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Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

italian recipes for lent
(return to food)

You don't have to be fasting to try these. Here are recipes for antipasto, soup, pasta, gnocchi, fish, vegetables and fruit which will make you smile. If you are fasting, you will be happy to do so with these recipes.


Rice Olives

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 cup Vialone Nano
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cup olive paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano- Reggiano
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
4 cups finely ground toasted fresh breadcrumbs
Mixture of vegetable and olive oil for frying

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the onion and saute until soft, 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Combine the chicken broth and milk in a saucepan and heat just to a simmer. Immediately add to the rice, along with half of the olive paste,salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly until the rice is cooked, 20 minutes. Add the remaining olive paste and the Parmesan cheese. Let cool completely.

Form the mixture into small olive-size balls, using less than a tablespoon of the mixture for each one. Place the flour in a bowl. Whisk together the eggs and water in another bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Roll the rice olives first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet until you are ready to cook them.

Pour 1-inch of oil into a deep pan; heat to 375 degrees.

Fry the rice olives until golden on all sides, 60 to 90 seconds. Remove and serve immediately. Yields 60; serves 15 as a appetizer.

Tomato and Olivada Crostini

The tomato topping for these crostini is based on that of a "fettunta pomodoro" (a variation of bruschetta made with whole-wheat peasant bread) sampled at Florence's Cantinetta Antinori, owned by the well-know winemaking family.

To create visual variety for our presentation, we have made half of the crostini with the black olive paste on top and the rest with the red tomato mixture on top. Those who prefer a simpler recipe can sprinkle all of the bread slices with Parmesan before toasting (doubling the amount of cheese) and top all of the crostini with the tomato mixture and then the olive paste.

a 16-inch thin loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
two 28-ounce cans Italian whole tomatoes, seeded and drained
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, chopped and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
about 1/3 cup olivada or other bottled black olive paste(Olivada or other bottled black olive paste available at specialty foods shops and some supermarkets)

Garnish: about 50 small fresh parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 350�F.

Arrange bread slices in one layer on 2 baking sheets and sprinkle half with Parmesan. Toast slices in upper and lower thirds of oven until crisp and golden, 8 to 12 minutes, and cool. Crostini may be made 2 weeks ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

In a colander or sieve drain tomatoes well, pressing gently on solids to squeeze out as much liquid as possible, and blot with paper towels. Chop tomatoes fine. In a bowl stir together tomatoes, oil, garlic paste, parsley, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Put a heaping teaspoon tomato mixture on each Parmesan crostino and top with 1/4 teaspoon olive paste. Spread each plain crostino with 1/2 teaspoon olive paste. Spread each plain crostino with 1/2 teaspoon olive paste and top with a heaping 1/2 teaspoon tomato mixture.
Garnish crostini with parsley leaves.
Makes about 50 crostini.

Pine Nut-Crusted Feta Bites with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
one 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly, cooled and chopped very fine
flour for dredging
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

In a skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon of the oil until softened. Transfer to a food processor or blender, adding peppers, balsamic vinegar, another tablespoon of oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Blend sauce until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in basil. In a shallow bowl, stir together bread crumbs, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Place flour in a second bowl and the eggs, beaten lightly, in a third bowl. Working with one feta cube at a time, dredge the cubes in flour, shaking off excess, dip them in the eggs, letting the excess drip off, and coat with the crumb mixture, patting crumbs gently onto sides and edges.
Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment or foil. Repeat breading procedure using all feta cubes and chill cheese on tray for 15 minutes. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Saut� the cheese cubes until golden brown, about 1 minute a side. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with red pepper sauce. Makes about 3 dozen.

Acciughe in pastella - Anchovies Fried in Batter

2-3 Tbs. flour
1/2 lb. anchovies
3 oz. white wine
3 egg whites
oil for frying

Prepare a batter whisking the flour in the wine. Cool and rest the batter. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gut, remove the head and bones and wash the anchovies. Leave them split open. Pat them dry with a paper towel. Fold the stiffened egg whites into the batter just before frying. Dip the anchovies in the batter and fry in hot oil.



