Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe

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leethebard
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2008/03/08 09:48:30 (permalink)

Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe

As many of you know,I love my Italian heritage,especially when it comes to Italian food. I never order ordinary pasta dishes or traditional dishes like Chicken Marsala etc because we make them better at home. So for a great Italian meal out, we always search for that something special..that something just a bit different.
Have any of you like-minded roadfooders a great Italian meal that is not a standard you'd like to see in a good Italian restaurant. Please share.
I have a favorite soup,the recipe of which was given to me by a Venitian chef over lunch at his restaurant: Whit Past Fagiole with mint. I have the recipe posted on a soup thread from months ago. That's just a starter(pun intended) for this thread.
Share your ideas! Thanks. Chow.
#1

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    Jimeats
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 10:23:24 (permalink)
    Fruti de Mare, can be made at home but much cheaper at a restaraunt if your cooking for one or two.
    Tripe, a Satuday special here in many local bars. Don't find that on many menus.
    Pasta ala olio a great dish that's hard to find in most spots. I do have it at home very often during lent though.
    Cavatteli, a macaroni that is scarse on most menus here.
    Ciao Jim
    #2
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 10:24:50 (permalink)
    Two somewhat complicated dishes that I have made successfully at home, but would much rather have at a great Italian restaurant are Zuppa di pesci and a rolled, stuffed breast of veal. Sadly the veal dish is seldom (if ever) offered and the zuppa (when available) is not worth the expense. pb
    #3
    Ciaoman
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 11:22:47 (permalink)
    I'd order Ossobuco in a restaurant if I knew they'd get it right. The veal shanks can be a little pricey but the end result to make it at home is great! The key is the "gremolada" that you add to the pot about 5 minutes before its done.

    Another favorite of mine that I typically make at home is Spaghetti (or Bucatini) al' Amatriciana, a classic Roman pasta dish dressed with pancetta, tomato, onion, and hot chili pepper. Often restaurants try to personalize simple dishes by the addition of unecessary ingredients (such as brandy, dried herbs, cream, butter, et al). The additions ruin it IMO.
    #4
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 11:33:52 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ciaoman

    ...... Often restaurants try to personalize simple dishes by the addition of unecessary ingredients (such as brandy, dried herbs, cream, butter, et al). The additions ruin it IMO.


    You got that right!! The worst example of "personalizing" a dish was the time we ate at the Disney resort in Vero Beach, FL and they served Creme Brule with shredded coconut. pb

    #5
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 12:49:27 (permalink)
    I used to order a dish called "Veal Dante" at Joe Peppy's Italian Garden in Miami Springs over twenty-five years ago. It was presented as a golden, breaded sphere about four inches in diameter, wrapped in foil. The waiter would peel back the foil, and cut it open, and ladle on a Marsala sauce. The bulk of it was mostly thinly sliced veal, but there were mushrooms, peas and cherry tomatoes, too. Evidently the lightly breaded sphere was fried, and then wrapped in foil and baked. I can't for the life of me figure out how they made it hold together for the first step.

