Italian Recipe Book http://www.italianrecipebook.com Food that brings people together. Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:30:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cropped-logo-wp-1-32x32.png Italian Recipe Book http://www.italianrecipebook.com 32 32 Penne Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives http://www.italianrecipebook.com/pasta-with-roasted-cherry-tomatoes-black-olives/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/pasta-with-roasted-cherry-tomatoes-black-olives/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:49:55 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2990 Would you be surprised if I tell you  that the whole idea of this pasta was inspired by a piece of ricotta salata (salted ricotta cheese) that I had in the fridge? And it turned out SO-oh-o  good that I encored it 4 times during the same week. Before you mentally disconnect thinking of ricotta …

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Would you be surprised if I tell you  that the whole idea of this pasta was inspired by a piece of ricotta salata (salted ricotta cheese) that I had in the fridge?

And it turned out SO-oh-o  good that I encored it 4 times during the same week.

Before you mentally disconnect thinking of ricotta salata as an impossible cheese to get, I have a couple of great alternatives for you (in the recipe notes below).

Imagine, sweetness of pan roasted tomatoes paired with slightly bitter-ish,creamy flavor of black olives. All that is infused with a subtle garlic aroma and topped with delicious briny ricotta salata cheese!

I used short penne pasta:

  1. Deep cavities of this short pasta pair beautifully with almost any sauce.
  2. It’s been a while since I used it and I kinda missed it.

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives {Super YUM!}

And you? With this roasted cherry tomato sauce you can use any, ANY pasta shape that you like.

Even spaghetti or capellini.

Extra juices from roasted cherry tomatoes will turn into a beautiful rosè sauce and will coat to perfection any type of pasta.

OK, enough chatting.

Try and taste it for your self 😊

Taste buds never lie!

Penne Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives

Pan roasted tomatoes paired with slightly bitter-ish,creamy flavor of black olives, infused with a subtle garlic aroma and topped with delicious briny ricotta salata cheese!

  • 12 oz penne pasta or other pasta shape you like
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup Mediterranean black olives or other brine-cured black olives
  • 8 oz ricotta salata ((salted ricotta cheese))
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half or use whole if you prefer. Halved take less time to cook though.
  2. In a large skillet pan a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife, cherry tomatoes and olives.
  3. Cook on medium heat until tomatoes become lightly browned and soft.
  4. Press them lightly with a wooden spoon to release the juice. Be careful of the spatters.
  5. Remove garlic cloves and reduce the heat to low.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes white pasta is cooking.
  7. Cook pasta in hot boiling water until ‘al dente’. Check time indicated in the package minus 1-2 minutes.
  8. Reserve some cooking liquid.
  9. Add drained pasta in a pan with roasted tomato sauce.
  10. Add some more extra virgin olive oil if need and cooking liquid if it feels too dry.
  11. Toss in a pan for a minute or two.
  12. Serve immediately generously topped with grated ricotta salata – salted ricotta cheese (see notes).

Salted Ricotta takes this whole pasta to the next level.

Kind of like with Pasta Alla Norma

So if you have an opportunity, get it and use it by all means.

But depending on the part of the world where you are at it could be hard to find ricotta salata.

So here’s what you can do instead:

  1. Use the closest substitute for Ricotta Salata which is a mix of quality Pecorino and crumbled Feta Cheese.
  2. Make Ricotta Salata at home. Honestly I haven’t tried any of the recipes below, just because I had no need living in Italy 🙂

But these 2 recipes sound worth trying:

Let me know if you end up trying any of these or have your own favorite way.

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives {Super YUM!}

Buon Appetito!

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Sicilian Almond Milk Pudding {Biancomangiare} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/almond-milk-pudding-biancomangiare/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/almond-milk-pudding-biancomangiare/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 21:07:00 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2979 To someone who grew up in Sicily, Sardinia or Valley d’Aosta biancomangiare pudding unmistakably recalls to their childhood memories. Because this simple almond milk pudding is one of best afternoon snacks for the kids. AND the adults 😉 Biancomangiare is pronounced as “bjan-ko man-ja-re” and literally translates from Italian as “white dish”. It’s made with …

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To someone who grew up in Sicily, Sardinia or Valley d’Aosta biancomangiare pudding unmistakably recalls to their childhood memories.

Because this simple almond milk pudding is one of best afternoon snacks for the kids. AND the adults 😉

Biancomangiare is pronounced as “bjan-ko man-ja-re” and literally translates from Italian as “white dish”.

It’s made with just 4 basic ingredients: almond milk (think diary free), corn starch (think gluten As a result you get a creamy delicious dessert ready in snap of a finger.

Let it cool in the fridge and it’s ready to serve.

Now you can go completely wild on the toppings 😋

Even though, IMHO, nothing beats traditional ones like ground pistachios or almonds, candied orange peel, grated chocolate or simply powdered cinnamon.

A little bit of history

First mentions of biancomangiare date back to pre-medieval times.

Presumably brought to Europe from arab countries it’s also know in France as blanc manger.

The term was referred to dishes that used only white color ingredients like milk, almonds rice, lard and chicken breast.

And before you think nuts about a dessert with these ingredients let me say that biancomangiare was also used to name salty dishes with the ingredients mentioned above.

Essentially white color of the dish represented purity and asceticism and was served mainly in the upper-class wealthy families.

Biancomangiare almond milk pudding dessert as we know it today is included in the list of traditional Italian foods and it protected by The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of Italy.

Sicialian Almond Milk Pudding {Biancomangiare}

Sicilian Almond Milk Pudding {Biancomangiare}

Biancomangiare is one of the ancient Italian desserts made with almond milk, corn starch, sugar cinnamon and/or lemon zest.

  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup corn starch or rice flour
  • ½ – 1 cup sugar ((start with ½ , taste, add more if needed))
  • Pinch ground cinnamon and/or lemon or orange zest
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom water or rose water ((optional but highly recommended))

For Garnishing:

  • Cinnamon
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Candied orange peel
  • Grated chocolate or cocoa powder
  1. In a medium size pot add sugar and cornstarch. Whisk well.
  2. Slowly pour in almond milk continuing to stir.
  3. Place the pot on a stove-top over medium heat.
  4. And don’t let the whisk go! Once the mixture starts to become warm, lower the heat and always stirring wait till it thickens.
  5. Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour into dessert glass or dessert bowls or even in decorative molds.
  7. Let cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  8. Serve chilled topped and garnished with the flavor of your choice.
  9. If you do the molds thing make sure to quickly deep the bottoms in hot water, then unmold your binacomangiare on a dessert plate.

As an alternative you can make biancomangiare with regular milk or make your own almond milk at home.

Sicialian Almond Milk Pudding {Biancomangiare}

There you have it, authentic and original Sicilian almond milk pudding that’s worth not only a treat for the kids but a simple yet sophisticated dessert for an elegant dinner.

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Caprese Salad {How Italians Make It} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/caprese-salad/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/caprese-salad/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:08:09 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2968 Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese or tomato, mozzarella and basil salad is a cult dish of Italian cuisine. It’s ready in less than 5 minutes and made with the most simple ingredients like sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese seasoned with basil leaves, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. Caprese salad originated in Campagna region on …

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Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese or tomato, mozzarella and basil salad is a cult dish of Italian cuisine.

It’s ready in less than 5 minutes and made with the most simple ingredients like sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese seasoned with basil leaves, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

Caprese salad originated in Campagna region on the small island of Capri in the golf of Naples.

And as many Italian dishes the geographical origin gave the name to the dish.

There is a legend that Caprese Salad was first seen in 1920s at the dinner reception of a famous Italian poet and his colleeges at Hotel Quisisana of Capri.

It was an attempt to add fresh notes to the classic menu of the restaurant AND emphasize on the patriotic colors of Italy that are represented so well in Caprese Salad.

Simplicity in preparation and a perfect marriage of the ingredients made Insalata Caprese an unbeatable choice, especially for summer menu.

But before you get too excited and go ahead and jump into slicing all tomatoes and mozzarella you have there are some ground rules on how not to ruin what’s already perfect.

Caprese Salad {How Italians Make It}

First and foremost – ingredients are key.

Tomatoes

Make sure you use the most fresh tomatoes you can get. Better yet if they come on a sprig that guarantees incredibly fragrant and fresh tomato.

Make sure your tomatoes are not overripe. Too ripe tomatoes will result mushy and will have too much juice going in the salad.

