Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Bologna

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Bologna is a province and city in the Emilia-Romagna region in northwestern Italy. Bologna is of great importance as a road and rail system for central and southern Italy. Until World War I the city was chiefly dependent upon agriculture based on the surrounding fertile plain. Although still an important agricultural market and food-processing area, Bologna also has developed into an important industrial center that manufactures agricultural machinery, electric motors, motorcycles, railway equipment, chemicals and shoes. Ferrari S.P.A. was created in Maranello, a town 20 minutes from Bologna. Lamborghini and Ducati motorcycles are also from this area. Every year the convention center in Bologna hosts the Motor show, one of Europe’s most important motor exhibitions showcasing the world’s fastest cars and bikes.

Garisenda and Asinelli leaning towers. Bologna, Italy

Garisenda and Asinelli leaning towers. Bologna, Italy

The arcaded streets of the central part of the city still preserve a medieval aspect, characterized by the leaning Asinelli and Garisenda towers. Among numerous medieval palaces (palazzi) the most notable are the Palazzi Comunale (town hall) and Podestà Mercanzia (chamber of commerce). The Palazzo Bevilacqua with a magnificent inner courtyard is one of the finest in Bologna. The first thing you may notice is that most of the city is built under porticoes, which are covered walkways. This is very convenient when you are stuck in the frequent rain or snow, but it can seem a bit dark. The reason they are so common is because they were primarily offered as a tax incentive to estate developers because it was considered a service to the town.

Decorated old portico with columns in Bologna, Italy

Decorated old portico with columns in Bologna, Italy

The university in Bologna is one of the oldest and most famous in Europe, dating from the 11th century. Originally the campus had no fixed location; lectures were generally held in the great halls of convents until the Archiginnasio Palace was erected. Today, the student population of 100,000+ dominates the city and everywhere you turn you’ll catch young people walking arm in arm down the streets.

bolognaproduce

Bologna is considered the culinary capital of Italy and it isn’t nicknamed – Bologna la grassa – which means “Bologna the fat” for nothing. The market in the city center is one of the largest in Europe and has a huge array of fresh cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy and baked goods.  

Local specialties include:

Tortellini in brodo – Meat tortellini in a broth

Bologna is no doubt synonymous with tortellini. Legend has it that their shape takes inspiration from Venus’ navel. The recipe for authentic tortellini was registered with Bologna’s Chamber of Commerce in 1974. The dough is made with flour and eggs, while the filling contains pork loin, raw ham, mortadella di Bologna, Parmesan cheese, eggs and nutmeg. To enhance their taste, tortellini is eaten in a broth of capon or hen. It is a typical winter dish that the Bolognesi have for their Sunday lunches.

Tagliatelle al ragu – pasta with meat sauce

Lucrezia Borgia seems to have been the inspiration for the hand-made pasta, tagliatelle. Legend has it that Maestro Zeferino invented them for her wedding upon seeing her blonde braids. Bologna’s Chamber of Commerce guards the recipe of tagliatelle, along with its measurement rule: tagliatelle should be 8 mm wide when cooked. Their thickness has not been defined, although experts say it should be between 6 and 8 tenth of a millimeter.

The official ragu recipe also rests with Bologna’s Chamber of Commerce since 1982, but with ragù there is a lot of leeway. If you ask Bolognese women, you will find there are many individual variations, and they seem to be very secretive about them also. The most important ingredient is minced beef and the tomato based sauce must cook for hours. Ragù goes well with many types of pasta, but especially with tagliatelle and lasagna; never ever eat it with spaghetti though – the Bolognesi consider it an insult!

