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Gnocchi alla romana
Cuisine is influenced by the cooking of
Italy
Mediterranean


The Holy See is the central governing body of the entire Roman Catholic Church located within the Vatican City, an independent state located on the Vatican hill.
Vatican City's culinary history is essentially identical to that of Italy, with the exception that the foreigners living in the Vatican change regularly and with each new group comes new foods.
The city is too small to truly have a distinct culinary history so to understand the big picture, one must understand the historic diet and culinary influences of Italy.

Appetizer
Asparagus mimosa  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
3 pounds fresh green asparagus
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup herb-vinaigrette dressing
Peel and trim the asparagus.
Boil 4 quarts of water in a pot. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until just tender.
Gently remove asparagus from boiling water and cool in ice cold water. Drain on paper towels, and set aside.
Separate egg yolks and whites. Wash egg whites in cold water. Drain on paper towel and set aside. Finely chop egg yolks; set aside in a small bowl. Chop egg whites and save in a bowl.
Arrange asparagus on a serving platter. Sprinkle egg yolk and egg white and parsley over asparagus.
Serve cold with the herb-vinaigrette.

Appetizer
Caprese salad  Print Recipe

Insalata Caprese, also known as Caprese Salad is a traditional Italian appetizer. Fresh summer tomatoes, fresh basil, and soft mozzarella cheese (not the rubbery and dry version) make this salad a summer favorite. The salad has its origins from the island of Capri in Italy, south of the coast of Naples.
The creamy mozzarella in this salad is arguably the perfect counterbalance to the humble tomato, thanks to its rich yet subtle taste and mellow dairy notes.
Serves: 4
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:None
4 large vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into 1/4 inch slices
15-20 basil leaves sliced into ribbons
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher/sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (optional)
More presentations




Sprinkle sliced tomatoes with salt.
Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on platter in alternating and overlapping pattern, or stacked as shown on the image above.
Either tuck whole leaves of basil in between layers of tomatoes or sprinkle salad with the ribbons of basil.
Drizzle the salad evenly with extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze if using.
Serve immediately or within one hour of preparation.

There is really no “dressing” for Caprese Salad. Instead a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt is all that is needed.
A drizzle of balsamic reduction enhances the taste of this simple salad, but that is optional.


Notes

Beefsteak, vine-ripened, or heirloom tomatoes are all great for this Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

Balsamic Reduction

You can easily purchase a balsamic reduction or glaze or you can make it at home.

Place 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar into heavy bottomed saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
Allow to reduce, stirring occasionally, until the balsamic is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. This takes about 10 minutes.

Appetizer
Bruschetta orzo salad  Print Recipe


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:None
3/4 cup orzo, freshly cooked, rinsed and drained
2 medium Italian tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
1/2 cup red onion finely diced
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Serve with toasted garlic bread

Appetizer
Sicilian arancini  Print Recipe

Classic Sicilian Arancini Rice Balls Arancini, rice balls stuffed with sauce peas or corn, are one of the best-loved Sicilian snacks and street foods, and they have become increasingly popular throughout Italy and worldwide. The filling in this recipe is a meat ragù, green peas, and melty mozzarella, but there are endless other types of fillings including pistachios, mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella, ham, spinach, and more. The rice is scented with saffron and the rice balls are rolled in breadcrumbs before frying them into balls. Usually, they're made with caciocavallo cheese, but since that can be difficult to find outside of Southern Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano is used in this recipe. They can be eaten as an antipasto or snack, or even as a meal when coupled with perhaps a salad or soup.
Serves: 6
Preparation time:40 minutes
Cooking time:5 minutes
For the Rice
10 1/2 ounces short-grain rice (Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio)
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 oz unsalted butter
Fine sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

For the Meat Sauce and Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion (about 1/2 small, finely chopped)
3 tablespoons carrot (finely chopped )
3 tablespoons celery (finely chopped)
3 ounces ground beef
3 ounces ground pork
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato purée (passata di pomodoro)
1/3 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)

For the Rice Balls
Optional: 4.4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 inches vegetable oil (for frying)
Steps to Make It
Make the Rice
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, place the rice, saffron, and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.
Remove lid, stir in grated Parmigiano, butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Spread the rice out on a large plate or baking dish to cool completely to room temperature.


