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Sunday October 16 11a/10c

It's Italy! Italian Recipes!

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Inspired by the Mahogany movie, Unthinkably Good Things, we assembled a number of delicious Italian recipes to create in your kitchen. Unthinkably Good Things premieres, Sunday, August 28 at 9/8c.

Flatbread with Rosemary and Sea Salt
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Flatbread with Rosemary and Sea Salt
Course:
Appetizers
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
4
Time:
Prep: 5 mins, Cook: 4 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • Flatbread
  • Fontina cheese, grated
  • Sea sal
  • Coarse black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Rosemary, coarse chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

This simple recipe with fresh rosemary, garlic and fontina cheese on flatbread gives you a new and flavorful way to serve “pizza.” It’s easy to make and a nice change of pace from the “typical” pizza.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Arrange flatbread on a flat work surface. Top, as needed, with grated fontina cheese, sprinkle with rosemary, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  3. Top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.
Sicilian Pasta Salad
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Sicilian Pasta Salad
Course:
Salad, Pasta, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
6
Time:
Prep: 15 mins, Cook: 7 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound rotini or penne pasta
  • 1 can black olives, whole
  • 1 small can artichokes, whole
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and blanched, cut into 1” pieces
  • Salad Supreme seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bottle Italian Dressing

Here’s a pasta salad that’s loaded with flavor and is as colorful as the Italian flag. This pasta salad is perfect for potluck occasions, picnics, or anytime you want to enjoy a superb side dish.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking together.
  2. While the pasta is cooking prepare the other ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl add the cooked pasta and all other ingredients, mixing well. Sprinkle with Salad Supreme (found at your grocery store in the herb aisle) and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Pour the bottle of Italian dressing over the salad, toss and add more seasoning to taste if you like.
Easy Antipasto Salad
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Easy Antipasto Salad
Course:
Appetizer, Dinner, Salad
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
6
Time:
Prep: 5 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 10 ounces marinated artichokes, drained and quartered
  • 1 ½ cups assorted oil-cured olives (Black, Green, Kalamata)
  • 1 pound assorted cured meats (Salami, Mortadella, Sopressata etc.), sliced
  • 10 ounces marinated assorted peppers (Red, Pepperoncini)
  • 8 marinated baby buffalo mozzarella boconccini, drained
  • 1 package mixed greens
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Using preserved vegetables and meats packed with flavors of Italy, you can create a beautiful salad without any cooking at all! The hands-down easiest way to prepare an elegant meal is to know how to assemble already delicious elements into a bountiful dinner. Many of these ingredients can be kept on hand in your pantry for a meal in minutes.

We recommend this recipe as a quick and easy dinner but you could certainly prepare this as an appetizer serving at least 10 people. A nice touch would be to include a small block of Parmesan on the side with a peeler so guests can shave off a few slices for their salads.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lay mixed greens on large platter.
  2. Arrange artichokes, olives, cured meats, peppers, mozzarella, and capers on top of greens.
  3. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette on the side.
Panzanella Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
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Panzanella Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash & Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Course:
Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
8
Time:
Prep: 30 mins, Cook: 45 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 (8.5 oz. package) cornbread mix prepared in 9”x 9” pan
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small acorn or sweet dumpling squash, seeded, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons best quality maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider (optional)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 (5 oz.) package fresh arugula/spinach lettuce blend
  • ¼ lb. bacon, 1-inch dice, cooked crisp
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Celebrate autumn with this colorful twist on Panzanella Salad made with cornbread croutons, roasted butternut squash, salty-crisp bacon, sweet sun-dried cranberries and fresh salad greens tossed in tangy maple Dijon vinaigrette. Prepare the cornbread croutons and vinaigrette ahead for easy serving.

Panzanella salad is also known as Bread Salad—it's a great way to use up crusty bread that has gotten hard. No waste!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. To prepare cornbread croutons: cut cooled cornbread into 1-inch cubes; arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toast for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reserve.
  3. To prepare roasted squash: combine butternut squash, acorn squash and 1 tablespoon olive oil in bowl and toss to blend. Season with salt and black pepper; transfer to sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes or until tender, turning as needed to evenly roast. Reserve.
  4. To prepare vinaigrette: combine ½ cup olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider, cider vinaigrette, salt and black pepper in jar; close lid and shake to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning; reserve.
  5. To assemble salad: combine lettuce blend, bacon, cranberries and roasted squash in large bowl, toss with vinaigrette as needed. Add croutons and gently toss; serve immediately.
Soft Polenta
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Soft Polenta
Course:
Side Dish
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
4
Time:
Prep: 2 mins, Cook: 20 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal grits or polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup shredded fontina cheese

Rustic Northern Italian polenta is similar to corn grits of the American south. It’s made with coarse-ground cornmeal and slow-cooked until soft and creamy. Superb with a Ratatouille recipe.

