Category Archives: Italian Food

Salame al cioccolato (Chocolate Salami)

Salame al cioccolato slicedSalame al cioccolato (Chocolate Salami)

Yesterday, as a thank you to the supporters of her recent Kickstarter Chocabaret project, Jackie Gordon (aka The Diva That Ate New York) hosted a chocolate-themed gathering at her home.  When the reminder for this event flashed up on my phone on Friday, 24 hours before it started, I had a mild moment of panic.  Oops!  I realized that I was supposed to make something chocolate inspired to bring with me.  Then, that idea lightbulb went off, just like in the comics, and I thought, “Hey, why don’t I make a chocolate salami.  That will be different.”

Chocolate spreadChocolate spread

This dish proved to be a hit, which gave me some relief, as I’d only made it once before in culinary school for our buffet, where it came out just so-so.  One of the guests kept going back time and time again for slices of the salami.  It was hard to resist it, I know from having put it together the night before.  Inspired by Italian meat products, it combines smooth and creamy chocolate mixed with chunks of cake (to represent the fat that is usually in meat salami), pistachios (like in mortadella), and dried cranberries for a bit of tartness all rolled into a log and then dusted with powdered sugar to mimic a log of cured meat.  Given the reception that this recipe had at an event full of food people and chocolate-lovers, I think I’m going to be bringing it to a few more parties this holiday season!

Ingredients

Salame al cioccolato (Chocolate Salami)

Prep time: 20 minutes to put it together, plus time overnight to set

Serving Size: about 25-30 slices

Ingredients:

125 ml Heavy Whipping Cream

2 tsp. Instant Coffee

1 Tbsp. Brandy

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

350 g Semi-sweet Chocolate (70% cocoa)

85 g Vanilla Cake (or cupcake), cut into 1/2 cm cubes

20 g Pistachio Halves

30 g Dried Cranberries

Powdered Sugar for dusting

Assembly:

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Add coffee, brandy, and vanilla extract to the cream.  Then, add chocolate and stir into the cream until thoroughly melted and smooth.

Chocolate mixtureChocolate mixture

Gently fold the cake pieces, pistachios, and cranberries into the chocolate mixture.  Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface.  Pour out the chocolate mixture onto the center of the plastic wrap lengthwise.  Fold one edge of the plastic wrap over the chocolate mixture and then fold the opposite edge over top of that one twist the edges and roll the mixture into a log using the plastic wrap, like you would do for making a log of compound butter.  You will end up with something that looks like the below.

Wrapped up and ready to go in the freezerChocolate Salami

Place the chocolate salami in the freezer to set.  Once firm, it can be put in the refrigerator and kept there until ready to serve it.  I left the log in the freezer overnight and moved it to the refrigerator in the morning, as I needed to travel with it to the party, so I didn’t want it to be come too soft before it got to its destination.  Just before getting ready to serve, dust the chocolate salami with confectioner’s sugar on all sides.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Remains of Salame al cioccolatoThe remains at the end of the party

Buon appetito!

Gluten-free Potluck – Italian Cannellini Bean-Quinoa Salad

Shauna Ahern introducing the dinnerShauna James Ahern greeting everyone

When the invitation to attend a potluck dinner for NYC food bloggers that Shauna James Ahern (aka Gluten-free Girl) and her husband were having last week during their #AmericanPotluckTrip tour, checking out various cities around the country and meeting food folks as research for their next cookbook about classic American recipes, I knew I was on board to join in.  This was a great chance to connect with fellow NYC food bloggers and writers and to enjoy eating a variety of delicious dishes.  Besides, I’d been thinking about the gluten-free items that we’d tried at Big Summer Potluck and had the idea for an Italian Cannellini Bean-Quinoa Salad to contribute to the feast – a dish both gluten-free and vegan.

