I make this announcement: I have launched a YouTube channel dedicated to home-cooking, featuring brand new, easy recipes that cater from everyone. From Vegan cakes, to easy focaccia, gluten free cookies, sturdy sausage stews and home-made pasta! This is a major undertaking as it is entirely, 100% my own effort. I have written the content, tested the recipes, styled the set (my own kitchen!), prepped the food, washed the dishes, and broken a few glasses in the process (clumsy!) Then I hired a camera team and we shot it, at my house, while the kids were at school and baby Luna was snoozing or quietly playing in the background (sometimes you can hear her cooing too). Over 2 massive days we managed to record 10 mini episodes that I plan to release over the next weeks, with two already available on my channel.

This has been an entirely different process to the shows I have previously made with SBS and ABC. Although I was indeed a creator, writer and producer of my shows, I also had a team of expert TV professionals to guide me along the way, in a effort to create something that was entertaining and in line with the broadcasting network. I have been very lucky to be able to produce two shows like MADE IN ITALY and SILVIA’S ITALIAN TABLE, but the time seems ripe now for me to try and build my own content, in a simpler and very authentic way. This is me, in my Sydney kitchen, with no fancy lighting, equipment or elaborate make up. This is as close as it gets to being in the room with me. No bells and whistles. And no commercial breaks either!

I truly hope you enjoy the experience. Please take a moment to visit my channel and subscribe (it’s free and easy) and if you like the content, please comment and share, so we can create a nice community of like minded people. The more of you take the time to support this and subscribe, the more I am able to produce more content, so I thank you sincerely for your support.

Silvia Colloca Food Channel

That’s all for now, love

Silvia xxx

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Santa’s Cinnamon Cookie

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Christmas eve is finally here! How many of us have been longing for this day to arrive, each passing hour accented by the scent of vanilla cookies baking, the surprise in opening a new window of our advent calendar, and that manic joy of wrapping a bottomless pit of presents whilst humming carols? My advise, from a Christmas celebration enthusiast to you, is to shameless enjoy this magical time, indulge, give, share and receive with glee, it is only once a year after all. And, of course, make sure you leave a good supply of home-made cookies for the Old Fella himself! Word has it that he is an avid consumer of cinnamon cookies, and so these russet, spiced beauties await his arrival…

And so do I.

Merry Christmas to all! xxx

INGREDIENTS, makes 12-16

100 gr (3/4 cups) icing sugar, plus more for dusting

150 gr (2/3 cups) of soft butter

150 gr (1 cup and 1/3) of self raising flour, 100 gr (3/4 cup) of plain flour

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste

1 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

1-2 tablespoon of milk (optional)

cinnamon sugar for dusting on top

HOW TO

1. Work the icing sugar and butter together until creamy and smooth (you can do it by hand or using a standing mixer)

2. When the mixture is creamy, add the flour, 1 table-spoon of corn starch, a teaspoon of vanilla paste and the cinnamon. If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoon of milk.

3. The cookie dough will look and feel sticky. Use a spatula to scrape it onto a sheet of baking paper. Roll it up in the shape of a sausage and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.

4. Once it’s rested and feels firm, slice it up into  1/2 cm rounds and  put them back in the fridge for 10 minutes.

5. Bake at 170 C, 340 F,  for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to color. Cool at room temperature. Dust with cinnamon sugar and and serve with a tall glass of milk and a note to Santa…

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SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!

MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

9781921384417.jpg

Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

 

Mini bundt cakes with chocolate drizzle

Mini bundt cakes with chocolate drizzle

Yes, I’m playing the chocolate card, guilty as charged! As if mini, individual bundt cakes weren’t adorable enough, I had to go and drizzle a sticky, luscious dark lacquer all over them, thus rendering them utterly irresistible. These cakes incapsulate … Continue reading

Chickpea and Aubergine Warm Salad

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Silvia’s Chickpea and Aubergine’s salad

And so, without fail, we have bid our adieu to yet another year and welcomed the new one with expectant hearts. We have duly complied a list of resolutions for 2016 and on day 5 we are still sticking to it. Marvelous! Drink less, exercise more, work less, laugh more, play lego with boys, don’t yell at them, kiss husband more, eat healthy food… As I type this I have a big smile on my face knowing that however short-lived all these aspirations are, I still believe in writing them down and implementing those changes in my life, for however long they last! The two things I am sure I won’t fail at, are kissing hubby (he’s rather irresistible) and prepare healthy meals for my family to enjoy. All year round.

Ingredients, serves 4 as a side (vegan, gluten free)

1 large aubergine (eggplant), cut into 2cm cubes

1 garlic clove, skin on and bashed with the back of a knife

4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 tin of chickpeas, well drained

salt and pepper for seasoning

parsley leaves and nasturtium to scatter on top

Method

1. Heat up the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and cook in the oil to infuse its scent into it for 1 minute. Add the aubergine, stir well until well coated with the oil, then turn  the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and allow the hot oil and the steam to cook the vegetables gently for 15 minutes. Stir from time to time.

2. When the aubergines look soft and slightly caramelized, add the chickpeas and paprika, stir well and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

3. Serve warm topped with parsley and nasturtium leaves and a grounding of black pepper.

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Watch Made in Italy with Silvia Collocaon DVD 9781921383977

Silvia’s Cucina the cookbook is available in stores and online!

Silvia’s new book Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca is on sale now!

Silvia’s Cucina is on  Facebook Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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Crispy Potato Skins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, you have peeled a gargantuan amount of potatoes to make your creamy Paris mash/chips/champs you name it…now what to do with the skins? The frugal Italian in me cannot bear the idea of wastage and I’m always eager to conjure up a way to give new life to left-overs and food scraps. A little research shows me that most of the nutritional virtues of potatoes (and there are very many, starch bashers out there….) are trapped in the skin. I am talking about super power boosters such as potassium and calcium, optimal for bone mineral density and protection against strokes. Match that with the everlasting benefits of every Italian’s best friend, extra-virgin olive oil, and you have got yourself a perfect, healthier alternative to potato chips that celebrates resourcefulness and flavor in one nimble move!

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INGREDIENTS, serves 6

The skin of 1 Kg (4-1/2 Lb) of potatoes

4-5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Salt, herbs and freshly ground pepper to taste

HOW TO

1. Place the skin in a large bowl, cover them with warm water and set aside for 20 minutes. In the meantime, heat up your oven to 200 C or 400 F.

2. Drain the skins and pat dry with a tea towel. Toss them with enough oil to cover them evenly (use your hands if helpful), season with salt and herbs and arrange them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper in one layer (bake them in batches, if need be)

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Cool at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up further and serve topped with freshly ground black pepper and a few rosemary springs, if liked.

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Watch Made in Italy with Silvia Collocaon DVD Silvia’s Cucina the cookbook is available in stores and online!

Silvia’s new book Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca is on sale now!

Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca is produced by SBS Australia and Fremantlemedia

Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

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