Choose tomatoes ripe enough but still with a nice crunch to them for the best result.

I love using beefsteak tomatoes or bull’s heart tomatoes for my Caprese Salad as they have less water and taste fantastic. Butt you can get away with any kind of tomatoes you like as long as they meet all the criteria above.

Mozzarella Cheese

Mozzarella is the second most important ingredient in the the salad.

So make sure you choose it responsibly as well 😉

You’ve probably guessed it – fresh and quality mozzarella is your best bet.

When you cut mozzarella see if it leaks any excess milk or water.

If so tap each slice with a linen towel before assembling it on a plate. You don’t really want any water or milk in your salad.

Basil & Oregano

Green basil leaves fresh picked from your garden or your windowsill is the dream scenario.

But those bought from the farmers market this morning will do a good job as well.

Dried oregano is relatively an optional seasoning but it’s used a lot.

It balances well with fresh basil and fills some spicy notes that otherwise you would want to kick up with some ground pepper.

And the last, but mostly important thought…

RESIST adding anything else.

Especially balsamic vinegar, balsamic glaze or other dressing!

I know, temptation is high but if you resist it the reward will pay 10 fold.

Fresh, full of genuine flavors Caprese Salad just like if you’d have it in Italy 😋

Caprese Salad {How Italians Make It}

Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese or tomato, mozzarella and basil salad is a a cult dish of Italian couisine.

  • 3-4 medium size tomatoes (, preferable of the same size)
  • 8-10 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Handful basil leaves
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste ((optional))
  1. Wash and dry tomatoes and basil with a paper towel.
  2. Cut each tomato and mozzarella ball into slices.
  3. Layer tomato, mozzarella and basil slices on a platter.
  4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and oregano or black pepper if you like.
  5. Serve as a salad or as an appetizer.

Caprese Salad {How Italians Make It}

Caprese Salad Variations

Caprese Skewers  – instead of using regular tomatoes and large mozzarella ball, get cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella bites instead. This makes a perfect appetizer for crowded parties.

Use Mix of Tomatoes – add more colors to your Caprese Salad by adding yellow, purple or other color tomatoes you have on hand. You can tire mozzarella cheese in pieces instead of slicing it into perfect slices and do the same with basil leaves. This will be a more rustic version but certainly without sacrificing the taste.

Caprese Sandwich – any thoughts on this one? You guest it!

Caprese Salad + Ciabatta Bread Roll generously drizzled with extra virgin olive oil AND… you have the best summer bite on the go. Yum😋
Do you have your favorite way to make Caprese salad and did I forget any other ways to eat/serve this Caprese masterpiece?
Let me know  in the comments below!

Buon Appetito!

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Salmon Carpaccio {Carpaccio Di Salmone} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/salmon-carpaccio-carpaccio-di-salmone/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/salmon-carpaccio-carpaccio-di-salmone/#respond Sat, 04 Aug 2018 13:49:20 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2954 Salmon carpaccio is one of the easiest and yummiest things you can make with fresh salmon or smoked salmon. In fact, carpaccio is a great idea how to serve smoked salmon for the guests. Light and filling it’s perfect for hot summer days paired with some fresh bread and white wine. Mmm – YUM! 😋 …

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Salmon carpaccio is one of the easiest and yummiest things you can make with fresh salmon or smoked salmon.

In fact, carpaccio is a great idea how to serve smoked salmon for the guests.

Light and filling it’s perfect for hot summer days paired with some fresh bread and white wine.

Mmm – YUM! 😋

But truth has to be told – salmon carpaccio is also one of the protagonist on a Christmas table.

Of course if your menu is fish and seafood based.

It’s a great starter that’s super simple to make and you can make it well in advance too.

Even if you’re hosting a buffet style party salmon carpaccio will be a great fit.

Fresh Salmon or Smoked Salmon?

Either one is good!

When using fresh salmon you gotta make sure it’s top quality and extra fresh.

I also like to put in the freezer overnight or even for a couple of days to kill and possible bacteria that might be there. Freezer temperature should be set to -4F.

Then, pull it out and let it defrost slowly (preferably in the fridge) to the point when it’s still solid enough to cut into thin slices. Much much easier that way.

With smoked salmon you can make the whole thing in a snap of a finger.

Really.

Smoked salmon comes already sliced.

You just need to  choose the brand that has nice thin slices.

Of course pay attention to its freshness as well.

Salmon Carpaccio {Using Fresh or Smoked Salmon}

Can I prepare salmon carpaccio in advance?

Yes, you can!

In fact I consider 2-8 hours to be the best time to let salmon marinate in the sauce.

But you can marinate it starting from 30 minutes.

If you haven’t finished the whole plate in one go place it in the fridge covered with a plastic wrap for 24 hours max.

So there you have it, perfect summer main, starter and your go-to appetizer for big parties.

Salmon Carpaccio {Carpaccio Di Salmone}

Salmon carpaccio is one of the easiest and yummiest things you can make with fresh salmon or even smoked salmon.

  • 7-10 oz salmon ((fresh or smoked salmon))
  • 2 lemons ((juiced only))
  • Handful fresh parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt (if needed)
  • Capers ((optional))

If using fresh salmon:

  1. Rise salmon fillet with drinking water and dry with a paper towel.
  2. Wrap it in a plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about an hour.
  3. You can freeze it totally and keep in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
  4. When you need to prepare salmon carpaccio salmon should be semi-frozen and easy to cut through.
  5. Slice salmon fillet into thin slices.
  6. Place sliced salmon on a large serving dish. Slices should be arranged in single layer.

  7. Use another dish if you ran out of space on the first one.

If using smoked salmon:

  1. If using smoked salmon which is already cut – just arrange it on a metal tray or a serving dish as described above.

Prepare the dressing:

  1. Squeeze 2 lemons and filter juice from pulp and seeds.
  2. Add a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped parsley.
  3. Add a salt if using fresh salmon.

    Smoked salmon is already well seasoned.

  4. Top your carpaccio with a dressing and cover the place with a plastic wrap.

    Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you like capers use those for garnish. They pair really well with salmon.

Buon Appetito!

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Summer Melon And Cucumber Salad http://www.italianrecipebook.com/melon-and-cucumber-salad/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/melon-and-cucumber-salad/#respond Tue, 24 Jul 2018 14:12:26 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2947 What do you guys expect from a summer salad that’s perfect as a side or all on its own? Should be refreshing? Yes. Succulent? Sure. Crunchy? Yes, please. How about sweet bites paired with notes of tangy arugula & balsamic? Yum. Add all bright summer colors? Love it. Takes like 5 minute to make? WANT …

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What do you guys expect from a summer salad that’s perfect as a side or all on its own?
Should be refreshing? Yes.
Succulent? Sure.
Crunchy? Yes, please.
How about sweet bites paired with notes of tangy arugula & balsamic? Yum.
Add all bright summer colors? Love it.
Takes like 5 minute to make? WANT IT NOW
😀
That’s a pretty short but totally descriptive intro for this amazing cantaloupe and cucumber summer salad.

Tips & Tricks

Choose a good ripe cantaloupe but NOT over ripe one.
Too ripe cantaloupe has a mushy pulp and doesn’t hold cube shape and has a different taste.
Plus you can go and google “overripe cantaloupe” and see what search suggestions come up (not very inspiring, lol).

Of course, you can’t always know what you buy, but you can minimizes the risk.
This is a trick that I’ve learned from my husband’s friend who is originally from Apulia region of Italy.
And they totally know a thing or two about fruits 😉

Summer Melon & Cucumber Salad {Juicy, Crunchy, Refreshing!})

How to choose perfect ripe cantaloupe

So next time you’re choosing a melon cantaloupe press with your thumbs on the blossom end of the cantaloupe. If it yields easily – there’s like 99% chance it’s overripe.
If it’s hard to press or it just only some give – you’re likely getting a perfect cantaloupe.

Of course, once you get it, don’t let it sit in the fridge for too long.
Just a few days – MAX. Otherwise it’ll continue to ripen to the point it’s not going to be edible any longer.

Pro Tip
If you want to make it next level – add prosciutto roses or simply serve with a plate of your favorite cold cuts.

Summer + This Salad = Love

Summer Melon And Cucumber Salad

Juicy, crunchy and super refreshing summer melon and cucumber salad.