Minestra di Verdura, Fagiouli e Pasta - Vegetable, Bean and Pasta Soup

This thick and comforting dish is delicious sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

4 cups canned vegetable broth
1 cup dry vermouth
1 large white onion, chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 14 1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
8 ounces penne or other tubular pasta
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large yellow crookneck squash, diced
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
4 green onions, chopped

Bring broth and vermouth to boil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, fennel and garlic. Cover and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, pasta, zucchini and squash; cook until pasta is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans and green onions. Cook until pasta and vegetables are tender and soup is thick, about 10 minutes.
Serves 8


Gnocchi al Gorgonzola

3 1/2. butter
3 1/2 oz.sweet (or piquant, if desired) Gorgonzola cheese
salt - 1 lb.
1 1/2 oz. potato gnocchi
2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.

Melt the butter in a pan along with 1/2 of the Gorgonzola. When they are well blended, remove from heat but keep warm. Fill a pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Pour in the gnocchi and, when they rise to the surface, remove them with a skimmer or slotted spoon and arrange in individual pasta bowls. Pour over the melted butter and Gorgonzola. Garnish each dish with a slice of Gorgonzola and sprinkle over grated Parmesan cheese
serves 4

Malfatti - Spinach Gnocchi

1 1/2 lbs. spinach
1 small onion
5 oz. butter
7 oz. fresh ricotta
1/3 lb. grated parmigiano
3 eggs (2 whole, 1 yolk)
nutmeg , salt , pepper , sage

Clean, wash and cook the spinach (using just the water which remains on the leaves after being washed). Drain, squeeze well and chop finely. Wilt the minced onion in 2 ozs. of butter, then drain the onion and add to the spinach. Cook at very low heat, stirring frequently to allow more water to come out from the spinach. Then let cool.
Sieve the ricotta into a bowl. Add the spinach, about 2 ozs. of parmigiano, two whole eggs and 1 yolk, a pinch of nutmeg, and pepper and salt to taste. Mix, adding little by little as much flour as necessary obtain a firm but soft mix. Make dumplings using a teaspoon, each the size of a walnut. Lightly sprinkle the gnocchi with flour (the amount of flour used to dust the gnocchi will vary according to how well the spinach were dried), and set aside on a sheet pan. In a large pot bring to a boil a generous amount of salted water.
Meanwhile, brown the remaining butter in a saucepan, adding whole sage leaves to taste. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water, stirring gently. As they float to the top drain with a skimmer and arrange in a serving platter. Season with the sage flavored melted butter and parmigiano. Serve very hot. A light tomato sauce may be used instead of the sage flavored butter.

NOTE: To allow for the condiment to achieve its full flavor, keep the platter with the gnocchi warm over a bain-marie for 5 minutes before serving

Conchiglie Salmone Affumicato e Caperi - Shells with Smoked Salmon and Capers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 pound smoked salmon, chopped
1 cup heavy cream (a.k.a. whipping cream)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente, drained (reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water), and tossed with olive oil
Freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saut� until translucent, but not browned. Add the smoked salmon and continue cooking just until the salmon turns opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the cream and add the capers. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Be careful how much salt you add because the smoked salmon and capers are both salty. Add the pasta and toss to coat. If there doesn't appear to be enough sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to thin it down. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Linguine alla Ricotta - Linguine with Ricotta

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
9 ounces linguine
Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saut� 2 minutes. Combine ricotta, cream, parsley and butter mixture in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Toss with ricotta mixture. Serve immediately. with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 2

Linguine al Granchio - Linguine with Crab meat

10 oz. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 anchovy fillets
20 oz. peeled Italian plum tomatoes
1 lb. crab meat (3 or 4 fresh crabs)
brandy or cognac
16 oz. regginelle or linguine
tabasco, parsley; salt.

Saute' minced garlic in butter. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the parsley. Cook the regginelle (or linguine) al dente. Add sauce to cooked and strained pasta and mix well. Top with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. Serve very hot.
Serves 6



Baked Clams Oreganato

For crumb topping:
3/4 cup coarse dry bread crumbs (preferably from a crusty loaf of Italian bread)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons minced drained bottled roasted peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
24 small hard-shelled clams such as littlenecks, shucked, reserving 24 half shells
coarse sea or kosher salt for filling baking pan and serving platter

Preheat oven to 450�F.

