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Italian Recipes

Eggplant Parmigiana

2 Small Eggplants; unpeeled cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 Eggs; lightly beaten
1-1/2 Cup Bread crumbs
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Garlic cloves peeled and halved
3/4 Cup Olive oil
20 Ounce Tomatoes, canned
1/3 Cup Tomato paste
2 Tablespoon Minced basil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Pound Mozzarella cheese; thinly sliced

Dip eggplant slices in eggs, then in bread crumbs seasoned with salt and
pepper. Refrigerate 20 minutes. In a large saucepan, saute garlic in 2
tablespoons oil for 1-2 minutes. Remove garlic and add tomatoes, tomato
paste, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Preheat oven to
350F. Brown eggplant in 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet. Drain on paper
towels. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce into a baking dish and layer
eggplant, sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella, alternately. End with mozzarella
on top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.


Stuffed Roasted Peppers

4 - 7 oz. cans roasted peppers
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
8 oz. shredded fontina cheese
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup imported grated romano cheese
A few sprigs of fresh
parsley, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
Flour and beaten eggs (enough to dredge peppers in)
Olive oil to fry peppers in

Drain peppers and rinse with water. Open peppers, splitting in one side, so
that they lay flat on counter. Sprinkle with small amount of breadcrumbs,
reserving most to coat peppers with. Add minced garlic, shredded fontina
cheese, parsley, and grated romano cheese. Roll up peppers, keeping as much filling inside as possible, then dredge in flour, egg, then seasoned bread
crumbs and set aside. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in frypan. When
hot, fry peppers until golden, turning once to brown evenly. Sprinkle with
salt and pepper and serve.


Basic Italian Bread

Biga:
1/2 Teas. Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Lukewarm water
2 Cups Unbleached, All-purpose Flour

Mix the yeast and water together, and then slowly start adding the
flour, mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room
temperature for up to 6 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Bread:
2 Cups Warm Water (about 90 degrees F.)
1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
5-6 Cups All-purpose, Unbleached Flour
2 Ts. Salt

Place the water in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast overtop and mix well.
Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the biga, flour, and salt and stir with
a wooden spoon (or mix with your hands) until everything is mixed. The dough will be fairly wet and sticky at this point. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume.
Punch down the dough, folding it over on itself two or three times, cover
and let rise once more until doubled, about 1 hour. If you choose, you could
refrigerate your dough at this time and leave it overnight to prepare the
next day.
Turn out your dough onto a floured baking sheet, and without overworking it
too much shape into one large or two smaller round or oval shaped loaves,
using as much extra flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Slash across
the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife or razor just prior to baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place a casserole dish with boiling
water on the lower oven rack. Bake your bread 30 minutes, turn the baking
sheet around, and reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 30-45 minutes. At this point your bread should be golden brown and should sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Allow the bread to cool to room temperature and serve.


Manicotti

1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella cheese (grated), divided
1/4 cup romano cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup provolone cheese (grated)
Parsley (chopped)
3 eggs
2-3 cups tomato sauce

Combine all ingredients together, except tomato sauce. Mix well.
(Use 1 lb. mozzarella cheese)
Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan. Stuff manicotti
shells and place in pan. Spread more tomato sauce in between each layer and
on the top, followed by 1/2 lb. of just mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 3/4 hour. Then, broil for 2-3 minutes to brown
top.


Tiramisu

4 tablespoons espresso coffee
1 tablespoon Grappa
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces Marscapone cheese
24 Savoiardi biscuits
1 ounce sweet chocolate, grated

In a small bowl, combine the coffee and grappa; set aside
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar until thick and
lemon-colored. Add the marscapone and blend. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
Place half of the biscuits in the bottom of a 10-inch square baking dish or
larger serving plate. Sprinkle with half of the coffee mixture. Cover with
half of the cheese mixture, and repeat process. Refrigerate tiramisu for 4
hours before serving with grated chocolate.


