Most Italian recipes are quick, or easy, or both. This is especially true for pasta dishes; you can often prepare the sauce in the time that it takes the pot of pasta water to boil and the pasta to cook. And in many slower recipes, especially stews, you prepare the ingredients quickly, set the pot to simmer, and let it cook, checking on it occasionally. Add to your main course a tossed salad or simple vegetable, a nice bottle of (Italian) wine, finish with a piece of fresh fruit (as Italians usually do), and you have a delicious, healthy Italian meal.
Tocchetti with Asiago
- 1 kg of Potatoes
- 300 g of Flour
- 200 g of Chestnut’s Flour
- 200 of Pumpkin in pieces
- 1 Egg
- 150 g of Asiago Cheese cut in pieces
- 40g of Butter
- Leaf of Sage
- Boiled the potatoes with peel and cook the pieces of pumpkin in a pan with two spoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- When the potatoes are cooked, peel and mash them in a bowl together with the pieces of pumpkin.
- Put on the table the mixture of potatoes and pumpkin together with the flour, the chestnut’s flour and the egg and begin to knead until you obtain homogeneous and soft dough, this take about 8 – 10 minutes, if the dough is too soft you can add a little bit of breadcrumbs.
- Divide the dough in parts and roll each one in order to obtain a sort of longs sausages thick as a finger. Pay attention to have always enough flour on the worktable in order to not attach the dough to it.
- Cut each long sausage in small pieces of 1 cm length that we can call tocchetti.
- Sprinkle tocchetti with flour and place them on a tray.
- Let salted water boiled, put on it tocchetti and cooked them until they come on the surface. In the meantime prepare the seasoning, put in a pan the butter with the leaf of sage, when tocchetti are cooked drain them and put them in the pan with butter and sage, add the Asiago cheese and let it melted.
Italian-Herb Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole(s) (3 1/2-pound) chicken
- 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil or butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) dried rosemary
- 1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup(s) water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove bag with giblets and neck from chicken cavity; discard or reserve for another use.
- In cup, mix olive oil, herbs, and garlic. With fingertips, gently separate skin from meat on chicken breast. Rub herb mixture on meat under skin. Tie legs together with string. Rub chicken all over with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper.
- Place chicken, breast side up, on rack in small roasting pan (13″ by 9″). Pour 1/4 cup water into roasting pan. Roast chicken 1 hour or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with tip of knife and temperature on meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reaches 175 degrees F.
- When chicken is done, lift from roasting pan and tilt slightly to allow juices inside cavity to run into pan. Place chicken on platter. Let chicken stand 10 minutes to allow juices to set for easier carving.
- Remove rack from roasting pan. Skim and discard fat from pan juices. Add remaining 1/4 cup water to pan juices; cook 1 minute on medium, stirring constantly. Serve chicken with pan juices.
Farfalle con Pesto di Spinaci
- 1/3 cup blanched almonds
- 8 ounces fresh spinach
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 medium garlic cloves, split in half
- 1/3 cup tightly packed Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- freshly milled black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Sardo cheese or 1/2 cup Romano and 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese
- 1 lb farfalle (bow pasta)
- To toast almonds, place them on a cookie sheet and toast on center rack of pre-heated 350 F oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Place in food processor fitted with metal blade. Run machine nonstop until coarsely chopped. Set aside.
- Wash spinach several times in lukewarm water. Remove stems. Blot leaves dry with paper towel and snip into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter over low heat. Add scallions and garlic and cook, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Place scallion-garlic mixture in food processor fitted with metal blade. Add spinach, parsley, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Turn machine on and run nonstop for 30 seconds. Stop machine once or twice and scrape down inside of work bowl with a rubber spatula. Run machine until you have a smooth, thick paste. Transfer to a bowl and blend in Sardo cheese or Romano-Parmigiano mixture with a fork.
- Cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tbsp salt until al dente. Before draining pasta, take about 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta in colander, transfer to a bowl containing 1 tbsp softened butter and toss quickly. Toss half of the pesto sauce and half of the almonds with pasta. Add about 6 tbsp of the pasta water and toss. Add remaining pesto sauce and toss well again. Garnish with remaining almonds and serve with additional freshly grated cheese.