martedì 30 settembre 2008


First Course - Complete meal

1 1/2 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
12 oz. Peas (fresh and shelled or frozen)
10 oz salmon, diced
1 leek (white part only) or 1 small onion, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp ricotta
2 tbsp parsley, chopped

Put the vegetable stock to boil, remember that's always better a little more that not enough.
In the mean time put a big, non-stick skillet over medium heat ans warm the oil; when ready, add the leeks (or onion) and sautee until tender.
Add peas and salmon and stir to combine, add rice too and sautee a couple minutes, always stirring: heat must be medium-high and the rice must become translucent, now it's the time to add wine.
As soon as it evaporates, start adding the stock (that must be boiling, otherwise it stops the rice cooking) 1/3 cup at a time; wait until the stock has been absorbed before adding some more.
Stir often to prevent sticking. When rice is "al dente", after 15/18 minutes, add the ricotta melted in a little quantity of milk: this will give a creamy texture to your risotto without covering the salmon and peas flavors, due to it neutral one.
Serve drizzled with chopped parsley.

Remember: do not add parmesan to this plate because it will cover all other flavors.

Don't be afraid of the wine content: the alcohol will evaporate cooking, leaving just the wine flavor.

martedì 23 settembre 2008



1/2 lb. of ham slices
4 oz.mascarpone
4 oz. walnuts, coarsley chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Chives (to tye the rolls)

Put mascarpone in a bowl and stir it for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon.
Add the walnuts and the parsley, mix well and adjust of salt if necessary.
Spread the mixture on ham and roll it, tying with chives (previously boiled).
Put them on serving plate decorated with parsley leaves or lettuce.

You can also spread on toasted bread or, also, season pasta with it (lightly diluited with a few spoons of the cooking water).

mercoledì 17 settembre 2008


We are happy to inform you all that our store has extended its operating hours until 6.30pm.
These are the current operating hours:
MON-WED-THU-FRI: 10-6.30
TUE: 2-6.30


MON-FRI: 10-6.30
SAT: 10-1

martedì 16 settembre 2008


Second course - main entree.

For Polenta:
3 qt. water
1 3/4 lb. corn flour for polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Mushrooms sauce:
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1/2 celery rib finely chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 sausage (plain, not flavored)
1 bottle (24 oz.) strained tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon grated parmesan

Soak the porcini in warm water for 20 minutes; put a large pot with 3 qt. water to a boil. When the water boils, add salt and slowly add polenta flour in a thin stream, whisking; reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes whisking often, reduce heat to low and cook for 40-45 minutes, whisking occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Take porcini out of the water, filter it carefully because you can cook with it, cut pocini in small pieces.
In a large skillet, warm up the oil, then add porcini, onion, carrot and celery and saute' for 3 minutes; now add all meats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring; add the strained tomatoes (if the suace is too thick, add some of the mushrooms water).
Adjust with salt and simmer gently until the "ragu" is thick and flavorful for about 40 minutes. By that time polenta is ready too (remember: it will never be overcooked).
Take it out of the pot and put it in a big serving plate or in individual ones, sprinkle with sauce and parmesan.

To save some money you can use instant polenta (cooks much quiclky) and a lighter sause with only mushrooms or one with porcini and sausages.

lunedì 15 settembre 2008


A short lesson on cooking perfect spaghetti (and other pasta)

