Learning To Make Bread And Pasta In The European Way

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

As a regular traveler and food enthusiast, I have always been eager to try out the cuisines of the different places that I visit. Following my Mexican vacation where I tried out some hot, delicious and even quirky dishes, I decided to travel in the other direction altogether for my next vacation and soothe my taste buds. A journey to regal Europe perfectly suited every criteria. Apart from the beautiful weather, breathtaking sceneries, lovely locales and ample occupations for travelers to indulge in, European cuisines serve as a major source of attraction for travelers. Here are five European cuisines that I liked the best, and hence learnt the methods of preparing them.

Pasta Served With Homemade Ricotta And Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
There are two ways of eating this- either leave the ingredients separate and enjoy a unique taste in every mouthful, or simply blend the pasta with the ricotta cheese and create an even sauce. Eaten either way, this is a delicious preparation. It is relatively simple to cook, but since it involves baking, it requires a lot of time. The tomatoes need to be roasted first after being covered with a layer of salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, thyme and olive oil. This whole process might take as long as three hours as the tomatoes need to be shriveled, yet moist. To simplify the process, branded shoes from supermarkets can also be used. The baked tomatoes can be chopped or blended to form a fine puree that is served along with the pasta.

A famous culinary serving of southern Italy, panzarottis are simply dough stuffings that are pocket shaped and deep fried in oil. These are generally half moon shaped and comparatively smaller in size compared to calzones. Because of their small size, the stuffings are generally made of tomatoes and mozzarella and can be flavored with anchovies. It is a crispy dish enjoyed especially by children.

Tubetonni Pasta Served With Chickenpeas
Made of durum wheat, tubetonni pasta is available is different shapes. This dish is generally prepared quickly in half an hour. First the pancetta is fried in olive oil, to which various other ingredients like chopped carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, tomatoes and wine is added. After the whole thing turns golden yellow, add the chickpeas with salt and pepper to taste. After some time, a part of the chickpeas can be removed and smoothened out in a blender and then added back to the sauce. This is best served with cheese as the side dish.

Scampi Shrimp Pasta With A Touch Of Garlic
This barely takes half an hour as preparation time. It is easy to cook and healthy to eat, without sacrificing on the aspect of the taste. The ingredients required shrimps, onions, garlic, pepper flakes and olive oil. The shrimp needs to be marinated before being cooked. Add some shrimp marinade and shrimp stock to give it some consistency. This is best served in bowls that are decorated with lemon wedges on the edges.

Rosemary and Olive Focaccia
Taking a maximum of twenty minutes to prepare, the ingredients required are unbleached flour, instant yeast, olive oil, salt warm water Kalamata olives and freshly chopped rosemary. The dough needs to be kneaded evenly, first by hand and then in a container with a lining of oil to ensure that it is covered evenly. After this, it needs to be covered with a plastic wrap and allowed to fluff and ferment at ambient temperatures. This process has to be repeated another time by allowing the dough to rise in between the sheets that have been chosen for baking. After this is done, ensure that you can form dimples o the surface with your fingers. Add olive oil to these dimpled spots and ensure that it seeps in before you bake it to a golden brown color and slice it up and serve it.

So are you ready for your little European cooking night yet? :)

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