Gluten-free table dishesThe Gluten-Free Dishes Table Display

The gluten-free section of the room at our host location the GE Monogram Design Center in Midtown filled up a long table, while the non-gf dishes could be counted on the fingers of one hand and were segregated on the other side of the room.  The Diva That Ate New York (Jackie Gordon) brought her incredible version of gluten-free spinach knishes – fried in schmaltz – which were gobbled up quite quickly.  There was a pecan-covered Pineapple Cheese Ball created by Michelle Buffardi that was also a huge hit.  For those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, Jackie Ourman made a stack of the NYC deli classic Black & White Cookies that got a lot of attention.  My favorite, however, had to be the Flourless Brownie Cheesecake brought by Susan Palmer of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.

Italian Cannellini Bean SaladItalian Cannellini Bean-Quinoa Salad

I’ve always admired Shauna for all of her hard work to help those who suffer from gluten-related intolerances and allergies.  She puts her whole heart into helping out those who have been diagnosed and who are trying to figure out how to feed themselves without getting sick and suffering other ill affects on their health and well-being.  I’ve often referred folks to her site when they mention to me that they need to follow a gluten-free diet so that they can find guidance and can get their hands on some terrific recipes.  It was so nice to be a part of this evening and to get to try all the great gluten-free dishes.

Mise en placeMise en Place – really

I’d love to be able to be all neat and tidy in typing up the recipe that goes along with the dish that I brought, but the truth is that I walked into the door of my apartment at 5:45 p.m., having just started my first day as a production chef at a catering company, with shopping bags in hand from Whole Foods and a rough outline of what I was going to make in my head.  The event started at 6:30 p.m., and I live at least 30 minutes away in travel time.  I knew I was going to go in the vegan and gluten-free direction.  I was also going to draw on Italian taste profiles to add lots of flavor to the dish as well as to highlight one NYC cultural culinary influence, as the event invitation had asked us to do.  From there, I just decided to wing it, eyeballing the proportions and relying on gut instinct to make it all come together.  Here’s a guess at what I did, but, really, this is a free-form dish that you can alter to fix yours and your family’s preferences.

Buon appetito!

Italian Cannellini Bean-Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Potluck-sized

Italian Cannellini Bean-Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced

2 tsp. Oregano, chopped

2 tsp. Basil, chopped

1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. White Wine Vinegar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 c. Quinoa, cooked (about 1 1/2 cups uncooked)

2 cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed

1/2 c. Artichoke Hearts, chopped (reserve some for decoration)

1/3 c. Roasted Red Peppers, chopped (reserve some for decoration)

1/4 c. Black Olives, chopped (reserve some for decoration)

1/4 c. Pine Nuts, toasted (reserve some for decoration)

Assembly

Did I mention that I was kind of pressed for time in making this dish? I'd had some herbs from Gourmet Garden from our goodie bag at Big Summer Potluck, so I decided to use those (yes, they are also gluten-free). I guesstimated how much I would need to make the dressing, tossed in a few dashes of red wine vinegar and thought I'd add some lemon juice for extra acidity.

When I found that the lemon I had was a bit moldy, I threw in some white wine vinegar, and that seemed to do the trick. Then, I whisked in enough olive oil to balance out everything and make the dressing come together. Taste everything to make sure that the seasoning is balanced.

Mix together the cooked quinoa and the beans. Add the dressing and toss it all together to coat the quinoa and the beans with the dressing.

Mix the chopped artichokes, red peppers, and black olives together separately. Then, add them to the quinoa-bean mixture. Once that is done, add the toasted pine nuts.

Pour salad into serving container. Decorate the top of the dish with the reserved artichoke hearts, red pepper pieces, chopped black olives, and toasted pine nuts. This dish can be made several hours in advance and should be served room temperature.

Notes

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan

http://www.theexperimentalgourmand.com/2013/09/21/gluten-free-potluck-italian-cannellini-bean-quinoa-salad/

Bean Demonstration by Chef Cesare Casella at the International Culinary Center

Chef-Casella-explains-bean-cooking-techniquesChef Cesare Casella explains bean cooking techniques

On Tuesday, I took advantage of having a free afternoon to take in a culinary demonstration at the International Culinary Center given by Dean of Italian Studies Cesare Casella.  The topic was beans – how to cook them and some of the Italian dishes that you can make using them.  Along with tips as to how to cook beans perfectly, Chef Casella interwove his recipes with stories about growing up in Tuscany, where beans are a staple dish.  (Tuscans are sometimes referred to as mangiafagioli or “bean-eaters.”)

