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CeramicaDirect Recipe Collection

Here is where you'll find the complete recipes gathered from all the pages on our site. Check back regularly as we add new recipes seasonally. 

Please remember, your ceramics should never be used for baking or cooking in either the oven or microwave.

Spring Holiday Menu

Insalata di Patate, Fave e Asparagi -- Potato, Fava Bean and Asparagus Salad

  • 2 lbs. new potatoes

  • 1 lb. fresh fava beans

  • 1 lb. sparagus, trimmed and chopped into one-inch lengths

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 3 tbsp. evo oil

  • 2 sprigs fresh roman mint or marjoram, minced

If fava beans are very fresh and tender, just shell and use unpeeled, if they are older blanch first for 3-5 minutes and then peel. Heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat, add the beans and asparagus, heat until just tender crisp, add the broth and heat through. Set aside. Boil the unpeeled potatoes until done and then peel and chop coarsely. Add to the warm broth and vegetables along with remaining 2 tbsp. oil and sprinkle with herbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Salt and pepper to taste just before serving. Serves 6


Spezzatino di Pollo e Carciofi -- Chicken and Artichoke Stew

  • 4 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch dice

  • 6 large firm fresh artichokes, trimmed of all tough leaves, most of stem and tips

  • 2 tbsp. evo oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • ½ dry white wine

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • large bunch parsley, chopped

  • 2 lemons, zest removed from one, both squeezed for juice

  • 2 tbsp. capers

Pour half the lemon juice into a large bowl of cold water. Put the trimmed artichokes into the lemon water as you prepare each one. Cut the artichokes in half and then slice lengthwise into very thin wedges, return to water. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a very wide saute pan over medium heat. Drain the artichoke wedges and saute them in the oil for 5 to 10 minutes, salt and pepper to taste, add wine as needed to keep from sticking. Remove the artichokes and add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil to the pan. Raise the heat to high and quickly heat the chicken in the oil. When the pieces are seared, return the artichokes to the pan, add the broth and capers, cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. of the remaining lemon juice, the parsley and 2 tsp. lemon zest just before serving. Serves 6


Fragole all'Italiana--Italian Style Strawberries

  • 2 quarts fresh ripe strawberries, washed drained and trimmed

  • 1 lemon, squeezed

  • 2 tbsp. sugar (or less to taste)

Slice the strawberries lengthwise into a large bowl, toss them with the lemon juice and sugar and cover. Allow to rest at room temperature about two hours before serving. Serves 6


Recipe Collection:

Agnello all'Abruzzese — Lamb in the Abruzzo style
·           2 pounds of lamb shoulder, cut into pieces
·           3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
·           4 laurel leaves
·           leaves from 1 rosemary branch
·           1 bunch basil
·           3 garlic cloves, peeled
·           1 small hot red pepper
·           1 tsp. salt
·           2 cups dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 320° F. In an earthenware or cast iron casserole, toss the lamb with the oil. Mince the laurel, rosemary and basil leaves together and toss them thoroughly with the oiled lamb. Crush the garlic and hot pepper with the salt and toss them with the herbed lamb. Pour on the wine and cover the casserole. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, check that there is sufficient liquid in the casserole, bake uncovered 15 minutes or until done.

 

Aperitivo agli Agrumi – Citrus Cocktail
·           1/2 quart grapefruit juice
·           1/2 quart lemonade, fresh is best
·           4 oz. Aperol
·          1 oz. vermouth
·           1 navel orange, ends trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
·           lots of ice
Stir first four ingredients in a large pitcher, add orange slices and serve over ice.

 

Arista alle Erbe con Patate — Roast Pork Loin with Herbs and Potatoes
·           1 ½ pounds pork loin
·           1 large carrot
·           2 shallots
·           ½ cup fresh herbs: parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel, sage
·           ½ tsp. salt
·           ½ tsp. whole peppercorns
·           3 tbsp. olive oil
·           1 ½ pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
·           1 ½ cups white wine
Preheat oven to 450° F. Peel and roughly chop carrot and shallots, clean and stem herbs. Add everything to food processor with salt and peppercorns and pulse until finely minced. With machine running, add oil and process to a paste, scraping down sides as necessary. Cut open the pork loin half way and spread half the paste inside, close and tie up with kitchen string. Spread the rest of paste on outside of roast and place in center of roasting pan in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°, add potatoes and roast 15 minutes. Add wine to pan and continue roasting for 25 to 30 minutes until meat reaches 155°. Remove meat and potatoes to serving platter. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Add ½ cup wine to pan and scrape up drippings with a spatula as you heat the pan on a low burner until reduced by half. Pass sauce separately. Serves 6
 


