APPETIZER SALAD USING ULIDEA

Serves 4

  • 4 sticks of white celery
  • 3 ounces of goat cheese
  • 12 raspberries, sliced in half
  • 2 teaspoons of ULIDEA OLIVE DUST
  • Green leafed herbs, such as chervil, for garnish

Wash and remove strings from the celery.
Dry the celery and fill the depressed area with the cheese.
Put on individual plates.
Place the raspberries on top of the cheese and near the sides of the celery.
Dust with ULIDEA OLIVE DUST and garnish with greenery.

CAPONATA

(This takes lots of time and lots of pans, but it is worth the effort)

  • 4-5 quarts hot water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 ½- 2 pounds of eggplant, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
  • 1 ½ cups tomato pulp
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons capers (rinsed and drained if packed in salt)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (or, better, 2 of sugar and 1 of cocoa)
  • ¼ cup REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
  • Freshly ground pepper

First bring the water to a full boil, then add the salt and celery. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the celery, refresh it in cold water and drain.

Salt the eggplant cubes and put into a colander topped with paper towels and a weight to eliminate excess moisture.

Put the onion into a large nonstick skillet or wok, drizzle with the 2 T ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, stirring to coat well, then cook over moderate heat until the onion is tender.

Add the celery and tomato pulp. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Then add the olives, capers, sugar (and cocoa), vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Squeeze the eggplant cubes to remove excess water, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Using another large, nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 T ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add half the eggplant and fry until soft and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant.

Combine the eggplant with the sauce.

Serve at room temperature as a dip or as a side dish.

JEWELED STUFFED EGGS WITH ULIDEA OLIVE DUST

Hardboiled eggs peel best if stored, refrigerated, at least a week before boiling. Fresh eggs do not peel well.

As with regular devilled eggs, use an extra egg for every 12 to be served, to allow for torn whites and to make more filling with the extra yolk. Careful stirring of the eggs during the first half of boiling helps center the yolks.

  • 13 eggs (refrigerated at least a week before boiling)
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced scallion (green and white part) or onion
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or 4 squirts hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ULIDEA OLIVE DUST
2 tablespoons each, finely minced red and green (or other colors) bell peppers
  • Shredded lettuce for serving

Bring eggs to a gentle boil in large uncovered pan with water 3 inches above eggs. Gently roll eggs around with spoon 4 to 5 times during first 4 minutes of simmering (to help yolks be centered when fully cooked). Simmer a total of 14 minutes. Remove from water and cool.

Peel eggs, rinse, and dry with paper towel. Cut in half lengthwise. Gently scoop yolks into bowl.

Mash yolks with a fork. Mix in remaining ingredients except olive dust and bell pepper. Let sit 10 minutes. Mix again, taste, and add salt, if desired.

Using two teaspoons, fill the best 24 egg whites with yolk mixture. Place in casserole or baking dish with high sides.

With fingers, sprinkle yolk mixture in eggs with olive dust, letting a little dust onto the whites. Mix red and green bell peppers. With fingers, place peppers evenly over stuffed parts of eggs.

Cover dish with lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed – up to 24 hours.

Serve on a bed of finely shredded lettuce and add additional ULIDEA OLIVE DUST just before serving. Enjoy!!

PARMESAN CHEESE WITH REALE BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Cut the cheese into small pieces and arrange on a plate. Dress with an aged REALE Balsamic Vinegar of your choice. We recommend REALE 8-year-old LeNoir Balsamic Vinegar with this dish.

Pierce each piece of cheese with a toothpick and serve.

SWEET AND SOUR GREEN PEPPERS WITH ONIONS

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

  • ¾ pound tiny green peppers (or pickling peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
1 medium red onion, sliced

Remove the stems from the pickling peppers or peel and core the green pepper. Cut the peppers into strips.

Place the pepper strips into a large, nonstick skillet or wok, then pour 1 tablespoon ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the peppers, stirring to coat. Cook over moderate heat about 5 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring often.

