Recipes

Braised Green Figs and Fennel

Figs are in season here in Italy and we’ve eaten them every day with no signs of slowing down. We used green honey figs straight from the garden for this simple side dish.

BRAISED GREEN FIGS AND FENNEL
INGREDIENTS

Figs, about 3 per person

1 medium fennel bulb

Generous knob of butter

Thin slice of lemon, peel on

One dried Italian hot pepper, whole

Dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Pecorino, shaved large for garnish

     DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400.

Slice the fennel into 4-6 segments.

Place the butter, whole lemon slice, and hot pepper in an oven safe pan and sauté until fragrant. Sear the fennel wedges on both sides, don’t be shy about giving it good color. Add the figs whole and leave on high for a minute or two, before adding a generous pour of wine and transferring to the oven.

Cook until the fennel is just tender, but not falling apart.

Top with fresh ground pepper and good pecorino.

Enjoy!

 

Figs are in season here in Italy and we’ve eaten them every day with no signs of slowing down. We used green ...

Teddy’s Cannellini Semplice and Radicchio Brasato

Here’s a meal I prepared recently: fagioli cannellini semplice e radicchio brasato. This meal combines a staple of my Italian cooking experience and a new recipe that is applied from the techniques and approach I’ve come to learn in my time cooking in Umbria.

 
FAGIOLI CANNELLINI SEMPLICE
INGREDIENTS

1 can/jar cannellini beans
1 yellow onion
1-2 carrots
1-2 stalks of celery
Parmigiano reggiano
Salt
Pepper
Fresh herbs/seasoning
Optional:
white wine, chicken/vegetable stock &
lemon zest
     DIRECTIONS

Start by preparing a classic soffrito: dice your onion, carrot, and celery, and let them sweat on low heat with a bit of oil, butter, or both. Cook until translucent.

Once the onions and carrots are soft, you can add a pinch of salt and the rest of your aromatics (typically I’ll go for some crushed red pepper to give the dish some heat, or you can add herbs like rosemary and thyme).

Once the pan is smelling fragrant, add your rinsed beans. Cook until you’re satisfied—if you want the dish to be dry, cook until the beans are warm and you’re done! If you want a stew-like quality, keep the temperature low and add some white wine, chicken/vegetable stock, or even just some water. Option to toss in more butter to get a rich, velvety texture.

Once you have the consistency you’d like, pull the beans from the heat and top with some parmigiano and, if you’d like, some lemon zest. This is the dish I always cook for myself on the elusive rainy day in Los Angeles.

radicchio

In Umbria, radicchio is typically roasted over a fire then finished with salt and oil, maybe some lemon juice, and it is a delight. I hadn’t been using the oven recently, however, and wanted to put it to use:


RADICCHIO BRASATO 
INGREDIENTS

1 whole head of radicchio
1 yellow onion
Red wine
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
     DIRECTIONS

Preheat to 450-500—you just want it to be hot.

Quarter your radicchio lengthwise. Put a pan on medium-high heat, add a splash of olive oil and a small pat of butter. Place the radicchio into the pan to sear its outside—it should brown and even start to blacken before you flip it, about 2-3 minutes a side.

Once the radicchio is seared, transfer the quarters into a baking dish. Slice the onion and add into the baking dish.

Take your bottle of red wine and pour into the dish until the radicchio is about 1/4 submerged, then add just a bit of water to bring the liquid level to just under 1/2 of the radicchio.

Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once it’s out of the oven, feel free to drizzle with some good olive oil!

Here's a meal I prepared recently: fagioli cannellini semplice e radicchio brasato. This meal combines a staple of my Italian cooking experience ...

Bill’s Whole Snapper with Garlic and Ginger

This Asian recipe may seem out of place in an Italian recipe blog, but it shares a lot with Italian preparations.  First, the fish should be fresh, which in our case was beyond doubt, having purchased it from Robert, our local fishmonger at the daily harbor fish market in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.  Robert cleans and filets all manner of fresh catch with an uber sharp machete right in front of your eyes.  Second, the accompanying flavors are understated and elevate rather than overwhelm the fresh fish.

This is a favorite of Suzy and mine when we, like we are now, spend time at our vacation home in the Caymans (no money laundering jokes, please).  After a grueling day under the sun, there’s nothing quite like this flavorful fish dish and a little (or a lot of) white wine to wash it down.

[recipe courtesy of taste.com.au] 

Whole Snapper with Garlic and Ginger
INGREDIENTS

1 whole snapper, gutted and scaled

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Ginger, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp fish sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine

2 tsp sesame oil

2 scallions, sliced

2 or 3 dried chili peppers crushed

 1 bunch coriander

     DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 deg.

