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A Neapolitan Market by Attilio Pratella

Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, which was enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France. Since Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, its cuisine took much from the culinary traditions of the region, balancing between dishes based on rural ingredients and seafood. The Spanish and French rule in Naples initiated the difference between the cuisine of the aristocrats and that of the poorer classes. The former was characterized by elaborate, more cosmopolitan dishes and a greater number of expensive ingredients, including meat.

Braciola (plural braciole) is the name given to thin slices of meat (typically pork, chicken, beef or swordfish) that are rolled as a roulade with cheese and bread crumbs. Interestingly, the word braciole derives from the word for charcoal, implying that it was originally cooked “alla brace”, that is, grilled and that it was a cut of meat with the bone.

What are known as braciole in the United States are named involtini in Italian. Each involtini are held together by a wooden toothpick and the dish is usually served in a sauce as a second course. When cooked in tomato sauce, the sauce itself is used to coat the pasta for the first course, giving a consistent taste to the whole meal. Involtini can be cooked along with meatballs and Italian sausage in a Neapolitan ragù or tomato sauce called “Sunday gravy” (northeastern United States). They can also be prepared without tomato sauce. There exist many variations on the recipe, including using different types of cheese and the addition of vegetables, such as eggplant. Braciole are not exclusively eaten as a main dish, but can also be served as a side dish at dinner or in a sandwich for lunch.

First Course

Potato Gnocchi with Peas, Prosciutto and Ricotta

Directions:

Boil the gnocchi in batches in plenty of salted water. The gnocchi are done about 2 minutes after they float to the surface; remove them with a slotted spoon. Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water.

At the same time heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat, add shallots and saute until translucent. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Add in the peas and toss gently to coat. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add boiled gnocchi to the pan and gently toss. Add butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Stir in the lemon ricotta and add some of the gnocchi water to thin the sauce, if needed.

Lemon Ricotta:

  • 1 cup good quality ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt

Place the ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl and add the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Second Course

Braised Beef Braciole Stuffed with Basil and Mozzarella

This is a home-style version of the Italian-American classic. The traditional dish uses small roulades of beef round, but in this recipe I use a whole flank steak because it is easier to stuff and roll one large cut of meat and flank steak has more flavor than round steak.

Ingredients:

  • One 2 lb. flank steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 12 large basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin strips (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • One 26-28-oz. container crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, quartered

Directions:

Place the flank steak on a large cutting board. Using a chef’s knife, slice the steak lengthwise along one long side (without cutting all the way through the meat) and open it up like a book. Using a meat mallet, flatten the meat so it is about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

For the stuffing: put the mozzarella, Parmigiano, bread crumbs and basil in a food processor and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the stuffing evenly over the beef and roll it up lengthwise, jelly roll–style, with the stuffing inside. Secure with kitchen twine in five or six places.

Heat half the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Add the beef and cook until it browns and releases easily from the pan, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook the other side until browned, about 5 more minutes. Transfer meat to a large plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the onion to the pan and lower the heat to medium. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the onion wilts completely and turns a light brown, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine and cook, stirring, until it is almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a gentle simmer and add the meat and mushrooms to the sauce. Cover and cook, repositioning the meat occasionally, until the meat becomes tender and cuts easily with a paring knife, about 1-1/2 hours.

Set the meat on a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice and serve topped with the sauce. (Adapted from Big Buy Cooking)

Spicy Rapini with Garlic and Oregano

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), ends trimmed and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, crushed
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

Cook broccoli in boiling, salted water in a large saucepan 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender; drain. Rinse with cold water and and drain again. Coarsely chop.

Heat oil in the same saucepan. Add broccoli, garlic, crushed red pepper and oregano; cook stirring 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

Mixed-Greens-and-Herb Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 ounces Black Mission figs, thinly sliced ( 2/3 cup)
  • 8 cups mixed Italian lettuce greens
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 ounce fresh pecorino, shaved

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 10 minutes; let cool, then coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the figs, greens, parsley, mint, dill, chives, pecorino and walnuts and toss gently.