Make topping:
In a small bowl stir together topping ingredients until combined well and season with salt and pepper.

Scrub reserved clam shells inside and out and dry. In a shallow baking pan spread coarse salt about 1/4 inch deep and nestle shells in salt to keep them level. Return shucked clams to shells and cover generously with topping. Clams may be prepared up to this point 1 hour ahead and chilled.

Bake clams in middle of oven 10 minutes. Serve clams nestled in coarse salt on a platter.
Makes 24 baked clams serving 12.

Baked Salmon with Dill

4 salmon steaks
1 oz butter
zest and juice of half a lemon
4 sprigs of dill
salt and pepper

Place the butter, dill and lemon zest between the steaks. Season and pour the lemon juice over the salmon. Wrap in tin foil and bake for 25 mins at 400�F / 200�C. Serve with lemon new potatoes and peas.

Serves 4

Braised Orange Roughy with Leeks

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
4 6- to 8-ounce orange roughy fillets
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 dry vermouth
Fresh chives or green onion tops cut into 1-inch lengths

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sprinkle with sugar and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Saut� 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cover and cook until very soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange atop leeks. Add cream and vermouth. Cover and cook until fish is opaque, about 8 minutes. Transfer fish to plates and keep warm.

Boil sauce until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top fish with sauce and leeks. Garnish with chives.

4 Servings


Tortino di Asparagi - Asparagus Tart

Here asparagus stars in a first-course tart accented with tarragon and Parmesan Cheese.

1 All Ready Pie Crust (half of 15-ounce package), room temperature
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
14 ounces asparagus, each spear trimmed 3 inches long
2/3 cup half and half
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450�F. Open crust on work surface. Press out any cracks. Rub with flour. Arrange dough, flour side down, in 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough into pan.

Fold excess dough border over to form double-thick sides. Pierce dough all over with fork. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 375�F.

Cook asparagus in pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well. Place on paper towels. Mix half and half, eggs, cheese, tarragon and salt in bowl. Season with pepper. Arrange asparagus in spoke-of-wheel fashion in crust, tips toward edge and ends meeting in center. Pour custard over. Bake until tart puffs and top browns, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly.

4 servings

Broccoli di rape all'aglio e peperoncino - Bitter Broccoli, Garlic and Peperoncino

2 lb. bitter broccoli
peperoncino (hot pepper)
2 garlic cloves
8 Tbs. virgin olive oil pepper

Wash the broccoli, discard the larger stems and leaves, and put them in cold water. In a large skillet, saute' the garlic and peperoncino in 6 Tbs. oil. Remove garlic when brown. Remove the broccoli from the water but do not dry, piace in the heated skillet and cook over a low flame. Let cook until tender but still crisp. Add salt and serve.

La Vignarola - Roman Artichoke Stew

2 medium to large artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shelled and peeled fava beans or frozen baby lima beans
1/2 cup water, or more as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 to 6 leaves romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 cup fresh or frozen peas

To trim the artichokes, remove all the leaves except the pale tender ones that form the central cone. Cut the artichokes lengthwise in half. Scoop out the chokes. Cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil Cook, stirring frequently, Stir in the green onions. Add the artichokes, favas and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the artichokes are almost tender when pierced with a knife.

Stir in the lettuce and peas. Cover and cook for 3 minutes more, or until the lettuce is wilted and the artichokes are tender.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Cavolfiore con Olive Verdi e Pomodoro - Sauteed Cauliflower with Green Olives and Tomato

Source: Marcella Cucina

The tomato dice and the green olive sections look very pretty in this Pugliese-style cauliflower, but they are there for reasons of taste. Cauliflower, if it hasn't been around too long, can be quite mild, sometimes tediously so. Here, however, the residual bitterness of the olives and the acidulousness of the tomato help the cauliflower's potential sweetness make taste impressions that, by contrast, are both more intense and more lively. Bear in mind that cauliflower is one vegetable that wants to be cooked thoroughly - not until it is mushy, of course, but it has to be decidedly tender; otherwise, it will always retain a disagreeable trace of sourness." - Marcella Hazan

