1.10.2013

Spritz Aperol


Spritz Aperol

2 oz. Prosecco1 
1/2 Aperol Orange Liqueur
1 dash od sparkling water

The perfect Spritz is prepared in a wine glass, or rock. Add ice, Prosecco, dash of sparkling water and top with Aperol. This is to avoid that the Aperol settles on the bottom. Garnish with a slice of orange.

The origins of this drink are not known but it is widely believed that the Spritz was born during the 19th century Austrian occupation of Italy. Its name, in fact, may derive from the German verb spritzen meaning “to spray” or might be linked to the name of specific Austrian wines of the western region of Wachau. German soldiers soon got used to drinking local Venetian wines at the many taverns, but the alcohol content, so much higher than the beer they would drink back home, made them dilute it with water. Thus was born the “straight” Spritz that is still found in some bars of Trieste and Udine.
With time the Aperitivo ritual of northern Italy spread to the rest of the country, and with it the variants of the original Spritz. Many Venetian towns had their own specific variant, and many interpretations of each kind. However, in the last decade the Aperol Spritz with Prosecco has become the most popular one; fresh, sparkling and light- the ideal early evening drink.

Sicilian Sauce





























1/2 cup of olive oil
1 egg plant (sliced)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
4 cups of tomato sauce
4 oz of ricotta
1 cup of your favorite olives
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
Basil
Salt & Pepper to tate


In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and fry the egg plant until it begins to brown.  Add the onions and garlic and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Onion will be transparent and sweating.  Add the tomato sauce, olives, and a nice glug of balsamic vinegar.  Add the herbs, ricotta, and a little salt and pepper.

Feb, 31st Fresh Pasta Class

Feb, 31st Fresh Pasta Class

Recipes

Spritz Aperol

2 oz. Prosecco1 1/2 Aperol Orange Liqueur1 dash od sparkling water
The perfect Spritz is prepared in a wine glass, or rock. Add ice, Prosecco, dash of sparkling water and top with Aperol. This is to avoid that the Aperol settles on the bottom. Garnish with a slice of orange.

The origins of this drink are not known but it is widely believed that the Spritz was born during the 19th century Austrian occupation of Italy. Its name, in fact, may derive from the German verb spritzen meaning “to spray” or might be linked to the name of specific Austrian wines of the western region of Wachau. German soldiers soon got used to drinking local Venetian wines at the many taverns, but the alcohol content, so much higher than the beer they would drink back home, made them dilute it with water. Thus was born the “straight” Spritz that is still found in some bars of Trieste and Udine.
With time the Aperitivo ritual of northern Italy spread to the rest of the country, and with it the variants of the original Spritz. Many Venetian towns had their own specific variant, and many interpretations of each kind. However, in the last decade the Aperol Spritz with Prosecco has become the most popular one; fresh, sparkling and light- the ideal early evening drink.


Semolina dough (1 portion)


4 oz (1/2 cup) of Semolina flour
1 egg

Using a fork begging mixing in the egg with the flour.  Once egg has been mixed in enough, begin using your hands to work the dough.  Continues until reaches a smooth consistency, adding a light dust of flour if necessary.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap to protect from drying.  For best results, let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes.

Lemon Sauce (2 Servings)


1/2 box of cream (panna)
3 Tbls of olive oil
1 juicy lemon
1 tbls of dill
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, sauté the onions until lightly browned.  Add the cream (Panna), the lemon juice, the dill and add salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too thick, add small spoons of the water from the pasta that is cooking.  Add the al dente pasta to the sauce and sauté for a minute.  The pasta is ready to be served.

Radicchio & Pancetta Sauce ( 4 Servings)

Pancetta (bacon) in cubes
1 Chopped onion
2 cups of radicchio in big pieces
1 cup of dry white wine
Thyme
Salt & pepper to taste

In a sauce pan, saute the pancetta until crispy and brown.  Add the onion, thyme and radicchio.  Let cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Then add the white wine and simmer.   Grind fresh pepper over the sauce and salt to taste (keeping in mind the pancetta is already salty).  Allow sauce to simmer for one minute.  Add the al dente pasta to the sauce and sauté for another minute.  The pasta is ready to be served.   

