FAST & FRESH
Quick takes on some Italian faves
1 Tuna & White Bean Crostini
START TO FINISH: 15 MIN • 4 tbsp. EVOO 4 tsp. • sherry vinegar 1 tbsp. • Dijon mustard 2 cups • watercress 1 can ( 15 oz.) • white beans, rinsed 1 jar (6 oz.) tuna packed in oil, • drained 1∕3 cup chopped • red onion 1∕4 cup fresh • tarragon leaves 8 slices of rustic Italian bread In medium bowl, whisk 3 tbsp. oil, the vinegar, and mustard; season. Toss with watercress, beans, tuna, onion, and tarragon; season. Brush bread with remaining 1 tbsp. oil. Broil until toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Top with tuna mixture. Makes 8.
2 Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon & Garlic START TO FINISH: 30 MIN 24 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and gently • squeezed dry 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for • drizzling 1 lemon— quartered lengthwise, then • thinly sliced 1 large shallot, cut into 1∕4- inch-thick • • slices 5 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary grated Parmesan, for garnish
• On baking sheet, toss artichokes, 3 tbsp. oil, the lemon, shallot, garlic, and rosemary; season generously. Arrange in even layer. Roast at 475°, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp in spots, about 25 minutes. Drizzle with oil. Top with cheese. Serves 4.
3 Focaccia Breakfast Sandwiches START TO FINISH: 20 MIN • 1∕3 cup mayonnaise 2 scallions, • chopped 1 tbsp. chopped fresh • oregano 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, formed • into four 4- inch round patties 4 eggs • •
8 slices fontina 4 sandwich-size squares • of focaccia, split horizontally 3 cups baby arugula 2 tsp. EVOO 2 tsp. lemon juice
• • In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, scallions, and oregano; season. In large nonstick skillet, cook sausage patties over mediumhigh until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Wipe out any blackened pieces in skillet. Fry eggs over medium-low until whites are set, about 4 minutes. Place cheese on cut sides of bread. Broil until melted, about 2 minutes. In bowl, toss arugula, oil, and lemon juice; season. Build sandwiches with arugula, sausage patties, and eggs. Makes 4.
4 SLICE IT RIGHT!
Chiffonade may sound fancy, but it’s the easiest way to slice basil without bruising it. Stack clean, dry leaves in a neat pile; roll them up lengthwise; then slice crosswise. Sprinkle on all the things!
Chicken Parm with Blistered-tomato Sauce
START TO FINISH: 25 MIN • 11∕4 cups panko breadcrumbs 3∕4 cup grated • • Parmesan 1 egg 4 chicken cutlets (about • • 4 oz. each) 4 tbsp. olive oil 4 slices provolone • •
12 oz. cherry tomatoes 1∕2 cup red • (sun- dried tomato) pesto 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1∕2 cup sliced fresh basil
• In shallow bowl, stir panko and Parmesan; season. In another bowl, beat egg. Coat chicken in egg, then panko mixture. In nonstick skillet, fry chicken in oil over medium- high until cooked through, 3 minutes per side. Top with provolone. Transfer chicken to plates. In skillet, cook tomatoes with pesto over high until blistered, 4 minutes. Add 1∕3 cup water and garlic. Cook until warmed; season. Serve chicken with sauce. Garnish with basil. Serves 4.
6 Maple Affogato with Pecan Crunch
START TO FINISH: 10 MIN 1∕3 cup pure maple syrup ( preferably dark) • 1 pt. vanilla ice cream • 1∕2 cup freshly brewed very strong espresso • 1∕4 tsp. ground nutmeg • 1∕4 tsp. ground espresso • beans 1∕4 cup chopped Pecan Crunch (see recipe below) In small saucepan, boil maple syrup over high until reduced to 1∕4 cup, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Scoop ice cream into bowls. Drizzle with espresso and reduced syrup. Top with nutmeg, ground espresso beans, and Pecan Crunch. Serves 4.
7 Pecan Crunch
START TO FINISH: 20 MIN
2∕3 cup sugar • 1∕2 stick butter • 1∕2 tsp. baking soda • 1 cup roasted pecans In medium heavy saucepan, stir sugar, butter, and 1∕4 cup water over medium until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns caramel in color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble vigorously), then pecans. Pour onto foil-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer until cool, about 15 minutes. Coarsely chop. Store in airtight container for up to 1 month. Makes about 3∕4 lb.
8 Almond & Pine Nut Cookies
START TO FINISH: 25 MIN 1∕2 cup sugar 1∕2 cup almond paste 2 tbsp. flour 1 large egg white 1∕4 tsp. aniseed 1 cup pine nuts In food processor, pulse sugar, almond paste, and flour until combined. Add egg white and aniseed. Process until smooth. Place nuts in bowl. Add dough by rounded teaspoonfuls; roll until coated. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° until golden, about 18 minutes. Let cool. Makes about 16.
