RECIPE TITLE "Polpette Fritte di Mia Mamma (My Mother's Fried Meatballs)
Biba's Taste of Italy: Recipes from the Homes, Trattorie and Restaurants of Emilia-Romagna
Copyright © 2001 by Biba Caggiano.
Serves 6 ---
The special craving I have for polpette is as much emotional as
it is gustatory, since it is one of the nurturing dishes of my childhood.
Try my mother's polpette, then try thevariation, in which they are
enriched by an appetizing tomato and bean sauce.
2 slices white bread
1 cup milk
3/4 pound ground veal
1/2 pound Homemade Bolognese sausage or mild Italian pork sausage
(containing no fennel seeds, chile pepper, or strong spices), casings
removed and chopped
1/4 pound sliced mortadella, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2 cups line dried bread crumbs
Olive off for frying
Remove the crusts from the bread and tear it into pieces. Put it
in a small bowl, add the milk, and let soak for 5 minutes.
Drain the bread and squeeze out as much of the milk as possible.
Place the bread in a large bowl and add the veal, sausage, mortadella,
nutmeg, Parmigiano, and eggs. Season lightly with salt and pepper
and mix until well combined.
Take a small amount of the meat mixture and shape it between the
palms of your hands into a ball about the size of a very small egg.
Place on a plate, then repeat until all the meat is used up.
Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Dip the meatballs in the
beaten eggs, coat them evenly with the bread crumbs, and flatten
them a little with the palms of your hands. Place the polpette in
a single layer on a cookie sheet or large platter. (They can be
refrigerated, tightly covered with plastic wrap, for several hours.)
Heat 1 inch of oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
As soon as the oil is nice and hot, lower the polpette, in batches
into the oil with a slotted spoon, making sure not to crowd the
pan. As soon as the polpette are golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes,
turn them and brown the other side. Transfer the polpette to paper
towels to drain. Pile the polpette on a warm serving platter and
bring to the table.
Note: Fried polpette are delicious and versatile. They can be served
as a casual appetizer, a snack, or a light lunch or dinner. In the
countryside of Emilia-Romagna, they are often served with tender
leaves of wild chicory or with Parmigiano-enriched mashed potatoes.
|Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most
In this exciting new book the incomparable Lidia takes us on a gastronomic journey—from Piemonte to Puglia—exploring ten different regions that have informed her cooking and helped to make her the fabulous cook that she is today. In addition, her daughter Tanya, an art historian, guides us to some of the nearby cultural treasures that enrich the pursuit of good food.
· In Istria, now part of Croatia, where Lidia grew up, she forages again for wild asparagus, using it in a delicious soup and a frittata; Sauerkraut with Pork and Roast Goose with Mlinzi reflect the region’s Middle European influences; and buzara, an old mariner’s stew, draws on fish from the nearby sea.
· From Trieste, Lidia gives seafood from the Adriatic, Viennese-style breaded veal cutlets and Beef Goulash, and Sacher Torte and Apple Strudel.
· From Friuli, where cows graze on the rich tableland, comes Montasio cheese to make fricos; the corn fields yield polenta for Velvety Cornmeal-Spinach Soup.
· In Padova and Treviso rice reigns supreme, and Lidia discovers hearty soups and risottos that highlight local flavors.
· In Piemonte, the robust Barolo wine distinguishes a fork-tender stufato of beef; local white truffles with scrambled eggs is “heaven on a plate”; and a bagna cauda serves as a dip for local vegetables, including prized cardoons.
· In Maremma, where hunting and foraging are a way of life, earthy foods are mainstays, such as slow-cooked rabbit sauce for pasta or gnocchi and boar tenderloin with prune-apple Sauce, with Galloping Figs for dessert.
· In Rome Lidia revels in the fresh artichokes and fennel she finds in the Campo dei Fiori and brings back nine different ways of preparing them.
· In Naples she gathers unusual seafood recipes and a special way of making limoncello-soaked cakes.
· From Sicily’s Palermo she brings back panelle, the delicious fried chickpea snack; a caponata of stewed summer vegetables; and the elegant Cannoli Napoleon.
· In Puglia, at Italy’s heel, where durum wheat grows at its best, she makes some of the region’s glorious pasta dishes and re-creates a splendid focaccia from Altamura.
There are 140 delectable recipes to be found as you make this journey with Lidia. And along the way, with Tanya to guide you, you’ll stop to admire Raphael’s fresco Triumph of Galatea, a short walk from the market in Rome; the two enchanting women in the Palazzo Abbatellis in Palermo; and the Roman ruins in Friuli, among many other delights. There’s something for everyone in this rich and satisfying book that will open up new horizons even to the most seasoned lover of Italy. More info
|Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
Lidia Bastianich, loved by millions of Americans for her good Italian cooking, gives us her most instructive and personal cookbook yet.
Focusing on the Italian-American kitchen—the cooking she encountered when she first came to America as a young adolescent—she pays homage to this “cuisine of adaptation born of necessity.” But she transforms it subtly with her light, discriminating touch, using the authentic ingredients, not accessible to the early immigrants, which are all so readily available today. The aromatic flavors of fine Italian olive oil, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gorgonzola dolce latte, fresh basil, oregano, and rosemary, sun-sweetened San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto, and pancetta permeate the dishes she makes in her Italian-American kitchen today. And they will transform for you this time-honored cuisine, as you cook with Lidia, learning from her the many secret, sensuous touches that make her food superlative.
You’ll find recipes for Scampi alla Buonavia (the garlicky shrimp that became so popular when Lidia served the dish at her first restaurant, Buonavia), Clams Casino (with roasted peppers and good American bacon), Caesar Salad (shaved Parmigiano makes the difference), baked cannelloni (with roasted pork and mortadella), and lasagna (blanketed in her special Italian-American Meat Sauce).