Sicilian Sauce (4 Servings)

1/2 cup of olive oil
1 egg plant (sliced)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
4 cups of tomato sauce
4 oz of ricotta
1 cup of your favorite olives
2 tbls of balsamic vinegar
Basil
Salt & Pepper to tate

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and fry the egg plant until it begins to brown.  Add the onions and garlic and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Onion will be transparent and sweating.  Add the tomato sauce, olives, and a nice glug of balsamic vinegar.  Add the herbs, ricotta, and a little salt and pepper.




12.21.2012

Mountain food class

Menu

-Pizzoccheri

-Shintzel served with butter nut squash, potato, carrots and broccoli mash; saurcrout and Speck sauce

Pera al vino

To drink: Beers from the Italian Alps

Recipes 

Pizzoccheri

1/2 pound of pizzoccheri 
3 big potatoes
5 leafs of Swiss chard
1/2 pound of fontina cheese
5 oz of Grana Padano cheese
4oz of butter
A clove of garlic
4/5 sage leafs
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the the chard and cut a V-shaped cut along the veins of the leaves, then remove the stem.  Cut into sticks of a width of 1 cm so that are cooked faster.  
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks.  Cook the potatoes and the Swiss chard for 10 minutes in a vegetable stock; in the same pan (with the chard and potatoes still inside) cook the Pizzoccheri pasta for another 10 minutes. 
 After 10 minutes of cooking, drain the pizzoccheri with a slotted spoon and pour some in a hot oven safe pan, sprinkle with grated Grana Padano and Valtellina Casera (you can use Fontina, Puzzone di Moena or Emmental), and continue alternating pizzoccheri and cheese.  In a separate pan, melt the butter with the garlic cloves uncut and sage until the garlic gets brown, remove the garlic and pour the melted butter on pizzoccheri (do not forget to take out the garlic cloves or they will overpower the dish).  Serve the pizzoccheri hot and with a dusting of freshly ground pepper.









Schnitzel


1 1/2 pound of pork chops
1/2 cup of flour
2 eggs
1 Tbsp of minced parsley
2 Tbsp of milk
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup of sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Place each pork cutlet between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until about 1/4 inch thick. Dip in flour to coat.
In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg and milk. Place bread crumbs on a plate. Dip each cutlet into the egg mixture, then press in the bread crumbs to coat.
    Fry the breaded cutlets until browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side.      Remove to a serving platter.

Beer and Speck sauce

1/2 an onion chopped
1 cup of your favorite beer
1 cup of bechamel
1 Tbls of butter
4 leafs of sage
5 slices of speck
4 oz of Asiago cheese in cubes
Salt, nutmeg and pepper to tas


In a big sauce pan, brown the onions, three sage leafs and speck.  Sauté the speck until crispy.  Add the beer over medium heat and allow liquid to reduce half it's beginning amount.  Add one cup béchamel sauce, and the cubed pieces of Asiago cheese and the nutmeg.  Sauce is complete!





Sauerkraut

1/2 an onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped finely
3 cups of sauerkraut
Butter
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium low heat and brown bacon and garlic together.  Add the sauerkraut and stir occasionally.  Cook until hot, add salt & pepper to taste.

Pera al vino (Pear in wine)

6 pears
1/2 bottle of red whine
8 oz of sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves

In a pan, cook the wine, sugar, cinnamon together for approximately five minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the pealed pears, over low heat, and simmer for thirty minutes. Finished!


12.11.2012

Risotto ai frutti di mare - Seafood risotto

Fish broth
Olive oil
¼ of pound of rice Carnaroli
2 pounds of seafood
1 cup od chopped onion
1tbsp of minced garlic
2 cups of wine
2 bay leaf
1 lemon
1 chopped tomatoes
½ cup of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pan, over medium heat, heat the oil and add the onions.  Season the onions with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally.  

2. Saute until the onions are slightly soft and transparent, about 3 minutes.  Add the Carnaroli rice and add the bay leaf, mixing it with the onions. 

4. Add about 4 cups of boiling fish stock and turn the heat up to high. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes and add more fish stock if necessary.  

5. When the rice starts turning white add a cup of white wine and let simmer.  When the liquid is reduced add the seafood, another cup of white wine, the parsley.  

6. Turn the heat on high and stir until the risotto is the texture of molten lava.  Taste the rice, it should have the right texture of being cooked just enough, appealing to the tooth.  When the rice is cooked, add the lemon juice and the tomatoes.  

7. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Introduction to Italian fishes

Introduction to Italian fishes
December, 10th 20112

Primo

Risotto ai frutti di mare
 paired with Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna

Secondo

Pesce al cartoccio - Baked fish wrapped in paper
 paired with Soave wine


Recipes


Risotto ai frutti di mare

Fish broth
Olive oil
¼ of pound of rice Carnaroli
2 pounds of seafood
1 cup od chopped onion
1tbsp of minced garlic
2 cups of wine
2 bay leaf
1 lemon
1 chopped tomatoes
½ cup of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

In a large pan, over medium heat, heat the oil and add the onions.  Season the onions with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally.  Saute until the onions are slightly soft and transparent, about 3 minutes.  Add the Carnaroli rice and add the bay leaf, mixing it with the onions.   Add about 4 cups of boiling fish stock and turn the heat up to high. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes and add more fish stock if necessary.  When the rice starts to turn white add a cup of white wine and let simmer.  When the liquid is reduced add the seafood, another cup of white wine, the parsley.  Turn the heat on high and stir until the risotto is the texture of molten lava.  Taste the rice, it should have the right texture of being cooked just enough, appealing to the tooth.  When the rice is cooked, add the lemon juice and the tomatoes.  Let rest for 5 minutes.
I suggest to serve with a small arugula salad on top; olive oil or fish eggs (caviar) on top.


Branzino al cartoccio (classic)
-recipe for one serving-

1 filet of branzino (about ½ pound)
¼ onion, sliced
3 slices of potato
1/3 of red pepper, sliced
1/3 of yellow pepper, sliced
3 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 clove of garlic cut in half
6 olives
1 Tablespoon of capers
2 spoons of olive oil
1 spoon of balsamic vinegar
3 slices of lemon
Herbs of the season
Salt/Pepper/Pepperoncino

Place an approximately 14 inch piece of parchment paper on the table.  Lay the potatoes slices down in a row; add salt and pepper (this will be the bed for the fish, you can also add rosemary).  Place the fish on the potatoes.  On the top of the fish, add all the other ingredients.  Fold the fish up in the paper tightly.  Bake at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes.


Notes of the class

In this class we get to know different fishes as Orata,   
Spinarolo, Trout and Merluzzo. They all can be used to the baked fish recipe.

12.07.2012

Pasta shapes



Bigoli - The Bigoli is a long, fat pasta (solid in the middle), like a big spaghetti of Venetian origin.  It is spread throughout the region and is also found in East Lombardy.
The recipe for bigoli is traditionally prepared with wheat flour, water, and salt.
Bigoli Al'anatra
Italian's describe the main feature of this pasta as, "Pasta Forte" which refers to it's "roughness" that allows it to hold sauces.  Bigoli has a peculiar and time consuming method of preparation.  The traditional pasta press is a hand operated die press, with two handles that screw down, compressing the dough through the holes at the bottom (this is attached to a small bench).  The cylinder is loaded with dough and screwed down, the pasta comes out the bottom giving you roughly one portion per cylinder.
There are different recipe variations of bigoli that are obtained by varying the type of flour used.  Saracen flour is black and is used to make darker (brown) bigoli.  Some recipes also call for duck eggs to be used instead of water.
There are so many traditional sauces with bigoli, however, the most common is from the mountainous areas of Veneto, "Bigoli All'Anatra" - bigoli with duck sauce.  Other common recipes are: Bigoli al Baccala - from Vicenza; or Bigoli con Sardele - from Venice.

Every year, on the last week of April, the so-called "party of the bigoi Torcio" is held in Limena (Padova province).  Every Saturday and Sunday in May is "The Feast of Bigoli in Rovolon" (also in Padova) in the vicinity of Carbonara.  There is another festival held in May on the third weekend, also held in Abano Terme in Monterosso.