Make the Meat Sauce and Filling
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté, stirring often, until softened and the onions are translucent - about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the ground beef and pork and fry, stirring often, until browned - about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the wine and let cook until the alcohol aroma has reduced - about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and tomato purée, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally - about 10 minutes.
Stir in meat sauce.
Add the peas and continue to simmer the sauce for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the sauce is thickened. It should not be too liquidy.
Transfer the filling to a bowl and set aside to let it cool.

Once the rice and filling are completely cooled, start shaping your rice balls.
Place 1 heaping tablespoon of rice in the palm of one hand, then use your fingers and thumb to shape it into a hollow bowl shape.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center and 1 to 2 small cubes of diced fresh mozzarella (if using).
Then gently close the rice around the filling to form either a round ball shape or a cone/pear shape.

When all of your arancini have been formed, whisk together the flour, eggs, 1/2 cup of water, and a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl until smooth.
Spread the bread crumbs in a plate or baking dish.
Gently roll each ball first in the egg-flour-water-salt mixture, letting any excess drip off.
Then roll them in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
At this point, you can refrigerate your arancini for 20 to 30 minutes to let them firm up if they seem a bit too loose or liquidy. If not, you can go directly to frying.
Heat about 2 inches of vegetable frying oil to 360F.
Fry your arancini in batches of just 2 to 3 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot until they are evenly golden-brown - about 3 minutes.
Transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Serve hot.

Appetizer
Polenta fries  Print Recipe

polenta or cornmeal They're used interchangeably. Yet polenta is a dish, and cornmeal is an ingredient — often the main ingredient in that dish. Hailing from northern Italy, polenta was originally a meal of any grain, coarsely ground and slow-cooked in liquid until softened.
Serves: 4
Preparation time:10 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
1 cup quick-cook polenta (190g)
3 ⅓ cups chicken or vegetable stock (800ml)
4 tbsp butter (60g)
½ cup freshly grated parmesan (30g)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Add the stock to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer and slowly add the polenta whilst stirring until all the polenta is fully incorporated.
Next, add the butter, parmesan, herbs and salt and stir until the butter has melted and the polenta has thickened slightly (2-3 minutes).
Pour the cooked polenta into a lined baking dish (10x8 inch) and spread it out evenly. Let the polenta cool completely then chill in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 430F/220C.
Once chilled and completely set, remove the polenta from the tray and cut into fries.
Place the fries on a baking tray and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve as a side or appetizer.

Appetizer
Eggplant and tomato with chevre  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes
1 small eggplant (3/4 lb)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives or green onion tops
2 ounces creamy chevre
1/4 cup whipping cream
Trim eggplant; peel if desired. Cut crosswise into 1/4-in slices. Sprinkle slices with coarse salt; place in colander to drain for 30 minutes.
Rinse eggplant well under cool running eater; pat dry and set aside.
In skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat; cook onion, garlic and hot pepper flakes, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Spoon half of onion mixture into greased 13-by-9-in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Overlap slices of eggplant and tomato over onion mixture finishing with remaining onion mixture. sprinkle with chives and drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over top.
Cover with a piece of waxed or parchment paper cut to fit the dish, and applied directly to surface; bake in 400F oven 10 minutes. Remove paper; drizzle with remaining oil.
Replace paper; bake 20 minutes longer, basting occasionally with juices that collect in baking dish, until eggplant is tender.
Remove dish from oven; let stand 1 to 2 hours for flavors to develop.
About 10 minutes before serving, heat broiler and remove paper from baking dish.
In small bowl, combine goat cheese and cream until smooth. Dot teaspoonfuls of the mixture evenly over top of eggplant dish.
Broil about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve at once or at room temperature.

Appetizer
Orzo with wild mushrooms  Print Recipe

A version of risotto made with orzo
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. hen of the woods, chanterelle, or morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved if large
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1¾ cups (12 oz.) orzo
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup cream
½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Heat chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat; set aside and keep warm. Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add mushrooms and cook until golden, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a bowl; set aside. Add shallots and garlic to saucepan; cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes.
Add orzo, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add reserved stock ¼ cup at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before adding next amount. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has all been used and orzo is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until liquid is creamy, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in reserved mushrooms, Parmesan, salt, and pepper; serve with additional Parmesan on the side.