Branzino al Cartoccio – Wrapped Sea Bass
·             1 large (1 lb.) Bass for 2 people
·             1 lemon
·             1 medium tomato
·             1 small onion
·             1 branch rosemary
·             1 clove garlic
·             1/2 cup white wine
·             salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Descale and cut open fish, insert rosemary and sliced garlic. Oil and season outside of fish and place on kitchen paper. Lay slices of lemon, onion and tomato on top of fish, pour on wine and wrap tightly. Put on a baking tray in oven for 30 minutes. Unwrap and serve.
 

 Bruschette Miste–Assorted Toasts
·         1 loaf fresh Italian bread, slice ½ thick
·         3 large ripe tomatoes
·         ¼ lb. chicken livers
·         2 slices prosciutto
·         2 anchovy filets
·         ½ onion
·         1/2 cup white wine
·         1 tbsp capers
·         4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
·         1 small bunch basil leaves
·         salt and pepper
 
Lightly toast or grill bread. Roughly dice tomatoes into a bowl and season with 2 tbsp oil, salt and pepper, set aside.
Chop onion, anchovies and prosciutto finely, sauté in 2 tbsp oil until onion is transparent. Add cleaned chicken livers and sear until browned. Add capers and white wine, reduce heat to low and simmer to reduce liquid 10 minutes.  Let cool, then blend in mixer until smooth, adding more wine if necessary, salt and pepper.  Just before serving, spread liver paste on half of the toasts and spoon the tomatoes on the other half, tearing up the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes.  Alternate the slices on a serving tray.
 

 
Caponata — Spicy Eggplant Spread
·           3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
·           1 large onion, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
·           3 tbsp. pinoli nuts
·           3 tbsp. raisins
·           1 tsp. hot chili flakes
·           2 small eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·           2 tbsp. sugar
·           1/2 tsp. cinnamon
·           1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
·           1/2 tsp. thyme
·           1/2 cup canned tomato pulp
·           1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
·           Salt and freshly ground pepper
·           Fresh mint, chopped
Heat olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, pinoli nuts, currants and hot pepper flakes and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Add the eggplant, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa and cook until eggplant starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, garnish with mint. Serve the caponata spooned onto fresh crusty bread such as a baguette.
 

 
Castagnaccio – Sweet Chestnut Bread
·         1 ½ cups whole or part-skimmed milk
·         1 1b. chestnut flour
·         2 tbsp. olive oil
·         2 tbsp. raisins
·         2 tbsp. walnuts
·         2 tbsp. pinoli nuts
·         ½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, stir milk into chestnut flour, add olive oil, raisins, nuts and salt until well mixed. Pour into a parchment-lined 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake one hour until the crust is brown and cracked. Serves eight.
 

 
Crostini di Gorgonzola e Pere — Gorgonzola and Pear Crostini
·         3 oz. Gorgonzola dolce
·         3 tbsp. Cream
·         1 firm ripe pear washed, split lengthwise and cored
·         3 tbsp. Walnut halves
·         4 slices whole grain bread
Toast bread. Heat walnuts in pan until just toasted, chop coarsely. Mash gorgonzola until soft, beat in cream until smooth. Slice unpeeled pear crosswise as thin as possible or use a mandolin slicer. Spread cheese on toast, top with pear slices and sprinkle with walnuts.

Crostini al Tonno — Tuna Toasts
·           4 slices of white bread
·           1 can tuna packed in olive oil
·           1 tbsp. capers
·           1 tsp. anchovy paste
·           1 sprig parsley
·           1 tbsp. lemon juice
·           2tbsp. mayonnaise
·           1 shallot
·           ½ tsp. salt
Toast the bread and cut each piece of toast diagonally into 4 triangles. Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Spread on toast or pipe using a pastry tube. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.