Lasagna Verde alla Bolognese – Lasagna composed of green spinach pasta sheets with meat ragu and a cream bechamel sauce
Mortadella – Pink colored Italian sausage often served in sandwiches or before meals
Bollito – Boiled beef
Zuppa Inglese – A colorful dessert of cake and cream
Mascarpone – A very creamy and sweet cheese dessert

Cook Bologna’s Famous Pasta Recipes At Home

bolognaragu

Tagliatelle al Ragu

by Mario Batali

Ingredients

Ragu

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup onions, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped small
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, ground
  • 1 pound veal
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Tagliatelle, recipe follows
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano

Tagliatelle Pasta

  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Directions

Ragu

In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, add the olive oil and butter and heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until very soft and beginning to caramelize. Mix together all of the meats.

Add the meats to the pan and begin to brown. When the meat begins changing color and releasing its own liquids, add the milk.

Cook until the milk is almost totally evaporated–it should just be moist around the edges of the meat, about 15 minutes. Add the wine.

Add the tomato paste and stir well. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours.

To make the pasta:

Roll out the pasta dough to the thinnest setting on a pasta machine. Cut into strips that are 4-inches wide and 8 inches long.

Starting with the 4-inch side, loosely roll the pasta into a tube that is about 4-inches long and 2 1/2-inches wide. Cut the open side into 1/4-inch wide strips.

Unroll the pasta and place in small bundles.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to the water and return to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the tagliatelle and add to the Bolognese sauce.

Thin with a little pasta water, if necessary. Toss for 1 minute. Immediately serve in warm pasta bowls. Top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Tagliatelle

Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and the olive oil.

Using a fork, beat together the eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.

As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits.

Lightly flour the board again and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.

Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Roll or shape as described above.

bolognasoup
Tortellini en Brodo

by Mario Batali

Ingredients

  • 6 cups brodo, recipe follows
  • 1 1/4 pounds tortellini, recipe follows
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Brodo

  • 1 pound beef scraps
  • 1 pound beef or veal bones
  • 1 pound beef tongue, cut into 4 or 5 pieces
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) stewing hen, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 10 to 12 quarts cold water
  • Salt and pepper

Tortellini

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces ground turkey
  • 4 ounces ground veal
  • 4 ounces ground pork shoulder
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, finely diced
  • 4 ounces mortadella, finely diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Pasta:

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Bring the brodo to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the tortellini are floating to the top of the pot.

Ladle equal portions of tortellini into 4 warmed pasta bowls. Ladle the hot broth on top of the tortellini and top with grated Parmigiano.

Brodo:

Place the beef, bones, tongue, chicken pieces, onion, carrot, and celery in a large soup pot, cover with the water and bring almost to a boil, very slowly.

Reduce the heat to simmer before the mixture boils and allow to cook for 4 hours, skimming off the foam and any excess fat that rises to the surface.

After 4 hours, remove from the heat, strain the liquid twice, first through a conical sieve and second through cheesecloth and allow to cool.

Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

Pasta:

Filling:

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed, large saucepan, heat the butter and oil until it foams and subsides.

Add the turkey, veal and pork shoulder and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is well-browned and begins to release some of its juices.

Add the prosciutto and mortadella and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add the egg and the Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add at least 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and mix again.

Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Pasta Dough:

Mound 3 cups of flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour; add the eggs and oil.

Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well.

As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape.

The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky.

Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes.

The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust the board with flour when necessary.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Roll the pasta into sheets using a pasta machine.

For the desired pasta sheet thickness, gradually pass the dough through the settings starting with the widest and continuing to the number 9 setting.

With a pasta cutter or a knife, cut the pasta into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place 3/4 teaspoon of filling in the center of each square.

Fold into triangles, press out any air around the filling and press to seal the edges. Bring the points of the long side together to form a ring,and seal between your fingers.

Set the tortellini aside on a sheet pan, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reserve for later assembly.

bolognalasagna
Lasagna Verde alla Bolognese

by Mario Batali

Ingredients

  • Ragu Bolognese recipe from above

Lasagna al Forno

  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 6 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed very dry and chopped very fine
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup for dusting the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Besciamella

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

Directions

Make the ragu as directed from above and set aside.

For the lasagna al forno:

Combine the eggs and spinach. Mound 3 1/2 cups of the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board.

Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the egg and spinach mixture and the olive oil.

Using a fork, beat together the spinach, eggs and oil and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well.

As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. The dough will come together when half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, using the palms of your hands. Once you have a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up and discard any leftover bits.

Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 6 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky.

Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and roll each out to the thinnest setting on a pasta rolling machine.

Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stove top. Cut the pasta into 20 (5-inch) squares and drop into the boiling water.

Cook 1 minute, until tender. Drain well and refresh in the ice bath. Drain on towels and set aside.

For the besciamella:

In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil. Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil.

Cook 30 seconds and remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.

For assembly:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a baking pan, assemble the lasagna, beginning with a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of bechamel, a layer of ragu, a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano etc. until all the sauce and pasta are used up.

The top layer should be pasta with bechamel over it. Top the lasagna with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling.

Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

bolognamap


Bologna is well-known for its food, architecture, music and for its independent political thinking, and is now regarded to be one of the most attractive cities in Italy. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy and is less than an hour inland from the east coast, about halfway between Florence and Milan. Nearby cities of interest include Modena and Ravenna.

The history of Bologna began with the Etruscans. In the VI century B.C., the city bore the Etruscan name “Felsina”.  Later the Romans renamed the city Bononia, from which the current name, Bologna, is derived.  At its peak, it was the second city of Italy, and one of the most important of all the Empire, with various temples and baths, a theatre, and an arena. Pomponius Mela, author of A Description of the World, included Bononia among the five wealthiest cities of Italy. Although fire damaged the city during the reign of Claudius, the Roman Emperor Nero rebuilt it in the 1st century AD.

In 1088, the Studio, later known as the University of Bologna, was founded and could boast notable scholars of the Middle Ages in attendance, such as, Irnerius, Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca. The university received a charter from Frederick I Barbarossa in 1158, but in the 19th century, a committee of historians led by Giosuè Carducci traced the founding of the University back to 1088, which would make it the oldest university in the world.

University of Bologna

Two Towers

In the Medieval period, Bologna was an important and thriving city. Between the XII and XIV centuries, some of the city’s most important buildings were constructed: among these were the Two Towers, the traditional symbol of the city, the Basilica of San Petronio and King Enzo’s Palace.

In 1256, Bologna passed the Legge del Paradiso (“Paradise Law”), which abolished feudal serfdom and freed the slaves, using public money. At that time the city centre was full of towers (perhaps 180), built by the leading families, notable public edifices, churches, and abbeys. It was the next most important city after Rome but, always, managed to maintain relative autonomy. In the XVII and XVIII century, the city expanded, above its outside walls. In the middle of the XVIII century, the Portico of San Luca was built. 

Bologna is also a city famous for its painters, such as the Carracci brothers, Guido Reni and, in the XX century, Giorgio Morandi, in which his famous still life works are exhibited at the Giorgio Morandi Museum, inside the Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale).

The Bolognese are also known for their fierce independence; throughout history the city’s rebellions against the papal rulers and injustice illustrates this spirit. Even today, you are sure to see locals in heated political discussion and debates about the day’s topics.

San Luca is the world’s longest continuous portico, a covered walkway of 666 arches more than two miles long

Bologna Nightlife:

Bologna has a rich music heritage, where music plays a significant part in everyday life. The city of Bologna is an important place for Italian and international events and festivals. The city hosts the International Composition competition in August, dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Bologna railway station slaughter in 1980, the European Jazz Festival and the Bologna Festival, dedicated to classical, baroque and contemporary music. It is also the seat of “Angelica”, an international festival of contemporary music and of the Zecchino d’Oro Festival (children’s choir festival). Additional summertime entertainment options include a daily open-air disco in Parco Cavaioni on the outskirts of the city and the city-sponsored Bologna Sogna series, with concerts at museums and buildings around town. During the rest of the year, nightlife events abound for young people in the university area.