Add ½ cup water, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then transfer the contents of the pan to a serving dish. Mix the onions into this, then drizzle with ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Stir to distribute evenly, then allow to cool.

TABBOULEH

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 cup fine bulgur (No. 1)
  • 1-1/3 cups fresh lemon juice, about five lemons
  • 3 bunches scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 cups chopped parsley (about 2 bunches)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Put the bulgur into a large glass or ceramic dish and sir in 1 cup of the lemon juice and 2 cups water. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 2 hours. Drain the bulgur in a sieve, gently pressing to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a clean glass bowl and add the scallions, parsley, tomatoes, olive oil and the remaining 1/3 cup lemon juice. Season to taste and stir to blend to serve.

GRILLED MEAT, FISH OR VEGETABLES WITH REALE BALSAMIC VINEGAR GLAZE

If you want to kick your grilling “up a notch” when the meat or fish is about 2 minutes from coming off the grill brush with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and again when you take the meat or fish off the grill. YUM!!.

When you grill vegetables, brush them with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze before grilling and again just before removing them from the grill. Your guest will think that you are a professional chef.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CORN

4 servings

  • 3 ears of corn cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 small zucchini cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil – divided
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper, divided

1 pound of pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces

Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl combine corn, zucchini, and peppers. Add 2 T oil, 2 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Mix well. Spread mixture onto cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring after the first 10.

Meanwhile, toss pork with the remaining oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Push the vegetables aside and add pork to pan. Roast 15 minutes more, stirring once.

Spoon all onto a large platter and serve.

BLACKBERRY-GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

Serves 4

  • For the Pork
  • ½ jar Smucker’s sugar free blackberry jam (small jar)
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons REALE ACETO BALSAMICO DI MODENA 1 year old BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add pork; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Brush pork with half of blackberry mixture. Place pan in oven; bake at 350° for 10 minutes; then turn and baste with remaining blackberry mixture. Return to oven and cook an additional 5 minutes. Turn oven off, leaving pork in the oven, while you plate your vegetables; no more than 5 minutes.
  3. Place pork on a cutting board. Cut into slices. Spoon sauce over pork.

Randall’s recipe based on Cooking Light recipe.

We serve with sweet potato/apple casserole on the side.

CROCK POT BALSAMIC PORK ROAST

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup REALE ACETO BALSAMICO DI MODENA 1 year old BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Season the pork with salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and place it into the slow cooker. Mix together the broth and vinegar and pour it over the pork, then pour the honey over and set the timer for 4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low.

Once the pork is cooked and tender (it should shred easily with a fork), remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and put back into the slow cooker and ladle 1/2 cup sauce over the pork and keep warm until ready to eat.

ITALIAN STYLE CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

Serves 8

  • 1 lemon pepper rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from carcass and shredded/chopped as you like.
  • 8 oz. cooked penne pasta (or similar)
  • 3 ½ oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, in strips
  • 1 Lebanese or English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, halved
  • ½ cup bottled artichoke hearts, halved
  • ½ cup Parmesan shavings

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 T REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup shredded fresh basil leaves.

Prepare the chicken.

Cook the pasta. Drain and let cool.

Make the dressing.

Combine the chicken and pasta and add all the other ingredients, except the Parmesan, in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

ROASTED CORNISH HENS WITH LEMONS

Serves 4

Marinates for 8 hours before cooking.

  • ¾ cup salt
  • 1 ½ cups orange juice
  • 12 cups water (or enough to cover the hens)
  • 2 Cornish hens, about 1 ½ pounds each
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 T. ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine

Combine salt, orange juice, and water in a large container. Whisk until salt dissolves. Submerge the hens. Add water if needed to cover fully. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Remove birds from liquid discarding liquid. Cut one lemon in half. Stuff a lemon half and one sprig of rosemary into the cavity of each hen.

Tie legs together with butcher’s twine. Tuck wing tips under. Rub hens with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place hens on a lightly greased rack in roasting pan.