Faraona al Tartufo—Guinea Hen with Truffle Sauce

·           4-5 pound dressed guinea hen (capon may be used)

·           3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
·           4 laurel leaves
·           1 bunch of sage leaves
·           leaves from 1 rosemary branch
·           3 garlic cloves, peeled and slice
·           1/4 cup brandy
·           ½ cup chicken broth
·           ½ tbsp. cornstarch
·           1 small truffle
·           salt, pepper
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Clean and dry the bird, season the cavity with salt and pepper and place laurel and sage leaves inside, tying it shut with kitchen twine. Heat the oil in a covered casserole and brown the outside of the bird, turning it regularly. Remove the bird and add the rosemary and garlic to the oil, simmer briefly, then place the bird breast side up, add the brandy and cover the casserole with aluminum foil and close tightly with the lid. Put the covered casserole in the oven for one hour, then uncover for a further 1o minutes. Remove the bird to a serving platter, cut the twine and remove the leaves. Remove the rosemary and garlic from the casserole and add enough broth to loosen the drippings, thicken with very little cornstarch and then shave the truffle into the gravy. Pass the gravy separately. Serves 6-8.


 Filetto di Vitello con Funghi – Veal Filet with Mushrooms

· 1 small veal filet at room temperature
· 10 ounces roughly chopped mixed mushrooms (may use frozen)
· 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 1 teaspoon dried herb mixture
· 1 shot Marxala
· salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in heavy roasting pan or dutch oven. Add mushrooms, herbs, salt and Marsala. Cook over medium heat until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add water if necessary to keep from burning. Remove mushrooms and add remaining tbsp. oil to pan. Heat over high flame, add lightly salted veal filet and brown for two minutes per side. Add back in mushrooms and any juices. Cover and put in oven for 5-10 minutes until instant read thermometer reaches 125°. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes on lightly covered platter before serving.


Finocchio e Patate Novelle — Florence Fennel with New Potatoes
·           1 lb. of evenly small new potatoes, scrubbed
·           1 lb. Florence fennel bulbs (3-4)
·           1 tbsp. fennel seeds
·           2 tsp. fresh Roman mint or 1/2 tsp. dried mint
·           2 garlic cloves, peeled
·           1/2 teaspoon salt
·           3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
·           1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Crush the fennel seeds with the mint, garlic and salt in a mortar and slowly add the oil until it is well mixed. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and quarter the fennel bulbs lengthwise, removing the stem ends and the green leaves at top. Toss the vegetables with the flavoured oil and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the vinegar and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes are done.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice before serving. Serves 4-6.


 
Frittata ai Funghi Porcini – Porcini Mushroom Omelette
·         2 tbsp olive oil
·         1 shallot, thinly sliced
·         8 oz. Porcini mushrooms, thickly sliced
·         ¼ cup white wine
·         4 eggs
·         Sprigs of parsley, leaves finely chopped
·         ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         Salt and pepper
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in wide pan and add shallot, stirring for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook without stirring until they begin to brown. Add wine and parsley, stir and simmer until wine has mostly evaporated. Remove from heat. Whip eggs in a large bowl with ½ of Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in mushrooms. Add 1 tbsp. oil to mushroom pan over medium heat, pour in egg and mushroom mixture. Cover pan and cook until firm enough to flip, using lid. Continue cooking until firm but not dry. Leave in covered pan until ready to serve. Put frittata on baking paper or foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese and pass under heated broiler just until cheese begins to melt. Serve immediately on flat platter. Serves two.


Insalata di Carciofi Crudi – Raw Artichoke Salad
·             2 globe artichokes
·             juice of 1 lemon
·             2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
·             a few sprigs of fresh marjoram-chopped
·             salt and pepper to taste
The artichokes must be as fresh and tender as possible. Remove the outer leaves, cut off the thorny tips, trim the stems to 2 inches and peel,  cut artichokes in half and submerge in a bowl of water with half the lemon juice to keep from browning. Cut out the chokes one at a time and put back in the water. Make a dressing by slowly beating in the oil to the remaining lemon juice one teaspoon at a time until emulsified. Add the marjoram, salt and pepper. Slice the artichoke halves from top to bottom, paper-thin, preferable with a mandolin slicer. Toss them with the dressing at least 1 hour before serving so that the artichoke slices have time to marinate.  Serves  4.

