lunedì 29 ottobre 2012


Meat entree

8 slices of veal
8 slices of grilled eggplant
8 thin slices of mozzarella
1 bunch swiss chards, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of dry white wine
2 cups of Italian San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
Extra virgin olive oil, salt, flour

Line meat slices with eggplant and mozzarella, roll and secure with a toothpick or  butchers' string. Dredge in flour.

In a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2-3 tbsp of Italian extra virgin olive oil, sear meat rolls until golden all around. Then add wine and let alcohol evaporate.

Add the crushed tomatoes, season with salt and lower heat to low and cover skillet with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add swiss chards, stir well to combine and cook until you reach your desired doneness.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4

- You can use beef tenderloin but you have to cook rolls longer, before adding the swiss chards.
- I sauce thickens too much, add a few tbsp of warm broth.
- You can use other cheeses instead of mozzarella, like asiago, provolone, swiss....
- You can use grilled zucchine instead of eggplant.

lunedì 22 ottobre 2012



Put yogurt in a little bowl, wash the container and use it to measure ingredients (YC = yogurt container).

3 eggs at room temperature
1 4-oz yogurt (plain, vanilla, apple....)
3 YC 00 Italian flour
1 1/2 YC sugar
1/2 YC extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp baking powder
2-3 apples
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Divide eggs: yolks in a bowl (bigger) and whites in another.

Preheat oven to 375.

Add sugar to yolks and whisk until pale yellow; add yogurt and oil and mix well to combine. Sift in flour and cinnamon, whisking; if it's too thick, add a few tbsp of milk.

Peel and slice apples, drizzle with some lemon juice to prevent them from getting dark.

Whisk egg whites (with a pinch of salt) until picks hold, then fold them carefully into the yogurt batter. Add half of the apple slices into the batter.

Lightly grease a 10" spring from pan and dust it with flour.

Pour batter in the cake pan, top with the remaining slices and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake on central rack for about 45 minutes.

Let it cool down inside the open oven, then transfer on a cooling rack.

- serve with your favorite sauce or ice cream or dusted with a mix of powdered sugar and cinnamon
- You can use milk instead of oil, making this cake almost fat free

giovedì 18 ottobre 2012


Entree - pasta dish

1 lb Italian Egg tagliolini
10 oz fresh salmon, diced
1/2 cream cheese block
1/4 cup milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup spinach, cooked and squeezed
4 tbsp chopped walnuts
3 tbsp extra virgin Italian olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blend cooked spinach with cream cheese and milk.

In the meantime, warm the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and sautee onion for 3-4 minutes, then add salmon, season with salt and sautee until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach cream, season with salt and hot pepper flakes, if you like them, stir well and cook 2-3 more minutes.

When water boils, add salt and tagliolini. Wait about one minute to stir (so they won't break), then stir and cook until al dente, 2-3 minutes.

Drain tagliolini, reserving part of the cooking water, and transfer them in the skillet with the sauce and add the chopped walnuts. Toss them to coat on medium heat, thinning sauce with the reserved water, if necessary.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4-6

- DO NOT sprinkle with Parmigiano. In Italian cuisine, you should never use parmigiano on pasta with a fish or mushroom sauce
- You can sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, if you like it

lunedì 8 ottobre 2012


Entree - gluten free

Ingredients for polenta:
3 qt. water
1 lb. corn flour for polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the bolognese:
1/2 lb of mixed ground beef (not too lean, not too fat)
1 or 2 sweet sausages, chopped
3 tbsp of a mix of onions, carrots, celery and parsley, finely minced
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 24oz cans/bottles of peeled San Marzano or strained tomatoes
1 cup of white wine, if desired

Parmigiano, grated
Mozzarella, diced

First of all, prepare the bolognese. In a big saucepan over medium heat warm the olive oil; when the oil is hot, put the vegetables and sautee them for 3-4 minutes. Then add ground beef and sausages and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring them frequently to avoid sticking.

At this point you can add wine (always on high heat), in a couple of minutes the alcohol will evaporate, leaving just the flavor; turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes.

Season with salt, pepper if desired, and, when it starts boiling, turn heat to minimum and cook the sauce for at least 2 1/2 hours (the longer, the better) stirring occasionally.

Remember that it's better to cook this sauce for a longer time at the lowest heat possible instead of cooking it quickly.

Don't worry about the wine, as said the alcohol evaporates, leaving just its flavor.

While the bolognese cooks, prepare the polenta. 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 to avoid lumps; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes whisking frequently; reduce heat to simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, whisking occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Remember: polenta will never be overcooked.

When polenta is cooked, transfer it in a rectangular or square baking dish and let it cool down to room temperature.

If you want a softer polenta, use a little more water; if you want it harder, use a little less water or cook it for a longer time, so that water will evaporate more.

Assemble your dish.

Preheat oven to 375

Cut polenta in half inch slices; grease a baking dish and line its bottom with polenta slices, top with bolognese, dices mozzarella and sprinkle with parmigiano.

Repeat using all ingredients.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and serve immediately.

- You can prepare both sauce and polenta the day before and just assemble the dish, the day you'll be serving it.
- In order to obtain a crustier top, mix parmigiano and Italian breadcrumbs (NOT flavored) in equal parts and use it for the final sprinkling.
- This is a gluten free dish, if you don't use breadcrumbs.

lunedì 1 ottobre 2012


Fish Appetizer - Entree

24 small smoked salmon slices
2/5 cup Italian organic barley, boiled and cold
2/5 cup Italian farro, boiled and cold
2/5 cup Italian carnaroli rice, boiled and cold
2 small zucchine, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
1 small bell pepper (red or yellow), diced
1 onion, minced
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsely
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
8 oz Italian ricotta
6 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle

In a non-stick skillet, warm 1 tbsp of olive oil and sautèè 1/3 of the chopped onion and the zucchine, cook until tender and transfer to a bowl to cool down.

In the same skillet, repeat to sautee eggplant and then to sautee bell pepper. Transfer in different bowl to cool down.

Add rice to bell pepper, barley to eggplant and farro to zucchine; then divide ricotta evenly among the three bowls with vegetables. Add 1 tbsp of parsley and basil in each bowl, then season with salt, 1 tbsp of olive oil and pepper (if you like it). Mix well to combine all ingredients.

Divide the mixture among the salmon slices, then roll and with chive. You should obtain 8 rolls per different stuffing.

Arrange rolls on a serving platter lined with shredded lettuce or cabbage, drizzle with some olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.

This recipe serves 4-8

- You can use cream cheese instead of ricotta, if you like it
- Boil rice 18-22 minutes, farro for 30-35 minutes, barley for 35-40 minutes, depending on how much "al dente" you like them
- You can mix the three "grains" after separate boiling, and the three vegetables, if you prefer.
- This recipe can serve 8 (1 roll per kind) if used in an appetizer, or 4 (2 rolls per kind) if used as entree.
- It's basically a complete meal.
- You can season the shredded lettuce or cabbage with a dressing made whisking Italian extra virgin olive oil, Italian high quality balsamic vinegar and salt.