Thursday, 28 October 2010

Butternut Squash and Sausage Risotto

Ciao Friends!!

Butternut Squash and Sausage Risotto


Stock ingredients

1 carrot

1 celery

1 onion

8.5 c water

10.5 ozs stewing meat

bones from the butcher

(Or cubed beef stock if no time to make your own homemade stock)

Risotto ingredients

1 onion

¼ of medium sized butternut squash

2 sausage or ½ lb

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1.5 ozs parmesan

3 cups of carnaroli rissoto rice


Wash and cut the celery, onion and carrot into small pieces. Place all the ingredients and the cold water in the pan and bring to a boil. Cook over a medium heat for one hour then remive from the heat and skim the fat from the top.

Place the butternut squash in the oven at 200°F for until it turns a golden brown color. Approximately 45 minutes. Spoon out the meat of the squash and let cool.

Cook the onion in a pot with the extra-virgin olive oil. When they turn a golden color, add the pieces of sausage and cook over a medium heat. Next, add the rice and turn the heat up to high and toast for 3 or 4 minutes. Now, turn down the heat to low and start by adding one ladel of the stock and stir. Keeping adding a ladel of the stock and stirring. Keep this up until the sauce reduces. Add the pumpkin, keep stirring and keep adding ladel of stock, reduce, ladel, reduce, stir… Keep going for about 20 minutes. At this time, before the rice is cooked and still “al dente” remove from the heat and add 4 tablespoons of butter, the parmesan and stir very quickly. Stirring fast “montecare” will make the sauce creamy. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

See you next week!

your Chef,


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Spinach and Ricotta "Gnudi" with Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Sauce

Hello friends! Hope this finds you well and you had a good weekend. This week I have a "Gnudi" recipe for you!
First, I thought I'd share a few pictures from our last warm weekend on the island of Ponza.

And now the recipe!!

Spinach and Ricotta "Gnudi" with Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Sauce


for pasta:
3 tablespoons of butter
2 c spinach
200 gr (or approximately 7 ozs) ricotta
1 egg yolk
3 large spoons of parmesan
2 pinches of salt
flour (see directions)

for sauce:

1/4 cup of white onion

1 pack of roma tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons of salt

(For this recipe - the amount of flour used is equivalent to 1/4 of the rest of the ingredients for the gnudi. For example if there are 4 cups of gnudi ingredients then the flour portion would be 1 cup. In Italy, it is very important to weigh the ingredients to get the proper turnout. Makes weight to volume conversions tough so follow the 1/4 rule. We will say that roughly the ingredients weigh 43 ozs which would mean roughly 11 ozs of flour. Use good judgement with the 1/4 rule.)
Cook the spinach in a covered skillet with butter over medium heat until it becomes dry. Finely chop the spinach then mash together with the ricotta and parmesan - not in a food processor but with a hand tool. Next add the egg yolk and 2 pinches of salt. Add flour to the mixure using your hands, working the dough for 10 minutes until it’s mixed together well and you have a nice consistency. Form round balls of about 1 inch to 1 1/2 in diameter.

To make the sauce, wash the roma tomatoes and make a cross on the top then boil them for 2 minutes. (or peeled tomatoes in a can will work fine) Drain the tomatoes and peel the skin off of each one. Chop the peeled roma tomatoes. Chop ¼ cup of onion and cook in a pan with olive oil. Once cooked, add the peeled tomatoes and 2 crushed garlic cloves and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. About fifteen minutes into the sauce simmering - place the gnudi in boiling water until it floats, usually 4 or 5 minutes. Place tomato sauce on the serving plate then add the gnudi to the top. Sprinkle parmesan then top off with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Have a great week! See you next Fabiolous Tuesday!

your Chef,

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Zucchini Flower and Saffron Gnocchi

Zucchini Flower and Saffron Gnocchi

(flour should equal ¼ of the amount of potato)

17.5 ozs red potatoes

4.5 ozs flour

zucchini flower

4 tablespoons of butter

safron for garnishing

pinenuts for garnishing

1/3 c parmesan

Clean the potatoes, scrubbing the skin well. Boil them in salted water until they are soft – you can check with the tip of the knife. Drain the potatoes then cool them for 10 minutes. Remove the skin. Mash the potatoes, not in a food processor but with the hand tool then mix them together with the flour using your hands, working the dough for 10 minutes until it’s mixed together well and you have a nice consistency. Add more flour to the surface if needed and roll the mixture with your two hands to reach 1 inch diameter. Cut the roll into small pieces about an inch long. Roll each individual piece on the back side of a fork to make the gnocchi groove. Place them in salted boiling water until they float. Immediately add the gnocchi to the pan with the cooked zucchini flower. Add a ½ ladel of the boiling water and 1/3 c of parmesan. Hover the pan over the heat moving the pasta continuously until the sauce becomes thick. Next add more parmesan if needed and and continue to hover and flip the pasta. For finishing touches on the serving plate, add safron and pinenuts.

The meeting point for my cooking lesson in

Rome is Teatro Argentina:

Jewish Ghetto

Piazza Navona

You guys have a great week!
your Chef,