Sunday, August 5, 2018

Venetian Canederli

This is a very old family recipe: my grandfather would regularly make some canederli to be shared with the extended family. This version of the recipe was given me by my aunt, that picked up the tradition with my grandfather passing. I have really nice memories associated with this dish.
Canederli are the Italian version of Knödel, a traditional dish from Tirolo. They are very flavorful and delicious bread dumplings.


  • a bag of bread left-overs
  • whole milk
  • parmisan
  • spek (you can use proscitto crudo, or coppa if you cannot find any)
  • flour
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • green onions

Step by step instructions

  • save the bread that do not get eaten every day. Chop it in 1 inches cubes and store it in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge. It should get hard, but not too hard. Once the plastic bag is full, you are ready!
  • put the bread in a large bowl.
  • boil the milk and pour it on top of the bread.
  • add a pinch of salt
  • add the finely chopped green onions and mix them in.
  • cover and wait until the temperature goes down to lukewarm
  • add a row egg and mix it in.
  • mix in the finely chopped spek
  • add the flour to change the dough consistency until it is no longer sticky.
  • make few spheres (the size of a snowball)
  • roll them in flour to finish up

And they are ready! Store them outside the fridge, covered with a kitchen towel until it's time to cook them. You then prepare them as the potato cousin, the "gnocchi". My favorite is to cook them following the [burro e salvia recipe], but the most popular way it to serve them in chicken or vegetable stock.

Canederli traditionally served with chicken or vegetable broth. (c) Paolo Perini

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Pollo alla Niero

This recipe has been passed down in my family from a generation to another. It is not difficult, but it is a little time consuming, so I usually prepare this dish when I have some guests over for lunch or dinner. It's delicious.

(serves 6)
  • 12 chicken tights (you can substitute with chicken breasts if needed)
  • 3 green peppers
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (freshly chopped San Marzanos are the best)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • Italian Herbs (thyme, oregano, marjoram)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Step By Step instructions

  • Use a large and deep non-stick pan. It should be large enough to contain all the chicken in a single layer. Also pick one that is relatively deep to avoid spills.
  • Wash the vegetables and chop them separately
  • In a large (and deep) pan add olive oil and the chopped onions.
  • Saute' the onions until they are transparent.
  • Add half the garlic to the bottom.
  • Add the chicken in a single layer.
  • Cover everything with the freshly chopped tomatoes. The chicken should be covered at this point. If not, add some more tomato sauce.
  • Add the rest of the garlic, some more olive oil, and the salt at this stage.
  • Start cooking on medium until the sauce starts boiling, then continue cooking on low. This is very important: slower the cooking, better the final result.
  • Add the sliced bell-pepper on top.
  • Cover with a lid to ensure even cooking, and to reduce spilling and power consumption.
  • Every 15 minutes very gently move the chicken around to ensure even cooking.
  • You want to keep cooking until the chicken is well-done and very tender. The meat should separate completely from the bone. I usually cook it on low for a couple of hours. This is one of those dishes that more you cook it, better it is. If it starts to get dry, add a little bit of broth or more tomato sauce.
  • When it is ready sprinkle the Italian herbs on it. Serve warm, with the delicious sauce.
  • This dish should be served with good bread: you will want to dip it in the delicious bell pepper - tomato sauce this dish comes with!
  • This is one of those dishes that can be enjoyed for few days in a row: every time you reheat it it gets better! This makes it a great dish for potlucks. You can cook it the day before, and simply reheat it on the day of the event.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Venetian cuisine meets South Korean flavors: Baccala' alla Coreana

Venetian and South Korean cuisines have few commonalities, but one of them is their love for sun dried Pollock (bacala' in Venetian, and 북어구이 in Korean). This recipe combines some traditional ingredients from this distant regions to generate something unique and remarkably tasty.

