Italian Flavours

Pear and Dried-Cherry Crisp

Date: 2011-09-24
Chef: Nadia P.
Quantity: 12

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, room temperature

4 1/2 pounds ripe pears (4 Bartlett, 4 Bosc), peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries (9 ounces)

Vanilla soy ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.

For streusel: (Can be made 1 day ahead)
Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl.
Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture begins to clump together.
Cover and chill.

For filling:
Mix pears with other filling ingredients, except butter and cherries, and let sit for about ten minutes.
Melt butter in large heavy pot.
Add in pear mixture and stir until it comes to boil.
Add cherries; reduce heat to medium and simmer until cherries begin to soften and liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Toss pears and dried cherry mixture in large bowl; spread in baking dish.
Sprinkle streusel mixture over.
Bake until bubbling and golden, about 1 hour. Cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.


Date: 2011-09-24
Chefs: Nadia P.
Quantity: 12

¾ cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
5 roman, 3 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered and cores removed
2 tbsp oregano
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp organic garlic salt
5 tbsp cup olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese

In food processor, finely chop basil and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients and chop until smoothly blended.
Transfer to container; cover and refrigerate for around thirty minutes.
Slice baguette in to medium thickness diagonal slices. Spoon the mixture on to the bread.


Date: 2011-09-24
Chefs: Nadia P.
Quantity: 12

2 bunches of rapini
Olive Oil
2 cloved garlic

Wash 2 bunches of rapini and cut off hard parts of lower stems.
Steam rapini in basket, placed in large pot filled with water up to the bottom of the basket, for a few minutes until rapini start wilting, but stems are still firm.

In large sauce pan, heat ½ cup olive oil over medium-high heat.
Cook 2 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic in oil until they are golden-brown and starting to turn crispy.
Toss steamed rapini in to hot oil, and stand clear to avoid oil splash burn, cover with lid.
Toss rapini inside covered pan. Lower heat and sautée for three minutes, until rapini stems are tender.
Serve rapini alongside main dish, using pasta fork, and spoon hot oil and garlic over top to taste.

Linguini al Pomodoro

Date: 2011-09-24
Chefs: Nadia P.
Quantity: 12

¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely diced
2 jars of whole tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
fresh parsley
fresh basil
black pepper

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
Add garlic and shallot and sautée until tender, about 2minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Raise heat and stir until sauce is boiling.
Reduce heat to low and simmer from thirty minutes, until thickened.
Add fresh herbs and spices, stir, and continue to simmer another minute.

In a large pot boil water over maximum heat. Add salt and pasta. Reduce heat and cook until pasta is al dente. Drain under cold running water. Return pasta to pot. Mix in a couple ladlefuls of pasta.

Serve pasta noodles on plates beside main dish using pasta fork. Ladle tomato sauce over noodles. Add fresh basil leaf and hot chili peppers.

Hearty Stuffed Eggplants and Peppers

Date: 2011-09-24
Chefs: Nadia P.
Quantity: 12

6 eggplants, halved, hollowed, and insides diced
12 peppers, cut in half vertically, seeds, ribs & stems removed; tops diced

1 cup fine cornmeal (for polenta)
3 cups water

1 shallot, finely diced
1 pack firm tofu, finely crumbled in food processor
¾ cup tomatoes
garlic powder
¾ cup Pastene seasoned bread crumbs
¾ cup shredded vegetarian Mozzarella cheese
12 tbsp grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with vegetable oil. Make polenta in small saucepan.

Cook vegetables in medium saucepan on medium-high heat for three minutes. Add tofu tomatoes and spices, cook another two minutes.

Put breadcrumbs and shredded mozzarella in a bowl. Add vegetable mixture and polenta and mix together. Adjust with breadcrumbs and polenta to get the texture right for stuffing.

Spoon stuffing in to hollowed peppers and eggplants and line up on cookie sheets. Drizzle with tomato sauce and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each stuffed vegetable. Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese on top is golden baked.

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