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favorite italian recipes

Fennel and Aged Pecorino Salad total: 20 min 6 s e r v i n g s

This crisp salad combines fennel, scallions and parsley with shavings of sharp, salty aged pecorino cheese; the pecorino from the small Tuscan town of Pienza is especially tasty. 1» tablespoons red wine vinegar ¥ cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 large fennel bulbs (2 pounds)— halved, cored and very thinly

In a large bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar and the olive oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Add the sliced fennel, scallions, parsley leaves and shaved pecorino and toss the salad gently. Transfer the salad to plates, garnish with the fennel fronds and serve right away. —Rolando Beramendi wine Floral Vernaccia di San Gimignano: 2008 Teruzzi & Puthod Rondolino.

sliced, fronds reserved 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced » cup flat-leaf parsley leaves 5 ounces aged pecorino, shaved (2 cups)

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favorite italian recipes

Pinzimonio with Tonnato Sauce total: 20 min 6 servings

Pinzimonio is a supersimple dish of raw vege­ tables served with seasoned olive oil for dipping. The clever variation here replaces the olive oil with tonnato, a creamy sauce made with tuna, lemon and a few other ingredients. ¥ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling One 8-ounce jar Italian tuna in olive oil, drained 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 4 oil-packed anchovies, drained 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed ¥ cup mayonnaise ¥ pound green, Roma or

1. In a food processor, combine the ¥ cup of olive oil with the tuna, lemon juice, anchovies, capers and mayonnaise. Process until smooth. Scrape the tonnato sauce into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. 2. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water; pat dry. 3. Arrange the beans, carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes and fennel on a platter; sprinkle with the sea salt. Drizzle the tonnato with olive oil; serve with the vegetables. —Nate Appleman wine Crisp, herbal Vermentino: 2008 Argiolas Costamolino.

wax beans 8 Parisian round carrots or baby carrots 4 tender celery ribs with leaves attached, quartered crosswise 2 lemon, Persian or Kirby cucumbers, peeled and quartered lengthwise 2 small watermelon radishes, cut into 8 wedges each, or 10 small radishes, halved 1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into 16 wedges » teaspoon coarse sea salt

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favorite italian recipes

Hearty Minestrone Soup active: 30 min; total: 3 hr 30 min plus overnight soaking 4 s e r v i n g s

This satisfying vegetable-bean soup uses a little bit of pancetta for porky flavor. All those beans make the soup a great source of fiber. 1¥ cups dried white beans (8 ounces), soaked overnight and drained 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced 2 medium shallots, minced 2 large celery ribs, finely diced 1 medium onion, finely diced 1 large carrot, finely diced » fennel bulb, cored and diced 4 garlic cloves, minced » teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons tomato paste One 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 cup baby arugula » cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. In a pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 2 hours; add water to keep the beans covered. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid. 2. Meanwhile, in another pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over mod­ erate heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Add the shallots, celery, onion, carrot and fennel, and cook until softened. Add the garlic, crushed pepper and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 min­ utes. Stir in the tomatoes, juices and broth; bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Add the beans and enough cooking liquid to thin out the soup. Discard the bay leaves; season with salt and pepper. 3. In a bowl, toss the arugula and parsley with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup in bowls; top with the salad. —David Bull wine Vibrant Barbera: 2007 Vietti Tre Vigne.

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

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favorite italian recipes

Artichoke-andFontina Pizzas total: 30 min plus overnight marinating m a ke s t wo 1 0 - i n c h p i z z as

Cookbook author Eugenia Bone uses frozen artichokes for this recipe, thawing them then marinating them overnight in olive oil with gar­ lic, herbs and lemon juice before scattering them on pizzas. To save time, use store-bought marinated artichokes. 16 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 garlic cloves, smashed 2 thyme sprigs 2 rosemary sprigs 1 bay leaf 1 small dried chile pepper Salt Cornmeal, for dusting Two 8-ounce balls of store-bought pizza dough 2» cups coarsely grated imported Fontina cheese

1. In a medium bowl, combine the artichoke hearts with 1 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and chile pepper. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate the artichokes overnight or for up to 3 days. 2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Dust a work surface with cornmeal and roll out each piece of pizza dough to a 10-inch round. Transfer to baking sheets. Drizzle the rounds with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the dough looks dry and bubbles appear on the surface. Remove from the oven. 3. Chop the artichokes into bite-size pieces; drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle the Fontina over the pizzas; distribute the artichokes over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper; return the pizzas to the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are browned. Serve hot. —Eugenia Bone wine Lively Sauvignon Blanc: 2008 Andrian Floreado.

Freshly ground pepper

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SUMMER FARRO SALAD total: 30 min 8 servings

Farro, the nutty Italian grain, is delightful in this fast recipe, but you can swap in any starch, such as bread or pasta. ¬ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onion, quartered 1 small carrot, halved 1 celery rib, halved 12 ounces farro (1‚ cups) 5 cups water Kosher salt 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar Freshly ground pepper » small red onion, thinly sliced 1 small seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the yellow onion, carrot and celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and stir to coat with oil. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and sim­mer over low heat until the farro is barely tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt. Cover and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 10 minutes longer. Drain the farro and discard the onion, carrot and cel­ ery. Let cool completely. 2. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ¬ cup of olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper and serve. —Marco Canora wine Cherry-inflected Italian rosé: 2008 Cataldi Madonna Cerasuolo.

¥ cup chopped fresh basil

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favorite italian recipes

carrot-Potato Gnocchi with cheese active: 30 min; total: 1 hr 30 min 4 t o 6 s e r v i n g s

The pureed carrots in these soft and pillowy gnocchi give them a lovely sweetness and a very pretty color, too. 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 carrots, thinly sliced Salt 2 large egg yolks » cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Bake in a microwave oven at high power for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes and microwave for 5 minutes longer. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Alternatively, bake the potatoes in the oven for about 1 hour, until tender. 2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the carrots and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add ¥ cup water and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. 3. Halve the potatoes. Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes. Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Add » cup of

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the carrot puree. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 tea­ spoon of salt. Add the flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky. 4. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a ‚-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into ‚-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet. 5. In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve. —Grace Parisi make ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting. wine Lively Dolcetto d’Alba: 2007 Roagna.

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favorite italian recipes

classic Meatballs total: 20 min makes 28 meatballs

These meatballs combine ground beef, pork and veal. The pork and veal help lighten the texture, while the mix of meats makes the meat­ balls superflavorful. ¬ pound ground beef ¬ pound ground pork ¬ pound ground veal 1 garlic clove, minced 1½ teaspoons kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

supersize meatballs Start with 1½ pounds mixed ground beef, pork and veal. Mix in ¼ cup bread crumbs soaked in ¼ cup milk, ½ small minced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon minced oregano, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Form into 4 balls. Brown in olive oil. Add 3½ cups marinara, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with spaghetti and Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the meat, garlic, salt and pepper until mixed. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Brown the meatballs over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until they are cooked all the way through, about 7 minutes. —Alison Attenborough make ahead The meatballs can be cooked up to 2 days in advance. wine Earthy Sangiovese: 2007 Querciabella Chianti Classico.

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favorite italian recipes

Pappardelle with Veal Ragù active: 30 min; total: 2 hr 45 min 8 s e r v i n g s

This ragù is lusty and delicious. The veal gets wonderfully tender while it braises in the rich, winey tomato sauce. 3» to 4 pounds boneless veal shoulder, cut into 3-inch chunks Salt and freshly ground pepper All-purpose flour, for dusting » cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 1» teaspoons ground coriander 1» teaspoons ground fennel 1» cups dry red wine Two 28-ounce cans Italian whole tomatoes, drained and chopped 4 cups chicken or veal stock 1» tablespoons minced rosemary 2 pounds fresh pappardelle Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

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1. Season the veal with salt and pepper and dust with flour, tapping off the excess. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat ¥ cup of the olive oil. Add the veal and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer the veal to a plate. 2. Add the remaining ¥ cup of oil to the casserole. Stir in the onion, garlic, coriander and fennel and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced to ¬ cup, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat for 5 minutes. Add the stock and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add the veal, cover partially and cook over low heat until very tender, 2 hours. 3. Remove the meat and shred it. Boil the sauce until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the meat. 4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add the ragù and toss over low heat until the pasta is coated. Serve with cheese at the table. —Grace Parisi wine Cherry-rich Chianti Classico: 2005 Il Molino di Grace.

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favorite italian recipes

ITALIAN SEAFOOD STEW active: 45 min; total: 1 hr 45 min 6 s e r v i n g s

In this luscious, tomato-rich stew, NYC chef Marco Canora cooks calamari slowly until it becomes supertender. He says calamari is essen­ tial to the success of the dish, because it releases its liquid as it simmers, which adds a huge amount of flavor to the sauce. “I’m a big fan of substitutions,” he says, “but not in this case.” » cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1 fennel bulb, cored and chopped 2 celery ribs, finely chopped 1 white onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon dried oregano Pinch of crushed red pepper 1» pounds cleaned squid— bodies cut into »-inch rings, tentacles halved 2 cups dry white wine One 28-ounce can tomato puree 2 lemons—zest of one peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler, zest of the other finely grated Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 cups water 1 cup bottled clam broth 12 ounces mussels, scrubbed 12 ounces littleneck clams, scrubbed 12 ounces shelled and deveined

