Sunday, August 13, 2017

 
Timballo Classico Maccheroni

Serves 8
Mini Meatballs:
½ lb. mixture ground veal, beef and pork
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. fresh sage (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (Grove 45)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. Marsala wine
Timballo:
unsalted butter for baking pan
3 Tbs. unseasoned bread crumbs
4 cups Bolognase sauce (recipe available upon request)
1 - 16 ox. can tomato puree
1 1/2 lbs. lg. Macaroni (or Penne)
2 eggs - beaten
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. shredded Mozzarella
6 slices prosciutto - torn into shreds
1 cup mushrooms - sliced
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
mini meatballs
3 hard boiled eggs - cut into thick round slices
In mixing bowl combine the ground meats, herbs, salt, pepper and Marsala. Shape mixture into mini meatballs, approx. the size of a garbanzo bean. Set aside.
Heat medium fry pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Heat. Add meatballs and brown evenly. Drain on paper towel. Meatballs can be made in advance.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heavily butter a 10" spring form pan. Dust evenly with bread crumbs. Set asie.
Add tomato puree to Bolognase sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer 20 minutes, until mixture is reduced slightly.
While sauce is simmering, saute sliced mushroom in 2 Tbs. Olive oil until tender and slightly goldened.
While sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions. Cook al dente. Don’t overcook. Pasta continues cooking during baking process. Drain well. Do not rinse. Return pasta to the pot it was cooked in. Add beaten eggs, fold in gently. Add 4 ladles of Bolognase, fold again. Add ½ cup grated cheese. Fold again. Be sure all pasta is well coated.
In baking pan add one thin layer of pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with 2 Tbs. grated cheese, 1/3 Mozzarella, 1/3 prosciutto, 1/3 mushrooms, 1/3 of meatballs and 1 of the sliced eggs.
Cover with 2 ladles of sauce. Repeat layering. Finish with pasta, sauce and grated cheese. Dust the top with bread crumbs and dot evenly with butter.
Bake 45 minutes in center oven, until top is lightly crusty. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen sides by using a butter knife or spatula. Unmold. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve.
 
 
 
 
Casseruola di spaghetti di Timballo
Serves 4
1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Grove 45)
16 oz. pkg. Spaghetti (not Angel Hair or Vermicelli)
24 oz. Marinara sauce (recipe available upon request)
3 - 4 Italian sausages - removed from casing and cooked until pink is gone
1 lg. red onion - coarsely chopped
8 oz. spicy salami - diced
1 green bell pepper - coarsely chopped
6 oz. fresh mushrooms - chopped
4 oz. black olives - sliced
1 Tbs. capers
3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan
Heat over to 350 degrees.
Brush olive oil over the bottom and sides of your baking form.
Bring large pot of unsalted water to boil. Cook pasta per package directions. Pasta should be al dente. It will continue to cook during baking.
Drain pasta well. Do not rinse. Mix pasta, marinara, sausage, onion, salami, peppers, mushrooms and olives together in large bowl or the pasta pot.
Pour ingredients into baking form. Top evenly with Mozzarella and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
Bake until bubbly and cheesy top is lightly golden. Approx. 30 minutes.
Unmold and serve immediately.



Timballo con Risso
Serves 8
1/4 cup + 5 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Regina Grove)
½ stick unsalted butter
1 sm. red onion - minced
2 1/4 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
3 lg. whole cloves fresh garlic - peeled
6 fresh basil leaves
pinch of sugar
3 cups water
3 ½ cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
6 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese
6 lg. ripe tomatoes
12 oz. Mozzarella Fresca
16 oz. frozen spinach - cooked and all moisture squeezed out
salt and pepper to taste
Sauce:
Cut an "X" across the round end of the tomatoes. Not too deep a cut. Just break the skin. Drop into large pot of rapidly boiling water and simmer for 1 minute or less, until you see the skin of the "X" begin to pop open. Remove carefully and drop into large bowl ice water to stop cooking process.
Peel skin, cut into quarters and scoop out center seed section, keeping only the meaty part of the tomato.
Put 1/4 cup olive oil into skillet. Place garlic cloves into cold oil. Heat oil and cook until cloves are pale yellow. Remove pan from heat and add tomato pieces. Return pan to stove and add basil leaves, cooking until tomatoes soften. Add 2 cups warm water and pinch of sugar. Simmer until mixture reduces and thickens. Add remaining water and simmer until mixture reduces again. Remove garlic cloves. Hint: don’t throw away the cloves, save to spread on bruschetta.
Timballo:
Heat over to 350 degrees.
Heat 3 tbs. of olive oil and butter in fry pan. Saute onion until soft. Add rice. Cook rice for 3 - 5 minutes until it begins to crackle. Add wine. Cook for 3 minutes to allow wine to reduce.
Add tomato sauce and 2 ½ cups stock. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until rice is firm and thickened, approx. 20 minutes. Add more stock if necessary during this process to achieve the right texture. Add 1/3 of the Parmesan, mixing well. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Cut mozzarella into ½ inch slices and put into a colander to drain. Sauté spinach in the remaining oil flavored with the garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Spread half the rice mixture into bottom of lg. round casserole dish. At least 3 inches deep. Add spinach, layer of Mozzarella another 1/3 of Parmesan. Repeat with remaining rice, layer of Mozzarella and remaining 1/3 Parmesan. Bake 20 minutes. Serve immediately while cheese is bubbly on top.
Adding one generous layer of bechamel sauce to the middle of any of the above recipes takes it up another notch.

Bechamel Sauce

32 oz. whole milk -cold
½ stick unsalted butter
2 heaping Tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. nutmeg
Melt butter in medium pot. Slowly add flour, whisking until mixture is smooth.
Add cold milk slowly to butter mixture using wire whip. Add pepper and nutmeg. Continue to whip constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens.
Mangia Bene
 





 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Classic Piselli
(Italian Style Peas)



INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Pounds of freshly shelled peas (frozen if you have to)
1 Small white onion - sliced
2 Fairly thick slices of prosciutto or pancetta - minced
Pepper to taste
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Minced Italian Parsley
Large Pot of boiling salted water

Shell your peas.  This can be done a day ahead of time, as the peas will stay fresh in the crisper for 24 hours.

Using a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil.  Do not heat the oil first. Saute until golden.  If you are using pancetta, saute it with the onions.

Add the peas and enough boiling salted water to keep them from sticking and burning, adding more water a little at a time as you go.

If you are using prosciutto instead of pancetta, add at this point.

Simmer the peas until they’ve reached the texture you prefer. If you are using prosciutto, instead of pancetta, add at this point, along with the parsley.  Simmer for 2 minutes, drain, and serve in a warmed dish.

Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Pease are wonderful over potatoes roasted Italian style and are also served traditionally with lamb dishes. 







Peach Bellini



Preparing and serving is wonderfully simple. Only 2 ingredients required. Prosecco ,a sparkling Italian wine and peach puree. 

Other sparkling wines are often used in place of Prosecco. It’s no longer a Bellini. I’ve experimented and want to share that I believe in this case the originally recipe is the best.  In fact, using a beautiful and luxuriously flavored French champagne does not enhance the drink. Classic French champagne does not pair well with the light, fruity flavor of the Bellini.

2 oz. fresh peach purée
4 oz. Prosecco
Pour puree into chilled flute, add Prosecco. Stir gently.
Serve straight up and without ice

If you’d like the kids to be able to enjoy a fresh peach drink with the grown ups, you can substitute sparkling juice, sparkling water or seltzer in place of the Prosecco.

 Peaches in Red Wine. 


6 peaches 
6 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 lemon
Red wine (Your choice. I like to use San Giovesse, Merlot or Pinot)

Wash peaches in cold water.  Peel and slice into wedges. Discard pits. Place wedges in large bowl. Sprinkle peaches with sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Mix gently with a wooden spoon or by hand to avoid bruising the fruit. Peaches are delicate. Allow peaches to sit with sugar for 20 minutes, or until sugar has thoroughly dissolved. The fruit will soften slightly in the process.