Cut remaining two lemons in half. Rub with ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Place lemons on a small pan lined with foil and put into oven with roasting pan.

Roast hens and lemons for 40-45 minutes or until juices in hen run clear.

Remove hens and roasting rack from pan, set aside. Reserve drippings in roasting pan. Loosely cover hens with foil.

Heat roasting pan on stovetop over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until browned, stirring constantly. Add white wine. Cook for 4 minutes while scraping browned bits from pan.

Remove backbones and cut hens in half before serving. Serve with lemon half and white wine sauce.

ASIAN INSPIRED SALMON

Serves 6

  • 3 Lbs. salmon steak with skin cut into ½ pound portions

Marinade:

  • ½ teaspoon freshly chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons of ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour half over salmon and let marinade for half an hour. Reserve the other half as a sauce.

Heat grill pan very hot. Put salmon on grill, skin side down and on the diagonal on the pan. Cook 5-7 minutes. Turn them over. Cook a further 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon steaks.

Drizzle remaining sauce over salmon and serve with a stir fry of snap peas and asparagus or couscous with red onion Serves 6

GRILLED MEAT, FISH OR VEGETABLES WITH REALE BALSAMIC VINEGAR GLAZE

If you want to kick your grilling “up a notch” when the meat or fish is about 2 minutes from coming off the grill brush with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and again when you take the meat or fish off the grill. YUM!!.

When you grill vegetables, brush them with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze before grilling and again just before removing them from the grill. Your guest will think that you are a professional chef.

Salmon – or trout – with Balsamic Vinegar

IF you can get Coho salmon, this recipe was created with that fish in mind. But trout or another salmon will work just fine. The idea was to have the fish butterflied – taking the spine out through the stomach but leaving the head on. But filets will work also. And, maybe best of all, you can bake, broil or grill the fish.

Plan on 1 fish person.

Assemble ……..Balsamic vinegar, ………. Olive oil, best quality salt and crushed red pepper. And a few lemon slices

If you are going to bake the fish, preheat the oven to a hot temperature.

Make a marinade of 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. Sprinkle the fish with sale and red pepper.

Coat the fish flesh well with the marinade. Let it rest at least 30 minutes, turning from time to time. Turn one last time before cooking. You an broil it, grill it, or bake it in the hot oven, skin side down, until a fork penetrates the meat easily.

Serve at once, with lemon slices, if available.

Loosely based on a recipe by Pino Luongo

SOLE WITH BLACK BUTTER AND CAPERS

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ pounds filet of sole
  • Flour for dredging
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. light vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup tiny capers

Black butter sauce:

  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons REALE ACETO BALSAMICO DI MODENA 1 Year Old BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Cut the filet of sole in half lengthwise. Dredge lightly with flour.

Heat butter and vegetable oil in a large skillet. Sauté the fish for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until firm and golden.

Remove the fish to a heated platter. Keep warm.
In a small skillet, heat olive oil until very hot. Drop in the capers and fry until they puff open like flowers. Drain well and sprinkle over the fish.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until it becomes a nutty brown. Add the vinegar and stir well. Pour over the fish and serve immediately.

CAROLYN’S NOT TOO ARRABBIATA SAUCE

In Italian the word “arrabbiata” means enraged, angry or furious. This sauce is very simple and quite spicy. It’s especially good on a cold winter day in front of a roaring fire. The recipe below serves 6 as a first course or 4 as a main course. It is enough sauce for 1 pound (500 grams) of pasta. I suggest penne or another hollow or twisted pasta rather than a spaghetti-style noodle.

If you don’t have fresh parmesan cheese available, just don’t put cheese on the sauce – the Italians likely wouldn’t anyway, but we like the extra touch. Don’t use pre-grated cheese out of a container, please.

Arrabbiata Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4-6 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ cup dry red wine (or 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon of dried
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or chilies
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium/medium high heat.

Add the onion and sauté about 3 minutes, then add garlic and continue cooking about 2 more minutes – don’t let them get brown, just golden.

Stir in the next 8 ingredients (red wine through tomatoes); bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes, until it is a nice consistency. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.