 Insalata di Farro Invernale — Winter Farro Salad
1 cup farro or barley
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
3 tbsp. raisins or dried currents
2 tbsp. pinoli nuts, lightly toasted
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 orange
salt and pepper to taste
Cut cauliflower and broccoli into small 1-inch pieces and steam over broth until crisp/tender. Remove to a mixing bowl. Cut orange in half, reserving half and juicing the other. Toss vegetables with 2 tbsp. oil and juice. Cook farro in broth until al dente (10 to 20 minutes depending on variety) and drain, then dress with remaining tbsp. of oil, salt and pepper. Spread out farro and arrange cauliflower, broccoli, raisins and pinoli nuts on top. Slice the remaining half of orange to decorate the serving plate.


Insalata di Finocchi e Arance — Fennel and Orange Salad
·         2 medium florence fennel bulbs
·         3 blood oranges
·         olive oil
·         black pepper
Trim ends and stem tops off fennel. Peel oranges, remove as much white pith as possible. Cut fennel and oranges in half lengthwise and then slice across as thin as possible or use a mandolin slicer. Toss together in salad bowl, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil and lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste.
 

Insalata di Riso Pic Nic – Picnic Rice Salad
·           2 1/2 cups rice, long grain
·           4  cups vegetable broth
·           4 hot dogs (beef or pork), grilled and thinly sliced
·           1/4 cup pickles, finely chopped
·           1/4 cup pitted olives (black, green or mixed), chopped
·           1/2 cup sottaceti, mixed vegetable pickles (giardiniera mix), chopped
·           1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
·           4 oz. fontina or similar cheese, cubed
·           2 shallots, minced
·           1 bunch parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
·           2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Bring the broth to a boil, add the rice and cook until al dente, drain and cool. Toss with the other ingredients, drizzle liberally with oil and a splash of vinegar and serve! This is a great  “kitchen sink” recipe for using up whatever you've got on hand in the cabinet and 'fridge. Mushrooms, fresh or in oil, tofu instead of hot dogs,  small cubes of hard salami, plain or spicy, minced fresh herbs—anything and everything goes well in this.  Just halve or double the quantities for smaller or larger groups.


Insalata Russa – Mixed vegetable salad
·           2 large or 3 medium potatoes
·           4 large carrots
·           1 cup peas (frozen is fine)
·          9 small pickles
·           2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and sliced
·           8 pitted black olives
·           4 tbsp. home-made mayonnaise (use best olive oil, freshest eggs possible)
·           olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt & pepper
Peel and cube potatoes and carrots into small, pea-sized pieces. Boil in lightly salted water for 5-8 minutes, add peas, cook 3 more minutes until all vegetables are firm but cooked. Drain thoroughly and dry on paper towels (ingredients must be as dry as possible). In large mixing bowl, mince eight of the pickles and add to vegetables, dress scarcely with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper while still warm. When cool, mix in mayonnaise and adjust seasoning. Line mold form with plastic wrap and press in mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.  Unmold onto serving plate and deocorate with egg slices, black olive halves and the last pickle, sliced thinly.  Serves 6-8


  Insalata di Sedano e Porro– Celery and Leek Salad

· 1 small bunch heart of celery with fine leaves
· 1 small leek, thoroughly cleaned
· 1 tablespoon aged pecorino cheese
· 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
· salt & pepper to taste

Cut celery leaves into fine strips and very finely slice the leek and celery stalks (use a mandolin if possible). Toss in a small salad bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Shave the cheese over the salad just before serving.


  Linguini dell'Amore – Linguini with Arugula Pesto
· 6 ounces linguini
· 6 ounces fresh arugula
· 1 clove garlic
· 1 tablespoon pine nuts
· 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme and marjoram
· 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 2 tablespoons freshly ground parmesan
· salt to taste
Drop the linguine into a large pot of boiling salted water. Put arugula, herbs, garlic, pine nuts and oil in blenter. Blend until smooth. Drain linguine when al dente, reserving a ladle of the water. Toss hot pasta with the arugula pesto, adding a little of the cooking water to keep it moist. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.


