Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuffed Shells

I made this last night for dinner. I used some leftover marinara sauce that I had frozen. If you're in a hurry, use a good jarred marinara sauce and add some fresh garlic, basil, and extra virgin olive oil to it. If you don't have prosciutto or pancetta, you can use any well flavored ham. Don't be afraid to adjust the filling to your liking. If you don't have ham, leave it out. In fact, you could use the manicotti filling if you want an entirely vegetarian filling.

To serve 3-4:
Filling
1-2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prosciutto or pancetta, diced fine
1 garlic glove, chopped fine
1/4 purple onion, chopped fine
1/2-1 Cup frozen chopped spinach, partially defrosted 1/2 container ricotta
1/2 cup parmesean, grated (Use good parmigiano reggiano)
1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
1 egg

Saute pancetta or prosciutto in olive oil until light brown.  Add onion and garlic. Add spinach and saute until all the water has cooked away and the mixture begins to stick slightly.  Cool slightly and mix in the remaining ingredients except the egg. Taste. Correct seasonings--it should be highly flavored. Mix in egg.

Marinara sauce
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cans chopped tomatoes, pureed
1/2 can tomato paste
salt, pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbl fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Saute onion & garlic w/ a sprinkle of salt in oil until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Let cook until thick. Add fresh basil. Taste & add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350

Assembly
1/2 pck shells, cooked and drained
filling
marinara
1/2 cup parmesean, grated

Fill each shell and place in a greased baking dish. Top with marinara sauce & more parmesean. Bake, covered for 30 minutes, remove top & bake 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Scallopini Bolognese


I saw this on Lidia's Italy the other day and thought it sounded delicious. I didn't get a recipe, but if it came out half as good as Lidia's I'm happy. I made it the other night, and I thought that the taste was phenomenal! My only (slight) problem was that the veal wasn't as tender as I would have liked. Next time I will pound it thinner. I served this with a delicious pasta in tomato cream sauce and spinach.  It was an extraordinary, company worthy meal. Please be sure to use good prosciutto and REAL Parmigiano Reggiano. They are the stars of this dish, and if they are inferior, it will not be good.

I made this again last night, and this time I pounded the veal a little. That made all the difference in the final dish. The veal was very tender.  I also omitted the egg wash and simply floured the veal. I thought that it was just as good and much simpler to prepare. I also prepared this and  held it about an hour before baking it in the oven--still delicious.

Serves 2-3


1/2 Pound veal scallopini
1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced thin, (but not paper thin)
 parmigiano reggiano-enough to shave over the entire casserole
1/3 cup Marsala
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
3-4 tbl butter
2-4 tbl cooking oil

salt & black pepper


Put flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt & pepper into a pan (I use a pie plate).
Beat egg in another pie plate.
Pat veal dry with paper towels. Dredge veal in flour, egg, and flour again. Place on a plate until all are done.
In a large non-stick skillet heat 3 tbl of butter with 1 tbl cooking oil over moderately high heat.
Brown veal in batches in butter and oil. Removing it to an oven-proof dish as soon as it is brown. Add more butter and oil if you need to.
Add slices of prosciutto to pan and saute for a minute.
Deglaze with marsala, white wine and chicken stock.  Cook down until it begins to thicken
Pour sauce and prosciutto over veal.
Top with parmigiano reggiano shavings (You can use a vegetable peeler for this.
Bake uncovered at 400 for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbling.