Vecchio's Sicilian - Italian Food Sicilian Style
Italian Food Made the Sicilian Way With Old Family Recipes
The rich history of my Sicilian ancestors and their cuisine is fascinating. Learn all about the Sicilian history; the culture, the food & wine, the customs, etc. and you will find that Italy and Sicily are an important part of the past. I've decided to share some of Italy's home cooked Sicilian recipes. These are from my family, and they are original and simple: old time family recipes that come straight from Sicily! They have been passed down from one generation to the next for more than one hundred years. Sadly, there are many Italian & Sicilian dishes that the average person has never heard of or had the opportunity to taste. The roots of Italian food can be traced back to the 4th century BC! Italian food is loved world-wide. Sicilian cooking is all about using the best ingredients while keeping meals simple and healthy. However, if you travel through Italy you will find that each region, every city and town has its own style of cooking; as well as their own eating habits. Sicilian cooking is unique in Italy. You probably know that Italian's are well known for their famous pizza and spaghetti & meatball dishes. But, did you know that Sicilian's enjoy eating Brioche that is chock full of ice-cream for breakfast? Let me share another interesting fact with you, first let me ask a question. Do you know where Pasta alla Norma got its name? Well, it is said that a musician claimed that Pasta alla Norma embodied the harmony of Bellini's Opera, and that is where the name came from! Learn the interesting history of Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Bellini. He is from Catanai and he is pure Sicilian.
Proud to be Italian
Proud to be Italian American
I am an Italian American
My roots are deep in an ancient soil, drenched by the Mediterranean
sun, and watered by pure streams from snow capped mountains.
I am enriched by thousands of years of culture.
My hands are those of the mason, the artist, the man of the soil.
My thoughts have been recounted in the annals of Rome, the poetry of
Virgil, the creations of Dante, and the philosophy of Benedetto Croce.
I am an Italian-American, and from my ancient world, I first spanned
the seas to the New World. I am Cristoforo Colombo.
I am Giovanni Caboto known in American History as John Cabot,
discoverer of the mainland of North America.
I am Amerigo Vespucci, who gave my name to the New World, America
First to sail on the Great Lakes in 1679, founder of the territory
that became the State of Illinois, colonizer of Louisiana and Arkansas, I
I am Filippo Mazzei friend of Thomas Jefferson, and my thesis on the
equality of man was written into the Bill of Rights.
I am William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
I am an Italian-American; I financed the Northwest Expedition of
George Rogers Clark and accompanied him through the lands that would
Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. I am Colonel Francesco Vigo.
I mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines, I
am Alessandro Malaspina.
I am Giacomo Belinimi, discoverer of the source of the Mississippi
River in 1823.
I created the Dome of the United States Capitol. They call me the
Michelangelo of America. I am Constantino Brumidi.
In 1904, I founded in San Francisco, the Bank of Italy now known as
the Bank of America, the largest financial institution in the world, I am
I am Enrico Fermi, father of nuclear science in America.
I am Steve Geppi, founder of Diamond Comics, the largest
distributorship of comics on the planet.
I am the first enlisted man to earn the Medal of Honor in World War
II; I am John Basilone of New Jersey.
I am an Italian-American.
I am the million strong who served in America's armies and the tens
of thousands whose names are enshrined in military cemeteries from
Guadalcanal to the Rhine.
I am the steel maker in Pittsburgh, the grower in the Imperial
Valley of California, the textile designer in Manhattan, the movie maker
Hollywood, the homemaker and the breadwinner in over 10,000 communities.
I am an American without stint or reservation, loving this land as
only one who understands history, its agonies and its triumphs can love and
I will not be told that my contribution is any less nor my role not
as worthy as that of any other American.
I will stand in support of this nation's freedom and protect against
My heritage has dedicated me to this nation. I am proud of my
heritage, and I shall remain worthy of it.
I am an Italian-American
Sicilian Sunday Gravy Recipe
Red Gravy taste so much better when it's home cooked
1 Lrg. cooking pot (all cooking is done in one pot)
4 cans of Tomato puree - (28 oz.)