Dessert Course

Italian Apple Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 oz. (125 grams) butter
  • 1 TB butter for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cups (125 grams) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ¾ cup (250 grams) flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder (16 grams)
  • 2/3 cup (125 ml) milk
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons
  • For the apples:
  • 1 ½ lb. (700 grams) apples (Golden Delicious)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • Confectioners sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C) and thoroughly butter and flour a 10” (25 cm) springform pan.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft, add the 3/4 cups sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Add the flour gradually, alternating with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon rind. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spatula so it is even.

Peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice each quarter into 3-4 pieces, about 1/4 inch wide. Place the slices core side down on the batter. Start from the outside making one circle, then make a smaller inner circle of apple slices. The apples should be quite close together so that you barely see the batter. You may have a few apple slices that don’t fit. Sprinkle the surface of the apple cake with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a rack, remove the springform side and allow to cool. Sieve powdered sugar over the apple cake before serving. Serves 8-10.


Make a simple but festive centerpiece for your table.

 

Planning Your Dinner Party

Get ready to make lists! Lists are absolutely essential for any party, as you can jot things down as you think of them. Once you have the basics well planned and written down, your mind will be free to be creative with the food, fun, and decor.

Plan your menu. Have fun with this, but don’t overreach! If you are a beginning cook, choose a main dish that you have made before, then build upon it by buying dessert, a salad, and some crusty bakery bread. It’s a good idea to never make a recipe for the first time for a party. There’s nothing worse than struggling with an unfamiliar recipe when you can hear your guests having fun in the next room. Try to plan a mix of make ahead recipes and those that require last minute baking or preparation. I really prefer having everything done, and ready to heat or bake and serve.

Think about how you want to decorate. Decorations for a party can be as simple as candlesticks on the table, or more elaborate flower arrangements and tablecloths. Decorate with the seasons in mind, too. Fresh flowers in the summer, a bowl full of polished apples and spruce tree branches in the winter, or a vase with colorful leaves and cattails in the fall are simple, inexpensive, and beautiful.

Block out time on your calendar for house cleaning, shopping, decorating, and setting the table. Make sure to save some time before the party so you can get ready and relax before your guests arrive.

Go over your menu, gather your recipes, and plan shopping lists directly from the recipes. Don’t rely on your memory for this! Check your pantry too. If you are low on staples like baking powder, sugar, or flour, add those to your list.

Plan to shop for foods and supplies that can be purchased in advance (like staples) and those that need to be bought the week of the party. You may have to revise the party menu if you can’t find certain ingredients.

Check which recipes can be made ahead, and make sure you have freezer or refrigerator space to store them.

It’s best to choose some recipes that can be made well ahead of time, and are just served cold or at room temperature, or heated at the last minute. Planning this well will help make sure that all of the foods are ready to eat at serving time.

 

Dinner Party Menu

Appetizers

Red Wine of Choice

Crusty White Bread with Olive Oil

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Stuffed Zucchini

Main Course

Italian Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce

Angel Hair Pasta

Broccoli with Garlic and Hot Pepper

Dessert

Chocolate Pecan Cake

 

Do Ahead Tips:

Set the table the day before the party.

You can prepare the beef two days ahead and reheat it on the day of the party. The braciola takes about three-four hours to prepare, so be sure to leave plenty of time to make it.

The stuffed cherry peppers can also be made two days in advance.

The zucchini rolls can be made the day before serving and the broccoli ingredients can be cut or chopped one day ahead.

The cake can also be made the day before the dinner party.

 

 Appetizers

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. canned tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 8 anchovies in oil, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons capers, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 32-oz. jar red, hot cherry peppers, drained, rinsed, and stemmed (jar reserved)

Directions:

Finely chop tuna and anchovies; mix with 1/3 cup oil, bread crumbs, capers, parsley, and salt and pepper in a bowl; stuff each pepper with tuna mixture. Transfer to reserved jar; pour remaining oil over peppers. Chill for at least 8 hours to marinate.

 

Stuffed Zucchini

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 slice white sandwich bread
  • 4 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2″ lengths
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Pomi strained tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. prosciutto, minced
  • 1 oz. pancetta, minced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil

Directions

Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, pour milk over bread; soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze bread to drain milk; discard milk. Return bread to bowl.

Using a melon scoop, hollow out zucchini pieces, leaving 1/4″ walls, to form “cups”; season insides with salt and pepper. Stir together tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, chili flakes, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl; set sauce aside.

