lunedì 25 marzo 2013


Meat entree

2 chicken breast, boneless skinless
6 oz frozen spinach
1/3 15-oz ricotta cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmigiano
Shredded mozzarella
Nutmeg and salt
1/4 cup brandy
3 tbsp extra Virgin olive oil
2 cups milk
Flour, sage and rosemary

Cook spinach, drain and let cool down to room temperature; then squeeze excess water and place in a bowl.

Add ricotta, parmigiano, a pinch of nutmeg, season with salt and mix well to combine all ingredients.

Cut breasts in half and, if necessary, thin them to a 2" thickness, then open a pocket in it and set aside. (you can use the slices for other preparation, you can find some in our blog).

Stuff the pocket with the spinach mixture, place some mozzarella in the middle and secure the opening with 1 or 2 toothpicks, depending on the opening length.

Dredge pockets in flour and coat them evenly.

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sautee meats until golden on bot sides, season with salt; add brandy and let alcohol evaporate. Pour milk (warm is better, if at all possible), add sage and rosemary and adjust with salt.

Cover with lid and lower heat to low and cook until cooked trhough.

I served it with porcini mushrooms and onions sauteed in extra virgin olive oil and brandy, and a salad made with romaine, green and purple cabbage adn shredded carrots.

This recipe serve 4

- If you have leftover stuffing, you can make "polpette" (fried crisps) with them!
- This dish is great prepared in advance and just warmed up when needed. I also make more and freeze portions: ready to go dinners (instead of boxed ones)!!!!!!
- A good friend told me that, if don't want or can't use brandy, you can use apple juice: you'll obtain the same taste result!

lunedì 18 marzo 2013


Entree or appetizer - Vegetarian - Lactose and gluten free (see notes below)

8 medium tomatoes, ripe but firm
1 cup farro
4 eggs
1 cup baby Italian onions in balsamic vinegar
8 Italian sun dried tomatoes halves
1 cup peas
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup Italian olives (green or dried black)
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil and parsley
4 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Italian balsamic glaze (or balsamic vinegar of very high quality)

Cut the top of the tomatoes and set it aside. Remove the inner pulp (save it for future use, like a quick tomato sauce), sprinkle with a pinch of salt and flip tomatoes upside down on a colander in order to lose its water.

Cook farro in boiling salted water for about 35 minutes. Drain, rinse quickly and spread it out on a clean kitchen towel to cool down to room temperature.

Hard boil eggs and peel them. Boil peas to your desired doneness and cool them down to room temperature.

Cut baby onions in four, sun dried tomatoes in stripes, roughly chop artichoke hearts and eggs, pit olives and rougly chop them; transfer all of them to a big bowl, along with peas and farro.

Season with balsamic vinegar glaze, olive oil, salt and fresh herbs, toss to coat well; dry tomatoes and stuff with the farro salad. Replace the "lid" on your tomatoes.

If there are salad leftovers, transfer it to an airtight container: it's perfect as office (or work) lunch!!!

This recipe serves 4 (8 if used as appetizer).

- You can use carnaroli rice, small pasta (ditalini or pastina) or gluten free anellini instead of farro. Obviously, you have to adjust cooking time. You can also prepare this dish with NO pasta or grains at all.
- You can add tuna, marinated mushrooms, mozzarella, ham, carrots (diced and boiled), zucchine (diced and boiled).... anything you like!!!
- You can dress your salad with mayonnese, instead of oil/balsamic
- It's vegetarian, lactose and gluten free (when you use gluten free pasta instead of farro)

lunedì 11 marzo 2013


Traditional Dessert

Colomba is the traditional Easter cake in Italy. Shaped like a dove, symbol of Easter and peace.

1 Italian Colomba (750gr. 26oz)
16 oz ricotta
3 oz Italian dark chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 lb strawberries

Separate egg: put yolks in a bigger bowl and whisk them with the sugar sugar for about 2 minutes, add ricotta cheese and mix until you obtain a smooth cream, then add the chocolate.
Whisk the egg whites, with a couple of pinches of salt, until they hold peaks, then gently fold them into the ricotta cream.
With a sharp knife, remove the top of the colomba and set it aside. Remove the internal its "pulp" until about 1" from the sides and bottom and set it aside.
Pour one third of the ricotta cream into the colomba "bowl" and top with half of the strawberry slices, repeat one more time and finish with the cream.
Replace colomba lid on top of your cake.
Wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
You can serve it as is or drizzled with melted dark chocolate or sprinkled with a mix of confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder in equal parts or with whipped cream, some strawberries and mint leaves

This recipe can serve 10-14 people

- You can use the colomba "pulp" to make a bread pudding, following this recipe made with panettone http://bellaitaliastore.blogspot.com/2009/12/panettone-pudding.html
- We carry a colomba that is handmade by a bakery in Sicily, so soft and moist that it doesn't need any brushing with liquid.

lunedì 4 marzo 2013


Pasta entree - vegetarian - vegan - lactose free - gluten free (see notes below)

1 lb Italian egg fettuccine
1/4 cup Italian sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, julienned
1/3 cup Italian dried black olives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp Italian capers, packed in salt, rinsed
1 28-oz can Italian San Marzano peeled tomatoes, striped, set juice aside
1 tsp Italian hot pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In the meantime, put a large saucepan on medium-high heat with the olive oil and same quantity of water, then "sautee" onion and garlic until onion becomes translucent.

Add capers, sun dried tomatoes, hot pepper flakes and olives, stir and add wine, let alcohol evaporate.

When alcohol is evaporated, add tomatoes, lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When water boils, add salt and fettuccine; cook until al dente and drain, reserving some cooking water. Transfer fettuccine in the saucepan and toss, on medium heat, until well combined.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4.

- You can add 4 anchovy fillets, if you like them, together with onion and garlic, and let them melt (or substitute with 2 tsp anchovy paste).
- You can add fresh chopped basil or parsley (or both) to your sauce, a couple minutes before it's done.
- We carry almost all ingredients (except for fresh ingredients and wine). We also carry 4 different types of Italian spices
- It's vegetarian, vegan, lactose free, gluten free if you use corn pasta (anellini would be great, too)