I wanted to prepare some traditional Italian dishes and I had an idea: Learnamo is environmentally friendly and passionate about minimising all type of waste, especially food waste, so I thought I could teach you 3 Italian delicious and ZERO-WASTE recipes that you can easily do at home, in a short time and at a low cost! The three recipes I’m talking about are spaghetti all’assassina, risotto al limoncello and focaccia di pane! These are Italian recipes, so it goes without saying that they are rich in tasty carbs!
How to cook three amazing zero-waste Italian recipes
1. SPAGHETTI ALL’ASSASSINA (KILLER SPAGHETTI)
As I already told you, Spaghetti all’Assassina is a super traditional dish in Bari (in Apulia), these spaghetti are so popular that there’s a book dedicated to this recipe. I’m not kidding! If you like crime books, you have to read this novel set in Bari, whose title, Spaghetti all’Assassina, comes from this very famous dish. The book is written by Gabriella Genisi and is from the book series dedicated to Lolita Lobosco’s investigations. They recently produced a tv series about her, I recommend it, it’s really good!
This dish was born thanks to Bari’s grandmothers of the past, who didn’t want to throw away the tomato sauce leftover from the day before. But why is it called “all’assassina” (killer)? There are two main reasons: the first one is the colour of the dish, red, which looks a little like blood, and the second one is because the hot pepper in it will kill your mouth! But it’s definitely worth it!
Ingredients (for 4 people):
- 400 gr of spaghetti
- 150 gr of tomato sauce
- Garlic, hot peppers, basil and salt (to taste) [If you’re using the tomato sauce from the day before, it will probably already have these spices so you don’t have to add them again]
- First, add oil and garlic to a frying pan, and let it cook for a little. After that, add your tomato sauce, some basil leaves, salt and hot pepper.
- After a few minutes, add the spaghetti to the pan…raw spaghetti! Yes, you read that right, I mean uncooked! Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing (maybe).
- Keep on medium heat and stir constantly the spaghetti to make them absorb the sauce. Keep doing this for a good 20 or 30 minutes. Towards the end, you’ll notice that the sauce will start to burn a little and you’ll hear the sound of “spaghetti sticking to the bottom of the pan”. But don’t worry: that’s the point! The important thing is that you keep stirring to avoid that this happens!
- When you notice that the spaghetti are cooked, even if they still have a hard consistency, and they’re also a bit burned, according to your taste, you can turn off the heat and serve them!
Easy, right? Believe me, these are delicious! Everyone likes them, and I mean EVERYONE!
2. RISOTTO AL LIMONCELLO (LIMONCELLO RISOTTO)
If after a party you have some leftover limoncello, keep reading the next recipe! After Easter, I still had some limoncello in the fridge, so I decided to make a nice risotto! Because we shouldn’t throw away anything!
To prepare this risotto (for 4 people) you will need:
- 280 g of rice
- 60 ml of limoncello
- 500 ml of vegetable broth
- Half a grated lemon zest
- Basil, salt and pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Add oil and chopped or minced basil leaves to a pan, let it cook on medium heat for a minute.
- Then add the rice and toast it on high heat.
- Add the limoncello and stir until the liquid is absorbed, then lower the heat to a medium.
- Add a saddle of broth every now and then to always keep the rice moist and make sure not to burn it. Keep doing this for 20-30 minutes.
- When ready, season to taste with salt and pepper and add a nob of butter, parmesan cheese and lemon zest while stirring. And then…serve!
If you like lemon and limoncello…you’ll love this recipe, just like I do!
3. FOCACCIA DI PANE (STALE BREAD FOCACCIA)
Lastly, here’s a recipe to reduce food waste and empty your pantry: focaccia di pane, or steal bread focaccia! How many times do you have some or even a lot of leftover bread that you don’t want to eat because it’s “old”? Unfortunately, in these cases, we tend to throw it away, but this recipe is a great way to “recycle” it!
The ingredients you’ll need are:
- A lot of old and stale bread
- Cherry tomatoes
- Oregano and salt
- To prepare the focaccia, put parchment paper on a baking tray and put some oil on it.
- After that, all you need to do is break the bread into smaller pieces and put it in a bowl filled with water. Let it soak for a few minutes, then take it out and squeeze it. Break it into even smaller pieces and lay them on the baking tray. Listen carefully: they must be very very close to one another.
- Keep doing this until all the bread is on the baking tray, then press it with your hands until it’s firm and compact.
- Now you can season it: add salt, oregano, oil, olives and sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Your focaccia is now ready to go into the oven at 200°C for 15 to 20 minutes!
When the focaccia has finished cooking it will be super tasty and crunchy! This recipe is loved by people of all ages, it’s really worth it, I promise! You can eat it with a charcuterie board of cold cuts and cheese or even with a nice salad.
But if you’re not sure about this Focaccia di pane, you can read the recipe of the focaccia barese (from Bari): you won’t regret it, it’s amazing!