Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ITALIAN-AMERICAN FOOD


EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA

The eggplant in my version of eggplant parmigiana resembles southern-style fried green tomatoes, with all the crunch, and they are not fried. For this recipe, you stack them together and bake a final time for about 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. I ordered this as a lunch, one stack only, at Ristorante Tre Sorelle (Three Sisters) in Positano, Italy. I have been making eggplant parmigiana like this ever since.



This recipe is in my cookbook. You can purchase it from Amazon or my website, WWW.LEECASAZZACOOKING.COM. When you purchase the cookbook from my website and you live in any state in the USA, except Washington, you will not have to pay sales tax for the book. I can also personally inscribe the cookbook to you or someone special.




Sunday, May 17, 2015

RUSTIC PEPPERONI & ITALIAN SAUSAGE PIZZA

Pizza is easy to make and you control the amount of oil and fat added to your pizza. This is my husband's favorite pizza.



1 recipe for pizza dough
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 T extra-light olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
6 leaves basil, chopped

1 t sea salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
1 t freeze-dried or fresh oregano
½ t red pepper flakes (peperoncino)
A pinch of sugar
2 t chopped fresh basil

Place the tomatoes in a bowl and hand-crush them, removing the hard center cores.

Alternatively, use an immersion blender to finely chop the tomatoes.


In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, pepper flakes, and sugar.
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 30 minutes.

Stir in chopped basil and set aside to cool. 


Toppings (for 2 pizzas)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
16 oz grated or chopped whole-milk mozzarella cheese
8 oz Italian sausage, casings removed, and cooked in a skillet, until no longer pink.

8 oz pepperoni slices

Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing



Preheat oven to 425 degrees. F



Divide the pizza dough into two balls.
Place a ball of dough on a lightly oiled sheet pan and stretch the dough to an 8 by 14-inch rectangle. Do the same with the other ball of dough.

Sprinkle on some grated cheese, a ladle of the tomato sauce, and mozzarella.
Add the cooked Italian sausage and pepperoni slices.

Place pan on the bottom rack of oven and bake 5 to 7 minutes; then place the pan on the middle shelf and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes.

Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with a little more grated cheese.
Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Makes 2 pizzas

Friday, May 15, 2015

BRUSCHETTE WITH CRACKED OLIVES - SCHIACCIATE

This antipasto is normally made with raw green olives that have soaked in water for days and then seasoned with salt, chili peppers, and olive oil. I buy red and green Cerignola olives in the olive bar of my grocery store. If you can’t find red olives use all green olives. Cerignola olives are named for the town Cerignola in Apulia in southern Italy. Schiacciate (sket-cha-te) translates to smash.


½ lb Cerignola olives
1 small red chili pepper, seeds removed and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fresh oregano leaves
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
4 large leaves basil, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Baguette, toasted over coals or on a grill pan

Using a mallet, smash each olive to remove the pits and discard. 
Coarsely chop the olives and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and let sit on the counter, covered, for 1 hour.

Spread on bruschette and serve.