Appetizer
Pumpkin and sweet garlic custards  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour 20 minutes
2 heads garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled (approximately 20 cloves)
1 3-pound sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
8 small sprigs
fresh marjoram, for garnish

Put the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Add enough cold salted water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain, discarding the water. Return the garlic cloves to the pan, add more water and salt, and repeat twice more. When the water comes to a boil for the third time, reduce the heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until the cloves are tender. Drain, and set aside 8 cloves for garnish. Peel the remaining cloves.
Meanwhile, put the pumpkin in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Add enough cold salted water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with the tip of a small, sharp knife. Drain.
In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash and peeled garlic cloves, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the excess moisture evaporates. Remove from the heat to cool to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Transfer the squash and garlic to a blender or a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth.
Add the eggs, cream, marjoram, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, and pulse to combine. Ladle the custard into eight 4-ounce ramekins. Set the ramekins in a shallow roasting pan or baking pan, cover loosely with a sheet of foil, and put the pan in the oven. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set around the edges but still a little shaky in the center. Check the custards after about 15 minutes in the oven. If they are puffing up and resembling souffles, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. If not serving right away, let the heat escape from the oven and, at the same time, reduce the temperature to its lowest setting (between 180° and 200°F). Let the custards cool slightly in the water bath, then lift the ramekins from the water and serve immediately or return them to the oven to keep warm. Serve the custards in the ramekins or unmolded, inverted onto a plate. To serve, garnish each custard with a reserved unpeeled clove of garlic and a sprig of marjoram.
NOTE:
If making well in advance, remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate them. To reheat, place the custards, still covered with plastic wrap, in a large saute pan and add enough water to come about 1/2 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bring to a simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the custards are warmed through. Off the heat, the custards will keep warm in the water bath for up to 30 minutes.
VARIATIONS:
This recipe can be used to make custards with vegetables that have low fiber and water content, such as cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, and turnips. If using a more fibrous vegetable such as peas or asparagus, you must first sieve them.

Main
Calzones  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time:50 minutes
1/3 cup diced peeled eggplant
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
1 cup diced red peppers
to taste salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup feta cheese or chèvre
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 batch bread dough for calzones
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine in a large bowl, diced peeled eggplant, chopped onion, diced mushrooms, diced zucchini, diced red pepper, salt and pepper. Toss together with olive oil.
Bake at 425 degree F. on baking sheet for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes or till soft. Spoon back in bowl.
Mix in crumbled feta cheese or chèvre, and chopped fresh basil. Roll out bread dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into 7-inch circles. Spoon 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture over circles.
Brush edges of dough with egg white. Fold dough into turnovers. Seal and brush with egg white.
Bake till golden. Mixture can also be used for pizza or for pasta.

Main
Cannellonis  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
10 ounces spinach, cooked
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef, lean
2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
2 eggs
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
12 crêpes (see recipe)
2 cups cream sauce (see recipe)
1 cup marinara sauce
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan. Add onion, garlic and parsley and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown. Add chopped cooked spinach.
In a skillet, brown ground beef in remaining olive oil. Chop in a processor. Add grated Parmesan, eggs, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Blend in the spinach mixture.
Divide filling in crêpes. Roll to enclose filling.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with marinara sauce. Arrange stuffed crêpes in baking dish.
Spoon the cream sauce and tomato sauce over crêpes.
Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until brown.

Main
Gnocchi alla romana  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
3 cups whole or low fat milk
3/4 cup semolina flour or yellow polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 cups)
2 large eggs
2 cups of pasta or Marinara sauce (optional)
Whisk together milk, semolina, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until very stiff, 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Beat in eggs.
Spread gnocchi mixture 1 inch thick on an oiled baking sheet or a 9-inch square baking pan and chill, uncovered, until very firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cut out squares, or other shapes from gnocchi mixture and arrange, slightly overlapping, in a well-buttered 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Brush gnocchi with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake in middle of oven until gnocchi are beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with hot pasta or Marinara sauce (optional).