Rinse and pat dry 1 whole red snapper.  Line baking dish with aluminum foil (you may have lay 2 sheets side by side) and place wax or parchment paper on top.  Lay snapper on paper and liberally salt and pepper.  Sprinkle garlic and ginger over entire surface.

In a small bowl, mix well soy, fish sauce, rice wine and sesame oil.  Pour over snapper allowing it to penetrate the skin.  Baste several times.

Close aluminum/parchment paper to form an airtight pouch with snapper inside.  Place in oven (in baking dish) and bake for 30-45 minutes.  The snapper is cooked when the flesh flakes and displays no opacity.

Unwrap fish and transfer to a serving plate or bowl being sure to pour the liquid over the fish.  Garnish with a liberal amount of sliced scallions and some sprigs of coriander.

Serve with lots of white wine, preferrably a crisp, acidic wine such as Falanghina, Greco di Tufo or anything from Campania.

Buon appetito!

red snapper 1

This Asian recipe may seem out of place in an Italian recipe blog, but it shares a lot with Italian preparations.  First, ...

Tommaso Collins Recipe

We’re celebrating Suzy’s birthday with one of her favorite drinks to sip on—the Tom Collins. In the Italian spirit, we’ve renamed ours Tommaso and used our favorite Italian sparkling water. Here’s why we love it: it’s a simple (and quick!) blend of gin, lemon juice, seltzer and simple syrup which, when combined, is a citrus-y sour cocktail thats deliciously refreshing. Perfect for the sweltering heat of late August!

TOMMASO COLLINS
INGREDIENTS

Ice

Juice of ½ a lemon

½ oz. simple syrup

Seltzer

Lemon wedge, for garnish.

     DIRECTIONS

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in gin, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Top with seltzer water. Taste and adjust as needed.

Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

We're celebrating Suzy's birthday with one of her favorite drinks to sip on—the Tom Collins. In the Italian spirit, we've renamed ours ...

Fig Crostata Recipe

This is our favorite way to handle an overabundance of produce—depending on the season you can make a filling with mixed berries, apples and cinnamon or ricotta and marmalade. Here Liam uses a mix of ripe figs, honey and a dash of vincotto. The wine (vincotto translates to “cooked wine”) deepens the flavor and rounds out the sweetness of the figs, leaving you with a balanced and elegant dessert. Enjoy!

FIG CROSTATA RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

300g flour + more for dusting

140g butter, room temperature

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ Tbs baking powder (or 1 packet of Italian bkg powder w vanilla)

pinch salt

For the filling:

6 cups of fresh ripe and plump figs

¾ cup honey

1 T a.p. Flour

3 T butter, cubed into small pieces

1 T vin cotto

 

     DIRECTIONS

Roll the dough to about ½” thickness.  Place in a 10” pie pan.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the filling and put in the pie pan. Fold the outer edges of the dough around the perimeter of the fig filling. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Put in refrigerator for 1 hour before baking at 375 for 30-45 minutes.  

Serve warm.  

This is our favorite way to handle an overabundance of produce—depending on the season you can make a filling with mixed berries, ...

Truffle Frittata Recipe

We love those recipes that are low effort, maximum reward and that’s exactly what this truffle frittata is. With so few ingredients, quality is paramount—we recommend using Tartufi Bianconi’s delicious truffle flavored oil to impart a taste of Italy into your frittata.

TRUFFLE FRITTATA RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

4 eggs

Salt

Truffle sauce or “Truffled Flavoured Oil” from Tartufi Bianconi

     DIRECTIONS

-Beat the eggs with salt and a few teaspoons of your favorite truffle sauce or oil.

-Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the omelette on both sides—serve with truffled mashed potatoes.

We love those recipes that are low effort, maximum reward and that's exactly what this truffle frittata is. With so few ingredients, ...

Marinated Pecorino

To continue with our celebration of cheeses, we’re enjoying one of Italy’s finest formaggi in a simple but decadent way. Almost perfect on its own, pecorino gets a boost from a generous drizzle of good olive oil and cracked black pepper. Buon appetito!

MARINATED PECORINO
INGREDIENTS

1 lb pecorino

1/2 c olive oil

Black pepper, ground coarsly

     DIRECTIONS

-Break or cut the cheese into small bite-sized cubes, about 1 inch.

-Toss with the olive oil and black pepper. Put in a serving bowl and cover.

-Let the cheese marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Can be made ahead but should be served at room temperature.

To continue with our celebration of cheeses, we're enjoying one of Italy's finest formaggi in a simple but decadent way. Almost perfect ...

Simone’s Summer Salad Recipe

Filled with toasty fregola sarda and delicious summer vegetables like sweet peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, Chef Simone’s panzanella is a classic summer cookout staple. The crisp vegetables offer a bright contrast to the tender cooked grains—Simone’s Summer Salad is the star of every BBQ.