This is how the dish looks like:

Baccala' alla Coreana

Ingredients for 3 people

  • 200 gr of dried pollock (it is very affordable when you buy it at Asian grocery stores, less so on-line [amazon])
  • 400 gr of Italian pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni)
  • 2 tablespoons of fermented soy paste (된장)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (ajo)
  • dried krill (schie)
  • chili flakes
  • wakame flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of powder garlic
  • avocado oil
  • extra virgin olive oil (ojo de oiva)


While both the European and the Korean dried pollock are prepared in the same way and have exactly the same flavor profile, The Korean version is usually sold pre-cleaned and pre-shredded. This saves a ton of work: the European version require overnight soaking and it may require a lot of hours of work to clean. because of it I strongly recommend buying the Korean version.

The Korean version of dried pollock is typically pre-cleaned and pre-shredded.
In Europe we typically buy the entire fish, that requires long and time consuming preparations.

된장 is one of the most famous Korean sauces, a distant cousin of the well known Japanese Miso. It is a paste, fermented to obtain a delicious umami flavor. Traditionally it was sold as bricks, but nowadays you buy it inside practical jars or plastic containers.

된장 in its traditional brick form.

Cooking Instructions

  • Cut the dried pollock in 1 inch long pieces.
  • Put them in a pot, and cover them with water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, drain the pollock quickly with a strain and rinse it.
    This step is done to "clean" the pollock.
  • Put the pollock back into the pot. Add two cloves of garlic smashed in half  with a fork. Add enough water to cover everything under half an inch of water.
  • Bring everything to a boil, and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
The dried pollock simmering with the garlic

  • On a pan add avocado oil, the two tablespoons of fermented soy paste (된장), and the granulated garlic.
  • stir fried everything for few second
Stir fry the soy paste and the garlic on a pan
  • Add half a cup of water, mix everything very well so there are no clumps. Bring to a boil and let it simmer slowly.
Add the water, stir well, and let it simmer.
  • Get rid of the bulk of the remaining water in the pollock pot, and add the pollock to the pan with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of dried krill and of chili flakes on top.
Add the pollock and the krill in the sauce pan
  • Mix everything together and let it simmer.
Add the chili flakes, mix, and let it simmer.
  • Cook the pasta in a separate pot (bring 1.5 liters of water, add the pasta when the water is boiling, reduce heat and let it cook for the amount of time listed in the pasta box). Try to keep the pasta al dente, i.e. a little hard, not mushy.
  • Drain the pasta with a colander
  • Add the pasta into the pan with the sauce, add one tablespoon of olive oil, and stir. This step is needed so that the pasta ciapa el consier, i.e. absorbe the flavor of the sauce.

  • Serve it right away after garnishing it with some wakame flakes and dry krill.
Delicious and healthy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gnocchetti della Katia

A simple and extremely flavorful dish, named after my friend Katia, that is particularly fond of this dish.

(serves 2)
  • 500 gr (17 ounces) of gnocchetti
    (step by step instructions here:
  • 100 gr (4 ounces) of Erbette (you can substitute them with Spinach or BokChoy)
    (learn about "erbette" here:
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 zucchini squash
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • thyme, Italian oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Step By Step instructions

  • Wash the zucchini squash and dice them.
  • Add 300 ml / 1 cup of broth, 2 spoons of EVOO, the chopped garlic, and the diced quash to a pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the flame to low
  • Stir to ensure homogeneous cooking.
  • When the zucchini starts getting softer at the edges (but the core is still hard) add the finely chopped erbette.
  • Continue to stir gently the zucchini and add more brooth when needed. Add the thyme, the oregano, and one small pinch of salt.
  • Bring water in a pot to a boil and add the gnocchi after it boils.
  • Gnocchi cook really fast (a minute or two). They are cooked when they start floating. If you timed it right they should start floating exactly when the zucchini are tender. When they are already floating, add the salt to the water, stir a couple of times.
  • Strain the gnocchi and add them to the pan with the zucchini. Reduce the heat to simmer, add some EVOO, and some more thyme and oregano. I also add an extra garlic clove (chopped with a garlic press) at this point. Stir fry for a minute.
  • Serve warm.
  • I usually do not add cheese to this dish to avoid covering the gentle flavor of the greens. If you do I recommend to use mild Parmesan, and I would add it at the very end while the gnocchi are still on the pan.