Posted tagged ‘Recipe’

Minna’s Favorite Recipes

November 16, 2010


This family favorite recipe was submitted to “Cooking Light” magazine a few years ago by a reader who was trying to eat a little healthier without giving up all of her favorite things.  “Cooking Light” performed a make-over on the original recipe managing to trim almost 50 calories and 5 grams of fat per piece, still with very tasty results.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
7 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1½ cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 large)
1½ cups chopped Red Delicious apple (about 1 large)
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cups chopped pecans
Cooking spray
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
 2.  Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.  Set aside.
3.  Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add egg and egg whites, beating well after each addition.  Stir in applesauce and vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir just until combined to for a stiff batter.  Toss dates with 1 teaspoon flour.  Toss apples with lemon juice.  Add dates, apples and nuts to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.  Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 16 servings.



Recipe from a Guest, Mary Ann Coletti

October 24, 2010

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Simple and very satisfying. It comes out of Michele Scicolone’s book “A Fresh Taste of Italy
Spaghetti with Rubies
(Spagheti con Rubini)

2 bunches of beets (8 medium beets, about 2 pounds)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper, or to taste
Coars salt to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti or linguine (I have also used bucatini)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
2 Trim the tops and stems off the beets.(if tops are fresh blanch, chop and add to skillet with beets) Wash the beets under cool running water and scrub them with a brush. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. (pierce with a knife) Let cool, then peel and coarsely chop the beets (dice)
3. In a skillet large enough to hold all of the pasta, combine the olive oil garlic and red pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant and the oil is sizzling. add the diced beets (and greens if using) and turn them in the oil mixture until heated through.
4. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti. Cook until the spaghetti is almoxt al dente, tender yet firm to the bite. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water

Michele Scicolone

5. Pour the spaghetti into the skillet with the beets. Add some of the cooking water. Simmer over medium heat, constantly turning the spaghetti with the beets, until the pasta is evenly colored about 2 minutes.
6. Serve immediately.

In the summer I always have fresh mint available. Chop a handful and add to the finished pasta. The subtle flavor of mint adds anothe layer of flavor to the dish. Enjoy!

Minna’s Favorite Recipes…Risotto e Pollo Al’Aceto Balsamico

October 16, 2010




Risotto and Chicken Flavored with Balsamic Vinegar
This is another terrific recipe from Carol Field’s Celebrating Italy.  It is a one-pot dish flavored by mushrooms and balsamic vinegar, the chicken cooks while the rice slowly becomes risotto.  Makes 4-6 serving.
About 5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions:  1 red, 1 yellow, finely sliced
1 young chicken, about 2½ to 3 pounds, cut into 8 pieces
10 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 pound 2 ounces Arborio or Carnaroli rice
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.
In a heavy casserole heat the oil and butter and sauté the onions over medium heat until they are limp and translucent.  Add the chicken and sauté until it is golden.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over high heat for several minutes.  Lower the flame, add the tomatoes, and cook until the chicken is about halfway done, 15 to20 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and let it cook down to about half its original volume.  Then add the rice, stirring and coating the rice grains thoroughly.  Cook over medium heat as a risotto, adding a new ladleful of boiling broth as each previous one is thoroughly absorbed.  Stir frequently to keep the chicken and rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Cook until the risotto is made, taste for salt, and serve.

Minna’s Favorite Recipes…Chick Pea Fritatta

July 5, 2010


Frittata di Ceci
Serves 6
Here is an unusual frittata recipe from – you guessed it – The Antipasto Table!

The Antipasto Table

  It is delicious served for lunch, a light dinner, or cut into thin slices or small squares and served as an antipasto.  Don’t stir the mashed chick-peas in too thoroughly – they should appear as streaks in the egg mixture. 

2 cups drained cooked chick-peas, or 1 19-ounce can chick-peas, rinsed and drained
8 large eggs
1 large garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1.  In a bowl, mash the chick-peas with a fork or a potato masher. 

2.  Beat the eggs until well blended.  Add the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  Lightly stir in the chick-peas.  The mixture should be somewhat lumpy, not smooth.

3.  In a 10-inch oven proof skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Add the egg mixture.  Cook, lifting the edges occasionally to allow the uncooked egg to slide under the cooked portion, until the frittata is set around the edges but still moist in the center, about 10 minutes.

4.  Transfer the skillet to the broiler.* Cook just until the top of the frittata is set, about 1 minute.  Watch carefully so that the frittata does not brown.

5.  Invert the frittata onto a serving plate.  Let cook slightly.  Cut into wedges.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Alternatively, you can cook the frittata entirely on the stove top, slowly cooking and gently stirring, allowing uncooked egg mixture to slide under the edges until the frittata is almost completely set.  CAREFULLY invert onto a flat dish large enough to extend a bit over the edges of the pan, and then slide the frittata CAREFULLY back into the pan, returning it to the low heat to finish cooking completely.  When completely set, invert once more onto your serving dish and enjoy.

Minna’s Favorite Recipes….Pasta and Bean Soup

June 1, 2010


This recipe was requested by Mary C. Thank you.

Pasta e Fagioli
Serves 6
This delicious recipe is from Nancy Verde Barr’s wonderful cookbook We Called It Macaroni. 

We Called It Macaroni

 As she explains in the chapter on soups, this is considered “la cucina povera” – poor or working-class cooking…I’ll take it any day!  Enjoy!

2 ounces pancetta, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ small hot red pepper or 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small rib celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1¼ pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped*
1½ pounds fresh cranberry beans or ¾ cup dried cranberry beans, precooked, or 2½
      cups canned white beans, drained
4 cups meat broth or water
¾ cup short macaroni
Freshly grated pecorino cheese

1.  Put pancetta, if using, and olive oil in a soup pot and cook over gentle heat until the pancetta renders fat but does not brown (about 4 minutes).  Add the hot pepper, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the olive oil and cook gently 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.  Add tomatoes and salt and cook 10 minutes.

2.  If using fresh beans, shell, rinse, and add to the tomatoes, and cook together 3 minutes.  Add the hot broth or water and cook until the beans are tender (45-60 minutes).  If using precooked dried beans or canned beans, add to the tomatoes, cook 3 minutes, add the broth and cook 15 minutes.

3.  Add the macaroni to the soup and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente.  Remove the soup from the heat and let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese.

*If fresh tomatoes are not in season, use good quality canned.


Biscotti recipe…step 5…Minna’s favorite recipes

May 26, 2010

It was my error in omitting step 5 of the recipe, so here it is:

Biscotti al Parmigiano e alle Noci
Parmesan Walnut Wafers

5.  Cut the logs into ¼ inch slices and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake until the biscuits are lightly browned around the edges, 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Minna’s favorite recipes…biscotti

May 24, 2010


Biscotti al Parmigiano e alle Noci
Parmesan Walnut Wafers

Here is another simple and very tasty treat from the cookbook The Antipasto Table by Michele Scicolone.  Ms. Scicolone had these at the restaurant Le Tre Vaselle, in Torgiano near Perugia.  Both the town and the restaurant are wonderful!  These wafers are delicious with a glass of spumante, proseco, or red wine.  Makes 48 biscotti.

1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg

1.  In a bowl, combine the flour, cheese, and salt.  With a pastry blender or a fork, blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the nuts.

2.  In a small bowl, beat together the milk and the egg.  Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.  Shape the dough into a ball.

3.  Cut the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a 7-inch log and place each on a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

4.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Butter two large baking sheets.