Combine the sauce with the pasta that you have prepared at the same time. Place into 4 or 6 bowls and grate the cheese over the top.

Wine suggestion:

Because this is a spicy dish, you need a medium-bodied red wine that will stand up to the flavor. We suggest an Italian Primitivo. These wines come mostly from Puglia, Italy’s boot. The wine is clean and grapey tasting, with touches of plums and raisins. If a wine from the primitivo grape is not available, you can substitute a California zinfandel (not a white zin, the real thing). The California vines that produce this wine are thought to have originated in Italy many years ago.

ITALIAN STYLE CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

Serves 8

  • 1 lemon pepper rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from carcass and shredded/chopped as you like.
  • 8 oz. cooked penne pasta (or similar)
  • 3 ½ oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, in strips
  • 1 Lebanese or English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, halved
  • ½ cup bottled artichoke hearts, halved
  • ½ cup Parmesan shavings

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 T REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup shredded fresh basil leaves.

Prepare the chicken.
Cook the pasta. Drain and let cool.
Make the dressing.

Combine the chicken and pasta and add all the other ingredients, except the Parmesan, in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

HALF PENNE WITH SPINACH SAUCE

Serves 4

20 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking time

  • Half pound of “integrale” half penne (that is, not semolina pasta but farro or other, healthier pasta)
  • 7 oz of fresh spinach
  • 2 oz of ricotta
  • one scallion
  • 12 almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 oz of ULIIVA EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
  • salt

Clean the spinach, eliminating the stems, and wash it well. Peel and thinly slice the scallion and put it into a frying pan with the olive oil. Add the spinach, salt it and cook it over a medium flame for 6 – 8 minutes. Put in blender or food processor and create a purée. Let this return to room temperature. Add the ricotta, about a tablespoon of warm water, and put the creamy sauce you have made back into the frying pan.

Cook the pasta to “al dente” in abundant, salted, boiling water. Drain it and transfer it into the frying pan with the spinach sauce. Mix well with a wooden cooking spoon and let it “gather flavors” over a lively fire for a few moments. Put the pasta on individual plates and sprinkle with the almonds. Serve at once.

This is adapted from a recipe in Sale e Pepe. They point out that this recipe is excellent for fighting cholesterol, as it is based on complex carbohydrates and fiber.

ORCHIETTE WITH TOMATO AND ARUGULA SAUCE

Serves 4

  • 3 cups pureed ripe cherry, plum and Roma tomatoes (total of 3 cups using whatever varieties are available and please you) 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, preferably an Italian import (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot red pepper, diced
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • 1 pound orchiette (or penne, half penne, etc.) pasta
  • 1 cup shredded arugula leaves (or baby spinach if arugula is not available)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for sprinkling

Puree the ripe tomatoes. You can use a food processor, if you don’t mind the seeds, or a food mill. Set aside.

In a large saucepan (or wok) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper, and cook until the garlic is golden. Slowly stir in the tomatoes. If you don’t like the look of the sauce (it’s too thin looking) add the can of tomatoes with juice. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens to a consistency you like. Season lightly with salt and keep warm over very low heat.

In the meantime, bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add salt once it has boiled and stir well. Cook the pasta to al dente (slightly crunchy) state, then drain.
oss the pasta with the sauce. Add most of the arugula or spinach and stir gently. Garnish with the remaining arugula or spinach and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve immediately.

PASTA WITH ROASTED FENNEL AND TOMATOES

Serves 4 generously

  • 2 large fennel bulbs, tops trimmed, then halved
  • 3 tablespoons ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups tomatoes (see note)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano (or 3 teaspoons fresh, shredded)
  • 12 ounces papardelle or penne pasta
  • Freshly grated 24 month Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the fennel halves, cut side down, in a greased ovenproof dish into which they fit snugly. Drizzle with 1 ½ tablespoons of the ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Roast them until light brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from baking dish to cutting board. Allow to cool, then cut into ½ pieces.