1 1/2 to 2 Pounds Italian sausage (Hot & Sweet sausage - or all hot or all sweet)
1 1/2 to 2 Pounds Pork Neck Bones
1 Pound of cubed Veal or Veal bones (optional)
4 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Medium red Onion sliced very thin or diced
4 cloves Garlic sliced very thin or diced
1 tsp. each Salt & fresh ground Pepper
1 Tbs. Parsley flakes - fresh Parsley is preferred
1 Tbs. Basil - fresh Basil is preferred
1 Tbs. Sugar
Red or Burgundy house wine to taste (optional)
Okay, let's get started:
Put 4 Tbs. of olive oil in your pot, set heat to medium-high. Add meat (sausage, pork bones, veal) and brown on all sides, turn as needed. The meat will stick to the bottom of the pot, but that is good. When meat is brown on all sides remove from pot and set aside.
Lower heat to medium, add more olive oil if needed. Add garlic & onions, and sauté stirring as needed until softened but not burnt - this won't take long.
Add the Tomato puree, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, and sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Then set heat to low and let simmer. Next, add the browned meat to the gravy and stir gently. Let simmer at least 2 hours, stirring frequently - for better results simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
Actually, the longer the simmering time the better. An old Sicilian secret is to let it simmer all day, this allows the gravy to become infused with the flavors of the meats. Taste often, and add additional spices to adjust to your taste. The best way to do this is to dip a piece of Sicilian bread into the gravy! (See, recipe for Sicilian bread below)
Serving time Italian style! Remove the meat and a little gravy from the pot and place in a large bowl, set on table. Next, spoon red gravy over cooked pasta of your choice, top with shredded or grated fresh Parmesan cheese or any cheese you like. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe will make enough red gravy to serve up to 12. However, you can make your gravy for dinner for four, and freeze remaining gravy - makes about 3-4 nice size containers.
Important, allow gravy to cool to room temperature. Do Not freeze hot gravy! Freezing hot gravy causes it to lose its flavor and become very bitter.
Sicilian Tip: Old timers used fresh ripe red tomatoes to make their puree.
Recommended Puree Brands: Having tried most brands I do have a preference, however I will not disclose that information at this time. However, I will suggest that you use Italian brand names!
Chicken Savoy Italian Style
This is good, real good!
1 3-4lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup finely grated pecorino romano
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbs;p ried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup red wine vinegar
Heat oven to 500. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste set aside
Finely chop together garlic along with pecorino, tbsp of the olive oil,oregano, and thyme. Set herb paste aside.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a 12" cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken,and cook until golden brown,6-8 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over with thongs. Using a spoon,smear chicken with the herb paste. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until well browned and cooked through, 20-25 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven, pour out the fat. Add vinegar, and spoon over chicken.
Broshole Italian and Sicilian Style
You will Need:
One Deep Frying or Sauté Pan any large pan with high sides and a lid
Thin sliced (about 1/4 inch) Steaks. Sirloin preferred but you can use Flank. How much is up to you but choose by the piece's and not the pound. Most measure about 8 inches by 4 inches and remember you can always pound them out a bit. Let's work with four.
Half a Pound of Prosciutto
Cup of Grated Cheese, Parmesan or Romano will do fine
Half a Cup of Fresh Chopped Parsley
Fresh Ground Pepper
Salt if you choose but not really needed with the Proscuitto and Cheese
Olive oil to swirl in pan
Halp Cup of Raisins.......For the Sicilian Broshole!
Your's, or mine, Prepared gravy. Enough for about 2 inches in the pan.
String...Don't forget the string
Lay out your steaks and pound if you like.
Sprinkle with Pepper,Parsley,Garlic and Onion Powders and Salt (optional)
Sprinkle with your Choice of Cheese
Cover each Steak with Prosciutto
Add Raisin's to two of the Steaks for the Sicilian version
Now roll each Steak as you would see a Jelly Roll. You can roll from the short or long side where rolling from the short side will give you a thicker Broshole then from the long side.