Mix bread with prosciutto, pancetta, Parmesan, parsley , egg, and salt and pepper. Stuff mixture evenly among zucchini cups. Heat remaining oil and butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add cups; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2–4 minutes. Transfer cups, stuffing side up, to a 9″ x 9″ baking dish; pour sauce over and around cups. If made ahead cover dish and refrigerate until the next day.Bring to room temperature before heating. Bake zucchini 30 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.

Main Course

Braciola (Italian Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce)

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 5 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 6″x 4″ slices boneless beef top sirloin or round steak, pounded to 1/16″ thickness
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 (26-oz.) containers Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Angel Hair pasta

Directions:

To make the filling, mix together raisins, 4 tablespoons parsley , pine nuts, Parmesan, and garlic in a bowl; set aside. Place a slice of beef on a work surface perpendicular to you, season with salt and pepper, and place about 1 tablespoon filling on the bottom half; starting with the filled half, roll beef up around the filling into a tight cylinder. Secure roll with toothpicks and repeat with remaining beef and filling.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add half the beef rolls, and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add remaining oil and brown the rest of the beef rolls. Transfer to plate with the previously browned rolls.

Add onion to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring to scrape bottom of pot, until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili flakes, tomatoes, and bay leaf, and then return beef rolls to pot.

Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered partially and gently stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and tender, about 2-3 hours.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and place on a large serving platter.

Remove meat rolls from sauce, remove toothpicks, and transfer to the platter with the cooked pasta. Bring sauce to a boil and pour sauce over meat rolls and pasta, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

 

Broccoli with Garlic and Hot Pepper

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli (about 1 lb.), stemmed and cut into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli; cook, turning occasionally , until lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons water; add garlic; cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add chili; cook until toasted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Dessert

Chocolate Pecan Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Using a double boiler or pan over simmering water, melt together chocolate and butter. Set aside to cool.

Using a blender, chop pecans finely. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate mixture, blending until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes; cake should be moist but not wet. Allow to cool completely. Dust top of the cake with powdered sugar just before serving.


The city of Florence showing the Uffizi (top left), followed by the Pitti Palace, a sunset view of the city and the Fontana del Nettuno in the Piazza della Signoria

Florence is above all – a city of art. It is the birthplace of many famous people such as Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei. Artists like Botticelli , Michelangelo and Donatello made Florence one of the artistic capitals in the world.

It was during the reign of Julius Caesar that Florence came into existence. In the year 59 B.C. he established a colony along the narrowest stretch of the Arno, which is the point where the famous Ponte Vecchio crosses the Arno. After conquering the Etruscans during the third century A.D., the Romans established Florence as an important trading center.

In the fifth century, the Roman Empire crumbled after invasions from northern European conquerors. The “Dark Ages” had begun and Italian unity was lost for nearly 1400 years. After these hard times, Charlemagne’s army crushed the last of the foreign kings of Italy. However, this reprieve was short-lived. In giving thanks, Pope Leo III gave Charlemagne the title of Holy Roman Emperor to secure his loyalty.

Most of Italy came under the rule of Charlemagne and this led to future conflicts between the Emperor and the Pope that eventually led to civil war. The population of Florence became divided over their loyalty between the two factions: Guelf, those who supported the Emperor, and Ghibelline, those who supported the Pope. Over the following centuries, control of Florence changed hands many times between these two groups and families built towers to provide protection from their enemies within the city. At the end of the 13th. century, with the Guelfs in control, the conflict came to an end.

Despite this turbulent history, the region and Florence enjoyed a booming economy. At the end of the 14th. century, led by members of the wealthy merchant class, Florence became a gathering center for artists and intellectuals that eventually led to the birth of the Renaissance. During this period, the Medici family rose to power and fostered the development of art, music and poetry, turning Florence into Italy’s cultural capital. Their dynasty lasted nearly 300 years. Cosimo de’ Medici was a successful banker, who endowed religious institutions with artworks. He generously supported the arts, commissioning the building of great cathedrals and commissioning the best artists of the age to decorate them. Many artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Correggio, trained and completed some earlier work in Florence. One painting in particular done by Leonardo da Vinci captures the Renaissance essence of the 16th century: The Last SupperThe last of the Medici family, Anna Maria who died in 1743, bequeathed all the Medici property to the city.