Heat the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a wok or large, heavy skillet. Add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook until they are tender, about 4 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes with juice and the oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the mixture is reduced to a sauce consistency, which should be 6 to 8 minutes. Add the fennel and simmer about 5 more minutes.

Season with freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt, to taste.

While the sauce is cooking, bring 5 quarts (2 ½ liters) of water to a boil; add 1-2 tablespoons of salt and bring back to a boil; then add the pasta. Cook pasta until it is tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.

Combine the pasta with the sauce, tossing to cover, and add the cooking liquid if needed. Test for seasoning, then transfer to warm serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan Reggiano cheese and serve at once.

Note re tomatoes: I like to use a combination of Roma and cherry tomatoes to make up the 4 cups. If they are quite ripe, peel them a bit with your fingers. Using fresh tomatoes, you may need to add a bit of passata or tomato juice to achieve the consistency you want.

PENNE WITH RICOTTA AND TOMATO SAUCE

  • 4 Servings (actually more like 6)
  • 1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped (we use two or three kinds: grape, Roma, etc. mixed)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ pound penne (350 grams)

In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta with 2 tablespoons of the ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cover and set aside at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

In a large nonreactive saucepan, simmer the tomatoes over moderate heat until very soft, about 10 minutes. Pass them through the medium disk of a food mill or use a rubber spatula to push the tomatoes through a coarse strainer. (Note: we smash them with a potato masher instead)

Wipe out the saucepan (or use another) and heat the other 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion, then the garlic, and cook over low heat until softened but no browned, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of the basil and simmer over moderately low heat until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. (The sauce can be made to this point and refrigerated up to 3 days. Reheat before proceeding). Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and add it to the sauce, coating well. Serve immediately in warmed bowls, topped with a dollop of the ricotta and a sprinkling of the remaining basil.

(Note: we like to mix the ricotta mixture into the tomato mixture, reserving just a bit to put on top with a basil leaf stuck in it)

SCIABBO (SICILIAN CHRISTMAS NOODLES)

Serves 6

  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • ¼ cup ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¾ pound pork meat, diced small
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups passata or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (chocolate)
  • 1 ½ pounds tagliatelle or other fairly wide pasta noodles

Saute the onion in the ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil until soft. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the tomato paste and the wine, stirring to dissolve the extract completely, then add the tomato sauce and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick, about 40 minutes. Correct the salt to taste. Stir in the cinnamon, sugar and cocoa.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in abundant salted water until it is al dente, drain well, and toss with the sauce.

This is a traditional Christmas or winter dish with Arab and Spanish influences served in the heart of Sicily.

SPAGHETTI CON RUBINI (Spaghetti with little rubies)

  • 8 medium beets, about 2 pounds
  • 1/3 cup ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper to taste
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 pound of spaghetti, linguine, etc.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Trim the tops and stems off the beets. Wash the beets under cool water and scrub them with a brush. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool, then peel and coarsely chop.

In a skillet large enough to hold all the pasta, combine the ITALICO EVOO, garlic, and red pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant and the oil is sizzling. Add the chopped beets and turn them in the oil mixture until just heated through.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti. Cook until almost al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.
Pour the spaghetti into the skillet with the beets. Add some of the cooking water. Simmer over medium heat, constantly turning the beets with the pasta, until the pasta is evenly colored, about 2 minutes.
Serve at once.

This is a recipe from Massa Maratttima area. The author (Michele Scicolone) saw bright red bowls of pasta being served and the waiter said it was spaghetti with rubies (the little cubes of beets).

ZUCCHINI WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1 pound of zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red pepper or dry chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup tomato pulp, fresh or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • sea salt to taste
  • ½-3/4 pound of dry pasta of your choice, cooked per instructions on the box.

Put the zucchini in a large skillet or wok, drizzle with 2 T. ITALICO EVOO, stir to coat the zucchini with the oil and place over high heat. When the zucchini starts to sizzle, lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Push the zucchini to the sides of the pan and pour the remaining ITALICO EVOO into the center of the pan. Add the garlic and hot pepper, then cook for a minute or two.

