Friday, May 28, 2010

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Growing up in Naples I became accustomed to eating gnocchi almost weekly. It was one of my favorite foods. On Sundays, my dad would walk to the ‘Pastificio’ (Pasta shop) where all sorts of pasta was made daily and he would either pick up a bag of fresh ravioli or gnocchi. It was always a pleasant surprise when he’d bring home the gnocchi. Since moving to the U.S. it has been one of my favorite entertaining dishes, I have yet to find someone who does not like them. I have to say that the processed gnocchi commonly found in the U.S. are very similar to the fresh ones I’d have in Italy. Well, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

For 4 People

2 Packages Gnocchi
1 8oz. can of Tomato Sauce
1 6oz. can of Tomato Paste
3 Fresh Basil leaves (or 1 Tbls dry)
Olive Oil
1/4 Diced Onion
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella

Put about 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a medium saucepan along with the onion. Once the onion is of a golden color ad sauce and paste. Cook on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime cook the gnocchi according to package directions, gnocchi are ready once the majority of them are floating, do not overcook! Combine with sauce and basil in a bowl, add mozzarella. Mix well and serve.

Please note that gnocchi are very compacted and can be very filling, only place about a cup to two cups per person per plate.

Buon Appetito!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cotoletta di Carne

Cotoletta di carne essentially is fried steak. Italians use the word for meat (carne) to refer to beef. Although this steak is fried, it’s much healthier than conventional fried steaks as it is not deep fried, olive oil is used versus other more fatty and unhealthy oils and the italian bread crumbs include various herbs, including oregano which are chock full of antioxidants.

This very easy to make meat dish is sure to become everyone’s favorite. My children love this dish and so does anyone else who comes over for that matter, permitting they eat meat in the first place! When you cook this meat, your kitchen will be enveloped by a delightful smell that will have everyone grabbing on to their plates. I like to make it with a side of sauteed green beans with garlic and a side of parmesan risotto. It also goes very well with fries or mashed potatoes, or as a great addition to a hoagie.

For 2-4 People

1 Lb Steak thinly sliced (for rouladen)
2 Cups Breadcrumbs (Italian variety)
Olive Oil

Cut steak slices into smaller pieces, usually cutting the steak in half or thirds works great. Place the bread crumbs inside a locking plastic baggy. Add one piece of meat to the bag, close the bag and shake until meat is completely covered. Repeat until all meat slices are breaded. Put about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a non-stick pan, once oil is hot, place steaks in the pan. You’ll probably have to fry in batches, since all of the meat will not fit in he pan. Serve.