martedì 28 maggio 2013


Side dish - Gluten free - Vegetarian and lactose free (read bottom notes!!)

4 potatoes, medium-big
1/2 cup chopped prosciutto
1 cup Parmigiano reggiano, grated
1 big onion, chopped
4 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup warm vegetable broth

Boil potatoes, whole with skin on, for about half of the usual cooking time, drain and let the cool down enough to handle them

In the meantime, in a small non-stick skillet, warm 2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee onions, until translucent, add chopped prosciutto and broth; cook for a 2-3 of minutes, then remove from heat.

When potatoes are cooled down, peel and slice in 1/4" thick rounds.

Preheat oven to 375

With the remaining olive oil, grease a 9x13 baking pan, arrange potato slices, slightly overlapping them, on a single layer; pour onion-prosciutto-broth mixture all over the potatoes. Season with salt and sprinkle with parmigiano.

Cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes, remove foil and broil until golden.

Serve immediately.

- It's a perfect complement for roasts or grilled meats or fish.
- You can substitute prosciutto with mortadella or ham or pancetta (or avoid it, for a vegetarian dish).
- Baking time will depend on the size of your potato slices.
- Substitute parmigiano withplain REAL Italian breadcrumbs for a lactose free version.

lunedì 20 maggio 2013


Dessert - no baking necessary

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

Italian ladyfingers

3 medium peaches

1 lemon
2-3 tbsp sugar

First of all, prepare the custard.

Warm the milk without letting it boil. In a saucepan, with heavy bottom, combine the sugar, the flour and the eggs, whisking to prevent knots. On 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, sprinkle with a little sugar and let it cool down to room temperature.

Squeeze lemon. Peel peaches and cut in thin wedges and mix them with sugar and lemon juice, this will prevent oxidation.

Line the bottom of a cake pan with ladyfingers quickly dipped in milk.

Pour custard on top of ladyfingers, then top with peache wedges, drained from lemon juice.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

This recipe is for a 9x9 square pan (or round).

- You may have some custard and peach leftovers, jus make some individual small bowls with them. You can get to a 9x13 rectangular pan with these quantities.
- You can make it with any fruit you like.
- It's a very easy cake that doesn't require baking, only the time to prepare the custard, so perfect for summertime.
- Use ONLY Italian ladyfingers, they're one of the key ingredients to have a great result.

martedì 14 maggio 2013

RICE SALAD (Insalata di riso)

Main entree - lactose and gluten free - vegetarian (read notes below)

1 lb Carnaroli Italian rice
1 cup peas, frozen
4 egg, hard boiled and peeled
2 5-oz can Italian tuna in olive oil
1/4 cup Italian capers, packed in salt
2 big ripe tomatoes, dices
2 cucumbers, diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, grilled and peeled
6 oz marinated artichoke hearts
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add salt and rice, stir and cook until al dente.

In the mean time defrost peas, dice eggs, drain and crumble tuna, thinly slice bell peppers, drain and roughly chop artichokes and reconstitute capers: rinse them, soak them in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes, then squeeze excess water away.

Arrange all these ingredients in a bowl along with all the vegetables.

When al dente, drain rice, quickly dip in cold water to stop cooking and spread on a kitchen towel until it reaches room temperature. Transfer it to a bowl, season with olive oil so it won't stick.

Assemble the salad: spoon equal quantities of rice and vegetable mixture, little by little, in a bowl big enough to contain all ingredients. Add mayonnaise and mix well to coat evenly.

Refrigerate for 2 hours at least.

This recipe serves 6-8

- It's gluten and lactose free and can be vegetarian, if you avoid tuna
- You can virtually add anything you like: beans, cheese, carrots, zucchini.... just use your creativity.
- You can lighten mayonnaise using half light sugar free yogurt.
- It's a complete meal, can easily fit in an appetizer. It's great in buffet style meals and it's perfect for summertime.

lunedì 6 maggio 2013


Appetizer - Vegetarian

Puff pastry (refrigerated or make your own)
5 oz swiss cheese, shredded
1 can Italian peeled tomatoes, without juice, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper (optional)

Roll puff pastry, on a lightly floured surface, to a 1/4" thickness.

Drain peeled tomatoes and chop them; reserve thier juice to use in other preparations.

Preheat oven to 375F

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (or grase lightly with butter and dust with flour), then line with puff pastry and poke it with a fork.

Spread a thin layer of mustard on pastry, then top with cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt (and pepper if you like it) and drizzle with Italian olive oil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, then cut in wedges and serve.

- You can use other cheeses or a mix of them (mozzarella or Asiago or provolone or more)
- It can be used in a mixed appetizer or as "pizza"