    I have found a variety of "veal dante" dishes online, but none that seem to match my recollection. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed.
    #6
    leethebard
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/08 20:36:58 (permalink)
    jimeats,
    We grew up on Pasta al Olio....it was a weekly staple in our home...both sets of Italian Grandparents made it...and so did my mom...a regular on Fridays and other meatless days...and you're right this Italian peasant dish is so easy yet rarely ever seen in an Italian restaurant...ooohh,I'm getting hungry as I type!
    Love the Cavatelli with Brocolli...a similar dish..just with brocolli.
    Pasta Al Olio can be made by adding califlower or brocolli too!!! Had that all the time as a kid,too!!
    #7
    tiki
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/09 10:26:03 (permalink)
    LITTLE BIRDS AND POLENTA!!--and about 200 other fabulous thing my Noni use to make!!--the birds---in out case were squab that all my uncles raised--they were all roasted over coals and packed in small barrels filled with lard and kept in the basement---Nonom wouild send down with a big skillet to get birds--she would heat them up and pour off the lard--(which we would then take back and pour back in the barrel to keep air out off the birds)-than add a sauce similar to caccitore--lighter-and full of olives and capers She would make a big pot of polenta which she would pour out onto the top of the kitchen table--which was one off those one covered with a metal top that was SPOTLESSLY cleaned---it would form a big mound that would firm up--she stuck the birds on skewers and popped them into the polenta and poured the sauce right over the top of the whole thing--we would use a big spatula and serve ourselves this was served with good "Scalla" bread and bowls of extra sauce!!!!--and a lot Grampa's wine!! I LOVED IT!!--would LOVE to see it on a menu!
    #8
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/09 10:33:06 (permalink)
    Tiki: That is a very unusual recipe and a very unusual way of preserving (I guess). I had never heard of that before. How long could you store them that way?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    porkbeaks
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/09 10:53:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Tiki: That is a very unusual recipe and a very unusual way of preserving (I guess). I had never heard of that before. How long could you store them that way?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    Confit (kôn-fee')
    meat (particularly duck, goose or pork) which is preserved by cooking and storing it in its own fat; confit may also refer to other types of preserved food. Refrigerated, it can be kept for up to 6 months.
    #10
    leethebard
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/09 14:02:21 (permalink)
    Fascinating...and the Polenta recipe and its special olive and capers sauce sounds superb!!!
    #11
    tiki
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 10:16:52 (permalink)
    Not sure how long the birds would last if left alone---but i do know that we would have them for at least six months by which time they were all eaten---the barrel was kept in the cold cellar---which was built into the house by my grandfather--and stayed cool year round, with a big root celler pit in it full of sand that he buried root vegies and such in and they kept close to year round. My grandfather says that in "The Old Country:--:Little birds" literally meant exactly that---seems that those old Italians and Sicilians would stick a shotgun out the window and what ever fell down from the sky got eaten---cranes,ducks,song birds---these were the "Little birds"---if it had feathers---they ate it!
    #12
    Jimeats
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 10:48:41 (permalink)
    tiki, I've also have had that dish but it has been many years. A freind of mine, his mother, would do it very similar but served on a large board placed in the middle of the table. The old fellow next door to her raised squab, {we called them pigeons as kids} rabbits and morning doves.
    Her caccitore was always made with rabbit, darn decient. Ciao Jim
    #13
    jettababs
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 10:54:30 (permalink)
    My favorite Italian recipe isn't that fancy, but I love it anyway--orechiette with broccoli or broccoli rabe, pancetta or anchovies (depending on who I'm making it for), garlic, and red pepper flakes, finished off with some Parmesan (the real stuff). Simple and very satisfying, and I've never seen it on a menu 'round here.
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    fabulousoyster
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 11:49:28 (permalink)
    fluffy potato gnocchi in a light silky buttery sauce, all of which I can't make, hard to find a good plate of it at a restaurant.
    #15
    mikez629
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 12:13:18 (permalink)
    Penne vodka-with good crusty bread
    #16
    tiki
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 18:23:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    tiki, I've also have had that dish but it has been many years. A freind of mine, his mother, would do it very similar but served on a large board placed in the middle of the table. The old fellow next door to her raised squab, {we called them pigeons as kids} rabbits and morning doves.
    Her caccitore was always made with rabbit, darn decient. Ciao Jim


    Mu mom also made a caccitore with pheasant--THAT was really good!!! It was huge fave every year at out fish and game clubs game food banquet---my dad and i wouldnt eat any that night cause ma would always cook another batch for us at home and it would diassapear fast at the banguet.
    #17
    tiki
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 18:25:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by fabulousoyster

    fluffy potato gnocchi in a light silky buttery sauce, all of which I can't make, hard to find a good plate of it at a restaurant.


    i will second that emotion!!!
    #18
    joerogo
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/10 19:12:52 (permalink)
    I miss the "peasant" food that I grew up with. Because the "peasant food is now gourmet food. I grew up on all the stuff the slaughter houses would throw away like tripe and sofritta. Tripe now sells for about $4.00/ pound and if you can find veal hearts expect to pay about $8-$10.00/ pound.

    Also, polenta in a sausage and wild mushroom tomato sauce. The mushrooms picked that day in secert spots in the nearby woods. And a salad from wild chicory or dandilion. I always say that an Italian can go in the woods and ten minutes later walk out with a gourmet meal.

