Monday, November 26, 2012

Timballo di Lasagne

One of the most magnificent of Italian dishes must surely be the timballi or pasticci that served as the famous centerpiece in the movie BIG NIGHT with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalloub.  I tested my timballo di lasagne alla ferrarese and it was declared the best thing ever made by my son, a phrase he uses anytime he's over for dinner.  It is a centuries old preparation famous in Ferrara where they make it for Carnevale.  It's homemade egg and green lasagne layered with meat ragu and porcini mushrooms and a layer of Bechamel sauce made with Parmigiano-Raggiano cheese and truffles baked in a short dough crust that is sweet with orange zest.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weekend of Cooking

A weekend of cooking for me is a weekend of recipe testing from the provincial cuisines of Italy.  And feeding the kids and their friends is ideal. Here's what I'll be testing: larduocchi, a casserole cooked pork belly pieces with garlic, olive oil, and peppers in vinegar from Molise, penne alla lenticchie, from Umbria is a dish of lentils cooked with carrot, onion, and celery seasoned with tomato puree, garlic, chile, and parsley, pollo alla marengo, and old dish people have heard of but never eaten, supposedly created after Napoleon's Battle of Marengo in Piedmont.  It is chicken with mushrooms, tomatoes, wine, and crayfish.  Gnocchi all'Ossolana are potato-pumpkin-chestnut flour gnocchi with a mushroom and cream sauce.  Gallina col riso is a Sicilian dish of boned whole chicken stuffed with rice, tomatoes, eggs, and mozzarella.  And more...maybe I'm doing too much.