  • 1 cantaloupe (, medium size)
  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Dice the cantaloupe:

  1. Wash cantaloupe under cold running water and scrub it well with a vegetable scrub.
  2. Trim off the top and bottom. Peel off the rind.
  3. Cut cantaloupe in half through the center and remove all the seeds with a spoon.
  4. Cut each half faced cut side down in strips, then dice.

Dice the cucumber:

  1. Wash and scrub cucumber in the same manner.
  2. If using organic cucumbers leave the skin on, otherwise remove the skin with a vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. You can also remove the seeds if you prefer.
  4. Cut each half again and chop crosswise to get quarter-circle dices.

Arange the salad:

  1. In a large bowl mix diced melon, cucumber, arugula leaves.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and chia seeds.
  4. Give your salad a gentle stir.
  5. Serve with aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze.

Instead of chia seeds you can used poppy seeds. They also add contrast and a hint of flavor to the salad.

Summer Melon & Cucumber Salad {Juicy, Crunchy, Refreshing!})

Try it and let me know, k? 🙂

Buon Appetito!

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Easy Zucchini Rolls with Ricotta & Pesto Sauce http://www.italianrecipebook.com/easy-zucchini-rolls-with-ricotta-pesto-sauce/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/easy-zucchini-rolls-with-ricotta-pesto-sauce/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 20:22:06 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2935 My husband has been recently complaining that we have too much zucchini in the fridge. But if you think for a moment, how can you resist creamy zucchini pesto that can be used for pasta AND crostini, or pasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes and bottarga. Or one of the summer favorites –  skinny vegetable lasagna? …

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My husband has been recently complaining that we have too much zucchini in the fridge.

But if you think for a moment, how can you resist creamy zucchini pesto that can be used for pasta AND crostini, or pasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes and bottarga.

Or one of the summer favorites –  skinny vegetable lasagna?

Simple answer, you CAN’T.

So, yeah, I needed ALL those zucchini and their use was well validated.

Now, guess what?

Yesterday I got a fresh batch of zucchini (not to pull my husband’s leg…oh maybe just a little 😀 ) but to make this green, YUMMY and soo simple to make zuccini appetizer.

Before we get to the recipe itself, here a few tricks that’ll make this easy antipasto a total nobrainer.

  • Choose medium size zucchini. Smaller ones won’t have enough space for the filling. Oversized ones are harder to slice and they also get awkward when eating. This whole zucchini story is intended to be bite-size bits.
  • Use mandoline for slicing. Not that you can’t use a regular knife. But why make things complicated when you don’t have to? 😉
  • To add an extra tanginess to the filling use Pecorino cheese instead of Parm, or a mix of both.
  • Lastly, check on your first batch of zucchini in the oven often. You don’t want them charred, but soft with a little crunch to them. Once you get the first batch right, remember the setting and repeat the process with the remaining slices.


Zucchini Rolls Stuffed with Ricotta & Pesto Sauce

Easy Zucchini Rolls with Ricotta & Pesto Sauce

Super easy zucchini rolls stuffed with ricotta and pesto sauce – serve it as a salad or appetizer.

  • 3-4 zucchini (, medium size)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • Handful cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups arugula leaves
  • Salt (, pepper to taste)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Handy Tools

  • Mandolie Slicer/ Spiralizer
  1. Wash and dry zucchini with a paper towel.
  2. Cut off tops and bottoms.
  3. Using a mandoline slicer slice zucchini into 3-4 mm (⅛ of an inch) thick slices.

  4. Sprinkle or brush with extra virgin olive oil (optional).
  5. Arrange slices in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake in a preheated to 375 oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Repeat the process with remaining zucchini.

Prepare the filling

  1. Drain ricotta to remove excess liquid (if any). Mix in grated Parmesan cheese, basil pesto. Adjust for salt and pepper.
  2. Spread ricotta filling over zucchini slices and roll.
  3. Serve on a bed of arugula leaves topped with cherry tomatoes and more pesto sauce if needed.

If you happen to have any zucchini leftovers don’t rush to a trash can.

Instead, cut them in thin strips, season lightly with vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a few pinches of oregano OR mint leaves.

Sooo sooo good…

In fact, I might make a separate recipe for this. It’s an appetizer that fits perfectly with all kind of mains.

Zucchini Rolls Stuffed with Ricotta & Pesto Sauce

Buon Appetito!

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Skinny Vegetable Lasagna with Tomato And Basil Pesto Sauce http://www.italianrecipebook.com/skinny-vegetable-lasagna/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/skinny-vegetable-lasagna/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 13:08:38 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2924 There is nothing you wouldn’t love about this vegetable lasagna. Nothing fried, no heavy melted cheeses or unnecessary breadcrumbs. Instead, super light,  oven baked slices of eggplants and zucchini, layered with slightly tangy Parmesan cheese. Add tomato and basil pesto sauce to balance all the flavors and to give your lasagna perfect juiciness from top …

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There is nothing you wouldn’t love about this vegetable lasagna.

Nothing fried, no heavy melted cheeses or unnecessary breadcrumbs.

Instead, super light,  oven baked slices of eggplants and zucchini, layered with slightly tangy Parmesan cheese.

Add tomato and basil pesto sauce to balance all the flavors and to give your lasagna perfect juiciness from top to bottom.

Skinny Vegetable Lasagna w/ Tomato And Basil Pesto Sauce

It’s perfect for freezing too!

For hot summer days it’s just what doctor ordered 😋

Skinny Vegetable Lasagna with Tomato And Basil Pesto Sauce

Super light, low in fats but so satisfying this vegetable lasagna is perfect for hot summer days.

  • 2 eggplants ((700-800g))
  • 2 zucchini ((600-700g))
  • 3 cups tomato passata ((tomato pure))
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese (, grated)
  • 1 jar basil pesto
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Peperconcino ((chilli flakes) to taste)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Wash and dry veggies with a paper towel.
  2. Cut off tops and bottoms.
  3. Using a mandoline slice slice zucchini and eggplants into 2 mm (1/16 of an inch) slices.
  4. Place them in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Baked in a preheated to 375F oven: zucchini for 5 minutes, eggplants 7-8 minutes.
  6. In the meantime prepare the sauce.
  7. In a saute pan add splash of extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife and a pinch of peperconcino (chili flakes). Add tomato puree and basil leaves and leave to simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add a bit of water if the sauce becomes too thick.
  8. Taste for acidity and add a teaspoon of sugar if needed.

Arrange Lasagna in a Casserole.

  1. At the bottom of casserole spread a few tablespoons of tomato sauce.
  2. Put a single layer of eggplants, add tomato sauce, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Layer next zucchini, spread a thin layer of basil pesto, top with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 finishing lasagna with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated to 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy it hot, warm or room temperature.

Serve with a slice of grilled meat or all on its own.

Skinny Vegetable Lasagna w/ Tomato And Basil Pesto Sauce

Buon Appetito!

Don’t forget to let me know if you tried it in the comments below 🙂

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Couscous Stuffed Sweet Peppers http://www.italianrecipebook.com/couscous-stuffed-sweet-peppers/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/couscous-stuffed-sweet-peppers/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:18:37 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2796 Summer time that I have long waited for is here! Long days, LOTS of gelato and unforgettable sea views. But with all that beauty comes the challenge. When it’s past 86F outside and even with AC at about 70F I can hardly get myself to eat anything. In fact, if you noticed, new recipes has …

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Summer time that I have long waited for is here! Long days, LOTS of gelato and unforgettable sea views. But with all that beauty comes the challenge.

When it’s past 86F outside and even with AC at about 70F I can hardly get myself to eat anything.

In fact, if you noticed, new recipes has been coming out slower than usual and are super light.

But today I have something really special. Something I couldn’t stop eating: hot, warm or even out of the fridge!

Stuffed sweet red peppers with a Mediterranean twist. Meatless, light but full of flavor.

Baked peppers are soft but still have a little crunch to them.

Fluffy couscous on the inside paired with sauteed veggies, garlic aroma and the best canned fish of all – tuna. What can beat THAT kind of meal?

Couscous Stuffed Peppers {Veggies + Tuna}

Probably, Parmigiana 😜

But that’s a whole different (Italian) story.

Anyway, if you’ve been struggling with all kinds of hunger during “It’s so hot, I can’t eat anything” days, this couscous stuffed peppers will be your saver.

Before we get to the recipe, let me say a few words about peppers.

So, what kind of peppers you can you stuff?