Tie off the ends first with your string sealing in the seasonings. Add a few more strings to the middle. You want a nice frim roll.
Swirl in your pan or pot some Olve OIl and set to medium high heat. Add your Broshole and sear only. You don't want to cook the Broshole, just lock in the juices. Remove from pan. Do not drain pan.
Add your gravy to the pan, cover and allow to come to a low-medium simmer
Add your Broshole to the pan. Set to low simmer and cook for 2 hours or more. The longer and lower the more tender. Turn Broshole every so often.
Use the remaining gravy on Pasta if you like. Infused with the Broshole flavor it makes a flavorable topping.
Baked Pasta with Cheese and Mushrooms
1 lb Mushrooms Sliced Thin
2 Cloves Garlic Sliced
5 Tablespoons of Butter
Â½ Teaspoon each Salt and Pepper
1 Box of Ziti, Penne or Rotini.
8 to 12 Ounces of sliced Cheese Parmesan or your favorite also works well
Â½ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup of Heavy Cream, If you feel the sauce is too heavy add a bit of milk
1 Frying Pan
Sauté You Garlic and Mushroom in 3 Tablespoons of Butter over Medium High Heat for about 5 minutes then remove the Garlic, we wont need it anymore.
Lower Heat and add your Salt and Pepper and cook for another 4 minutes or so then bring to a low, almost off, simmer
Start Boiling You Pasta.
Drain your Pasta and put it back into your boiling pot then stir in remaining butter.
.Coat the inside of your Casserole Dish with a light coat of Butter
Now your going to layer as follows
Layer some Pasta then Your Mushrooms, Sliced Cheese and a Tablespoon of Parmesan
Repeat until you get to the top of the Casserole Dish
Now pour Your Heavy Cream over the top, cover with foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for about 10 more minute or until you see the top start to brown
Old Fashioned Pasta Fagioli Recipe (pronuonced - Pasta Fazool)
An Italian bean and pasta dish
I am going to give you the "real" original recipe here. Basic and delicious. You will find most other Pasta Fazool recipes have been modified with different ingredients changing this dish to a watery, soupy consistency. If you want soup make soup. That is not the true recipe...this is! And it's easier!
1 32 oz. can or 2 16 oz. cans of Cannellini Beans (do not drain)
1/2 to 3/4 box of Ditalini Pasta
3 Fresh garlic cloves sliced thin
1/2 Red or Yellow Onion sliced very thin
1/4 tsp. Salt (Add more to your taste later since the beans contain some salt. And since we are going to top with your favorite grated cheese it's best to limit the amount of salt added.)
1/2 Tsp. Fresh ground pepper
Olive Oil (Of Course!)
You will need 2 medium sauce pans - 2 quarts or larger
In one saucepan add a few swirls of the Olive oil. Set to low heat add garlic and onions and simmer until soft, and maybe turning color just a bit. Next, add 16 oz. of Cannelli beans and stir to soften a bit. When soft I want you to crush these beans with a fork or spoon. Crush them to a thick paste.
Add the rest of the beans but do not crush them. Allow to simmer until the whole beans soften to your liking. You may add just a bit of water if you want a thinner consistency.
While the beans simmer boil your Ditalini Pasta in the other sauce pan.
When the pasta is done the beans should be also, so just mix them together in a large bowl. Top with your favorite grated cheese and serve.
Enjoy! Compliments of Vecchio
- Vecchios Sicilian Main Site with Photos!
This is the main site for Vecchios Sicilian with enhanced contents including an outstanding collection of photographs of Italy, Italian Food and maps. Theses photo are available for download at very high resolutions to accent your home or business. T
- Guido Cappuccino's Cafe
Guido Cappuccino's Coffee Cafe. Learn about a variety of coffee's. Where to get them and how to prepare them. Very popular with those with a fine taste for fine coffee.
