Posts Tagged ‘Italian

03
May
08

Menu: Dinner for Two

Inspiration: My husband often works late so on nights he arrives early I love to prepare an intimate setting. Dinner for Two is a simple and elegant dinner even for week night dining.

Creation:

  • Arugula & Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • Tortellini with Oregano Butter

           

 

What:

Arugula & Prosciutto with Orange Vinaigrette

  • 8 oz Arugula: washed, dried and roughly chopped
  • 4 slices Prosciutto
  • 1 large orange: zest & juice
  • 2TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 1 clove garlic: minced
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4cup extra virgin olive oil

How: Preheat 350 degrees

  • Place prosciutto slices on baking sheet and bake until crisp approx 10 minutes. Let cool and crumble the prosciutto.
  • In blender or food processor combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • While processor is running slowly pour extra virgin olive oil & blend until fully combined.

Plate Up:

  • Place arugula in large bowl
  • Pour orange vinaigrette over salad and allow to wilt & toss
  • Sprinkle prosciutto crumbles & toss salad again

What:

Crusty Garlic & Herb Bread

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 garlic cloves: minced
  • 2TBSP Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1tsp rosemary: fresh & chopped
  • 1tsp oregano: fresh & chopped
  • 1 sweet Italian loaf: sliced

How: Preheat 450 degrees

  • Oil the inside of the bowl of a food processor (will help the herb butter from sticking)
  • Add softened butter, garlic, Parmesan, rosemary & oregano
  • Pulse until well combined
  • Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread
  • Lightly toast the bread: approx 5-6 minutes

Plate Up:

  • Place bread on desired serving plate
  • Serve warm

What:

Tortellini with Oregano Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan: fresh & grated
  • 1 pkg cheese tortellini (find in deli section or freezer section of market)
  • Kosher salt

How:

  • Bring large pot of water to boil: salt generously
  • Boil tortellini until translucent & puffed
  • Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Add oregano and stir 2-3 minutes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Plate Up:

  • Using a pasta strainer or slotted spoon put tortellini into large serving bowl
  • Pour oregano butter over the tortellini
  • Toss & Sprinkle with Parmesan
  • Serve

The ingredient combination of Dinner for Two was superb. Each dish complimented one another with the key ingredient of oregano. Arugula Prosciutto Salad with Orange Vinaigrette cleansed the palate and offered a touch of sweetness which blended beautifully with the salty Tortellini with Oregano Butter & Crusty Garlic Herb Bread.

Ciao’

 

 

11
Apr
08

Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne w/ Lemon Ricotta Sauce

Inspiration: Left over Artichoke from Artichoke & Tomato Panzanella

Creation: Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne with Lemon Ricotta Sauce

 

What: Serving One

  • 4 oz Penne
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: enough to coat saute pan
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 8 Sundried Tomatoes: Sliced & Cut in Half
  • 1/2 cup Artichoke
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan: Fresh & Grated
  • 1 Lemon: Zest & Juice
  • 1tsp Basil: Fresh & Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

How:

  • Bring pot of water to boil & then salt
  • Add Penne: al dente
  • Heat Saute Pan on Medium Heat
  • Once hot: Coat pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Saute Garlic: 1 minute just fragrant
  • Add Sundried Tomatoes & Artichoke: Saute 5 minutes
  • Reduce Heat: Low-Medium
  • Stir in: Lemon Juice & Zest, Ricotta & Parmesan: Simmer while Penne finishes cooking
  • Add Penne directly from water to the sauce
  • Toss

Plate Up:

  • Pour pasta in serving dish
  • Sprinkle Parmesan & Basil

If you love artichoke as I do…Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Penne w/ Lemon Ricotta Sauce will soon be a definite favorite!

Simply divine

Ciao’

29
Mar
08

Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

Inspiration: Casual Dessert with friends…desire: Chocolate!

