Recipes By Cuisine - Italian

Tian of Parmigiano and Grilled Vegetables with Tomato Compote, Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Eggplant with Pesto

  • 1 tablespoon diced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 yellow tomato
  • 1 red tomato
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tapenade (pureed black olives; for garnish)
  • 2 cups mixed greens (for garnish)
  • Eggplant and Mozzarella:
  • 4 1/4-inch-thick slices eggplant
  • 4 3/4-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • salt and pepper
  • Yellow Tomato Compote:
  • 2 cups yellow tomatoes, including reserved scraps
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
  • Red Tomato Compote:
  • 2 cups red tomatoes, including reserved scraps
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
  • Sherry Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pesto Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons garlic puree in oil
  • 5 cups basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • In a bowl, mix garlic, shallots, thyme, vinegar and oil with seasonings.
  • Roast and peel bell peppers.
  • Cut them with a 1.5-inch round cookie cutter and grill on an Oster® Indoor Grill.
  • Cut the hearts of tomatoes in the same round and place in garlic mixture. (Reserve tomato scraps for tomato compotes; recipes follow.)
  • Cut zucchini in the same fashion and grill over mesquite until tender.
  • Place grilled vegetables in marinade with tomato. Reserve.
  • Drop grated Parmesan by tablespoons onto a hot nonstick skillet.
  • When melted and beginning to brown, remove carefully and cool.
  • Makes 12 cheese crisps. Reserve.
Eggplant and Mozzarella:
  • Salt and drain eggplant.
  • Grill eggplant slices.
  • Roll slices of mozzarella in herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wrap cheese in layer of sliced grilled eggplant. Reserved, chilled, until needed.
Red and Yellow Tomato Compote:
  • In an Oster® Blender, puree pulp of each type of tomato separately.
  • Separately, season and cook each, reducing volume by half over low flame.
  • Finish with vinegar and oil.
  • Pass through a chinois.
Sherry Vinaigrette:
  • Whisk together liquid ingredients. Reserve.
Pesto Sauce:
  • In an Oster® Blender, puree garlic with basil, toasted pine nuts and cheese at slow speed.
  • Add olive oil in a steady stream and emulsify until smooth.
  • Finish with lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature.
To Serve:
  • Paint plates with compotes, pesto and tapenade.
  • Toss greens in some of the sherry vinaigrette.
  • Layer vegetables with cheese crisps moments before serving.
  • Cheese crisps must remain crispy.

Bread Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, dices
  • 6 to 8 fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large loaf stale, crusty French or Italian bread
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, fresh mozzarella scallions, lemon zest, garlic, basil and parsley. Add the olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slice the bread in half lengthwise. Pour on enough water to completely moisten the bread. Let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. Finely chop bread and toss into salad; adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Sauteed Lamb Chops Glazed in Balsamic Vinegar (Agnello all'Aceto Balsamico)

- Serves 4
Potato-Cauliflower Puree
  • 6 yellow potatoes
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 lamb chops, trimmed of fat (reserve scraps to make a lamb broth, if desired)
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 12 sprigs rosemary (4 for garnish)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 cups chicken stock or, preferably, lamb broth
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Potato-Cauliflower Puree
  • Boil yellow potatoes in lightly salted water.
  • When cooked, remove from water, peel and coarsely chop.
  • Boil cauliflower until cooked.
  • Place both in a saucepan with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Whip with a wooden spoon to form a chunky puree.
  • Set aside and keep warm.
  • Heat at least half of the oil in an Oster® Electric Skillet.
  • Season lamb chops with salt and pepper.
  • Saute chops at high temperature on both sides until browned yet still very rare.
  • Discard all cooked oil and lower temperature to medium, adding remainder of the oil, sliced garlic, eight rosemary sprigs and unsalted butter. Cook until butter and garlic are both golden brown.
  • Deglaze with red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.
  • Remove lamb chops when medium rare, or continue to cook to desired doneness. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Raise heat to high temperature and add chicken or lamb broth.
  • Reduce sauce and add salt and pepper.
To Serve
  • Arrange lamb chops on top of a spoonful of potato-cauliflower puree.
  • Glaze chops with sauce and garnish each plate with a fresh rosemary sprig.

Tuscan Mussel Soup with White Beans (Guazzetto di Cozze e Cannellini)

- Serves 4
  • 4 1-inch cubes peasant bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Mussel Soup:
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 48 mussels, washed
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans boiled (reserve 1/2 cup of liquid)
  • 4 tomatoes, blanched, seeded and diced
  • 4 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
  • salt and white pepper
  • Toast bread cubes lightly in an Oster® Toaster Oven until golden brown.
  • Rub toasted croutons with garlic clove.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Set aside.
Mussel Soup:
  • In a saucepan, gently saute minced garlic and bay leaves in oil and butter; do not brown.
  • Add mussels, white wine and red pepper flakes.
  • Cover, and steam open mussels.
  • Off heat, remove mussels from pan and extract them from their shells. Set aside.
  • Add the reserved cannellini bean liquid to pan.
  • Add beans, diced tomato and chopped parsley.
  • Add salt and white pepper to taste.
To Serve:
  • Heat soup bowls.
  • Place one crouton in each.
  • Add cleaned mussels to soup, ladle over croutons and serve immediately.