Main
Carrot gnocchi  Print Recipe


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
1/2 pound carrots
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
3 teaspoons butter
1 cup Parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3 teaspoons flour
1 large egg yolk
salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
3 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel and slice carrots. Boil until tender. Drain.
In a medium skillet, cook the onion in 1 tablespoon butter, over moderate heat, stirring until pale gold.
Add carrots, and cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Transfer the carrots to a food processor, and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the cheese, the flour and egg yolk, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; mix well.
Bring a wide shallow saucepan of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Prepare a bowl of ice cold water. Shape the carrot mixture into ovals, using two soup spoons, scooping a portion between the spoons.
Slide 4 of the gnocchi at the time into the boiling water and cook just until they rise to the surface, about a minute or less.
When the gnocchi are done, transfer to the cold water.
Lightly butter a baking dish large enough to hold the gnocchi in a layer without crowding.
Drain the gnocchi and arrange them in the prepared baking baking dish.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and butter. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve at once.

Main
Asparagus mimosa  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
3 pounds fresh green asparagus
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup herb-vinaigrette dressing
Peel and trim the asparagus.
Boil 4 quarts of water in a pot. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until just tender.
Gently remove asparagus from boiling water and cool in ice cold water. Drain on paper towels, and set aside.
Separate egg yolks and whites. Wash egg whites in cold water. Drain on paper towel and set aside. Finely chop egg yolks; set aside in a small bowl. Chop egg whites and save in a bowl.
Arrange asparagus on a serving platter. Sprinkle egg yolk and egg white and parsley over asparagus.
Serve cold with the herb-vinaigrette.

Main
Grilled tomatoes kebabs  Print Recipe

Small tomatoes such as cherry, current or pear tomatoes are best eaten raw or briefly cooked. They are perfect for skewering and grilling because they do not fall apart, unless overcooked. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in cold water before using.
Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:4 minutes
36 small tomatoes, such as Cherry, Ping Pong, or Yellow Pear
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
Six wooden or metal skewers
Wash and drain tomatoes. Using a paper towel, dry each or spread on towels and allow to air dry so the oil will stick to the skins.
Place the dry tomatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with oregano and pepper.
Toss to coat tomatoes. Thread 6 tomatoes, spaced at least an inch apart, on each of the 6 skewers.
Brush hot grill grate with oil to prevent sticking. Arrange skewers on grate.
Grill 2 to 4 minutes. Turn and grill the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skewers and sprinkle with salt, if desired.

Main
Cheese tart with artichoke hearts   Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
1 puff pastry sheet, store-bought
1 egg, whisked
A handful of finely chopped parsley
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
A heaping tablespoon crème fraiche or sour cream, or cream cheese
A dozen artichoke hearts, jarred ones
1 to 2 tablespoons capers
1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
Lemon zest
Basil or cilantro
Salt and pepper
Shaved Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven at 400°F or 205°C.
2. Roll the pastry sheet to 0.5 cm or 1/4 inches. Trim the pastry into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle (or 30 x 23 cm). Sketch a border around the pastry using your knife. You can layer the excess dough over the borders and create a rim for the dough.
3. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg. Combine the mozzarella, ricotta, parsley, crème fraiche, remaining egg (from brushing the pastry), salt and pepper in a bowl.
4. Spread the cheese filling all over the pastry. Arrange the artichoke hearts, Serrano peppers, and capers on top, and bake for 25-30 minutes. You can broil the tart for 2 mins at the end.
5. Finish off the tart with shaved Parmesan, cilantro, and lemon zest on top.

Main
Parmesan and thyme crackers  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:25 minutes
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the Parmesan, thyme, salt, and pepper and combine. With the mixer still on low, add the flour and combine until the mixture is in large crumbles, about 1 minute. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon water.

Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 9-inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the log into 3/8-inch-thick rounds with a small, sharp knife and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 22 minutes, until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Main
Sicilian arancini  Print Recipe

Classic Sicilian Arancini Rice Balls Arancini, rice balls stuffed with sauce peas or corn, are one of the best-loved Sicilian snacks and street foods, and they have become increasingly popular throughout Italy and worldwide. The filling in this recipe is a meat ragù, green peas, and melty mozzarella, but there are endless other types of fillings including pistachios, mushrooms, prosciutto and mozzarella, ham, spinach, and more. The rice is scented with saffron and the rice balls are rolled in breadcrumbs before frying them into balls. Usually, they're made with caciocavallo cheese, but since that can be difficult to find outside of Southern Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano is used in this recipe. They can be eaten as an antipasto or snack, or even as a meal when coupled with perhaps a salad or soup.
Serves: 6
Preparation time:40 minutes
Cooking time:5 minutes
For the Rice
10 1/2 ounces short-grain rice (Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio)
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 oz unsalted butter
Fine sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

For the Meat Sauce and Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion (about 1/2 small, finely chopped)
3 tablespoons carrot (finely chopped )
3 tablespoons celery (finely chopped)
3 ounces ground beef
3 ounces ground pork
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato purée (passata di pomodoro)
1/3 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)

For the Rice Balls
Optional: 4.4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 inches vegetable oil (for frying)
Steps to Make It
Make the Rice
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, place the rice, saffron, and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.
Remove lid, stir in grated Parmigiano, butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Spread the rice out on a large plate or baking dish to cool completely to room temperature.


Make the Meat Sauce and Filling
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté, stirring often, until softened and the onions are translucent - about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the ground beef and pork and fry, stirring often, until browned - about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the wine and let cook until the alcohol aroma has reduced - about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and tomato purée, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally - about 10 minutes.
Stir in meat sauce.
Add the peas and continue to simmer the sauce for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the sauce is thickened. It should not be too liquidy.
Transfer the filling to a bowl and set aside to let it cool.

Once the rice and filling are completely cooled, start shaping your rice balls.
Place 1 heaping tablespoon of rice in the palm of one hand, then use your fingers and thumb to shape it into a hollow bowl shape.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center and 1 to 2 small cubes of diced fresh mozzarella (if using).
Then gently close the rice around the filling to form either a round ball shape or a cone/pear shape.

When all of your arancini have been formed, whisk together the flour, eggs, 1/2 cup of water, and a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl until smooth.
Spread the bread crumbs in a plate or baking dish.
Gently roll each ball first in the egg-flour-water-salt mixture, letting any excess drip off.
Then roll them in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
At this point, you can refrigerate your arancini for 20 to 30 minutes to let them firm up if they seem a bit too loose or liquidy. If not, you can go directly to frying.
Heat about 2 inches of vegetable frying oil to 360F.
Fry your arancini in batches of just 2 to 3 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot until they are evenly golden-brown - about 3 minutes.
Transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Serve hot.

Main
Bruschetta orzo salad  Print Recipe


Serves: 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:None
3/4 cup orzo, freshly cooked, rinsed and drained
2 medium Italian tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
1/2 cup red onion finely diced
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Serve with toasted garlic bread

Main
Parmesan sage polenta sticks  Print Recipe


Serves: 7
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
4 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 pound)
Butter a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. In a large heavy saucepan bring water to a boil and add salt. Add sage and 1/3 cup cornmeal., a little at a time, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and add remaining cup cornmeal in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Cook mixture over low heat, whisking, 1 minute and remove pan from heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup Parmesan and stir polenta until butter is incorporated.
Working quickly, spread polenta evenly in prepared dish and chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Polenta may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Preheat broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. In a small saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Invert polenta onto a work surface.
Halve polenta lengthwise and cut each half crosswise into 14 sticks. Arrange sticks on prepared baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
Broil sticks about 4 inches from heat until golden, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Turn sticks over and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil sticks until cheese is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Main
Roasted tomatoes  Print Recipe


Serves: 10
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:2 hours
4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (20 whole)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Trim stem ends of tomatoes; cut in half lengthwise.
Arrange, cut side up and without crowding, on large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Stir together garlic, basil and oil; brush over tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in 250 degree oven for 2 hours or until tomatoes are softened and shrivelled, and edges begin to darken.

Tip:
To make Roasted Tomato Crostini,
1 french baguette
4 ounces soft goat cheese Cut French baguette into 20 slices;
place on baking sheet and broil until toasted.
Evenly spread with goat cheese; top each with 2 tomato halves and 1 basil leaf.