Plate of cooked beansPlate of cooked beans

To acclimate our tastebuds to how properly cooked beans should taste and feel, Chef Casella presented us each with a plate of cooked beans prepared without oil or salt to start the demonstration.  We had – moving counter clockwise from the right – chickpeas (ceci), fagioli toscanelli, corona beans, fagioli stregoni, fagioli del Papa (which have a chestnut-like flavor), and Italian cannellini beans.  Each of them were solid (i.e., not mushy) and tender to the bite with the skin also breaking down easily when chewed.  Bags of these beans can be found for sale on Chef Casella’s website dedicated to showcasing heirloom products from Italy.

Beans cookingBeans cooking away

“Cooking the beans is important,” he advised us.  Because of the chemicals in the water and its hardness, he prefers to use filtered or spring water when preparing beans.  Beans take time and care to cook properly, he instructed.  “The perfect way to cook the beans is for a very long time.”  Steps like soaking them, cleaning, them, and then cooking them slowly are key steps in the process.  After letting them soak in warm water for about half an hour, gently rub them together to release more dirt from them.  Then, drain them, and put them in a stockpot or Dutch oven.  Cover them with cold water, and let them soak for at least 6 hours (better overnight).  If it is warm outside, put the beans in the refrigerator to soak, so that they don’t ferment in the heat.  Drain the beans and put them in a pot and cover them with fresh, cold water.  Cook them in simmering water until they are done (times will vary depending upon the size of the beans).

Mise en place for demoSet up for the demonstration

Aside from the tip about the kind of water that he uses to cook his beans, another tidbit Chef Casella imparted to us is that he always makes a vegetable sachet to put into the cooking pot with the beans, just as his grandmother and mother did.  He puts together carrots, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, and sage into a cheesecloth and includes it with the cooking liquid.  (The cheesecloth makes it easier to remove everything at the end of the cooking time without have to fish around for bits of vegetables and herbs.)  All the items should be cleaned, trimmed, and peeled in the case of the carrots and onions so that no dirt gets onto the beans and into the cooking liquid.  This combination of ingredients is based upon his own personal preference, he added, so you need to discover the mix that works best for your tastes.  The base, however, should be neutrally-flavored, not over-powering, which is why pepper isn’t usually included in the sachet.  He did also toss in a couple of pinches of salt, which he said is fine to do at the cooking stage.

Bean cooking liquidBean cooking liquid aka “Liquid Gold”

Never throw away the liquid in which the beans have been cooked, he told us.  This is “liquid gold,” and can be added to dishes for cooking or finishing them, as in the case of making farro risotto-style (farrotto) as he did during the demonstration (photo below).  He also said that it isn’t necessary to skim the top of the beans to remove the bubbling residue as they cook, as that also affects the final flavors.  One student in the audience asked about how to reduce gassiness that some folks have from eating beans.  Chef Casella said one method is to change the cooking water, but this has consequences for achieving their full flavor: “Less farty, you change the water; you want more flavor, you keep the water.”

Seven Bean SaladSeven Bean Salad

When it came time to taste the results of Chef Casella’s cooking, it was clear how this attention to detail and precise cooking methodology produced delicious and intensely flavorful results.  The Seven Bean Salad had the beans that we tasted in the opening exercise plus the addition of Tuscan lentils, which added a meaty, hearty note to the dish.  Beans are very starchy, he told us, so when making a salad like this one that uses olive oil with the beans, be prepared to add a lot of oil to the salad.  As we watched him pour a steady, green stream of oil over the beans, I wondered if it would taste really greasy at the end.  It didn’t at all.  As he promised, the oil was mostly absorbed into the beans, given them a lush texture.  The salad had a lightness and freshness that called out for a slab of grilled, freshly-baked Tuscan bread and a glass of local wine to round it out.