Panforte – A Holiday Sweet from Siena
·         ¾ cup sugar
·         ¾ cup honey
·         1 pound mixed nuts (½  almonds, ½ hazelnuts and walnuts)
·         1 pound mixed, roughly chopped, candied fruits ( ½ candied citron, ½ candied cherries, orange peel and dried figs)
·         ½ tsp. cinnamon
·         ¼ tsp. ginger
·         1/8 tsp. nutmeg
·         1/8 tsp. pepper
·         3 egg whites
·         powdered  sugar
Ingredients for two cakes, serves 16
Preheat oven to 300°F, melt together over low heat sugar and honey, stirring until smooth, do not caramelize. In food processor, pulse to chop after each addition: almonds, then hazelnuts, then walnuts, spices, egg whites. At low speed pour in melted sugar mixture. Mix until all ingredients are no larger than ¼ inch dice. Divide between two 8-inch cake tins lined with wax paper and press very firmly to smooth down and remove air. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool in their tins and dust heavily with powdered sugar before serving in thin wedges.

 
Panzanella – Tuscan Bread Salad
·         Half a loaf of day-old Italian bread
·         3 large tomatoes
·         1 red onion
·         1 small cucumber or large pickle
·         Fresh basil leaves
·         4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
·         2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
·         salt & pepper
Slice the bread thickly, soak in cold water with a tablespoon of vinegar for a few minutes until it just begins to soften, drain and squeeze out excess water. Tear into chunks in a serving bowl, add chopped tomatoes, very thinly sliced onion and cucumber or pickle, torn basil leaves and sprinkle with oil and remaining vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, but no more than three hours. Season with salt and pepper just before serving.

Panzanella di Primavera — Springtime Bread Salad  (adapted from 101cookbooks)
·           1 lb. pound of day-old whole wheat bread, cut into pieces
·           1 tbsp. fresh chives and thyme, minced
·           1/2 tsp.  + 1/4 tsp. salt
·           4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
·           1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
·           2 cups of fresh peas, shelled
·           2 cups fresh spinach, washed and drained
·           4 spring onions, white parts only, sliced thinly
·           1 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven 350°F.  Toss the bread with the chives, thyme, ½ tsp. salt and 3 tbsp. oil. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Heat 1 tbsp. oil, 2  tbsp. water and 1/4 tsp. salt in a wide, covered skillet. When hot, add the asparagus. Cover, let steam for 30 seconds. Uncover and add the peas. Cover again, let steam for 20 seconds. Add the spinach, cover and cook no more than 10  seconds until the spinach starts to wilt. Put the toasted bread in a large bowl. Pour the asparagus, peas, spinach and any liquid from the pan over the top of the bread. Give it a good toss, add the spring onions and parsley and toss again. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 -8 as a first course.


Parmigiana di Melanzane – Eggplant Parmesan
·           2 large carrots, roughly chopped
·           1 large onion, roughly chopped
·           3 garlic cloves, peeled
·           1 small hot red pepper (optional)
·           2 tsp. salt
·           2 tbsp. olive oil
·           1 cup vegetable broth
·           1 large can peeled tomatoes, crushed
·           1/2 tsp. dried oregano
·           4 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
·           1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
·           1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
·           1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
·           1/2 cup dry red wine (as needed)
·           1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Preheat the oven grill. Toss the first five ingredients into a blender until minced. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, add the vegetables and sauté until soft. Pour in the broth, then stir in the crushed tomatoes; continue heating slowly until the sauce starts to thicken, stir in oregano and remove from heat. Lay out as many eggplant slices as will fit on an oven rack. Grill for 2-5 minutes per side until browned. Repeat until all eggplant slices are grilled. Turn off grill and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a lasagna pan, pour in just ¼ cup of tomato sauce and spread out evenly with the first layer of eggplant slices (use one eggplant for each layer). Add ½ cup of sauce,  dot with 1/4 lb. of mozzarella slices and dot those with about 1 tbsp. of basil. Drizzle 1 tbsp. oil over all. Continue until all ingredients are used up, alternating the direction of the eggplant slices and finishing with sauce. Sprinkle with red wine until the edges of the layers have sufficient liquid. Top with the grated parmesan cheese and put in the bottom half of the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.