1 ea cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pounds each
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C onion, thinly chopped
16 ea green olives, in brine, pitted, quartered
freshly cracked black pepper
1 C ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, fine diced

Trim away the cauliflower's green leaves and wash it in cold water. Choose a saucepan that can amply contain the whole cauliflower head, fill it three-quarters full with water, and bring the water to a boil. Drop in the cauliflower and cook until it feels very tender when tested with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and, as soon as the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, cut it into pieces about 1 1/2 inches big.
Put the olive oil and the chopped onion in a 10-or 12-inch skillet and turn the heat on to medium high. Cook the onion, stirring once or twice, until it becomes colored a pale gold, then add the cut-up cauliflower, the olives, salt, and a liberal grinding of black pepper.
Cook over lively heat for 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally turning over the contents of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the diced tomato, turn all the ingredients over, and continue cooking for another minutes or so. Serve at once when done.

Verza Ripiena con Castagne - Chestnut-filled Cabbagre Rolls

1 pounds whole chestnuts or one (14-ounce) can or bottle, unsweetened
1 medium cabbage
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot soy milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon whole dill seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
teaspoon nutmeg

Red Wine Sauce:
1-1/4 cups good stock
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons mirin (a sweet saki sold in general and Japanese markets)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves

When using fresh chestnuts, boil them for 20 to 30 minutes and allow to cool before removing from shells. Slice the flat side of the chestnut with a small, sharp knife. Scoop out meat with a small spoon. Remove any inner brown skin. Chop roughly.

The chestnut filling for the rolls can be made several days ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Final assembly and cooking should begin about two hours before serving.

Core cabbage with a sharp knife; remove outer 12 to 16 leaves. Shred rest of cabbage and steam or microwave outer leaves until tender but not overly soft - pliable, not mushy. Heat oil in a pan and saute onion and shredded cabbage until soft and reduced in volume. Substitute water for oil to reduce fat. Place in a bowl with chopped chestnuts and brown rice.

Make a thick white sauce by melting the margarine in a small saucepan, adding flour and cooking a minute. Then add hot soy milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until very thick. Flavor with salt and pepper. Add this to cabbage and chestnuts along with the dill seeds, allspice and nutmeg. Mix well, adjusting seasonings as necessary (dill flavor is released during cooking.)

To stuff the cabbage leaves, take one leaf at a time and place it in front of you with the outside of the leaf facing up. With a small, sharp knife slice off the hard rib that forms a bump. Turn the leaf over and place about 3/4 cup of the mixture at the bottom of the leaf, over the rib. Fold the right and left sides over, then roll up tightly. Secure with a toothpick or piece of thread if the rolls won't fit absolutely snug in the pan.

Place rolls loose side down in a deep frying pan or dutch oven. Mix the ingredients for the red wine sauce together and pour over the rolls. Top with a tight-fitting lid and cook over low heat for 45 to 50 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced to a thick glaze.

Optional: serve with steamed, sliced carrots and oven-roasted, quartered new potatoes.

Cipolle Ripiene

From Il Fornaio Restaurant's Chef Giuseppe Naccarelli

8 ea. Red Onions, large
18 oz. Swiss chard
2 tbs. Olive oil, pure, tigre
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
9 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 oz. Yogurt
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbs. Majoram, fresh chopped
pinch salt
1 ea. Eggs, whole
1/4 cup Bread crumbs

Peel onion. Boil in salted water until al dente. Cut off top and bottom of onion. Scoop out center and chop. If still raw, boil again until done.

Boil swiss chard for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop and sautee in olive oil with garlic and chopped onion.

Mix together ricotta, yogurt, parmesan and marjoram. Combine with swiss chard mixture, beaten egg and salt to taste. Stuff onion with mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.


