lunedì 24 settembre 2012


Appetizer - vegetarian - lactose free

4 cups 00 Italian flour
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup Italian extra virgin olive oil
2 small white onions, slices
2 tomatoes, sliced

Combine 1 cup of warm water and 1/4 cup oil in a bowl, then stir in sugar and yeast. Add flour little by little, mixing until dough detaches from the bowl.

Transfer onto a floured working surface and knead for about 5-8 minutes, until you obtain a well combined, smooth, elastic dough.

Slightly grease a bowl and transfer the dough in it; let it rise for about 1 hr.

In the meantime, sautee onions in a non stick skillet with a little olive oil, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt, so they will lose the water in excess.

Preheat oven to 450.

Grease a 9x13" baking pan and line it with the focaccia dough, top with tomato slices and sauteed onions, drizzle with oil and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.

- It can be served with other vegetable, cold cuts, cheeses....

lunedì 17 settembre 2012


Entree - Lactose free

1 lb Italian gnocchi (plain or with spinach)
1 lb shrimp
3 zucchine, medium, julienned
1 14-oz can of Italian San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt, Italian herbs and spices mix (hot peppers, parsley, garlic)

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil; sautee onion until lightly golden, then add the julienned zucchine. Stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Add shrimp and pour wine, letting alcohol evaporate. Now add tomatoes, season with salt and 1 tsp of Italian herbs and spices mix and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook gnocchi. When gnocchi start floating on the surface, spoon them out with a slotted spoon (or a fine sieve) directly into the skillet with the sauce.

Sautee for a couple of minutes, tossing to coat well, and serve immediately, sprinkled with some freshly chopped parsley, if you like it.

This recipe serves 4

- Please, don't use parmigiano on fish dishes!
- If you use cooked shrimp, add them to the sauce 2-3 minutes before removing from heat.
- You can also use this sauce for Italian egg fettuccine or spaghetti.

lunedì 10 settembre 2012


Appetizer - for a lactose free recipe, avoid cheese

I prepared these for Marco's birthday lunch, Sunday.

16 slices Ciabatta bread (plain, with olives or rosemary, or a mix of them).
2 eggs
1/4 cup Italian green olives
4 Italian anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
1 sausage
2 oz thinly sliced cheese (Asiago or similar)
1 jar Marinated Italian quartered artichoke hearts
1 can Tuna in olive oil
Italian extra virgin olive oil

Hard boil eggs; cool them down to room temperature and peel them. Set aside. Drain artichoke hearts; drain tuna, reserving the oil; pit olives; crumble sausage.

Toast 3 slices of bread per person, top the remaining 4 with sausage crumbles and toast them.

Arrange eggs, olives, anchovies and 2-3 tbsp of the tuna oil and same quantity of the artichokes marinade and blend until you obtain a smooth cream.

Assemble the crostini.

Spread 8 toasted slices with the egg cream and top 4 with artichoke hearts and 4 with tuna.

Top sausage crostini with cheese and broil until it melts.

Drizzle the remaining 4 slices eith a very good Italian olive oil.

Serve immediately!

This recipe serves 4.

- You can use 2 tbsp of anchovy paste instead of the fillets.

martedì 4 settembre 2012


Meat entree - Lactose and gluten free

8 pork loin (or tenderloin) slices, thinly sliced
14 oz Italian San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
3 Italian sun dried tomatoes halves, packed in oil, julienned
1 tbsp Italian capers, packed in salt and rinsed
8 Italian oil cured black olives
2 Italian anchovy fillets
2 tbsp of the sun dried tomatoes oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced (optional)

Warm the oil in a big non-stick skillet on medium heat and add capers, olives, sun dried tomatoes, anchovy fillets and garlic (if you're using it). Stir until anchovies melt.

Now add tomatoes, stir and season with salt (careful with salt: dried olives, capers and anchovies are pretty salty). Cook on medium heat, possibly covered with a lid, for about 5 minutes.

Add meat and cook it for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly, depending on the slices' thickness (mine were about 1/8"). If the sauce thickens too much, add a few tbsp of wine or broth (or water)

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4.

- If you have leftovers, you can freeze them or use as a pasta sauce.
- You can dredge slices in flour, sautee in olive oil and then add the sauce, prepared in advance. This way it will be less light and not gluten free.
- I always suggest to use Italian San Marzano tomatoes, because they are the sweetest and Italian capers packed in salt because they are bigger and the packaging in salt won't give any aftertaste to your preparation.
- Our Italian sun dried tomatoes are a great product, preserved in Italian oil, capers and herbs.