FarrottoFarrotto with cannellini beans

The next dish we tried, was a clear example of how using the bean cooking water helps to build the layers of flavor, taste, and texture on a plate.  Farro is a wonderful, nutty grain that can be used in many recipes.  In this one for farrotto, Chef Casella took the liquid in which the cannellini beans were cooked and added ladlefuls of it to the farro to develop a creamy, risotto-like texture.  The final dish, which we were given to taste, had a rich depth and levels of flavor to it with the al dente grains, tender beans, chunks of smoky bacon, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Stewed Beans in Tomato SauceStewed Beans with Tomatoes

A traditional Tuscan dish of Stewed Beans with Tomatoes was the third plate that Chef Casella gave to us to try at the demonstration.  During the part of the talk about cooking methods, the chef had cautioned us about adding acidity to the water, as it would make the beans tough.  In this dish, the tomatoes are combined with the beans only after they are finished cooking, along with some of the liquid from the beans.

Chef Casella cooks beansChef Casella tending to a pot of beans

As I polished off my plate, sopping up the last of the tomatoe-y broth with a bit of bread, I was transported for a moment back to my travels in Italy.  I could almost have been at a long, communal table in an historic trattoria in Florence after having wandered around the cities tourist attractions, enjoying a meal with my friends, instead of sitting in a chair in the auditorium at the International Culinary Center.  This demonstration was very informative about the variety not just of the beans themselves but also their flexibility in preparation, which is what has made them such a staple in many cultures and cuisines.  It made me realize that I need to consider using them more often in my own cooking projects.

Buon appetito!

50th Anniversary of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma

46-month-old Prosciutto di Parma

Tuesday evening, I was invited to attend the 50th Anniversary gathering for the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma (the association of producers who safeguard its brand and quality) held at Osteria Morini on the edge of Soho.  Now that my evenings are not occupied with culinary school courses, studying for exams or taking on extra kitchen shifts to practice for practical tests, my schedule has opened up so that I can get out and enjoy some of the food events taking place in the city.  Having lived and studied in Bologna, Italy for several years, Prosciutto di Parma has a special place in my heart and in my belly, so I was really excited that my calendar was open for me to be there.

Prosciutto e Melone Cocktail

The evening was a celebration of all things prosciutto, with the meat incorporated into each of the dishes that was served.  To start off, I couldn’t resist trying a cocktail version of that standard dinner party appetizer Prosciutto e Melone (melon – usually cantaloupe – served with paper-thin slices of prosciutto).  As you can see from the photo, this adaptation was a fizzy melon-based drink with crunchy prosciutto crumbs dusted around the rim.  This concoction took a bit of getting used to, seeing solid food in liquid and alcoholic form, however, it really, almost perfectly, captured the bite of ripe, juicy fruit paired with salty meat that makes the dish a summertime favorite.

Selection of Prosciutto di Parma

What I was really there for was to sample some prosciutto, so my next stop was over to the display table where they had samples aged for various time periods: 12-, 18-, and 24-months.  This was a cured meat-lovers dream with platters of rosey-pink ribbons of pork edged with glistening white fat piled high, waiting to be served to the guests.  There was a small plate to the side of the display with some sliced mortadella and other salumi, but the real belles of the ball that evening were the varieties of Prosciutto di Parma.

Trio of Prosciutto di Parma

Trying each of the selections side by side opened up my understanding of just how the aging process works to create this product.  Every one of the different types of prosciutto has a distinct texture, taste, and mouthfeel, depending upon how old it is.  My favorite had to be the 24-month, where the meat was delicate, yet full of deep flavor, and the fat had a lusciousness that made it just melt on my tongue.  This is the kind of combination that can make you swoon and pine for more.

Sliced-leg-of-Prosciutto-di-ParmaLeg of 46-month-old Prosciutto di Parma

To complete my culinary exploration on this topic, I headed over to the table where a representative from the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma was slicing pieces of meat by hand for everyone to try.  Again, there were some distinct differences from the previous samples I’d eaten.  The color of the meat had deepened into a light brick color.  The fat was even more meltingly tender and the flavor of the meat seemed saltier and crisper somehow.  It reminded me more of a Virginia country ham than of a prosciutto.  I think my favorite of the ones that I tried was the 24-month-old.  That meat was still delicate and fragrant with the fat so beautifully soft and tender.