Add the tomato pulp, stir to combine well, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the basil and season with salt to taste.

This works well as a side dish for 4-6 or can be served over hot pasta.

BEAN AND PASTA SOUP

Serves 4 as main course
Active time: 20 min.
Start to finish: 45 minutes.

  • 3 T ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced across
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tstp. Turmeric (this is important!)
  • 6 cups of water
  • ¼ pound small pasta pieces or linguini broken into small bits
  • 12 fresh kale or chard leaves (about 8 cups), center ribs discarded and coarsely chopped
  • 15 oz. jar of canelli beans, drained and washed
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped greens from salad onions

Sour cream for garnish

Heat oil in a 4 quart wide, heavy pot, over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and salt, then reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add turmeric to onions and cook, stirring, one minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and boil, uncovered, until tender (5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Stir in kale/chard and beans and simmer, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in herbs, salad onion greens, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve into individual bowls, and garnish with sour cream.

PAPA AL POMODORO (TUSCAN BREAD AND TOMATO SOUP)

Serves 4

  • 8-10 ounces stale, coarse Italian bread, cut into ½” thick slices
  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped (See Note)
  • 5 cups stock – chicken or mushroom
  • ½ cup (packed) basil leaves, torn into small pieces + a few extra leaves for decoration
  • ¼ cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil + a little more for drizzling
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and (lots of) freshly ground pepper to taste (plus a few slices of fresh hot peppers or hot pepper flakes to taste)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200c. Place the bread on baking sheets and toast in the oven, turning once, until golden brown – about 10-12 minutes. When toasted, tear the bread into bite size and larger pieces and set aside.

In a large pot, cook the tomatoes over medium-low heat until they give off their juices, breaking up the pieces with the back of a spoon; this should take about 10 minutes. Then stir in the stock, basil, ¼ cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and garlic. Bring this to a boil over high heat. Gradually stir in the bread pieces. Then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring to break up the bread, until the soup is quite thick – again, about 10 minutes. If it is too thick, you can add a bit more stock or water.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual serving bowls. Drizzle a little ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the surface of each serving and garnish with a basil leaf, if you wish.

Papa al pomodoro can be served hot at this point, at room temperature, or re-heated and served later, when flavors have merged.

Note: If you prefer, you can chop and cook the tomatoes, unpeeled, then press them through a large sieve or a food mill to remove the peels and puree them. In a pinch or in the winter, you can use 2 14-16 ounce cans of best quality canned tomatoes.

SUPERB SPICY GAZPACHO WITH ULIVA EVOO AND WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Serves 6

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires additional unattended time.

  • 2 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small fresh jalapeño chili, or to taste, seeded and chopped (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 3/4 teaspoon salt
enough white bread, crusts removed and bread torn into pieces, to measure
  • 2 cups (about 4 slices)
  • 3 tablespoons REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
  • 3 tablespoons ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil ice water for thinning soup
croutons and finely diced tomato, green bell pepper, and cucumber for garnish

In a blender purée chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeño, onion, and cucumber, garlic paste, bread, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Force purée through a coarse sieve into a bowl and chill soup at least 6 hours or overnight. Thin soup with ice water and serve topped with croutons and finely diced vegetables.

Makes 6 ½ cups

BLACK EYED PEA SALAD

Small servings for 8 or plenty for 6

  • 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or two 15 oz. cans, rinsed and drained)
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed

In a medium serving bowl, combine black eyed peas, onion, celery, bell pepper and salt.

For dressing, combine garlic and mustard in a blender or food processor, Add vinegar and pulse to blend. Add oils and blend again. Add basil and purée until smooth. Drizzle over bean mixture and toss.

CARAMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

  • 1 ½ pounds Brussel sprouts
  • 3 T ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil – separated
  • ¾ tsp good salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T REALE Ginger Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
  • 2 T REALE Balsamic Vinegar (4 years old)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or grease the pan well with Riva del Garda olive oil. Trim off the dry outer leaves of the Brussel sprouts, cut the bottoms off and slice each sprout lengthwise. In a large bowl, toss together the Brussel sprouts with 2 T of olive oil, and the salt and pepper. Transfer the sprouts to the baking sheet and roast until they are tender and caramelized: about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and put the sprouts back in the bowl. Add the remaining olive oil, the Ginger Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and Balsamic Vinegar. Toss to coat evenly. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve at once as an appetizer or side dish.

CIAMBOTTA

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into strips
  • 2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped but retaining juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Put the onions, garlic and parsley into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil, and place over moderate heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the onions are soft but not colored.

Add the eggplant cubes, pepper strips, potato cubes, chopped tomatoes with juice, capers, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, tightly covered but stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and all the vegetables have melted into a sauce. Uncover and evaporate excess liquid, if necessary.

Add the basil.

Serve at room temperature as a main course or a side dish.

FRESH LEMON-SOURED CREAM SAUCE WITH ULIDEA OLIVE DUST

The recipe makes six servings, for enhancing vegetables, fish or meatballs.

This sauce is easily made and vaguely resembles a hollandaise sauce for serving over vegetables like blanched or lightly roasted asparagus or poached leeks, or cold over ripe tomatoes. It can also be used over fried, baked, or poached fish or meatballs.

The sauce makes use of black olive dust for both olive flavor highlights and an attractive black-speckled color.

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons

ULIDEA OLIVE DUST

Combine cream, lemon juice, salt, sugar and olive dust in a bowl, stirring well. Let rest ten minutes. If cream has not thickened, add a little more lemon juice. Stir and taste. Add salt to taste.

Traditionally sauces were spooned over the food it goes with. The more modern way is to spread several tablespoons of sauce on the individual dining plates. Place the vegetable, fish, or meatballs on top of sauce. For this sauce I would do both the smear under the food plus a little drizzled over it.

EGGPLANT STACKS

Serves 4

  • 1 good size eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced then cut across
  • Mozzarella ball, sliced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2T. ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • Handful of basil, torn at last minute

Grill the eggplant slices. Set aside.

Put 2-3 T of water in a large fry pan or wok. Add the onions, garlic, and tomatoes and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add some tomato juice or passata if necessary for a sauce-like consistency. Add salt and pepper.

Oil a casserole dish and put a layer of eggplant in the bottom. Alternate layers of eggplant, sauce, and cheese. Pour in eggs, Finish with sauce on top. Cook 10 minutes in a hot (400 degree) oven, then sprinkle with cheese. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle basil on top.

GRILLED MEAT, FISH OR VEGETABLES WITH REALE BALSAMIC VINEGAR GLAZE

If you want to kick your grilling “up a notch” when the meat or fish is about 2 minutes from coming off the grill brush with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and again when you take the meat or fish off the grill. YUM!!.

When you grill vegetables, brush them with REALE Balsamic Vinegar Glaze before grilling and again just before removing them from the grill. Your guest will think that you are a professional chef.

HERBED POTATO SALAD WITH LEMON-OLIVE OIL DRESSING

6 servings

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

Boil potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add oil to potatoes and toss to coat. Mix in onion, bell pepper, lemon juice, oregano, mint, salt and pepper. Can be made up to 4 hours ahead. Cover, chill. Let stand at room temperature one hour before serving.

Can be doubled, tripled etc.

This was a favorite of Bishop Pierre Whalen. “The Church Ladies” at St James Episcopal in Florence would make it when the Bishop came to visit.

ONION ROASTED POTATOES

Serves 4-6

(Preheat oven to 450 degrees)

  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine ingredients in a plastic bag, close, and shake well. Place mixture into greased baking pan. Bake, stirring from time to time to avoid sticking, for 40 minutes, or until done, in 450-degree oven.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH HOMEMADE HARISSA

Serves 6

Harissa, a garlicky North African chile sauce, is usually served with couscous and stews. The homemade harissa featured here is super simple to prepare, and any extra will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, but jarred versions available at specialty markets make a fine substitute.

