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Palau de la Musica catalana

Summer is coming, and when I look back on last year holidays, I can’t stop dreaming about my first solo holidays with my sister: three days in Barcelona. We loved everything, especially the huge market La Boqueria. We tried everything, from smoothies to chorizo pizza, to fresh fruit salads. We loved the buzz, the joy, the kindness of people working there.
As I had some leftover dried cod, Claudia asked me to make some cod and potato cakes, like the ones we ate in Barcelona as tapas.

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Florentine’s style dried cod

dried cod following the Florentine's way

In my family the dried salted cod expert was granddad Remigio, my mum’s dad. My grandfather Remigio used to live all alone in San Gimignano. He brought my mum and Aunt Silvana up all by himself. He was a man of old times, a mason, but he was also very good at cooking. I still can taste his sliced meat breaded and fried then cooked with tomato sauce. It was soft and cooked in a red enamelled pan: it is an unforgettable memory.

He used to have a peculiar breakfast coming home from his vegetable garden: Tuscan bread, tomatoes and onion. He loved dried cod and herring: he used to fry herring in his tiny kitchen and you could tell it from miles – the whole house was surrounded by a pungent smell and a thick smoke.

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Rose cake

If you want something to raise, don’t call me. Me and yeast it’s like Superman and kryptonite. I’ve always been frightened by recipes asking for something to raise, until several people told me to face the experience with calm and serenity. And so did I. The chance was Mother’s Day some weeks ago. My mum is passionate about roses: she has bushes of roses all around in the garden: pink, red, yellow and white. We love each other even if when talk we always seem fighting about something. The rose cake was the perfect cake for mum.
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A cake for dummies

This is a typical cake from Sardinian, made with fresh ricotta cheese. You can use sheep ricotta cheese as required by the recipe, but I tried it with goat ricotta cheese and it has become a very peculiar cake, with a strong and intense flavour, but really delicious. It is a cake for dummies: easy ingredients, easy making and easy baking.

I managed to have a perfect cake even if I chose a wrong mould, definitely too small, and I kept on opening the oven to remove living mixture poring out from the mould as lava from an Hawaiian volcano! So, the only advice is: use a proper plum cake mould, look after the size!

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Nonna Menna’s Kitchen: pici pasta

Today we’ll hit the second episode of our Tuscan cooking session.

It is worth saying though that “tuscan cooking” it is not really an appropriate way to define it..or better..them!! I’ll try to explain.. if you’ll ask my granny: ‘Grandma, let’s do a tuscan cooking column…What could we prepare? ..why not make a delicious trippa? She would answer..”what?? Trippa is from Florence, it is not a local dish then! (about 35 km n.d.r)”. Tuscany, as used to be a Gran Duchy, it is still..nowadays, ideally divided in different traditions, habits, customs.. that still oppose, even in the cooking way, Siena to Florence, or Pisa to Arezzo…
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Lunch box, episode 2

Here the second episode of my office lunch box. This time, have a look outside my windows, since you already know my computer.
This is one of the most classic omelette, a potato omelette, slightly varied to be more lighter but more satisfying.
As usual, it is made the day before and warmed up in the microwave, and you get a just made omelette! Eat it with a side salad of lattuce and carrots and you’ll have a complete but light meal.

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