Category: Italy

Seafood Carbonara

seafood carbonara, photo by Carol Elep

Seafood Carbonara


200g salmon steak cut into cubes

150g king prawns, shelled and deveined

1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, lightly tapped by the side of a knife

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large egg yolks + 1 whole one

40g Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

200g Tagliatele pasta


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the whole egg. Add the Parmesan and generous shakes of ground black pepper and a pinch of salt.  Mix well, then set this aside.
  2. Boil water using a large pan.  Do not forget to add 1/2 tsp of salt to the boiling water; the salt is water soluble, thus automatically season a bland pasta. Cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions.
  3. Heat a good size sauce pan and add the olive oil.  Fry the garlic until golden, do not burn in order to prevent leaving a bitter taste to the dish.  Once the oil is flavoured and aromatic, remove and discard the garlic.
  4. Stir in the salmon cubes and prawns with the thyme to the oil and cook until opaque.  Ensure not to break up the salmon cubes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Reserving half a cup of the pasta water, drain the tagliatelle.  Toss the tagliatelle into the sauce pan, stir well so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour of the seafood flavoured olive oil, then remove from the pan.
  6. Using the same sauce pan, add the reserved pasta water, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture.  Tip in the salmon and prawns as well as the pasta.  Toss well until well mixed and glossy.
  7. Serve with a topping of parmesan and slices of garlic bread.

Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

Spaghetti in Shrimp Pesto, Photo by Arnold Gamboa

Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

 The above photo was taken by Arnold Gamboa, a former child matinee idol of the late 70s in the Philippines.
  • 500g Spaghetti (dried or fresh)
  • ½ lb shrimp/prawn, peeled, deveined and tailed off
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


    Fresh Pesto Recipe


  • 50g pine nuts
  • 80g basil
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves


    1. Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Dry fry the pine nuts until golden.
    2. Put the pine nuts into a food processor together with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
    3. Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for a good couple of weeks.



    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil and cook spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction.

    No 1 way:  Drain and arrange over a large serving plate as above photo. (then top with the pesto and shrimp)

    No 2 way is to return the pasta back into the pan, adding the pesto and 25g of parmesan. Toss well, then transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Then arrange cooked shrimps on top.

    Concurrently, heat a saucepan, add the olive oil, minced garlic, shrimp and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir until shrimps are opaquely reddish.  This might take about 5 minutes.

    Once shrimp are fully cooked, add the pesto and stir well.  Use as topping for no 1 way.

    Serve immediately.

    PS  No1 or No2 only differs on how you want to present the dish, both taste the same. 🙂

Sausage Balls Minestrone

sausagemeat balls

sausage meat balls

Sausage Balls Minestrone

Chill in the air, some hearty soup can only be a good thing, especially when they are scrumptiously delicious.

We have got an Italian recipe that is a total winner to whet the appetite, perfect for the autumn weather.


350g pork sausage meat

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, topped and tailed and finely chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 ½ pints chicken stock (4 chicken cubes dissolved in hot water)

175g macaroni

200g peas

a bunch of parley, roughly chopped

salt & pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


Shaped the sausage meat into balls.

Heat a large frying pan, add the oil and and fry the sausage balls until golden brown on all sides.

Remove the sausage balls from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan over a medium heat, fry the onion, celery, fennel and carrot for 10 minutes of until they’ve softened.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook until al dente.

Return the sausage balls to the pan and simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Add the peas.

Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve topped with parley and a generous dusting of freshly grated  Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with some crusty bread.



San Gennaro (St. Januarius) of Naples

Januarius, Bishop of Naples, is a martyr saint of the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. While no contemporary sources on his life are preserved, later sources and legends claim that he died during the Diocletianic Persecution, which ended with Diocletian’s retirement in 305.

Januarius is the patron saint of Naples, where the faithful gather three times a year in Naples Cathedral to witness the alleged liquefaction of what is claimed to be a sample of his blood kept in a sealed glass ampoule.
– Wikipedia
Saint’s dried blood liquefies in repeat of ‘miracle’
By AFP | AFP – Wed, Sep 19, 2012

Photo by Mario Laporta/AFP

Archbishop of Naples Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe shows an ampoule containing blood of …
The dried blood of the Roman Catholic patron saint of Naples mysteriously turned to liquid Wednesday in a repeat of what residents consider a miracle and good omen, the local church said.

A small crowd at the cathedral in the southern Italian city cheered at the announcement, when city archbishop Crescenzio Sepe brought out a small reliquary with the two vials of San Gennaro’s blood.

The phenomenon, which took place at the expected hour and was heralded as an auspicious sign for the debt-ridden country, has regularly occurred for centuries, drawing surprise and controversy.

Marcus Aurelius – Philosopher King

DSCN7294Marcus Aurelius, as a philosopher is one of the best.

Even during his lifetime, he became known as the Philosopher King.

He is the most important stoic philosopher.

Stoicism is about being temperate, having self-restraint, being mindful of one’s duty, and respect for others

He did exercise his philosophy that is why he became known as the last of the Five Good Emperors.

Here are some of his quotable quotes to live by:

Marcus Aurelius – Philosopher King

Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.
– Marcus Aurelius


Every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity.

– Marcus Aurelius

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

– Marcus Aurelius

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
– Marcus Aurelius

He who lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe.
-Marcus Aurelius


He who has seen present things has seen all, both everything which has taken place from all eternity and everything which will be for time without end; for all things are of one kin and of one form.
~Marcus Aurelius


How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
– Marcus Aurelius

Life is but a campaign or course of travels, and after-fame is oblivion.
– Marcus Aurelius

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.

~Marcus Aurelius


Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.

– Marcus Aurelius

Never throw away your legs, to stand upon crutches.
– Marcus Aurelius

Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.
– Marcus Aurelius

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
– Marcus Aurelius

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat and renew yourself.
– M Aurelius

Perform every action as though it were your last.
– Marcus Aurelius

Remember how often you have postponed minding your interest, and let slip those opportunities the gods have given you. It is now high time to consider what sort of world you are part of, and from what kind of governor of it you are descended; that you have a set period assigned you to act in, and unless you improve it to brighten and compose your thoughts, it will quickly run off with you, and be lost beyond recovery.
– Marcus Aurelius

Time is like a rapid river, and a rushing torrent of all that comes and passes. A thing is no sooner well come, but it is past.
– Marcus Aurelius

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
– Marcus Aurelius

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
―Marcus Aurelius

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
– Marcus Aurelius

The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have give away.
– Marcus Aurelius

The world is all transformation, and life is opinion.
– Marcus Aurelius

There is no man so blessed that some who stand by his deathbed won’t hail the occasion with delight.
– Marcus Aurelius

The art of living is more like that of wrestling than dancing.  the main thing is to stand firm and be ready for an unforeseen attack.
– Marcus Aurelius

To understand the true quality of people, you must look into their minds, and examine their pursuits and aversions.
– Marcus Aurelius

The secret of all victory lies in the organisation of the non-obvious.
– Marcus Aurelius