Despite the notorious name and the story of how this name came about, spaghetti puttanesca is a great Italian pasta dish that is easy to make.
1 lb. package of spaghetti (or linguine), 3 tbsp. EV olive oil, 1/4 cup sliced red onion, 3 garlic cloves, chopped, 5 anchovy fillets, 4 ripe plum tomatoes, 1 sprig of fresh basil, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 tbsp. capers from a jar, 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chili flakes to taste, freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe: Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of water and a teaspoon of salt until ‘al dente’. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan and saute the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the anchovies, chili flakes, diced tomatoes, paprika, chopped basil and capers. Stir well, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the olives, and cook just until heated. Season the putanesca sauce to taste. Strain the boiled spaghetti and toss them in the pan with the sauce. Serve the Spaghetti Puttanesca and sprinkle with some chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. This recipe yields 3 dinner entrees.
4 cups cooked risotto rice, 1 roasted red pepper, chopped, 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives, 1 tbsp. “Italian Herbs” mix, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tbsp. chopped onion, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp. softened cream cheese, 1 cup each, Italian and panko breadcrumbs, salt and white pepper to taste.
Recipe: Mix all the ingredients, except the eggs, breadcrumbs and flour, in a mixing bowl and season to taste. Use the mixture to make balls the size of a small lime. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl. Pour the flour and the breadcrumbs in two separate mixing bowls. Bread all arancini balls by dipping them in the following order: flour-egg-breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the arancini until golden and crispy on the outside. I served the Arancini di Riso with roasted red pepper and garlic mayo for dipping. Enjoy.
The arancini are a great choice for a party appetizer and can be passed around on trays as finger-food.
1 pound pizza dough (recipe below), 1 cup pizza sauce (recipe below), 1 cup grated mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese, 1 pinch dry basil, 1 pinch dry oregano, 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese, 1 oz. grated Parmigiano cheese, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic flavored oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe: Sprinkle some flour and semolina mix on your kitchen counter and stretch the pizza dough to approximately 16 inches in diameter for XL pizza. Grease a pizza pan with the olive oil and place the pizza over it. Brush the pizza with the garlic flavored oil and apply the pizza sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and provolone on top and season with the dry herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a preheated oven at 450 F until the edges and bottom of the pizza are golden, and the cheese is bubbly. If you notice that the top of the pizza is cooking faster than the bottom, remove the pizza pan and cook the pizza directly on the oven rack. Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese on top 5 minutes before the three cheese pizza is ready, and the Parmigiano cheese right after it comes out of the oven. Cooking tip: Drizzle 1 teaspoon of pesto sauce over the pizza before cutting, if desired. If you don’t have a pizza oven, then it might be better to first half-cook the crust and then apply the toppings anf finish cooking the pizza, otherwise the bottom might still be quite under-done until the top is cooked. Slow proofing: If you would like to proof your pizza dough slowly, such as when you prepare it days in advance to using it, you can make your pizza dough with cold water and keep it in the fridge up to 5 days.
Pizza Dough Recipe:
4 cups all-purpose white flour, 1 portion instant active dry yeast, 2 cups lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Recipe: Pour flour, salt, sugar, yeast and olive oil in a mixing bowl or food processor and knead until you have smooth dough. Cover the pizza dough with plastic wrap in a bowl and leave it in a warm place to proof until it doubles in size. Use as much dough as you need. If there is leftover pizza dough, put it in a zip bag and store it in the refridgerator for up to 4 days. Fresh pizza dough can be frozen before proofing. Cut the dough to individual portions, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer until needed. Thaw the frozen pizza dough at room temperature. Once it is thawed, it will start proofing again. Freezing the pizza dough will not affect its quality once thawed.
Pizza Sauce Recipe:
1 can (500) gr. crushed tomato passata, 1 can (4 oz.) tomato paste, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 small onion, chopped, 1 tablespoon EV olive oil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe: Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients except the basil. Simmer the pizza sauce for about 15-20 minutes. Cover the saucepan with a lid and stir often. Add the chopped basil 5 minutes before the sauce is ready. This pizza sauce recipe yields enough pizza sauce for about 4 medium size pizzas. Cooking tip: With the same ingredients you can prepare a pizza sauce without cooking. Simply blend briskly all the ingredients with a stick blender and let the sauce sit for half hour before using, in order to mix flavors. For the uncooked pizza sauce you can substitute the chopped onion with onion powder. If you chose to make the cooked pizza sauce, let it cool down a little bit before using it so your pizza cooks more evenly.
24 large seashell pasta – conchiglie, 1 cup gourmet mushroom mix, (agaricus, shitake, oyster mushroom) 1/2 package cream cheese, 1 small egg, 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 cup 18% cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 2 chopped shallots, 1 garlic clove, chopped, 1 handful fresh baby spinach, salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe: Boil the conchiglie until slightly al-dente, then train and cool them down in a ice bath. Heat the butter and saute briefly the mushrooms. In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg, sautéed mushrooms, onion powder, ricotta cheese, and season the filling with salt and pepper. Stuff all seashells with the cream cheese filling. In a large skillet, heat the rest of the butter and saute the chopped shallots and garlic for 3 minutes, then add the cream. Bring to a boil and add the stuffed seashells. Lower the heat to simmer and cover with lid. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the stuffing is cooked. Add the spinach to the sauce 5 minutes before the seashell pasta is ready. If the sauce becomes too thick during the cooking, add some water or chicken stock in the skillet. This recipe is for 4 portions. I have added some asparagus to the sauce, but this is optional. Enjoy.
Chirashi is a free-style form of sushi, which consists of sashini on rice, that some people like to call “lazy sushi”.
Chirashi is very easy to make even if you don’t have prior experience. All you need is some fresh tuna and salmon or a combination of smoked salmon, bbq eel, surf clams, octopus, escolar (sometimes called white tuna), and even some vegetables can be used such as asparagus, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, etc.
Ingredients for the rice:
1 cup of calrose rice
1 tablespoon mirin (rice seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (for Korean style rice)
1/2 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
Recipe: Wash the rice and add 1 1/4 cups of water to a rice cooker or a heavy cast-iron saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil (if using a saucepan). Reduce to simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed by the rice. Remove from heat and leave the lid on for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes stir gently the rice and fan it until the steam is all gone. Add the seasonings and gently fold them into the rice. You rice should be sticky but not pasty. Every single grain of rice have to be intact. Let the rice cool down to room temperature and serve as seen in the photo above. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce. Cheers.
If you are using a rice cooker just follow your equipment’s instructions.
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