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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Turkey and Mushroom Meatballs

October 7, 2019

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 ounces Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs soaked in 1/3 cup of milk
  • ½ cup burrata cheese, torn into chunks
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt
  • 4 cups store bought or homemade marinara sauce

Heat a medium frying pan with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté on a medium high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and a sprinkle of salt. Continue to sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat off and cool completely.

Add the turkey meat to a medium bowl, add the cooled mushroom mixture, both the cheeses, egg, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and the soaked breadcrumbs. Mix well and keep the mixture aside for about an hour in the fridge for the flavors to marinate.

Heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan. Form medium sized balls from the turkey meat and gently drop into the simmering tomato sauce. Once all the meat used up, bring the sauce and meatballs to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti!

Pork Ragu with Penne

September 23, 2019

Pork Ragu with Penne

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pancetta, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Salt
  • ½ pound penne, al dente- ½ cup spare pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons truffle paste or 1 tablespoon truffle oil

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the pancetta and sauté for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add the carrots, onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the pork and separate with the back of a wooden spatula while sautéing the meat on medium high heat about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook on medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, till a thick sauce is formed. Add salt and half and half. Add the truffle paste or oil. Mix well and add the cooked pasta and pasta water. Check for seasonings and serve.

Herbed Ricotta and Potato Gnocchi

September 16, 2019
  • 1 one pound russet potato
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup freshly ground Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup plus more flour

Cook the potato till soft to the fork. Take the skin off and put the potato through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, chives, egg and cheese. Mix well. Gradually add the flour, one tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together and not sticky- try not to over knead the dough. Separate into four sections and roll each into ½ inch thick logs on a floured surface. With a knife, cut bite-sized gnocchis. Place on a floured cookie sheet and let sit for an hour. Make the sauce in the meantime.

Gnocchi1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (chopped or whole, if whole, crush them with fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi for 2 to 3 minutes or till they float to the surface. Serve with marinara sauce and freshly grated cheese

Potato Salad with Anchovies and Olives

August 13, 2019

Potato Salad with Anchovies and Olives

  • 5 to 6 red skinned potatoes, boiled and cut into ½ inch slices

Dressing

  • 3 to 4 anchovies
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt

Heat a large non-stick frying pan with the olive oil. Add the anchovies and melt on a medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the olives and vinegar. Add the warm dressing to the hot potato slices. Mix well and check for seasonings. Add the salt and parsley. Can be made several hours ahead of time. Serve room temperature.

4th Of July Dessert: Vanilla Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Lime Sauce

July 3, 2019

Vanilla Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced length-wise and seeds taken out
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 (8 oz) ramekins

In a small bowl dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. Keep aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, coconut milk, vanilla extract and seeds from vanilla bean.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream and sugar on medium heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture. Add the cream mixture into the cold yogurt mixture.
Pour into the ramekins and chill thoroughly- at least 6 hours if not over night. Dip bottoms of cups into hot water and invert into a serving plate. Serve with mango lime sauce.

Mango Lime Sauce

  • ½ cup mango pulp
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
  • Juice of ½ lime (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 mint leaves

Combine mango pulp and sugar in a small saucepan. Add the mint leaves and heat over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and turn the heat off. Add the vanilla extract and lime juice. Take the mint leaves once the sauce is cool. Serve with the panna cotta.

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Sauteed Scallops

June 17, 2019

Wild Mushroom Risotto2

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 10oz pack of cremini mushroom, sliced
  • ¼ pound shitaki mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup a dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken or mushroom broth, heated in a saucepan
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ½ cup shredded pecorino romano
  • 2 teaspoons white truffle paste

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and thyme sprigs. Saute on medium high heat for 7 to 8 minutes or till the mushrooms begin to wilt and the moisture begins to cook away. Add one teaspoon salt and mix well. Add the Arborio rice and sauté for a minute. Add the wine and mix well on medium heat till the liquid dissipates. Add a large ladle of chicken broth and repeat the process till all the broth is used and the rice is cooked al dente and creamy. The process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Finish the risotto with half and half, pecorino cheese and the white truffle paste. Mix well and taste for seasonings. Serve with scallops on top.

  • 1 pound large scallops, about 11 to 12
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add the olive oil and add the scallops. Saute 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drizzle the lemon juice. Serve on top of risotto.

Ricotta Parsley Gnudi with Sausage Mushroom Ragu

June 11, 2019

This is a great recipe to make either through the week or for a Sunday meal. A rich sausage mushroom ragu with soft, pillowy gnudi. Saw this being made on tv and modified it a bit to suit my taste. Try it… this is delicious!!

Gnudi

1 pound fresh ricotta, drained overnight to attain super dry ricotta
2 egg yolks
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Semolina for rolling and coating
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Transfer the ricotta and egg yolks to a stand mixer. Mix at medium speed for a minute or till incorporated. Add the cheese, flour, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt. The dough should moist but not sticky. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while bringing a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Roll a piece of dough into a 1 inch ball and cook in the boiling water for about 2 minutes. If the gnudi is too soft to hold it’s shape, add more flour to the dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour if not more. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and transfer to a semolina dusted pan so the gnudi does not stick. Refrigerate the gnudi balls, covered with plastic wrap till ready to cook.
Take out of fridge and cook gnudi in salted boiling water until cooked- about 3 to 4 minutes in batches. The gnudi will begin to rise to the surface once cooked. Drain the gnudi and place them into a wide frying pan with the olive oil and butter. Brown the gnudi on the outside for 2 to 3 minutes, moving them about constantly. If the pan gets dry, add some spare pasta water. Serve with the ragu.

Ragu

¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked 1 cup hot water
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 sausage links of choice, casing off and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup strained tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
Salt
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Strain the mushrooms, reserve the liquid and chop the procini mushrooms and set aside.
Heat a sauté pan with olive oil. Add the crumbled sausage and sauté on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shiitake and procini mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spare mushroom water, tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer, with the lid on for 10 minutes. Take the lid off, add salt and let cook for another 15 minutes. Check for seasonings and garnish with parsley. Serve with gnudi with a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano.