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Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

a tavola
Barbeque All'Italiana - Italian Barbecue

Summer can be so much fun. This month we are barbecuing all'Italiana.

Italians tend to grill things outdoors and away from home, at the beach and on the river's edge. You will note that there are marinades but no barbecue sauce. I hope that you will enjoy these recipes and that they will last you all season long. If not, and you would like additional ones, please e-mail me.

If you plan to grill both meat and fish, I suggest that you use two different barbecues or grill the fish on heavy duty aluminum foil so that when you grill the meat it does not take on a fishy smell. Remember to watch the barbecue at all times.

We begin with bread and tiny fish and shellfish to keep your guests munching and get them in the mood for barbecue.

Pane alla Griglia - Grilled Bread with Olive Oil
Olive oil flavored with garlic, basil, or rosemary.
1 French bread baguette cut into 1-inch diagonal slices
1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil

Prepare barbecue (medium-high-heat). Brush both sides of bread generously With oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden, about 1 minute per side.

6 Servings.

Grilled Anchovies or Sardines
Clean a grilling rack and rub it with oil. Season the cleaned fish with salt, pepper and a little fresh thyme. Grill them over a medium-hot fire for a few minutes on each side, just until the flesh is opaque and cooked through.

Serve with lemon quarters.

Scampi Grigliati con Rosemarino -Grilled Rosemary Garlic Shrimp
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound)
four 12-inch bamboo skewers
lemon wedges as an accompaniment

In a large bowl stir together garlic, minced rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a shallow dish soak skewers in water to cover 30 minutes and prepare grill.

To grill, thread 4 shrimp on each skewer and brush with additional oil. Grill shrimp on an oiled rack, set about 5 inches over glowing coals, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.

Alternatively, brush shrimp with additional oil and grill in a hot well-season ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Garnish shrimp with rosemary sprigs and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

Zucchini Marinate Grigliati - Grilled, Marinated Zucchini
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 zucchini (each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter), scrubbed

In a small bowl whisk together the garlic paste, the lemon juice, the vinegar, and pepper to taste and whisk in the oil. In a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini in one layer combine the zucchini, halved lengthwise, and the marinade and let the zucchini marinate, covered and chilled, turning them several times, overnight. Grill the zucchini on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals for 8 minutes and brush them with some of the marinade. Turn the zucchini, grill them for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are tender, and transfer them to a work surface. (Alternatively the zucchini may be grilled in a ridged grill pan.) Slice the zucchini diagonally.

Serves 4


This is the ultimate pasta; a very expensive and time-consuming recipe which is fun to read but you may prefer something easier. If so, go to the next recipe.

Spaghettini con Aragosta alla Griglia con Caviale Beluga - Angel Hair Pasta with Grilled Lobster and Beluga Caviar
2 cup White Wine Cream Sauce for Seafood
2 lobsters, 1 1/2 pounds each, blanched for 5 minutes and shelled, shells
reserved, claws left whole, tails cut into 3/4 inch medallions
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 recipe Fresh Angel Hair Pasta
2 tablespoons clarified butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons julienne of fresh basil
1/4 cup beluga caviar

Prepare the sauce, including the lobster shells. Keep it warm. Preheat the grill or broiler. In a large pot, bring 8 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil; add the olive oil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, no more than 2 minutes; drain well. At the same time, brush the lobster medallions and claws with the butter and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill them about 30 seconds per side. Toss the pasta with the sauce and mound it in the middle of each of 6 heated large, shallow serving plates. Place 3 pieces of lobster - 2 medallions and a claw, or 3 medallions - on top of each serving, and garnish with basil and a dollop of caviar.

White Wine Cream Sauce for Seafood
1/4 medium-size sweet red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 medium-size carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 medium-size white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup California Chardonnay
2 or 3 stems fresh parsley
1 small sprig fresh thyme
1 medium-size shallot, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Fresh lemon juice

Put the onion, carrot, and mushrooms in a small, heavy, non-aluminum saucepan. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the onion is transparent, about 10 minutes. Add the wine, parsley, and the thyme. Raise the heat to medium to high and bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for about 15 minutes. Return the liquid to the pan. Add the shallot and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat; continue boiling until only about 2 tablespoons of liquid are left, 5 to 7 minutes. Then add the cream, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer until the sauce is thick and reduced by about a third, 7 to 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice. In a food processor, or with a hand-held blender, process the sauce until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain it through a fine-mesh sieve and return it to the pan to warm through gently. Adjust the seasonings to taste. To keep the sauce warm, set the saucepan inside a bowl or larger pan of hot but not boiling water.

Serves 6

Penne con Pomodori e Melanzane alla Griglia - Penne with Grilled Tomatoes & Eggplant
This dish is delicious warm, but it can also be prepared ahead, stored in a covered container and served at room temperature at a picnic.

1 1-pound eggplant, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 pound tomatoes, halved lengthwise
olive oil spray
8 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (about 1 ounce)

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Spray both sides of eggplant slices and tomato halves with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant slices until brown and tender and tomato halves until charred, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes for eggplant slices and about 7 minutes for tomato halves. Cool.

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Cut tomatoes into 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta. Return pasta to same pot.

Add eggplant, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and garlic to pasta and toss to blend. Stir in grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead.)

Makes about 4 servings.

Or you could begin with a PIZZA!
Pizza alla Griglia con Zucchine Gialle, Mozzarella e Timo al Limone - Grilled Pizza with Yellow Squash, Mozzarella and Lemon Thyme
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow squash
2 balls pizza dough, rolled out and chilled (recipe and procedure follow)
3/4 cup coarsely grated fresh mozzarella (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 2 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (preferably lemon thyme)
fresh thyme sprigs (preferably lemon thyme) for ganrish

In a small bowl stir together garlic and oil and let stand 15 minutes. Slice squash crosswise into 1/16-inch thick rounds, transferring to plate. Prepare grill: Open vents in lid and bottom of kettle grill and put 25 briquettes on 2 opposite sides of bottom, leaving middle clear. Oil rack and position with wider openings over briquettes. Light briquettes. (They will be ready for cooking as soon as they turn grayish-white, 20 to 30 minutes.) Remove plastic wrap from 2 pieces of rolled-out-pizza dough (if grill is not large, work with 1 piece at a time, keeping remaining piece chilled) and lightly brush dough with some garlic oil. Trying not to stretch dough, carefully transfer it, oiled side down, with your hands to rack of grill. (If it's a very hot day, the dough may get too soft to transfer easily; if so, pop it into the freezer until firm again, about 15 minutes.) Lightly brush top with some garlic oil. When grilling pizzas, rotate them if 1 side of grill is hotter than the other. Grill crusts, covered, until undersides are golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip crusts over with 2 metal spatulas and top each crust with half of cheeses, squash, and thyme. Lightly brush pizzas with some garlic oil and grill, covered, about 5 minutes, or until undersides are golden brown and cheeses are melted. Garnish pizzas with thyme sprigs and cut into wedges.

Pizza Dough:
2/3 cup lukewarm water (105F-115F)
a 1/4 ounce package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for oiling bowl
1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons coarse salt

In a large bowl stir together 1/3 cup water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup water, 2 oil, 1 3/4 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt and blend until mixture forms dough. Knead dough on a floured surface, incorporating as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, dough may be made in a food processor. Proof yeast as described above. In food processor process yeast mixture with 1 3/4 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt until mixture forms a ball, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, it too dry or more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if too wet, and knead dough by processing 15 seconds more.

Put dough, prepared by either method, in an oiled deep bowl and turn to coat with oil. Let dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk, and punch down. Form dough into 4 balls. Makes enough dough for four 10-inch thin-crust pizzas. To roll out pizza dough for grilling olive oil for brushing baking sheet pizza dough (recipe precedes) Lightly brush a baking sheet with oil. On a lightly floured surface roll out 1 ball of dough 1/8 inch thick (about 10 inches in diameter). Brushing off excess flour, transfer dough with your hands to baking sheet and cover surface completely with plastic wrap. Repeat procedure with remaining dough balls and plastic wrap in same manner, stacking rolled-out pieces on top of one another on baking sheet. Wrap baking sheet with more plastic wrap to ensure that dough is completely covered. (Chill dough until firm, about 1 hour, and up to 4 hours.)

Serves 2.


Risotto with Grilled Vegetables
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 each small red and yellow bell peppers
Olive oil for grilling vegetables
1 tablespoon each butter and oil
1 cup Arborio rice
3 to 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
Chopped parsley

Secure onion slices with wooden picks to prevent rings from separating. Brush onion and zucchini lightly with oil. Place vegetables over medium Briquettes on covered grill. Cook until crisp-tender, 5 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 30 minutes for peppers and onion. Remove from grill. Cut into chunks; reserve. In 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan, melt butter with oil. Add rice; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes, until grains are opaque. Add 1/4 cup of the broth and the sherry; cook, stirring, until liquid is almost completely absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue adding broth in 3/4 cup amounts and cooking in between additions until rice grains are tender and risotto is creamy. Stir in Parmesan cheese with last addition of broth. Season with pepper; stir in pine nuts and grilled vegetables, reserving a few for garnish. Spoon into serving dish; top with reserved vegetables and parsley.

Makes 6 to 8 servings



Braciole di Maiale Toscano alla Griglia - Tuscan Grilled Pork Chops
6 large center cut pork chops, 1 inch thick with bone in
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup olive oil
20 juniper berries, crushed
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel, combination bulb and feathery tops
salt and pepper

Place chops in shallow glass dish to hold in a single layer. Pour cider and olive oil over, and sprinkle with juniper. Mince 1 clove garlic and sprinkle over meat. Cut remaining garlic clove into 6 slivers and insert a sliver into the meat, near the bone of each chop. Sprinkle with rosemary and fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate several hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Prepare grill. Bring chops to room temperature. Grill chops, basting with marinade and turning once, until cooked, about 25 minutes.