Sweet Twisters

Long sweet peppers often reffered to as the sweetest pepper ever. That’s what I used this time. And it’s absolutely delicious! They come in red and orange colors and you can use both or any that you like.

Classic Bell Peppers (Red, Orange, Green)

The universal peppers for stuffing.

If you got large ones, figure out 2 sides that will lay somewhat flat and stable and cut it in half. If you got the smaller ones, you can work them classic style, cut off the top, remove the seeds and ribs. Save top for later to cover stuffed peppers.

Cubanelle

Another Italian classics which you might have heard of as Italian Frying Peppers.

They come in red and green colors, sweet but mildly pungent they can also work great for stuffing.

Couscous Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Stuffed sweet red peppers with a Mediterranean twist. Meatless, light but full of flavor.

  • 4-6 sweet red peppers
  • ⅔ cup pre-cooked couscous
  • 1 ⅓ cup vegetable stock or water (, hot)
  • 1 large can of tuna ((5-8 oz))
  • 1 zucchini (, medium size)
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • peperoncino ((chili flakes) to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp capers taste
  • Handful fresh parsley
  1. Wash and dry peppers with a paper towel.
  2. If using long sweet pepper: set them on the side that holds peppers stable and cut through the center leaving enough space on the side, top and bottom.
    Pull out the seeds and ribs. The cut-out center set aside.

  3. If using sweet bell peppers: figure out 2 sides that will lay somewhat flat and stable and cut it in half. Pull out the seeds and ribs.

  4. Steep couscous in hot water or hot vegetable stock. Cover with a plastic wrap or a lid and let sit for 10-15 minutes, then fluff it with a fork.
  5. In the meantime prepare the veggies.
    Cut zucchini, tomato and pepper scraps in small cubes.
    In
    a saute pan add some extra virgin olive and garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife and vegetable cubes.
    Sautee for about 10 minutes until tender but stillwith a crunch to the veggies.
    Remove garlic cloves and let cool.
  6. Add veggies to fluffed couscous together with flaked tuna, capers (optional) and chopped parsley. Mix gently.

    Stuff peppers with couscous.

  7. Arrange on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake in a preheated to 350F oven for 20-30 minutes until peppers start to become slightly wrinkled. It’ll be easier to peel them if you choose too.

Enjoy hot, warm or even and room temperature.

Couscous Stuffed Peppers {Veggies + Tuna}

Stay fresh and buon appetito!

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Saltimbocca Alla Romana {Veal Saltimbocca Roman Style} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/saltimbocca-alla-romana-veal-saltimbocca-roman-style/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/saltimbocca-alla-romana-veal-saltimbocca-roman-style/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 21:46:28 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2781 Saltimbocca is a typical dish to Lazio region and Rome in particular. Super tender veal cutlets topped with Italian prosciutto and scented with sage.

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Have you ever tried super tender veal cutlets topped with Italian prosciutto and scented with sage?

Pan fried in white wine and butter sauce they simply “jump in your mouth”.

And that’s, by the way, is exactly what the word “saltimbocca means”

Jump in the mouth – Salta in bocca – Saltimbocca 🙂

Made only of few really basic ingredients: veal, prosciutto, butter and sage it’s so simple, so much flavor and so much Italian 😀

Saltimbocca is a typical dish to Lazio region and Rome in particular.

And, of course, like all Italian recipes, it gets tweaked in each family.

For example:

Some prefer to dredge veal and prosciutto slices in flour before they got into the pan. Flour gives an extra browning to the cutlets and adds nice creaminess to the sauce.

Once saltimbocca scalloppine are ready, you can put an extra dollop of butter in the pan, along with a few more sage leaves and let it simmer for a minute or two before topping saltimbocca with the sauce. Extra butter and sage give another kick to the flavors.

On the basic side of the deal, you can skip white wine and go with water or stock where white wine is used.

I also came across some versions where veal slices with prosciutto and sage were rolled into an “involtino” or a roll and pan-fried in the sauce that way.

This  last one, goes well beyond the authentic Roman way, but hey, your kitchen your rules ans YOUR Saltimbocca 😉

Saltimbocca Alla Romana {Veal Saltimbocca Roman Style}

Saltimbocca Alla Romana

Saltimbocca is a typical dish to Lazio region and Rome in particular. Super tender veal cutlets topped with Italian prosciutto and scented with sage.

  • 4-8 veal scalloppine (, thinly cut and pounded top rounds)
  • 8 prosciutto crudo slices
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 oz butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt (, pepper to taste)
  1. Place veal slice on a piece of parchment paper and cover it with the remaining end. Pound with meat tenderizer or meat pounder until it becomes super thin and soft.
  2. If the veal slice got to large cut it in half. In this case 4 slices of meat will be enough to make 8 satimbocca.

    Repeat the same process with remaining slices.

  3. Lay prosciutto slice over each slice of veal, top with sage leaf and secure all together with a toothpick.
  4. In a large pan heat butter with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

    Once butter is melted place veal cutlets sage side down.

  5. Add white wine.
    Cook until lightly browned then flip over and cook on the other side.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep in my that prosciutto is already salty so you’ll need just a tiny pinch of salt if any.
  7. Serve immediately topped with the sauce from the pan where saltimbocca was cooked.

Saltimbocca Alla Romana {Veal Saltimbocca Roman Style}

Buon Appetito!

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Walnut Sauce {Salsa Di Noci} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/walnut-sauce-salsa-di-noci/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/walnut-sauce-salsa-di-noci/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 13:40:22 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2767 Walnut sauce or Salsa di Noci is one of the staples of Ligurian cuisine. It’s not as popular outside of Italy as say Basil Pesto alla Genovese but it’ll definitely become one of your favorites once you try it. Rich nutty flavor that comes from the walnuts, creaminess from pinenuts, a subtle tang from garlic …

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Walnut sauce or Salsa di Noci is one of the staples of Ligurian cuisine.

It’s not as popular outside of Italy as say Basil Pesto alla Genovese but it’ll definitely become one of your favorites once you try it.

Rich nutty flavor that comes from the walnuts, creaminess from pinenuts, a subtle tang from garlic and Parmesan cheese all smoothed out by milk soaked bread.

Marjoram herb is optional but to me it sets just a perfect accent on the rest of flavors in this sauce.

You can also regulate texture by adding more milk if you preffer a thinner sauce. Just keep in mind that once you add it to hot pasta combined with a drizzle of pasta cooking liquid it’ll “melt” and coat it to perfection.

Walnut Sauce {Salsa Di Noci} - Ligurian Recipe

Now, I realize that I’d hardly find anyone these days willing get to mortar and pestle and make this walnut sauce by hand, but if you’re one of those devoted old-schoolers or want to experiment you certainly CAN.

In the meantime I’ll go with my food processor 😉

Walnut Sauce {Salsa Di Noci}

Walnut sauce or Salsa di noci is one of the staples of Ligurian cuisine.

  • 1 hipping cup (4 oz) shelled walnuts
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 slices (1 oz) white bread
  • ½ cup milk ((more if needed))
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (, grated)
  • 2-3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 pinches marjoram herb
  • 1 small garlic clove (, center removed)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Soak bread in milk.
  2. In a food processor add all ingredients and soaked bread squeezed dry. Reserve the milk.
  3. Blend all ingredients for a few minutes until well combined, add milk. Blend again until smooth.
  4. Taste for salt and texture. Add more milk if needed.
  5. Run a spatula alongside the bowl.
  6. Give the sauce another quick pulse and you are done!

How to use Walnut Sauce

Walnut sauce is delicious as spread for crostini, paired with chicken or turkey meat and even as a sauce for veggies.

But of course, the most famous and arguably most delicious way is to pair it with pasta.

In fact, classic ligurian use for walnut sauce is with pansoti – typical Ligurian fresh pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese, swiss chard and local herbs.

I often make it with potato gnocchi, especially you’ve made some in advance you can whip up the whole meal in 20 minutes at most.

Walnut Sauce {Salsa Di Noci} - Ligurian Recipe

Now your turn 🙂

Do you use food processor or prefer a classic mortar and pestle?

And of course, let me know YOUR favorite use of walnuts sauce!

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Arugula Pesto {Pesto Di Rucola} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/arugula-pesto-pesto-di-rucola/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/arugula-pesto-pesto-di-rucola/#respond Sat, 16 Jun 2018 11:15:12 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2742 Arugula or also know as rocket salad is one of those slightly peppery greens that can be used in so many ways. And here’s one of them. Do you have last-minute guests for dinner and have no idea what to make? Keep calm and make this arugula pesto almost in a snap of a finger…or …

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Arugula or also know as rocket salad is one of those slightly peppery greens that can be used in so many ways. And here’s one of them.

