Stufato di Fagiolini e Papate (Green Beans & Potatoes)


500 g green beans

200 g potatoes

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 cup of crushed tomatoes

1 zucchini



2 tablespoon of oil




In a pot put oil, onion and garlic.

Once they are a golden colour

add the beans (already washed and cleaned),

the potatoes already

diced, the salt, crushed tomatoes and four

cups of water.

Cook it for 15 minutes. Add water if you need it.

Then add the zucchini already diced and the pepper or chillies.

Let it cook for another 5 minutes.

Once cooked and placed in plates put a bit of fresh oil on top

Necci Toscane

Ingredients :


Necci (pancake)

300g chestnut flour

100g sugar

500gr water

½ potato

Olive oil



500g cream cheese

or ricotta

250g icing sugar




Chocolate fudge

Icing sugar


Sift chestnut flour in a bowl, add sugar and water beating on high speed. 

Pre-heat a small fry pan, pour a few drops of oil and with the half potato spread the oil around the frypan.  Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture into the frypan and fry both sides. You decide of the thickness as long they are well cooked inside.

In a bowl mix either cream cheese or ricotta with icing sugar.

Once ready you can fill the Necci like a cannellone with the filling inside or you can stake them like pancakes with filling on top of each one.

This is from my new book 'Nonna Melina's Sweets' (Pane, Vino E PEPERONCINO 2 - page 58). Just a taste of the delicious recipes from my mum's own recipe book.

Pea & potato soup




500g of potatoes cut into cubes

350g  frozen peas

1L of Stock Vegetable

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 brown onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt & ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons thickened light cream

4 slices crusty Italian bread, to serve




Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring r until the onion softens slightly. Add the potatoes, peas and stock. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.


Pour in a food processor and process until smooth. Return all the soup to the pot and reheat over medium-high heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until hot. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Serve soup with 2 teaspoons of cream and sprinkle with pepper. Serve with the crusty bread.

Fagioli / Dry Beans




3 tablespoon of oil

1 onion in pieces

2 cloves garlic

1 carrot in pieces

2 hot chillies sliced

1 small celery stick sliced

½ tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 can peeled tomatoes

2 cups of your favourite beans

(Let them soak in water for 40 minutes)

Water (as much as you need)




In a Pot heat up the oil and add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper and 1 chilli and the tomatoes.

Let it cook for 5 minutes the add the water filling the pot more than half way, bring it to boil and add the soaked beans the beans and cook for about 45 minutes adding the salt and the black pepper.

Add more water while cooking if needed.

Reduce the water as you prefer.

Serve with a few drops of olive oil and a sliced chilli.

Cappelletti Ferrarese 

Ingredients :


150 g (1 cup) '00' pasta flour a bit extra, to dust 


1egg yolk 

350 g pumpkin (zucca)

100 g butter 

15 g 1 tbsp olive oil 

1garlic clove, crushed 

½ red chilli, finely chopped 

1small leek, white part only, trimmed, finely chopped 

3 sage leaves, finely chopped, plus 6 extra for decoration 

3 tbsp finely grated parmesan 

1 tbsp finely grated gruyère 

2 tbsp



To make the pasta, mound flour on a work surface, make a well in the centre and add egg, egg yolk, 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Using a fork or your hand, gradually draw in flour until mixture is thick, then work in remaining flour using your hands. Knead dough for 6 minutes or until firm, adding extra flour if sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.

Prepare pumpkin filling. Preheat oven to 220°C and cut pumpkin into small wedges, leaving skin on and discarding seeds. Place, skin-side down, on an oven tray and roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Cool.

Scoop pumpkin flesh and discard skins. Place in a colander over a bowl and leave to drain any excess liquid for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 15 g butter and oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat and cook garlic and chilli for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add leek and cook for a further 5 minutes or until soft.

Place pumpkin in a bowl and mash. Add leek mixture, finely chopped sage leaves, 1 tbsp parmesan and gruyère, and stir until well combined. Gradually add breadcrumbs, making sure mixture is not too moist and not too dry. Season with salt and pepper.

To roll pasta dough, divide dough in half. Place one half on a lightly floured work surface and roll out until 5 mm thick and about 12 cm wide – nearly the width of your pasta machine. Set your pasta machine at its widest setting, then feed the dough through, narrowing the settings on your machine one notch at a time until you reach the second thinnest setting: 2 mm. Repeat with remaining dough.

To make tortellini, place pasta sheets on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 30 x 7 cm squares. Place 1 tsp pumpkin filling in the centre of each square. Working with 5 squares at a time, dip your finger in water and dampen edges of squares. Fold in half diagonally to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Using your thumb, press the middle of the long edge of the triangle up towards the point, then bring the two bottom corners together. Pinch corners together with a little water to seal and place on a floured tray. Repeat with the remaining pasta and pumpkin filling.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Working in batches, add tortellini and stir with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

To make sage butter, cook 100 g butter in a frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until it turns nut-brown. Add remaining sage leaves, parmesan and tortellini. Toss to coat and serve immediately.