For grilled polenta, pour soft polenta into an oiled baking sheet and chill until firm. Cut into squares, brush lightly with olive oil and grill on both sides until golden and serve warm garnished with grated cheese.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine water, salt and black pepper in a large heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Slowly add cornmeal to boiling water in a steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until thick and creamy and polenta is soft, whisking frequently.
  4. Add butter and cheese, stir until fully blended and cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Roasted Tomato Basil and Feta Pasta
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Roasted Tomato Basil and Feta Pasta
Course:
Pasta, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
2
Time:
Prep: 10 mins, Cook: 15 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled

This recipe takes ready sweet cherry tomatoes, intensified by roasting, and tosses them with summery basil, tangy feta crumbles, and angel hair pasta. Served warm, cold, or room temperature, this pasta is a great side or summer lunch. Keep it simple or add other favorites like bacon, green onions, or black olives.

The best tasting tomatoes are often the smaller varieties and may not necessarily be the most brightly colored. Since they will be roasted anyway, the color isn’t as important as their sweet, unadulterated summer flavor.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place tomatoes in a baking dish and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes pop and look roasted.
  3. Meanwhile , boil a large pot of salted water and cook pasta for 4 to 5 minutes or until al dente.
  4. Drain and toss with roasted tomatoes, their juices, basil, and feta, drizzling with more olive oil if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Italian Spaghetti with Clam Sauce
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Italian Spaghetti with Clam Sauce
Course:
Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
4
Time:
Prep: 8 mins, Cook:12 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-6 ½-ounce cans clams, minced, drained, reserve liquid (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (or 1/2 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup reserved clam juice
  • 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Spaghetti and Clam Sauce is a great dish that you can make on a moment’s notice. We call this a “Pantry Dinner.” It’s a meal you can prepare with ingredients you always have on hand in your pantry (or refrigerator). The most important pasta tip you’ll ever need is to use enough water. For a pound of pasta, use 4 quarts of boiling water, with about 2 tablespoons salt.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook the spaghetti noodles in salted boiling water until done. Drain, set aside.
  2. In large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add clams and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add oregano, crushed red pepper and clam juice to skillet and cook 3 minutes or until liquids start to reduce.
  4. Add cream to enrich and reduce slightly so that the sauce has a nice coating consistency but isn't too thick.
  5. Add pasta and Parmesan cheese to skillet and toss.
Lemon Chicken Scaloppini
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Lemon Chicken Scaloppini
Course:
Dinner, Chicken
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
6
Time:
Prep: 10 mins, Cook: 10 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, sliced very thin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped

This dish offers the wonderful fresh flavors of tart lemon and salty capers combined in a rich sauce of white wine and chicken broth. This is speed cooking at its best — 10 ingredients with just a few steps. For even a faster dish you can start with prepared chicken scaloppini from grocer’s meat case. Partially frozen filets are easier to slice. Be sure not to crowd the chicken in the skillet as it will steam instead of sauté.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place chicken breasts on cutting board and slice in half horizontally, forming 8 thin filets.
  2. Place each chicken filet between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4-inch thin.
  3. Combine flour and salt in shallow container. Dredge pounded chicken in seasoned flour; shake off excess flour.
  4. Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Working in several small batches, sauté chicken for 5 minutes over medium heat, turning once.
  5. Add white wine and chicken broth. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Add lemon pieces and capers.
  7. Season to taste; garnish with parsley.
Tuscan Brick Chicken
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Tuscan Brick Chicken
Course:
Main Dish, Chicken
Cuisine:
Italian
Yield:
4
Time:
Prep: 4 hrs, Cook: 30 mins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 – 3 pounds chicken, laid open
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest (4 lemons)
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For tender, succulent chicken that’s juicy inside and crispy outside, grab a couple bricks and fire up the grill. This cooking method turns out marvelously moist chicken and takes much less time than traditional roasting. You can grill lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down, for the last 10 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on chicken before serving.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stand the chicken upright and cut out the backbone with a large kitchen knife. Spread the chicken open on a board with the skin side down.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side.
  3. Combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and 1 teaspoon pepper in a glass dish. Add the chicken, and turn to coat.
  4. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  5. Preheat grill when ready. Cover 2 bricks with tin foil.
  6. Place the chicken on the grill skin side up, and weight it down with a sheet pan and the 2 bricks. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.
  7. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the pan and bricks, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters, sprinkle with salt.
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