Place peach wedges into individual serving bowls. Add enough red wine to each serving to just cover the peaches.  Allow them to sit another 30 - 45 minutes. The longer they sit, to more intense the wine flavor.  I don’t recommend allowing them to sit any longer than 45 minutes or the wine flavor will dominate the peach flavor.

Can be served room temp or slightly chilled. Serves 6
Shrimp with Pistachio Sauce
(Serves 6 to 8)
Shrimp with Pistachio Sauce
1 pound large shrimp in shell
2 ounces shelled pistachios
4 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water


Cook shrimp in boiling water until pink, about 3 minutes.
Drain the shrimp and allow them to cool enough to handle them.
Remove shells (leaving tails on) and devein the shrimp.  Set aside.

In a food processor, combine pistachios, anchovies, capers, 2 tablespoons of oil, and lemon juice.
Puree to a smooth consistency.
Add water and puree again to incorporate the water.
Put cooked shrimp together with sauce in a bowl; toss gently.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Serve warm with slices of Italian bread.
Shrimp in Tomato, Caper and Pine Nut Sauce
(Serves 6)



2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups diced canned tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
4 bay leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion and fennel.  
Sauté for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add pine nuts and capers and cook for 10 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp on top of the sauce.
Insert the bay leaves among the shrimp.
Drizzle the lemon juice over the top.
Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.
Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Transfer to a serving platter.
Distribute the basil and parsley over the top and serve.
SPAGHETTI WITH BREAD SAUCE

SERVES 8




INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE:

1 CUP DAY OLD UNSALTED BREAD MADE INTO CRUMBS (DON’T TOAST BREAD) 
1/4 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
½ CUP FRESH CHOPPED PARSLEY
SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE

POUR OLIVE OIL INTO COLD FRY PAN.  ADD BREAD CRUMBS TO OIL AND SAUTE ON LOW.  ADD PARSLEY AND SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE AND SAUTE UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN AND CRUNCHY.  SET ASIDE 

INGREDIENTS FOR SPAGHETTI:

16 OZS. TRADITIONAL STYLE SPAGHETTI
1 CUP FRESH GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
LARGE POT OF SLIGHTLY SALTED BOILING WATER
1/3 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

BOIL SPAGHETTI AL DENTE IN LIGHTLY SALTED WATER.  KEEP THE WATER AND SET ASIDE.

DRAIN SPAGHETTI AND PLACE IN 1/3 CUP OLIVE OIL IN LARGE FRY PAN AND SAUTE ON LOW FOR 2 MINUTES.  ADD 2 CUPS SALTED WATER FROM PASTA BOIL. AND SIMMER 2 MINUTES.  DRAIN AGAIN.

PLACE BREAD SAUCE ON LOW FIRE TO WARM.

FILL LARGE INDIVIDUAL RAMEKINS WITH SPAGHETTI USING THE TRADITIONAL TWIRLING METHOD UNTIL SPAGHETTI IS PACKED FIRMLY INTO RAMEKIN.

INVERT EACH RAMEKIN ONTO THE CENTER OF A WARM SERVING PLATE.  LEAVE IN PLACE 1 MINUTE TO “SET”.

CAREFULLY REMOVE RAMEKIN AND YOU WILL HAVE A SPAGHETTI “TOWER”.  TOP TOWER WITH FRESH GROUND PEPPER TO TASTE AND DRIZZLE LIBERALLY WITH OLIVE OIL IN AND “X” PATTERN ACROSS THE TOWER AND PLATE.

ON ONE SIDE OF THE TOWER MAKE A LONG STRIP OF GRATED PARMESAN AND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TOWER A LONG STRIP OF THE BREAD SAUCE.

SERVE IMMEDIATELY AND PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!!  DRAG YOUR BITES OF SPAGHETTI THRU THE CHEESE AND BREAD SAUCE WITH EACH BIT.  HAVE FUN!!