Printer Friendly

Venite da noi per un pranzo piu o meno elegante; "come over for a fairly fancy dinner party" - as photographed in Italy.

Dining in Italy proceeds at a leisurely pace, with ample time to savor several courses, each deserving of its own place in the meal.

Duplicate the experience in your home with these dinners we sampled in Italy. Two come from southern Italy, near Rome, and one comes from the north, near Milan. The dishes are uncomplicated and easy to achieve in a Western kitchen; many can be made ahead.

To serve the meals in traditional Italian style, present each course separately on its own dish, starting with antipasto. Follow with the first plate, which often includes pasta or rice; then offer the second plate, which usually consists of a small piece of meat, fish, or poultry. Salad can precede or follow the main dish.

Or you can present the meal more casually, offering the first and second courses together. To lighten and further simplify the meal, eliminate one of the courses and substitute a selection of fruit and cheeses for any of the rich desserts suggested here. Whichever presentation you choose, these menus will earn you accolades.

Colle Picchione

Winery dinner

Bucatini all' Amatriciana

Hunter's-style Lamb

Green Beans Mixed Baby Greens with Olive Oil and Vinegar Ricotta Cheese Tart (recipe on page 210)

Colle Picchione Rosso or Zinfandel


Paola di Mauro, winemaker from Marino-south of Rome-incorporates food from her garden into this menu for 8. She serves bucatini (pasta shaped like drinking straws) with tomatoes and chilies that she grows. Fresh rosemary, garlic, and vinegar give the lamb stew a refreshing piquant edge. Serve the salad before the pasta or after the lamb. You can get a head start on preparing this meal by completing a number of steps in advance. Make pasta sauce, lamb stew, and ricotta cheese tart up to a day ahead. You can also rinse and crisp salad greens (you'll need about 1 lb.) any time from a ahead to 30 minutes before serving. As the stew cooks or reheats, serve the pasta. Cook beans (1 1/2 to 2 lb.) shortly before stew is ready.
 Bucatini all' Amatriciana
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 3 ounces (1/2 cup) pancetta or
prosciutto, finely chopped
 1 large onion, thinly sliced
 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
 2 to 4 fresh jalapeno chilies,
stemmed, seeded, and minced
 2/3 cup dry white wine
 3 pounds Roma-type tomatoes,
peeled, cored, and chopped
(about 6 cups)
 1 pound dry bucatini, perciatelli, or
 Salt and pepper
 Grated parmesan cheese

In a 10-to 12-inch frying pan, combine oil and pancetta. Stir over medium-high heat until pancetta begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos. Stir until onion begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine and tomatoes. Boil gently, uncovered, until sauce is reduced to about 1 quart, 20 to 30 minutes. If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up until next day; reheat until hot.

Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil on high heat. Add bucatini; when boil resumes, reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, uncovered, until pasta is just tender to bite, 8 to 14 minutes. Drain pasta well; pour into warm serving bowl. Pour sauce over pasta; mix well. Add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to taste. Serves 8. Per serving: 297 cal.; 11g protein; 5.5g fat,- 52g carbo.; 155 mg sodium; 6.1 mg chol.
 Hunter's-style Lamb
 About 1/4 cup olive oil
 3 1/2 pounds round-bone lamb shoulder
chops, cut into about 1 1/2-inch
 1 cup dry white wine
 3 cloves garlic
 3 tablespoons fresh or dry rosemary
 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a deep 12-inch frying pan or 5- to 6-quart pan; set over high heat. Add about half the lamb to the pan. Brown well, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Lift lamb from pan, set aside. Brown remaining lamb, adding more oil if needed. Return browned lamb (and any juices) to pan. Add wine and cover; reduce heat and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim and discard fat. If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up until the next day. Reheat, covered, until hot; stir often. Meanwhile, with a mortar and pestle crush garlic and rosemary (or coarsely chop). Mix with vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil. Stir into pan with lamb and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a dish. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 273 cal.; 28 g protein; 17g fat,- 1.5 g carbo.; 102 mg sodium; 94 mg chol.

