While lasagna is a traditional dish from Romagna, Vincisgrassi is one of the signature dishes from Le Marche in central Italy, and is also the Italian name of the Austrian general, Prince Windischgratz, who was commander of the Austrian Forces stationed in the Marches in 1799. The dish was allegedly created for the prince by a local chef. A classic Italian recipe for pasta baked with parma ham, mushrooms, tomato and cream, the recipe remains one of the most traditional and delicious Italian pasta dishes handed down from the picturesque hilltown of Macerata in Le Marche.
Lasagna Vincisgrassi - Serves 6-8 - Adapted from Fabio Trabocchi
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted1 slice prosciutto di parma, 1/4- inch thick, about 6 ounces, diced3 cups finely diced onions1 cup finely diced celery1 cup finely diced carrots1 tbsp tomato paste1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil2 1/2 pounds boneless veal shoulder, trimmed, in 1/4-inch dice3 cups dry Marsala2 cups veal stock6 cups chicken stock3 whole cloves1 bay leaf, 1 sprig rosemary, 1 sprig thyme, tied togetherSalt and black pepper1 oz dried porcini4 cups heavy cream1 large egg1 pound cremini mushrooms, finely chopped5 sheets fresh pasta for lasagna, each about 9 by 12 inches2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Shaved truffles for garnishDirections
Some people have soup snobbery and don’t consider it a proper meal; this repast is the perfect repost to those doubters. It is bursting with sunny Mediterranean flavours and as filling as any ‘proper’ meal.
Ingredients for 4:
Vine tomatoes – 1.5kg/3lbs
Extra virgin olive oil – 3tbls
Extra virgin olive oil with garlic – 0.5 cup/120ml
As the July 1 deadline for California’s much-debated foie gras ban approaches, San Francisco restaurants have been stuffing menus with all the goose diners can handle. And as expected, the result has been an absolute feeding frenzy.
The great Pesaro-born (Le Marche) composer Gioachino Rossini was a sophisticated gourmet. He had haute cuisine in his veins, together with music. He acquired his sophisticated tastes during his long stay in Paris, from 1824 to 1836, when he was the acclaimed director of the Théâtre Italien. In those years he was pleasantly caught up in the cultural debate on gastronomy, which in those days delighted many intellectuals and led to masterpieces like:
The Physiology of Taste, by the magistrate Brillat-Savarin,
The Great Dictionary of Cuisine by the elder Dumas, and
the Manuel des Amphitryons (the “Hosts’ Manual”) by the extremely wealthy but debarred lawyer Grimod de la Reynière, who also wrote the first gourmet’s vademecum,
the Almanach des Gourmands, a guide to Paris restaurants. Most importantly, at the home of the Rothschilds, Rossini met the legendary Antonin Carême, and he was introduced to sublime cooking by this exquisite architect of haute cuisine, who was also the author of The Art of French Cuisine, and the two became lifelong friends.
Here 6 Rossini's Recipes
Spaghetti alla Scala, a fairly simple recipe, but enhanced with the exquisite taste of white truffles from nearby Acqualunga;Known in France as “Macaroni de Rossini” and in Italy as “Cannelloni alla Rossini”“Péché de vieillesse”, one of Rossini’s favourite dessertsOxtail consommé Rossini Style with truffle and Madeira.A “Gioachino”, a delicious little chocolate based on Gianduia and truffleTournedos Rossini, after 150 years still the most famous of all steak dishes
Who knew that something that tastes so rich, warm, and elegant could be so easy to cook! Porcini mushrooms (fresh) are not inexpensive, so I was a little scared about the cooking. As it turns out, if you have ever sautéed any other type of mushroom, it is just about like that!
1 onion Extra virgin Olive oil 3 cloves of garlic Fresh Porcini Mushroom, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces Vegetable broth Salt Red pepper flakes Fresh chopped parsley Tagliatelli fresh wild mint (or fresh regular mint, will do) chopped Click for Directions
Via Mariano Pallottini
History is rife with the human pursuit of aphrodisiacs in many forms. Scientific tests have proven that some aromas can cause a greater effect on the body than the actual ingestion of foods. Here are some common foods of love used through the ages.
• Alcohol: lowers inhibitions and increases confidence; however, over-indulgence has a sedative effect not conducive to a romantic tryst.
• Asparagus: three courses of asparagus were served to 19th century bridegrooms due to its reputed aphrodisiac powers.
• Banana: due not only to its shape, but also its creamy, lush texture, some studies show its enzyme bromelain enhances male performance.
• Caviar: is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone, maintaining male functionality.
