The Paccheri are a kind of macaroni typical of Naples: If you’ve never tried them, I recommend you do it as soon as possible! The large size and thickness of this pasta call a rich and intense sauce: to prepare this, today I bring you a ride from Naples to Rome, relishing my Paccheri with ingredients that wink to the Italian capital city. The Paccheri are a delight for those who love the taste of pasta, which is very persistent in every bite. To counter the “bullying” of the Paccheri, I suggest you a tasty “big shots” dressing with fresh pork belly, artichokes and pecorino romano cheese.
Tired of winter? Here’s a hot and colorful cream soup to brighten up your dinner! The butternut squash cream soup is a dish that I like to prepare in many versions: Today I propose you a spicy and flavorful version with turmeric powder, dill and goat cheese. You can serve the butternut squash cream soup with wild rice or, alternatively, brown rice.
The “Ragù Barese” (Apulian meat sauce) is a Southern-Italian typical pasta dressing full of history and tradition. Even though it has improve some changes over the centuries, has maintained an intense and antique flavor. A few weeks ago I ate this dish at Enzo’s caffè in Portland and loved it: For a few minutes I felt myself in Italy, so much that along Alberta Street looked like there were appear olive trees! I’m writing here the recipe, so that a little ‘olive trees can grow in your kitchen! As with “Bolognese sauce” or” Neapolitan Genovese”, the secret to this recipe is a long cooking at a low temperature. In Italy we use a traditional crock pot, left on the stove for many hours. Here in America I tried to make the sauce with my slow-cooker and the result was perfect!
The most famous Italian pesto is “Pesto Genovese” (basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts and olive oil): Its goodness lies in its simplicity! But Pesto Genovese is not the only option. In Sicily, for instance, pesto is prepared with tomatoes, cottage cheese and almonds. Today I propose you a rich but healthy pesto version with eggplant and mint. Eggplants are baked in the oven with no added fat. The mint leaves are crushed with garlic and blended with the eggplant pulp. The Tuscan pecorino adds flavor and a pinch of Italian tradition. Finally, the zucchini cut into chunks are a tasty surprise in the sauce. You can prepare the eggplant pesto also a day or two in advance, in order to have a quick and super-tasty dish ready to serve. For the pasta, I suggest caserecce, a typical south Italian specialty whose shape is perfect to hold the sauce!
Monkfish and bell peppers is a combination that must absolutely be tried! The zucchini cut into “spaghetti” will complement the flavor of the dish and add color. Remember not to overcook the fish to preserve its delicate taste and to stir the pasta with the cream of cornstarch, to harmonize the flavors well.
The idea for this risotto came to me a few years ago when I was still living in Bologna. I wanted to combine the classic tradition of risotto with something different, using both meat and fish (which in Italy is not very common). The result was excellent: every time I prepare it, it is a success, both with Italians and friends from other countries. Crispy bacon goes well with the softness of the salmon and the sweetness of the pepper; saffron completes the whole and allows the risotto to become creamy.
Next we have a common passion that ties Italy with the United States: shrimp! Big or small, we love them too, and like to cook and eat them in every way. My mind goes back in time and I become nostalgic…along the Tuscan seashore, grilled shrimp and a glass of Pinot Grigio…too bad both summer and Italy, for now, are far away…sigh! Today we’re preparing a linguine recipe with shrimps and a little secret ingredient that will make it creamy and tasty, but at the same time light. Cream, milk and flour banished, we will prepare a simple and revisited bisque with shrimp shells. Yes, I know, many of you just throw them out, but I assure you that from these “scraps” you will be able to extract a unique flavor that will make your dish simply delicious!
This cream of asparagus occurred to me one day, preparing grape tomatoes in the oven. I was wondering how I could use them other than as an appetizer and so I came up with the idea for this extremely simple, creamy vegetarian pasta recipe (we can save the proteins for another dish!). I really enjoy the cream of asparagus and I love prepare it often: it’s simple and always a success. You don’t need butter or cream, only high-quality extra virgin olive oil! The result is a playful dish, full of color and reminiscent of the festivities, which is also perfect for getting children to eat vegetables.