Category Archives: italian

Low Carb Pizza crust


1 head cauliflower
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup grated parmesean
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp koser salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
vegetable oil

preheat oven and either a large cookie sheet or pizza stone to 425
use a food processor to grate the cauliflower so its about the size of rice kernels
place in a kitchen towel and squeeze to get out as much liquid as possible
place into a medium bowl
add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well until the batter sticks together when pressed

Line a second large cookie sheet/stone with parchment paper
brush with oil
form a 12″ circle in the center of the parchment paper with the dough.
cover with another sheet of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and roll out to an equal thickness (fairly thin if possible)
slide the parchment paper with the rolled dough onto the preheated pizza stone

bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown

top with cheese and sauce of your choice and cook 5-7 minutes more
remove and let sit 5 minutes


Spaghetti Bolognese


a modified version of an Anne Burrell recipe.
makes enough sauce to freeze 1/2 for another time
Takes a while but most of the time is just simmering and adding water occasionally

1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 ribs celery diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 12oz cans tomato paste
2 Lbs ground beef
1 lb ground pork
bunch of fresh thyme,tied in a bundle
3 bay leaves
750ml bottle red wine I use chianti
1/2 cup parmesan
Olive oil
kosher salt
1 lb spaghetti

in a food processor puree the carrots,onion celery and garlic
Heat some oil in a large skillet
saute the pureed vegetables with some salt until the water evaporates and they are nicely browned 20 minutes or so
add the meat and a little more salt and cook 15 minutes or so until nicely browned
stir in the tomato paste and cook 5 minutes
stir in the wine,turn the heat to high and cook until the wine is reduced by 1/2 5 more minutes or so
add the thyme and bay leaf
add water to cover the meat by an inch or so
bring to a boil and simmer 3 1/2 to 4 hours. as it simmers you will need to add water to keep the meat covered by an inch or so,I add 2 cups every hour or so
taste for salt as it cooks you may need to add some but remember as the sauce reduced the saltiness will increase
when the sauce has about 1/2 hour left boil some water with salt
cook the spaghetti for 1 minute less than the package calls for
drain,reserving 1/2 cup of water

Remove the thyme bundle
pour 1/2 the sauce in a bowl to freeze for later
stir the spaghetti into the remaining sauce and add the water
cook over medium heat 1-2 minutes or so
pour into serving bowls,sprinkle with cheese and drizzle some olive oil over each serving

serves 3-4 plus you have 1/2 the sauce to freeze for another time

Eggplant parmesean


an easy weeknight dish

2 globe eggplants, 1 jar good marinara sauce
1 Lb fresh mozzarella
2 eggs
2 cups panko crumbs
fresh basil
grated Parmesan cheese

peel the eggplants and lightly salt. let sit for 5 minutes and then rinse the salt off
slice the mozzarella so there is one slice per eggplant slice
beat the eggs in a bowl
dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then coat with the panko crumbs
in a large baking dish,big enough to hold the eggplant pour 1/2 the sauce and spread to cover the bottom (if needed use 2 pans and double the sauce)
heat the oil until shimmering.
saute the breaded eggplant flipping once until golden brown,about 2 minutes a side
place the eggplant in the baking pan
add 1 large basil leaf (or 2 small ones) to each slice
cover with 1 slice of cheese
spread the remainder of the marinara over the slices
sprinkle the Parmesan over all

bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes,until soft

Pasta with tomatos and greens


a healthy pasta sauce. If you want a vegetarian version just omit the pancetta

1 bunch collard greens (about a pound) washed and chopped
1/4 pound pancetta diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

1 lb pasts shells or rigatoni

in a large sauce pan bring some salted water to a boil. Add the greens and cook about 15 minuted until tender. drain and set aside
Wipe the pan dry and add the pancetta. cook over medium high heat 5 minutes until starting to brown. add the olive oil and saute the onion 5 minutes until soft. add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds.
pour the tomatoes into the pan. bring to a boil and simmer uncovered 20 minutes

while the sauce is cooking cook the pasta acording to teh package directions. drain,reserving 1/4 cup pasta water

add teh reserved greens to the sauce and let cook 2 minutes.
pour the reserved pasta water into the sauce. add ground pepper to taste.

return the pasta to the pot it cooked in. ass the sauce and stir to mix well.
serve with parmesan cheese

serves 4

Chicken Caciatore


Just like Mama used to make (If she was Italian,Mine wasnt so this will have to do 🙂  )


1 cut up chicken
2 red bell peppers cut into 1/2″ slices
2 green bell peppers cut into 1/2″ slices
1 medium yellow onion halved and sliced into 1/2″ slices
6 cloves garlic sliced in half
10 oz brown mushrooms sliced
1 cup white wine
28oz can whole tomatoes with juice,crused by hand
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp capers
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup olive oil

mix the flour with 2 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp pepper in a bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and shake off the excess>
in a large saute pan heat the oil over medium high heat. working in batches saute the chicken until golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes a side)
remove the chicken and set aside.
add the garlic to the oil and saute,stirring until its golden brown. remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the chicken>
saute the mushrooms in the oil until they release their liquid,5 minutes or so. add the peppers and onion and saute until soft stirring often.add the wine and reduce by half. stir in the tomato paste,tomatoes,red pepper flakes,oregano and capers. return the chicken and garlic to the pan,bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
uncover and simmer 15 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through. stir in the basil just before serving.

Serves 4

spicy vodka pasta sauce


an easy sauce,makes enough for 1 lb pasta


3 lbs plum (roma) tomatoes
4 shallots
8 cloves garlic
1 1/4 cup vodka
2 dried chili peppers ( I used dried cayenne’s),crumbled
8 sprigs fresh oregano
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

thinly slice the shallots and garlic
heat the olive oil until shimmering
add the shallots and garlic,cook 4 minutes or so until golden brown
add the chilis and oregano and cook 1 more minute
turn off the heat (for safety)
add the vodka and the tomatoes
return the pan to medium heat
partially cover and cook over medium heat 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are falling apart,stirring only a couple of times
remove the oregano sprigs
using an immersion blender puree the tomatoes

If you like a hotter sauce use a third pepper,for a milder sauce use only 1



Penne with sausage and fennel


This recipe comes from my friend elashava in madison,i modified it slightly

1 lb penne pasta
1 lb mild italian sausage
1 large fennel bulb
1 large onion
1 6 oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds
1 Tbsp olive oil

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to the package
while the water is boiling slice the fennel bulb and onion in half. slice into thin crescents. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. saute the onions and fennel until  very soft. remove from the pan. brown the sausage in the same pan. when it is almost fully cooked add the onion/fennel back. cook until the sausage is cooked and the onion is beginning to brown. in a small bowl mix the water with the tomato paste until smooth. add teh pepper flakes. pour into the sausage mixture. cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. stir in the cheese and the fennel fronds.

stir the drained pasta into the sauce. if its to thick add 1/2 cup or so of reserved pasta water to loosten it.