Do you have last-minute guests for dinner and have no idea what to make?

Keep calm and make this arugula pesto almost in a snap of a finger…or in a pulse of a food processor to be precise 😉

Then, set up the table and put pasta to boil.

And you’re done, easy as that!

How To Make Arugula Pesto

This is a classic arugula pesto that pairs beautifully with ANY kind of pasta: short, long and fresh egg pasta included. Simply toss pasta cooked ‘al dente’ in large pen with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and arugula pesto. Serve immediately topped with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

Of course you can enhance it even further adding fresh Italian sausage (cooked quickly before adding pasta to a pan) or finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

Arugula Pesto Recipe & Variations {Super YUM!}

Arugula pesto variations

If you’d like to experiment with classic arugula pesto you’ve got quite some easy (and delicious!) options to try:

  • With lemon zest
  • With capers and anchovy fillet
  • With sun-dried tomatoes
  • With walnuts instead of pine nuts
  • Using half Parmesan cheese half Pecorino cheese

All that assures that your fresh batch of pesto will never be boring.

Arugula Pesto {Pesto Di Rucola}

Do you have last-minute guests for dinner and have no idea what to make? Keep calm and make this arugula pesto almost in a snap of a finger!

  • 3-4 oz arugula leaves
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese ((grated))
  • ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil ((a bit more if needed))
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove (, center removed)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and begin to blend.
  2. If large chunks of pesto stick to the sides, run a spatula alongside the bowl and keep processing.
  3. Pesto is ready when it becomes smooth and creamy (about 60-90 seconds).
  4. Store arugula pesto in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can add just ½ of a garlic clove if prefer a milder taste or skip it completely.

Now try it for yourself and let me know in the comments 😉Arugula Pesto Recipe & Variations {Super YUM!}

Buon Appetito!

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Red Wine Risotto With Italian Sausage & Rosemary http://www.italianrecipebook.com/red-wine-risotto-with-italian-sausage-rosemary/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/red-wine-risotto-with-italian-sausage-rosemary/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 21:53:36 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2729 Red wine risotto is one of those magic dishes that requires minimum ingredients, very little effort but tun out to be out of this world delicious! Imagine delicate and creamy risotto paired with seasoned bites of Italian sausage and fragrant fresh rosemary sprigs. Of course it wouldn’t be the same without red wine. Just don’t …

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Red wine risotto is one of those magic dishes that requires minimum ingredients, very little effort but tun out to be out of this world delicious!

Imagine delicate and creamy risotto paired with seasoned bites of Italian sausage and fragrant fresh rosemary sprigs.

Of course it wouldn’t be the same without red wine.

Just don’t tell your guests about it and keep it as your secret ingredient 😉

Red wine risotto is really really easy to make, even for someone who never made risotto before.

Here a few secrets to cooking a perfect red wine risotto.

Rice

Since rice is a protagonist of any risotto it’s super important to choose the right type of rice.

It has to be medium or short-grain with high content of starch. The starch-ier the rice the more creamier your risotto will be.

Classic choices for risotto rice would be Arborio, Carnaroli and less common and harder to find Vialone Nano.

Arborio rice is the most common and easy to find but it also tends to be easier to overcook and break the grains.

Carnaroli is one of my favorite types of rice for risotto.

Risotto with Carnaroli rice turns out very creamy, with delicate taste but still a light chew at the center of the grain.

Red Wine

The best wine for risotto tends to be also the one you’d want to drink all on its own. But even if you feel tempted to substitute it with a cheaper wine – don’t.

Dry Amarone made from the partially dried grapes of Valpolicella region would be the best and the most luxurious choice. And it would cost around $30 – $50 per bottle.

Considering you’ll use about 1 cuzp and a half that’s not of a too bad sacrifice considering a unique taste and sophistication of the risotto you’ll get.

If you’re looking for a perfect risotto red wine that doesn’t break the bank look for Chianti, Valpollicella, Ripasso, Barbera D’Asti. Here in Sardinian I make it with Cannonau.

Red Wine Risotto w/ Italian Sausage & Rosemary

Italian Sausage

Choose fresh well-seasoned Italian pork sausage preferably from a trusted butcher. If you can’t find fresh sausage you can also use ground pork seasoned to taste.

Now that you know all the cards, it’s game – Risotto time.

Let me know how you like it!

Red Wine Risotto With Italian Sausage & Rosemary

Red wine risotto is one of those magic dishes that requires minimum ingredients, very little effort but tun out to be out of this world delicious!

  • 12 oz Carnaroli rice
  • 5-6 cups meat stock
  • 10 oz fresh sausage ((approx. 12 inch), skin removed and meat squeezed out)
  • 1 ½ cup red wine
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs
  • ½ cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese ((grated))
  • 1 tbsp butter ((optional))

Cookware

  • Deep Saute Pan With Lid
  1. Bring stock to boil. Use homemade stock, bouillon cube or better than bouillon.
  2. Dry-fry the sausage meat in a deep saute pan for a few minutes until browned breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add chopped onion and stir for a minute.

    If sausage is too dry add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or butter.

  3. Add rice. Toss everything for another minute until rice is coated with juices from the meat.
  4. Add red wine.

    Once its completely absorbed and rosemary sprigs and start adding HOT stock. One laddle at a time.
    Let simmer on low heat and add more stock as needed.

  5. Depending on the rice, risotto is usually ready in about 20-25 minutes. Like perfectly cooked pasta it should remain slightly “al dente”. A little bit sturdy but not raw or grainy.

  6. Once rice is ready remove rosemary sprigs, add butter and grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.
  7. Cover with a lid and let sit for a few minutes before serving.


Red Wine Risotto w/ Italian Sausage & Rosemary

Buon Appetito!

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Asparagus Casserole With Salmon & Potatoes http://www.italianrecipebook.com/asparagus-casserole-with-salmon-potatoes/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/asparagus-casserole-with-salmon-potatoes/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 20:49:09 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2715 Have you ever noticed how you can tell time of the year depending on what you see on sale at a local farmer’s market? In Italy, starting from April till early June it’s asparagus time of the year 🙂 And this creamy and delicious asparagus casserole is one of those simple dishes you can make …

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Have you ever noticed how you can tell time of the year depending on what you see on sale at a local farmer’s market?

In Italy, starting from April till early June it’s asparagus time of the year 🙂

And this creamy and delicious asparagus casserole is one of those simple dishes you can make with asparagus with minimum of effort.

Enhanced with protein salmon and potatoes it makes a perfect filling dish for the whole family.

Creamy Asparagus Casserole w/ Salmon & Potatoes

Asparagus

Give preference to young thin asparagus. It has more flavor, crunchiness and significantly less waste. You don’t need to cut off as much of off young asparagus as compared to over-mature spears and hence it’s good for the wallet as well 😉

Asparagus Casserole With Salmon & Potatoes

Creamy asparagus casserole paired with salmon and potatoes is an ultimate spring comfort food.

  • 1 bunch ((16 oz) fresh asparagus)
  • 6 oz salmon ((fresh or smoked))
  • 4 potatoes (, medium size)
  • 2 cups bechamel sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon ((juice only))
  • Salt (, pepper to taste)
  1. Wash asparagus in cold water.
  2. Cut off tough woody part ends and peel the bottom of the stem with a special asparagus peeler or vegetable peeler.

    Cut off nice green tips and set aside 8-10 for the top of the casserole.
    Cut remaining asparagus in 1 inch cubes. Arrange in a bowl and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

  3. Wash and peel potatoes. Slice them crosswise into thin ⅛ inch rounds.
  4. If using fresh salmon, cut it in cubes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.

Arrange asparagus casserole

  1. Spread 2 tbsp bechamel sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
  2. Layer ⅓ of the potato slices overlapping each other. Spread 2-3 tbsp of bechamel sauce.
  3. Layer ½ salmon cubes or thin slices (if using smoked salmon) and top them with ½ of asparagus cubes.
  4. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and ground pepper and top with 2-3 tbsp of bechamel.
  5. Repeat the process from step 2 twice: layer of potatoes, bechamel, salmon, asparagus cubes, salt pepper, bechamel.
  6. The last layer top with remaining potato slices, generously covered with bechamel sauce and garnished with asparagus tips you reserved in the beginning.
  7. Bake in a preheat to 350F oven for 30-40 minutes.

