Vegetable Rice Pilaf

The aroma of a vegetable rice pilaf wafting through the air. That is what you will have when you bust this flavorful, yet simple, dish out. Another one from my boyfriend’s recipe book. Also, his video below to follow step by step directions. He has made this IG cooking profile for his daughter.

Ingredients:

2 TBS olive oil

1/2 carrot, diced

1/2 celery, diced

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 cup rice

1 3/4 cup chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 TBS parsley, chopped

Directions:

Heat olive oil and add diced vegetables until softened. Add rice and sauce until rice is toasted. Add chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the perfect consistency of your liking. Let stand for 5 minutes and add parsley before serving.

Buon appetito!

Pollo Vesuvio

Translated to Vesuvius chicken in English, this dish was named after the volcano, Mount Vesuvius, which is near Naples. I was incredibly lucky to get to see this volcano when I went to Italy with my family in 2018.

This recipe is from my boyfriend’s recipe book. He is no fan of chicken but makes it for me. It is a flavorful and hearty dish. Made with love every time. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Pearl onions

Frozen peas

Chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in

White wine

Yukon gold or russet potatoes (for russet, cut smaller as shown in the picture)

Salt and pepper

Thyme, chopped

Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

Brown chicken in olive oil until skin is crisp, remove and set aside.

In same pan, add enough white wine to deglaze the pan then add potatoes and onions, cook until warm.

In oven safe pan add chicken and potato mix together, place in oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Remove and add peas and cook another 10 minutes.

Torta di Mele di Sant’Orfeo -Italian Apple Cake Recipe

Happy New Year friends! I hope life is finding you happy and healthy.

This is another delicious recipe from Pasta Grammar, our go-to website to learn how to cook authentic Italian food. You can find the website here:

http://www.pastagrammar.com

If you like apple pie, you will enjoy this one. A delicious and light Italian apple cake that will wrap up your meal perfectly.

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins

10 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

3 large eggs

5 medium apples

1 medium pear

1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

2 tbsp whole milk

1 tbsp baking powder

A 9 1/2-inch springform pan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 340F degrees. Place the raisins in warm water and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to heat a Bain Marie set-up with a heat proof bowl nested on top of the saucepan.

Melt the butter over low heat in the Bain Marie. Once the butter is melted, add the sugar while whisking together. Once mixed, remove from heat and whisk the flour in. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated into the mixture. Set aside.

Peel, core, and chop the apples and pear in 1/2 inch pieces. Mix into batter. Drain the raisin, squeeze out the excess water, pat them dry with a paper towel, add to batter.

In a small bowl, stir the baking powder and milk together until it foams, add to batter.

Grease the pan with butter and pour the mixture in. Bake for one hour and let cool completely before removing from pan and serving.

This goes great with a cappuccino, Buon appetito!

My son and I going for our morning cappuccino in Rome, Italy, 2018.

Pasta All’Assassina – Killer Pasta

Another fantastic recipe from the amazing website Pasta Grammar. If you have not checked out their website yet, I highly recommend you do so. Eva and Harper from Pasta Grammar indicate that this particular recipe is a secret recipe that originated in Bari, Italy. It is a unique technique used to cook the pasta but it is well worth learning this one. Very few ingredients needed and easy to whip up at a moments notice.

Ingredients:

7 oz dry spaghetti (do not use bronze cut, lower quality pasta is recommended, like Barilla)

1 1/8 cup pure tomato puree

5 oz tomato paste

2 1/2 cups water

2 cloves garlic

Crushed red pepper

Olive oil

Salt

Directions:

In a small saucepan add 1/8 cup (2 TBS) tomato puree, tomato paste, and water Bring to simmer while salting to taste.

Add olive oil to coat a cast iron or heavy pan (be sure to use a pan large enough to accommodate the dry pasta lying flush on the bottom). Add 1 clove of diced garlic and 1 whole along with some crushed red pepper to the pan and cook until garlic sizzles. Add the remaining 1 cup of tomato puree and simmer. Add the dry pasta and spread into an even layer in the pan. Let the pasta burn and blacken slightly before flipping and do the same on the other side. Trust your instincts and be patient during this part because the slightly burnt and crispy pasta is delicious. Begin adding the tomato water mixture in increments while the pasta cooks. You want the moisture to evaporate then add more tomato water mixture in steps until the pasta is cooked to your liking. Season with salt and crushed red pepper.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil (and I like to add lots of fresh parmesan cheese on top).

Cheesy Stuffed Shells by Scott

Not only has my boyfriend been learning to speak Italian, but he has also been cooking the most amazing Italian food. This is one of his recipes and is easy to make along with being delizioso.

Ingredients:

For the marinara:

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole

24 oz tomato puree

salt and pepper to taste

basil leaves, fresh and torn

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

1 tsp sugar

For the shells:

1 box jumbo pasta shells

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

10 oz spinach (boiled and diced)

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients for the marinara together and simmer for 1 hour. Once marinara is done, heat oven to 350F and boil pasta shells. Mix cheeses with spinach and pepper. Once shells are done, rinse with cold water to make them easier to handle. Place shells on paper towel or clean kitchen towel to absorb water. Take a baking sheet and place a portion of the marinara on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place in baking pan until the pan is full of shells in a single layer. Top with the remaining marinara and sprinkle some Parmigiano Reggiano on top, bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Linguine alla Carbonara

After watching Frankie make a big pot of Linguine alla Carbonara on one of my favorite shows, Better Things, I had craving for the delicious, creamy pasta. I have made it a couple times since and it is a very simple dish. The recipe I use is from Lidia Bastianich’s cookbook titled Lidia’s Italian-American kitchen. Lidia explains that you often see this dish cooked with cream. However, that is not the traditional style. Traditional carbonara is made with egg yolks. The heat of the pasta is enough to cook the egg yolks.

Ingredients:

6 ounces slab bacon

2 TBS olive oil

2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)

1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock

1 pound linguine, I use spaghetti noodles, you can use whatever you prefer

3 egg yolks

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the linguine.

Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch thick slices, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and add the bacon, cook for about 6 minutes. Bacon should be soft in center and lightly browned.

If there is more than 3-4 TBS of oil in the skillet, remove to make 3-4 TBS of oil. Add the onions with the bacon and cook for about 4-5 minutes, the onions should be wilted but still crunchy. Add the stock, bring to a boil and adjust to simmer. Reduce the sauce by half.

Cook the linguine semi-covered until cooked to your desire.

Ladle off a cup of the pasta water. If the skillet is large enough to accommodate sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water and drop it into the sauce, stir to coat. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, check the seasoning, add salt if necessary. Add chicken stock or pasta water if there is not enough sauce to coat the pasta.

Meanwhile, separate your eggs and whisk each yolk slightly, you will want to keep them separate as they need to be added one at a time.

Remove the pasta from heat and stir in each egg yolk separately. A salad fork and spoon works well for this part. Stir vigorously while each yolk is added to avoid the eggs becoming scrambled.

Add the cheese and black pepper. Serve immediately

Pugliese Chicken and Potatoes

My daughter in Venice

Another recipe found on cookingwithnonna.com. My BF made this one for me and I tried to replicate it this weekend. My version was not as good as his but my son said the chicken was cooked perfectly. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of the bone-in chicken so I put the potato mixture in first and cooked the chicken with a little less time. The flavors of the herbs, olives, tomatoes, and wine are delicious. I will keep trying this one until I achieve perfection.

Igredients:

1 1/2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks

3 Idaho potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup Gaeta olives or mixed olives, pitted

4 cloves garlic

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 TBS dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Combine all ingredients except the wine into a bowl and mix. Pour into a 9X13 baking dish and pour wine over mixture.

Bake for 60-75 minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone.

Rice with Tomato Sauce – Risotto al Pomodoro

Scott and I in Napoli

Happy Saturday! I hope you are all having a great weekend.

Something about rice with tomato sauce, I just love it. Spanish rice….yummmm; and now Italian rice. My boyfriend made this delicious meal for me the other night and this rice was on the menu.

The recipe comes from a website named cookingwithnonna.com. It has lots of great recipes but way too many advertisements. I do not blame anyone for making a living but it is sometimes hard to navigate. Sorry Nonna!

Ingredients:

3 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

3 cups passata or tomato puree

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

Grated Parmigiano cheese

Directions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the tomato puree and salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In a separate saucepan bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add the rice and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add cooked rice to the sauce and combine over heat for 1-2 minutes.

Grate Parmigiano cheese to garnish.

Damn that is easy!

Buon apetito!

Shrimp Scampi- “Scampi alla Buonavia”

Hello! Happy Saturday. I should be doing homework but instead I want to post a recipe.

Shrimp scampi was the dish my father would often order when we went to restaurants. I made it the other night in honor of him. I miss him everyday.

This recipe was found in the book that gave me the spaghetti and meatballs recipe on this website, I have since made it my own with alterations and I am sure I will do the same to this one.

It is a truly easy dish. Deveining the shrimp is the hardest part.

The next time I make it I will serve it over pasta instead of bread as the original recipe calls for it to be served on bread.

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 pound extra-large (about 25) shrimp, completely deveined, and cut crosswise into three pieces (note: I left them whole)
  • 1 TBS fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed hot red pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 slices of Italian bread, toasted and kept warm (or pasta)
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices

Directions:

Make sure the pan you use will fit all the shrimp in a single layer for proper heat conduction.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until light brown (about 2 minutes). Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, toss until they are bright pink and seared on all sides (about 2 minutes). Add the chives, wine, butter, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes (shrimp should be barely opaque in the center and the sauce reduced by half). Stir in the parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt and serve over bread or pasta. Drizzle the sauce and serve with lemon slices.

I would use bread for an appetizer and pasta if you plan to make it a meal.

Enjoy!

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