  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 thickly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground in a spice grinder
  • 1/2 cup ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash-peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°. On a work surface, using the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the whole garlic clove to a paste with a pinch of salt. Scrape the garlic paste into a small bowl and stir in the tomato paste and fresh lemon juice. Add the ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin and caraway. Gradually stir in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season the harissa with salt.

In a bowl, toss the butternut squash and sliced garlic with 2 tablespoons of the harissa, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the water and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash in a single layer in an 8-inch square baking dish. Roast in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and browned in spots. The roasted squash can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm in a 350° oven before serving.

STUFFED TOMATOES AND ZUCCHINI

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes
  • 2 pounds of fresh zucchini
  • ¼ pound of aged Fontina cheese
  • 6 tablespoons of ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • White pepper
  • Fine sea salt
  • Basil leaves to suit

Procedure:

Wash and dry the tomatoes.
Clean, wash and dry the zucchini.
Cut into two parts, horizontally, half of the tomatoes. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, leaving the flesh and skin intact. Dry the inside of these tomatoes with kitchen paper. Take the other half of the tomatoes, cut them in half, eliminate the seeds, then cut the flesh into small cubes.

Take half of the Zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh using a melon baller or teaspoon, leaving “ships.” Cut the remaining zucchini into ½ inch cubes.

Steam the tomato bits for 10 minutes and, separately, the zucchini for 15. Put the steamed vegetables into separate bowls. Combine the salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons of ULIVA EVOO, and some basil (which you have washed, dried, and chopped). Pour half over each bowl of vegetables. Let them stand 10 minutes.
Fill the half tomatoes with the zucchini mixture and the zucchini boats with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter, leaving an empty space in the center. Thinly shave the cheese and put this in the center of the plate.

TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes)
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons T REALE Balsamic Vinegar (4 years old)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)

Put all ingredients EXCEPT the ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the food processor or blender. Add ½ cup of ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil and blend well.

With machine running, add the remaining ½ cup of ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil Season to taste with tiny amount of salt and pepper.

Makes 2+ cups.

VINAIGRETTE WITH REALE BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND ULIVA EVOO

For whatever amount of Vinaigrette you want, the proper ratio is two-thirds ULIVA Extra Virgin Olive Oil to one-third REALE LeNoir 4 or 8-year-old Balsamic Vinegar. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. You may add a small amount of mustard for a stronger taste.

Drizzle over the dish or dishes of your choice.

ZUCCHINI WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

  • 1 pound of zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red pepper or dry chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup tomato pulp, fresh or bottled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • sea salt to taste

Put the zucchini in a large skillet or wok, drizzle with 2 T. ITALICO EVOO, stir to coat the zucchini with the oil and place over high heat. When the zucchini starts to sizzle, lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Push the zucchini to the sides of the pan and pour the remaining ITALICO EVOO into the center of the pan. Add the garlic and hot pepper, then cook for a minute or two.

Add the tomato pulp, stir to combine well, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the basil and season with salt to taste.

This works well as a side dish for 4-6 or can be served over hot pasta.

ZUCCHINI WITH WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND MINT

Serves 4-6

  • 2 tablespoons ITALICO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs. (about 6 medium) zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds
  • ¼ cup REALE White Balsamic Vinegar 4 year old
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the ITALICO EVOO and butter in a large, heavy skillet (you need as much flat surface as possible; don’t try using a wok) over medium heat. Cook zucchini until undersides are brown, about 8 minutes. (try not to turn them over, just let them cook) Then turn them over and let them cook until the other side is golden brown, about 6 minutes.

Add the REALE White Balsamic Vinegar and ¾ tsp. salt and cook, shaking the skillet, until the vinegar has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the mint and pepper to taste.

Using REALE White Balsamic Vinegar instead of wine vinegar takes recipes up to a new culinary level. Try it – you will like it!!

Serve warm or at room temperature.