Pasta al Forno alla Derutese—Lasagna with Sausage and Artichoke Hearts
·           1 lb. Italian sausage meat (or remove casings from sausages)
·           2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or 16 oz. drained artichoke hearts in oil), sliced 1/4 inch thick
·          3 cloves garlic, crushed
·           1 qt. milk (skimmed or whole)
·           3 tbsp. flour
·           3 tbsp. butter
·           2 cups chicken broth
·           8 oz. fresh or dried lasagna
·          1 lb. Mozzarella, sliced thinly
·          1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
·          White wine, olive oil, salt, white pepper, nutmeg, parsley
Preheat oven to 350° F. Chop up sausage meat and saute until browned, breaking up clumps. Drain off fat. Remove sausage and add olive oil and crushed garlic to pan, saute until translucent,  add artichoke slices and saute 5-10 minutes on low heat, splash on some wine and a little minced fresh parsley.  Stir in cooked sausage and remove from heat. Make besciamelle sauce with flour, butter and milk, when starting to thicken add broth, remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Assemble all ingredients in 12x18 in. baking pan, starting with a thin layer of besciamelle. Add lasagna sheets, 1/3 sausage and artichoke mixture, 1/3 sliced mozzarella, 1/4 besciamelle mixture. Continue layers, finishing with remaining besciamelle. Sprinkle with parmesan. Completed pan should be quite liquid, add wine at edges if dry. Bake on middle rack in oven for  45 to 60 minutes until visible edges of lasagna are browned and parmesan is beginning to brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Note: leave out the sausages and add more artichokes, substituting vegetable for chicken broth, for a vegetarian version.  Serves 8


 
Pasta con Zucca--Pasta with Squash
 
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 hot pepper
1 pound winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
4 fresh plum tomatoes or small can, drained and coarsely chopped
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 oz. pinoli nuts, lightly toasted in oven or dry pan
12 oz. fusilli or penne
grated Parmesan
Heat oil in saute pan, add crushed garlic, salt and hot pepper, stir until garlic is translucent, Add diced squash, stir until coated in oil. Remove hot pepper, add wine, cover and simmer until squash is nearly cooked through. Bring large pot of water to boil for pasta. Add salt and pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than suggested cooking time. Add tomatoes to squash and heat through. Drain pasta, toss in pan with squash for 2 minutes, sprinkle with parsley and Pinoli nuts and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese separately.  Serves 4.
 

 
Pomodori agli Odori  - Roast Tomatoes
·             8 firm, ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
·             Mixed fresh or dried herbs: basil, marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme
·             ¼ cup very finely ground dry bread crumbs
·             Salt
·             2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the tomato halves cut side up in an oven tray. Chop the herbs very finely and sprinkle them evenly over the tomatoes. Mix salt with bread crumbs and sprinkle over the herbs. Drizzle with the oil and broil in center of oven for 20 to 25 minutes until browned but still firm. Serve at room temperature. Serves four.
 

 
Riso Integrale con Radicchio alla Griglia — Rice with Grilled Radicchio
·         1 ½ cups brown rice
·         1 large or two small heads radicchio
·         6 spring onions or two bunches scallions
·         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, salt
·         2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
·         1 oz. Parmesan cheese
·         4 oz. Bacon or Pancetta cubes
·         3 tbsp. Pine nuts
Preheat the broiler. Set a large pot of salted water to boil for the rice, check package for timing, toss into boiling water and simmer until just cooked—30 to 60 minutes, drain. Heat pine nuts in pan until just toasted, salt to taste. Saute the pancetta cubes or bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Trim the vegetables. Quarter radicchio, cut out most of the core, leaving leaves attached. Split onions or scallions lengthwise and arrange in baking pan with radicchio, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil and salt to taste. Broil for 20 to 25 minutes until starting to brown. Remove to cutting board and slice vegetables crosswise in thin strips, add with their pan juices to rice. Dress with 2 more tbsp. oil and vinegar. Shave parmesan into thin curls over rice and vegetables. Serve immediately, passing crumbled bacon/pancetta and pine nuts separately at the table.

 
Sformato di Verdure —Vegetable Flan Mold
·        8 slices of prosciutto
·        3 medium zucchini
·        1 lb. button mushrooms
·        3 shallots, 2 carrots, 3 sticks celery
·        ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
·        1 cup vegetable broth
·        3 eggs
·        ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs
·        Fresh or dried thyme, salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Oil a ring mold and drape prosciutto slices across it evenly. Slice zucchini lengthwise 1/8 inch thick, sauté quickly in batches in 1 tbsp oil until just limp, drape over prosciutto. Clean and dice mushrooms. Dice shallot, carrots and celery (in mixer) and sauté in remaining oil until limp, add mushrooms and cook until mush room liquid starts to evaporate, add broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.  Beat eggs with thyme and spices, add to mushroom mixture with breadcrumbs and mix lightly. Pour into mold and fold prosciutto and zucchini slices over top. Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool before turning out on serving platter.
 


