Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick day to y'all

And here a recipe in green to celebrate!!!

Garganelli in green!!!

Few day ago I've received my Food & Wine magazine  (April 2009) anIMG_3946d I was immediately taken from the picture of the dish o n the cover. So I've decided to replicate, using though a wonderful fresh pasta, call garganelli (a type of egg pasta characterized by a shape that resembles a small, ridged, rolled tube, similar to a quill.), that my friend Alice sent to me from Italy the last Christmas time. It was time to honor this pasta with a wonderful, rich but still light dressing, perfect for the incoming spring season. Enjoy it!

Garganelli pasta with peas and asparagus



  • 1/2 pound garganelli pasta (or penne)
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 cups chicken stock *
  • 1 cups  frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the peas and cream to the skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. In the meantime cook the garganelli for few minutes (since is fresh pasta it'll cook in minutes), drain them and  stir in the pan with the sauce and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, parsley and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve right away, passing additional cheese at the table.

* substitute with vegetable stock for a vegetarian option.

Adapted from here

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cannoli doc!!!

Here we are with the second annual  FESTA ITALIANA,FESTAITALIANA that Maryann e Mary have hosted for us. The last year I've "brought" a recipe from the Northern Italy - this one - today I'm going South, really South: in Sicily with the wonderful recipe of cannoli.

I got this recipe from a Sicilian friend, Rossella, who's also the soul of a very interesting Italian culinary forum: Pan per focaccia. But no more chatting, here the recipe:



250 gr flour
25 gr. butter/shortening
25 gr. sugar
1 gr. salt
5 gr. cocoa powder
70 gr marsala wine 
1 egg

To make the shells: Mix together the dry ingredients and cut in butter with 2 knives. Add the Marsala and shape the dough into a ball. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for few hours or overnight.

To make the filling: for every 2 pound of ricotta cheese (preferably sheep ricotta cheese) well drained you'll need 1 pound sugar. Mix the two ingredients and let rest overnight. After this time, strain it and if you want add chocolate chips or candied fruit. Mix well and fill the cannoli shells.

As a good rule you should fill the cannoli at the last moment, before serving them. But in case you want to make them in advance, brush the inside of the shell with melted chocolate, let dry and then fill them.

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