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Italy - Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine can differ greatly from region to region. Often people not totally familiar with the range of foods in Italy assume everything is spaghetti and pizza when that is not the case. Italy is well known for its wines, risotto (rice dishes), cured hams, pasta, cheeses, breads, and numerous other culinary delights.
Italian Brisket

3-4 pounds brisket
garlic, crushed
onion, coarsely chopped
celery, coarsely chopped
parsley, coarsely chopped
carrots, coarsely chopped
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dress brisket with 2 Tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and crushed garlic. Blanch scallions for about 10 seconds. Place onion, celery, parsley, carrots, and scallions in baking dish with briskets and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Combine more crushed garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, olive oil, and wine vinegar. Refrigerate. Later warm to room temperature and serve as dressing.

Chicken Cacciatore

broiler chicken(cut up)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion (sliced)
3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup white wine
oregano (optional)
basil (optional)

Brown chicken in oil. Add onion and cook until tender but not brown. Add everything else except wine. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add wine and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove garlic before serving.

Penne Alla Napolitana

12 oz. penne or other small tubular pasta
4 Tbsp. virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. bottled red pepper flakes
2 cups Tomato sauce 1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Drop penne into kettle of boiling water, return to boil and boil gently for 8 - 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, return to pan and keep warm.

Sauté garlic slowly in 3 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet until softened but not browned. Add olives, basil, red pepper and tomato sauce. Heat. Stir in cheeses and heat, stirring, until chunks begin to melt. Pour over pasta. Pass additional grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over if desired.

Bolognese Sauce

1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots or 1 onion,chopped fine
2 Tbsp dried leaf basil
1 Tbsp dried leaf oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram powder
1/8 tsp thyme powder
2 Tbsp dried Italian parsley
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 6-oz cans tomato paste
3 Tbsp water

Brown and separate the beef in a heavy nonstick skillet. Drain
all grease with a sieve and transfer the cooked beef to a heavy
saucepan. Wipe the skillet with paper towels and sweat the garlic and shallots in the olive oil until transparent. Add to the saucepan with all the other ingredients except the water. Use the water to rinse out the cans, then add to the sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer at least 90 minutes. The sauce should stand up by itself. Serve with capellini cooked al dente (about 7 minutes) and freshly grated Parmeggiano Reggiano.


1 Package of Lady Fingers
4 egg yolks
½ cup of sugar
1 lb of Marscapone cheese
1 cup of heavy cream
½ cup freshly made espresso coffe
¼ cup cocoa powder

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until the mixture is thickened and light lemon color. Mix in the Marscapone cheese until thoroughly mixed. In a medium-size bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form and fold into the cheese mixture. Dip the Savoiardi in espresso and line a 9 by 13 inch pan with them. 5. Pour in half the cheese mixture and smooth. Add another layer of the Savoiardi dipped in espresso. Pour the remaining cheese mixture on top and smooth. Chill for 2 hours and dust with cocoa powder before serving.

Minestrone Soup

2 carrots (1 minced, 1 sliced)
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 head cauliflower, broken
1/4 bunch escarole
1/4 bunch spinach
1/4 bunch endive
3/4 onion (< minced, 1/2 slivered)
1/4 head cabbage
1 cup peas
2 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 can peeled tomatoes
3 potatoes (2 chopped, 1 thinly sliced)
1/2 cup canned chick peas
1/2 cup canned kidney beans
1/4 teaspoon sage
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt pork, minced
salt 2 quarts. water

Fry minced carrot, minced onion, and salt pork in olive oil until onions are clear. Add sage and canned tomatoes. Let cook for a few minutes and then add water. Salt to taste. Add 2 potatoes, sliced carrot and celery, and cauliflower. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add thinly sliced potato. Add spinach, escarole, onion, endive, peas, zucchini, and cabbage. Let cook for 15 minutes. Add beans and ditalini. Cook for another 10 minutes.


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