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Pasta to chicken to apricot tart ... it's a three-course dinner from the Italian Riviera.

Lots of fresh sage, marjoram, and vegetables share the limelight in this threecourse dinner for eight. The menu features specialties of Liguria, a region of the Italian Riviera. Sonia Siccardo and her mother-in-law, Piera, both natives of the area, prepared the meal.

The first course is pansotti-"little paunches" plump, ravioli-like pasta triangles filled with herbs and four greens. For the entree, sauteed artichokes and marjoram-seasoned brains accompany chicken with olives and pine nuts. If you like, follow these foods with a green salad before presenting the simply prepared apricot tart. Ligurian wines-Cinque Terre with pansotti, Gavi with the main dishes, Muscato with dessert make fitting accompaniments. Or choose domestic dry Sauvignon Blanc and a muscat-flavored wine.

For the most carefree preparation, shape and chill pansotti a day ahead, or freeze up to several months. Enclose the filling in fresh pasta (made by hand or in a food processor) or purchased won ton skins.

A day before serving, you can also cook the chicken and tart, and clean salad greens. About 1 1/2 hours before dinner, start artichokes and brains (keep warm, as browned, in the oven). Cook and serve the pasta; as you eat it, reheat chicken. Greens- and Ricotta-filled Pasta (Pansotti)

Try this as an entree for another meal

1/2 pound each escarole, curly endive,

dandelion greens, and spinach

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large clove garlic, minced

3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves,

minced, or 2 teaspoons dry marjoram leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cups (about 6 oz.) grated

parmesancheese

1 large egg

Salt

Fresh pasta (recipe follows) or

about 70 won ton skins (3- by 3 1/2-in. size)

Sage butter (recipe follows)

Fresh sage sprigs (optional)

Trim ends from escarole and endive, and tough stems from dandelion greens and spinach. Discard bruised, yellowed, or tough leaves. Measure greens; you should have 2 packed cups of each. Separately, rinse greens well; drain.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 1/4 inch water to a boil. Push escarole and endive into water, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until stems are very tender to bite, about 12 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon; drain. Add dandelion greens and spinach to pan; boil, covered, until dandelion stems are very tender to bite, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; let cool; squeeze out as much water as possible.

In the same pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and greens; stir for 5 minutes to dry greens somewhat. Remove from heat; let cool.

In a food processor or with a knife, very finely mince greens. Whirl or mix in a bowl until smoothly blended with marjoram, nutmeg, ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parme

san, and egg. Season to taste with salt.

To shape pansotti, work with 1 strip of pasta (or 6 won ton skins) at a time. Along strip's center, mound 1-tablespoon lumps of filling at 2-inch intervals, 2 inches in from each end (or put about 2 teaspoons in center of each won ton skin).

Starting at one end of pasta strip, fold dough over first filling mound to form a triangle with sides about 4 inches long. (If using won ton skins, moisten edges with water, and fold skins over filling, making edges flush.) With fingers, press pasta's cut sides around tilling to seal and form 1/2-inch rims (1/4 in. for won ton skins). With a pastry wheel or knife, cut filled triangle from strip along pressed edges, Repeat for all pasta and filling. Place filled pansotti slightly apart on generously floured baking sheets. Gather any pasta scraps into a ball, reroll, and fill. If made ahead, cover pansotti airtight and chill up to 1 day. Or freeze on baking sheets, then package airtight and store in freezer up to 3 months.

To cook pansotti, fill a 5- to 6-quart pan 1/2 full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drop 1/2 of the pansotti (fresh or frozen) into water and boil, uncovered, until dough is barely tender to bite, 10 to 14 minutes for pasta, 3 minutes for won tons. During cooking, gently push pansotti down into water several times.

Drain well; transfer pansotti with a slotted spoon to a bowl and mix gently with 1/2 of the sage butter. Arrange on a platter. Repeat with remaining pansotti and butter. Garnish with sage sprigs; add remaining parmesan to taste. Makes about 45 with pasta, 70 with won ton skins, enough for 8 first-course or 4 entree servings. Sonia Siccardo, Sunnyvale, Calf.

Per pansotti with fresh pasta: 93 cal; 3.9 g pro tein; 4.4 g fat, 9.5 g carbo.; 107 mg sodium; 23 mg chol.

