Category Archives: Italian

Step-By-Step Recipe: Panna Cotta

Don’t let its plain appearance fool you. Each spoonful of panna cotta carries the rich flavour of dairy cream which gives way to a delicate mouthfeel as it melts in your mouth. This elegant dessert is quintessential to Italian restaurants, and no wonder – this is a very lovable dish which, as I have come to discovered, is extremely simple to make.

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Bruschetta

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This was supposed to look like the Italian flag, but we kind of flipped the order of the colours about… It’s actually green on the left and red on the right. We are sorry for our ignorance :(

What… Italian food? Again? Yes once again this is another post on Italian food, and I do not apologize. You know how it’s so easy to go to a new country and start craving for your home country’s food after a few days just because you’re not used to it? I think Italy had the reverse effect on me. Of course, I did feel enraged that the beauty of Italy’s gastronomic gems got destroyed along the way with the proliferation of frozen pizza, spaghetti  soaked in ketchup-like gravy, grainy gelato et cetera but this also means that everywhere else in the world, people are trying their best to appreciate this cuisine even though they’re not always getting it right. Kind of like Chinese food everywhere else as well. Hmmmn.

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So anyway, following the success of a very simple recipe of an Italian dish Cacio E Pepe Romano last week, I decided to write another one that is considerably easy. In fact, bruschetta (pronounced broos-ket-ta not broo-shet-ta) is not only easy but also highly versatile because you can put any topping on these little pieces of toast! Just about anything you can think of. You can even serve these fancy versions of toast as tapas or canapes at functions, like I did at my brother’s wedding reception, because it’s simple but still impresses your diners! :)

What’s more, you get to use up your stale bread, which is why I wrote this post… Lol, shhh. Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Cacio E Pepe Romano

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You might recall me raving about a certain Cacio E Pepe Romano in a previous Travelogue about Rome. 3 months after visiting Rome, I still think about this pasta once in a while – For it to have left such a deep impression on me, you must realize that this pasta is capable of being really, really good. And this is why I am posting this recipe here – It’s so delicious yet it’s so simple! Only 4 ingredients, which includes its own pasta water AND the pasta itself. I think it makes a perfect quick but quality meal for anyone who is in a rush for time (or just extremely hungry and in need of instant gratification)! Continue reading

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Travelogue: Roma’s Aromas (my sense of humour is questionable I admit)

Hello everyone! No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – TummyTroll is actually up and alive again! Our sincere apologies for the inactivity – Updating this blog took a backseat when all of us started to prepare for our Final Examinations sometime in May (just for your information, we’re actually full time students). And then this blog got shoved to the side again when we all embarked on our various travels and summer activities. Despite this, we are actually pretty surprised to realize that we’d maintained a steady readership these few months even during our hiatus. So a big thank you to everyone who’d been following this blog religiously – We promise that we’re back for good, now that we’re back in school again (the irony)! :D

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To kickstart our blog again, we would have loved to do full travelogues like what we did for Iceland last Summer, but it is to our regret that we are unable to do so this year because we didn’t manage to travel anywhere together as the TummyTroll gang. Hence this post would actually be a reflection of my personal gastronomic journey in Italy, which would focus Rome in particular even though I went to Tuscany too. And if the photos in this post are looking a little lacklustre compared to our usual ones, this is because they were mostly taken from my iPhone, digital camera or film camera, so they lack the professional touch of #chubkaichun. In any case, presenting to you the wonders of… Rome!

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 A quintessential photo of Rome’s favourite pasta Cacio e Pepe just to get things going. And yes, even though the common Pasta alla Carbonara did originate from Rome, it’s only second to the above “holy” pasta in terms of popularity in the capital city! Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipes: Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino, or commonly shortened to Aglio Olio, is a minimalist dish with maximum gratification. You have a plate of spaghetti which looks deceptively plain, but a bite of it unleashes the distinctive robust flavour of the garlic, with the heat of the chilli, both brought together by a delicate olive oil. What’s more surprising is that there are only four ingredients in this dish, and the name itself is the ingredient list!

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Organic White Truffle Oil Creamy Mushroom Tortiglioni

This isn’t just the ordinary Creamy Mushroom Pasta. This is Creamy Mushroom Tortiglioni  with a truckload of the freshest mushrooms and a most generous lashing of an incredible Organic White Truffle Oil. Yes, you didn’t hear that wrong. There’s Organic White Truffle Oil in the house — TummyTroll has officially transcended to the elite class (of the food world)! Oh whee.

“Wilt thou bless us mortals, thy holy Organic White Truffle Oil?”

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Healthy & Lazy Tofu Panna Cotta (Vegan/Vegetarian)

As I’m writing this now, I’m actually in the midst of revision for the big Finals (examinations). It’s really universally painful to be a Law student… The readings, they just don’t stop coming. The cases, they just don’t plant themselves into your heads when you need them. The intelligence, where did it all go when I finally decided to start studying proper? Sigh, there’s too little time left!

You might say “serve you right” since I spend so much time idling in the kitchen over the stove. You’re right. But I don’t always have the luxury of time to stir kaya religiously over a low flame, sad to say. And the recent frozen pizzas I’d been munching on just leave me feeling so empty… It’s like my stomach is full, my tummy is spilling all over but my soul is bare. I think that’s when Tofu Panna Cotta came into the picture and rejuvenated my life!

Panna Cotta and Tofu isn’t the most conventional combination when it comes to making the famed Italian dessert, but it works just as well! Even better if you’re trying to shave off the calories incurred from over-indulging (and in my case from fat-laden frozen pizzas). Tofu Panna Cotta follows a fabulously easy and lazy recipe, and is surprisingly smooth and addictive considering how guilt-free it is (compared to most other sinful desserts that is). Vegans will be pleased to know that I have also come up with a Vegan variation this time. Enjoy the pictures and short recipe below!

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CHEAT! / Step-By-Step: All Basics Lasagne

Due to a lack of affordable (and authentic) Italian restaurants when I was growing up in Singapore, I’ve only tasted authentic lasagne for the first time when I was 18. In fact I could barely pronounce it. Le…Zaa… Nia? I used to think that making lasagne was extremely laborious, a la the Nonya kueh lapis where you must actually prepare the different layers separately. Well, the truth is not too far from that but it’s definitely a lot simpler than making kueh lapis!

Readers from the UK would be familiar with Sainsbury’s, a large supermarket chain in the country, akin to NTUC in Singapore. As students on a budget, we often try to suss out the cheapest deals that give us the most bang for a buck, and today we’d put ourselves up to the challenge by making a mushroom and beef lasagne using only ingredients from the Sainsbury’s Basics range!

For the uninitiated, the Sainsbury’s Basics range looks like that:

Most distinctive from the simple orange and white packaging! From fresh fruits to ready-made pasta to spices to toilet paper, it’s a fairly comprehensive range of budget products. The Basics range is a poor student’s best friend because the items tend to be so much cheaper although understandably they aren’t always of tip-top quality. However, a meal for less than a dollar sounds too attractive to resist isn’t it? Today we’ll demonstrate how to make a fuss-free and delicious lasagne, from scratch, using only ingredients from the Basics range! :)

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Short Recipe: Garlic & Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Not Fettuccine Alfredo but still the same good ol’ Alfredo everyone loves!

Pasta names can be confusing, from the pasta types to the specific pasta titles. So we have linguine spaghetti gnocchi fettuccine penne fusili pappardelle cannelloni rigatoni trenne lasagne tagliatelle (and on and on and on)…. Then we have Carbonara, Bolognese, Pesto, Aglio Olio, Marinara (and on and on and on)…

Then we have the penultimate Alfredo, the king of all calorific pasta (okay what kind of pasta is not calorific but still). If you love cream and cheese and sinful rich guilty delights, I see no reason why you shouldn’t love Alfredo too! It’s special because the pasta isn’t tossed into the pan after cooking, but requires the piping hot drained pasta to warm up and cook the Parmesan cheese and cream sauce in the plate just before serving. It’s basically just made up of butter, cream, cheese and pasta… So why does it taste this sensational? I don’t know but I give all my thanks and appreciation to the Alfredo who created this dish. Thanks for inventing a pasta so out of the world! And no thanks for the extra weight on the tummy…

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Step-By-Step: Pumpkin Paradise Pasta

Pump-pump-pumpkin galore! Pumpkin in every corner. This is the kind of intense dish that has pumpkin and nothing else (almost). If you hate pumpkins… Well, you can start running away now.

Before we get to things proper, just a clarification: Technically the name of this dish is a misnomer because we used Butternut Squash not Pumpkin. Confused?

Pumpkins versus Butternut Squash: What is the difference?
Pumpkins – The larger round babies used during carving for Halloween. Has a stronger flavour, typically a deep orange colour with more flesh!
Butternut Squash – Gourd-like, longish and highly popular in the UK due to its sweet and mild nutty flavour. More yellow than orange.

I just named it Pumpkin Paradise Pasta because it’s more catchy and the alliteration is just… attractive. You can, if you like, substitute Butternut Squash with Pumpkin of course, no one’s stopping you! In the following post I’ll just refer to it as “pumpkin” in general.

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