Prosciutto Ice Cream with Balsamic-Berry Sauce

After all those samples of salty, fatty meat, I was ready to see what else the chef had created using prosciutto.  Fortunately, a server was walking by with some tempting Prosciutto Ice Cream Cones with Balsamic-Berry Sauce.  I was intrigued to try these sweet-savory combinations, to see if it would all work together.  While I didn’t get a lot of porky flavor in the ice cream, it was terrific-tasting and the sauce was a great match for it.

Prosciutto Panna Cotta with Apricot Jam and Prosciutto Crumbles

Wondering if there should be a bit more prosciutto represented in the dessert that I’d just eaten, I didn’t hesitate to take one of the Prosciutto Panna Cotta with Apricot Jam and Prosciutto Crumbles that was offered by another server who was passing them out.  This dish definitely captured the essence of prosciutto in the panna cotta.  The dollop of apricot jam provided a balance of sweetness to the pork undertones of the creamy panna cotta, much like the pairing of melon + prosciutto, with an extra pop of meatiness from the crumbles sprinkled on top.

Trio of Pastas

In case anyone was hungry or hadn’t yet had their fill of prosciutto-themed dishes, there were also some other stations with other items that demonstrated the wide variety of uses for this food and showing that it doesn’t always have to take center stage on the plate. There were rich, pillowy Cappelletti filled with hearty truffled ricotta, melted butter, and prosciutto.  Next on my plate were Tortellini Zingara creamy, meat-filled pasta served with peas, red peppers, and asparagus.  Rounding out the trio were delicate, light Farfalle with Asparagus and Prosciutto.

Prosciutto di Parma display

Because one of the things I miss so much about living in Italy is the incredibly delicious handmade, housemade pasta, for me, this was the perfect way to end the evening.  I couldn’t leave, however, without a last look at the star of the evening, the beautiful leg of Prosciutto di Parma that was on display by one of the carving stations.  After the prosciutto tasting sessions at this event and after munching on several dishes made using prosciutto as an ingredient, I left with a greater appreciation than ever of the work and craftsmanship that goes into making this product.

Buon appetito!

Thank you to CRT/Tanaka for inviting me to take part in this event.  For more information about the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma, please visit their website.

Warm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Shallots and Balsamic Dressing

Warm Farro & Roasted Root Vegetable SaladWarm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Shallots and Balsamic Dressing

Farro is one of those things I fell in love with when I lived in Italy.  It was many years before I ever found it available in the United States, which I was happy to discover, as it is a tasty and flexible grain, useful in creating all sorts of interesting dishes.  I developed this recipe using farro supplied by Tuscan Fields to have a chance to win a scholarship to this year’s Eat, Write, Retreat conference in Philadelphia in May.  Having been to the two past years’ conferences, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this creation will be good enough to land me a place at the table with my fellow food bloggers.

Farro by Tuscan Fields

Starting with Tuscan Fields Farro ai Funghi (farro with mushrooms), I mulled over what I could come up with that would showcase the beauty of this grain and highlight the flavors of the season.  At the moment, we’re at that awkward in-between stage in the markets.  All of us are craving green things: peas, asparagus, ramps.  We’re also anticipating the start of strawberry-picking season and the arrival of new vegetables – all the things that signal that springtime is here and that summer will soon be on its way.

Farro ai funghi (farro with mushrooms)

In the farmers market last week, however, I still found lots of root vegetables and not much else.  I decide to roast the vegetables as a time-saver to make this an easy, weeknight supper, and also as I think it brings out so much depth and intensity of flavor, especially with these being end-of-season produce.  The herbs and the vinaigrette perk up the dish with their brightness and acidity.  Fried shallots are one of those quick garnishes that adds a delightful crunch to any plate.  This dish would be a great vegetarian or vegan meal but could also be served alongside some roasted chicken or grilled lamb.  I hope that you enjoy this recipe, and that it helps me to go to Eat, Write, Retreat this year.

