Summer is officially here and with that comes lazy days by the pool, hanging out in the yard, and surely lots of BBQs with family and friends. Summer gatherings are fun, especially this year, where we’re actually able to get out and socialize and be with friends.
If you have an upcoming gathering and are wondering what to bring the host, I have just the perfect item that will be loved by everyone: Strawberry Tiramisu! Tiramisu is the perfect summer dessert because there is no oven or cooking required! It’s all just a matter of assembling the right ingredients! The traditional coffee tiramisu is great too, but there are some people, rare though they might be, who actually don’t like coffee! I know, shocking, so here comes the strawberry version to offer those folks averse to coffee an alternative! This is perfect for summer, when berries are at their peak, and the sweetest.
I use liquor in my version, but you could also pulse some berries real smooth, add a few tablespoons of water and use that as the soak, but that will give you a different result completely. It’s a good alternative if you will be serving this to children, but if you’re headed to an adult-only get-together, I highly recommend using strawberry liquor, or Chambord. Bailey’s also has a strawberries and cream liquor which would work perfectly.
This makes one 12x9 tray, but you could use a smaller tray, and have a thicker layer of cream, or even individual bowls will work.
Summery Strawberry Tiramisu
Yields one 12x9 Tray
1 lb ripe strawberries, finely diced
2 – 3 tablespoons sugar
For the Filling
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup strawberry liquor (or juice from the macerated strawberries)
¼ cup high quality strawberry jam (not jelly), or ¼ cup of macerated strawberries, finely diced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup powdered sugar
For the Soak
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 cup strawberry liquor
30 – 35 ladyfinger cookies
Prepare the strawberries
Make the filling
form, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Make the soak
Assemble the tiramisu
A favored dish in Sicily, one of Italy’s top producer of lemons, this pasta dish is light, refreshing and particularly summery. It’s also widely prepared and served in Campania, and the Amalfi Coast, where the lemons are huge. Some recipes skip the heavy cream and just use the oil and butter, but unsurprisingly, it’s more delicious with the cream.
2 medium lemons
Table salt for salting the pasta water
1 lb Angel hair pasta
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper (Optional)
Shrimp Lemony Angel Hair: Adding shrimp to this dish is a wonderful way of adding some protein. Add some clean and deveined shrimp during the end of step 3, cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink.
Prep Help: When using both the zest and the juice of any citrus fruit, always be sure to zest first before juicing the fruit. It’s almost impossible to zest any fruit once it’s been squeezed out of its juice.
*This is an exert from my book entitled “Pasta in a Pinch.” Get your copy onAmazon!
Summer is just days away which means less oven cooking and more quick dishes. Myself, like many of you, look for recipes that are quick, yet fulfilling and delicious. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen during the summer?? In comes this light and delicate recipe of ravioli and in bitter and sage sauce! Can a sauce really be so simple, economical, quick, and delicious as this one? It sure can! Ravioli, butter, and sage are a classic combination that cook in record time, are ideal for week-night dinners, but sophisticated enough for week-ends or even for that dinner party you’ve been meaning to put together. When it comes to the ravioli, you can select fresh or frozen, but for this simple sauce, I find that the fresh ones, which you can find in your grocery store’s refrigerated isle, or sometimes in the daily section, are best. Choose a filling that is not too overpowering, such as ricotta or pumpkin. Be very watchful of the ravioli as they cook as they cook quickly, and overcooking these is a sure way of ruining your dinner as they will burst open and have the filling completely spill out. Who wants empty ravioli? So just be mindful and sample one 1 – 2 minutes before the cooking time listed on the package, as the package cooking time is often too long, in my opinion. Chopped toasted walnuts or pecans are a great addition to this dish. Add a tablespoon directly on each serving dish before serving.
Ravioli in Butter and Sage Sauce
Sea salt to taste
1 pound fresh ravioli (filling of your choice)
½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup sage leaves cut into ribbons
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large 6-quart pot, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook for 1 minute less than instructed on the package. Stir occasionally while the ravioli are cooking, paying close attention not to overcook or they will open up.
2. Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Add the butter to a large sauté pan set to low heat. Melt the butter fully and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until butter is slightly browned but not burnt. Butter will get foamy. Add the garlic and sage and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain the ravioli and add them to the sauté pan. Mix gently to combine and cook for 1 minute. Do not overmix as the ravioli are rather delicate.
4. Divide the ravioli in 4 serving plates, add some of the sauce on top, and top with one tablespoon of grated cheese each. Serve hot.
Originating from the island of Capri, this salad is a wonderful example of how just a few high-quality ingredients can create something magical. Believed to be a fairly new creation by Italian standards, the story goes that in the mid-1950s, a patriotic resident of Capri wanted to create a dish that symbolized Italy and the Italian flag. Thus, this dish was born.
1 large beefsteak or vine-ripened tomato
1 (6- to 8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese (see tip)
Approximately 10 basil leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Slice the tomato in ¼-inch-thick slices, and arrange on a platter in a wide circle.
2. Slice the mozzarella to about the same size as the tomato, and arrange on top of the tomato, alternating in layers so the tomato and mozzarella overlap.
3. Arrange the basil in between the tomato and mozzarella so they overlap.
4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and salt to taste.
Ingredient Tip: Fresh mozzarella should be stored in the water it came in, used within a few days of purchase, be free of any odor, and appear purely white, with no sign of discoloration.
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