Penne is a pasta favorite and it looks like a cylinder or small short tubes with diagonally cut ends. Mamma uses a Catelli brand which is made in Italy. A great recipe you might want to try with penne is pasta with stuffed tomatoes….Pasta con i pomodori.
This is another unique Italian pastry and from the region of Italy that Mamma is from it is known as or called Dordelee. It is a ball of pastry with an infusion of Vermouth. You can pop them into your mouth and are a wonderful treat.
4-1/2 – 5 cups of flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 small eggs
1/3 cup oil (olive oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vermouth
In a large mixing bowl – Mix all dry ingredients, starting with just 4 cups (of the 4 1/2 or 5 cups) flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Save about 1 cup flour to add after all wet ingredients have been included. You will add extra flour only if needed.
Add your eggs, oil, vanilla and mix. Now add your vermouth and mix well. If required, add little bit of flour at a time from the 1 cup of flour you set aside and do this until you reach the desired consistency.
Roll your dough into long, narrow, round strips until they are about 1 inch in diameter. Cut the dough in pieces.
In a deep frying pan add enough oil to cover at least 1/2 of the pastry ball. On medium heat allow oil to get hot and then carefully place the pastry balls into the oil and deep fry.
Do not leave unattended as they will cook quickly. Let cool and finish with a sprinkle of icing sugar.
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.
Family traditions at our home involve baking our favorite foods. At Easter, it is Pane di Pasqua which is a sweet Easter Bread. At Christmas, Mamma makes Croustoweelewhich is a fried bread; pastries like Skawaylay which are a honey coated pastry; biscotti which is a twice baked cookie as well as other goodies. Here is a fun recipe for Christmas Biscotti, it has candy canes in the ingredients and goes great with a cup of Espresso or Cappuccino.
This recipe makes approximately 24 cookies. You can slice them a little thinner if you want to reduce the sample size.
1-3/4 cups flour
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
3/4 cup (175 ml) sugar
1/3 cup (75 ml) melted butter
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
1/2 tsp (2 ml) peppermint extract
1 egg white lightly beaten
6 each mini candy canes
In large bowl combine flour and baking powder and crushed candy canes
Whisk eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and peppermint extract.
Stir into flour mixture until soft, sticky dough forms.
Transfer dough to lightly floured surface, form into smooth ball, divide in half, roll each into 12 inch long log. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
Brush tops with egg whites.
Bake in 350 F oven for 20 minutes.Remove and cool for 5 minutes on rack. Cut diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices, stand cookies upright on baking sheet.
Bake sliced cookies for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
cool on rack … mangia!!
Biscotti in Italian means cookie and also means twice baked. Our Christmas biscotti with the crushed candy canes is a nice twist to this yummy Italian cookie.
Who doesn’t want a flaky pie crust? Without a doubt the flakiest pie crust in the world…Mamma’s. Okay we are a little biased. It is one of our favorites so we thought we would add it. Here is her recipe:
Thanksgiving is a time when Mamma adds so many side dishes to the table we do not even get a chance to sample them all. Cooking with beets and finding different ways to prepare them can be a challenge but Mamma makes these cooked beets fresh from the garden…wow, even carnivores eat them.
Here is her recipe:
1 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Light sprinkle oregano
Wash and boil beets until tender
Rinse with cold water and peel skin. Colder the water the better.
Slice beets and place into serving bowl. Whisk the 1 tbsp of vinegar and 2 tbsp of olive oil together…drizzle over the beets. Mix well. Grate in one (1) clove of garlic. Add salt to taste and sprinkle of oregano….stir and serve. Buon appetito!
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.
No mixer, no worries here is a great recipe by Emeril Lagasse for pizza dough by hand.
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour plus more if necessary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine yeast with water, olive oil, salt and stir well to proof. After 5 minutes, add half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly incorporate. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Transfer dough to a pizza peel and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.
Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 6-inch circles. Place filling of choice in the center of one side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.
Summer is all about BBQ and eating outdoor. We hope you will give this potato salad recipe a try and let Mamma know whether it is a keeper by liking it below.
4 large potatoes
1 or 2 sticks Celery
3 or 4 radishes
2 green onion stalks
1 Serving Spoon Mayonnaise
1/2 TSP Mustard
Parsley to garnish
Peel and boil potatoes. In a separate pot boil your eggs. Let cool. In a large bowl grate half of the potatoes and half of the eggs. Chop remainder of the potatoes and eggs into cubes. Finely chop the celery, onions, radishes and add to mixture.
Add a serving spoon size of Mayonnaise and the 1/2 tsp mustard and thoroughly mix. If not moist enough add more Mayo. Sprinkle with black pepper and salt and mix until you reach your desired consistency.
Finish with a dash of paprika and garnish with parsley. Place in fridge until ready to serve. So good!
This is a specialty sweet bread that Mamma makes only at Easter time. This sweet bread has a heavier consistency than your typical bread and the finished product has a yellow color tinge to it. The Kids will gobble it up and it will soon become an annual Easter tradition.
7 Eggs (whisk)
7 teaspoons Baking powder
3 cups sugar
Flour (approx 5 cups)
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup milk
8 ml Salt or 1/2 tbsp
6 eggs (for decorative purposes, twist dough over raw egg)
Beat the 7 eggs well with whisk.
Add 3 cups sugar, add 2 cups of vegetable oil, 8 ml salt or little more than 1/2 tbsp salt, 1 cup milk. Whisk well to add more air.
Add flour to make a dough consistency (approx 5 cups) and add 7 teaspoon baking powder.
Roll and twist the dough in strips, add decorative egg (raw, shell still intact of course), shape as per above image. Use thinner strip of dough to wrap the egg on the top or for the last layer.
Bake at 300 deg F for about 35 minutes.
Makes about 6 loaves.
This sweet bread is a treat Mamma gives to all the grand-children each year and it is also known as pane di pasqua in Italian.