But just as Lidia introduced new Italian regional dishes to her appreciative clientele in Queens in the seventies, so she dazzles us now with pasta dishes such as Bucatini with Chanterelles, Spring Peas, and Prosciutto, and Long Fusilli with Mussels, Saffron, and Zucchini. And she is a master at teaching us how to make our own ravioli, featherlight gnocchi, and genuine Neapolitan pizza.
The key to her delectable fish and meat cooking is the aromatic vegetables that so often form an integral part of the dish—sole with oregano, vidalias, and tomatoes; tenderloin with potatoes, peppers, and onions; sausages with bitter broccoli. Try her version of scallopine with sautéed lemon slices, garlic slivers, capers, and green olives—you’ll be hooked.
Soups are Lidia’s specialty, particularly hearty bean and pasta soups—meals in themselves. And you can top off a Lidia feast with traditional Italian-American favorites, such as a perfect Zabaglione or cannoli, or one of her own creations—Lemon Delight or Roasted Pears and Grapes.
Laced with stories about her experiences in America and her discoveries as a cook, this enchanting book is both a pleasure to read and a joy to cook from. More info
|Lidia's Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations
The best-loved and most-admired of all America’s television cooks today, Lidia Bastianich, now gives us her most generous, instructive, and creative cookbook. The emphasis here is on cooking for the family, and her book is filled with unusually delicious basic recipes for everyday eating Italian-style, as well as imaginative ideas for variations and improvisations.
Here are more than 200 fabulous new dishes that will appeal both to Lidia’s loyal following, who have come to rely on her wonderfully detailed recipes, and to the more adventurous cook ready to experiment.
• She welcomes us to the table with tasty bites from the sea (including home-cured tuna and mackerel), seasonal salads, and vegetable surprises (Egg-Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups, Sweet Onion Gratinate).
• She reveals the secret of simple make-ahead soup bases, delicious on their own and easy to embellish for a scrumptious soup that can make a meal.
• She opens up the wonderful world of pasta, playing with different shapes, mixing and matching, and creating sauces while the pasta boils; she teaches us to make fresh egg pastas, experimenting with healthful ingredients–whole wheat, chestnut, buckwheat, and barley. And she makes us understand the subtle arts of polenta- and risotto-making as never before.
• She shares her love of vegetables, skillet-cooking some to intensify their flavor, layering some with yesterday’s bread for a lasagna-like gratin, blanketing a scallop of meat with sautéed vegetables, and finishing seasonal greens with the perfect little sauce.
• She introduces us to some lesser-known cuts of meats for main courses (shoulders, butts, and tongue) and underused, delicious fish (skate and monkfish), as well as to her family’s favorite recipes for chicken and a beautiful balsamic-glazed roast turkey.
• And she explores with us the many ways fruits and crusts (pie, strudel, cake, and toasted bread) marry and produce delectable homey desserts to end the meal.
Lidia’s warm presence is felt on every page of this book, explaining the whys and wherefores of what she is doing, and the brilliant photographs take us right into her home, showing her rolling out pasta with her grandchildren, bringing in the summer harvest, and sitting around the food-laden family table. As she makes every meal a celebration, she invites us to do the same, giving us confidence and joy in the act of cooking. More info
|Lidia's Italian Table: More Than 200 Recipes From The First Lady Of Italian Cooking
"Let me invite you on a journey with me from my childhood ..." beckons Lidia Bastianich, hostess of the national public television series Lidia's Italian Table. And what an incredible journey it proves to be.
Lidia's Italian Table is overflowing with glorious Italian food, highlighted by Lidia's personal collection of recipes accumulated since her childhood in Istria, located in northern Italy on the Adriatic Sea. Hearty and heartwarming Italian fare is what Lidia understands best, and each chapter of this gorgeous cookbook is infused with Lidia's warm memories of a lifetime of eating and cooking Italian style.
Since good Italian food is based on good ingredients, Lidia includes an eloquent discourse on those products that are the cornerstones of Italian cuisine: olives (and their green-golden oil), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, porcini mushrooms, truffles, tomato paste, and hot peppers. She also explains the importance of regional wines and grappa (in flavors from honey to dried fig) in the Italian food experience. Her recipes are filled with these Italian delicacies--Fennel, Olive, and Citrus Salad; Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushroom Sauce; Seared Rabbit Loin over Arugula with Truffle Dressing; Asparagus Gratin with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese-, and Zabaglione with Barolo Wine.
Lidia explores every corner of Italian cuisine: from fresh and dry pasta to gnocchi and risotto to game and shellfish, all of which Lidia transforms into exceptional Italian dishes. But that is only the beginning. There are Italian soups to savor, like hearty minestre, bread-enriched zuppe, and the light and flavorful brodi. Polenta's delicious versatility is revealed through Polenta, Gorgonzola, and Savoy Cabbage Torte and White Creamy Polenta with Fresh Plums.
And Lidia's luscious dolci, or desserts, invite your indulgence with Sweet Crepes with Chocolate Walnut Filling, Blueberry-Apricot Frangipane Tart, and Soft Ice Cream with Hazelnuts.
Lidia attributes her passion and appreciation for Italian food to her family. Lidia's Italian Table is filled with stories of learning to make Easter bread with her Grandma Rosa in the town's communal oven; touching and smelling her way through the food markets of Trieste with her great-aunt Zia Nina; fishing for calamari with her uncle Zio Milio; and collecting briny mussels and sea urchins along the Istrian coastline with her cousins.
This gastronomic adventure is more than just a cookbook: It is an exploration into the heart of Italian cuisine. More info