The Food of Florence

Florentines call their cuisine il mangiare fiorentino—“Florentine eating”— and la cucina fiorentina, meaning both “Florentine cooking” and “the Florentine kitchen.” This language emphasizes what is important to them about food—its eating and cooking—both of which have traditionally taken place in the kitchen – the heart of family life.

Florentine Antipasto

The typical Florentine antipasto consists of crostini, slices of bread with chicken liver paté. The crostini are also served with cured ham and salami. Fettunta is another typical Florentine antipasto: a slice of roasted bread with garlic and Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. Last but not least, cured ham and melon are extremely popular even outside Florence.

Florentine First Courses  

 

Panzanella is a typically summer first course. Panzanella is a salad made of water-soaked and crumbled bread with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and basil. Reboulia, a winter course, is a vegetable soup with bread. Another  famous Florentine soup is Pappa al Pomodoro, a hot soup made of bread and tomatoes. Pappardelle alla lepre (pasta dressed with a hare sauce) and pasta e ceci (pasta with chick-peas) are two Florentine specialties.  

Florentine Second Courses

A main course favorite is the bistecca alla fiorentina ( a grilled T-bone beefsteak ). For a long time, the beef only came from Val di Chiana area steers but nowadays it comes from several Tuscan areas because it is in much demand. 

Since the Florentine cuisine has peasant origins, people use every part of an animal; therefore, entrails are fundamental in the local cuisine and dishes like kidney, tripe and fried cow udder served with tomato are very common, as well as dishes based on wild animals like wild boar, rabbit, pigeon and pheasant.

Florentine Desserts                                                                                                                                               

A typical Tuscan dessert consists of almond biscuits, such as, Cantucci di Prato , that are often served with Vin Santo (a dessert wine). The Schiacciata con l’uva , a bun covered with red grapes is prepared in autumn, during grape harvest. Other Tuscan desserts are: the  Brigidini di Lamporecchio – crisp wafers made of eggs and anise, the Berlingozzo – a ring-shaped cake prepared during Carnival time in Florence – and  Zuppa Inglese, made of savoy biscuits soaked in liqueur.

Many desserts boast medieval origins. One of the most famous is the Panforte, cakes made of almonds, candied fruit, spices and honey, Buccellato, a cake filled with anise and raisins and “confetti di San Jacopo”: little sugar balls filled with an anise seed that have been produced there since the 14th. century.  

Florentine Wines

Florence stands at the heart of one of the most famous wine regions in the world. During the month of May, many Florentine wine producers open their cellars to visitors, who can taste some of the wines from their vineyards. Tuscany is renowned not so much for the quantity but for the quality of its wines. In fact, despite being the third Italian DOC wine-producing region, Tuscany ranks only eighth, as far as the quantity is concerned. Only a small part of the Tuscan territory can be cultivated with vineyards; this is the reason why since the 1970’s Florentine and Tuscan wine producers have decided to aim for quality of their product instead of quantity. Of the 26 Italian DOCG wines, six are produced in Tuscany: the Brunello di Montalcino, the Carmignano, the Chianti, the Chianti Classico, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

The flower of Tuscan oenology is the red Chianti Classico, which is produced in seven areas with different procedures. The Sangiovese vine is the basis of all Chianti Classico wines; to that, several other species of vines are added in variable quantities. The emblem of the Chianti Classico is the Gallo Nero (the black cock).

The Sangiovese vine is the basis of another Tuscan wine: the Brunello di Montalcino, a red wine produced in the province of Siena. The Brunello, one of the most refined and expensive Italian wines, ages four years in oaken barrels and two more years in its bottle. A third wine, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is produced with Sangiovese vines. Like the Brunello, the Vino Nobile comes from the province of Siena. In the late 1980’s, many wine producers began to use different species of vines and procedures to produce a new generation of wines, called super Tuscans. The first representative of this new generation of wines is the Sassicaia, that a branch of the Antinori family began to produce with some cabernet vine shoots coming from Bordeaux, that the family had planted in 1944 in its estate in Bolgheri, on the southern coast of Tuscany. The Antinori family created Tignanello using Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

At present, wine producers increasingly blend Sangiovese with Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and other foreign vines. Tuscany also produces white wines. The most famous Tuscan white wine is the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Another excellent Tuscan white wine is the Bianco di Pitigliano, which is produced in southern Tuscany.                                                                                                                    