Creation: Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

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What:

  • Wonton Wrappers: small square size
  • Nutella: Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Cooking Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg: mixed with 1 TBSP water for egg wash
  • Powdered Sugar: 3 TBSP for Whip Cream & 1TBSP Dusting
  • Heaving Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Extract

How:

  • Place wonton wrappers on workspace (determine amount by how many you want to serve)
  • Spoon 1tsp Nutella on a wonton wrapper
  • Brush egg wash along each edge
  • Fold in half to create a triangle and press edges together so they stick
  • Repeat steps until complete

Fry Up:

  • Fill large pot with equal amounts of Cooking Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Bring oils to 375 degrees
  • Gently place Ravioli into oil – work in small numbers 4-5 at a time
  • Ravioli will float – use tongs to flip
  • Allow to turn golden brown – 4-5 secs each side
  • Use strainer or slotted spoon to remove from oil
  • Place on paper towels to soak oil
  • Repeat with remaining ravioli

Whipped Cream:

  • Pour 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream in mixing bowl
  • Begin mixing with electric mixer & whisk attachment on medium speed
  •  Once it begins to fluff -Whisk on HIGH
  • Begin adding 1TBSP powdered sugar at a time
  • Repeat until all 3 TBSP powdered sugar have been added
  • Pour 1tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Continue whisking on HIGH
  • Cream will form peak & it is ready

Plate Up:

  • Place Ravioli on desired serving platter
  • Dust with powdered sugar
  • Place Whip Cream along side, on center…select what looks pretty

Nutella is one of my favorite creamy spreads that can be used in so many varieties. Absolutely delicious…the crunch of the wonton with the warm chocolate & hazelnut dipped into the creamy homemade whip cream…Fabulous!

Guests’ Comment: This is one of the most fun desserts you have made for us!

They are so spoiled!

Ciao’

24
Mar
08

Parmesan Pork Chops & Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspiration: Love Pork Chops….don’t love fried food.

Creation: Parmesan Pork Chops

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What:

Parmesan Pork Chops

  • 4 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan – freshly grated
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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How:

  • Trim fat from pork chops
  • Salt & Pepper each side – very important to season the meat before dredging in coating
  • Create 3 plates: Parmesan – Egg – Bread Crumbs
  • Dredge each pork chop in each mixture: Parmesan, Egg then Bread Crumbs
  • Coat skillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fry pork chops 8 minutes each side
  • Personal Preference: Place in 350 oven to further cook and brown

What:

Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Greens – bag mix of any variety
  • 1 Lemon – juice & zest
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard – Creamy made w/ White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Toasted Almond Slivers

How:

  • Whisk: Lemon juice, Lemon zest, Dijon & Honey
  • Pinch: Salt & Pepper (approx. 1/4 tsp)
  • Whisk: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Taste for Flavor – sometimes mine taste a bit tart so I will add just a bit more honey to sweeten
  • Pour over salad & sprinkle with almonds

The Honey Lemon Vinaigrette gives the Parmesan Pork a bit of tangy sweetness against the salty & nutty flavor of the Parmesan.

Ciao’

13
Mar
08

Chive & Parmesan Bread

Inspiration: Love biscuits…needed new way to make bread to go with pasta dishes 

Creation: Chive & Parmesan Biscuit Bread

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What:

  • 1 small can biscuits (Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Butter)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Chives – chopped
  • Parmesan – freshly grated

How:

  • Pour olive oil onto a salad plate to coat
  • Dredge each biscuit on both sides in olive oil
  • Flatten biscuit to 1/4 inch thick to make 4 larger flat doughs
  • Sprinkle each with chives & Parmesan
  • Bake 350 for 10 minutes
  • Slice & Serve

Savory Selections:

  • Chive & Parmesan
  • Garlic, Sundried Tomato & Parmesan
  • Parsley & Blue Cheese
  • Chive, Parsley & Garlic

Simple & Savory!

Ciao’