Tagliata con Rucola--Sliced Beef with Rocket
 
a thick-cut shell steak, left at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking
2 cups arugula, washed and dried
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
coarse black pepper
Heat a grill until very hot, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and grill steak for about 5 minutes. Lift and carefully so as not to pierce meat, sprinkle the rest of salt and grill other side another 5 minutes. Put meat on a platter to rest for 10 minutes. Spread arugula on serving platter, slice the meat  into 1/4 inch slices against the grain and arrange. Drizzle oil and vinegar and grind fresh pepper over all before serving.  Serves 4

 

 Tagliolini al Limone—Fresh Lemon Pasta
·        1 ½ lbs. fresh tagliolini or linguine
·        2 large firm ripe lemons, preferably organic
·        3 tbsp. butter
·        1/2 pint fresh cream
·        1 bunch flat leaf parsley, minced
·        2 oz. Parmesan cheese
·        Salt and white pepper to taste
Set a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Zest the lemons, avoiding any white pith, mince. Squeeze the lemons for juice. Melt the butter in a sauté pan large enough to hold the cooked pasta. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, salt and lemon juice. Toss pasta into boiling water and cook until only half done, no more than two minutes. Add cream to pan and heat through. Drain pasta and toss with lemon cream sauce, add half of Parmesan and the white pepper, stir on low heat until pasta is just al dente. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately, passing the rest of the cheese at the table. It’s worth investing in the best untreated lemons with smooth skin!
 

   Tortino di Cioccolato con Cuore Morbido–Soft-centered Chocolate Tortes

· 3 ½ ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped
· 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
· ½ cup sugar, less 1 tablespoon
· 2 large eggs
· 3 tablespoons cake flour
· pinch of salt
· unsweetened cocoa and powdered sugar

Butter and dust with cocoa 4 small oven-proof ramekins or individual pudding/cake molds (disposable foil forms work well). Melt butter and sugar in heavy bottomed pot. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, then add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Sift in flour and salt until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between the molds, each should be only a little more than half full. Put the filled molds in the freezer for one hour. Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove molds from freezer and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. A thin crust will have formed at the edges but if you shake the mold the mixture will still move. Test one before removing the rest, the center should spill out when cut. Reverse the molds onto dessert plates, dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.


Tozzetti al Cioccolato e Nocciole — Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti
·           2 cups flour, plus more for work surface
·           ¾ cup (75g) top-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
·           1 tablespoon instant coffee
·           ¼ teaspoon salt
·           1 teaspoon baking soda
·           4 medium eggs
·           1 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                          
·           1 cup whole hazelnuts, skinned and toasted                                                                                                                               
·           2 tablespoons coarse or demerara sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F. Sift together flour, cocoa, instant coffee, salt, and baking soda. Beat eggs lightly in a separate bowl. Remove two tablespoons of egg mixture to small dish and set aside. Beat sugar into remaining eggs until blended. Stir in flour mixture and nuts to form soft dough. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into two logs 2 inches in diameter and the length of the baking sheet. Transfer the logs onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Flatten the logs, brush liberally with the reserved egg wash and sprinkle with sugar grains. Bake 15 to 25 minutes until firm to the touch. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut on an angle into slices 1/2-inch thick with a serrated knife. Return slices to baking sheet, laying them on their sides, and bake another 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp and dry. Allow to cool completely before storing or serving. Makes about 30 cookies.


 
 Zucchine alla Griglia — Grilled Zucchini
·           8 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8-inch thick
·           2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
·           4 tbsp. mixed fresh herbs: parsley, basil, chives, mint, finely chopped
·           ½ tsp. salt
·           fresh ground pepper
·           juice from one large lemon
Heat a ridged grill over high heat and lay the zucchini slices crosswise, close set but not overlapping (you will have several batches depending on the size of your grill). When slices begin to wilt and have grill marks on bottom, flip over each slice and grill until equally cooked on other side. Remove to serving plate and continue grilling next batch. As each batch is laid on the plate, drizzle with some of the oil, sprinkle on some of the herbs, salt and pepper, then drizzle with lemon juice. Allow to sit at room temperature for about half an hour before serving. Serves 6.
 

 

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