1. In a very large, enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the » cup of olive oil. Add the fennel, celery, onion, oregano and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Add the squid and cook over moderately low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil over moder­ ately high heat. Cook until evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and strips of lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 40 minutes. 3. Add the water and clam broth and bring to a boil. Remove and discard the lemon zest. Season the broth with salt and pepper. Add the mussels, clams and shrimp, cover and cook until most of the shells have opened, about 5 minutes. Add the striped bass and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes longer. 4. In a small bowl, combine the parsley with the grated lemon zest. Spoon the stew into deep bowls and sprinkle with the gremolata. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. —Marco Canora serve with Garlic-rubbed toasts. wine Minerally Ligurian white: 2008 Colle dei Bardellini Pigato.

large shrimp 12 ounces skinless striped bass fillet, cut into 2-by-1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

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Sautéed Chicken with Olives and Lemons total: 35 min 4 servings

This piquant dish from chef Lidia Bastianich’s Missouri restaurant, Lidia’s Kansas City, is one of our favorite ways to prepare skinless chicken breasts. 2 lemons, sliced ¥ inch thick ¥ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Salt and freshly ground pepper Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves All-purpose flour, for dusting » cup pitted green Sicilian or Spanish olives, sliced 2 tablespoons drained capers 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small dice 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

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1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper. Arrange the lemon slices on the paper in a single layer. Lightly drizzle the slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 min­ utes, until the slices begin to brown around the edges. 2. In a medium, deep skillet, heat the ¥ cup of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dust them with flour, shaking off the excess. Cook the chicken over high heat, turning once, until the breasts are golden, about 6 minutes. 3. Add the olives, capers and stock to the skil­ let and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the stock is reduced to ¬ cup, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted lemons, butter and parsley, season with salt and pepper and simmer just until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to plates and serve. —Lidia Bastianich serve with Sautéed baby spinach. wine Citrusy Muller-Thurgau: 2007 Abbazia di Novacella.

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PORK CHOPS WITH GREEN PEPPERCORN SAUCE active: 45 min; total: 1 hr 45 min 4 s e r v i n g s

La Locanda della Ribollita in Chiusi, Italy, serves succulent pork chops wrapped in thin layers of lardo (cured pork fat). If lardo is hard to find, substitute pancetta (cured pork belly rolled into a log); unfurl the slices into long strips before wrapping the chops. Eight 6-inch-long rosemary branches 4 garlic cloves—2 minced, 2 crushed » cup extra-virgin olive oil Four ¾-inch-thick boneless pork chops Salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 very thin slices of lardo (see Note) or unrolled pancetta » cup dry white wine 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth Finely grated zest of 1 lemon ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine, rinsed 1. Using your fingers, strip off the leaves from the bottom 4 inches of the rosemary branches and finely chop enough leaves to make 2 table­ spoons. In a large, shallow dish, mix the chopped rosemary with the minced garlic and ¼ cup of the oil. Season the pork chops with salt and black pepper, add to the marinade and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. 2. Wrap 2 slices of the lardo around the edge of each pork chop and secure with a toothpick. On the side opposite the toothpick, skewer each of the chops with 2 stripped rosemary branches.

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3. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the pork chops and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and cook over moderate heat until browned on the second side and just cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and keep warm. 4. Pour off the fat in the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the wine and boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken broth, grated lemon zest and crushed red pepper and boil until reduced to » cup, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the brined green peppercorns. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove the toothpicks from the pork. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve. —Matt Molina note Lardo is available at Italian markets and specialty-food shops. wine Juicy, plummy Merlot: 2007 Falesco.

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Vanilla Zabaglione with Raspberries active: 30 min; total: 1 hr 30 min 1 0 s e r v i n g s

The ethereal Italian dessert sauce zabaglione (known in French as sabayon) consists of egg yolks beaten with sugar and the Sicilian fortified dessert wine Marsala. Steeping vanilla seeds in the Marsala adds lovely flavor; folding in whipped cream increases the decadence factor. 1 cup Marsala 1 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 1 dozen large egg yolks 1 cup heavy cream 2» cups brandied cherries or Amaretto cherries 5 cups raspberries

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1. In a small saucepan, whisk the Marsala with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. 2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer; turn the heat to moderately low. Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk or beat the egg yolks at low speed to break them up. Gradually add the hot Marsala mixture and beat until smooth. 3. Set the bowl over the simmering water. Beat the egg yolk mixture until it is hot and foamy and leaves a ribbon trail when the beaters are lifted, about 10 minutes. Don’t cook the zaba­ glione for too long, or it will curdle. Transfer the bowl to the ice water bath and let stand, whisking the zabaglione occasionally, until cooled. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until thoroughly chilled. 4. In another large stainless steel bowl, whip the cream to form firm peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled zabaglione. Spoon the cherries into rocks glasses or bowls. Top with the zabaglione and raspberries and serve. —Taylor Boetticher serve with Amaretti cookies. make ahead The zabaglione can be refriger­ ated overnight. Fold in the whipped cream just before serving. wine Sweet, berry-scented sparkling wine: Banfi Rosa Regale.

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