Spaghetti with Peas and Prosciutto

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. Prosciutto, in one piece
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 15 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh peas, shelled or 1 pound “tiny tender” frozen peas
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Italian parsley for garnish

Directions:

Cut prosciutto into small pieces. Finely chop the garlic and coarsely chop the parsley.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. When the oil is warm, add the prosciutto, garlic and parsley; saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the peas and the broth. Simmer until the peas are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To cook the pasta: bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. When water comes to full boil, add salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan with the peas. Mix very well. Cook for one minute more, mixing continuously, while the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Transfer to a large warmed serving platter and sprinkle with parsley leaves.

Braised Pork Loin                                                                                                                                             

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless pork loin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 oz. capers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or use canned)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Slice the pork loin three-quarters of the way through lengthwise and flatten slightly with a wooden mallet.

Chop 2 of the cloves of garlic finely, mix with the raisins, pine nuts and capers. Place this mix over the pork and roll the pork into a cylinder. Tie with string.

Brown the remaining garlic in oil, and then remove it. Add the pork roll, brown on all sides, add tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste , cover and cook for 25 min. over a low flame. Add parsley, remove from heat. Let rest a few minutes before cutting into one inch slices.

Zuccotto                                                                                                                                                       

Ingredients:

  • Sponge Cake, recipe below
  • 3 tablespoons liqueur (Grand Marnier, Benedictine, Framboise)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Cut the sponge cake into 1/2 inch thick strips. Spray a 1 1/2-quart bowl lightly with vegetable spray. Line bottom and sides with cake strips, ensuring a tight fit to completely encase the filling. Sprinkle with liqueur and set aside.

Whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Separately, beat ricotta and sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fold together whipped cream and ricotta. Fold in half the nuts.

Pour half the mixture into the cake lined bowl. Make a well in the center large enough to hold the remaining cream mixture.

Thoroughly blend remaining cream mixture with chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, then spoon mixture into the center. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top, cover lightly with plastic wrap and freeze until very firm, at least 6 hours.

Fifteen minutes before serving, remove from freezer and invert onto a plate. Slice into 8 servings.

Sponge Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • A teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and flour bottom of the pan.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Separate the yolks and put them in a bowl with the sugar. Beat the mixture until very fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, add a pinch of salt and gently fold them into the beaten yolks. Fold the flour into the batter and pour it into the pan.

Put the cake in the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake is dry and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Turn the oven off. Open the oven door and let  the cake cool for one hour in the oven. Turn out onto a wire rack and let rest for an hour before cutting



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LITTLE CHEF’S APRON

13 but looking for ways to share my cooking and photography experiences with you!

A Curly Sue's Ramblings

Lifestyle, Ramblings and more

Leverage Ambition

be you, be great

The TeeKay Take

A RESOURCE FOR RARE FINDS IN MUSIC AND WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR IT

. . .

love each other like you are the lyric and they are the music

https://jakhala.com

jakhala.com is a Blog on Healthy Life Style, Markets, News India, Sports, Wildlife-Nature, Entertainment, Photography, Food

saania2806.wordpress.com/

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

Cooking, Food & More

Sharing what I am passionate about

itsthebiblophile

Writing can be anything for anyone but for me it's to express the overwhelming feelings I feel that cannot be said .[Disclaimer : everything posted here will be my own work (p.s. work here means everything written and not the images) unless mentioned otherwise. Please do not copy.]

No Time For Pants

Life Hacks and Advice

Dawn Anthony

Just another girl who loves sugar, spice and everything nice!

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

beautifulpeopleinc.com

Live, Love, Travel and Laugh (Proudly Pinoy)

Theas Kitchen Recipes

Quick and Easy Recipes | Cakes and Pastries | Pinoy and International Recipes

Food Segment

You are what you eat....

miss PE

free food recipes for vegetarian and healthy food lover.

PJ Procrastinates

Baking and Oversharing

Five Lessons

Success Stories for Angsty Professionals

promoting product both digital&physical

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Keywebco

Helpful Tips Show, Blog & Vlog Via Keywebco

Rachel Rose

A Fitness * Fashion * Health Tips

Whatsdalatest

Uncover your Perception

Secret World Entertainment

Go, Go, Go. Stay, Stay, Stay.

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