Franco and Silvana Colombani own Albergo del Sole, a lovingly maintained country inn in Maleo, south of Milan. The inn's restaurant draws food connoisseurs from all over the country to sample Mr. Colombani's cuisine. He transforms the region's food resources into dishes that are elegant in their simplicity.

Milan country inn supper for 8 guests

Shrimp and White Beans

Lasagne with Radicchio

Milan-style Veal Chops

Sauteed Mushrooms Mashed Turnip

Mashed Pumpkin or Winter Squash

Pinot Grigio or Dry Sauvignon Blanc

Pound Cake with Cognac Cream (recipe on page 21 0)

Malvasia Dolce Coffee

As a simple antipasto to begin this dinner for 8, Mr. Colombani presents white beans with shrimp, seasoned only with fresh basil and a fruity extra-virgin olive oil. The lasagne has layers of bitter-tinged radicchio with a bachamel sauce, emmenthal cheese, and thin wide noodles. Braised veal chops with sage are accompanied by sauteed mushrooms, mashed turnip, and pumpkin.

An unassuming pound cake, made with potato starch flour, is lavished with creamy cognac sauce. For a special treat, pour Malvasia Dolce a slightly sweet, muscat-flavor sparkling wine-into flutes to sip with the dessert.

The shrimp, lasagne, and dessert can be made up to one day ahead. You can also prepare the vegetables (about 1 1/2 lb. of each) a day in advance. Place the lasagne in the oven, then brown the veal. Put veal and vegetables (covered, in separate dishes) in oven. While they bake, complete the shrimp antipasto and serve. The second course of meat and vegetables should be ready by the time you have eaten the pasta. If you like, present a green salad before or after the second course.

Shrimp and White Beans
 16 large (31 to 35 per lb.) shrimp,
shelled and deveined
 2 cans (15 oz. each) italian white
kidney beans (cannellini), drained
 1 small ripe tomato, cored and cut
into 1/4-inch cubes
cup coarsely chopped fresh or 2
tablespoons dry basil leaves
 About 6 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
 Fresh basil sprigs (optional)
 Salt and pepper

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, bring about 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil on high heat. Add shrimp, cover, and return to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand until shrimp are opaque in thickest part cut to test), about 3 minutes. Drain and immerse shrimp in ice water until cool; drain. If done ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day. Very gently mix the shrimp, beans, tomato, chopped basil, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Place equal portions on 8 plates. Garnish with basil sprigs. Add additional olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 appetizer servings.

Per serving: 160 cal.; 7.3 g protein; 8 g fat; 16g carbo.; 274 mg sodium; 35 mg chol.

Lasagne with Radicchio
8 ounces dry lasagne noodles
 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
 1 tablespoon salad oil
 1 ounce pancetta or prosciutto, finely
 1 small onion, finely chopped
 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
 1 1/2 pounds (about 3 qt.) radicchio, cut
into 1/4-inch strips
 Bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
 4 cups (1 lb.) shredded emmenthal or
Swiss cheese

Bring about 3 quarts water to boiling in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat. Add noodles and cook, uncovered, until just tender to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and immerse in cold water.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, combine butter and oil. Add pancetta, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is faintly browned, about 5 minutes. Add radicchio, a portion at a time if it doesn't all fit; stir just until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Drain noodles well. In a buttered shallow 3-quart baking dish, layer of the noodles, radicchio mixture, bechamel sauce, and cheese. Repeat layers. (If made ahead, cover and chill until the next day.) Bake, uncovered, in a 375[deg] oven until hot and bubbly, 35 to 55 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into rectangles with a knife and serve with a wide spatula. Add salt to taste. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 530 cal.; 26g protein; 31g fat; 37g carbo.; 352 mg sodium; 95 mg chol.

