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Classic Italian Chicken Saltimbocca

One of the things I love about Italian cuisine is there are many variations of famous dishes made with more than one central ingredient. For example one of the best know of Italian dishes are the ones featuring parmesan cheese and marinara sauce over a crunchy main ingredient this can be eggplant, veal, or chicken they are all lovely on their own and all have a special place in the culinary world and I would not necessarily replace one with the other rather this way they, lend to what kind of mood you are in sometimes one will out shine another and then on another day just the opposite is true.

Saltimbocca is more commonly known for being made from veal but like so many dishes and I am not sure if this is our side of the pond lending itself to the dish or not but chicken is a wonderful substitute in this recipe. Both meats are very mild and lend well to the accent of the prosciutto and in this one a bit different to almost like a cordon bleu it has a slice of Swiss cheese incorporated into it along with fresh sage in and out so you are sure to get that distinct sage taste in every bite. If you want to be a more of a traditionalist you can opt to leave the cheese out although I think it adds a nice element to the dish that is missing otherwise.

Slowly but surely I am trying to fill out the classic dishes category and I am focusing on something other than pizza and lasagna as I think you know those have kind of a skewed representation on the site as both were seeding sites that I merged into this one. It has been a long journey to this point and I am so excited that the network has almost fully integrated the rebranding and consolidation into the core sites from its former self. It is a much more useful network of food sites I believe and I love the mix of topics and love that we are finally at a point of growing the database again. It has been a challenge but one that I feel has been a positive for both me as a webmaster and you as users. Can’t wait until I see what I come up with next any ideas or suggestion leave me a comment. Continue reading

Garlic Lamb Chops with Balsamic Vegetables

Lamb chops are tender and petite, and they cook quickly. The following recipe teams garlic lamb chops with a simple vegetable mixture, and you can cook them side by side on the grill or you can broil them if you prefer. This recipe keeps the flavors really simple, adding only garlic to the lamb, and only balsamic vinegar to the vegetables. The reason for this is to showcase the natural flavors of the lamb and vegetables, offering a rustic, delicious flavor.

If you like, you can add some chopped fresh sage or rosemary to the garlic and oil mixture, and you can also consider using lamb loin chops rather than rib chops if you prefer. Only turn the lamb once while it is cooking, to let it form a nice browned crust. Moving it too soon means it will probably stick and that will leave the crust behind on the broiler pan or grill. Do not pierce the meat while it is cooking either, because you will lose some of the juices.

Grilling or broiling is the way to go with lamb chops, although pan-searing is also possible. These chops come with a built-in handle, so you can pick them up and eat the meat straight off the bone. This recipe may be scaled up or down, depending how many people you are serving. Add some potatoes, pasta or rice, and you have a complete meal. Count on 2 chops per person if you have several side dishes, 3 or 4 if you want something more filling, or 1 if you plan to serve this as an appetizer. Continue reading

Hearty Sausage and 3-Bean Casserole

This hearty casserole features sausages and beans. You can use chorizo-style chipolatas, perhaps pinching and twisting them, and then cutting them in half, so you get smaller pieces. Also in this dish you have 3 types of beans – flageolet, butterbeans and kidney beans. The sauce is made with passata, which is cooked strained tomatoes, as well as balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and dark treacle to add a rich and earthy sweetness, garlic for an aromatic accent, and onion and corn (frozen or canned) to finish it off perfectly.

This is the kind of dish that is lovely served with crusty bread, and you can use the bread to soak up all the lovely juices. It is your choice whether you want to make this one the stove or in the oven. Either way would work. Some people find they cannot get their stovetop burners low enough so rather than risk burning this, you might want to use the oven, and it will take about 30 or 40 minutes to bake in there.

Enjoy this for lunch or dinner. It is hot and hearty, but not only for the winter months. Whenever you are in the mood for Italian food and you want to combine meat, vegetables and aromatic flavors, consider this dish, because it is really nice. It is chunkier and heartier than a soup, but there is plenty of liquid, so serve it in bowls not on plates. The rich caramelized sauce is one of the best things about this wonderful casserole, and you will find the flavors perfectly balanced. Continue reading

Penne with White Wine and Mushrooms

This delicious dish is creamy without being too heavy. The earthy flavors are beautiful in this dish, and if you serve this with a full-bodied chardonnay, it makes a very elegant supper. The penne pasta is paired with mushrooms, and the sauce is made with onions and white wine, along with bouillon and cream. The finished dish is served with some fresh-grated parmesan on top for a lovely presentation.

Although this is a vegetarian dish as it stands, add some chopped ham to the recipe and swap the vegetable bouillon for a chicken equivalent, and you will end up with something equally tasty and offering some meat too. Leftover chicken would also work in this, instead of the ham. The best way to make this is to soak the mushrooms first, then get the pasta cooking. While the pasta cooks you can make the sauce, then everything will be ready at more or less the same time.

The earthy taste of the mushrooms goes really well with the cream and white wine sauce. The recipe does call for dried mushrooms but if you would rather use fresh ones then go ahead. This is an excellent way to make mushroom pasta, and you can serve this with some steamed green asparagus on the side perhaps, or with a side salad if you prefer. The whole family will enjoy this wonderful Italian pasta dish. Continue reading

Authentic Clams Oreganata

This traditional Italian clam dish is often served as an appetizer. Made with breadcrumb-topped clams, this dish is baked in the oven until the topping is crispy. Lemon wedges are usually served with clams oreganata because the flavor of lemon really complements the clams. Simple yet totally delicious, taste this recipe and you will know why this is such a classic Italian appetizer. The flavor and texture are excellent, and this is a gourmet treat despite the fact it is so easy to prepare.

This is worthy of being a dinner party appetizer, or you could just make it to impress the family. The following recipe is the traditional way of making it, but if you want, you can cook a few bacon strips until the fat renders off, then chop it and combine it with the stuffing. Another tweak is to swap the breadcrumbs for Ritz cracker crumbs. Either of those is a tasty option. You are the cook, so it is your choice whether to add the bacon or leave it out for a more authentic result.

If you are new to cooking fresh clams, rest assured they are very simple to work with. Although some clam recipes call for steaming the shellfish, this one calls for baking them for a couple of minutes to coax the shells open, and then you can make and add the breadcrumb topping, stuff the clams with it, and then broil them until the topping is crispy. Keep an eye on them while cooking. You do not want your tasty clams oreganata to burn. Continue reading

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

These fluffy little pillows of deliciousness are so simple to make, and economical too. There are various types of gnocchi you can make, but this one is made with ricotta cheese for a lovely creamy tang. You will need to make it from scratch then knead the dough, break it into little pieces, and that is your gnocchi. You can then cook it in boiling water and add some parmesan and/or garlic butter just before serving. Although a smaller portion makes a nice appetizer, a larger one is ideal for your main dish, perhaps served with a green salad alongside.

You can buy gnocchi readymade from the store, and perhaps you have already seen it in there, but making your own is so easy so you might as well give it a try, and you will also end up with something fresh-tasting and authentic which you can take pride in. Flour, egg, oil and ricotta are combined to make your gnocchi and, if you want a traditional look, you can press a fork down on each one to make a nice ridged design on them.

Put the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water, then wait until they rise up to the top. Give them an extra minute to ensure they are cooked properly, and then you can drain the gnocchi and serve it, preferably on warmed plates, and maybe with some salad or vegetables on the side. Making gnocchi is an art but a very simple one, so if you are not quite ready to start making your own fresh pasta, begin with gnocchi instead, and you will discover how delightfully easy cooking authentic Italian food from scratch can be. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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