Pasta Alla Caruso

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Cup Flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 Lb. Chicken Livers, separated into individual lobes, all visible fat removed
2 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
1 Lb. assorted mushrooms, Shiitake (stems removed), Portobello, Crimini,
White button, sliced thinly
1 Cup dry red wine
1 28 Oz. Can, peeled Tomatoes
2 Tbs. Flat-leafed Italian Parsley, finely chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 Lb. Spaghetti or Perciatelli

Heat a saute pan over high heat, then add the olive oil. Flour the chicken
livers, shaking off any excess and add to the pan. Saute until they are
slightly browned and firm. Remove livers and set aside. Pour off the olive
oil, then add the two tablespoons of butter. When the butter has foamed and
the foam begins to subside, add the mushrooms, tossing to coat with the
butter. Cook for four or five minutes, until the mushrooms begin to give off
some of their juices. Add the wine all at once, scraping the bottom of the
pan to loosen any caramelized bits of liver and mushroom from the bottom.
Continue, cooking over high heat until the wine has reduced by about half.
Lower the heat, puree the tomatoes through a food mill, or in a food
processor, then add to the mushrooms and wine. Adjust the heat so the
mixture barely simmers. Slice the chicken livers crosswise into half-inch
rounds and add them, with any of their accumulated juices, to the tomato
sauce. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if necessary, then cook over
low heat for about thirty minutes, or until the extraneous juices have
evaporated. In the meantime, bring a large pot with about six quarts of
water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta,
divide into four plates, top with the sauce, garnish with the chopped
parsley.


Antipasto

1/2 Pound sliced Genoa salami
1 slicing tomato
1 large white onion
2 roasted red bell peppers
1 Pound sliced provolone
2 cans black pitted olives
1 can baby corn on the cob
1 small jar of Pepperoncini peppers
2 stalks of celery
1 can of rolled anchovies
extra virgin olive oil

Use a long platter, and arrange in the following order:
Salami, provolone, tomato, onion, red peppers, and achovies. Put the baby corns and olives in the center of tray. Take and cut in half celery sticks. Then
slice each again length wise. Arrange celery sticks in between each
antipasti. Sprinkle some salt lightly on everything. Then drizzle olive oil
on everything. Let the antipasti sit covered in the refrigerator till ready
to serve. Sitting helps enhance the flavors.


Pasta Dough

8 eggs
2 tsp. salt
4 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine eggs & salt. Beat well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time
until dough sticks together but is still soft.
Spread flour on a board, knead dough for 15-20 minutes. Cover and let stand in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Knead for another 5 minutes. Flatten small amounts of dough to form a 2" x
2" square. Coat square in flour and repeatedly run through pasta machine
until desired thickness is obtained, or use rolling pin.
Cut paste shape using pasta machine or slice desired shape by hand.
Lay out cut pasta on table covered with a table cloth until dry. Pack in
plastic bags and store in a cool place.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender. Homemade pasta usually
takes less time to cook. Top with your favorite sauce.


Basic Polenta

9 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Cornmeal; coarse-grain

Bring water to a boil in a large heavy pot. Add salt and reduce heat until
water is simmering. Take cornmeal by the handful and add to water very
slowly, controlling the flow to a thin stream through your fingers. To avoid
lumps, stir quickly with a long handled wooden spoon while adding cornmeal.
If necessary, stop adding cornmeal from time to time and beat mixture
vigorously. Cook, stirring constantly, 20 to 30 minutes. Polenta will become
very thick while cooking. It is done when it comes away cleanly from the
sides of the pot. Pour polenta into a large wooden board or a large platter.
Wet your hands and smooth out polenta evenly, about 2 inches thick. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes or until polenta solidifies. Cut cooled polenta into slices
1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Place slices in individual dishes. Serve hot,
covered with your favorite sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Variation: Fried Polenta (Polenta Fritta): Prepare polenta and let cool
completely. Cut cooled polenta into slices 2 inches wide and 6 inches long.
Pour oil about 1 inch deep in a large skillet. Heat oil until a 1-inch cube
of bread turns golden almost immediately. Fry polenta slices on both sides
until light golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot. It is importent to
insure the oil is hot enough, otherwise the polenta will absorb oil and your
polenta will be greasy and unpalatable.


Pasta E Fagioli

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, undrained
2 teaspoons dry basil leaves
3-4 cups boiling water, divided usage
2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup dry red wine
12 ounces ditalini, elbow macaroni, or any short tubular pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Chopped fresh basil leaves, optional

1. Place olive oil and garlic in a large saucepot (6 quart). Cook over
medium heat just until golden. Add tomato paste and cook 3-4 minutes
stirring occasionally.
2. Puree 1 can of beans in food processor or blender; add to saucepot with
remaining beans. Cook 2 minutes; stir in basil. Add 2 cups boiling water,
broth, wine, salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring
occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add pasta. Cook about 8 minutes or until al
dente, adding remaining hot water, if needed and stirring occasionally.
3. Serve hot topped with Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.



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