Serves 6.

Salsicce Italiane alla Griglia - Grilled Italian Sausages
Sweet and hot Italian sausages are delicious grilled over charcoal. Poach them in white wine for 5-8 min. before grilling, to cook out excess fat. They then grill quickly and to a delicious browness. Have both sweet and hot sausages. Serve with crisp Italian bread.

Braciole di Vitello al Rosemarino - Grilled Veal Chops with Rosemary
Romagna is famous for its grilled foods, and the aroma of meats sizzling over a wood fire is common in the countryside.

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 8-ounce veal rib chops (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Whisk oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper to blend in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add veal chops to dish and turn to coat with marinade. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate up to 4 hours, turning veal occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove veal from marinade, shaking off excess. Season veal with salt and pepper. Lightly oil grill. Grill or broil veal to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

Makes 8 Servings


Calamari Grigliati - Grilled Squid
1 pound fresh squid, cleaned
1 head red or green leaf lettuce, rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
6 to 8 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, slivered
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup Dijon-style
Juice of 1 lemon
vinaigrette dressing
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the oil, garlic, parsley, lemon and seasonings in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Place the squid in the mixture and chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. Form a tossed salad with the lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and vinaigrette. Preheat the grill until the coals are gray to white. When the fire is ready, remove the squid from the marinade, shake off the excess liquid, and place on the oiled grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until firm and cooked in the center. Remove the squid from the grill and place over the lettuce on each plate.

Serves 4

Pesce Spada Caprese alla Griglia - Caprese Grilled Swordfish
Cut the swordfish into thin slices; this makes it easier to cook uniformly and keep moist.

1 pound swordfish, cut into 3/8-inch-thick slices
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Chopped fresh oregano
Salt and pepper

Sprinkle fish with lemon juice, then with oil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Cook on a hot grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, making sure the fish stays moist. Serve immediately. Traditionally, the fish is drizzled with oil and served with lemon slices on the side.

Grilled Tuna 'Origanata' Tonno 'Riganatu'
This is a delicious Sicilian Recipe Do not overcook tuna, because it becomes unpleasantly dry.

1 pound fresh tuna steak, sliced
1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried oregano

Place the tuna slices in a 9x12-inch ceramic or glass baking pan, add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and oregano. Leave to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling. Reserve the marinade. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high.

Remove the tuna from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Place the tuna slices on the grill and cook, basting with the marinade, until deep black grid marks appear, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the marinade. Grill longer if the fish is thicker.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.


Grilled Corn
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. blackened seasoning
6 ears of fresh corn

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in parsley, salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside. Remove the husks from fresh ears of corn. Place each ear in a heavy piece of tin foil. Brush with butter mixture and wrap. Grill on medium barbecue until done.

Finocchio alla Griglia - Grilled Fennel
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

2 small fennel bulbs about 1 pound), stalks trimmed flush with bulb
olive oil for brushing fennel
1/2 lemon

Prepare grill.

Quarter fennel bulbs lengthwise into wedges. In a steamer set over boiling water steam fennel, covered, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Brush fennel quarters with oil and grill on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. (Alternatively, fennel may be grilled in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.) Transfer grilled fennel with tongs to a serving dish. Squeeze lemon to taste over fennel and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2

Verdura Mista alla Griglia - Mixed Grilled Vegetables
3 small yellow squash (about 3/4 pound)
6 baby Vidalia onions or large scallions, trimmed
4 yellow and/or red bell peppers, seeded and each cut into 6 pieces
2 medium red onions, peeled and each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges with root ends intact
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl toss vegetables with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill vegetables in batches on a rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals turning them, 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, transferring them to a platter as they are done.

Serves 6


Fichi e Meloni alla Griglia - Grilled Fig and Melon Skewers
1 melon
1 pint (10 to 12) figs
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 pound goat cheese
1 loaf focaccia or other bread, optional

Soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water. Cut melon into 1-inch pieces. Halve figs. Skewer fruit, alternating figs with melon. Drizzle with limejuice and sprinkle with salt to taste. Slice goat cheese into 8 pieces. Place fruit skewers cut side down on hot, well-oiled grill or grill pan and let cook until fruit is warmed and has grill marks, about 2 minutes. Serve warm with goat cheese and bread if desired.

Pesche alla Griglia - Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
5 oz raspberries, frozen, slightly thawed
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 med fresh peaches, peel, halved
5 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter or margarine

In a blender or food processor, process raspberries and lemon juice until pureed. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and chill. Place the peach halves, cut side up, on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 18 x 12"). Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle into peach centers. Sprinkle with vanilla; dot with butter. Fold foil over peaches and seal. Grill over medium-hot coals for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also place in a broiler for 8-12 minutes for a similar result. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over peaches.


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