Bechamel sauce. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, melt 1/4 cup (1/8 lb,) butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Gradually whisk in 1 quart milk. Stir until boiling vigorously. Use hot or warm.
 Milan-style Veal Chops
 8 veal loin chops (about 2 lb. total),
or chicken thighs (2 1/2 lb. total),
 About 2 tablespoons all-purpose
 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
 2 ounces pancetta or prosciutto,
finely chopped
 8 fresh or 1 teaspoon dry sage
 3/4 cup dry white wine
 Salt and pepper

Trim any fat from chops. Coat chops lightly with flour. In an ovenproof 10- to 12-inch frying pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sage; stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon. Add chops without overlapping; brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Set chops aside as browned. When all are cooked, return meat, pancetta, and sage to pan; add wine.

Cover pan tightly. Bake in a 375[deg] oven until chops are tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes. Place chops on dinner plates; keep warm. Measure pan juices; if less than cup, add water and bring to a boil; if more than cup, boil juices, uncovered, until reduced to 3/4 cup. Spoon pan juices over each chop. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings as part of a smaller meal, 8 servings if served as part of this whole menu.

Per serving: 123 caL; 15g protein; 5.8 g fat; 1.9g carbo.; 184 mg sodium; 65 mg chol.

Mary Lou and Marco Antonini enjoy entertaining in their gracious home south of Rome. The meal on the following page features classic dishes of the area.


Roman dinner

Roman-style Chicken

Spinach and Pine Nuts


Tiramisu (recipe on page 211)

Velletri Rosso or Zinfandel


While the chicken simmers, cook polenta: in a 4- to 5-quart pan, mix 1 1/2 cups polenta with 6 cups water or regular-strength chicken broth; stirring, bring to a boil on high heat, then stir often over low heat until it attains a very thick consistency, like a pudding, about 15 minutes. Add salt and butter to taste.

Just before you're ready to serve meal, cook about 2 1/2 pounds rinsed and drained spinach leaves until wilted. Drain and garnish with toasted pine nuts, lightly browned golden raisins, and grated parmesan cheese to taste.

The chicken, polenta, and spinach go well together and can be served at the same time. Or, if you like to break the meal into more courses, precede the chicken with the spinach or a green salad, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.

Tiramisu, the espresso-flavored dessert, can be made a day in advance. Roman-style Chicken
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 6 chicken legs with thighs attached
about 3 1/2 lb. total)
 1 large onion, thinly sliced
 2 large (about 1 lb. total) red or
yellow bell peppers, stemmed,
seeded, and thinly sliced
 1/2 cup dry white wine
cup water
 1 can (28 oz.) tomato puree
 1 tablespoon fresh or dry rosemary
 1 can (6 oz.) pitted black ripe olives,
 1 tablespoon drained capers
 Salt and pepper

Pour oil into a 12-inch frying pan or 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces without crowding; cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes for each batch. Set aside as browned. Add onion to pan; stir occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and stir occasionally until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add wine, water, tomato puree, rosemary, olives, and chicken (with any juices). Simmer, covered, until meat is no longer pink at thigh bone (cut to test), 30 to 40 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Stir in capers, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour onto a platter. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 489 cal; 37 g protein; 30 g fat,- 18 g carbo.; 894 mg sodium; 122 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Oct 1, 1990
Previous Article:A sense of grandness for a tidy little cottage.
Next Article:It's one do-everything room.

Related Articles
Dantis Alagherii Comedia.
Atlante Lessicale Toscano. (ALT).
Roberto Beretta. Il piccolo ecclesialese illustrato.
Vita postuma del Gattopardo: recuperi, commenti e singolarita.
Giorgio Baroni e Mario Puppo. Manuale critico-bibliografico per lo studio della letteratura italiana.
Francesco Petrarca. Petrarch's Guide to the Holy Land. Itinerary to the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Marco Santoro. Libri edizioni biblioteche tra Cinque e Seicento: con un percorso bibliografico.
Marco Mezzadri. La frontiera presente. Internet nella didattica dell'italiano.
The Journal of Aurelio Scetti. A Florentine Galley Slave at Lepanto (1565-1577).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters