The greatness of Italian Food
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The greatness of Italian Food
Step by step on how to make Italian food at home
Curated by Felicia Rivera
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Castagnole, Carnival Fritters

Castagnole, Carnival Fritters | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it
Castagnole are a specialty of Carnevale and eaten across Italy during this period. The name castagnole derives from the word castagna or chestnut because of the color & size when cooked. I prefer them drizzled in lots of honey, but traditionaly in our area they are rolled in sugar & drizzled with the liquor alkermes - giving it that bright red color. Don't be put-off by frying with lard, as this is the traditional method & its just freakn' delicious!  The good Doctor Gaggi recommends frying in strutto and this is coming from a Cardiologist! It is possible to fry them in oil, however in his opinion, "Then they would not be castagnole!"You only eat it once a year - so dig in!

 

Castagnole Recipe

4 eggs400 gr. or 4 scant cups of flour4 tablespoons olive oil4 tablespoons sugar1/2 glass or 1/4 cup liquor (we use rosolio but anice, cognac or rum can work as well)grated zest of a lemon1 packet of "lieveto per dolce" or 1.5 tablespoons of baking powderenough fat to fry in - we use strutto (lard) but you can use vegetable oil as well.honeyalkermes liquor


Directions
Via Mariano Pallottini
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Garlicky Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Garlicky Shrimp Scampi Pasta | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it

Garlicky Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Yield: Serves 4Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 25 mins
Ingredients:

4 Large Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Thinly Sliced2 Large Lemons, Zested & Squeezed6 Tablespoons Olive OIl1 Teaspoon Red Pepper FlakesSalt & Pepper1 Pound Medium Shrimp With Shells1/4 Onion, Peeled & Chopped1/2 Cup Dry White Wine3/4 Pound Long Pasta (Spaghetti, Linguine, Fettuccine)2 Tablespoons Butter1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves

To Serve:

Lemon Wedges

Directions:
Remove the shells from the shrimp, and devein, reserving the shells in a pot.
In a small casserole or bowl, add the shrimp, garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and mix.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Add the onion and wine to the shrimp shells, and then add enough water to cover.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes.
Strain the liquid, and reserve 3/4 cup of the shrimp stock.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade, and heat a frying pan to high heat.
Cook the shrimp, turning once until pink in color and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes total cooking time, then set aside.
In a small pot, add the shrimp stock and shrimp marinade, and cook over high heat until reduced by half.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then cook the pasta until it is "al dente".
Drain the pasta, mix with the shrimp and reduced cooking liquid, butter, and parsley.
Toss the pasta well and serve in individual bowls with lemon wedges.


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Linguine al vino rosso (Linguini with Red Wine Sauce)

Linguine al vino rosso (Linguini with Red Wine Sauce) | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it

Ingredients
Serves 4-6 people

400g (14 oz) linguini or other long pasta2-3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed and peeledOlive oil500 ml (2 cups) of a full-bodied red wine (see Notes)Salt and pepperA handful of pitted black olives, perferably Gaeta or nicoise (optional)A few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Directions
Put the pasta on the boil, cook in well salted water until al dente.

While the water is coming to a boil, sauté the garlic cloves in olive oil in a large skillet. When the garlic cloves are just beginning to brown, remove them. Then add the red wine. Let the wine reduce until it is quite syrupy. Just before the wine is fully reduced, add the olives if using.

When the pasta is done, drain it (but not too thoroughly) and add it to the skillet with the wine reduction. Mix the pasta and wine reduction well, and let the pasta absorb the wine almost entirely. The pasta should remain quite moist, so it ‘slithers’ around.

Serve the pasta immediately, if you like with a sprinkling of parsley on top for color (although I actually like the darkness of the dish without it).

Notes


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Making Mozzarella

Making Mozzarella | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it

We had always wanted to try cheese-making for ourselves so when we found a useful little book recently we decided to give it whirl! In our local town of Amandola, we have a wooden milk shed where we can buy fresh milk from the local farms, so thought this would be the perfect start.

So here goes. You will need:

2 litres of full fat milk100 ml lemon juice1/2 tsp rennet mixed with 2 tbsp boiled cooled watersalt to taste

Other than your equipment:

a stainless steel pandigital thermometerstainless steel colandermuslin squaresmall heatproof bowllarge jug of cold water

Directions

Place milk in the pan over a medium heat and use thermometer to heat to 32°C. Remove from heat straight awayHave lemon juice and rennet ready to go and whilst stirring the milk, first pour in the lemon juice and then the rennet. Stop stirring straight away and leave to let the curds set. Fascinating to watch.After 30 minutes, the curds can be cut using a thin sharp knife. Cut 2 cm strips and then lengthways 2 cms too.Carefully transfer the curd squares into the colander lined with muslin, set over a bowl and leave the whey to drain for 20 minutes. Turn gently to help the whey release.Sprinkle with salt to taste.

You are now ready to form the mozzarella so get a jug full of very cold water and a small heatproof bowl.

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Cipolle al forno - Baked Onions

Cipolle al forno - Baked Onions | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it

[...] Onions made this way are a perfect accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats, but are so tasty you could make a vegetarian main course out of them.

Ingredients
Serves 4 people as a side course

4 onions, preferably freshSalt and pepperA few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely choppedBest quality, fruity olive oilDry white wine (optional)

Directions

Fresh onions are quite different looking from the usual dried variety that you normally find in the supermaket. They look a bit like giant scallions, but with a more bulbous base, which is your onion.

Young fresh onions don’t generally need peeling since they have not yet formed a papery skin like the usual dried variety, but they need trimming top and bottom to remove stalk and root ends. Then cut the onions in half across their midsection, against the grain so to speak, so their rings are exposed.