9 Italian Chopped Salad with Fennel & Mortadella
START TO FINISH: 15 MIN 2 tbsp. EVOO 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 3 cups sliced romaine hearts 1 small fennel bulb, halved and very thinly sliced 1∕2 cup coarsely chopped drained giardiniera 1∕2 cup diced sliced mortadella 1∕2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil 1∕4 cup diced sliced provolone In large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, and Dijon. Toss with remaining ingredients; season. Serves 4.
10 Shrimp & Cherry Tomato Puttanesca
START TO FINISH: 25 MIN 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup dry white wine 14 kalamata olives, pitted and quartered 4 anchovies, chopped 3 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. tomato paste 1 tbsp. capers 1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic 1∕4 tsp. crushed red pepper 20 peeled and deveined large shrimp 1 tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram In large skillet, boil tomatoes, wine, olives, anchovies, oil, tomato paste, capers, garlic, crushed red pepper, and 1∕2 cup water, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are opaque in centers, about 4 minutes. Top with marjoram. Serves 4.
11 WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LIMONCELLO…
Drink it! But that’s not all: The zippy Italian liqueur made from lemon zest, sugar, and alcohol isn’t just for sipping. Drizzle it over sorbet, or whisk it with some powdered sugar for an easy glaze.
12 Italian G& T
START TO FINISH: 10 MIN 6 oz. limoncello (lemon liqueur) 4 oz. gin 10 oz. tonic 6 oz. dry lemon soda (such as San Pellegrino Limonata) ice 4 lemon twists Divide limoncello and gin among 4 glasses. Top with tonic and lemon soda. Stir gently, then fill glasses with ice. Garnish with lemon twists. Makes 4.
13 Caramelized-banana Sundaes with Hazelnuts & Amaretto
START 1 pt. vanilla TO FINISH: ice cream, 15 softened IN (PLUS FREEZING) 1 tsp. orange zest 2 bananas, sliced 1 tbsp. sugar 4 tbsp. chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), warmed 12 maraschino cherries, halved 4 tbsp. amaretto whipped cream, for serving 1∕4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts In medium bowl, stir ice cream and orange zest. Freeze for about 1 hour. Dip 1 side of each banana slice in sugar. In large nonstick skillet, cook banana slices, sugar-side down, over high, until caramelized, about 1 minute. Divide ice cream among 4 bowls. Top with banana slices, chocolate-hazelnut spread, cherries, amaretto, whipped cream, and nuts. Makes 4.
14 Balsamic Onion Pizza
START TO FINISH: 30 MIN 1 onion, sliced 2 shallots, sliced 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves 1 lb. pizza dough, rolled out to 12- inch round 1∕2 cup mascarpone cheese 4 small potatoes, very thinly sliced 1 cup shredded Gruyère In skillet, cook onions and shallots in oil over medium, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vinegar and 1 tbsp. thyme; season. On baking sheet, bake dough at 500° until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Spread mascarpone on dough. Top with onion mixture, potatoes, and Gruyère. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 12 minutes. Top with remaining 1 tbsp. thyme. Serves 4.
15 Italian Baked Eggs with Eggplant & Tomato
START TO FINISH: 25 MIN 4 oz. diced pancetta 6 tbsp. olive oil 1 large eggplant (about 11∕4 lb.), cut into 1- inch pieces 1 jar (24 oz.) marinara sauce 1∕4 cup sliced fresh basil 1∕2 cup chopped fresh flat- leaf parsley 4 medium eggs toast, for serving In large deep skillet, cook pancetta in 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate. In skillet, heat remaining 4 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Cook eggplant, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; season. Add marinara, half the herbs, and the pancetta. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Using spoon, create 4 wells in eggplant mixture. Crack in eggs. Cover and simmer over medium-low until whites set, about 5 minutes. Top with remaining herbs. Serve with toast. Serves 4.
16 Goat Cheese with Port-Glazed Figs
START TO FINISH: 20 MIN 1 cup ruby port 2 tbsp. balsamic glaze 6 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered 1 log ( 10.5 oz.) fresh goat cheese 2 tbsp. EVOO 11∕2 tsp. finely chopped garlic 5 slices prosciutto, roughly torn 1∕4 cup torn fresh mint toasts, for serving In skillet, boil port and glaze until reduced to 1∕4 cup, about 7 minutes. Stir in figs. Let cool. On platter, flatten cheese into 3∕4-inch-thick rectangle. In small bowl, stir oil and garlic. Drizzle over cheese; season. Top cheese with figs. Drizzle with port glaze. Top with prosciutto and mint. Serve with toasts. Serves 4.
17 Pork Chops with Sweet & Sour Figs
START TO FINISH: 25 MIN 1∕2 cup white wine vinegar 1∕4 cup honey 2 cloves garlic, smashed 1 tbsp. butter 1∕4 tsp. crushed red pepper 6 figs, halved 2 bone- in pork chops (about 1∕2 inch thick) 1 tbsp. olive oil fresh flat- leaf parsley leaves, for garnish In small skillet, boil vinegar, honey, and garlic until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Whisk in butter and crushed red pepper. Discard garlic. Stir in figs; season. Season chops. In large skillet, cook chops in oil over medium- high until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Top with figs and sauce. Garnish with parsley. Serves 2.