Main
Summer salad  Print Recipe


Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:12 minutes
1/2 pound green beans (1-inch length)
1 pound cooked asparagus
2 cooked artichoke bottoms
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced chervil
1 tomato
1 avocado
sherry vinegar mayonnaise
Cut green beans into 1-inch lengths.
Cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain.
Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths.
Cut each artichoke bottom into 6 wedges.
Combine beans, asparagus, artichokes, chives, parsley and chervil with enough mayonnaise to coat.
Peel and thinly slice the tomato.
Peel, pit and thinly slice the avocado.
Arrange the salad on four lettuce lined plates and garnish with tomato and avocado.

Dessert
Panna cotta with berry compote  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
1envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup each sour cream, whipping cream and light cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Lightly oil six 5-ounce ramekins; set aside.
In small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water; set aside.
In saucepan, combine sour cream, whipping cream, light cream and sugar. Halve vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds to cream mixture (add vanilla bean halves, if desired, for additional flavor).
Place over medium heat, stirring often, until very hot; do not let boil.
Stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Remove vanilla bean halves.
Pour into ramekins. Chill for 4 hours or until set. To serve, run sharp knife around edges and turn out onto serving plates.
Spoon Reisling Summer Berry Compote around panna cottas. Garnish with lemon balm or mint.

Dessert
Lemon custard   Print Recipe

This is a light version.
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:7 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch
grated rind of 2 lemons
½ cup lemon juice
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
whipped cream (optional)
In medium bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Mix in cornstarch and lemon juice. Set aside.
In large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear around edges of pan.
Stir into egg mixture. Strain through a fine strainer and add lemon rind. Return mixture to clean saucepan.
Cook over medium heat while whisking 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened.
Divide lemon custard evenly among eight 1/2-cup ramekins or custard cups.
Allow to cool slightly. Cover each custard with plastic wrap. Chill until ready to serve.
As an option, garnish with whipped cream before serving.

Dessert
Panna cotta with berry compote  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
1envelope unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup each sour cream, whipping cream and light cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Lightly oil six 5-ounce ramekins; set aside.
In small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water; set aside.
In saucepan, combine sour cream, whipping cream, light cream and sugar. Halve vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds to cream mixture (add vanilla bean halves, if desired, for additional flavor).
Place over medium heat, stirring often, until very hot; do not let boil.
Stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Remove vanilla bean halves.
Pour into ramekins. Chill for 4 hours or until set. To serve, run sharp knife around edges and turn out onto serving plates.
Spoon Reisling Summer Berry Compote around panna cottas. Garnish with lemon balm or mint.

Dessert
Candied grapefruit peel  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes
1 large grapefruit
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water and peel
Remove the yellow part of the peel of one grapefruit with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/16-inch -wide strips.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and grapefruit strips. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Drain the grapefruit peel and spread it on wax paper. Cool 10 minutes, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, toss to coat completely. Let peel dry overnight.

Dessert
Chocolate hazelnut cheesecake  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time:15 minutes
4 oz (200g) honey nut cornflakes
14 oz (400g) jars chocolate hazelnut spread
7 oz (200g)cream cheese,softened
1 tbsp roasted and chopped Hazelnut


Put the cornflakes and half a of the chocolate hazelnut spread in a bowl and beat to combine. Press the mix into the base of a 4-inch (10 cm) springform tin.


In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then fold in the remaining chocolate hazelnut spread. Smooth onto the cornflake base, wrap tightly in cling film and freeze overnight.
Remove from the freezer 30 mins before serving, or until you can cut it easily with a sharp knife. Serve in slices with hazelnuts sprinkled over. Will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Dessert
Strawberries with zabaglione sauce  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:8 minutes
2 pints fresh strawberries
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup Cool whip

Cut the strawberries into quarters or slices. Place in individual crystal compote dishes or other bowl.
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and wine in a metal mixing bowl. Set over a pot with boiling water.
Whisk egg yolks until thick and creamy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Add Cool whip. Spoon zabaglione sauce over strawberries, and top with sliced almonds.

Dessert
Baked alaska snow balls  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:12 minutes
1 recipe Fudge sauce
1 recipe chocolate sauce
1 recipe Meringue

1 pint coffee or maple walnut ice cream
scoop 6 1/3-cup balls of ice cream onto a plate lined with film wrap and freeze.