Spiedini of Mozzarella and Two Tomatoes with Basil Oil

- Serves 4
  • 2 3/4-pound balls fresh mozzarella
  • 1 large yellow tomato
  • 1 large vine-ripe red tomato
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 basil leaves, julienned
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 8-inch wooden skewers
  • Cut mozzarella balls and tomatoes in half. Set each half on flat side, square off ends, and cut into two 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • On each skewer, arrange two slices of mozzarella, a slice of red tomato and a slice of yellow tomato, alternating cheese and tomato.
To Serve:
  • Set on a plate and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle julienned basil over the dish and serve.

Italian Melt

- Serves 4
  • 1 loaf seeded Italian bread
  • 4 teaspoons prepared garlic butter
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, thick cut
  • 16 slices pepperoni
  • Cut bread into four square sections that are about the size of a slice of bread. Save the trimmings for some other use.
  • Slice the sections in half through the soft center of the bread. Spread 1 teaspoon of garlic butter between the 2 halves of each section.
  • On the bottom half of each sandwich place 4 slices of pepperoni, and 1 slice of cheese. Place top on sandwich and put in Oster® Sandwich Maker.
  • Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

Herb Caprice Sandwich

- Serves 4
  • 4 focaccia bread, cut into large squares
  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes, 2 yellow and 2 red
  • 16 ounces fresh "buffalo" mozzarella
  • 20 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Black olives (optional)
  • Warm or lightly toast focaccia bread in Oster® Toaster Oven.
  • Place one focaccia bread on each serving plate.
  • Slice the tomatoes to about 1/4 inch thickness and arrange on top of bread alternating red and yellow tomatoes.
  • Slice the mozzarella about the same width and layer it between the tomatoes.
  • Place basil, rosemary and olive oil in blender or food processor. Process until well blended. Drizzle over plates.
  • Garnish with olives, fresh basil and rosemary.

Zuppa di Tuscany

- Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk fennel, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 carrots, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 small Italian eggplants, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, chopped
  • 30 ounces canned cannellini, navy or great northern beans
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup escarole, chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Garlic toast and fennel tops, for garnish
  • 1 roasted pepper, cut into strips
  • Open broth, tomato and bean cans with Oster® Can Opener.
  • In a large pot over medium high heat, combine the oil, onion, fennel, carrots, eggplants and garlic and saute for five minutes.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the parsley and escarole. Simmer for 5 more minutes and pepper to taste.
  • Pour soup into bowls and garnish with 1 piece garlic toast, fennel top, shaved Parmesan cheese and a twist of red pepper.

Roasted Garlic and Sweet Pepper Bruschetta

  • 2 each red and yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted garlic
  • Hearty, crusty bread
  • Use as many whole, fresh garlic bulbs, unpeeled, as you like.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss garlic in bowl with enough olive oil to coat the cloves. Bake for 50 minutes or until garlic is soft and tender.
  • Saute the peppers in olive oil until they become very soft and the skins begin to blacken. Remove from heat and toss with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut bread into thick slices and rub with a bit of olive oil. Grill over a fire or under a broiler until lightly browned.
  • Spread roasted garlic onto sliced bread, (should be paste consistency), and top with peppers.
  • Note: Use extra roasted garlic along with pasta, meats, fish and poultry for low-fat bang-up flavor.

Bittersweet Cannoli

  • 1 package cannoli shells or Italian almond cookies
  • 1 cup lowfat ricotta
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • Combine ricotta, orange juice, zest and sugar. Leave 1/3 of chocolate aside. Chop the 2/3 of chocolate and add to ricotta mixture. Pour filling into shells until just full and grate remaining chocoate over tops and ends of cannoli. If using the almond cookies, top each one with one small spoonful of mixture and top with grated chocolate.
Notes: Use an Oster® Hand Mixer to make the delicious filling of lowfat ricotta, orange and chocolate for this Italian classic. Fill ready-made cannoli shells or top almond cookies and experience la dolce vita.

Broccoli Rabe Aglio Olio

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • In an Oster® Food Steamer, steam broccoli rabe until it just turns tender and set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Let garlic cook until it begins to brown. Add white wine and bring to a rapid simmer. Let mixture simmer until it reduces in volume by half; salt and pepper to taste. Add broccoli rabe and simmer about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Strawberries with Zabaione (Fragole allo Zabaione)

- Serves 4
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Vin Santo, or substitute Marsala
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons Vin Santo, or substitute Marsala
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Saute strawberry slices in butter with sugar. Glaze with Vin Santo and place in a martini glass.
  • Place all ingredients in a double boiler over moderate heat. Whisk until frothy and shiny. Make sure heat is not so high that it scrambles the yolks.
To Serve
  • Pour zabaione over strawberries and serve immediately.