Italian Beef



2 -3 LB Beef Roast
14 Ounces Beef Broth (Halfway point on Slow Cooker)

14 Ounce Jar of Pepperoncini's

1 Package Good Season's Italian Salad Dressing Mix 
5 Hoagie Rolls


Optional Ingredients are 1 Onion Sliced, and 1 Green Peppers , Slivers of Garlic


Since this is a slow cooker recipe, make sure and plan timing accordingly. this will take 8-12 hours on low setting of most slow cookers. Place Roast Fat Side up in Slow cooker. Fill slow cooker halfway with Beef broth and then sprinkle good seasons over the beef. add half of juice from pepperoncini's  and add 6-8 peppers to the mixture. Cook on low for 8-12 Hours. When its done, pull roast out and pull apart with fork and place back in slow cooker. slice rolls open and spoon mixture with juice onto the roll making sure to get beef and broth so roll is moist with the juices.  You can then place 2 pepperoncini's on each sandwich.

If you choose to add the additional , optional ingredients do so at beginning of cooking. Slivers of Garlic can be inserted into meat by cutting small slits in roast and inserting slivers.  


 

Eggplant Romano

Everyone knows about Eggplant Parmigiana.  I like Pecorino Romano Cheese, so I figured I would try a little twist.

2 Medium Size Eggplants
2 Cups Italian Breadcrumbs

6 Eggs
2 Tablespoons  Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Cups  Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Pepper

4 Cups Marinara Sauce

Fresh Bail

1 Cub Fresh Itailian Parsley

1 Cup Pecorino Romano
1/2 Teaspoon each of  Salt And Pepper

Peel and chop off the ends of eggplant and slice into 1/8 inch round slices..  Whisk the eggs so that they are broken down into dipping liquid. Heat Olive Oil in Large Frying Pan to medium temperature being careful to not get to hot.and then Combine Breadcrumbs, Garlic Powder, Pecorino Romano, Salt and Pepper on Flat Plate. Take each round eggplant slice and dip it into egg wash and then into bread crumb mixture. thoroughly coat both sides by flipping several times. Once coated, place in frying pan being careful not to crowd pan with more than 3 or 4 slices. Brown each slice completely before flipping over. Meanwhile, put 1 cup of Marinara sauce on bottom of roasting pan and place each browned slice on top of sauce. Repeat and Build Layers remembering to sprinkle additional Romano on each layer and sauce on each layer. Bake in Pre-Heated Oven for 45 Minutes at 350 Degrees. Remove and let sit. You can eat this just like this after 10 minutes of resting, however I like to boil 1 lb of Spaghetti, Slice the eggplant into thin slices and combine with  the macaroni.

 

Pasta E Piselli

Macaroni and Peas was a once a week dish in the Amico house. Fresh Basil makes this one of my very favorites. This is  a very common Dish

1 Bag Frozen Peas (Young if possible)
2 Stalks of Celery including leaves
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic
2-2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Cups ditalini

2 Cups Fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 Cub Fresh Itailian Parsley

1 Cup Pecorino Romano
Sea Salt And Pepper

Cook the Frozen Peas in Water until Just Defrosted. Cook the Ditalini To Al Dente and Set Aside. Saute Celery and leaves in olive oil until soft And Add Garlic. Saute until golden. Drain Peas except leave 1 cup of water. Add Peas with reserved water to celery mixture in sauté pan. add chicken broth and oregano making sure to rub oregano between hands to release flavor. simmer mixture for 20-25 minutes, add ditalini . Transfer to Serving Dish, Add Romano, Basil And Parsley...Stir well to Meld Flavors...

 

Cardoon

This vegetable is very likely an early ancestor of the artichoke. Its large, grayish-green stalks are somewhat bitter, but they remain popular in Italy, You can find them in large produce markets in late fall. Every Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas, these were on The Amico table.

2 Bunches Cardone
18 Eggs
Italian Bread Crumbs 
Garlic Powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt And Pepper

Trim each stalk of all leaves, cut stalks into 4 inch pieces and flatten down each piece and place in boiling water for 8-10 minutes till slightly tender. Remove and rinse in cool water.
Beat 6 large eggs and mix bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste on plate. Heat extra virgin olive oil In frying pan. Dip each piece in egg, then bread crumbs...fry each side until golden brown. ..when done, place on plate with a paper towel on the bottom. Make sure to always lightly salt after frying .

 

Orecchiette with Hot Sausage & Broccoli Rabe
1 Pound Broccoli Rabe
1 Pound Hot Italian Sausage(4 Large Pieces)
3 Cloves Garlic(Sliced)
6 Ounces Dry White Wine(Optional)
1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano 
Italian Parsley(Handful)
1 LB Orecchiette(Little Ears)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Chop 1 bunch of broccoli Rabe into three equal parts discarding the lower inch of the stems. Place the Rabe into a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 mins. approximately,  just long enough till tender. Remove from water with slotted spoon reserving the boiling water for macaroni. Let Rabe cool in bowl.  Heat the olive oil and add the sausage whole..Cook until almost done(browned well) Remove from pan and slice into 1/4 rounds and add back to the olive oil frying until browned on both sides(flat side)..Add sliced garlic near the end of frying time and cook until just turning golden...DO NOT BURN GARLIC..While frying sausage(whole) add the little ears to the salted, boiling water . Add drained RABE to sausage and garlic mixture and sauté for 5-6 minutes...At this point you can add the dry white wine and cook until all alcohol evaporates..(remember wine is optional)drain little ears and add to sauté pan with Rabe mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and add pecorino and parsley...
Rigatoni and Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is such an underutilized green. In NY since the growing season is so short ,this is an easily grown plant that works well in cold weather/early season and as you cut the stalks off, it grows back!!! and you can freeze this recipe and add to macaroni at a later date.

1 Pound Swiss Chard
1 Large Ripe Tomato or 2-3(Individual) Canned Whole Plum tomatoes
1/8-1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper flakes
3 Large Garlic cloves
1/2-1 Cup Chicken Broth
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 LB Rigatoni
Salt And Pepper

Take the chard leaves and trim the leafy part from the stems. Set leafy parts aside.

Cut stems in 2 inch sections. Sauté garlic and red pepper until garlic is starting to turn golden. Add the stems and sauté for 4 minutes or so and then add your chicken broth cooking the stems in the broth until they soften. Add the leafy parts back in until they wilt down, adding tomatoes mid way, cooking mixture until all combine(about 8-10 mins). It is ready!!! Add cooked rigatoni to mixture in pan, cook for two minutes together, serve!!!

Meatballs
Meatballs have so many different faces and versions, you should try all of them to see what you like. This recipe is the one everyone asks me for...You may run into a problem finding ground veal in your local grocery store, but if you can find veal for stew, the butcher will grind it for you usually . Or better yet, venture outside your comfort zone and go to your local meat market.

1 Pound Ground Beef
1/2 Pound Ground Veal
1/2 Pound Ground Pork
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano
1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley(Fresh Chopped)
1 Clove GarlicSaltPepper
2 Cups Bread Crumbs(Progresso Plain or Seasoned)
Water
Olive Oil

Combine meats, eggs, cheese, parsley and garlic. Mix well and slowly add in bread crumbs. Make sure you add salt and pepper, about 2 tablespoons each usually is fine since you will salt after frying again. Mixture will become dry so add in palm full of luke warm water at a time until the mixture is moist, not wet or soaked...Form into medium size meatballs, put on a plate. Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil(Medium Heat) and add enough meatballs so that the pan is not crowded(Important). Fry meatballs until golden or crispy on one side, rotate meatball and continue this procedure until all sides are very crispy. REMEMBER, the heat must be hot enough to get the meatballs CRISPY so that the outside shell locks in flavor!!!  Have a plate ready with a piece of paper towel on it to place the meatballs on when they are done frying. Biggest mistake home cooks make, afraid of the heat!!! These can freeze well after cooked  or be used immediately in the sauce. ALSO REMEMBER TO SALT THEM AGAIN LIGHTLY WHEN DONE FRYING EACH ONE WHILE STILL HOT.
Meatballs have so many different faces and versions, you should try all of them to see what you like. This recipe is the one everyone asks me for...You may run into a problem finding ground veal in your local grocery store, but if you can find veal for stew, the butcher will grind it for you usually . Or better yet, venture outside your comfort zone and go to your local meat market.
Linguini with Shrimp

This dish actually is my personal favorite. Simple, fresh components that just burst with flavor when combined. 



2 lbs Large Raw Shrimp
1 Cup Fresh Basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Cloves Garlic
​2 Tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes
5 Raw Plum tomatoes
1 LB Linguini

Cut small slits in plum tomatoes and immerse in boiling water for 30 -45 seconds to loosen skin. Remove, let cool , peel and core and dice them into small pieces.Heat Extra Virgin olive oil and add sliced garlic and sauté until just turning golden..DO NOT BURN...Add peeled shrimp and sauté with garlic until they start to turn pink adding the red pepper flakes as well. Add tomatoes and salt well so that the tomatoes give up their juices and create a velvet Sauce. DO NOT OVERCOOK ..To time the macaroni prep, I usually make sure the linguini is cooking at the same time I add the shrimp to the garlic in the sauté pan...It usually times out perfectly that way... Please , DO NOT ADD CHEESE to seafood dishes..


