Posts Tagged ‘italian’

Pizza Italiano

October 19, 2008

Ingredients
Pizza Dough: Makes enough dough for two 10-12 inch pizzas

1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pizza Ingredients

Olive oil
Cornmeal (to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone)
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, shredded
Feta cheese
Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
Italian sausage, cooked ahead
Chopped fresh basil
Pesto
Pepperoni, thinly sliced
Onions, thinly sliced
Sliced ham
Special equipment needed

A pizza stone, highly recommended if you want your pizza dough to be crusty
A pizza peel or a flat baking sheet
A pizza wheel for cutting the pizza, not required, but easier to deal with than a knife
Method
Making the Pizza Dough
1 In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer (such as a Kitchen Aid), add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.

2 Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand.

3 Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don’t have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.

At this point, if you want to make ahead, you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Preparing the Pizzas
1 Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.

2 Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.

3 Prepare your desired toppings. Note that you are not going to want to load up each pizza with a lot of toppings as the crust will end up not crisp that way. About a third a cup each of tomato sauce and cheese would be sufficient for one pizza. One to two mushrooms thinly sliced will cover a pizza.

4 Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter – 10 to 12 inches. Use your palm to flatten the edge of the dough where it is thicker. You can pinch the very edges if you want to form a lip.

5 Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.

Repeat with the second ball of dough.

6 Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel. If the dough has lost its shape in the transfer, lightly shape it to the desired dimensions.

7 Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.

8 Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven (watch your hands, the oven is hot!). Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.

Prize Winning Meaty Balls

October 15, 2008

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 pound ground beef
* 1/2 pound ground veal
* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
* 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
* salt and ground black pepper to taste
* 2 cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
* 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
* 1 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
2. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold it’s shape if rolled into meatballs. (I usually use about 1 1/4 cups of water). Shape into meatballs.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
4. Place cooked meatballs into Marinara Sauce and cook for 15 more minutes.

Zesty Minestrone

October 15, 2008

Ingredients: 3 cups water
1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces and browned
1/4 cup dried minced onion
20 baby carrots, cut in thirds
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 cup dried vermicelli pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 package (10 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except frozen vegetables and cheese in greased 3-1/2 to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat 3-4 hours or on low heat 6-8 hours.

One hour before serving, add frozen vegetables. Cover and cook an additional hour. Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with crusty bread and herbed cream cheese spread

Cheesy Vegan Pasta Melt

October 15, 2008

 

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• 16 oz. whole wheat mostacciolli
• 3/4-1 whole green bell pepper
• 3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
• 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
• 3 tablespoons water
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons onion powder
• 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
• dash of salt and pepper
• 6 oz. tofutti ‘sour cream’
• 4 oz. tofutti ‘cream cheese’
• 5 oz. vegan gourmet mozzarella (shredded)
Cook and drain pasta according to instructions on box. make pasta sauce by combining tomato sauce, paste, water, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning and salt/pepper in a medium sauce pan. heat on medium-high until sauce starts to simmer aggressively, then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and let it simmer lightly for about 15 minutes, stirring often. this will be a thicker sauce since it is going into a casserole type dish. add in the softened cream cheese and sour cream, and heat on low for about 5-10 minutes until you have a nice creamy red sauce.

in a 9×11 glass casserole dish, use about three tablespoons of the sauce to coat the bottom (prevents sticking). layer 1/2 of the mostaccioli in the dish, then layer 1/2 sauce, 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 of the mozzarella. then repeat with the other half of the ingredients.

place in the oven at 350 f° for about 25 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble and the cheese begins to melt. pull out and cool around 10-12 minutes before trying to serve, although in my house we only make it about 5 minutes.

ONE OF THE GREATEST COMFORT FOODS!!!!!!!