Italian

Pasta e Fagioli

December 11, 2010

 

Pasta e Fagioli

INGREDIENTS

1 Chopped Onion

1 Chopped Celery Stalk

2 Chopped Carrots

2 ½ Ounces Chopped Pancetta

4 Chopped Garlic Cloves

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Bay Leaves

6 Cups Chicken Stock

1 ½ Cups Water

½ Cup Chopped Parsley

4 Chopped Basil Leaves

1 ¼ Cups Cannellini Beans

28 Ounces Tomatoes (I like to use canned tomatoes)

8 Ounces Boiled Ditalini Pasta (short tubes)

Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a large stock pot add the oil, onion and garlic.  Brown lightly.  Next add the pancetta, carrots, bay leaves and salt & pepper. Cook about 6 minutes on medium heat. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, water and herbs.  Cook for another 20 minutes.  Add the beans and cook another 5 minutes.  Finally, add the pasta.  Serve and enjoy.

Sinful Lasagna

November 27, 2010

Sinful Lasagna

SAUCE

  • 2  tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 6 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

LASAGNA

  • 15 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces)

 

  • 2 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
  • 2 large eggs

 

  • 4 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/4 pounds)

 

Preparation

FOR SAUCE:
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add beef and sausages to pan; sauté until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cool.

FOR LASAGNA:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; cover with cold water.

Combine ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.

Drain pasta and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Place 5 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit. Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture. Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover (sauce will be thick). Repeat layering with 5 noodles, remaining ricotta-spinach mixture, 2 cups mozzarella and 1 1/2 cups sauce. Arrange remaining 5 noodles over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.

Zabaglione

November 18, 2010

Zabaglione

One of Italy’s great gifts to the rest of the world (besides Italian men!), zabaglione, is an ethereal dessert made by whisking together egg yolks, Marsala wine and sugar.

INGREDIENTS

2 Eggs Yolks

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Marsala Wine

In the top of the double boiler beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and foamy.  Beat in the wine.  Set the mixture over simmering water.  Make sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl and shisk constantly for about 4 minutes.  Continue whisking until it forms a thick creamy foam that coats the back of the spoon.  The eggs need to be cooked gently so the mixture stays smooth.  Serve immediately over fresh fruit, sponge finger biscuits or broken biscotti pieces.  Serves 2.

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