Bucatini is a thick pasta with a hole running through the centre. The name comes from buco, meaning "hole", while bucato means "pierced".
Bucatini is common throughout Lazio particularly Rome. It is a tubed pasta made of hard durum flour and water. Its length is 25–30 cm (10–12 in) with a 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter. The average cooking time is nine minutes. Is traditionally served with Amatriciana sauce, buttery sauces, or thin tomatoes sauce with fish.


Fettuccine (literally "little ribbons" in Italian) is a type of pasta popular in Roman cuisine. It is a flat thick noodle made of egg and flour (usually one egg for every 100 g of flour), wider than but similar to the Tagliatelle. It is often eaten with sugo d'umido (beef ragù) and ragù di pollo (chicken ragù).
In Italy Fettuccine is traditionally made fresh (either at home or commercially) but dried fettuccine can also be bought in shops. 
Have you ever asked yourself, what is the difference between Fettuccine and Tagliatelle? The answer is, the Fettuccine is slightly thiner than the Tagliatelli; and from different region. The Fettucine is from Rome and the Tagliatelli is from Bologna.



Radiatori - Radiatori are small, squat pasta shapes that are said to resemble radiators. They somewhat resemble rotini in shape, but are generally shorter and thicker with a ruffled edge. Radiatori are often used in similar dishes as rotelle or fusilli, since the shape works well with thicker sauces.

See the recipe for Radiatori alla Vodka.


Pappardelle - Pappardelle are large, very broad flat Pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. The name derives from the verb "pappare", to gobble up. Pappardelle have the origins from Tuscany, but is also diffused in other Italian regions.
The fresh types are two to three centimetres (¾-1 inch) wide and may have fluted edges. Dried egg pappardelle have straight sides. This pasta is traditionally served with very rich, heavy sauces, especially sauces which include game such as wild boar, and it is particularly popular in the winter, when it can make the basis of a hearty, warming meal.


Penne - Penne is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna, and is a cognate of the English word pen. In Italy, penne are produced in two main variants: "penne lisce" (smooth) and "penne rigate" (furrowed), the latter having ridges on each penna. There is also pennoni("big quills"), which is a wider version of penne.  Penne is a popular ingredient in pasta salads. Penne makes an excellent and versatile pasta for many applications because of its very practical design. The hollow center allows it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops. Penne rigate's ridges allow it to hold still more sauce, as well as offering an alternative textural option for certain dishes; penne lisce offers a refined sensation to the palate.

12.06.2012

Pasta al forno

* 2 cups of Béchamel sauce
* 2 cups of tomato passata
* 2 Sausages
* 1 Onion
* 2 cloves of garlic
* 1 carrot, in big chunks
* ½ head of broccoli, but in big chunks
* Fresh herbs of the season (ex: thyme,
basil, rosemary, oregano)
* Any other vegetable that you like (ex:
kale, Swiss chard, radicchio, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, etc…)
* 1 cup smoked provolone, grated (you can use any cheese you want)
* Parmiggiano or Grana Padano (to grate on top)
* 500g half cooked tortiglioni pasta
1. Preheat the oven on 230˚C/450˚F;
2. Meanwhile in a saucepan, over medium heat, combine garlic, onion and sausage together;
3. Once it begins to golden, add carrots, broccoli, herbs, and the additional vegetables you would like;
4. Cook until vegetables begin to get soft but not completely cooked, add a sip of water if necessary;
5. Turn heat on high and add the tomato passata. Simmer for a few minutes and turn off; 

6. Cook pasta until it is a little undercooked.
7. Drain and add to sauce;
Set aside.
8. In a baking tray, add all the bechamel on the bottom. Then in a separate pan, mix the pasta with the sauce. Add the pasta and sauce on top of bechamel;
9. Add the grated cheese to the top, drizzle with
olive oil on top (necessary to get a brown crust on top).
10. Bake in the oven for about 40 min and monitor making sure it doesn’t burn. The top of the cheese will be dark brown but not burned when it is done, forming a nice crust of pasta and cheese.