1 liter of red wine ~ 1 litro vino rosso
100 grams of sugar ~ 100 gr zucchero
a few cloves ~ alcuni chiodi di garofano
a stick of cinnamon ~ una stecca di cannella
a bit of nutmeg ~ un po' di noce moscata
lemon peel grated (or half lemon, half orange peel) ~ una scorza di un limone oppure una scorza di mezzo limone e mezza di arancia
Bring all ingredients to a low boil & add the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved - lower flame. Filter or strain. Serve warm & enjoy!
Bollire fino a quando si scioglie lo zucchero, levare dal fuoco e filtrare con una tela bagnata. Servire caldo.
a big handful of whole cherry tomatoes
1 yellow onion sliced
2 cloves of garlic
- In a large skillet or pot , heat 1/3 cup of olive oil.
- Saute garlic until golden brown & then discard.
- Reduce heat to low & slowly saute the onion 12 - 15 minutes until well cooked. but do not brown it.
- Raise heat & add peppers.
- Season with plenty of salt & pepper.
- Allow peppers to cook, stirring frequently 10 minutes until the ends start to shrivel.
- At this point, throw in your cherry tomatoes & allow to cook another 10 -15 minutes until the peppers are soft & not mushy and the cherry tomatoes have let their juices out.
- Taste to check the seasonings.
- Serve hot, warm or cold.
Lasagna ahhh, a classic meaty cheesy mess. But it doesn't always have to be - This recipe however is one of my favorites & not that cheesy Italian restaurant cliche'. The key is to use fresh pasta in this recipe - for a lasagna that is light & delicate. If possible use your own tomatoes, we use jarred tomatoes from the garden - you just can't get that kinda flavor from a store bought jar.
Ragu (see recipe)
4 sheets of pasta to cover your dish
In your casserole dish ladle a little of the ragu.
In plenty of boiling salted water, cook your pasta until a bit further than al dente. Cook only 1 -2 sheets at a time (otherwise they will stick & it will be a mess)
Lay down the sheet of pasta in your dish, ok if it comes up over the edge of the dish (that will make for the good crunch bits!)
Add a ladle of ragu - cover completely but don’t over do it - less is more.
Now a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Repeat these steps ending with sauce on the top layer of the pasta
Bake at 375/190 C oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is brown & bubbly!
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 med onion, finely diced
1 rib of celery, finely diced
1 clove of garlic
quarter pound of sausage meat
half pound ground veal
1.5 pounds peeled, seeded, pureed fresh tomatoes or 1 large can of peeled tomatoes
salt & pepper
In a pot add a couple glugs of olive oil & sauté clove of garlic until brown then discard.
On med heat sauté veggies slowly for about 10 minutes - so they are not brown but translucent.
Raise the heat slightly & add in meat - breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon.
Season with salt & pepper.
Add tomatoes & half a glass of water.
Bring up to boil.
Lower to a very low simmer for 2.5 hours stirring occasionally.
Toss with your favorite pasta.
If sauce becomes too thick, add a little pasta water.
4 ripe round tomatoes (about the size of a tennis ball)
4 tablespoons of rice
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
clove of garlic, skin removed
herbs of your choice, I use basil or parsley
salt & pepper
Wash your tomatoes & slice off the tops, with a spoon, hollow out the flesh of the the tomato being careful not to pierce the cup you are making.
Save the pulp & juice, pass through a food mill or give it a turn in the food processor, blender, etc.
In a small pot, brown 1 clove of garlic in a glug of olive oil.
Remove & discard.
Then on low heat, slowly sauté your onion until it is translucent - approximately 10 minutes.
Add in your rice & sauté for 1 minute, then raise heat & add tomato pulp.
Season with salt & pepper.
Bring to a low simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat and add in herbs.
NOTE: If you are using a different rice other than long grain white rice, you will need to par-cook the rice first, for example brown rice, wild rice, etc.
Also this is where you can be creative. Incorporate shrimp with the onions or a little ground veal or sausage if you like also veggies work great too.
Spoon mixture into cups of tomatoes and replace the tops of the tomatoes.
Bake in a casserole dish with a little olive oil rubbed on the bottom at 375 F/ 190 C for 20-30 minutes.
When the rice is cooked and the tomatoes have started to split it’s done.
Serve hot warm or cold with a drizzle good olive oil atop.
Here is my favorite - Fried Anchovies - the recipe below adds a sage leave to each piece of fish as well for an extra burst of flavor & color.
