lunedì 28 dicembre 2009


Fish entree - vegtarian

8 Medium squids
1 tbsp capers, packed in salt, rinsed and chopped
10 black olives, chopped
4 slices bread, crust removed
1/2 onion, chopped
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Salt, pepper, oregano, milk

Clean the squids: gut the squid, remove beak eyes and cartilage, detach the sacks from the tentacles that will be chopped.
If you can find already cleaned squids, that would save you lots of time.

Prepare the filling: soak bread in milk; combine tentacles, capers, olives and parsley in a bowl.
When bread is soaked, squeeze it to remove milk and add it in the bowl along with 2 tbsp oil, oregano, salt and pepper, mix well to combine all ingredients.

Prepare the squids: stuff the sacks with the filling and close with a toothpick; put a deep skillet over medium heat and warm the remaining olive oil, sautee onions until transparent.
Arrange squids in the skillet with 1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of water, tomatoes, salt, pepper and some more oregano.
Stew over medium-low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes.
Serve hot with its sauce and some fresh salad or mashed potatoes.
Serves 4

If you can't find flavorful tomatoes (we're in winter) use peeled San Marzano because they're the sweetest. You will need 4 or 5 of them, without the tomato sauce they're in, you can use it for other recipes.

lunedì 21 dicembre 2009


First course - pasta

1 dozen Gorgonzola walnut ravioli
1 14-oz can San Marzano peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tbsp cream cheese
3 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper (or hot chilly pepper flakes)

Put a big pot of water to a boil, when it boils, add salt and ravioli, stir and cover until water returns to a boil.
In the mean time, blen the cream cheese with the milk until you obtain a smooth cream.
Put a big skillet over medium heat, warm oil and toss crumbled walnuts in it, toast them for about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and stir then add the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine; adjust with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
When ravioli are ready, drain them (reseve a few tbsp of the cooking water, to thin the sauce if it becomes too thick) and toss them in the skillet with the sauce.
Put the skillet back over high heat and sautee for 1 mitue, stirring well to combine.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with grated Parmigiano.

domenica 13 dicembre 2009



1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups, firmly packed, 1" squares of panettone, custless
3 cups warm milk
4 whole eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Confictioner's sugar, ground cinnamon, whipped heavy cream to garnish

Preheat oven at 350, butter a rectangular pudding dish about 8x10x2".
Bake the panettone squares, until lightly toasted and crispy, then transfer them to the pudding dish and set aside. Switch off the oven!
In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar and cinnamon; whisk until light and fluffy, add warm milk and whisk until well blended.
Pour custard over toasted squares and set it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until the panettone is soft and thoroughly soaked with the custard. Since the panettone will float, often spoon some of the custard over the squares, making sure that they are completely immersed.
Heat oven again, but this time at 325.
Cover the pudding dish with buttered foil and set in a larger baking dish; poke a few holes in the foil with the tip of a sharp knfe to allow steam to escape.
Place in the center of preheated oven and fill the larger baking dish with very hot water that has to come half way up up the sides of the pudding dish.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until the custard is set: a toothpick, when inserted, should come out clean. Remove the pudding dish from oven and larger baking dish, uncover and let cool on a wire rack at room temperature.
When ready to serve, place the pudding dish in a 350 oven for 5 minutes.
Dust with a mix of confictioner's sugar and cinnamon and cut in squares: top each portion with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
This recipe serves 6 - 8 people.

You can avoid the first baking if you let the squares dry: it will happen if you make the two most recent recipes in separate times.



1 Panettone about 500 gr. - 1.1 lb
12 oz ricotta
3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3 oz sugar
1 egg
milk or canned fruit syrup to brush panettone

Separate egg: put yolk in a bigger bowl and white in a smaller.
Whisk yolk with 2 tbsp of sugar for about 2 minutes, add ricotta cheese and the remaining sugar and mix until you obtain a smooth cream, now add the chocolate.
Put the mix in the fridge for a few moments, while you whisk the egg whites. To make this passage easier, add a couple of pinches of salt and whisk until it becomes white and firm.
Add it carefully to the ricotta cream.
With a sharp knife, remove the top of the panettone and set it aside. Remove the internal "pulp" of the panettone until about 2" from the sides and bottom. Keep the "pulp", you'll need it for the next recipe.
Brush the internal side of the panettone with milk or canned fruit syrup.
Pour the cheese cream and top with the panettone cap.
Wrap it with plastic (cello) and put in the fridge (not freezer) for at least 4 hours.

Depending on the panettone size, this cakes can serve 6 to 12 people.

lunedì 7 dicembre 2009


Side dish - vegetarian

2 fennel bulbs
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cup milk
2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Nutmeg, salt, pepper (optional)

Cut the fennel bulbs in half and then in segments about 1/4". Wash them carefully and drain them.
In a big, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil and then sautee onions until the become transparent, add fennel and stir; season with salt and pepper, then add 1 cup of milk, lower the heat to low and cook until the fennel slices are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few tablespoons of water, if needed.
Preheat oven at 375.
Prepare the bechamel: warm up the milk; in a pot big enough put the flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg, slowly add the remaining milk whisking to prevent knots. Put the pot on medium/low heat and, always stirring (to prevent sticking on bottom of the pot), bring to boil then remove from heat. Set aside.
Butter an ovenproof casserole, arrange the fennel slices on the bottom (drained from the cooking liquid, that you can use for a risotto) and cover with bechamel; sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs and place on the central rack of the oven.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a golden crust forms on top of your vegetables.
Wait 5 minutes before serving it.
This recipe serves 4.