Zucchini And Macaroni
6-8 Small Zucchini(Leave Skin On)
​1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes
2 Plum Tomatoes(Canned) or 3/4 Cup Crushed
1 Cup Fresh Basil
1 Cup Chicken Broth 
2 Cups Water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper
1 LB Macaroni(Rotini or Smaller)

​Prepare the zucchini by slicing in half lengthwise. Then slice those half's into quarter rounds. Cut the onion into small slices and sauté in the olive oil until they just start turning gold, add the garlic and red pepper flakes to taste and sauté with onions until both garlic and onions  are golden, not burned. Add the zucchini and stir well, sauté until the zucchini turns lighter green in color making sure to salt slightly and pepper, so it gives up its juices. Add the two cups of water and chicken broth until an almost  soup/sauce like texture is achieved..Simmer 20-25 mins. Add 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes or 2 whole canned plum tomatoes crushed in your hand. Simmer 15-20 mins  more. The idea is to see the zucchini look light green and the broth should still be yellowish, NOT RED LIKE SAUCE ,  cook your pasta,  add into the zucchini mixture cook an additional 5 mins.  Serve with grated pecorino Romano if desired and definitely add the fresh basil(ripped up) right before serving and stir in...Consistency of dish should be soup like, with plenty of yummy broth...

Growing up in a mostly Italian culture  with grandparents that immigrated from Italy was of course centered around food. The Sunday "Experience" started at around noon with a walk underneath trellises full of grapes that we would pick as we walked towards the doorway. The smell of sauce permeated the air as we entered the first floor, or my grandmother's level of the house. My Aunt Rose and Uncle Gus lived upstairs in the house and of course the house had no less than 3 full kitchens all used to some degree in preparation. Soups, salad, macaroni, meat from the sauce, was just the first dinner...We ate again later that day, sometimes moving upstairs to the other kitchen to eat beef, ham, chicken or some other kind of baked meat with vegetables,  potatoes, and more salad. My grandmother spoke no english so she would communicate thru my father to us. I loved sitting in her kitchen smelling  all the smells...it was like any NY Italian Deli...Those of you who know that smell..never forget it. Basically everything we ate at my grandmother's translated over to my parents house and thus translated down to the kids. These recipes are things that I saw, ate, and enjoyed as a child. A lot of Macaroni!!!! I sure do miss those days and my grandmother..

​From the Amico table to yours:

Buon Appetito!

One Hour Italian Chicken Meatball Soup

1 Rotisserie Chicken (Already Cooked) 
2 32 Ounce Cartons of Progresso Chicken Broth

1 Bag of Baby Carrots 

 5 Celery Stalks With Leaves
 1 Onion

 1 Bag of Baby Spinach

  1 LB of Pasta (Ditalini or Small Shape)

  16 Ounces of Ground Chicken

   1 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs

   1 Cup Romano Cheese

   1 Large Egg

    Garlic Powder

     Salt And Pepper

  


Take chicken off the bone and combine with the broth, Onion, Carrots, Celery in stock pot. Simmer 30 minutes.

Combine ground chicken, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper and egg. form into small meatballs and drop into boiling broth. they will float when done. once meatballs are all floating add bag of spinach until wilted then add pasta preferably small shaped. you may need to add additional bouillon as flavoring towards end of process if you so desire. make sure it is good quality chicken stock and not salt cubes that some other brands pass off as bouillon.

total cook time is 45 mins to an hour.


 


 


My Favorite Frittata

9 Eggs
1 Cup Romano Cheese

1  Jar of Fried Peppers

1 Onion
 Salt And Pepper

Garlic Powder

 1 LB Prosciutto

 

 

  Sauté onion   in 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil in cast iron skillet. Add peppers and prosciutto once onion wilts.

Preheat oven to 450 while doing this. Add cheese, onions, salt and pepper to eggs and whisk till scrambled. pour into cast iron skillet making sure to stir to distribute items equally. let mixture simmer until crust begins to form around the edges. Place cast iron skillet in oven until fully cooked and top turns golden. remember to pull out of oven and run plastic spatula along edges to pull away from sides. Salt and pepper the top once it comes out the oven.  Cut into triangle slices and serve warm or cold as a sandwich or not.




 


 

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