1 - When shopping for pasta, look for one with a buttery yellow color and no white or black spots (indicating improper milling, drying or storing).
2 - The average portion is 2 1/2 to 4oz; depending on the sauce, on the course for which pasta is being served and..... on how much hungry people are.
3 - Pasta must be cooked in abundant water, that allows even and quick submersion and quick return to boil. For 1lb of pasta, you should use 4qt of rapidly boiling water; a tall saucepan (deeper than wider) reduces evaporation, and is perfect for spaghetti.
4 - Salt the water; when it comes to a boil, add 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp of salt for 4qt of water.
5 - Gather spaghetti together in your hands, gently twist the ends in opposite directions, then drop them in the water, this will help you prevent pasta sticking.
6 - As the water returns to boil, during the first couple of minutes, stir pasta well and frequently, this also will help you prevent sticking.
7 - Cooking time is essential. Begin checking doneness a 3 minutes before the time suggested on the box; for "al dente", pasta should be translucent, with a tiny opaque dot in the center. Pasta goes from al dente to overcook easily, don't be afraid to drain your pasta too early because it continues cooking also after being drained.
8 - Before draining reserve a little of the cooking water to add to the sauce. The water contains starch which gives the sauce extra body and flavor and helps the pasta and the sauce bond. Put your pasta in the sauce skillet and stir well, toss with Prmesan (when suggested).
9 - When your pasta is ready, call your family and friends, serve it quickly while it's hot.


lunedì 8 settembre 2008


Main Entree

6 medium zucchini
8 oz mozzarella
1 28-oz can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes (pureed) or 1 24-oz bottle of strained tomatoes
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
2 slices white bread, crumbled
salt, olive oil, pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400'. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices; cut the mozzarella into thin slices and set aside.
Put on medium heat a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the toamatoes, let it boil for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce.
Meanwhile, brush an ovensafe casserole with olive oil, spread the bottom with tomatoes, arrange zucchini in a layer and put a layer of mozzarella on them, salt and pepper (if desired).
Repeat layering until you finish all ingredients finishing with tomatoes, crumbled bread and parmesan; drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes (the top must be golden).
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before serve (at least 10 minutes).

If you want to reduce the baking time, you can brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and grill them in a pan; with this system baking time will be about 10 minutes (just the time for mozzarella to melt and top to become golden).
If you have some parmigiana left, you can freeze it and out it in the microwave when you need it.
It can be done with eggplants, too; in this case the grilling is highly suggested!

mercoledì 3 settembre 2008


I always fight against calories and fats (mainly cholesterol) so I always try to cut them but, being Italian and good food lover, I try to get the best from my recipes.
  • When I prepare a white pasta sauce, I never use cream: try using ricotta or fat-free cream cheese melted witha little of low-fat milk: you'll have the same creany texture (and almost the same taste) but with a bunch of fat less than the original. I use the same system when I make risotto: you should add butter at the end, out of heat, I add the above mentioned mixture.

  • If you make a recipe that calls for an initial "sautee" of onions, celery, parsley and/or carrot (it happens in a lot of recipes form pasta sauces to stews, soups and more) use half of the oil and half of water or vegetable/chicken/beef broth; you'll get almost the same result but with less fat and, most important, they're not fried fats.

  • You're recipe calls for chopped leeks or shallots and you have troubles finding them, try with a mix of onions and garlic (2 parts of onions and 1 of garlic).

  • Remember that unless it is for a risotto, for pasta recipes you can use almost every kind of pasta you prefer; the only thing you have to remember is that if you use a cheese that melts (mozzarella, provolone and so on) it's better to use a short cut pasta.
I hope that these tips help you, enjoy your dishes!!!

martedì 2 settembre 2008


First course

2 4/oz. mozzarella (or 1/8oz)
1lb fusilli
5 fresh tomatoes (about 1lb)
6 basil leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Pepper to taste (optional)

Peel the tomatoes, take away seeds, dice them and put in a bowl; dice half of the mozzarella and add it to the tomatoes, together with parmesan, 3 basil leaves, garlic and 2 tbsp of olive oil; stir well and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Put a large pot of water on heat till it boils.
In the meantime, dice the remaining mozzarella and put it in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, the remaining basil, oregano and a pinch of salt.
When the water boils, add salt and fusilli. As soon as they are almost “al dente” (4-5 minutes usually), drain them. Put a big pan over heat, put pasta and the marinade in it, warm and remove from heat (if you don’t like garlic, take it away).
Serve pasta hot, sprinkled with the seasoned mozzarella.

Serves 5/6 people