This morning I borrowed a cookery book from the lending library. The title is "Fatkiller" and it's supposed to be a collection of low-fat recipes. I thought I could use it to find some nice refreshing recipes for the summer.
I saw a pasta recipe for Tagliatelle with porcini mushroom and bresaola.
While cycling back home I thought of how to make it with the ingredients I had in the house, and I came up with a delicious "twisted" version.
I stir-fried a minced clove of garlic in a pan with a drizzle of oil, some chopped parsley and catmint, added some chopped dry porcini mushrooms previously left in hot water for 10 minutes. I then added 3 slices of  speck roughly chopped.
In the meantime I cooked some tagliolini, I made a couple of daysago, and after draining the pasta I sautéed it with the mushroom and speck mix and served.
<p>catnip and catmint are similar, but not the same. Do not smoke either one.</p>
There is a lot of confusion about this herb. I cannot find a perfect translation for the Italian name in English. What I'm talking about is the edible one. :D
Are you sure you mean catmint?&nbsp; That's the stuff that gets cats high.&nbsp; I've never known it to be edible.&nbsp; And just in case it's helpful, in the US, people use bacon as a speck substitute.<br> <br> It looks very tasty!<br>
I looked at the translation for &quot;Nepitella&quot; - the herb we use in Tuscany when we cook porcini mushrooms, and it came out &quot;Catmint&quot;. <br>I also looked on the internet and some variety of catmint is edible for human... mine is! :-) <br>You can also use Parma ham as a speck substitute.
It's tricky to translate foods/ingredients, but if you can look up the scientific botanical name using the Italian Google and then search for that name in the English Google, you'll potentially get a better translation.&nbsp; I think it's just mint that you used.&nbsp; Catmint is in the mint family, but it's a particular kind of mint that you buy in pet stores generally.<br> <br> Parma ham, like speck, is another one that Americans won't necessarily be able to find in the typical grocery store.&nbsp; American bacon is different than what you can find in Europe generally, and American ham... well, you would probably prefer American bacon in this recipe over the American ham.<br>
I know it's difficult finding the exact translation of herbs! <br>I'm sure the one I used it's not common mint, 'cause I have that herb too and it's different and smells different as well. <br>I didn't know Parma ham, the good quality one, it's not easily available in the US. I lived in London (UK) for years and all of the Italian food was easy to find, but I guess it's just because it's such a large city. <br>There are so many time I read recipes on American blogs and find that I can't try them because I won't be able to find the ingredients over here!!!
I can find Parma ham, speck, etc., but I have to go to one of the fancier grocery stores and remember which one has what.&nbsp; It's not in the typical grocery stores, and I also live in a city that has fancier grocery stores in addition to Indian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. specific stores.&nbsp; If I lived 30 miles away, I wouldn't have access to all that or would have to drive 30 miles.<br> <br> My husband and I have also encountered recipes with hard-to-find ingredients, especially some of the Indian ones, so we have to look up what the ingredient actually is, how it tastes/feels, and substitute the best we can.&nbsp; I can't imagine doing that with certain American recipes because there isn't a good substitute for things like Oreos, Cream of Mushroom soup, Velveeta, etc.&nbsp; They're all commercial products that are easy for Americans to purchase, and it would be a lot of extra work if you had to make the Oreos or the Cream of Mushroom soup from scratch.&nbsp; I have no idea how to best substitute Velveeta (you know, fake cheese) except to use a cheese that melts easily without becoming stringy and doesn't have a particularly strong flavor.<br> <br> Looking up lesser calamint, does the herb you use smell like oregano and mint if they were combined?<br>
...and yes, the herb I used might smell of a mix of mint and fresh oregano...
We've got Oreo over here - my husband's favourite! <br>What is hard or impossible to find are ready made biscuit dough, corn syrup, red velvet cake mix, things like that...most of your cheeses and you're right: ready made creamy soup! <br>I always shop for spices and &quot;fancy&quot; ingredients whenever I go to London, I make a point of wrighting a shopping list before I leave! <br>Last year I bought some strange spices during a vacation in Australia, just in case I'd needed them in th near future! <br> :-P
NOT CATMINT ;)<br><br>CALAMINTHA NEPETA (Lesser Calamint) <br><br>Catmint = catnip btw ;)
Thanks a lot for clarifying this mess!!! :-)))

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