Creamy Asparagus Casserole w/ Salmon & Potatoes

Buon Appetito!

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Risotto with Cream of Asparagus http://www.italianrecipebook.com/asparagus-risotto/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/asparagus-risotto/#respond Mon, 28 May 2018 21:35:18 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2699 Risotto with asparagus cream is definitely one of spring and summer favorites. Delicate taste, creamy texture and fresh green color  – what else could you wish for in classic Italian risotto? Crumbled Parmesan Crisps on top! They add an unforgettable charm and color to the whole dish, which makes it perfect not only for family …

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Risotto with asparagus cream is definitely one of spring and summer favorites.

Delicate taste, creamy texture and fresh green color  – what else could you wish for in classic Italian risotto?

Crumbled Parmesan Crisps on top! They add an unforgettable charm and color to the whole dish, which makes it perfect not only for family lunch but for elegant serving as well.

Risotto with Asparagus Cream {Super delicate and creamy!!}

Be sure to choose fresh asparagus and clean it properly.

Want to turn this asparagus risotto 100% vegetarian?

Don’t use bouillon cubes, just cooking liquid from asparagus.

Risotto with Cream of Asparagus {Super delicate and creamy!!}

If you can’t find stracchino or crescenza cheese use quality ricotta.

And if you have any leftovers it’s a perfect chance to make this extraordinary and SUPER quick Strawberry Crumble Cake with ricotta cheese.

Yum!


Risotto with Cream of Asparagus

Risotto with asparagus cream is definitely one of spring and summer favorites.

  • 12 oz Carnaroli rice
  • 5-6 cups asparagus cooking liquid
  • Bouillon cube
  • 1 stack (16 oz fresh asparagus)
  • 2 oz stracchino or ricotta cheese
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Put a pot of water to boil.
  2. Wash asparagus in cold water.

    Cut off tough woody part ends and peel the bottom of the stem with a special asparagus peeler or vegetable peeler.
    Young and thin asparagus will do without peeling as they are still tender enough.

  3. Put asparagus bunches together and cut off thin tips until where the stem gets tougher.

    Wrap tips of asparagus stems with a rubber band.

    Cut the remaining spears in about an inch cubes or diamond shapes and put all asparagus to boil.
    Remove band-wrapped asparagus tips after 3-5 minutes and run them under cold water.
    Cook remaining asparagus for another 3-5 minutes.
    Drain asparagus and keep cooking liquid.

  4. Dissolve bouillon cube or better than bouillon paste in asparagus cooking liquid to your taste. Keep it hot on very low heat.
  5. Set aside some asparagus tips for texture and garnishing garnishing.

    Blend into a cream the remaining asparagus with ricotta or stracchino cheese, pinch of salt, pinch of nutmeg and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

  6. In a large skillet pan placed over medium heat add rice. Toss it for a minute without letting rice get brown.
  7. Add HOT stock one laddle at a time.

    Let risotto simmer on low heat adding more stock as is gets absorbed.

  8. While risotto is cooking prepare parmesan crisps (optional).

  9. Preheat oven to 400F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Form circles using grated Parmesan cheese. Pat down the cheese for better form. Bake in a preheated oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden crisps form.

  10. Once rice is cooked add asparagus cream and simmer for another minute.
  11. Serve immediately with Parmesan crisp crumble or simple grated parmesan cheese if preferred.

Risotto with Asparagus Cream {Super delicate and creamy!!}

Buon Appetito!

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Ossobuco Milanese {Veal Shank Milan Style} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/ossobuco-milanese-veal-shank-milan-style/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/ossobuco-milanese-veal-shank-milan-style/#respond Fri, 25 May 2018 20:46:10 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2686 Ossobuco Alla Milanese is a classic Lombardian recipe made with simple veal or beef shank. But the taste is beyond ordinary. Ossobuco is pronounced as ˌɔssoˈbuːko Imagine super tender slow cooked meat that simply falls off the bone. Simple but glamorous sounding fresh made sauce gremolata adds an incredible garlic and lemon flavor to the …

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Ossobuco Alla Milanese is a classic Lombardian recipe made with simple veal or beef shank.

But the taste is beyond ordinary.

Ossobuco is pronounced as ˌɔssoˈbuːko

Imagine super tender slow cooked meat that simply falls off the bone. Simple but glamorous sounding fresh made sauce gremolata adds an incredible garlic and lemon flavor to the meat.

But the centerpiece of this whole veal shank Milan style is, of course, the center of the bone – bone marrow.

If you never tried marrow it tastes very much like butter and beef together but the pleasant taste is amplified like 20x.

It’s high in fat but the quantity is quite small (just the inner center of the bone) so you can eat it absolutely gilt free.

The best way to taste the marrow is to scoop it out of the bone with a small spoon (while it’s still hot!). Eat it plain or spread over a piece of bread.

Deh-licious!!

Ossobuco Alla Milanese {Veal Shank Milan Style}

Now the whole Ossobuco meat can be served over Valeriana salad (in the picture) or also know as lamb’s salad, which hints pretty simple, neutral green leaf.

Ossobuco with a salad is obviously a lighter, often summer version.

During winter time, without a doubt polenta is the perfect marriage.

Ossobuco Milanese {Veal Shank Milan Style}

Ossobuco Alla Milanese is a classic Lombardian recipe made with simple veal or beef shank.

  • 2 center-cut veal or beef shanks
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Beef Stock (homemade or from bouillon cube)
  • Flour for breading

For Gremolata:

  • Handful fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ lemon (zest only)
  • 1-2 anchovy fillets (optional)
  1. Make a few small cuts around the veal shank, cutting through the skin. This will prevent them from curling while cooking.
  2. Dredge each veal shank or ossobuco in flour. Tap of excess.
  3. In a large pan melt butter, add extra virgin olive oil.

    Lightly brown the meat on each side.

  4. Add white wine and let simmer for a minute or two.

    Add hot bouillon, enough to cover the veal. You can use homemade or dissolve your favorite bouillon cube in hot water according to directions. If using the last option no salt needed. Otherwise taste for salt and add more if needed.

  5. Reduce the heat and let the ossobuchi simmer on very low heat, covered with a lid.
  6. Simmer for about 60 minutes. If using beef shank increase cooking time up to 2 hours.

    Check occasionally and add more bouillon if needed.

  7. While the meat is cooking prepare the gremolata sauce.

    Finely chop fresh parsley (stems removed), garlic clove, lemon zest and anchovy fillet.

  8. Past cooking time you should get a thin reduced sauce at the bottom of the pan.

    At this point top each ossobuco with gremolata, flip and top the other side.

    Let simmer on very low heat for another 5-10 minutes.

  9. Serve immediately while ossobuco is still hot. This way you can taste a delicious bone marrow which is ossobuco is highly praised for.

As an alternative you can substitute boneless beef or veal roast, such as chuck or sirloin for veal/beef shank, but of course you’ll be missing greatly on the marrow ossobuco is so appreciated for.

Ossobuco Alla Milanese {Veal Shank Milan Style}Buon Appetito!

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Tuscan Bread {Pane Toscano} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/tuscan-bread-pane-toscano/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/tuscan-bread-pane-toscano/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 11:59:39 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2663 Tuscan no salt bread is one of the staples of Italian bakery. Typical to Tuscany it’s also widely used in all Central Italy (Marche, Emilia Romagna, Umbria regions). It has a crunchy crust and soft, airy crumb inside. All ingredients you’ll ever need is yeast, water and flour. Classic Tuscan Bread has NO oil and …

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Tuscan no salt bread is one of the staples of Italian bakery. Typical to Tuscany it’s also widely used in all Central Italy (Marche, Emilia Romagna, Umbria regions).

It has a crunchy crust and soft, airy crumb inside.

All ingredients you’ll ever need is yeast, water and flour.

Classic Tuscan Bread has NO oil and NO salt.

Why salt free?

Pretty simple. No salt bread is a perfect pairing for salty cured meats, strong cheeses and olive tapenade and sun-dried tomato pesto.

Tuscan Bread - Pane Toscano {Original Recipe}

Interestingly, outside of Italy Tuscan Bread is most famous to be used in its stale form.

Pappa al Pomodoro, Ribollita and of course famous Panzanella (Tuscan bread salad).