White Bean Salad

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 green onions, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained

Mix oil, lemon juice, pepper, and salt in medium glass or plastic bowl, until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients; coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Barbabietola Noce e Gorgonzola - Beet, Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad

6 small beets, trimmed (about 18 ounces)
6 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 tablespoon Sherry wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Pinch of sugar
12 cups mixed baby greens
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (about 2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400�F. Wrap beets in foil, enclosing completely. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Peel and slice beets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Whisk olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, garlic and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine mixed greens, sliced green onions and beets in large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Divide salad among 6 plates. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts and serve.
6 Servings.

Finnochio, Carciofi e Parmegiano - Shaved Fennel, Artichoke and Parmesan Salad

Chez Panisse Vegetables Alice Waters

This salad is made with paper-thin shavings of vegetables, usually raw, tossed together and lightly dressed just before serving. The variations are extensive (peppers, celery, and radishes are often added) and always fresh and satisfying.

Note: Slices of very fresh, raw cepes (porcini, or Boletus edulis) are superb in this salad. Another autumnal variation on this salad theme is to dress the shavings of fennel with lemon and olive oil and top with shavings of fuyu persimmon accented with a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

2 large artichokes
2 lemons
2 large fennel bulbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
salt and pepper
1 piece Reggiano Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
About 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves

Pare the artichokes down to their hearts and scoop out the chokes with a spoon, dropping them into water acidulated with the juice of 1 of the lemons.

Cut off the feathery tops of the fennel at the base of their stalks and remove the outer layer of the bulbs. Slice the bulbs very thin with a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Remove the artichoke hearts from the water and slice them very thin the same way.

Assemble the salad in layers on a large platter or on individual salad plates. First make a layer of the fennel slices. Squeeze lemon juice evenly over the fennel and drizzle with salt and pepper. Then make a layer of the artichoke hearts, also slice very thin. Squeeze more lemon juice over them, drizzle evenly with another third of the oils, and season with salt and pepper. Cut thin shavings of the Parmesan with cheese slicer or a vegetable peeler and arrange them on top of the artichoke slices. Scatter the parsley leaves over the cheese, season with salt and pepper, squeeze more lemon juice over, and drizzle evenly with the rest of the oils. Serve immediately.

Serves 6


Mele al Forno con Noci e Uva - Baked Stuffed Apples with Walnuts and Raisins

6 Apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 cinnamon sticks or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Braising liquid:
1/2 cup brown sugar
remainder of the bottle of white wine

Preheat the oven to 325F.
Core the apples 3/4 of the way through leaving a base for the filling. Hollow out some extra space for more filling in the apple. In a mixing bowl combine the ingredients for the filling. Place the cinnamon sticks sticking out of the top. If cinnamon sticks are not being used add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon now. Place the apples in the braising liquid and bake for 1 hour.
Serves 6

Pere al Gorgonzola - Pears with Gorgonzola

12 pears White wine
150 gr. '"gorgonzola"
400 gr full cream or Mascarpone cheese
1 clove

Peel and core 1 2 pears. Put in a pan and cover with the l white wine. Add the sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a clove. Boil for about 5 minutes, then drain the pears and leave them to cool. Mix the Gorgonzola and Mascarpone cheese well and stuff the pears with the mixture.
Serves 6

Poached Pears With Anisette

2 cups Anisette
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 strips lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
6 ripe Bartlett pears, with stems
3/4 cup crushed amaretti cookies
Finely grated lemon rind
Fresh mint leaves

In a large saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups Anisette, water, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and cinnamon. Heat until sugar is dissolved; set aside. Core pears from bottom, leaving stems intact. Peel pears and place in poaching liquid. Poach 10 to 12 minutes, or until pears are tender. (If pears are firm, poach 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.) Remove from heat and let pears stand in poaching liquid 30 to 40 minutes. Drain pears, reserving poaching liquid; cover pears and chill. Strain poaching liquid; add 1 cup sugar. Over low heat, reduce to a medium thick syrup. Add 1/2 cup Anisette. Chill.

Arrange 2 tablespoons crushed cookies on each dessert plate. Trim pear bottom to stand upright; place on crumbs. Spoon 1 tablespoon glaze over each pear. Garnish with lemon rind and mint leaves.
Serves 6.


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