lunedì 28 gennaio 2013


Meat entree - gluten and lactose free

1 lb beef meat for stew, diced in 1/2" pieces
10 garlic cloves, not peeled
1 cup black pepper, grains, not ground
1 sprig rosemary
1 tbsp Italian double concentrated tomato paste in tube
1 bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (NOT d'Abruzzo)
laurel, salt, broth

In a saucepan with lid arrange meat, salt, garlic, rosemary and laurel, along with pepper grains divided into gauze "pouches".

Pour wine until meat is completely covered.

Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and lower heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the tomato paste diluted in a cup of warm broth.

Keep simmering for another hour and 30 minutes. Discard garlic, herbs and pepper pouches.

Serve with polenta and green salad or other vegetables.

This recipe serve 6-10 people.

- You can serve it with potatoes (boil, roast or pureed) instead of polenta

martedì 22 gennaio 2013


This recipe comes from NINA, a good Italian friend (from Sicily) that now lives in Arizona.


For the dough:
2 2/3 cup of Italian 00 flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg
1/3 tbsp butter, diced and chilled
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

For the custard:
1 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 cups milk

1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced
6 amaretti cookies, crumbled

Prepare the dough: in a bowl arrange all dry ingredients and mix them to combine evenly. Add butter and mix it roughly with flour mixture; form a well and put the eggs in it.
Mix all ingredients well but quickly in order not to warm up butter too much (which would result in a "hard" dough), you have to obtain a smooth "ball".
Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes at least.

Prepare the custard: warm up the milk without letting it boil. In a saucepan, with heavy bottom, combine sugar, flour and egg, whisking to prevent lumps. On low-medium heat add the warm milk in a slow stream, always whisking and bring to boil, whisking continuously; it will take about 5-8 minutes (the warmer the milk, the quicker the cooking). Never stop stirring, otherwise your custard will stick to the bottom and burn, giving it an unpleasant taste.

Set aside; stir occasionally to prevent film on top.

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease and dust with flour a 9" tart pan (or line it with parchment paper).

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it on a lightly floured surface until you obtain a disc about 1/4" thick.

Place dough in the tart and punch the bottom with a fork in order to allow steam to escape. Cut the overflowing dough and set it aside. Sprinkle half of the amaretti crumbles on bottom, pour custard on it, top with apple slices and the remaining amaretti crubles.

Hand roll some of the remaining dough into strips and arrange them on the cake, forming a grid. Pinch the ends to the dough, so it won't detach.

Bake on central rack for about 30 minutes (top has to be golden).

It will serve 8 people at least.

- You can serve it as is, dusted with a little cinnamon powder or confectioners' sugar or with some ice cream.
- The use of amaretti is necessary in order to absorb excess humidity.
- Try not to use juicy apples: dark red delicious tend to be the best, because they'll release less water.

lunedì 14 gennaio 2013

BOWTIES WITH SEAFOOD (farfalle ai frutti di mare)

Pasta entree - lactose free

1/2 lb bowties Italian pasta
12 mussels
12 clams
20 bay scallops
20 medium shrimp
6 oz imitation crab meat, sliced
1 cup Italian crushed San marzano tomatoes
1/2 white wine
1 garlic clove
Italian extra virgin olive oil
Hot pepper flakes, salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, put a large skillet with a few tbsp of water on medium high heat and cook mussels and clams until they open. Set aside.

Put a large saucepan on medium heat and warm up 3 tbsp of olive oil, add garlic and sautee until golden, then discard it. Add bay scallops and shrimp and sautee, the add mussels and clams, white wine and let alcohol evaporate.

When it's evaporated (2-3 minutes), add hot pepper flakes and crushed tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes; stir in imitation crab meat and cook for a couple more minutes, season with salt and remove from heat.

When water boils, add salt and pasta and cook until al dente (about 8-9 minutes), reserve some cooking water.

Transfer pasta into saucepan and toss, sauteeing on medium heat, for a couple of minutes (add a few tbsp of reserved water, if sauce thickens too much).

This recipe serves 2-3

- You can use frozen seafood, if you can't find fresh.
- You can use actual crab meat, making your dish a little upper scale, but also more expensive.
- We carry an Italian hot pepper/garlic mix that would be perfect.
- The picture is about last time I prepared this dish, with spaghetti instead of bowties.
- If you want to keep this really Italian, DO  NOT sprinkle with parmigiano or other cheese!!!

lunedì 7 gennaio 2013


Fish entree

1 lb cod fillets (or other white fish)
1/2 cup Italian dried black olives
1 can Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained
4 tbsp Italian capers, packed in salt and rinsed
4 anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves
3 eggs
3 potatoes
4 tbsp grated parmigiano
4 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp each chopped parsley and basil

Boil potatoes and set aside; chop fish, tuna and anchovies and transfer in a big bowl; chop capers, olives, garlic and herbs together and combine with the fish mix.

Force potatoes through a ricer with small holes directly into the bowl with the fish mixture, then add parmigiano, eggs, salt and 1/2 breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix well to combine all ingredients until you obtain a smooth mixture. Shape as a loaf, dredge in breadcrumbs and lay on a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 25 minutes.

Let it cool down to room temperature and cut into 1" slices.

This recipe can serve 4-8

- To reheat: cover with aluminum foil and warm it up in oven at 375 for about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with mixed greens, or steamed/sauteed vegetables.
- You can use any white fish you prefer.
- You can use anchovy paste (2 tsp) if you prefer.
- We have a mix of Italian dried basil/parsley that's perfect.
- It's great served with the peperonata we emailed you a couple of weeks ago.