I adore Sundays. Sundays are my favorite day of the week and have been ever since I was a child. I remember growing up in Italy, that Sundays always meant a few things: sleeping in, waking up to the smell of mom cooking up a storm, church, and a trip to the pasticceria (pastry shop) on the way back from church.
While my mom cooked for us every single day, Sundays meant extra special meals. And one of those favored meals was and still is braciole! Delicious and guest-worthy, braciole are a southern Italian specialty served traditionally in homemade tomato sauce. Every household has its own recipe for how they’re stuffed, from breadcrumbs and raisins to salami and cheese. My favorite version is a Sunday favorite the way I grew up eating it in Italy, filled with the deliciousness of prosciutto, soppresata, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. Yes, hard-boiled eggs! These simmer in quick homemade sauce, cook quickly because the veal cutlet is super thin, and they’re very soft and tender! These are great on Sundays, but honestly, cook so quickly that they make a great weeknight meal as well. The key is to make sure you tie them up tightly, or risk having them open apart while simmering in the sauce.
Use the sauce to dress some pasta and you have a two-course meal in one!
Serves 3 – 4 people
6 – 8 thin slices of veal cutlets
Freshly ground black pepper
6 – 8 thin slices prosciutto
6 – 8 thin slices deli-style salami or soppresata
6 – 8 thin slices provolone cheese
3 – 4 eggs, hard-boiled, thinly sliced into rounds
Parsley sprigs, stems removed
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino Romano, or Grana Padano)
1. Prepare the braciole by placing the meat on some wax paper, sprinkling the meat slices with salt and pepper.
2. Place a slice of prosciutto, one of salami and one of cheese on top of a piece of meat. Add 1- 2 rounds of the hard-boiled egg. Add a few sprigs of parsley, and sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
3. Roll up the meat tightly, and using a long toothpick, secure the meat closed. Repeat with the remaining meat. (Alternatively, you can use some kitchen twine to roll up the meat.)
4. Add the braciole into the simmering sauce and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove them from the sauce, remove the toothpick/twine, and slice the braciole into slices. Arrange on platter and serve alongside some pasta, or just with some sliced Italian bread.
Need a simple sauce recipe? Click here!
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If you have seen some of my other recipes, you know my love affair with lemons. I love lemon anything. Be it in savory or sweet dishes, anything with lemon is sure to go well with me. This recipe is a family favorite because it’s super easy to prepare, there’s no pre-baking of the crust and the filling literally takes less than 5 minutes to put together. Plus, the main ingredient is ricotta, another family favorite.
The hardest part of this tart, if you can call it that, is the rolling out the dough and carefully adding it to the pan. They key with that is making sure you have a reasonably cold crust. I refrigerate the crust for a minimum of 1 hour, but you could certainly let it go longer. Prep the crust in the morning, run a few errands and bake the tart upon returning home. The other key step is making sure you don’t overbeat the filling. With 4 eggs in the mix, this can easily go from just right, to a watery, soupy mixture in no time, so just make sure to not overbeat.
I decorate it very plainly with just a few lemon slices and some powdered sugar. You could add strawberries, blueberries or some whipped cream just upon serving. It’s wonderful eaten within the same day, but if you don’t serve the entire tart at once, this needs to be refrigerated.
Ingredients for the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut up in dices
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 15 oz container while milk ricotta (if the ricotta is watery, drain for 15 minutes)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon limoncello (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon
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2020 has been a rough year, can you relate?
Well, something good, no great, came out of it for me! I'm super excited to announce the birth of my second cookbook: Pasta in a Pinch: Classic and Creative Recipes Made with Everyday Pantry Ingredients!
Like my 1st cookbook, The Five Ingredient Italian Cookbook, this book is near and dear to my heart. As a southern Italian native, I grew up on humble, and not so humble, pasta dishes! Southerners are known for dry pasta, unlike northern Italy, and we eat this staple just about every day!
But we can all get into a pasta rut, can't we? How many times have you yourself said "not that again" when thinking what to cook for dinner. The reality is we all just prep some of the same basic pasta recipes. We have 3 - 4 we always turn to, and rarely deviate.
Well this book will change that! While it contains some classics, it's also filled with creative new ideas to get your mind thinking outside the (pasta) box!
Stock up on a few staples detailed in chapter 1 and never eat pasta the same way again! Learn how just changing a few ingredients gets you a completely different dish and how to improvise when you find yourself out of something!
Grab your copy wherever books are sold, or have it delivered to your door from Amazon by clicking here.
Winter will soon be here, the perfect time for some home cooked pasta dishes, to warm both body and soul!
Nothing says Italian quite like fried green tomatoes!
Ok, I know, it will not shock you to know that fried green tomatoes aren’t at all an Italian dish. In fact, most Italians might think twice about eating a tomato that isn’t vibrant red, vivid and dripping in its own juices. But it’s late summer and one thing most Italians have a bounty of right now are tomatoes growing in their backyards.
Last summer, I had a friend visit my Boston home from South Carolina. She was impressed with my gardening skills and seeing my tomatoes growing. I admit, she’s easily impressed because my gardening skills leave little to be desired. The tomato plants were neglected from having spent the summer in Italy, but a few sturdy green tomatoes were growing, hanging on to dear life by dehydrated stems. She asked what I was going to do with them and I told her that the squirrels were likely going to be enjoying the last few tomatoes.
She was shocked and asked for, you guessed it, some fried green tomatoes. And after not even an hour in the kitchen, we were munching one some delicious fried green tomatoes! It never would have occurred to me to make this dish had she not requested it. The squirrels were none to pleased with our kitchen experiment! I’ve made them a number of times since and will definitely be making them in the days to come, as the tomato season winds down.
Ingredients for 4 appetizers or snacks
1 lb green tomatoes
½ cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dry oregano
Black pepper – to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
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Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog! Here you will find recipes, short stories, tales, rants and whatever else is on my mind with regards to food, Italy, travel and along those lines. Drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!