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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


I like Gnocchi. I've had the 'regular' stuff twice. Once in soup at Olive Garden and once in a meal my best friend made.

The [sign in to see URL]'m sorry, it didn't even sound good to me. I don't see [sign in to see URL] any [sign in to see URL] a good flavor enhancer for broccoli.

The meatballs sounded good. I love a good meatball and have a really interesting recipe where you wrap your meat around either an olive, a pineapple piece or something [sign in to see URL]'t remember right off the top of my head. I made a big batch for a pot luck at our best friend's, and didn't have many left. The ones with the olives seemed to be the ones liked the best.


The pasta machine, I've seen them [sign in to see URL] priced them since I've never really made my own pasta, but may be something worth checking out. Did yours come with recipes to make the noodles?

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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


Interestingly, the broccoli was much better the next day. The wine taste had really dissipated. I guess I didn't reduce the wine enough though I boiled it for nearly 10 minutes! I usually like white wine in things, especially when cooking Italian. I think I am going to blame it on the particular kind we used. It was a local wine and a bit 'sparkly' and sharp.

The machine did come with one recipe for the noodles and a bunch of recipes for sauces and dishes to make with the finished noodle. I didn't like the recipe in there - too tough. I think the best noodle recipe so far has been the one from this book. When I get home tonight, I'll start a new thread for noodle recipes and share that one. If I try another that is just as good/better, I'll post it there too! And it's the same recipe you would use if you were doing the rolling by hand.
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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


Thanks for posting the noodle recipe!

You'd think a pasta machine would come with more than one recipe for pasta/[sign in to see URL]

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Tortellini


The next recipe doesn't come from any particular region - it's made throughout Italy and with many different fillings. When the book was written, tortellini was not a well known dish in US but now it is commonly available.

This particular tortellini is filled with chicken and cheese - my first chicken during this meat eating adventure. We bought the chicken at the market this morning and it was fresh (all other meats I've bought there have been frozen). I had planned on making this recipe later in the week, but figured it would be better to just get the ball rolling.

I had wanted some heirloom chicken but they were sold out so we settled on cornish cross (commonly called 'Frankenchicken' by homesteaders). The breasts were clearly enormous compared to what the recipe from 1970 called for. It said 3 breasts would make 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken. It only took one!

We made the same pasta recipe as for the lasagna (and I've finally posted it ]here!) and made the filling from scratch - chicken, egg yolk, parmesan, a touch of lemon peel and nutmeg.

It took FOREVER to make! It was fun, but very fiddly with making all the little rings. I took a picture part way through the process because I was afraid it would all bust open in the boiling water. On the left are the unfinished ones ready to be turned into tortellini on the right.

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But they all stayed together! We used some tomato basil sauce we made this summer with farm tomatoes and served it with broccoli. I thought it was awesome! Hubby was not impressed. He's not a fan of chicken but wanted to give this a try. The filling was mostly chicken with just a bit of cheese. He had wished it was the other way around! Ah well, I get the leftovers for work lunches this week!

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I doubt we will make this again. I would love to have it more but it's a lot of work for just me. If I do decide to make it, I think I will make raviolis instead since they are much less work.
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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


Wow, I never even thought of making tortellini from scratch! I'm impressed, and I bet it is a lot of work. On the other hand, I bet some Italian women have that twist down so well, it's fast for them.

Thank you for posting all those pictures, it makes your cooking really come alive for me. And now I know I'll never try to make tortellini on my own. I'll just buy them ready made! Of course, that means I have to take the filling as they make it. Hmm.

And I'm glad you enjoyed the chicken. Breeds have certainly become weird in the last 40 years. Sometimes, I wish I could have my own flock of chicken, for the eggs and for the meat. I'd have a goose or two, for a feast, as well. emoticon

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Re: Foods of the World: Italy



Firlefanz wrote:
On the other hand, I bet some Italian women have that twist down so well, it's fast for them.



We joked there must be a bunch of Italian grandmothers watching over my shoulder shaking their heads and laughing the whole time! I did get better by the end but it still seemed a lot of work! I've had plenty of store bought that was just as good and a tenth of the effort...

We are going to get heirloom chicken for the next chicken dish. I'll let you know if it really tastes different. Haven't had goose yet!
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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


that looks really good, but [sign in to see URL] like a lot of work!

I've not found any real good, knock my socks off tortellini from the store. What have y'all tried that is really good?

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Cannelloni and Zuppa alla Pavese


There was a tortellini from Costco that I really liked - just a cheese filling. I'll have to look at the brand next time I'm there!

Ok, next adventure!

Last night we continued with the "red sauce and pasta" theme (I swear we are going to make other dishes - for some reason, these all came clumped together!). Cannelloni - stuffed tubes of pasta - and zuppa alla pavese - poached egg soup.

First, the zuppa. It comes from the Lombary region in northern Italy, specifically the province of Pavia.

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The cookbook says it is not known outside of Italy and I don't know if that has changed in the last 40 years. I certainly hadn't heard of it. It has a real "peasant food" feel to it - which means it's good! Salty, fatty, basic ingredients, yum!