    Ciaoman, the last time I was in Roma we were all enjoying Rigatoni al' Amatriciana. It was mixed at our table inside a huge wheel of pecorina cheese. No pancetta though, guanciale or pig's jowl. Very chewy.

    But alas nobody makes it like Mama.
    #19
    Jimeats
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/12 11:09:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    quote:
    Originally posted by fabulousoyster

    fluffy potato gnocchi in a light silky buttery sauce, all of which I can't make, hard to find a good plate of it at a restaurant.


    i will second that emotion!!!
    gnocchi, incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is a good potato ricer. The hardest part is peeling the potatos. Chow Jim
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    porkbeaks
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/12 11:55:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    quote:
    Originally posted by fabulousoyster

    fluffy potato gnocchi in a light silky buttery sauce, all of which I can't make, hard to find a good plate of it at a restaurant.


    i will second that emotion!!!
    gnocchi, incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is a good potato ricer. The hardest part is peeling the potatos. Chow Jim


    If you like gnocchi, but would rather not go the potato route, try this recipe. Taken from[url='http://www.worldspice.com/writings_pages/tuscan_flavors.htm']this[/url] site.


    Gnocchi Verde con Spinachi
    (Green Spinach Gnocchi)
    2 Packages (14 ounces each) of chopped frozen spinach
    2 Tablespoons butter

    Squeeze the spinach to within an inch of its life to remove moisture. Fresh works fine but it's time consuming to cook down. Since the frozen tastes just as good in this recipe, save the trouble for your accompanying sauce. Fry the spinach in the butter to dry almost completely until little or no steam rises off the pan. It’s this drying step that makes the spinach manageable in the dough, otherwise you’ll end up with a large pile of creamed spinach for dinner.

    Add:

    3/4 Cup ricotta cheese
    2 Eggs, beaten
    1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Use the good stuff. Cheese doesn't come in cardboard cylinders. Make your dinner guests grate it fresh and if they complain, threaten to withhold the Chianti.

    6 Tablespoons flour

    Adjust as needed to make the dough wet but manageable.

    Spicing:

    Brittany Coast sea salt to taste
    1 Teaspoon Muntok white peppercorn
    1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 Teaspoon mace
    All above should be ground fresh, don't even think about cheating with pre-ground.

    Flour your hands and make small gnocchi, about the size of a walnut. Don’t worry if you seem to get more on your hands than in the pot at first, that’s all part of the preparation and you’ll develop your own dumpling forming techniques soon enough. I’ve even heard that using a melon scoop works but that’s not nearly as fun as sinking your hands into the bowl with some friends. Drop the formed gnocchi into a very deep pot of boiling water so that the dumplings set form before hitting the bottom of the pot. Boil until about three minutes after they rise to the top. Remove to a baking dish.

    Drizzle more melted butter and grated Parmesan over the top of gnocchi, easiest if all are touching, and then separate the dumplings in the pan so that each "crisps up" a bit in a 400 Degree oven after about 8 minutes.

    Serve as they are as an appetizer or try nestling a few on a bed of rich, home-spun marinara sauce that's simmered for hours to get everyone in the mood. Good Tuscan bread and a bottle of Chianti is a must for this one but try to linger over the dinner. As light as this interpretation is, it’s still gnocchi and that means filling. I suggest you bring a few good conversationalists with you and settle in for a full night around the table.
    #21
    Baah Ben
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/16 16:58:05 (permalink)
    I'm making some really good turkey meatballs for those of you who don't want as much fat in your diet..I make them because my wife does not eat red meat. I got the improved recipe from Bobby's Flay's show competing with another meatball maker..The answer is in the eggs!

    Take 1 lb of 7% fat ground turkey (Turkey Store or equal)and do not use ground turkey breast..It is too lean.

    Chop up 1/2 large onion, 4-5 big cloves of fresh garlic, salt and pepper(a good amount), 4-5 large fresh basil leaves chopped up, and 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, fresh grated parm or romano cheese (at least 1/2 cup), 2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley, 3 whole eggs, and 1 cup fresh bread crumbs.

