Tag Archives: pasta sauce

Pesto

Why flax seeds?  I have been reading a lot about omega 3 lately and trying to work it into my diet more often (rather than relying solely on supplements).  One of the best sources of omega 3 is ground flax seeds and thinking about the groundness of the seeds led me to pesto – the root of the word is the same as pestle and both derive from the Latinpestâ” (to pound or crush).  It seems that many people have negative connotations for flax seeds – that the texture is weird or flavor will be unpleasant.  But, i’ve tested this recipe on some discerning palates and everyone thought that the nuts used were either 100% walnuts or a mixture of walnuts and pine nuts.  Be sure to taste before and after adding the salt – I usually avoid salt in pesto recipes, but because the Lucini Stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano is so rich and flavorful and has less of a salty profile than generic Parmigiano Reggiano, I do add salt to this preparation.  As always find it better to start with a little less – you can add more, but if you start with too much, fixing the taste is difficult.

pesto

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Grind the flax seeds.  Combine the garlic, flax seeds, walnuts and salt in a food processor (or a mortar and pestle, for a more ‘authentic’ consistency) and blend until the mixture forms a paste.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending slowly.  Add the Parmigiano 1 tablespoon at a time, blending for short beats until the mixture forms a thick paste.  The pesto can be put in a container, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil and then stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.  Without this preservation layer, the pesto discolors very quickly and the garlic flavor will turn bitter in a matter of days.

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Spring Break – Yes, it’s that time again!

Weather Channel predictions aside, Spring Break is only five weeks away. Are you ready? Whether you’re headed for Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, or points beyond, shorts, sleeveless dresses, flip-flops and sandals will definitely be the attire of the week.

So, I ask again – are you ready? I know I’m not! This winter has been just a bit much and the weight seemed to just appear out of nowhere. Cold winter nights just go too well with Lucini’s Umbrian Lentil or Rustic Minestrone soups, carbonara con coniglio, risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera,

carbonara con coniglio

carbonara con coniglio


risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera

risotto con bresaola e valtellina casera

and all the other heavy taste treats of winter.

All good things must come to an end, though, and my winter eating has ended! Luckily, oranges, grapefruit, clementines, and all the other delicious citrus are in season and better than ever. Paired with a traditional basil-tomato sauce over pasta and presto! you have the perfect ‘get in shape’ meal.

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

One of my personal favorites is insalata di arancia alla siciliana (recipe follows) served with Lucini tomato-basil sauce over spinach and ricotto ravioli with grated Lucini stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano

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Spinach and ricotta ravioli with Lucini Tomato-Basil sauce

Spinach and ricotta ravioli with Lucini Tomato-Basil sauce

Another preference of mine is insalata di pomodoro con mozzarella (recipe follows) and a pan-fried chicken breast (I use just a teaspoon of Lucini’s extra virgin olive oil to ‘fry’ the breast). Or try pasta al dente – any type – drizzled with Lucini’s extra virgin oil olive and dusted with Lucini’s stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano and mixed baby greens with a drab of Lucini Tuscan Balsamic vinaigrette. The ‘light’ possibilities are endless…..and delicious, too! And don’t forget to exercise….

Insalata di arancia alla siciliana

3-4 large navel oranges peeled and sliced in thirds

1-2 large pink grapefruit peeled and sliced in thirds

2 green onions chopped

1/4 cup Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teasp salt

1/4 teasp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together and toss. Leave standing at room temperature until served. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Insalata di pomodoro con mozzarella

1-2lbs cherry or sweet grape tomatoes

fresh mozzarella in water (boccincini)

2-3 fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces

1 1/2 teasp dried oregano

1/4 cup Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and toss. Leave standing at room temperature until served. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Easter: Sicily’s Holiday

Easter in Sicily is like no other holiday: pageants, processions, historic icons, age-old societies, and food food food!

Torta Pasqualina

Torta Pasqualina

In a country that relishes its traditions and bountiful harvests, Sicilian tables feature a combination of seasonal and symbolic ingredients that welcome in spring as much as celebrate Easter.

Farfalle Saporite con Asparagi

Farfalle Saporite con Asparagi

Tender green vegetables play an important role whether they appear in delicate savory tarts as starters or in the form of sauces or stuffing for first courses. The most classic tart is the Torta Pasqualina, layers of puff pastry covering a ricotta and artichoke mixture with the added surprise of whole eggs baked into the filling. Asparagus – both cultivated and wild – is a favorite in pasta as well as a side dish.

The main course will almost inevitably be lamb, at its most tender and succulent at this time of year.

Agnello Arrosto

Agnello Arrosto

Whether it’s the traditional arrosto di agnello (roast leg of lamb marinated in white wine and roasted with rosemary, garlic and extra virgin olive oil), or the impressive corona di carré d’agnello (rack of lamb shaped into a guard of honor),

Corona di Carre' d'agnello

Corona di Carre' d'agnello

or a mouthwatering casserole with artichokes, lamb provides a delicious highpoint for an extremely important holiday.

Colomba

Colomba

For dessert you’ll find an assortment of mignon dolce (bite-sized pastries) and Colomba, a delicate dove-shaped sweet cake that originally came from Lombardy. This yeast dough-based dessert is filled with fragrant candied fruit and topped with a crunchy topping of almonds and sugar.

Uova di Pasqua

Uova di Pasqua

And please don’t forget the chocolate Easter eggs!

Perfect for Purim: Gifts Baskets that are Sure to Please!

Purim (9-11 March 2009) is the celebration of the miracle of salvation by Esther. Considered the happiest celebration of the Jewish calendar, Purim is full of fun, laughter, costume contests, and gift-giving.

Lucini Italia has the perfect array of award-winning  selections just waiting to be snuggled into a lovely gift basket. Extra virgin olive oil and infused oils, a vast selection of sauces, aged Parmigiano Reggiano, vinegars and vinaigrettes: the combinations are endless! Be sure to include recipes from Lucini’s Recipe collection.

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Classic Pasta Dinner Basket

Lucini Tomato Basil Sauce

Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lucini Roasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

500g package of premium short pasta such as Garofalo’ fusile or farfalle

Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano

Pasta Fork and Sauce Spoon

Oranges, Clementines, Dates, Dried Figs, or other winter fruit