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Posts Tagged ‘Italian Recipes’

Chicken Tortelinni  plated

Knowing CC would be home and ready to eat soon, I started scrounging through the fridge last night and came up with some ingredients to throw together.  This fast, easy, yummy dinner comes together in about thirty minutes (if you hustle, which I did because a hungry man kept looming around the kitchen, wanting fed!).

At first, CC turned up his nose at it, but after one bite, he quickly ate what was on his plate and went back for seconds. I think that meant he liked it.

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it's cooking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it’s cooking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Melt butter and then stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add seasoning if you like and a sprinkle of salt.

Melt butter and then stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add seasoning if you like and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside.

 

When tortellini is cooked, drain. Since I'm lazy, I mixed everything in the saucepan so I had one less bowl to wash.

When tortellini is cooked, drain. Since I’m lazy, I mixed everything in the saucepan so I had one less bowl to wash. Add your chicken and give it a good stir.

Then add the rest of the ingredients.

Then add the rest of the ingredients.

 

Blend thoroughly.

Stir thoroughly.

 

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, then top with  sprinkling of cheese.

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, then top with sprinkling of cheese.

 

Top with Panko crumbs.

Top with Panko crumbs.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted, then serve immediately. (Hungry men don’t like to wait while you do silly things like take photos!)

 

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini

1 package of cheese-filled tortellini

2 cups cooked chicken

1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (divided)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce

1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs

2 tbsp. butter

Seasoning

Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. While it’s cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Melt butter and stir in Panko crumbs. You can also add some seasoning to the crumbs, if you wish.

Drain tortellini. Add chicken to the saucepan and stir then add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese, Alfredo Sauce and any seasonings along with a sprinkle of salt. Stir well then spoon into casserole pan. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese then Panko crumbs. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

If you want to get fancy, you can add a sprinkle of fresh or fried parsley on top.

She Who Will Be Making This Again

 

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“French might be the language of love,

but Italian is the food of romance.”

Caterina Campanelli (from the historic romance Caterina)

Caterina cover lr

While I was writing Caterina ( Book 2 in the Pendleton Petticoats Series), I found myself  cooking more Italian food than normal. Captain Cavedweller thought it was pretty awesome, especially when I made Zeppole. I’m pretty sure he could have eaten the entire batch by himself if I hadn’t tackled him and stole a few!

Just kidding… mostly.

Anyway, Caterina is a talented cook who pours love into the food she creates. Good thing the hero in the story is a lonely, hungry bachelor who happens to think her cooking is the best thing he’s ever tasted. It had to be that whole a way to a man’s heart thing.

Throughout the book, readers get glimpses of the delicious things Caterina cooks including everything from gnocchi to zeppole.

Writing the story and developing the characters, to me it just seemed so natural to tie romance and Italian food together. I think, perhaps, that scene from Lady and the Tramp has been stuck in my mind since childhood days and never quite worked its way out. Whatever the reason, I personally think the two go together well.

Just for fun, I thought I’d see what your favorite Italian food is to either make or eat (or both!).

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

She Who Is Making Ravioli for Dinner (from scratch!)

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Zeppole plated

In the midst of writing a historical romance about an Italian girl who loves to cook, I decided to try out a few Italian recipes, trying to stick to selections she would have made in 1900.

Lucky enough to stumble across a cookbook, Italian Cooking, written by Dorothy Daly in 1900, it really helped me know the types of ingredients Caterina would have used and had available as well as cooking methods.

Of my experiments, so far, Captain Cavedweller has liked Zeppole the most.  Zeppole are Italian pastries, deep-fried of various sizes (especially if I’m the one making them!). Typically, they are about four inches in diameter.

I almost had to beat CC away with my spatula when I was finishing making these the other day because he was eating them about as fast as I was cooking them.

Rich and yeasty, they were really simple to make and amazingly tasty.

Start with some very basic ingredients.

Start with some very basic ingredients.

 

Mix the flour and salt together and set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together and set aside.

 

Mix yeast with warm water and let set about five minutes.

Mix yeast with warm water and let set about five minutes.

 

Lightly whip eggs into yeast.

Lightly whip eggs into yeast.

 

Then add the flour mixture. The dough will be really sticky - not like bread dough.

Then add the flour mixture. The dough will be really sticky – not like bread dough.

 

Set in a warm spot, cover with a dish towel and let rise for about 20 minutes. Stir it back down and repeat the process. Can't you almost smell the yest with those delicious looking bubbles in the dough?

Set in a warm spot, cover with a dish towel and let rise for about 20 minutes. Stir it back down and repeat the process. Can’t you almost smell the yest with those delicious looking bubbles in the dough?

 

Heat about four cups of oil in a heavy saucepan (you want a couple inches of oil in there) and heat over medium-high heat until a bit of dough dropped in sizzles. Drop a heaping spoon of dough (carefully!) into the oil and fry until golden brown. These sweet little babies turn themselves over so you don't have to, unless you want to, then by all means-  go right ahead!

Heat about four cups of oil in a heavy saucepan (you want a couple inches of oil in there) and heat over medium-high heat until a bit of dough dropped in sizzles. Drop a heaping spoon of dough (carefully!) into the oil and fry until golden brown. These sweet little babies turn themselves over so you don’t have to, unless you want to, then by all means- go right ahead!

 

While the Zeppole cool enough to be handled, scoop some powdered sugar into a lunch bag. Drop in a piece of the fried dough and give it a good shake then be prepared to fight people off.

While the Zeppole cool enough to be handled, scoop some powdered sugar into a lunch bag. Drop in a piece of the fried dough and give it a good shake then be prepared to fight people off.

 

You can also mix up some cinnamon and sugar...

You can also mix up some cinnamon and sugar…

And roll them around in it.

And roll them around in it.

See wasn’t that easy?

Zeppole

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 pkg. instant yeast

1 cup warm water

3 eggs

Mix flour, sugar and salt then set aside.

Empty yeast into a large bowl with warm water. Stir until dissolved then let rest about five minutes.

Add in eggs and whip lightly then add flour and stir until well mixed.

Cover bowl with a dish towel and set in a warm place for 20 minutes. Stir down the dough and let rise again before frying.

Heat a heavy-duty pan of oil on medium-high heat until a drop of dough sizzles in the pan.

Drop a tablespoon full of the dough (think in terms of the size of a plum) into the oil, being carefully not to burn yourself on any splatters and cook until golden brown. The Zeppole turn themselves over when they are cooking, which is fun to watch.

Drain on paper towels or paper bags (to soak up the grease) then drench in sugar. I liked powdered sugar best and CC preferred cinnamon and sugar. Either is delicious.

You can also serve these with fruit or whipped cream, if you so desire. (Or stand over the bag with powdered sugar devouring these like a ravenous beast.)

She Who Loves Italian Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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