Home Made Ricotta Cheese
A Little Something Special for you to Play With
Two Quarts of WHOLE MILK
One Cup of HEAVY CREAM
Â¾ Teaspoon SALT
3 Tablespoons of LEMON JUICE
Large Sauce Pan Big Enough for all of the above
Pasta Strainer or Sieve
Pot that you Pasta Strainer or Sieve Fits Into
Piece of fine Cheesecloth to fit your Strainer or Sieve
Place your Cheese Cloth into your Strainer or Sieve then place your Strainer or Sieve over your empty Pot.
To the Sauce Pan add your Whole Milk, Heavy Cream and Salt and bring to a boil at medium heat and stir every few minutes to prevent burning. Remember MEDIUM HEAT only!
To this boiling mixture add your Lemon Juice and stir in
Now lower your heat to low simmer and keep stiring until the mix curdles, about 5 minutes more or less.
Pour this curdled mix into the Cheese Cloth and let drain for about 1 Â½ hours and the Ricotta will get nice and firm. Room Temp.
Spoon this mix , Ricotta!, into a covered container and refrigerate.
This Fresh Ricotta has no preservatives so it will keep for only 2 to three days.
Sausage and Peppers in Gravy
This is the real Italian way to make Sausage and Peppers in Gravy. Here we allow the flavor of the Sausage to infuse itself into the Gravy along with the Peppers and Garlic. It is very simple and should be started about 1 hour before eating because we wa
You will need:
1 Large Frying Pan with high sides or a Pasta Pot preferred)
1 Large Can about 32 ounces of Tomato Puree or Prepared Gravy
2 Pounds of Sweet Bell Peppers. A Red and Green mix looks nice but not necessary. Slice thin.
2 Pound of Sweet or Hot Sausage. Your choice or a mix
4 Cloves of thin sliced fresh Garlic
Â½ Teaspoon Salt
Â½ Teaspoon Pepper
Â½ Teaspoon Oregano
Â½ Teaspoon Parsley Flakes
Heat Oil in the Pot or Pan on medium heat and simmer your Garlic until light brown and remove.
Raise heat to medium high heat and brown your Sausage. Brown only!
Lower heat to low medium heat and add your Puree or Gravy and bring to a simmer.
Now add all the ingredients and stir. Then add your Sausage.
Cover and simmer low for at least 1 hour.
You have just made The Real Deal Sausage and Peppers by infusing the flavors!
Fried Cauliflower Siciliano
We need our vegetables so what better way is there then to make them tasty and savory for our family and friends. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamins and with a few easy steps can be prepared in a way even the kids wil love them, but don't tell them what
Fried Cauliflower Italian Style
1 Pasta Pot for Boiling or Steaming
1 Large Frying Skillet
1 Large Fresh Head of Cauliflower or 1 Large Bag of Frozen Cauliflower Florets defrosted
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 Beaten Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
Grated Cheese of your Choice
!/2 Cup Olive Oil
Prepare Fresh Cauliflower: Cut and discard the stem then cut the florets apart leaving about Â½ inch of the stalk to each floret. Cut large florets in half and leave the small florets as they are.
Steam or boil your florets until just tender but not soft. Remove from steam or water and let air dry several minutes.
Frozen Cauliflower need only be defrosted and boiled until tender. Let air dry.
Heat your Olive Oil over medium heat.
Add your Salt and Pepper to your Beaten Eggs and whisk together.
Coat your Florets in your Egg then coat in your Bread Crumbs.
Fry your Florets until golden brown on all sides.
Remove from Oil and drain on a paper towel.
Serve as a side dish topped with your Grated Cheese
Italian Green Beans Parmesan
1 Sauce Pot
1 Can Italian Green Beans Drained of Water or 1 Pound Fresh Italian Green Beans, ends snipped.
3 Fresh Garlic Cloves sliced thin or diced small
Â½ Teaspoon Salt
Â½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
Â¼ Teaspoon Parsley Flakes or Â¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
Â¼ Cup Parmesan Grated Cheese
Optional: 1 Tablespoon Bacon Bits or Pancetta diced.
Note: If using Fresh Green Beans simmer first to desired tenderness and drain from water.
