2 pounds of potato gnocchi, 4 oz sliced and chopped pancetta, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 1 shallot, chopped, 1 cup snap peas, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup pasta sauce, 1/2 cup 18% cream, 1 heaping tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
1. Saute the garlic and shallot with the olive oil in a large heavy pan for 2 minutes.
2. Add the pancetta and snap peas and saute for 5 minutes more.
3. Add the pasta sauce and the cream and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until the desired consistency is achieved.
4. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
5. In the meantime, boil the gnocchi according the package instructions in a large saucepan with at least 4 liters of water. I usually boil them for about 3-4 minutes, or 1 minute after they all swim up to the surface of the water.
6. Strain the gnocchi with a colander and immediately toss them in the sauce. Serve and enjoy.
Cooking tip: I like my snap peas to have a little crunch, but if you like them softer you can blanch them before adding them to the frying pan.
20 large escargots from a can, 20 small mushrooms, stems removed, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 garlic cloves, chopped, 1 oz. white wine, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup grated mozzarella, chopped chives or lemongrass (optional), salt and pepper to taste.
This escargot recipe is similar to the Escargots à la Bourguignonne recipe with the major difference of using mushroom cups for serving it instead of the snail shells.
1. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan and saute the garlic for 1 or 2 minutes.
2. Add the mushrooms and the escargot and cook until the mushrooms are soft.
3. Deglaze with the white wine and add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve the escargots in the mushroom cups, top each one with a little grated mozzarella cheese and drizzle the butter-garlic sauce from the pan over the escargots.
5. Broil each bowl under the broiler briefly until the cheese is fully melted and serve with garlic bread.
Did you know that some people consider the escargot as seafood, therefore suitable for vegetarians?
Recipe: In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion, garlic and grated carrot for 5 minutes. Add the lean ground beef and broun it. Add the parsley and chili flakes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the egg, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Boil the cannelloni shells according to the package instructions. Season the filling and stuff the cannelloni shells. Pour some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and arrange the cannelloni in it. Pour some more tomato sauce over them. Bake the cannelloni until the filling gets cooked, about 20 minutes. The canneloni can be served as an appetizer or a main course. Cheers.
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.
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