The Food of Bologna:

The cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region is one of the best in Italy and some of Italy’s most famous foods come from this region. Handmade egg pasta and stuffed pasta, especially tortellini, are specialties of Bologna and, of course, there is the famous Ragu alla Bolognese, a long cooked meat sauce. In truth, there probably isn’t one authentic recipe for bolognese sauce.  (See my post for my version:  https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2012/04/21/two-sauces-for-everyday-meals/)  Bologna is also known for its salami, ham and cheese.  

D.O.P stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta”, which means Protected Designation of Origin.  The D.O.P designation guarantees that the products come from a certain location in Italy. Also, the methods of production must be traditional, and have fixed storage guidelines.

Parma ham (also known as Posciutto Crudo di Parma) –  (D.O.P.)  This is ham that’s been salted for several weeks, rather than cooked. It has a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and it’s made — of course — in Parma.

The home of Prosciutto di Parma and other meat delicacies.

Mortadella di Bologna. Spiced pork from Bologna. This is where we get our word “bologna” from, but this is not the supermarket lunchmeat. 

Mortadella di Bologna IGP

Parmigiano Reggiano.  A D.O.P. protected cheese, made in Parma and Reggio Emilia.  You might know it as “parmesan.” However, unless you’re holding the D.O.P-protected Parmigiano-Reggiano in your hands, you’re not really tasting the real thing.

Balsamic vinegar of Modena. One of the region’s most world-famous foods, D.O.P. protected balsamic vinegar can only be made in Modena, which is in Emilia-Romagna.  It is especially good drizzled over some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese Look for it on pastas, too. One thing Emilia-Romagna does very well is mixing sweet and savory, such as a pasta filled with pears, Parmigiano Reggiano, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Calamari ripieni di calamaretti. Small squid are chopped, seasoned, mixed with rice, and used to stuff – large squids.

Asparagi ravennati.  Famous asparagus of Ravenna. Look for it in risotto.

Anguilla alla ravennate. Eel sautéed in butter with tomatoes, and a specialty in Ravenna.

Piselli alla pancetta. Peas cooked with pancetta (a salt-cured, spiced Italian bacon), sometimes with mixed with pasta.

Lasagna. Some Bolognese claim that lasagna was invented here. Regardless of where exactly it originated, the version made in Bologna is one of the best.

Tortellini. The pasta that has become a favorite worldwide — those little pouches filled with cheese or, in some cases, meats (although that’s usually for their larger cousin, tortelloni) — was invented in the Emilia-Romagna region. And some fascinating legends are connected with how it got its start. Our story: While traveling, the pope’s daughter Lucrezia Borgia checked into the small town of Castelfranco Emilia, near Modena. The innkeeper was captivated by Lucrezia, and in the night, he couldn’t help himself — he peeked through the keyhole into her room. All he saw… was her navel. In typical Italian fashion, he turned his desire into inspiration, making a new pasta in the shape of Lucrezia’s navel in homage. A second story: to the Bolognese, the shape of tortellini was inspired by the female navel. One story, hailing from the 17th century, claims that tortellini was created by a cook who molded the pasta in the navel of a Bolognese woman.

Capellettacci. Pasta filled with chocolate-flavored chestnuts and served with olive oil and pepper.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Not exactly what we think of when we think “Bolognese sauce,” this is a thick ragu of onions, carrots, pork, veal, and with just a little bit of tomato.

Amaretti or amarelle. Almond-flavored macaroons, a specialty of Modena. Today, bakeries throughout the region, and in Italian communities around the world, carry Amaretti di Saronno, but it’s worth the (small) effort to make them yourself. The recipe is simple, and fresh from the oven, they have a crisp-yet-tender texture that’s beyond compare.

Pampepato di cioccolato. A Christmastime cake made of cocoa, milk, honey, spices, almonds and lemon peel, then covered with candy-studded chocolate frosting. It dates back to the 15th century, and an 11-pound version was even given by the city of Ferrara to General Eisenhower during the World War II.

