lunedì 26 aprile 2010


Soup - Entree - Vegetarian

2 1/2 lbs mixed vegetables for minestrone, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 egg yolk
5 oz melting cheese (provolonge, asiago, or other favorite one), grated
4 slices ciabatta breadoil,
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a big saucepan with lid, warm olive oil and sautee onion until soft. Stir in the vegetables and, at least, 3 cups of warm water and cover; once it comes to a boil, cook for about 40-45 minutes, on medium-low heat. the longer it cooks, the better the flavor will be. Always have some warm water available, in case you need it.

Preheat oven to 350.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine grated cheese, egg yolks and a few tbsp of milk, enough to obtain a cream. Spread this mixture over the bread slices and toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread is golden.

Cut the slices in 3 croutons each. Divide minestrone evenly in individual bowls and serve it topped with the warm croutons.

This recipe serves 4-6

Vegetables for minestrone: carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflowers, zucchini, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, celery, onions and all other vegetables you prefer.

You can use chicken or beef broth instead of plain water, but you no longer will have a vegetarian dish.

There are frozen mixes, which will cut your preparation time.

lunedì 19 aprile 2010



For the pears:
4 pears
8 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 vanilla pod

For the rice cream
1/3 cup rice
3/4 cups water
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar

chopped pistacchi (plural for pistacchio)

Prepare pears: arrange all ingredients in a saucepan with lid (not too big, pears should stand and be covered by liquid) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partly covered, for 30-40 minutes; pears have to be tender.
Remove from heat and let them cool in their syrup.

Prepare the rice cream: warm up the milk; in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and rice and cook over medium heat until water is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 cup of hot milk and cook over medium heat until it is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add the sugar and the remaining milk, cook over medium heat until it is mostly absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and let cool down at room temperature (or lukewarm).
Drain pears from their syrup and dice or slice them.
Transfer the cream to individual bowls, top with pears and chopped pistacchi, or any nuts you like such as almonds, hazelnuts....

You can substitute part of the pears cooking water with an equal part of dry white wine (or also red wine) if this dessert id not served to kids.
You can reserve syrup in a well closed glass jar in the refrigerator for a couple weeks (or freeze it) and you can use it to dip ladyfingers or to wet sponge cakes.

lunedì 12 aprile 2010


Salad - Entree - vegetarian - lactose free

1 1/2 cup farro
1 small container of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 zucchina (Italian squash), julienne cut
1 carrot, julienne cut
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green olives, roughly chooped
4 tbsp capers, packed in salt, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
3 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put a large pot of water to a boil; when ready, add salt and farro. Cook for 30-35 minutes, until al dente, drain and transfer to a bowl, season with 1 tbsp of olive oil, tossing well to coat, and set aside.
In a little bowl combine the remaining olive oil, salt, garlic, pepper and basil (and a few drops of really good balsamic vinegar), mix and set aside.
In a bowl, big enough to contain all ingredients, combine all vegetables, farro and olive oil mixture (with or without garlic), toss well to coat and refrigerate until serving time.

This recipe serves 4-6 and can be served as appetizer or entree.

- This is the basic recipe; you can add: hard boiled eggs, mozzarella, grilled chicken breast, tuna in olive oil, peppers, onions and whatever your fantasy or taste suggest you.
- Farro is similar to rice but, being richer in fibers, it's healthier and takes longer to cook.

lunedì 5 aprile 2010


Vegetarian - side dish - appetizer

15 oz Ricotta
2 cups sliced zucchini
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs beaten
1 tbsp basil, chopped
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350

Grease a 9" quiche pan with half of the olive oil, brushing it all over the pan.

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, warm the remaining olive oil and sautee onion until translucent; add zucchini and cook them until soft, add a couple tbsp of water if needed. Remove from heat and let cool down.

In a bowl combine ricotta, mozzarella, milk, eggs and spices; when the zucchini mix is cool, stir it in the cheeses/eggs mixture. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the "batter" into the pan and bake, on central rack, for about 1 hour, or until golden and firm.

If you desire a crustier top, you can sprinkle it with a mix of grated Parmigiano and bread crumbs before baking.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 6.