Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Here is one of my very favorite and simplest recipes: Pesto sauce!! This sauce is delicious with any kind of pasta shapes, particularly linguini. It can also be used as a spread in sandwiches, on pizza, or with chicken. The ingredients I used made me 9 bags of pesto (I can use each bag with one pound of pasta), but this is what you need as condiment for just one pound of noodles:

- 3 packages (ca. 3 cups) fresh basil leaves;
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts;
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese;
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (for a low fat recipe, you can substitute half of the olive oil with chicken broth);
- 2 cloves of garlic;
- salt and pepper to taste.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you obtain a thick and smooth sauce. Pour on your favorite pasta noodle. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on the top of each plate.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spinach Gnocchetti, Chicken Marsala, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Pistachio Gelato


- 4-6 potatoes;
- 1 egg;
- half package frozen spinach;
- white flour;

Peel and boil the potatoes as if you were preparing mush potatoes. When the potatoes are soft, whip them with one egg and the cooked spinach that you will have previously blended and pureed. Mix well, adding the flour gradually until you obtain a soft dough that does not stick to your fingers. On a well-floured counter, take small pieces of dough and roll them in the flour into a snake shape about the thickness of your finger. Cut with a knife every 3/4 inch and pass the individual pieces in the flour. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. When hard, you can remove them with a spatula and place them in separate zip lock bags ready to use. To cook: boil water with a couple of TBSPs of salt. When the water boils, drop frozen gnocchetti and cook until they began to float. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce. Eat immediately. My favorite sauce is melted butter flavored with sage leaves... Yummy!!!


- 8 small pieces of chicken breast (chicken finger style similar to those used for the Chicken scaloppine);
- one cup white flour;
- one cup cooking Marsala wine;
- one package of white mushrooms, sliced;
- chopped fresh or dry parsley;
- one cup of butter;
- 2 TBSPs of minced garlic;
- 2 bouillon cubes.

Melt 3/4 of the butter in skillet or a large non-sticky frying pan and add the cubes. Pass Chicken in flour and place in the pan. Cook slowly until fully cooked (turn it once or twice). Increase heat and pour Marsala wine. On a separate pan, cook mushrooms in remaining butter with garlic and parsley. When mushrooms are done, add to chicken and serve together.


- 0ne shallow pie crust;
For the filling:
- 50 grams (2 TBSPs) white flour;
- 90 grams (3 TBSPs) potato or corn starch;
- 200 grams of white sugar;
- 3 cups boiling water;
- a pinch of salt;
- 3 eggs yokes;
- 1 lemon peel
- 8 TBSPs lemon juice;
- 1 TBSP butter;
For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites;
- 5 TBSPs of white sugar;
- 1 TBSP lemon juice.

Bake the pie crust following the instructions. Let it cool down. Prepare the filling as follow: in a sauce pan mix sugar, flour, and starch. Add the boiling water little at the time stirring continually. Keep stirring while cooking on low heat for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, beat the egg yokes and add few spoonfuls of the mix. Pour beaten eggs with mix in the suace pan and stir vigorously until you obtain a thick cream. Remove from heat and add the lemon peel, the lemon juice, the salt, and the butter. Mix well and pour inside the baked crust. Prepare the meringue as follow: beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and one TBSP of lemon juice until firm. Add sugar and mix gently. Cover the pie with the meringue and sprinkle additional sugar on the top. You can caramelize the meringue by placing it back in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Alternatively you can use a cooking torch (that is what I did). Refrigerate for few hours. Serve cold.


The base recipe is the same as for the other gelato flavors I made in the past (see for example the Oreos Gelato one). After placing the gelato custard base in the ice-cream maker, let it freeze for a while and five-ten minutes before the ice-cream is ready, add one package of Pistachio flavored Jell-O. I know it sounds silly, but I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!