lunedì 31 gennaio 2011


Entree - lactose intolerants safe

1 lb Egg fettuccine
6 oz prawns, cut in 2 or 3, depending on the size
6 oz shrimp
6 oz calamari, cut in rounds
16 mussels, cleaned
1 cup peas
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz can Italian San Marzano peeled, roughly chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsbp chopped parsley
1 tsp hot chilli pepper flakes

Put a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, put a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and sautee garlic and pepper flakes.

Add calamari, prawns and shrimp and cook for about 10 minutes, then add mussels and peas; pour wine and let alcohol evaporate.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-10 more minutes (calamari must be tender). Add salt to taste.

Add salt in the water and cook fettuccine, remember that egg pasta cooks faster then the regular one.

Drain pasta, reserving some water to the side; arrange pasta in the skillet with the sauce and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tbsp of the reserved water.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chopped parsley. (NO parmesan, please)

This recipe serves 4-6

- using frozen "fish" will ease your preparation.
- you can avoid tomatoes, in which case you'll need more water (or vegetable or fish broth) in order to better toss pasta with sauce.
- you can use strained San Marzano tomatoes, if you prefer; same quantity.


sabato 22 gennaio 2011


Dessert - Lactose intolerants

6 Pears, same size
1/4 cup chopped almonds (2 oz scant)
1 lemon, juice and a little piece of zest
2 cloves
3/4 cup of dry white wine
1/3 cup sugar
8-10 amaretti, crumbled
4 tbsp marsala
1 pinch of cinnamon

Peel pears and arrange them in a sucepan (with lid) big enough to hold them standing (not bigger than to fit them in); pour in wine, lemon juice and zest, cloves and sugar.

Simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes; remove from heat and let cool into the syrup.

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl combine almonds, amaretti and cinnamon. Remove pears from syrup, cut them in half, lengthwise, and remove core.

Arrange halved pears, cutside up, on an ovensafe baking dish, sprinkle with the almond mixture, drizzle with syrup and marsala. Top with some little pieces of butter (optional).

Bake for about 20 minutes; let cool down and serve lukewarm (with some ice cream would be perfect!!)

It is safe for lactose intolerants, provided that you avoid butter and use the right kind of amaretti (without dairy, and we have them).

mercoledì 19 gennaio 2011

BELLA ITALIA IN RENO, NV- History of the name

Since there still is some confusion about which one is the real original Bella Italia in Reno, we're publishing copy of the Washoe County DBA search results (anyone can do it: it's public).
When we moved to Reno, we decided to use the Doing Business As (DBA) name Bella Italia because it represent what most people think about our Country. The reason of this post is because there's another business in town with our name, claiming to be the original one: this is not true, we filed the DBA registering the name in 2007.

lunedì 17 gennaio 2011


Entree - meat - light - lactose intolerant safe

2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 cup of roughly chopped prosciutto
1 onion, finely minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
Parchment paper (or wax paper), cut in 4 pieces

Dice meat in cubes about 1 1/2" and dredge them in flour.

Preheat oven to 370.

Warm oil in a non-stick skillet, sautee onion until translucent, add prosciutto and meat, and sautee for 3-4 minutes, until meat is golden on all sides; pur brandy in and cook for a couple more minutes (add a litle chicken stock if meat is too dry).

Divide meat and its cooking juices evenly between the 4 pieces of paper, close paper tightly but not too close to meat, and arrange on a baking dish. Bake in oven for about 20 more minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.

Serve immediately opening the "paper pockets" directly at the table.

Serve with baked potatoes and/or steamed/boiled/sauteed vegetables or a fresh salad.

- Celiacs can avoid the use of flour
- Don't worry about alcohol, it evaporates while cooking - but its flavor pairs perfectly with chicken
- You can use same quantity of pancetta instead of prosciutto; in this case avoid oil and sautee onions and pancetta together
- You can also add peas (fresh or frozen) to the meat right before placing in oven.

lunedì 10 gennaio 2011


Appetizer or entree - Vegetarian

1 cup farro
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
10 basil leaves
6 tbsp sweet pecorino (not aged), grated
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cup vegetable broth, warm
6-8 ripe tomatoes, depending on the size
salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, season with salt and arrange them, cut side down, to loose their water.

Cook farro in abundant boiling salted water for about 30 minutes.

In the mean time, in a skillet over medium heat, warm 3 tbsp of the olive oil and sautee onions until translucent, then add 1/4 of vegetable broth and stew them for 15 minutes.

Drain farro and toss it into the skillet, mix well and cook for 10 more minutes "risotto-style" adding the vegetable broth little by little.

Preheat oven to 375.

Chop basil and garlic and add them to farro along with cheese and the remaining olive oil.

Stuff tomatoes with this mixture and arrange them on a baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment paper; bake them for about 10 minutes or until golden on top.

This recipe serves 6-8 people

- If you use cherry tomatoes, you can make more and serve them in a mixed appetizer.

lunedì 3 gennaio 2011


Super light fish entree - celiac and lactose intolerant safe

Since we are right after holidays, we thought we need a light recipe so, here it is.

8 fish thin fillets (sole, tilapia...) or 16 smaller ones
5 oz fresh (or frozen) salmon
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
12 sprigs chive
lettuce, salt and pepper

1 cup white wine
1 cup water
1 carrot
1/2 celery stalk
4-5 parsley stems
1 bay leaf

First of all marinate fish fillets: brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with 2 tsbp of lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare the court bouilon: arrange all its ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, than lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Clean and roughly chop the salmon, season it with the remaining lemon juice, salt, pepper and 4 of the chive sprigs, chopped.

Spread this mixture over the fillets, roll them and tie them with the remaining chive sprigs.

Pour the court bouillon in the bottom part of the steamer, line the steamer basket with the lettuce leaves, arrange rolls over it and steam, covered, for about 8-10 minutes.

Serve immediately with fresh salad and/or steamed or boiled vegetables.

This recipe serves 4

- Try to make smaller rolls and all about the same size, in order to reduce cooking time (so you'll preserve nutrients) and in order to be sure that they'll be fully cooked in the same time.