Whichever way you taste it it’s simply delicious.

Oh, and it remains fresh and soft for a few days!

Tuscan Bread - Pane Toscano {Original Recipe}


Tuscan Bread {Pane Toscano}

Original Tuscan bread recipe for Pane Toscano.

For Biga (Starter):

  • ⅔ cup bread flour
  • ¼ cup water (lukewarm)
  • ¼ tsp dry yeast

For Dough:

  • 3 ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 ¼ cup water (lukewarm)

Tools (optional)

  • Bread Scoring Lame
  • Kitchen Stand Mixer

Starter (Biga) – the night before

  1. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add flour and knead into a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and linen towel and let sit overnight.
  2. I like to do this step the night before I plan to bake the bread.

Dough – the next morning

  1. The next morning the starter should have doubled or tripled in size.
  2. In a mixer bowl add starter, lukewarm water and flour. Using a dough hook attachment knead for about 10-15 minutes slowly increasing the speed.

    As a result you should get soft dough that easily comes together into a ball.

  3. Give the dough a round shape and place it in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.

    Let rise for 1-2 hours or until it has triple in size.

  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Dust it with a little more flour.

    Using your fingers pat the dough down into a rectangular.

    Fold upper edges inside, then roll the dough into a loaf starting from the top.

  5. Transfer the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    Score the loaf with a blade or a sharp knife and cover it with a linen towel to rise for the last time for about 30-40 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  7. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400F and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
  8. Let the bread cool on a cooling rack.

It’s best to use bread flour or Italian type “0” flour. However you can try it with all-purpose flour as well.

Flour should be sieved before use.



Enjoy fresh with prosciutto, mortadella or your favorite cured meat.

And especially when it goes stale!

Here some of the best ideas to use both freshly baked and stale Tuscan Bread:

Pappa al Pomodoro

Ribollita

Panzanella Tuscan Bread Salad

Tomato & Basil Soup (fresh bread)

Crostini with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (fresh bread)

Bruschetta with Mushrooms (fresh bread)

Tuscan Bread - Pane Toscano {Original Recipe}

… or simply drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Tuscan Bread - Pane Toscano {Original Recipe}

Perfection! 😋

If you love Italian bread you will also love:

Airy Ciabatta Bread {Italian Slipper Bread}

Pagnotta {Round Country Bread}

Friselle Pugliesi {Twice Baked Italian Snack Bread}

Focaccia Genovese {Traditional Focaccia Bread}

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto http://www.italianrecipebook.com/sun-dried-tomato-pesto/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/sun-dried-tomato-pesto/#respond Sat, 05 May 2018 17:10:14 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2649 Quick and easy pesto made from dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Not only you can whip it up on less than 5 minutes (from start to finish, including doing the dishes!) but also use it in a ton of different ways: As a pasta sauce with rigatoni, tortiglioni, penne or other types of short pasta. …

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Quick and easy pesto made from dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.

Not only you can whip it up on less than 5 minutes (from start to finish, including doing the dishes!) but also use it in a ton of different ways:

  • As a pasta sauce with rigatoni, tortiglioni, penne or other types of short pasta.
  • For simple crostini, panini and sandwiches.
  • Add to frittata to brighten up the flavors.


And you get to decide how thin of thick you want your pesto to be (see the recipe for details).

Be careful with salt as sun-dried tomatoes tend already to have enough salt in them, so taste pesto for salt before adding extra.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto {Recipe}

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

  • 4 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup almonds (unsalted)
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ – 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt if needed
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.

  2. Process until you get a nice paste of desired consistency.
  3. Add more extra virgin olive oil if you like smother easily spreadable pesto.

    Add less extra virgin olive oil if you like it slightly crumbly

    The quantity of extra virgin olive oil also depends on the sun dried tomatoes you got: dry-packed or oil-packed. Obviously you’ll need less oil when using oil-packed ones.


Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto {Recipe}And it pairs perfectly with a rustic country bread like pagnotta or tuscan bread 😋

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto {Recipe}

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Traditional Focaccia Bread {Focaccia Genovese} http://www.italianrecipebook.com/traditional-focaccia/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/traditional-focaccia/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 21:54:26 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2618 Focaccia is one of the most famous Italian flatbreads. Typical to Liguria and Genoa in particular it’s often called focaccia al olio or Fugassa in Genoese dialect. And I bet, wherever in the world you might be, every time focaccia is mentioned this classic Focaccia generously coated with extra virgin olive oil and large coarse …

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Focaccia is one of the most famous Italian flatbreads.

Typical to Liguria and Genoa in particular it’s often called focaccia al olio or Fugassa in Genoese dialect.

And I bet, wherever in the world you might be, every time focaccia is mentioned this classic Focaccia generously coated with extra virgin olive oil and large coarse sea salt immediately comes to mind.

Traditional Italian Focaccia {Focaccia Genovese}

The word focaccia (pronounced “foh-KAcha”) has Latin origin. Focus – means fire and Panis focacius  literally means “a flatbread baked in the coals”.

Often, with the word focaccia people refer to all its possible variants. However, this term mainly refers to the classic Focaccia Genoese.

It’s about ½ inch thick, a little chewy but still soft inside with a delicious olive oil crust on top and on the bottom. For those of you guys who are serious into baking, traditional Focaccia Genovese has approx. 55% hydration ratio.

Traditional Italian Focaccia {Focaccia Genovese}

Focaccia as it’s known today dates back to 16th century.

Bakers were making focaccia early in the morning, before baking first loaves of bread, to test temperature in the wooden oven and munch on something hot and filling early morning.

But before I get to the authentic Genoese focaccia recipe let’s see some of the popular focaccia bread “cousins”. They are very similar to the staple focaccia but each with its unique characteristic.

Focaccia Variations

You can find its variations all across Italy. Thin or tall, salty, salt free or even sweet; crunchy  and oily or soft and friable, with topping, plain or stuffed with cured meat – just to name a few.

Interestingly, ingredients remain mainly the same for all types of focaccia: water, flour, yeast, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Pretty much as those for pizza.

But the recipe, the taste so as as the name changes when you move from one region of Italy to another.

In Rome, for example, it’s lighter and a bit taller (just enough to slice in in half and make a sandwich). Typical to Rome it’s called Pizza Bianca. The best and most classic way to enjoy it is cut in half and make mortadella sandwich (or mortazza).

In Tuscany “focaccia” or better to say focaccia type of flatbread is called schiacciata, ciaccia o schiaccia, which literaly means “pressed” due to its characteristic dimples. It’s less browned on the top and sometime might be even pale-ish with semi-crunchy crust.

About an inch thick it’s perfect for panini.


Both schiacciata and pizza bianca compared to classic focaccia have a higher percentage of water and high hydration results in a softer crumb.

There are also other types out there, less famous but still delicious.

Focaccia Barese stuffed with tomatoes.

Schiacciata catanese (schiacciate di Catania) stuffed with tuma cheese (first salt cheese) and anchovies.

Focaccia or schiacciata messinese (schiacciata di Messina) stuffed with potatoes, broccoli, tuma cheese, tomatoes and more.

In Liguria, you’ll also find another typical and pretty famous Focaccia di Recco or fugassa cö formaggio in genoese dialect – focaccia stuffed with fresh cheese.

Its origin seems to go back to the twelfth century. According to a document thin bread stuffed with fresh cheese was offered to the crusaders leaving towards the Holy Land.


Tradittional Focaccia Recipe {Focaccia Genovese}

Classic Focaccia Genovese is the mother to all flatbreads. It’s about ½ inch thick, a little chewy but still soft inside with a delicious olive oil crust on top and on the bottom.

For the dough:

  • 1 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 2 ½ cup (13 oz) bread flour (+ more if needed)
  • 1 tsp malt or honey
  • ½ tsp dry yeast ((1 tsp if needed – see note 2))
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil for

For salamoia and topping:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Sea salt flakes

Focaccia Pan:

  • 1 quarter-sheet baking pan 9×13 inch

Focaccia Dough

  1. In a mixer bowl add lukewarm water and yeast.

    Let sit for a few minutes until yeast is completely dissolved.

  2. If you’re using a stand mixer use dough hook attachment.

    Combine in a mixer bowl malt (or honey), flour, olive oil and salt. Give a quick stir with a spatula or a fork.

  3. Start kneading on low speed. Once flour has been completely incorporated increase the speed and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough comes together around the kneading hook, becomes elastic and smooth.

