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Category Archives: Italian Cuisine

Fettuccine with Scallops and Garlic

April 2, 2018

I served this delicious pasta dish with some yummy asparagus, simply cooked with some olive oil and salt… very springy!!

  • ½ pound fresh fettuccine
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 large scallops, cleaned
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package label and reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain and keep aside.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the scallops on both sides about 30 seconds each. Take out and keep aside, let cool and slice each scallop into 3 to 4 slices. Reheat the pan on medium heat and add the garlic, red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for about a minute. Add the clam juice, lemon zest and juice. Add the pasta and the pasta water. Add the scallops and parsley, toss to coat and cook for another minute or two until the scallops have warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil before serving.

Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Pepper Sauce

February 12, 2018

  • ½ pound pasta, al dente with a cup of pasta water set aside
  • 4 chicken sausage links, chopped in ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the sausages and sauté on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes till the sausages are golden brown. Keep aside.

  • 1 cup fresh tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Start the grill outside or preheat the broiler. Coat the peppers with the oil and grill or roast them till the skin is charred- about 20 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Take the peppers out and peel the skin and take the seeds out. Place the peppers in a blender with the tomato sauce. Blend till smooth. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed.
Add two cups of the sweet pepper sauce to the sausages and add the pasta and half cup of the pasta water (add more water if needed). Mix well and check for seasonings. Serve with cheese on top.

Pasta Primavera with Wine Sauce

February 11, 2018

Meatless Monday continues with this delicious pasta primavera I made with a wine sauce. I served it on top of healthy whole wheat spaghetti! It was yum!

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into quarters
  • 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups homemade or store brought tomato sauce
  • ½ pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Heat a large frying pan with the butter and oil. Add the thyme and both the mushrooms. Saute on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red pepper, salt and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes and add the zucchini. Saute for a minute and transfer the vegetables to a plate. Deglaze with wine and scrape all the brown bits off and cook the wine down to about half a cup. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the vegetables back and check for seasonings. Serve on top of spaghetti and top with cheese.

Braised Short Ribs with Citrus Gremolata

December 12, 2017

 

I would highly recommend this dish for the holidays. I served it with polenta and it was an amazing dinner. Oh, and don’t forget a copious amount of red wine…

  • 4 pounds short ribs, excess fat removed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

Place the short ribs in a large glass dish and sprinkle the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Refrigerate overnight. Take out an hour before cooking.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups red wine
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a heavy saucepan with the olive oil until smoking. Brown the ribs on both sides for 4 to 5 minutes each in two to three batches. Keep aside. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for minute. Add the flour and sauté for another minute. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Add the chicken broth and red wine and bring to a boil. Add the ribs back into the liquid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 2 to 3 hours or till the meat is falling off the bone.
Take out of oven and take the ribs out onto a platter. Strain the braising liquid and squeeze all the moisture out of the solids. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Reduce to desired consistency- there should be about a cup and a half to two cups of liquid remaining. Check for seasonings and return the ribs back into the liquid. Top with gremolata and serve.

Citrus Gremolata

  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of two clementines or half a navel orange

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and keep aside.

Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches with Ricotta Cheese

December 5, 2017

Sticking with the Italian theme but these are sandwiches- sausage and peppers but elevated with the herbed ricotta cheese. I served the sandwiches with oven fries. I highly recommend this one!

Ricotta Cheese

½ cup full fat ricotta cheese

1 garlic clove, minced

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and keep aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pack chicken sausages (I used roasted garlic ones from Trader Joes), sliced

1 large or 2 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch squares

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups tomato sauce (jar, bottle or fresh)

Salt

½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and sauté on medium high heat and brown both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Take the lid off, add the peppers and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or till the peppers are soft, but not too soft and falling apart. Check for seasonings and garnish with basil.

 

4 ciabatta rolls, toasted with a drizzle of olive oil

 

Add some sausage and peppers into a toasted roll. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Serve with oven fries.

 

Bucatini with Salted Pork and Shrimp

December 4, 2017

Lets stick with the Italian theme- this is simple, full of flavor and so, so delicious!!

½ cup salted pork, cut into chunks less than ½- inch

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped

28 ounces can of San Marzano tomatoes

½ pound medium shrimp, deveined and cleaned

Salt

½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

½ pound cooked bucatini, cooked al dente with 1 cup spare pasta water

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a wide skillet with the olive oil and salted pork and fry over low heat for 15 minutes or till the fat is rendered out and the meat is crisp. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion and garic and sauté over medium heat for five minutes. Crush the tomatoes with hand in the can and add to the onion mixture. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat with the lid on. Check for seasonings and add salt and the red pepper flakes.

Add the raw shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the al dente pasta and cook on medium for another 2 to 3 minutes, till the shrimp is cooked through- careful not to over cook. Check for seasonings and garnish with parsley.

Ricotta Parsley Gnudi with Sausage Mushroom Ragu

December 3, 2017

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.