Tag Archives: italian cooking

Tortino con gli Asparagi – Asparagus Flan

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB  Asparagus (fresh)
  • 2  Eggs
  • .5 C   Milk (whole or 2% – use high quality milk as it is a key ingredient)
  • 2 TB  Lucini Organic Stravvechio Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 TB  Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus enough to oil your small pan)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • Breadcrumbs to line the pan

Preparation:

Wash the asparagus spears and trim away the fibrous white section at the bottom with a peeler, then boil in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes, or until they soften but retain some crispness. Remove them to a plate, and, as soon as they’re cool enough to handle cut them into inch-long lengths, setting the tips aside.

Preheat your oven to 375.  Liberally oil a small pan and then coat the insides with the breadcrumbs.

Beat the milk, eggs, nutmeg, oil and grated cheese in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and add the asparagus stalks (they’ll float).  Bake the mixture for about 10 minutes, then add the tips, sprinkling them over the top, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until it has firmed up throughout.  Cool in the pan and then serve warm.

Chicken Parmigiana

This version of Chicken Parmigiana (Parmesan) is baked/broiled, rather than fried for great calorie/fat savings without losing any flavor.  No one believes it is baked when I serve it!!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and oil together over medium high heat until the garlic just turns light gold, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on low until sauce thickens – 15-20 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.  Cover and keep warm.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Whisk together mustard, vinegar, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper, and 1 TB melted butter in a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, and toss to coat well.  In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well and add in 1 TB melted butter.  Then dredge each chicken piece in the crumb mixture until well coated.  Place each thigh on a non-stick baking pan (or Silpat) and press the crumbs in gently.  Bake in the middle of the oven until golden and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn heat up to broil.  Place a basil leaf, then a slice of mozzarella on each thigh.  Return to oven and broil for 2 minutes.  Ready to serve – I usually serve with pasta.

Fig Marmalade (Marmellata di Fichi)

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Wash the figs well then chop them and combine with the sugar in a bowl.  Cover them and let them rest overnight.  The next morning transfer them to a pot and cook over medium heat them over a moderate flame, stirring often until they come to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, skimming away the foam occasionally, until thick (a drop of liquid on an inclined plate doesn’t run).  Add the olive oil and vinegar and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Transfer the marmalade to sterile jars, seal them, sterilize them, and when they have cooled transfer them to your pantry.

Caramelized Pears with Parmigiano

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cut each pear into 8 equal pieces.  Toss the pears and sugar together gently in a bowl.

Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the pears and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar just begins to caramelize (turns to an amber color). Do not let the sugar turn brown.  Add the cherry balsamic, salt and orange zest.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until the sauce starts to reduce.

Transfer the pears to serving dishes and top with the sauce, parmigiano and chopped mint.

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken Breasts Puttanesca

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Mix the shredded cheese, paprika and black pepper.  Coat the breasts with the cheese mixture, pressing the cheese in to adhere.   Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet.  Set breasts into the skillet and cook for minutes per side, until cheese forms an even, golden casing around the tender chicken breasts.  Top the breasts with the tomato sauce for the final minute.

Grilled Sausage & Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB  Sausage links (sweet Italian, pierced with a fork)
  • 3 TB  Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3        Bell Peppers (cut into 1-inch dice)
  • 1        Onion (small, thinly sliced)
  • 1        Scotch Bonnet chili pepper (optional, seeded, thinly sliced)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 C Red wine (Dry)
  • 1/2 C Lucini Organic Parmigiano Reggiano (grated)

Preparation:

Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until just charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the peppers, onion, chili pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes.  Season with salt.  Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the cheese over the sausage and peppers.  Serve with great bread, passing the remaining parmigiano at the table.

Ravioli with Fig Balsamic Reduction, Pumpkin Seeds and Brown Butter

Ingredients:

  • 16-24 oz  Ravioli (homemade or purchased, best with cheese or vegetarian ravioli)
  • 6 TB          Butter (unsalted, high quality)
  • 3 TB          Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp    Salt
  • 1/4 tsp    Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1/3 C        Pumpkin Seeds (roasted – pine nuts, walnuts and even pecans work well)
  • 1/4 C        Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano (fresh, grated)

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm, stirring occasionally.  Drain ravioli onto a large serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool for about 1 minute.  Stir in the salt and pepper.

Reduce the fig balsamic in a skillet over medium heat.  Do not let the balsamic bubble wildly, as it will reduce too quickly and lose its liquidity.  Remove when it thickens by half.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the brown butter, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan and toss.  Add to serving bowls, then finish with the reduced fig balsamic.