Place the onion halves in a well-oiled baking dish, cut side up. Season very generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the parsley. Finally, drizzled the onion halves with best quality olive oil. (See picture above.)

Place the baking dish in a moderate oven (180C/350F) for an hour or more, until the onions are well reduced in size, very soft and slightly caramelized. Baste the onions with their cooking juices every so often as they cook. Be careful not to allow the onions to burn, which will give them a bitter taste. I like the cover them with a sheet of wax paper for the first 30 minutes or so. If need be, you can lower the oven temperature.

One little personal touch: about 5 minutes before they’re done, I like to splash a bit of white wine on top of the onions. This gives the onions a very slight tang, which nicely balances their natural sweetness, and produces a little ‘sauce’ (sughetto) you can pour over the onions when you serve. them.

Let the onions cool slightly before serving.


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Tortellini with Vino Cotto (or use Sapa instead)

This recipe is unique and uses Vino Cotto. This meat filled Tortellini, is extremely tasty and delicious and delicate. 
Ingredients:

1 x batch of fresh pasta mix (as per video on our cooking channel)250grams x beef mince50grams x slithered radicchio80grams x fresh ricotta cheese50grams x grated parmigiano30grams x olive oil60grams x milk soaked almonds1/2 x lemon freshly squeezed2 x tablespoons of Vino Cottosalt to taste


Directions

-have a batch of freshly made pasta dough ready to be rolled
-mix all ingredients together in a bowl and place to side
-roll out pasta and cut into shapes (100mm diameter circles)
-make up an egg wash and coat pasta shapes
-make up balls with prepared mixture using teaspoon measure (approx)
-place in middle of cut pasta shape
-allow egg wash to dry then seal and shape accordingly
-add tortellini to salted boiling water and allow tortellini to rise to the surface and cook for further three minutes
- drain and serve to taste


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Mariano Pallottini's comment, February 21, 2013 11:56 AM
Salve Marco, io ti ringrazio per la precisazione. Premesso che il mio auspicio è quello che tu usassi lo strumento dei commenti maggiormente e non solo per precisazioni o puntualizzazioni. Vorrei chiederti dove ho scritto che Sapa e Vino Cotto sono la stessa cosa? Sono un sommelier di secondo livello e so benissimo la differenza fra i due prodotti, conosco anche le caratteristiche organolettiche e la similitudine fra i due prodotti in termini di Acidità, zuccheri carammellizzati e il fatto che (almeno dalle mie parti) come ingredienti, quindi nei processi termici di preparazione, vengano ad essere considerati alternativi (anche se non identici). E' in virtù di queste considerazioni che ho inserito la Sapa, che a mio giudizio potrebbe meglio sposarsi con la ricetta, visto anche il suo maggior uso in primi piatti della tradizione. Non sei d'accordo?
Marco Lorenzetti's comment, February 22, 2013 3:14 AM
Mi ha confuso quel SAPA instead del titolo. Comunque, siamo colleghi, anch'io sono sommelier di II livello.
Mariano Pallottini's comment, February 22, 2013 5:25 AM
Nessun problema. Continua a seguirmi, spero sempre di farti diventare un blogger. :-)
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Grilled Salted Cod - Baccala alla Griglia

Grilled Salted Cod - Baccala alla Griglia | The greatness of Italian Food | Scoop.it

[...] For centuries, cod was caught, cleaned, and dried primarily in Scandinavia before distribution across Europe. If the cod is salted and then air-dried, it’s called salted cod, baccala in Italy. If the cod is hung and air-dried, it is called stock fish, stoccafisso in Italy. (In Italy, all stoccafisso is cod but that’s not necessarily the case elsewhere.) Before either form of cod can be prepared, each must be re-hydrated and, if necessary, rinsed free of salt. To do so, place the cod in a flat baking dish, deep enough to hold enough water to completely submerge the entire fish. Keep the cod in the water for at least 12 hours but no more than 2 days. Replace the water 3 timesdaily. You can speed up the process a bit by letting a slow, steady stream of water flow into the dish but not on to the cod or you might damage the fillet. You’ll know the fish is ready by the way it looks, feels, and smells.

 

Once the cod is ready, remove it from the water and place it on (paper) towels while you make the marinade. You do not want to allow the cod to completely dry out but do remove the surface moisture. In a small mixing bowl, add about 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs; 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley; 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary; 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (grated or diced); 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil; and pepper to taste. (Salt should not be needed and ingredient amounts may vary depending upon the size of the fillet.) Return the cod to the now-dry baking dish and cover with the marinade, coating it evenly on all sides. This is not a “true” breading, so, there’s no need to completely cover the fish. Use plastic wrap to cover the dish and set aside for a couple of hours. It may be necessary to refrigerate the cod, depending upon your kitchen’s temperature.Pre-heat the grill when you’re ready to cook your cod. Clean the grilling basket and oil it liberally just prior to placing the cod in its center. Once secured, lay the basket on the grill and sprinkle a bit of olive oil over the fillet’s top side and close the grill’s lid. Lower the heat to med-high. Depending upon your grill’s temperature, how the basket rests on the grill plates, and the thickness of the fillet(s), baccala will take from 8 to 11 minutes per side. Be sure to check it midway through the cooking of each side and be prepared to adjust cooking times, as required. Once you’ve flipped the basket over, sprinkle the fish’s “new” top side with the juice of a half-lemon. Continue grilling until done.

When cooked properly, cod will easily flake. Keep this is mind as you carefully remove the cod from the grilling basket. Place on a serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges

Notes



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ShaluSharma's comment, February 27, 2013 2:36 PM
Sounds interesting. I would love to try this.