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!!














Saffron Sauce 
(For Chicken)



Ingredients

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 lg. leek - white and light green parts only - thinly sliced
1 glove garlic minced finely
½ cup white wine
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. saffron threads (or equivalent in powder)
½ cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions 

In warm pan melt butter.  Add leeks and garlic. Cook until tender about 5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with white wine. Cook until wine is reduced by ½.

Add broth and saffron threads, bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes:

Remove from heat and whip with hand blender just until creamy, with no chunks.  If too thin add more cream, if too thick, a bit more broth.

Pour over chicken and garnish with bits of parsley if you like