Recipe ingredients

Warm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Shallots and Balsamic Dressing

Prep time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Serving size: 6 portions as a side dish; 4 portions as a main course

Ingredients:

6 large Radishes, cut into cubes

2-3 small Turnips, cut into cubes

3 new Carrots, cut into chunks

2 Parsnips, cut into chunks

2 cloves Garlic, skin left on

2-3 sprigs Thyme

1 tsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground

One package Tuscan Fields Farro ai Funghi

3 Shallots, cut into rounds

1 tsp. Canola oil

1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground

1 tsp. fresh Thyme, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh Parsley, chopped

Assembly:

Vegetables ready to roast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a baking pan, place the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves, and thyme.  Toss together with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes.

Adding farro to the pan

Place a saucepan on the stovetop to boil water and cook the entire package of farro according to the instructions listed on the back.  It should take about twenty minutes to cook the farro to a nicely chewy but still toothsome texture.

Frying shallots

While the farro is cooking and the vegetables are roasting, fry the shallots and prepare the vinaigrette.  Place a sauté pan on the stove and add the canola oil.  Add the sliced shallots and let them cook until golden brown, stirring them to keep them from burning.  Remove from the heat, drain, and place on paper towels until ready to serve.

Reducing balsamic vinegar

To prepare the vinaigrette, pour the balsamic vinegar in a shallow pan or saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced by about 1/3 to 1/2.  Place the vinegar in a bowl along with the chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.  Whisk in enough extra virgin olive oil until it is a thick sauce-like consistency, about 2-3 times the amount of vinegar.

Roasted root vegetables

Check the vegetables to see if they have finished cooking by inserting a paring knife into the largest ones to see that they have been cooked through.  Remove the thyme sprigs and pour the vegetables into a bowl along with any olive oil that might still be in the pan. Set aside the garlic cloves.

Cooked farro

Taste the farro.  It should be cooked through with very little resistance.  Add it to the bowl with the root vegetables.

Roasted root vegetables with farro and parsley

Take the skins off of the garlic cloves and put them through a press or smoosh them into a sieve until they are very fine.  Toss farro, garlic, and vegetables together with the chopped parsley.

Warm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Fried Shallots and Balsamic Dressing

Put a mound of the vegetable mixture in the center of a plate.  Top with the fried shallots and drizzle some of the vinaigrette on the plate.  Eat while still warm.

Buon appetito!

Kitchen Witch Tip:

Seasonings and herbs should be added to a vinaigrette with the vinegar to get the most out of their flavor.  Then, add the olive oil.

Lent 2013 Kick-off – Meat-free Meals

Fab-u-lous Dahlin!Easter Bonnet – 5th Avenue NYC 2012

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Lent starts today, so scenes like this one from last year’s annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City are still a few weeks away.  As I mentioned last year, it’s also the start of “Oops!  What am I going to fix on Fridays now that I can’t have meat” and the annual menu re-programming phase.  Hopefully, you haven’t already blown it, like I did, by eating meat this morning at breakfast.  In looking through my recipes over the past year, I realized that I’ve added a few new ideas to my files which I’m sharing with you to round out your Lenten menu planning.

 

 

Ricotta-Stuffed Pasta Shells with Savory Tomato Sauce – a family favorite and so easy to whip together

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve got a batch of homemade tomato sauce on hand, why not use it to make Eggs Cooked in Spicy Tomato Sauce – add steamed vegetables or salad to make a complete dinner

 

 

 

 

You could also really spice up a Friday night dinner with these Beer-batter Fried Fish Tacos with Kimchi and Guacamole

 

 

 

 

 

Or warm up the evening with some comforting Wild Mushroom Risotto (just be sure to use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock)

 

 

 

 

Pizza will make it on the menu at some point, so why not try Make-it-yourself pizzas using Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough recipe

 

 

 

You can also see my post “Ack, it’s Lent – Recipes for Meat-free Fridays” for additional ideas on how to get dinner on the table while observing the season.  Hopefully, these recipes will help you and your family to break up the tune casserole / macaroni and cheese / take-out pizza / fish sticks ‘n tater tots rotation for Lenten Fridays.

Buon appetito!