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Authentic summer dishes, served as main or side

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TUSCAN PASTA SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
Bowtie pasta 1 pound
Sundried tomatoes 4-6 ounces
White wine 4 ounces
Fresh garlic, chopped 2 cloves
White or Spanish onion, chopped 1/3 large
Quartered artichoke hearts in olive oil 1 jar
Yellow squash, one-eighth-inch diced 1
Zucchini squash, one-eighth-inch diced 1
Eggplant, one-eighth-inch diced 1 small
Fresh basil 6-8 leaves, plus garnish
Dried oregano half-teaspoon
Pasta sauce of choice 1 pint
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Salt quarter-teaspoon
Black pepper one-eighth teaspoon
Olive oil 4 tablespoons
Parmesan cheese Add before serving

METHOD

1. In a large pasta pot, bring 3 quarts of water with olive oil and kosher salt to the boil. Add pasta and cool until al dente (10-12 minutes).

2. Drain, shock and oil pasta and set aside.

3. In a sauce pot, plumb the sundried tomatoes and white wine, reducing liquid by one-quarter, and set aside.

4. In large rondeau, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sweat the onions and garlic until tender. Add vegetables, and cook until they begin to sweat.

5. Deglaze by adding the sundried tomatoes with their liquid. Add herbs and seasonings.

6. When sauce begins to bubble, add pasta sauce. Add sugar as needed to reduce the acid, not to sweeten.

7. Bring sauce to boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

8. Chill sauce to 40 degrees. Combine with pasta and let rest for at least an hour to marry flavors.

9. Garnish with parmesan cheese and basil leaves.

10. Serve hot immediately, cold as a salad, or warm (room temp) for maximum flavor as a main dish, or as a side dish with grilled meat, poultry, or any seafood.


 

INSALATA DI RISO

INGREDIENTS:
Long grain or Arborio Rice 2 cups
Water 4 cups
Baby carrots, chopped 12
Frozen green peas 3/4 cup
Prosciutto cotto, diced (optional) 1 cup
Good quality canned tuna in olive oil (opt) 1 can
Swiss or Provolone cheese, diced (opt) 1 cup
Button Mushrooms in Oil, Drained 1 small jar
Salad olives, drained ½ cup
Sliced black olives, drained ½ cup
Marinated Artichoke Hearts Sliced ½ cup
Garlic pickle, chopped ½ cup
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons
Oregano 1 teaspoon
Thyme 1 teaspoon
Hard-boiled egg, quartered 4
Salt and Pepper to Taste

METHOD:

1. Combine water, rice, carrots, peas, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir once and then reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender. Set rice mixture aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix ham, cheese, vegetables, and herbs. Add olive oil. Stir in cooled rice mixture. If desired, fold in tuna. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

3. Garnish with hard-boiled egg quarters. Chill for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.


PANZANELLA SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
Crusty Italian bread 1 loaf or large chunk
Cucumber, sliced and seeded 1 small
Roasted red pepper in olive oil 1 sliced
Tomato, skinned and seeded 2 large (coarse diced, and reserve juice)
Fresh garlic, crushed 2 cloves
Good red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons
Extra virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons plus extra to serve
Small red onion, halved and sliced thin 1
Capers in brine, rinsed 2 tablespoons
Kalamata olives, pitted 4 ounces
Fresh basil, chiffonade 4-6 leaves

METHOD:

1. If you are using your grill, simply slice the bread a bit thick and lightly grill it on both sides. Set the toasted bread aside. When cooled, break the bread into good-size pieces.

2. Cut the cucumber in half the long way and scoop out the seeds.
Cut the cucumber into slices.

3. Slice the roasted red peppers and set aside (you can opt for roasting your own fresh peppers, peeling them and seeding them before slicing for use. The choice is yours.)

4. Peel the tomatoes by briefly dipping them in boiling water. The skin will come off easily. Using a separate bowl and a strainer,
seed the peeled tomatoes reserving the juice and in a separate bowl reserve the flesh. Chop the flesh into rough pieces.

5. Mix the crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and stir into the tomato juice with the vinegar, olive oil and vinegar. You can add a touch of either parsley or Italian seasoning if desired.

6. Just before you are ready to serve this salad, in a serving bowl, toss the bread with the tomato juice dressing. Add the vegetables, capers, olives, and basil. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

7. Set aside for 5 minutes until the bread softens. Serve and enjoy.

rrocco
Author: rrocco

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