SIMONE’S SUMMER SALAD
INGREDIENTS

I cup raw Fregola Sarda
2 cups hot water
Carrots
Celery
Fresh onion
Sweet peppers
Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes
Basil
     DIRECTIONS

– Boil the water and cook the Fregola. Once tender, drain and let cool.

-Dice all the veggies and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.

-Once the Fregola is cool, mix with the prepped vegetables and sprinkle with fresh basil.

 

Filled with toasty fregola sarda and delicious summer vegetables like sweet peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, Chef Simone’s panzanella is a classic ...

Quick Summer Salads

ASPARAGUS AND RHUBARB SALAD
INGREDIENTS

10 stalks asparagus – ends broken off

3 stalks rhubarb – slightly shaved

2 cups pea shoots

¼ cup lemon juice

¼  cup extra virgin olive oil

1T honey

 

 

     DIRECTIONS

Lightly brush asparagus with olive oil and roast until tender.  Slice into 1” pieces. Slice the rhubarb into matchsticks. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and honey.  Toss asparagus and rhubarb with dressing in a serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with pea shoots and lemon zest.

STRAWBERRY AND ASPARAGUS SALAD
INGREDIENTS

1 pint strawberries sliced

4 cups baby arugula

10 stalks asparagus – ends broken off

Goat Lady Chevre

Marcona Almonds

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

 

     DIRECTIONS

Lightly brush asparagus with olive oil and roast until tender.  Slice into 1” pieces. Put arugula in a serving bowl and add strawberries.  Whisk together vinegar and olive oil – season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss the arugula and strawberries. Top with dollops of goat cheese and almonds.

FAVA BEANS AND PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
INGREDIENTS

1 pound fava beans shelled

3 Portobello Mushrooms cleaned

¼ pound aged pecorino shaved

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

⅓ cup white wine vinegar

1 T dijon mustard

 

 

     DIRECTIONS

Steam fava beans for 1-2 minutes (should still be bright green) remove from heat and put on ice to quick chill.  Slice portobellos. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss together mushrooms and cooled favas.  Top with pecorino and serve.

ASPARAGUS AND RHUBARB SALAD INGREDIENTS 10 stalks asparagus - ends broken off 3 stalks rhubarb - slightly shaved 2 cups pea shoots ¼ cup lemon juice ¼  cup ...

House Spice Rub Recipe

Umbria is famous for its Norcinos – butchers – creating cuts to be grilled, roasted and cured. This Father’s Day our Norcino shares his in-house seasoning blend inspired by the flavors of Norcia. The fragrant and summery flavors of wild fennel and citrus provide a piquant and unexpected twist to a classic summer BBQ. Fennel pollen can be purchased in-store—just ask at the butcher counter.

HOUSE SPICE RUB
INGREDIENTS

1 lb Sicilian fleur de sel

1 oz fennel pollen

2 oz coarse black pepper

2 oz muscovado sugar

2 oz dried orange zest

 

 

     DIRECTIONS

-Mix together blend ingredients and store in an air-tight container. Makes 1 1/2 lbs.

To use: rub steak, chicken, etc. with extra-virgin olive oil. Rub 1 oz. of seasoning per every 1 lb of meat and allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Grill, roast, smoke, sous vide or cook however you like.

Note: this blend is also great on roasted olives tossed in good olive oil.

 

Umbria is famous for its Norcinos - butchers - creating cuts to be grilled, roasted and cured. This Father’s Day our Norcino ...

Whole-Baked Fish with Olives Recipe

This recipe for whole-baked fish with olives comes to us from Elizabeth Minchilli, who enlisted a team of Italian mammas and nonnas to perfect it. After tinkering with her method and recipe for 25 years, she says she’s finally nailed it. The result is a tender roasted fish, flavored with briny green olives and bright, bursting cherry tomatoes. Spoiler alert: this  might be our favorite recipe from her new book.

WHOLE-BAKED FISH WITH OLIVES
INGREDIENTS

2 whole fish with the head on, cleaned and scaled (you can ask the fishmonger to do this for you)

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup briny green olives, unpitted

Olive oil (about ¼ cup)

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

 

     DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Oil one fish generously, seasoning the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff parsley and a few olives into the cavity and scatter half of the olives and tomatoes around the fish. Place fish on parchment or aluminum foil and repeat with the other fish.

Wrap each fish, creating a seal so steam won’t escape. Bake for about 25 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes

To serve, place on platter, open the packet, and debone the fish. Pour the juices from the parchment paper along with the olives and tomatoes on top of the fish.

 

This recipe for whole-baked fish with olives comes to us from Elizabeth Minchilli, who enlisted a team of Italian mammas and nonnas to perfect it. ...