Bologna Inspired Recipes For You To Make At Home

Lunch

Onion Frittata                                                                                                                                                                  

The key to making this dish is to have all the ingredients prepared before you begin sautéing the onions.

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs or 4 whole eggs and 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 3 large fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/3 cup skim milk ricotta

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in egg mixture. Spoon dollops of ricotta evenly over.

Cook until frittata begins to set, about 2 minutes. Place in oven; bake until just set, 7-9 minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Cut into wedges; serve hot or at room temperature.

Shaved Fennel Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette                                                                                                                           shaved-fennel-salad                    

The balsamic dressing below is quite versatile; try it with baby greens or grilled vegetables.

Make a double batch and refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 weeks.

 Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried 
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered, and sliced paper-thin
  • 6 oz mixed baby greens or arugula

Directions:

Place the shallots, oregano, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in jar. Close with a tight-fitting lid and shake to blend.
Pour the dressing over the fennel in a bowl. Toss, taste for salt, adjust if needed, and marinate for 15 minutes. Serve over a bed of baby greens or arugula.

Dinner

Bologna-Style Pork Chops

These pork chops with prosciutto and cheese are somewhat more involved than some other pork chops, but will be a delightful surprise at the table, and are well suited to company.

6 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 6 (3/4 inch) bone on pork chops
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • 6 slices fontina cheese
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Trim all the gristle and fat from the cutlets, then split them in half, leaving the halves attached only along the bone, so that the cutlets will open like a book.

Open the pork and fill each with a piece of prosciutto and a piece of cheese, trimming their edges so nothing sticks out.

In a skillet large enough for all the pork chops to lie flat, heat the oil with the bay leaves. Place the pork chops into the pan and brown them on both sides, turning them carefully. Season the meat with the minced garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper, cover, and cook over a medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, turning the meat occasionally.

Agnolotti With Sage Butter 

Some agnolotti pasta are square or rectangular in shape, while others, especially from Bologna form a half-moon circle.

A quick way to achieve small stuffed pastas without all the kitchen labor, is to cheat a little, by using Wonton (what Chinese!) wrappers.  Not authentic but quick and tastes like the real thing.

Servings: 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces ground beef
  • 2 ounces ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 42 wonton wrappers (square or round)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter or Smart Balance Blend
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Directions:

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and pork; saute until brown, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted and liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Cool.

Finely chop mixture in the processor. Transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. Arrange 12 wonton wrappers on work surface, keeping the rest covered with a towel to prevent dryness. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling in center of each. Brush edges with water. Fold each wrapper in half, forming a triangle or rectangle. Press edges together and form into desired shapes. Transfer to the floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; chill.).

Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add sage; remove from heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, working in batches, cook Agnolotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer Agnolotti to shallow soup bowls. Drizzle with sage butter and serve.

 

Chicken Scallopini with Balsamic Vinegar and Basil

After the scaloppine are browned in olive oil, the pan is deglazed with chicken stock and balsamic vinegar to create a rich sauce. Add a 1/2 pound of mushrooms with the shallots if you like this addition.

 Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken scallopini (about 4 ounces each), pounded thin with a mallet, see post on how to prepare scallopini: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2012/05/09/how-many-ways-can-i-make-scallopini/
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn

Directions:

Dredge the scaloppine in the flour, shaking off excess. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add the scaloppine in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes; turn. Cook on the other side until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter; cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the shallots (and mushrooms, if using) and garlic to the skillet; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and reduce over high heat for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the balsamic vinegar; cook until the sauce reduces and becomes syrupy, about 1 minute. Stir in the basil, return the chicken to the skillet, and turn a few times to coat with the sauce and to warm through. Serve hot. 

Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange                                                                                                         

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. egg tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1″ pieces
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half and half
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente, (about 2 minutes for fresh pasta), longer for dried. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of the orange zest and half and half; bring to a simmer. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until sauce coats the pasta, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and divide among warm bowls. Sprinkle remaining orange zest over pasta.



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