Tag Archives: Italy Italy.. home to my senses

A Very Distinctive Fennel Risotto


Italian inspired:  a fennel gives the dish this special, delicate aroma and white wine makes it rich. It’s creamy and same time very light. A fennel is widely used in Italy but really underestimated in my region; shame shame shame

1 fennel bulb

olive oil

garlic clove

1 cup bulgur or rice

1 onion

2 teaspoons lemon juice

150 ml white  wine

vegetable stock cube

pinch of salt

option: hard cheese (parmesan)


Cover bulgur with 1 cup of cold water and set aside for 10 min. Heat the oil on a frying pan and add chopped onions and crushed garlic clove. Cook until onion gets transparent.  Add chopped fennel and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add half portion of wine and simmer for 2-4 minutes: fennel needs to be soft.

Add another cup of water to bulgur together with other half of wine, vegetable stock , pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook on a low heat until bulgur absorbs the liquids but it doesn’t get dry. I always watch at least 2 tablespoons of liquid are left unabsorbed so that the dish stays creamy but not watery. Add fennel with onions and lemon juice, mix everything together and cook for another few minutes. Top with grated parmesan.



Low Calorie Pizza


That’s a real treat

1 ball mozzarella cheese (sliced)

40 gram fresh yeast

1.5 glass flour

0.5 glass lukewarm water

3-4 tbsp olive oil

0.5 courgette thinly sliced

0.5 red pepper (sliced)

1 small tomato  (sliced)

1 chicken breast

3-4 tbsp ketchup

basil, oregano

Dough: mix yeast with 5 spoons of water and 0.5 tsp sugar. Add flour and water. Mix gently and add a pinch of salt (it’s better to add salt as late as possible: it kills yeast). Add 3-4 tablespoons oil olive. Knead the dough: it should be a bit loosen but not very sticky so that hands come out clean) If it is too sticky add more flour- too hard, add water. Leave covered with a tablecloth in a warm place for approx. 15 mins. It should grow. Yeasts are very delicate: they don’t like too hot, or too cold, they hate salt and they don’t like windy air! They also prefer privacy so don’t peep too often under the cloth and into the oven  😉  In the meantime cube the chicken and fry on a pan till golden.

Roll out the dough and bake for 10 mins in 210 Celsius . It’s good to make several holes with a fork so that it doesn’t grow too much. Smear the dough base with ketchup and add toppings; chicken, courgette, mozzarella, tomato, pepper, oregano and basil. Bake in 210 Celsius until cheese is melted and dough turns golden.

And the house smells Italy… o mamma!

p.s. goes glorious with a glass of red

Calorie count: approx. 270-300 kcal /portion (this pizza makes 4 portions but requires small habit  change who are used to shove 25 cm pizza at one go;  this pizza has quite a thick base and there’s lots of topping on it, not like one green pea per 10 cm2 . So we can say it to 3 slices of these from Pizza Hut. BTW:  3 slices of similar pizza in  Pizza Hut = 3 x 250 kcal = 700 kcal!