Pasta alla ricotta e zucchine

Here the first recipe after the break. I like to start slowly, so I am going to go with a simple pasta recipe. One of those recipes that has about 5 ingredients and you can whip together in the time it takes water to boil.

I love it because it is fresh and creamy at the same time and it just feels like comfort food. Anyway, without further ado onto the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. pasta
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbs ricotta
  • olive oil
  • thyme
  • ground black pepper
  • salt

Directions

  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to the box instructions. I like to use rotini so that the ricotta can get in the grooves of the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in sticks and cook them by sauteing them in some hot oil. Season the zucchini with salt, pepper and thyme.
  3. Add the ricotta, mix well and immediately turn off the heat.
  4. Add the drained pasta to the sauce adding a spoon or two of the cooking water to dilute the ricotta cream if necessary.
  5. Enjoy!

Zucchine tonde ripiene di quinoa

Before going onto today’s recipe for cheesy, quinoa stuffed round zucchini let me go on a rant I have bottled up for quite sometime on the blogging world. Is a rant inspired by what are known as “haters” which frankly make me want to say “get-a-life”. However I never want to post such comments on a posts because then I’d be a hater’s hater and I’d be doing exactly what I want to criticize. So today I am ranting here. If you just want the recipe, feel free to skip to the bottom!

This morning I was web-stalking one of the bloggers I follow. One of those famous fashion bloggers that travel the world and post beautiful pics in amazing places wearing gorgeous outfits photographed by their handsome boyfriends. Easy to hate, isn’t it? In fact, I run across a number of posts on other blogs and media outlets that were very mean to her. Mainly they attacked her for her style (the my-style-is-so-much-better-than-hers kind of posts), for her past (the now-she-is-all-branded-when-she-had-no-sponsors-she-wore-counterfeits kind of posts), for whom she supposedly owes her success to (the it’s-just-because-she-has-XXXX-behind her kind of posts) and so on. And it got me thinking.

Now, if you look at the whole thing objectively I am sure most people will realize and recognize that 1) although you might personally not like her style obviously another huge group of people like it, 2) we all made bad decision in our lives, only, lucky for us (or for me at least), the Internet was not around or not paying attention (although I am sure if you dug hard enough you could find some pic that I would not be happy to see re-posted…), and 3) whoever stands behind her chose her and not a different blogger.

Now can I pinpoint why she became an internet phenomenon? Obviously not otherwise I would be an Internet phenomenon too (or I would be selling that advice dearly to someone)! At the same time, why should I hate her?

What surprised me was not so much the hate comments. But what about the bloggers posting? They must know how hard it is to be a successful blogger and how easy it is o be hated.

I mean any blogger gets a couple of hate comments even someone with awesome, but few visitors like me (just today I approved a comment that said my food was hillbilly – not sure how to take this one but I don’t think is was meant as a compliment-, but in the past I also got “wouldn’t feed it to a dog” and “not real Italian”). Now there are people that manage to make a living out of their blog thanks to their millions of readers (how amazing is that?), the most I ever earned in a month is a leg of lamb. Yet do some of those bloggers post recipes I don’t like? Of course! Use writing styles I find annoying? Sure! Post pictures that don’t entice me? Well I have to admit I can think of none, but I am sure I could find one if I looked hard enough or if I simply became more critical. But obviously some people like them, actually more people like them than people like me. So those bloggers are better than me, simple as that. And that is a fact no amount of me hating them can change.

Now make no mistake I am by no means sad about my performance as a blogger! I am doing well with my day job and I have fun with my food blog and some of you have fun reading it, so I am good with how thing are. I know I could do things to improve my readership (e.g. post more regularly, promote my blog on social networks more, interact with readers more, take better pics – but I will tell you a secret I have no patience for taking pictures or editing them: I tend to apply the 3 shoots and you are posted rule), but really to me the effort to do it seems to far exceeds the benefit I would get out of it. And again this is what works for me, if I had the ability or the passion or that elusive something some of those bloggers have I would be spending all my time on the blog, I just happen to be better (or more happy) at doing other things.

Anyway, as I said this was just a rant. Now onto serious business: the recipe. This is the first time I cooked quinoa. I have been looking at recipes and never found quite the right one, then stuffing clicked and I decided to use it to stuff round zucchini. I added some cream cheese for creaminess and some anchovies and sardines for taste and baked it all. Turned out pretty good!

Zucchine tonde ripiene di quinoa

Ingredients

  • 4 round zucchini
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tin sardines
  • 20 anchovies
  • 2 eggs
  • parmesan

Directions

  1. Microwave the zucchini for about 8 minutes. Let them cool down.
  2. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of lightly salted, boiling water for about 20 minutes or until translucent and soft.
  3. Cut the top of the zucchini and carve most of the pulp out using a spoon. Place the pulp in a colander and invert the zucchini on a cookie rack so that you can get rid of most of the moisture of the zucchini.
  4. In a bowl, mix the drained and diced zuchini pulp, the quinoa, the eggs, the cheese, the sardines and the diced anchovies. Season with salt if needed. Use the mixture to stuff the zucchini.
  5. Arrange the zucchini in an oven dish and sprinkle with plenty of parmesan, cover with the zucchini cap and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375F.
  6. If needed turn on the broiler for the last few minutes so that the top of the stuffing can crisp up.
  7. Serve warm.

Risotto giallo alle zucchine e frutti di mare

And today I am going to serve you a risotto with saffron, zucchini and seafood.  It is a favorite for not too hot summer nights.

Other than that, I am honestly too tired to write… These are quite tiring days with the new job, new city and new everything…

Will let you enjoy the risotto!

Saffron seafood and zucchini risotto #latergram

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. arborio rice
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 summer squash
  • 1 cup frozen seafood medley
  • saffron
  • oil
  • dry white wine
  • salt
  • parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Saute the diced zucchini and squash in hot oil and let them wilt a bit.
  2. Ad the rice and cook it until it is translucent.
  3. Add a good 1/4 cup or so of wine and let evaporate
  4. Add the frozen seafood and mix well.
  5. Add boiling water as needed and one laddle at a time until the rice is almost cooked through.
  6. Salt to taste and add the safron.
  7. Finish cooking and add parsley if you like it.