Acciughe fritte con Salvia
1lb of anchovies cleaned, spine removed
sage leaves (optional - if you are not a fan of sage just omit)
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
vegetable oil for frying
In a bowl combine flour, eggs, salt & baking powder. Slowly add in seltzer water & mix until forms a thin batter. Cover with plastic & set in the fridge for at least an hour.
Heat oil in a pot to 350 degree.
Remove batter from fridge and mix once or twice (batter will have separated).
Take a sage leaf & anchovy put them together & dip into the batter - allowing access batter to drip off.
Fry 20 seconds a side until golden brown.
Remove from oil & drain on a paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt & serve immediately.
Pairs great with prosecco or white wine.
Originating from a Roman dialect, the word "bruscare" means "to roast over coals."
Bruschetta con Pomodori
1 large tomato of peak ripness, chopped
extra virigin olive oil - this is when to use the good stuff
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper
Rub garlic on the bread once nice & toasty
Drizzle a bit of extra virigin olive oil
Top with chopped tomaotes that have been dressed with salt & pepper
* 2 nice sized potatoes (yukon gold are best), peeled & thinly sliced
* 2 medium zucchini, sliced on the bias with seeds removed
* 2 shallots, chopped
* couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
* handful of fresh herbs, chopped (oregano, parsley or marjoram)
* salt & pepper
* extra virgin olive oil
* good bread
* Pour a little oil in a casserole dish (oven safe).
* Make a layer of potatoes covering the base of the dish
* Layer of zucchini
* Salt & pepper
* drizzle of olive oil
* couple of tomatoes ( does not have to fill in completly)
* sprinkle of shallots
* salt & pepper
* drizzle of olive oil
* chopped herbs
* repeat these steps until the dish is filled eding with potatoes on the top & a final drizzle of olive oil
* bake in a 400 degree oven until it is bubbling & a knife slips in easy & soft. Cooking time depends on size & height of your caserol dish - normally about an hour - hour & half.
Thinly Sliced Zucchini
Fine Fine Zucchini
Crack of pepper, crack of salt, drizzle olive oil, squeeze of lemon & shave parmesan over the top.
Let sit for 15 minutes & serve.
1 cup of double shelled (outer pod & inner shell removed) fresh fava or broad bean
couple glugs of olive oil
garlic clove, skinned, whole
squeeze of lemon
salt & pepper
baguette or crusty bread, sliced & toasted
Throw the fava in a pan & cover with water & a little salt. Bring to a boil & lower to a simmer. Cook a couple of minutes until the fava are tender. Drain.
Return the pan to the heat. Pour in a couple glugs of olive oil and the garlic clove. Fry the garlic until browned. Then discard garlic.
Toss the fava into the pan & sautee for a minute or two. Then begin mashing with the back of a wooden spoon until you form a paste. If you need to add a bit of water, do so.
Remove fava paste from heat & season with salt & pepper add a squeeze of lemon.
Toast slices of good bread & rub warm fava mixture & top with shaved parmesan. You can drizzle a little really good quality extra virgin olive oil as well if you like.
Poached beef with green sauce
little over a lb. of a tough roast: rump roast, eye round or chuck roast will work well
enough broth to cover
1 rib of celery
half an onion
1 bay leaf
couple of sprigs of parsley
In a large pot, bring your broth to a boil. Drop in your aromatics (herbs & veggies) and return the pot to a boil.
Gently add your meat to the broth & veggies. Allow pot to return to a boil.
Lower to simmer for 2 - 4 hours until meat is extremely tender.
Remove meat & place in the fridge to cool.
Broth can be strained & saved to be served as a soup or another dish. Freezes very well.
2 handfuls of parsley (stems removed), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, skins removed, smashed
1 tablespoons of capers, chopped
4 filets of anchovies, chopped
pepper flakes as desired
2 - 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
In a small sauce pan add a couple tablespoons of the oil, on a low heat fry the garlic.
When outside of garlic turns golden brown add capers & anchovies & pepper flakes. Pulverize into a paste with the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove pan from heat. Add vinegar & parsley incorporating into the mixture.
Once mixture has had a chance to cool down for a minute, slowly stir in the rest of the olive oil and adjust the seasoning.
Allow salsa mix to sit out & rest for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to incorporate
Remove the meat from the fridge. Slice thinly against the grain. Lay meat on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt & top with salsa verde.
Allow for the finished dish to sit for 15-minutes or so once topped. It can be done far ahead in advance & refrigerator - but remember to pull it out of the fridge early so the oil comes back up to room temperature & is not congealed.
Serve a bed of salad underneath the lesso.
Pound of pitted cherries
3-4 leaves of mint, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons of liquor of your choice (we use brandy or cognac)
3/4 cup of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Toss cherries with liquor in a bowl with a little sugar, if cherries are tart add more sugar, if cherries are already sweet you can omit the sugar.
Refrigerate for an hour or two.
In a separate bowl whip cheese, chopped mint & cream adding in a spoonful of sugar of two until incorporated & smooth. Mixture should have just a hint of sweetness to it - not sugary.
Spoon cherries with syrup into a pretty serving dish or cup (we use a martini glass) and top with a couple spoon full of marscapone.
Garnish with fresh mint.
Enjoy! The perfect ending to a summer lunch.
Arista di Maiale
pork loin roast, tied (the butcher will do this for you)
red pepper flacks, to taste
rind of half a lemon, chopped
Combine all ingredients (except the meat) and form a paste. Food processor, mortar & pestle or a small food chopper will work, you can also do it by hand.
Transfer above mixture into a bowl & add a glug or two of olive oil so the paste is spreadable.
Work paste into meat evenly & refrigerate over night or at least 6 hours.
When ready to cook preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Generously salt the meat & place in a roasting pan.
Roast for the first 15 minutes at 425 degrees, remove from oven. Add a 3/4 cup of white wine
Then return to oven & lower to 350 degrees cooking for about 15 minutes per pound,or until juices run clear.
Baste the meat once or twice during cooking.
(If the top starts getting too brown, cover for the last bit. If liquid at the bottom of the pan cooks out, add a little water.)
Once cooked, allow roast to sit for a few minutes. Remove string & slice thinly. Use the pan juices as a sauce.
NOTE: pairs well with white beans.
Carciofi alla Maria
juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
8 globe artichokes, remove tough outer leaves, scoop out choke & cut into wedges
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon capers, drained & rinsed
scant 1 cup green olives, pitted & chopped
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
Half-fill a bowl with water, stir in the lemon juice, add the artichokes & let soak for 10 minutes, then drain & pat dry.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic & cook for a few minutes until golden brown, then remove & discard.
Add the artichoke wedges to the pan & cook over high heat for 5 minutes, then add the capers & olives.
Season with salt & pepper to taste and add 2/3 cup warm water.
Mix well, cover & simmer for about 30 minutes until tender.
Remove the lid & boil off any excess liquid.
Transfer the artichokes to a serving dish, sprinkle with parsley.
Served both warm & at room temperature.
If you've got 20 minutes to stand over the stove stirring - try this immediately! Jason's seafood risotto recipe is soooo good! I beg him to make risotto - any kind cheesy, mushroomy (ok i know that's not really a word) & fishy - delicious & hearty! Risotto is perfect for cold fall or winter nights a real stick to your bones dish.
5 cups fish stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
scant 2 cups risotto rice - Arborio or Carnaroli are best
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion & garlic and cook over low hear for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove and discard the garlic, add the seafood to the pan and cook for a few minutes more.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in another pan.
Sprinkle the wine over the seafood & cook until it has evaporated, then season to taste.
Pour in 3 tablespoons water, add the tomato paste and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it has absorbed all the liquid.
Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed.
This will take 18-20 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & serve.
Pasta with Spring Veggies (Spaghetti alla Chitarra con verdure di primavera)
Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium butternut squash - peeled, diced, seeded
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 ribs celery diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt & pepper
In a soup pot heat 2 glugs of olive oil over med low heat, add carrots, celery, onions & garlic - until translucent - about 15-20 minutes.
Then add your squash, bay leaf & a couple sprigs of fresh thyme and salt & pepper. Sautée for another 15-20 min. on med-low heat until the squash starts to fall apart & gets soft.
Cover with vegetable stock & cook another 20 min. until the squash is now totally soft.
You may need to adjust the amount - if it looks like it is getting too thick, add a little water.
Blend with a hand blender & then add in about half a cup of heavy cream.
Adjust the seasonings to your liking: you can add in cinnamon, nutmeg &/or a clove to make it a bit more spicy & festive!
Toast a piece of bread & float it on top - garnish if you like with a little parsley
I know the cream sounds heavy, but it really rounds out the vegetables. Enjoy!!
|photo: Andrea Wyner|
Farro is like spelt, but has a firm chewy texture. You should be able to find it at an Italian shop, health food store or speciality shop. We are lucky to find locally grown farro right here in Le Marche! (If you can't find farro - spelt or barley should work)
This recipe has only a few ingredients but is full of flavor and a great first course, not to mention super easy to make!
Farro & Leek Soup