lunedì 30 gennaio 2012


Pasta entree - Lactose intolerant safe (see notes at the bottom)

1 lb Orecchiette
10 oz fresh Salmon, diced
1 12oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut in 1" pieces
1 14oz can of Italian San Marzano peeled tomatoes, roughly crushed with a fork
1/2 cream
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt, chopped parsley, hot pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Sautee garlic until golden, then discard it.

Add salmon and sautee a couple of minutes, then add artichokes and wine and let evaporate.

Stir in tomatoes, and their juice, sprinkle with hot pepper flakes and season with salt, lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes; add cream and cook for 5 more minutes until sauce thickens.

Add salt and 2-3 tbsp of oil in the boiling water, then add pasta (trying to pour it through the oil, so it will stick a little less).

Cook for about 8-10 minutes, then drain (reserving some water) and transfer into the skillet with the sauce. Sautee pasta with the sauce, tossing to combine well, for at least 2-3 minutes; if the sauce thickens too much, add some of the reserved water to thin it.

Serve immediately sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley.

This recipe serves 4-6 people

- If you avoid cream, this recipe will be lactose intolerant safe.
- If you want a lighter recipe, use milk with some cream cheese instead of cream.
- You can use crushed Italian San Marzano, same quantity, if you perfer it.
- You can use onion instead of garlic; if you like to leave garlic in your sauce, mince it instead of crushing it.
- You can use fresh artichokes, but this will increase a lot the time and the preparation.
- Please, do NOT use Parimigano: it's not supposed to go on pasta with fish because it will cover its delicate taste.

lunedì 23 gennaio 2012


Appetizer - Side dish - Vegetarian and celiac-safe (see notes below)

3 lbs potatoes
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmigiano, grated
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 8-oz Mozzarella,thinly sliced
3 big slices of ham (or 6 smaller ones, or depending on the slices size)
Breadcrumbs (the real Italian ones: no seasonings), salt and pepper (optional)

Boil potatoes, peel and mash them, or force through a ricer. Arrange them in a bowl and add butter, parmigiano, milk. eggs, salt and pepper (Optional). Mix well to combine.

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly grease, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs a 8" baking dish and arrange half of the potatoes mixture into it. Line with mozzarella and ham and cover with the remaining potatoes.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and dot with butter.

Bake until top is golden and crusty.

This recipe serves 4-6, depending on what else is served.

- You can use Prosciutto di Parma (which is less salty then others) but adjust the quantity of salt.
- Without breadcrumbs, it's celiac-safe. Without Prosciutto is vegetarian.
- If you poke and microwave potatoes, you'll save a time.

lunedì 16 gennaio 2012

TORTA DELLA NONNA - REVISED (Grandmother's cake)


Grandmother's cake is a "Closed" cruts-pie (crostata) filled with custard and pine nuts and topped with some more pine nuts.

For the dough:
3 cups of Italian 00 flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs
3 oz butter, diced and chilled
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

For the apples:
3 little apples, peeled and sliced
Juice of 1/2 orange
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp pinenuts
2 tbsp amaretto liqueur

For the custard:
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

Arrange apple slices in a bowl with fresh orange juice, which will prevent apples from turning dark. Soak raisins in amaretto, diluted with same quantity of water.

Prepare the dough: in a bowl arrange all dry ingredients and mix them to combine evenly. Add butter and mix it roughly with flour mixture; form a well and put the eggs in it.
Mix all ingredients well but quickly in order not to warm up butter too much (which would result in a "hard" dough), you have to obtain a smooth "ball".
Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes at least.

Prepare the custard: warm up the milk without letting it boil. In a saucepan, with heavy bottom, combine the sugar, the flour and the eggs, whisking to prevent lumps. On low-medium heat add the warm milk in a slow stream, always whisking and bring to boil, whisking continuously; it will take about 5-8 minutes (the warmer the milk, the quicker the cooking). Never stop stirring, otherwise your custard will stick to the bottom and burn, giving it an unpleasant taste.

Prepare the filling: place butter, apples (with the juice) and raisins in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and sautee for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp of sugar, along with pinenuts.

Add sauteed apples to the custard and stir it to combine well.

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease and dust with flour a 9" tart pan (or line it with parchment paper).

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it on a lightly floured surface until you obtain 2 discs about 1/4" thick, one slightly bigger than the other.

Place the bigger disk in the pan and punch the bottom with a fork in order to allow steam to escape.

Pour apple custard into the shell when it's still warm, then sprinkle with pine nuts. Cover with the smaller disk and press edges tightly. Make a couple of cuts on the "lid" to allow steam to escape.

Bake on central rack for about 30 minutes. The top should be golden.

Serve at room temperature (sprinkled with confectioners' sugar if you like it).

- If this pie goes to kids, soak raisins into water or orange juice.
- You can use apples or pears or peaches, whichever you prefer, always following the instructions given for apples.
- I usually use parchment paper but I slightly grease it: my cakes always sitck to it, I may be doing something wrong.
- If you pour warm or hot custard into the shell, it will not separate from it when you cut the pie.

lunedì 9 gennaio 2012


Egg - appetizer - vegerian - Other (see below)

6 eggs
6 little round buns
6 savoy cabbage leaves, shredded
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper if desired

Melt butter with extra virgin olive oil in a non-stic skillet ove medium heat (don't overheat it) and add cabbage, season with salt and pepper and sautee only a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Cut the buns a little above the center in order to obtain a "lid", then empty the bottom part: you'll have a "bread cup, lightly butter the interior of your cups.

Preheat oven to 375.

Divide cabbage evenly among buns, creating a cradle; then break an egg in each bun. Season with sale, pepper and a little melted butter.

Close bread cups with their lids and bake on a baking dish lined with parchment paper until egg whites are set.

This recipe serves 6

- This recipe is great in a mixed appetizer
- If you use only extra virgin olive oil, it's lactose intolerant safe. If you use gluten free bread, it's also celiac safe.
- This is a vegetarian recipe.
- You can top it with grated cheese, crumbled bacon if you like.

lunedì 2 gennaio 2012


Entree - Complete meal - Celiac safe - Lactose intolerant safe and vegetarian (see notes below)

2 cups Italian Polenta flour
3 onions, 1/2 minced and the remaining sliced.
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb veal tenderloin, cubed
2 sage leave
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 oz parmigiano, grated

Bring 8 cups of water to boil and add salt. Slowly pour polenta flour into boiling water, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Stir for a couple minutes more, then lower heat, cover with lid and simmer for 45-50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-heat, sautee the minced onion with 2 tbsp of olive oil until translucent, then add sage and veal cubes and sautee until meat is well browned. Deglaze skillet with wine, season with sale and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes.

In another skillet warm the remainig olive oil, then add sliced onions and sautee until golden: don't burn them or they'll become bitter, if needed, add a few tbsp of water or broth.

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a deep baking dish and layer polenta, onions and parmigiano until you finish all ingredients. Bake until cheese is golden. Serve immediately with veal.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

- If you avoid cheese this recipe is Lactose intolerant safe.
- This recipe is safe for celiacs.
- If you are vegeterian, you can substitute veal with broccoli or cauliflower and adjust cooking time. You can also layer them directly with onions and polenta.