    Add a bit more flour if needed.

  4. Place the dough in a large bowl greased with extra virgin olive oil.

    Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and kitchen towel.

    Let rise for 1.5 – 2 hours in a warm place (75-80F).

    Past that time the dough should double or even triple in size.

  5. Pour extra virgin olive oil on a quarter-sheet (9×13 inch) baking pan.

    Let the dough come out from the bowl onto the pan. Turn it over to coat another side of the dough with olive oil.

  6. Using your hands pat the dough down to fit the pan. Try to maintain the same thickness all over the pan.

    Cover with a lid if you have a lid that fits the pan or with linen towel and let rise for another 30-60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

    Once your focaccia has doubled in size lightly oil your hands and using your fingers press down the dough to imprint typical dimples all over focaccia bread.

  7. Beat quickly lukewarm water with extra virgin olive oil for salamoia and pour all over focaccia.

    Sprinkle with coarse sea salt or sea salt flakes.

  8. Bake in a preheated to 450F oven for 15-20 minutes (preferably in the lower part of the oven).

    Once out of the oven brush your focaccia with extra virgin olive to taste.

NOTE 1: You can make focaccia without any tools combining all ingredients as stated in the process about and kneading the dough with your hands.

NOTE 2: Use 1 tsp yeast if you are not sure in the quality of your dry yeast or using it for the first time.

Also, if you need to slightly accelerate rising time of the dough.

TIP: If the dough had risen quickly the first time and you still have plenty of time for the second rise in the pan and before baking it (for example guests coming for dinner) punch the dough down in the bowl and let it rise again before arranging it in the pan.


Traditional Italian Focaccia {Focaccia Genovese}

PRO TIP: Cut focaccia in half and stuff with your favorite cured meat or cheese.

Heaven on Earth 😋

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Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone and Lemon Curd http://www.italianrecipebook.com/lemon-layer-cake-with-mascarpone-and-lemon-curd/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/lemon-layer-cake-with-mascarpone-and-lemon-curd/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:06:02 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2607 Who can resist delicate, super fluffy sponge cake layered with Mascarpone cream and lemon curd that balances all the flavors? Impossible! This cake it perfect for a big celebration or just as a simple weekend treat for yourself 😉 Both Mascarpone cream and lemon-orange curd are super simple to make. Sponge cake base might seem …

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Who can resist delicate, super fluffy sponge cake layered with Mascarpone cream and lemon curd that balances all the flavors? Impossible!

This cake it perfect for a big celebration or just as a simple weekend treat for yourself 😉

Both Mascarpone cream and lemon-orange curd are super simple to make.

Sponge cake base might seem a bit more trickier but there’s seriously nothing to worry about.

If you follow the recipe to a T you’ll have a perfect sponge cake every single time.

Here’s THE BEST plain Sponge Cake recipe where I talked about do’s and don’ts in detail.

Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone & Lemon Curd {Yum-Yum!!}

Happy baking!


Layer Cake with Mascarpone and Lemon Curd

Who can resist delicate, super fluffy sponge cake layered with mascarpone cream and lemon curd that balances all the flavors? Impossible!

For the sponge cake base (9 inch pan)

  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ corn starch
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter + some more flour for the baking pan
  • 9-inch baking pan

For lemon curd:

  • 1 ½ cup lemon + orange juice ((3 oranges, 1 lemon))
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar ((more to taste))

For Mascarpone cream:

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar

Sponge Cake Base

  1. Preheat oven to 320F.
  2. Beat eggs with a pinch of salt until foamy. Start adding sugar a few tablespoons at a time. Add next portion once previous sugar has been dissolved.
  3. Continue beating egg and sugar mix for 10 more minutes (should take around 15 minutes total). Stand mixer will be handy.

  4. Mix corn starch with flour.

    Sift in corn starch and flour mix into the beaten eggs. Fold it gently moving your spatula from the bottom to the top. Once first portion of flour mix is incorporated, add in another portion. Continue until you have used all the mix.

    As a result you should get very light and airy batter.

  5. Grease and flour the baking pan, remove access flour.

    Pour in the sponge cake batter into a baking pan. Level with a spatula if needed.

  6. Bake in a preheated to 320F oven for 40-50 minutes.

  7. Do a toothpick test at 40 minute mark. If toothpick come out dry (not sticky and without any crumbs on it) sponge cake is ready. Otherwise leave for another 5-10 minutes.

  8. Let the cake cool in the pan. Remove from the pan. Using a cotton thread or a big bread knife cut the cut horizontally in half.

Lemon Curd

  1. Squeeze juice from 3 oranges and 1 lemon. Add a bit of water if needed to make it to 1½ cup.
  2. Mix together granulated sugar and corn starch.

    In a small stove-top pot add juice, corn starch and sugar mix. Whisk well until smooth and lumps free mix. Heat on a stove-top whisking continuously until the mixture thickens.

  3. Let the curd cool. Add in 2-3 tablespoons on whipping cream until medium thick consistency. Whisk well.

Mascarpone Cream:

  1. Beat Mascarpone cheese. In a separate bowl beat whipping cream with confectioners sugar.
  2. Mix whipped cream with Mascarpone cheese, adding a few tablespoons at a time.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Add a spoon of Mascarpone cream in the center of a serving plate if you want to prevent the cake from moving.
  2. Set first layer of sponge biscuit. Add half of Mascarpone cream, top with half lemon curd.
  3. Cover with the second sponge cake layer and repeat the process.

I like to grate some lemon zest on top of the cake. It’s simple and nice decoration and adds another lemony note.

Lemon Layer Cake with Mascarpone & Lemon Curd {Yum-Yum!!}

Want to get really naughty? Brush sponge layers with limoncello liquore before assembling the cake.

Or drink a plain shot right after the cake 😉

Italians call it “digestivo”. And it’s not an excuse – a shot of good quality alcohol (especially homemade) really helps digest better.

Now YOU.

Do you like limoncello in the cake or on the side? 😃And seriously, how do you like Mascarpone and lemon curd pairing in the cake?

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Chicken Pizzaiola (The Real One) http://www.italianrecipebook.com/chicken-pizzaiola/ http://www.italianrecipebook.com/chicken-pizzaiola/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:28:06 +0000 http://www.italianrecipebook.com/?p=2596 This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. And no wonder – juicy meat simmered in rich tomato sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese that melts all over the cutlets 😋 All that with subtle flavor of oregano and basil leaves. And honestly, it’s one of my favorites too. Ready in less than 30 …

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This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. And no wonder – juicy meat simmered in rich tomato sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese that melts all over the cutlets 😋

All that with subtle flavor of oregano and basil leaves.

And honestly, it’s one of my favorites too.

Ready in less than 30 minutes.

Did I mention it’s one-skillet dish? 😉

So yes, less dishes, fewer ingredients and MORE flavor.

Simply irresistible!

Authentic chicken pizzaiola is made with just 4 main ingredients: chicken, tomato puree, basil leaves and mozzarella.

THAT’S IT

No onions or bell peppers, no Parmesan cheese and no Worcestershire sauce (please!🙏)

This is the beauty of authentic Italian recipes and a cornerstone of all Italian cousine afterall –  simplicity and quality of the ingredients.

Of course, chicken pizzaiola can be easily turned into veal pizzaiola or beef pizzaiola.

You just choose the meat, the sauce and cooking method will remain the same.

Chicken Pizzaiola {Real YUMMY Italian Recipe}


Chicken Pizzaiola

Juicy meat simmered in rich tomato sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese that melts over the cutlets.

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella (1 large ball)
  • 2 cups tomato passata (tomato puree)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup flour (more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt (pepper to taste)
  1. Slice chicken breast into cutlets or you can use already sliced store bought cutlets. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip each cutlet in flour and dredge both sides.

  3. In a large skillet pan placed over medium heat add butter and a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Brown chicken cutlets on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan add white wine, stir well and simmer for a minute.

    Add tomato puree (if it looks too thick add some water), basil leaves and simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes.

  6. Place chicken cutlets you’ve previous set aside in tomato sauce, top with mozzarella slices, season oregano. Cover with a lid and simmer for another 5 minutes until cheese melts.
  7. Serve hot topped with tomato sauce from the pan.

Chicken Pizzaiola {Real YUMMY Italian Recipe}

Anticipating your thoughts…YES, chicken pizzaiola can definitely be reheated the next day, so make the double portion 😉

Buon Appetito!

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