Monday, July 9, 2012

After a fabulous month abroad in the Via Veneto Yumology is back in the test kitchen with some delicious, authentic, Italian recipes from our journey.

Northern Italy is one of the most picturesque places on this planet. The lakes, the mountains and the architecture provide a serene background for travelers as they enjoy the many delicacies this region has to offer.

In the Via Veneto hillsides are overgrown with lush, ripened vines waiting to be transformed into bottles of rich, bold wines. Fresh fish is caught daily and served alongside decadent homemade pastas, and gelato flows freely as the locals park themselves in front of the cafe televisions to watch Italy play in the World Cup.

It is indeed a transformative experience, one that you will want to bottle and take home with you, and that's just what we have attempted to do. Below are a few of our favorite summer-time recipes from Northern Italy and the Via Veneto:

Proscuitto Caprese Pockets

A simple yet elegant antipasto for any meal.

1 lb thin cut proscuitto
1/2 lb fresh mozarella
1 roma tomato thinly sliced
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

  • Lay the proscuitto slices flat.
  • Place a slice of the mozarella, slice of tomato and a basil leaf on top of one another at one end of the proscuitto slice.
  • Roll the proscuitto so that it tucks the other ingredients into the meat.
  • Drizzle the finished pile of pockets with fresh olive oil and serve with a dry white wine.

Venetian Spreetz

A refreshing low-alcohol drink that aids in digestion and is an excellent way to start your evening meal

2-3 oz of Prosecco or sparkling wine
1.5 oz of Aperol (an Italian orange liqueur)
Splash of soda water
Orange wedge
*In Venice and Verona this is often served with a green olive as a garnish.

  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a glass and stir to perfection
  • Many locals of Lake Garda enjoy an evening Spreetz with a small bowl of patate frite or potato chips.

Vitello Tonato

Otherwise known as Veal with Tuna Sauce, this rich and flavorful dish is a most popular in the Lake regions. It can be served as either an antipasto or a secondi piati (main course).

2.5 lb of veal roast
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 celery stalk
6 sage leaves
3 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 can of tuna packed in olive oil
3 large hard-boiled eggs
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
5 anchovies
3 tbsp of soaked capers
1 lemon juiced
3 dill pickles thinly sliced

  • Place veal into a large bowl. Add wine, carrot, celery, sage, cloves and bay leaves. Cover and marinate, chilled, for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Transfer veal to a large, heavy pot. Strain marinating liquid into pot; discard solids. Add enough water to just cover veal, then remove meat from pot and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, return meat to pot, lightly salt and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary to keep veal just covered. Remove pot from heat and let veal cool in the stock.
  • Meanwhile, drain tuna and remove yolks from eggs; discard whites. In a food processor or blender, puree tuna, oil, egg yolks, anchovies, capers, lemon juice, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the stock from the veal until smooth; add more stock, little by little, until sauce is the consistency of heavy cream.
  • Remove strings from veal, thinly slice meat and arrange on a platter. Cover veal with tuna sauce, then cover platter with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days before serving. Bring to room temperature, garnish with pickles and capers, and serve.

There were many other dishes and experiences enjoyed during our trip, but one that tops all others was learning how to make our own homemade pasta in the traditional Italian style.

Pasta Fresca

3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

  • Add the eggs, salt and olive oil to a large bowl and beat together.
  • Slowly begin to whisk the flour into the wet ingredients. Be sure to combne the ingredients slowly and evenly until the dough becomes somewhat sticky and yellow in color.
  • Flour your countertop or surface and roll the dough out of the bowl and kned into a ball until the dough is smooth.
  • Let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes then begin to roll out and shape as desired. We recommend starting with flat pasta first since it is the easiest to create.
  • When you have your pasta rolled out thin and sliced evenly let the dough 'dry' or 'set' by hanging it on a wooden rod for 15 minutes before cooking.
  • When ready to cook add pasta to boiling water and let simmer for approx. 3-5 minutes until al dente.

We hope these recipes will inspire you to plan your own Italian vacation. Buon Viaggio!



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