For the wafer crumb crust:

1 1/4 cups finely ground chocolate wafers
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
5 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Process the wafers and sugar to a powder. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the melted butter.
Spoon 3 tablespoons of the crumb into the center of 6 3-inch fluted round tartlet pans. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pans. The crusts should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Place the crusts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. (can be made a day ahead.)

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slip the tartlet shells out of their pans and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place an ice cream ball in the center of each tartlet. Freeze.

To serve, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons fudge sauce onto each of 6 warm dessert plates. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
Prepare the meringue. Spoon meringue in a pastry bag fitted with a large #5 star tube, pipe and completely cover the ice cream with meringue.
Bake for one minute to brown meringue. Watch carefully.

Dessert
Chocolate-mocha soufflé  Print Recipe


Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1 teaspoon hot water
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon flour
6 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 teaspoons sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 5-cup soufflé mold. Coat inside with teaspoon sugar. Combine espresso with hot water, stir until dissolved.
Melt chocolate on top of double boiler. In a mixing bowl, combine melted chocolate with cream and coffee.
Beat egg yolks and flour. Stir into the chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar to a soft peak. Sprinkle in sugar, and beat until stiff peak. Stir a 1/4 of the whites into chocolate mixture, then fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg whites, a little at a time. Pour this into the prepared mold.
Bake for 35 45 minutes. Serve hot with lightly whipped cream.

Dessert
Marbled strawberry bombe  Print Recipe

cocoa sponge cake
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time:3 minutes
1 recipe cocoa sponge cake
1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
1 pint fresh sliced strawberries
1 quart strawberry ice cream
6 egg whites
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Slice the prepared cocoa sponge cake in two horizontally. Sprinkle cakes with Grand Marnier.
Place one cake on a heatproof plate or platter, arrange strawberries over cake, top with remaining cake.
Soften ice cream slightly, spoon onto cake, shape into a dome, cover, freeze until firm.
Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar while beating.
Spoon meringue into a large piping bag fitted with a tube. Starting with the base of the cake, pipe mixture evenly around cake and ice cream until completely covered.
Bake in a 500 degree oven for about 3 minutes or until meringue is lightly brown.
Serve immediately.
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Measures of non liquid ingredients



Non-liquid ingredients in volume converted
into weight using the table below.
For products not included, use a metric scale
Weight of specific 'ingredients in grams

Ingredient

1 cup

3/4 cup

2/3 cup

1/2 cup

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

2 tablespoons

All-purpose wheat flour 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
All-purpose sifted wheat flour 110 g 80 g 70 g 55 g 35 g 27 g 13 g
White sugar 200 g 150 g 130 g 100 g 65 g 50 g 25 g
Powdered sugar/Icing sugar 100 g 75 g 70 g 50 g 35 g 25 g 13 g
Brown sugar normally packed 180 g 135 g 120 g 90 g 60 g 45 g 23 g
Corn flour 160 g 120 g 100 g 80 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Cornstarch 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
Rice (not-cooked) 190 g 140 g 125 g 95 g 65 g 48 g 24 g
Macaroni (uncooked) 140 g 100 g 90 g 70 g 45 g 35 g 17 g
Couscous (uncooked) 180 g 135 g 120 g 90 g 60 g 45 g 22 g
Quick oatmeal (uncooked) 90 g 65 g 60 g 45 g 30 g 22 g 11 g
Table salt 300 g 230 g 200 g 150 g 100 g 75 g 40 g
Butter / Margarine 240 g 180 g 160 g 120 g 80 g 60 g 30 g
Shortening 190 g 140 g 125 g 95 g 65 g 48 g 24 g
Fruits and légumes chopped 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
chopped walnuts 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Nuts /ground almonds 120 g 90 g 80 g 60 g 40 g 30 g 15 g
Fresh bread crumbs (not packed) 60 g 45 g 40 g 30 g 20 g 15 g 8 g
Dry bread crumbs 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 40 g 20 g
Parmesan grated 90 g 65 g 60 g 45 g 30 g 22 g 11 g
Chocolate chips 150 g 110 g 100 g 75 g 50 g 38 g  19 g
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As the sun rises or sets in Vatican-City

"May every sunrise hold more promise, and every sunset hold more peace."

The {Page Turner} E-Cookbooks Library on a world cooking journey
30 Recipes

8 Appetizers

13 Main dishes

9 Desserts