The soup is merely a poached egg on top of a piece of butter-fried toast, sprinkled with parmesan and served in hot broth. It was very delicious! The Monarch is an egg poaching expert, so he did the honors there. When I've done it, I just plop the eggs in the boiling water, but he has the whole 'whirlpool' technique. I couldn't get a good picture of the swirling water, but he stirs the pan vigorously to make a whirlpool just before sliding the egg in the water. It makes a perfectly compact little poached egg.

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The recipe calls for chicken stock but we've recently discovered a brand of vegetable stock that is sooo good, I hate to use anything else. It's called ]Better Then Bouillon and they also carry beef, chicken, mushroom, all sorts of things. If you see it at the store, give it a try!

As you can see in the above photo, the poached egg is put on the fried bread and then right when everything is ready to eat, you pour the stock on. It was the best part of the meal - and so easy to make!

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And we made cannelloni. This is a typical pasta dish that I've had before. Again, we made the ]pasta from scratch. The filling was about half spinach (we used some Swiss Chard from the garden) and half ground beef with parmesan, cream, eggs and spices.

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I know I complained about the lasagna being a lot of work, and then the tortellini being fiddly. But this one takes the cake! The little tubes were 2" x 3" squares of pasta and each one had to be filled, rolled and put in place. The recipe made a huge amount, so it really took forever. I'm starting to think lasagna is the easy way out! We made two big casserole dishes of it (froze one for when the new baby comes!). It's topped with a besciamella sauce (milk/cream sauce) and a simple tomato sauce.

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Whew. Not sure about making it again - maybe as a lasagna filling! We both liked it. We were so tired after making it (Willa didn't take a nap - she usually let's us make dinner undisturbed but she was fussy and [sign in to see URL] was a bit of a nightmare getting this put together!). I think I ate one little tube and hubby had two. We just wanted to go to bed!

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And I thought from now on I would add a list of ingredients that came from local sources (including our own yard or the farm). I'm always touting the "eat local" thing but then I seem to be going off and cooking all this food from around the world. But you can get so many ingredients from local sources (if your area supports that - which ours does!).

Local Ingredients:
    eggs
    beef
    milk
    cream
    spinach/swiss chard


Last edited by TexasMadness, 1/23/2012, 3:45 pm
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Costollete and Riso


Tonight, we stayed in Northern Italy with a dish from Emilia-Romagna (where the lasagna came from) and one from Piedmont:

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Piedmont is an interesting region - mostly mountainous. This is usually a recipe (pardon the pun...) for hearty, very simple cuisine. But the region is home to a well cultivated aristocratic class. This high society benefited from living in a region that was so mountainous, it was rarely invaded, and so benefited with long periods of stability. During this time, the region developed it's own culinary schools - something usually unheard of in such harsh territory (where there is usually not the leisure time to bother with the finer points of palate).So they ended up with a fine blend of hearty mountain food with sophistication and subtlety.

The valleys in this region still produce most of the rice in Italy - and that's where we get our dish for tonight: riso al limone - rice with lemon.

Just a bit further south in Emilia-Romagna, we get our meat course: costolette di maiale - pork chops braised in white wine. Modena, the city that lays claim to this recipe, is well known for its pork products, especially cured meats.

The pork chops were rubbed with herbs and braised in white wine until cooked through. Once they were removed from the pan, more wine was added to de-glaze all the juicy tidbits left behind and to boil down to a syrupy thick sauce which was then poured on top of the finished pork.

The rice was even simpler. Boiled rice was added to a hot pan with butter, beaten eggs, parmesan and lemon juice. Just a few minutes on the heat produce a wonderfully creamy dish.

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This was by far the quickest Italian meal we've made! On the table in about an hour and a half (and we weren't hurrying). I wish it hadn't been a vegetable-less meal but we just weren't inspired to make another side dish - plus neither of us thought we were that [sign in to see URL] we started eating it!

I thought the pork chops were great and finished the whole piece - last time I had chops, I barely got through half before being 'meated out'. Hubby thought they were a bit dry but blamed his cooking technique. I would like to have them again, but he is torn - wants to see how other recipes turn out first.

The rice was a super hit! Willa usually won't touch rice but she scarfed this down. We completely over cooked it (the recipe said to boil for 15 minutes and check for being done - we checked about 12 minutes in and it was overcooked!). But it just made a nice pasty side dish instead of individual grains! I was surprised there was essentially no lemon flavor for a dish with that name, but I think it just brightened the other flavors. We are certainly going to make this one again! (and even though my camera often makes my pictures very 'warm', the rice really was that yellow!)

Local ingredients:
    pork chops
    herbs
    eggs
    wine


Last edited by TexasMadness, 1/24/2012, 2:42 am
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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Foods of the World: Italy


We don't have a Costco here. There may be one in Knoxville, not sure.

These both look divine! I love a good cannelloni and the pork chops really look good!
I'd like the full recipe for the chops and the rice. I think DH would really enjoy this one. He's not extremely big on pasta dishes, but he loves pork and rice....


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