To your Sauce Pot add about Â½ cup of Olive Oil, heat at low - medium. Add your Garlic and simmer until tender and just turning color. Optional Bacon or Pancetta
Add your Italian Green Beans, Salt, Pepper and Parsley and Mix well.
Allow to simmer until hot and tender to your taste stirring to coat
Pour your beans into a nice serving platter and sprinkle with your Parmesan Cheese
Makes an excellent Side Dish Presentation
Cinnamon Sambuca or Amaretto Coffee Cake
1 Â½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
2 Â½ Teaspoons of Baking Powder
Â¼ Teaspoon of Salt
Â¾ Cup of Sugar
Â¼ Cup of Vegetable Oil
Â¾ Cup of Whole Milk
4 Ounce's of Sambuca or Amaretto (you choice)
1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Softened Butter
Â¼ Cup of Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
Preheat your Oven to 370 degrees
Stir together all the dry ingredients for the Cake Mix
In another bowl beat your Milk, Oil and Egg together then add this to your dry Cake Mix stirring until well mixed.
Coat a square or round pan with Butter
Fill your pan with the batter and set aside
Make Your Topping:
Mix all your Topping Ingredients together until well incorporated, it will be lumpy
Now Pour you choice of Sambuca or Amaretto in thin lines over your Cake Mix
Spread your Topping Mix evenly over your Cake Mix and bake for about 25 minutes
Fantastic with some Espresso Coffee!
Pasta And Eggs
Well to be honest with you I was very surprised that so many have not ever heard of let alone have made Pasta and Eggs for their family, especially their children. Growing up this was a favorite more so in the winter cold months then the summer months. A very simple dish made popular over a hundred years ago by poor Italian families. What made me notice how few people knew of this dish was when friends of my children would eat over, well they had to if they were in my home, and asked "what is this" as they devoured their bowls. Next thing I knew was that their parents would call me and ask me "What it Was and How to Make It". So here we go!
You will need:
1 Large Sauce Pan about 2 quarts will do
2 Large beaten eggs
1 Quart of Chicken Broth or Chicken Bouillon Cubes in 1 Quart of Water
1 Box of Small Pasta. Ditalini, Orzo, Acini de Pepe etc.etc.
Â½ Teaspoon Salt
Â½ Teaspoon Parsley Flakes
Grated Cheese to top.
Here we go:
Bring your Chicken Broth to a rolling boil
Add your Pasta and Salt and boil as suggested on the box
When there is about 2 minutes left for the Pasta to finish pour your Beaten Eggs through a fork and into the Pasta. Add your parsley and stir well to mix the egg into the Pasta
Serve in bowls topped with Grated Cheese.
A Very Old Italian Treat Severd as is or with Sauce
These Cuscino's make a excellent appetizer or snack. Serve with a side of Red Sauce or Garlic Sauce as a dip. They will be similar to Ravioli's when complete and as a matter of fact I found many people we serve them to prefer them to Ravioli's. Give them a try.
1 Â¾ Cups of Flour
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Warm Water
1 Pound Ricotta Whole Milk Cheese
1 Large Egg
2 to 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Â½ Cups Olive Oil for frying
Make your dough:
Knead together all of the dough ingredients for about 10 minutes until you can form a nice smooth firm ball. Set aside for about one hour. Since we use no yeast don't expect the dough to double in size.
Mix together your stuffing ingredients and refrigerate uncovered.
When your dough has set roll it out on a floured surface until flat and thin. Then with cookie cutter or glass between 2 and 3 inches in diameter cut out discs and divide equally for tops and bottoms. These will make the Cuscino's.
Add about a Teaspoon, more or less, to the center of your disc and top with the second disc sealing the edges with a fork. You can add a very light coat of water or eggs wash if needed to seal edges. Seal well. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat your Oil to Frying temperature then float Cuscinos in you Oil until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towel and serve topped with more Grated Cheese.