• Champagne: viewed as the "drink of love," moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body.
• Chocolate: contains both a sedative which relaxes and lowers inhibitions and a stimulant to increase activity and the desire for physical contact. It was actually banned from some monasteries centuries ago.
• Figs: seasonal crops were celebrated by ancient Greeks in a frenzied copulation ritual.
• Ginseng: increases desire for physical contact.
• Perfumes: made of natural foodstuffs such as almond, vanilla, and other herbs and spices act as a pheromone to communicate emotions by smell.
• Puffer Fish: considered both a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in Japan. If the poisonous gland is not properly removed, the tiniest taste is deadly. The flirt with death is said to give a sexual thrill. Not recommended.
• Oysters: Some oysters repeatedly change their sex from male to female and back, giving rise to claims that the oyster lets one experience the the masculine and feminine sides of love.
• Radish: considered a divine aphrodisiac by Egyptian pharoahs, most likely because its spicy taste stimulated the palate.
• Truffles: probably due to its rarity and musky aroma, it has long been considered to arouse the palate and the body. To sustain his masculinity, an ancient lover in lore was said to have gorged himself to death on Alba truffles during the wedding feast.
For 4 people you’ll need (approximately…as always, to taste is a better guide)
150 grams of guanciale which is the cured cheek of a pig. It’s not so easy to find outside of Italy, so you can substitute pancetta or cured (not smoked!) bacon. 100 grams finely grated aged pecorino cheese. If you can’t find it, use the best quality parmigiano or mix it with pecorino Romano which is very salty. 4 freshest organic eggs. 400 grams spaghetti (the rule of thumb is 100 grams per serving) Black pepper, freshly ground Best quality olive oil. Click for directions
Via Mariano Pallottini
Would you call a liqueur "preserve"? Actually alcohol is a great way to preserve things, but in this case you're throwing away the "ingredient" and keep the alcohol (the "preserver")... Whatever you call it I will post this anyway! Nocino is probably one of the very few Italian recipes that are prepared in most regions from the far North down to the South.
24 green walnuts 1 litre alcohol (95%) 4 cloves 2 cm cinnamom stick 300 gr sugar
This is probably the most popular dish in Lebanon; it is appreciated by adults and children alike. The same rice recipe is used for stuffing leg of lamb, turkey, whole chicken, etc… If some kids don’t like eating chicken, you can serve them the rice accompanied with natural yogurt, they’ll surely love it. My mom used to accompany this dish with béchamel sauce but I prefer preparing the sauce with the bouillon that I get from the chicken. It’s a question of taste, they’re both equally good. Or as I said, you can just skip the sauce and serve it with plain natural yogurt.
Riz 3a Djeij
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings
Lebanese Rice (aka Oriental Rice) 3 tablespoons oil 1 large onion finely chopped 500 grams minced beef meat 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon dried bay powder ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 chicken bouillon cube 2 ½ cups long grain rice 4 cups boiling water Heat oil in a large casserole and add onions. Once the onions are tilted, add the meat and stir until cooked through. Add pomegranate molasses, salt, and all the spice; stir for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the water and bouillon cube, lower heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Once the rice is cooked remove from heat and keep covered 10 minutes before serving.
Preparing the Chicken 2 tablespoons oil 3 chicken breasts (approximately 750 grams) 2 cups water 1 apple quartered 1 cinnamon stick 3 cardamom pods 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 tea bag (optional) ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ teaspoon ginger powder
Heat oil in a deep skillet on medium high and add chicken breasts. Cook chicken until golden brown, turn to cook on the other side. Once the chicken is completely cooked add the water, apple, teabag, and all the spice. Turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, strain the juice and reserve to make the sauce.
Note: I use the tea to give the sauce a dark a color and some extra taste. It can be omitted without any problem.
For the sauce 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour Juice from cooked chicken (or 1 ½ cups chicken stock) 1 teaspoon soy sauce
In a small casserole heat the butter over low heat until melted. Add the flour and keep stirring until slightly browned. Slowly add the chicken and use a whisk to completely dissolve the flour/butter mixture. Add soy sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve with the rice and chicken.
Toasted Nuts 2 tablespoon whole or halved almonds 4 tablespoons pine nuts 2 tablespoons peeled pistachios 1 teaspoon oil
In a skillet heat oil and add almonds. Toast over low heat while constantly turning. Once the almonds are slightly colored, add the pine nuts. Toast until golden brown in color. Add the pistachios and stir all together for 30 seconds.
To serve, place the rice and top with half a chicken breast, sprinkle with toasted nuts. Serve sauce on the side.