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Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

alice's heart healthy recipes for fall
(return to food)

(*) vegetarian, (**) vegan


(**) Crostini al Pomodoro - Crostini with Tomatoes
6 Slices Italian Bread, cut 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick
4 Cloves Garlic, 3 sliced thinly or chopped fine, one whole
4 Lg. Tomatoes, Roma - chopped
1 Cup Basil leaves - fresh and chopped

Toast the bread in a 475 degree oven, or under the broiler until both sides are lightly browned. Let cool. Rub each slice of bread with the whole freshly peeled garlic clove. The bread will act as a grater, and reduce the garlic to smaller pieces. Chop the garlic pieces and set aside. At this point, you almost have traditional Italian garlic bread. You can just stop here, add olive oil and salt and eat! or you can go on:

Chop the tomatoes into fairly small pieces. If desired, the tomatoes can be cut in half and run over the fine setting of a cheese grater. This removes the seeds and much of the pulp. The tomatoes can then be chopped for the crostini. Place the chopped tomatoes and the chopped garlic in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil over the toast, and return to the oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove and place heaping spoonfuls of the tomato and garlic mixture on the toast. Sprinkle generously with chopped basil, drizzle a bit more olive oil over everything and serve.

see also...
heart healthy recipes
spring veggies
fall veggies
winter veggies
vegetable preparation tips


(**) Penne con Verdura Arrostita - Penne with Roasted Vegetables Tomatoes and Basil
Great served warm or at room temperature.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch
pieces 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash 4 tablespoons
olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450�F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray. Combine red bell peppers, eggplant, crookneck squash and butternut squash in prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Combine pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes and basil in large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and garlic. Toss to combine. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Mound pasta on serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Serves 6 to 8.

(**) Penne with Butternut Squash and Lima Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces seeded peeled butternut squash (from about one 2-pound squash)
1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed 2 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth
10 ounces penne pasta (3 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saut� until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and stir 1 minute. Add squash and lima beans and saut� 3 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot. Add squash mixture to pasta. Toss to blend, adding more broth by 1/4 cups full to moisten if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

(**) Rigatoni con Melanzane, Carciofi e Peperoni - Rigatoni with Eggplant, Artichokes and Bell Pepper
Nowhere are vegetables as important as they are in Sicily, and fewvegetables are as popular-or have as long a history-as the eggplant.There are said to be hundreds of ways to prepare it. Peppers andartichokes are almost as well loved and common. A country cook oftengets produce from a small kitchen garden called an urtu.

1 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 2 teaspoons salt
2 cups olive oil
4 large shallots, peeled, quartered
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large artichokes, stems trimmed
8 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta

Preheat oven to 400�F. Toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt in large bowl. Turn eggplant out onto paper towels and let drain 30 minutes. Pat eggplant dry.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat to 350�F. Working in batches, add eggplant to oil; cook until golden, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to clean paper towels. Reserve 5 tablespoons eggplant frying oil. Toss shallots and whole bell pepper with 3 tablespoons reserved oil on large baking sheet. Roast until shallots are tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Place shallots and eggplant in large bowl. Continue roasting bell pepper until skin blackens, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, core and seed pepper. Cut into thin strips lengthwise, then cut strips crosswise in half. Add bell pepper strips, olives and garlic to eggplant and shallots.

Cook artichokes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to bowl; cool. Remove leaves from artichokes and reserve for another use. Scoop out chokes. Cut artichoke hearts into 1/3-inch pieces; combine with other vegetables. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Add all vegetables and remaining 2 tablespoons reserved eggplant frying oil and toss over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among plates and serve.

Serves 4.



(**) Two Bean Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 14- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained 1 14- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained 2/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Toss to blend well. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

Serves 4.

(**) Panzanella or Pan Molle - Bread and Vegetable Salad
8 slices of 1-2 day-old Italian bread
1 1/3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cut in cubes
1 large white onion, thinly, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
white vinegar
handful of basil (cut into strips)
1 bell pepper

Soak the bread slices in water, making sure they are not soggy, and keep their shape. Squeeze out excess water and place in a large serving dish. Prepare a salad with the tomatoes, onion, oil, pepper, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss and spread over the bread, drizzle with more olive oil, add a few basil leaves and keep cool until ready to serve. There are several variations to this, in each one the author declares that his is the original. Whatever the case may be, they all contain the same basic ingredients: bread, tomatoes, other vegetables and olive oil.

(**) Celeriac and Walnut salad tossed with balsamic vinegar
1 head of Treviso radicchio or Verona radicchio
2 cups julienned celeriac
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnut meats
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
salt and pepper

Separate the leaves of radicchio and arrange them on individual serving plates. Peel and slice the celeriac into thin slices -- about 1/8 inch. Dip the slices in water that has been acidulated with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Remove the slices, pat dry, and then julienne into thin strips with a chef's knife.

In a salad bowl mix salt to taste with the balsamic vinegar. Add the walnut oil and whip into an emulsion. Add the julienned celeriac and the chopped walnut meats. Toss. Place a serving of the celeriac-walnut mixture on each plate. Add a few grindings of black pepper and serve.

Serves 6.

(**) Chilled Garbanzo and Potato Salad with Onion and Garlic


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic , very finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies (or to taste)


2 lbs small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 red-ripe Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1 can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans
1/4 pound fresh spinach, washed and finely chopped (optional)

Mix everything together for the dressing in a small bowl or a measuring cup. Let that sit for at least a few minutes and make then do the potatoes and tomatoes.

Next, bring about 4-6 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan (more is better, but leave room for the potatoes), and add the scrubbed bite-sized potato pieces. Bring back to a boil, and boil for 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook! You don't want them to be hard, but you don't want them to be mush, either. Drain the potatoes, and rinse well under cold water (or cover with cold water, then drain and rinse).

Drain the garbanzo beans and rinse them thoroughly under cold water.

Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, but smaller than the potato pieces. Chop up the spinach (if you're using it). Mix everything together, including the dressing, in a bowl that is big enough to stir it without dumping bits over the side.

Cover the bowl, and chill for at least 4 hours, tossing it once or twice to make sure the dressing continues to coat things.


(**) Pere al Forno con Uvette Secce e Canella - Baked Pears with Currents and Cinnamon
10 ripe but firm Comice or Anjou pears, unpeeled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cup dried currants
2/3 cup (or more) water

Preheat oven to 350�F. Using apple corer, cut through stem of each pear and all the way through pear to base to remove core. Trim bottoms so that pears stand straight. Arrange pears in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add currants. Fill pear cavities with half of sugar mixture. Stir cup water into remaining sugar mixture; pour around pears. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)

Bake pears uncovered until tender and sauce is syrupy, adding more water to dish by 1/4 cupfuls if syrup becomes too thick and basting occasionally, about 50 minutes. Serve pears warm with syrup.

Serves 10.

(**) Sorbetto di Cacchi - Persimmon Sorbet
Takes 31/2 hours to make
1/2 cup sugar
2 lb very ripe Fuyu or Hachiya persimmons 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
fresh lemon juice

Bring 1 cup water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil 3 minutes, then cool. Core, quarter, and, if necessary, seed persimmons. Scrape pulp from skins into a blender. Pur�e with lemon juice until very smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend. Chill until very cold, at least 2 hours.

Freeze mixture in an ice-cream maker. (Alternatively, transfer to a shallow metal baking pan and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes, until slushy, about 2 hours.) Transfer to an airtight container and freeze. (Sorbet's consistency will remain soft.) Makes about 1 quart.


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