    Saute the onions with the garlic just till translucent. Add a dash of white wine and reduce, but do not brown. Let cool. Mix the meat, with the rest of the ingredients and then add in the onion/garlic mixture. Take a tablespoon of the raw meatball mix and cook it in the microwave to make sure it's to your liking..Re-season as needed.

    Start rolling the meatballs. Do not worry that they are very loose! They will roll up in a ball anyway. Fry carefully in hot pan with olive oil on both sides just to get a exterior crust. Then take them while still raw in the middle and put them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then put them in your tomato sauce for 10-15 minutes on simmer..that's it.
    #22
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/16 23:12:44 (permalink)
    My gramma's meatballs, and pagu's for Easter. Pagu's are shredded parm mixed with eggs, put inside ravioli dough & baked. They come out a little like a bagel. Very cheesy & good. It's not Easter dinner without them.
    #23
    UncleVic
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/17 01:33:37 (permalink)
    I worked for an Italian family (Bono's in Grand Rapids). Half the time they where screaming, all in Italian, never knew if they where happy or mad.. Overall, some of the best folk you ever met! But everything from the noodles thru the sauces where made from scratch. Most favorite dish there was (what I call Chicken Alfredo Primavera, not sure what it's technical name there was). But with the fresh noodles, chicken breast fried in quality olive oil, broccoli, carrot and cauliflower sautéed, heavy cream with parmesan and ricotta mixed all together for the sauce, the secret was an egg yolk to thicken it before it came out of the final pan. Very rich and very tasty!
    #24
    enginecapt
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/17 02:18:52 (permalink)
    Pizza aglio e olio. It's pizza dough topped with good olive oil and diced fresh garlic, then topped with fresh grated parmesan or romano after baking. Very rare in these parts.
    #25
    johnnyblanco
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/20 13:56:54 (permalink)
    I dunno about y'all.. but I am italian here and I love to cook when the situation calls for it (and it does sometimes twice a day. ;) Here's my reciepe for chicken parmigiana (and yes it's different.. alittle. ;)

    Ingreidents:

    2-4 boneless chicken breasts (veal can be subsituted as can steak but you'd need a flat steak in order for it to cool well)
    egg, flour and italian bread crumbs
    2-4 slices of Proscuitto de Parma (NOT regular proscuitto..)
    Shredded Mozerella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses

    Directions:

    Take each chicken breast and dredge them first in flour, then egg and then the breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat evenly and throughly

    When all breasts are coated line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the sheet, spread out evenly.

    line the chicken breasts so there is ample space between them and put into the oven to bake at 350 degrees at 40 minutes. NOTE: Make SURE you flip these breasts every 10 minutes without fail else they'll burn.

    Remove from oven and layer strip of proscuitto and then sprinkle with shredded mozerella cheese and put back in the oven on broil for 2-4 minutes until the cheese is melted. While the cheese is melted sprinkle some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and serve with pasta.

    So whatcha think? :)
    #26
    leethebard
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/20 13:59:27 (permalink)
    I think I want to try this...nice little twist!!
    #27
    leethebard
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/20 14:33:12 (permalink)
    My wife makes her own version of a Carrabba's soup, their lentil soup. She makes red lentil soup with added carrots and Zucchini and lots of spicey Iralian hot sausage...Great for a cold night,oe any other time!!!!
    #28
    leethebard
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/29 22:03:18 (permalink)
    Last night we had a Costco rotiss. chicken...so tonight was soup night and we had meatball soup(Italian Wedding)our favorite soup(see the Italian wedding soup thread).. Lots of Grated Parm. cheese,Italian bread dipped in spiced Olive oil(Tuscan blend spices)It's a standard sat. night meal we have quite often..and a family favorite!
    #29
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Your FAVORITE Italian Recipe 2008/03/29 22:14:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by johnnyblanco

    I dunno about y'all.. but I am italian here and I love to cook when the situation calls for it (and it does sometimes twice a day. ;) Here's my reciepe for chicken parmigiana (and yes it's different.. alittle. ;)


    So whatcha think? :)


    I think you forgot the sauce. I prefer to dredge, egg and crumb pounded breasts and then saute them. Then I put them in a baking dish with the ham and cheese, with sauce, and bake them at 350-degrees for about 25 minutes.
    #30
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