Antipasto is a Christmas favorite at our home. Crack a jar, get some crackers and scoop away. In Italian, antipasto means before the meal so in essence an appetizer thus the many recipe variations you will find. With all these great ingredients it is like a meal served as an appetizer.
2 lb green pepper
2 (20 oz) bottles ketchup
1 bottle cocktail sauce
1 bottle chili sauce
2 tins pitted sliced black olives
1 jar stuffed olives (green pimento)
1 lb cauliflower
1 jar pimento
2 tins sliced mushrooms
1 tin green beans
1 jar dill pickles
1 to 2 small tins anchovies
3 tins white tuna
1 cup oil
Precook cauliflower for 5 minutes. In a large stock pot (big enough to hold all these ingredients). fry pepper and pimento in oil. Add remaining ingredients into pot. Slice pickles and flake fish when adding. Stir over low heat for 15 minutes. Fill jars. Seal and process for 20 minutes.
Hint: Use small jam jars and give them as a gift with crackers and cheese.
In a hurry and looking for a recipe for a quick panini? A favorite of ours is made with a specialty Italian meat called capicollo (capacollo, capicolli, capicola) which is a dry-cured salted ham. It can be purchased in different varieties (spices ) with a hot or mild coating and it is one of the most popular Italian cold-cuts. It is salted and cured for up to six months. This meat with a mild provolone cheese will give your taste buds a ride and you now have a specialty sandwich everyone will love. Provolone (means large Provola) was first popular at the end of the 19th century and was first made in the Southern regions of Italy. It is a smooth cheese which accentuates the taste of the capicollo when blended together.
1 slice of your favorite Flat Bread
3-4 slices Capicollo Mild or use hot if you like spicy! We like ours thinly sliced.
1 slice Cheese Provolone
Sweet onion (red)
We like to fry the mushrooms first. Fold flat-bread in half and place the meat, cheese, onions and mushrooms into the flat bread. Place in panini and grill sandwich until hot and cheese has melted. Buon appetito.
1 lb Pork Tenderloin
8 – 10 slices Prosciutto
10-12 Sage leaves (can use Basil)
Olive Oil Extra Virgin
Slice the tenderloin diagonally and you should get around 10 medallions. Brush the meat with olive oil, add the black pepper, salt (prosciutto is salty so we do not add but some prefer to use salt), add the sage leaves then wrap it with the prosciutto. You can put the sage on both sides first then wrap it with the prosciutto if you like. You are wrapping each slice.
Preheat frying pan, add some olive oil and if the tenderloins are thin it will only take about 4 minutes per side.
We prefer to barbecue our tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto. Cook on medium heat and brush with EVOO when you flip. Serve with salad and veggies.
Those not familiar with Prosciutto it is an Italian salt-cured ham. Other prosciutto recipes include Halibut wrapped in prosciutto and it is great in a sandwich (make sure it is sliced thin) and serve with some Italian cheese .
1 can (48 oz) Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (48 oz) Tomato Sauce
1-1/2 tbsp oregano
1-1/2 tbsp basil
Salt to taste.
Mamma’s pizza sauce is the best. For those of us that try to make it we need to make several attempts to ensure we get it right. She has the benefit of adding this sauce to her own home-made pizza dough and this only increases the challenge of trying to make it on our own hoping to replicate that unique traditional taste.
This recipe is simple so give it a try by adding it to your favorite pizza dough.
Combine in pot and let simmer for at least 1 hour. Remember to sample your Italian Pizza Sauce as it simmers…grab a spoon and taste it and this will help you determine how much salt etc to add.
Most traditional Italian recipes will vary from one region to another. There are twenty (20) different regions in all and there are provinces within each region which adds up to many different styles and flavors of cooking. This regional variation is what Italy is famous for; it is the local ingredients that give each unique flavor – the spice of life.
Pesto is a great example of how a basic recipe is modified by each region. The basic most famous green pesto comes from the Liguria (northern) area where the fresh basil is crushed into a paste and mixed with olive oil, Parmigiano (cheese) and pine nuts. More currently introduced, the red pesto has sun-dried tomatoes added to the traditional mix in the Cinque Terre area, while the spicy Sicilian variation can contain chilies, cappers, raisins, anchovies, fennel and mint.
The Northern regions’ recipes also tend to use less olive oil, pasta and tomato sauce in favor of more rice, polenta and cheeses for cream sauces. The local recipes seem to express a pride of the unspoiled countryside with the inclusion of local game or wild fowl like rabbit or quail. If it grows well in the area it will likely end up on your plate.
Italian cuisine has two sides, tradition and innovation. Most regional variations take a traditional Italian recipe and add local flavor or develop a new use to create a taste unique to that region. Unlike typical Italian restaurant food found in North America traditional Italian dishes offer much more variety. While you can find the well known offerings of pizza and spaghetti you will find that taking time to sample local recipes worthwhile as it enhances the enjoyment and memories of your experience.
So when considering replicating or creating a traditional Italian recipes in your own kitchen you must take into account the region of Italy that the recipe was developed in and where the ingredients originated. It will still be good but the taste may vary slightly as a result of the chef and the key ingredients..
This pasta recipe takes a bit of work but if you are having a dinner party and you are wanting to WOW the crowd this Italian recipe will do just that.
1 1/2 lbs Fresh Spinach or 2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach
2 green onions finely chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
36 each Jumbo shells
3 cups Marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage (this item can be left out if wish to have without meat)
Place fresh spinach in large saucepan, cover and cook over moderate heat until wilted. About 4-5 minutes. Drain and cool. When cool squeeze dry and chop fine.
With a large skillet on moderate heat cook the 8 ounces of Italian sausage (remove casings first), until brown or about 5 minutes. To reduce grease use a slotted spoon to place the meat onto a plate with paper towel. Cool and chop fine.
Using same skillet saute 1 small finely chopped onion, 1 clove garlic (minced). Stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
Using a large bowl combine onion mixture, sausage, spinach, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1 tbsp minced parsley, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
Cook pasta as per package instructions…do not overcook. Drain off about half of the water and refill the pot with cold water. Remove shells and place on kitchen towel.
Preheat oven 375 deg F.
Spread tomato sauce over bottom of shallow 2 quart casserole dish. Stuff pasta shells with sausage and spinach mixture and place them on the sauce. Spoon remaining (2 cups) of sauce overall and sprinkle with rest of parmesan cheese (1/2 cup).
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated and bubbling