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As I said in the previous recipe, I am determined to try some traditional Italian recipes using alternative brands of plant-based meat substitutes.
This week I make a few changes to the traditional meatball recipe from “La Cucina Italiana” Magazine , and I use a different brand of meat substitute than in my previous test.
The result is much more satisfying than the previous attempt. The texture is excellent, and the taste is fairly close to that of the traditional meat recipe. It is important to use high quality tomatoes – such as the San Marzano variety I have used – and blend them using a mixer, because the combined flavors of the meat(less)-balls and the sauce are what make the dish so delicious.



Plant based meat 1 pack
egg 1
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
Slices of bread 2
Milk or stock 1 dl
breadcrumbs 3 tbsp

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Beyond ragù

This is my version of a vegan “ragù alla Bolognese” – or simply ragù – prepared with Beyond Beef (here called B.B. in short).
Before proceeding, I would like to explain how I came up with this recipe. I previously used half of a package of B.B. (total weight 16 ounces) to prepare “polpette” – meatballs – following a classic recipe. The meatballs turned out to be flavorful, with B.B.’s flavor prevailing over the other ingredients (eggs, bread, cheese, and garlic). In particular, the taste of pomegranate and beetroot together provided an intense taste of meat, similar to the Italian meat specialty called “cotechino”.
For this reason, I decided to proceed with the preparation of B.B. ragù following the proportions recommended by Professor Dario Bressanini. There are of course a thousand recipes for ragù alla bolognese, but I prefer Bressanini’s because he explains the theory behind the dish and the reasons why the various steps are carried out. According to him, the traditional recipe requires sausages (and fats) to provide taste and softness to the ragù. Instead, B.B. contains coconut oil and cocoa butter, along with canola oil; the package indicates the presence of 18 grams of total fat. Since the meat/vegetables ratio Bressanini recommends is 1250 grams of meat to 700 grams of vegetables, I maintain roughly this proportion – that is, the vegetables are about half the weight of B.B.

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Spaghetti with cod, white wine and tomato sauce #quarantinecooking

Spaghetti with cod, white wine and tomato saucebf_1_mirna_rossi_pasta_cod_sauce_foshsauce

How to maximize time when you cook.

Some time ago a friend of mine told me that her greatest cooking challenge was calculating preparation time. I have been thinking a lot about this and about my previous experience as a cook. In fact, she is right. Some of my colleagues find recipes taking too long and wondering why. I rarely have that problem and the secret is organization.


I will use the next recipe to illustrate my method. Pasta with cod, white wine, and tomato sauce can be prepared in about 30 minutes, starting from scratch. The recipe starts by sautéing carrots and leek (or onions). So, begin with these two ingredients, and wash, Continue reading

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Pasta alla crudaiola #quarantinecooking


Pasta “alla crudaiola”

Pasta “alla crudaiola”
Quarantine cooking

It’s day 17 of lockdown here in Italy. So far, I have been able to keep myself busy thanks to my work, my MBA at the UoPeople, another course in statistics and R, and cooking (of course). Cooking is not the same as usual, though, because many ingredients are not available. I don’t know about you, but the way I handle food now is also different. I religiously seal and store all items carefully, and I avoid wasting anything.
This situation reminds me of my motivation when I have created this blog. Continue reading

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How can you tell if a recipe is good?

How can you tell if a recipe is good?

In fact, you cannot really tell it until you make it – until you have made it several times.

How can you tell if a gnocchi recipe is good? Why gnocchi?

I have chosen gnocchi because there are hundreds of different recipes, it is a classic staple of Italian cuisine, and if the recipe is good, it is delicious. (According to Massimo Montanari, Professor of Medieval History at Bologna University and scholar in Food studies, gnocchi has been a favorite recipe since the Middle Ages.)

In this post and in subsequent posts, we will study the various recipes and procedures for making gnocchi that you can find online. We will see that some recipes are good because they include photos of key steps, some are good because they explain how to vary the recipe depending on qualities of the key ingredients, and some are good because they are bad, because they show you what not to do.

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So, it’s been two years

So, it’s been two years since I updated my blog.

First: thank you for reading my blog in the meantime. I hope it has been helpful for those searching for info about the University of the People. 2muchfood was born to describe my experience as a student, my passion for cooking, and numbers.  After living in 3 different cities in 3 different countries, after working for 2 IT companies, after meeting 64 new colleagues and making 7 + 1 new friends, after 52 flights between 18 cities, after staying in 35 hotels, B&Bs, and apartments, after taking 13 online MOOC courses in data analysis and programming, after trying 93 new recipes, I confirm I still love food and numbers. 

In short, I lived in Belfast, then in London, and now I am back in Italy. 

The next posts will touch on our favorite topics –  food trends, recipes, reviews, and analytics – and the words we use daily to describe them.

Here we go.

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Black rice with grilled vegetables and mixed olives











2 cups black rice

4 cups cold water

1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow pepper

2 zucchini

200 grams ripe cherry tomatoes

10 black and 10 green olives, halved

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

5 leaves fresh basil, washed and chopped coarsely

salt and pepper to taste

1 strainer

1 nonstick frying pan

1 large pot

1 large mixing bowl

1 large baking tray

baking paper

Place rice in strainer and rinse with cold water.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick pan.  Add rice and toast for 1 minute stirring to avoid sticking.  Transfer rice to large pot, cover with all of the cold water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 35-40 minutes (add water if necessary).

While the rice is cooking… Continue reading

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Pasta salad with salmon, chive and zucchini, #nomayonnaise

Gragnano Pasta is famous all over the world for its rich taste. They produce it by using durum wheat semolina and the special local water. In the past times, Gragnano was called “the City of Macaroni” and now the PGI label is rewarding its absolute quality.

Vesuvio is a new shape of Pasta and I received it as a gift when I visited the “Pastai Gragnanesi “stand in Florence, during the

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Limoncello cream


Limoncello liqueur Cream, made with pasteurized eggs

Why is it important to use pasteurized eggs? For your safety, see more here.


Almond sponge:

100 g almond flour (or grind almonds)

110 g sugar

100 g egg white

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