As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
the food, the different variations...mmmm...and it's lunch time, so I'm hungry anyway....so let's share some of our favorites!! who knows...maybe the people running this site will use them in a cookbook to help fund italian genealogy!!
here is my own creation...that won me a prize in a recipe contest, and is loved by everyone that has eaten it.
Baked Mac N Cheese
1 box elbow Mac (boiled and drained according to package)
4 cups milk
Â¼ cup white wine
1 stick of butter
2 tablespoons dried chives
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 â€“ 8oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 â€“ 8oz bag of shredded colby jack cheese
1 â€“ 8oz bag of shredded Italian blend cheese
1 half a package of bacon (fried and drained and chopped)
1 half a bag of fresh spinach (cleaned with stems removed)
One medium sized Onion (chopped)
2-3 Roma tomatoes (diced)
1 cup of Italian style bread crumbs
1 small (personal sized) bag of baked Lays potato chips (plain and crushed)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a sauce panâ€¦on a medium heat melt the butter and add the herbs and spices, add the wine and cook down to half, lower heat and add milk, heat up to just before boiling â€¦slowly whisk in the first bag of shredded cheeseâ€¦keep whisking until cheese is fully incorporatedâ€¦follow this with each bag of cheese. Do not let this boil. When all cheese is fully incorporated it is ready.
Place your cooked pasta in a large baking dishâ€¦add the chopped bacon, spinach, onion & tomatoes. Pour over the cheese mixture and mix in thoroughly.
Mix together the crush potato chips and bread crumbs and sprinkle that over the top for a nice crust.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes (spinach should be wilted and onions sweated).
I would like to start a topic and see if we can get everyone to donate their favorite Italian dish....curious as to how many recipes we can collect.....
appetizers, drinks, side dish, main dish or just desert, let's see where this takes us!!
"Cambiano i suonatori ma la musica Ã¨ sempre quella."
COUNT ME IN !
Here is a Dessert recipe my grandmother passed down for an Italian fruitcake, from the hills of Magisano, Italy. It's called "Petinjuice"
or "pittinusa" they call it an Italian fruitcake, and it is made with dough and assorted nuts and was always a Holiday Tradition....
4 cups flour
2 heaping tbsp. margarine
1/2 tbsp. salt
1-1/2 cup milk
2tsp. baking powder (1&1/2 tsp. keeps the dough thinner)
Knead and work the dough as if making a pizza and roll it out as thin as possible, but be careful not to roll to thin as you will be adding a layer of chopped nuts & raisins on top.
Raisins,(Walnuts, Almonds CHOPPED), cinnamon, sugar , canola oil,nutmeg, almond & Vanilla extract
Get enough walnuts and almonds to cover the top of the dough you just rolled out like a pizza(usually a bag or two from the grocery stores baking isle) now keep mixing these ingredients in a bowll and add oil, cinammon, almond and vanilla extract to suit your taste. A nice consistency that you will be able to cover your pizza dough with. Think of your filling as if you are adding the sauce to a pizza.
Before putting the filling on the rolled out dough, apply a light coat of canola oil on the dough and sprinkle cinnamon & sugar.
Now comes the tricky part:
You should now have this pizza looking thing covered with a nice layer of your filling mix(Again, not to heavy on the filling as you are now going to roll this contraption up! Crank up the oven to bake @ 350 degrees and have your baking pan ready with canola oil.
Picture a knee high tube sock filled with sugar... this is the first step as you and preferably another person begin to roll the dough up like you are rolling up a rug. Once you have this accomplished pinch the two ends closed and take a deep breath! If a part of the dough has split open at all don't worry it will bake just fine and taste even better.
Now, part two, and I hope this is clear enough. Begin to turn your cylinder around until it resembles a danish or a round loave of bread. I hope this explaination is descriptive enough.Tie a string around the Pittinusa to keep it together.
Carefully place the "Pittinusa" onto the pan and brush a light coating of canola oil over it and place in oven. you must also keep basting everyso often with the oil as not to let the bread dough dry or burn.
Let bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
After it has finished in the oven take out and let sit for some time. This was always on the Christmas list of foods the family would serve and usually if you make a couple of these they'll last into the New Year! Great at night for a snack with a glass of milk!
Here's one that is easy to make and an utter joy to consume - but beware, after a couple of 'shots' you won't even remember your name....
Home Made Limoncello
Youâ€™ll need: 1 litre of water 1 litre of good spirit (95Â° if possible - suitable for food preparation) 500gr. Sugar Peel of 8 -10 large lemons (6-7 if bought in Italy)
To prepare: Carefully wash the lemons and peel them, leaving as little of the white pith attached to the yellow skin (the â€˜valuableâ€™ part) as possible. Place the yellow peel in the alcohol to marinate for approx. 10 days. After which, boil the water and dissolve the sugar in it. Then add the spirit (the peel should be discarded). Filter the liquid and bottle it. It must always be served well chilled, so put it into the freezer an hour before serving it!
elba, thanks for posting the Limoncello recipe as I have heard of it before reading "Stolen Figs" by Mark Rotella, a great read for everyone, and especially for any Calabrese. This could be a nice treat during the hot summer months here in Florida when lounging poolside, and by what you say and what I have read after doing a shot or two, will remain by the pool! thanks!