martedì 26 maggio 2015


Dessert - Vegetarian

1/2 lb "S" cookies
1 stick butter
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz Nocciolata Rigoni

Take the cheeses out of the fridge and bring them at room temperature.

In the meantime, melt butter and process cookies, crumbling them finely but not powder. Mix them together.

Line the bottom of a spring-form pan with parchment paper, then press the cookies-butter mixture on the bottom and refrigerate for about 20-25 minutes.

Now prepare the cream. In a big bowl put ricotta and cream cheese and mix to soften the cream cheese, then add Nocciolata and whisk until well combined.

Pour on top of the cookies base and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 4 hrs at least.

When it's time to serve, run a spatula around the side of the cake to detach it, then remove the side. Slid the cake on a serving platter and, carefully, remove the paper at bottom.

Decorate as you prefer: chopped hazelnuts and/or almonds, whipped cream, strawberries...

The quantities are for a 9" spring-form pan.

- I suggest Nocciolata Rigoni because it's the best hazelnut-chocolate spread on the market, at the moment.
- I suggest the "S" cookies because the are almond based and it goes perfectly with the cream.
- I didn't use enough butter, so my base was a little "crumbly"; I increased the butter quantity to the one mentioned here in the recipe, it should be enough, you might need to increase it a little more, if you use drier cookies.
- I did not use any sugar, since I don't think it's necessary. If you like it sweeter, you can add some when adding the Nocciolata.
- I love this cake because you do not need to turn the oven on, nor you need any jelling agents!!
- In case you are wondering, We do sell the "S" cookies and the Nocciolata!!

lunedì 18 maggio 2015


Entree - Gluten and Lactose free - Suitable for diets

2 fillets Pacific snapper (about 1 lb total)
1 tbsp Italian capers, packed in salt and rinsed
6-8 Italian dried black olives
1 big ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt

Brush foil with olive oil, then line with tomato slices, capers and olives.

Then top with fish fillets with parsley.

Brush another piece of foil and loosely cover fish fillets; seal the edges tightly.

Place on central rack of oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven, let stand for a couple minutes and open pocket carefully. Season with salt and serve.

Serves 2-3

- I used parsley stems: I always freeze them when I use leaves!
- If you're using frozen fish, let it thaw and pat it dry.
- Be careful when you open the pocket: most likely there will be juice in it (as you can tell by the photos)
- I cooked it in a skillet, covered with a lid, with a little bit of water (just cover the bottom of the skillet making sure it wont cover the pocket edges), you can also put the pocket in the steamer: either way, cooking time won't change.
- If you like the punch, you can add a few hot pepper flakes.

martedì 12 maggio 2015


Appetizer or entree - Low in fats, vegetarian and gluten free. Can be Lactose free (READ notes at bottom)

3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Basil or parsley
Italian Sea Salt
Italian extra virgin olive oil

Spreads suggestions:
Italian artichoke bruschetta topping
Italian eggplant bruschetta topping
Italian sundried tomatoes, packed in oil and julienne cut, mixed with cream cheese or ricotta cheese

In a bowl lightly beat eggs, milk, herbs and salt.

Prepare the frittata: in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 3 tbsp of olive oil and pour part of the egg mixture (the quantity depends on how thick you want your rolls). Let it thicken, allowing the liquid part to get to the bottom, lifting the edges and tilting the skillet to ease the process. Invert the frittata onto a platter (or a lid) and slide it back in the skillet, cooking until lightly golden. Invert one more time to evenly golden it on both sides.

Repeat until you finish the mixture.

Let the frittata cool down to room temperature, spread with your choice of filling and roll. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours at least.

Cut in 1"-thick slices and serve.

- It's perfect in a mixed appetizer, lunch box or even as entree served with a salad or other vegetables.
- The ones in the ingredient list are just a few suggestions: unchain your creativity!!!!!!!
- Always make sure to use high quality ingredients.
- You can use dried Italian herbs.
- This recipe is very low in fats, vegetarian and gluten free! For a lactose free version avoid milk in the eggs and cheese in the stuffing.
- You can find a video for the frittata (a different one, but gives you the general idea) here

lunedì 4 maggio 2015


Entree - complete meal - Can be vegetarian, lactose and gluten free (READ notes at bottom)

1 lb Italian penne
1 5-oz cans Italian tuna in olive oil
2 big ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 small eggplant, grilled
1 cup mozzarella, diced
4 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
Italian sea salt
1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In the meantime, peel and dice cucumbers, dice tomatoes and drain tuna but reserve its oil.

Transfer tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, tuna and mozzarella in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and herbs. Mix well and refrigerate until it's time to use it.

When water boils, add salt and penne, stir and cook for about 2 minutes shorter than it would take to get "al dente". Drain it, quickly rinse it under cold running water, to stop the cooking. Spread on a kitchen cloth to cool down completely.

Transfer penne to a big bowl with all other ingredients and mix well.

Refrigerate, covered with a lid or plastic wrap, for 2 hours at least.

This recipe serves 4-5

- It's a perfect dish for a buffet.
- It's great during summertime.
- Alternate small batches of pasta and other ingredients, so they will combine more easily.
- For a gluten free version, use Italian GF penne (we carry them).
- For a vegetarian, avoid tuna and for a lactose free dish, avoid mozzarella (both can be replaced with hard boiled eggs).
- For a dish as simple as this, use only good quality pasta, tuna, EV olive oil, like the ones we carry.