Calamari Fried (Calamari Fritta)
A favorite for an appetizer or main course
Fried Calamari, in Italian Calamari Fritta, in American Fried Squid has been served by your favorite restaurants for years. Why? Because it's a delicious favorite! Now you will learn how to make it yourself for half the price, and in most cases fresh and better. These golden fried rings are easy to prepare and take a very short period of time to cook.
You will need:
1 Skillet with high sides or a pot or a Deep Fryer
1 Mixing bowl for Seasoned Flour mix
Seasoned Flour Recipe
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme (optional)
1 Paper Bag or Plastic Bag
1 Pound of Calamari
Note: You can buy your Calamari fresh and cleaned from your Seafood store with a choice of tubes or a mix of tubes and legs. Most people prefer just the tubes, but I like them both. I suggest in all cases of buying fish to get it fresh. If you can find Calamari already cut into rings...better yet. Frozen Calamari, often found in a box, requires much more cleaning, cutting and preparation.
Oil about 1 quart of a seed based. Canola, Corn, Rice, etc. No need for Olive Oil.
Prepare our Seasoned Flour. Add all the ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix well. Then put it into the bag.
Prepare you Calamari by cutting the tubes into rings or circles. Rinse with cold water and squeeze excess water off leaving damp and moist. Place in refrigerator to keep cool. The reason for this is that Calamari cooks very fast and we want the outside to crisp while not over cooking the inside.
Place enough oil in your skillet or pot, one to two inches, so your Calamari can float. Heat to about 375 degree's.
Take your Calamari rings and drop them into the bag with your Seasoned Flour Mix and shake to coat.
One handful at a time grab your rings, shake off excess flour and gently drop into the oil frying until Golden Brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a papper towel. Salt to your taste if you wish.
Serve with a lemon wedge and a side of Hot or Sweet Gravy. A fresh sprig of Parsley make a nice presentation!
Meat Balls Italian Style
Original Meatball Recipe.....With all the Ingredients! Even the one most missing from most recipes.
1/2 Pound Each of Ground Pork, Beef and VEAL. Yes Veal!
1 Jumbo or 2 Small Eggs
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Minced Onion
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Basil
1/4 Cup Parmesan Grated Cheese
3 Slices White Bread, or better yet a cup of the inside of Italian Bread
1 Cup of Milk
1 Large Frying Pan - I use a 50 year old cast iron one
1 Mixing Bowl
1 Pair Of Clean Hands
In your mixing bowl add all your meats and gently break it up....don't squeeze and mash it
Crack and add your eggs
Add all your ingredients EXCEPT the Olive Oil and Milk and Bread
Dip your bread once in the milk and add to your bowl
With your fingers start mixing. Don,t mash or squeeze, just mix.
When well mixed start rolling your mix into balls in the palms of your hands, then set aside in a dish
Add about 1/4 of Olive Oil to your pan and heat to medium
Fry your Meat Balls browning on all sides. Test for doneness? Taste and add salt to taste.
These are the Meat Balls that seem to disappear as soon as they come out of the pan!
Italian Bread Sicilian Style Recipe
Every Italian meal is served with fresh hot baked bread
3 Cups Bread flour
1 Cup Hot water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Egg white beaten
2 - 4 Fresh garlic cloves (finely chopped)
Sesame or Poppy seeds
Olive oil or Cooking Spay (for coating)
2 Mixing bowls
Cookie Sheet or Baking Stone
Heat Water to 100 to 110 degrees, add sugar and stir, add yeast and stir to disolve. Set aside for about 10 minutes allowing it to ferment and foam undisturbed.
In a mixing bowl add bread flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.
When the yeast is fermented add it to the bread flour mixture. Next, add fresh chopped garlic, mix well with a rubber spatula until liquid is absorbed into bread flour mixture. Lightly flour your hands, and form a ball with your dough. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface.
Knead dough for approximately 10 - 15 minutes. Note: You cannot over knead, so don't worry about that. It should be a smooth, not sticky, round ball of dough when you are finished.