Fresh pasta. You will need about 3 1/2 cups bread flour, 1 large egg, and 3/4 cup water. If using a food processor, whirl flour, egg, and water until dough forms a ball; whirl 45 seconds longer. If dough is sticky when pinched, whirl in 2 tablespoons more bread flour until dough forms ball, at least 30 seconds, Cover with plastic wrap. By hand, mound flour in a bowl, make a well in center, pour in egg and water. Stir with a fork until evenly moistened. Pat into a ball and knead on lightly floured board until dough feels smooth (add flour as required to keep from sticking), 10 to 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap.

To roll with a pasta machine, set rollers on widest opening. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Feed 1 portion at a time through rollers, then fold dough in thirds crosswise, Repeat rolling and folding until dough feels smooth and supple, 10 to 20 times. If dough gets sticky, brush with flour; shake off excess. Roll dough through at successively thinner settings until it's as thin as possible; if dough gets too long to handle easily, cut in halt Lay rolled sheets in a single layer on a flat, floured surface. To roll by hand, divide dough in 8 pieces. Roll 1 portion at a time on a lightly floured board into a 4- by 20-inch sheet. Sage butter In a 1- to 2-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sage leaves.

Chicken with Olives and Pine Nuts (Pollo con Olive e Pignolo

2/3 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter

or margarine

8 each chicken legs and thighs (3 to

3 1/2 lb. total), skinned

2 cups drained unpitted Spanish

style olives

At least 5 fresh sage leaves or 1

teaspoon dry sage leaves

1/2 cup water

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, toast nuts until golden, about 10 minutes; shake often. Remove from pan; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add oil and butter to pan; brown half the chicken at a time; this takes about 10 minutes total. Discard fat from pan. Return chicken and nuts to pan; add olives, 5 sage leaves, and water.

Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until meat is no longer pink at bone (cut to test), about 25 minutes. If made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill until next day. Return to simmering, covered, over medium heat. Garnish with sage leaves. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 252 cal; 26g protein; 16g fat; 2.2g carbo.; 921 mg sodium; 93 mg chol

Sautbed Artichokes and Brains (Carciofi e Cervella Fritta)

You may need to order the brains ahead.

2 1/2 pounds small artichokes (1- to 1 1/2

in. diameter)

1 quart water

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

About 3/4 cup olive oil

5 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon

dry marjoram leaves

2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 to 1 1/4 pounds beef brains

(transparent outer sac-like membrane pulled off), rinsed and cut into 1 - to 2-inch pieces

Fresh marjoram sprigs (optional)

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges

Pull off and discard artichoke leaves down to tender, all-edible pale green ones; peel stem ends and cut off thorny tips. Put artichokes in a bowl with water and vinegar to reduce darkening.

Drain; slice lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. Coat with flour; shake off excess coated artichokes can stand up to 1/2 hour).

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. In a bowl, beat eggs to blend. Dip a few artichoke slices at a time in egg; lift out, drain briefly, and put in pan. Without crowding, cook, turning once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oil as needed. Keep cooked artichokes warm in a 2000 oven. Mix marjoram leaves and crumbs. Dip brains in egg, drain briefly, then roll in crumbs. Add more oil to pan; cook brains, turning once, until deep golden, about 3 minutes. Arrange on platter with artichokes. Garnish with marjoram sprigs; season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon. Serves 8.

Per serving: 629 cal; 13 g protein; 57g fat,- 19 g carbo.; 209 mg sodium; 1,121 mg chol.

Apricot Tart (Crostata)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 cup apricot jam

1/4 cup water

In a food processor or bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and whirl or rub with your fingers until mealy. Add egg and egg yolk; whirl or mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Gather dough into a ball. Press 1/4 of it over bottom and 3/4 of way up side of a 10to 1 2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Mix jam and water; spread in crust. With your fingers, roll remaining dough into long, 1/4 -inch-thick logs. Crisscross logs on top of jam to form 3 big and 2 small Xs (see picture above). Bake in a 350[degrees] oven until crust is deep golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then remove pan side. Serve tart warm. If made ahead, store airtight up to 2 days; reheat in a 3250 oven for 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 407 cal; 4.7 g protein; 13 g fat; 67g carbo.; 159 mg sodium; 99 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Words:1755
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