Coat your second mixing bowl with some Olive oil or cooking spray. Place your ball of dough into the bowl and gently roll it around to coat it thoroughly. Next, cover the bowl with plastic wrap then place a damp cotton towel over the bowl. Set the bowl in a warm place for about 60 to 90 minutes; this will allow the dough to rise. Do not disturb, the dough should double in size.
When your dough has risen, coat your cookie sheet or baking stone with cornmeal, remove your dough ball from the bowl and place on the cornmeal. Punch the dough once, then invert the bowl and place it over your dough. Set aside for about 15 minutes to let dough rise again.
Next, gently roll and shape your dough into a loaf about 12 inches long. Use the palms of your hands to shape the dough, and make sure that the seam is on the underside. Cover with a loose piece of plastic wrap and let sit for approximately 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make sure the oven rack on the middle slot or on the slot beneath it, but not on the botton.
Beat egg whites. Use a sharp knife to make a 1/8 inch slice in the center of your dough along the length of the loaf. Coat with beaten egg whites, and sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Tip: Internal temperature should be 195 to 200 degrees.
Important: DO NOT cut the bread before it has rested and cooled for at least 30 minutes. Cutting fresh baked bread before it has cooled and rested will release the internal gasses too soon, and this disrupts an important part of the baking process.
Cavatelli and Broccoli
Also known as Broccoli and Macaroni
This is a very simple old time favorite and to my surprise many have not heard of it. For lunch or dinner this hot hearty dish hits the spot. This dish is detailed un-modified as tradition suggests.
Pasta and Broccoli
1 Large Pasta Pot
1 Bag of Frozen Cavatelli's (my choice) or
1 Box of Ditalini
1 to 2 Packages of Frozen Broccoli Chopped or 1 Head of fresh Broccoli Chopped
5 Cloves of fresh minced or thin sliced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
Grated Cheese of your choice
In your Pasta Pot swirl Olive Oil to coat bottom and sautÃ© your Garlic.
When sautÃ©ed add your water for your Pasta add the Salt and Bring to a boil.
Defrost your Broccoli just until it breaks apart and set aside.
Drop your Pasta into the boiling water and boil for HALF the time suggested on the package of Pasta but don't turn the heat off.
Now add your Broccoli and Pepper, allow water to boil for the remainder of the Pasta cooking time or until as tender as you choose.
Serve in a Large Pasta dish or Individual Dishes topped with Grated Cheese
As simple and delicious as that!
A popular sauce used on Steak, Chops and Fish
This is very simple but if you ever ordered Steak Pizzaiola is a Restaurant you would know it is a pretty expensive dish.
You will need:
1 Large sauce pan
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves fine sliced fresh Garlic
2 Cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
2 Teaspoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Add your Olive Oil and heat to medium-high heat
Add your Garlic and let cook until lightly browned
With your hands add your Tomatoes crushing each Tomato through your fingers as you add them to the sauce pan then add the remaining water from the can.
Now add all the remaining ingredients and allow to cook stirring every few minutes for 15 to 20 minutes
Serve over Steaks, Chops or Fish
Steak or Chops Pizzaiola
You will need:
Steaks or Chops no more then 1/2 inch thick
Pizzaiola Sauce Recipe from above
Simply sear your Steaks or Chops over high heat in Olive Oil and remove from pan.
Add to your Pizzaiola Sauce and spoon over your meats. Allow to simmer until tender
Ouick and Easy using Fillets or even Shrimp!
You will need:
Fish Fillets of your chioce, I prefer cod, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
Pizzaiola Recipe from above
After preparing your Pizzaiola Sauce simply add your fish and simmer until the fish flakes apart.
Gift giving Sicilian Style - Quality products for your loved ones
Start your holiday shopping early without all the hussle and bussle!
Suggested Italian Cookbooks
I would not suggest any item or Cookbooks that I do not consider the very best. Treat yourself or give one of these to a friend for great recipes and enjoyable reading.
Italian Music to Cook and Dine by - Must have music while cooking and eating with friends and family!
Lou Monte - Hard to find fun Italian favorites
This is were you can ask any question, leave a comment or request your favorite recipe.