Posts tagged ‘prosciutto’

January 1, 2009

Pollo Florentine

Ask anyone what Florentine means and they’ll say it means spinach; except Italians.  The association of spinach and Florence, Italy actually originated in England.  When Catherine de Medici introduced spinach to English cuisine, since she was from Florence, spinach and egg or cheese mixtures became known as Florentine.  Actual Florentine dishes usually are seafood rich with olives and squashes and potatoes.

This dish uses prosciutto, which is an uncooked Italian ham, chicken and a spinach and cheese blend.  Even though prosciutto is salt cured, I guess I am a bit of a worry wart in that I always cook it anyhow.  I also use fresh mozzarella for this recipe, it blends much better with the ricotta than the shredded type that has drying agents applied.  The extra spinach mixture I bake for twenty minutes in a separate dish and serve with the chicken.

Ingredientspollo florentine 16

3 cloves garlic

1/4 pound Italian parsley

1 pound fresh spinach

1/4 pound fresh mozzarella

1 egg

1 cup ricotta

4 slices prosciutto

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Directions

  • Chop parsley and spinach, combine into medium mixing bowl.
  • Press garlic cloves into spinach blend.
  • Use a cheese slicer to loosen shreds from mozzarella ball.
  • Add egg, ricotta and mozzarella to spinach blend.
  • Beat thoroughly until well blended.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Slice chicken breasts open.
  • Spoon two heaping spoonfuls of spinach blend into chicken breast pocket.
  • Close and wrap prosciutto around chicken.
  • Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve.

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January 1, 2009

Asparagus Wraps

These appetizers are soooo easy to make but look super schmancy! I have also served them as a side with dinner as well and they are just so tasty.  I have tried various cheeses, but I like gouda best. White cheeses look the best, display wise.

Ingredientsasparagus and proscuitto

24 fresh asparagus spears, uncooked
2 cups fresh arugula
1 lb smoked ham or prosciutto, deli style thickness
1 lb Gouda slices

  • Fill a large saucepan half full with water and bring to boil over high heat.
  • Wash the asparagus stalks thoroughly and trim the bases.
  • Rinse arugula thoroughly and set aside in colander to drain excess water.
  • Once water is boiling, drop stalks in to water for three minutes.
  • While asparagus is boiling, lay out a large sheet of wax paper and preheat oven to 250.
  • Drain asparagus and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
  • Lay out three strips of prosciutto or ham on wax paper. Lay a couple shoots of asparagus across so that the spear tips are not covering the meat. Take a small bundle of arugula leaves and roll them between your palms and lay atop the asparagus. Top with one slice of cheese and then roll the vegetables so that the meat wraps around them.
  • Place wrap on a cookie sheet with a sheet of wax paper down.
  • Rinse repeat.
  • Place cookie sheet into oven for fifteen minutes.
  • These should be served warm.
January 1, 2009

Spinach & Zucchini Fettuccine

I found this when I started trying to improve the healthy quality of our meals.  This has the pasta that I so love and despite all of the veggies, you would never think you were eating health food.  I am not a fan of the whole wheat pasta, but with flavour of the pesto and spinach, you don’t taste the blandness of the wheat pasta.  And this dish can easily be switched to a meatless dish, but I am not at all against meat, I love meat, so bring it!

IngredientsCIMG3342

16 ounces spinach and or whole wheat fettuccine

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

8 ounces prosciutto or smoked ham, deli thickness

1 pound fresh spinach leaves

1 bunch fresh Italian parsley

1 – 2 fresh zucchini

1 cup basil pesto

Directions

  • In a heavy stock pot, bring water to boil for fettuccine.
  • Slice meat to 1/4 inch strips and place into skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in olive oil and stir well.
  • Wash and mince parsley and add to meat mixture.
  • Wash and tear spinach leaves, add to skillet.
  • Wash zucchini and use a peeler to scrape lengthwise into strips.  Stop when you reach seedy center.  Add to skillet mixture.
  • Stir skillet items thoroughly and reduce to low to medium heat once spinach leaves begin to wilt.
  • Add pasta to water and cook until tender.  Drain.
  • Add pesto to pasta and stir thoroughly.
  • Add vegetable mixture to pasta and serve.

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January 1, 2009

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

This is a Sicilian recipe that has been a favourite in our family for years. When we were stationed in Sicily our neighbours gave us this recipe.   It is a light pasta dish in that it has no sauce. Goes well with a salad, bruschetta and white wine.

IngredientsCIMG2469

1 lb. spaghetti noodles, uncooked
1 lb. smoked ham or prosciutto, deli style thickness
1 lb. bacon with decent amount of fat
1 large yellow or sweet onion
2 eggs
1 cup fresh Parmesan, finely grated
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine*

*If you wouldn’t pour it in a glass and drink it – don’t cook with it!

  • Slice bacon into 1/2 inch strips. Place bacon into a large skillet over medium heat and allow to cook. (I like to put the bacon in the freezer for about an hour prior to beginning this as it is easier to cut.)
  • While bacon is cooking, cube ham or prosciutto into 1/4 inch squares. Same with onion.
  • When the bacon fat has gotten somewhat transparent and there is a decent amount of drippings in the skillet, add the ham and onion. Turn often to prevent burning and clumping.
  • Using a large pasta pot, fill 3/4 of the way with water and place on high heat. Add olive oil and salt to water. Once boiling begins, lower to medium-high heat and add pasta.
  • When onions have become mostly transparent, add wine and pepper to skillet mixture. Finely chop garlic cloves and add to skillet mixture, continuing to turn often.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, crack both eggs and whip until well blended. Set aside.
  • Once spaghetti is ready, drain quickly and transfer to serving bowl. Quickly stir in egg mixture, followed by Parmesan. The heat from the noodles will cook the egg, which helps the cheese adhere to the noodles. Make certain to turn multiple times so that all noodles are coated.
  • Drain most of the liquid off of the skillet mixture and turn the skillet mixture into the noodles.
  • Serve.

**When dishing up, the meat falls to the bottom of the serving dish. My grandmother always asked to be served last for this reason. LoL
***I have also tried fresh baby peas into the mixture, boiled with the noodles. My husband dislikes this but my kids and I love it this way.

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January 1, 2009

Arugula & Prosciutto over Penne

I love arugula and actually discovered it only recently when I got on a health food kick.  I was getting sick and tired of the blandness of lettuce and trying to find more unique, but healthy recipes.  Arugula has a bit of a bite, not as strong as spinach though.  This is a classic leaf staple in many Italian and Sicilian dishes as it doesn’t wilter when cooked and yet tastes wonderful raw as well.

You may find it difficult to locate prosciutto at your local grocers and you can substitute for a lean smoked ham, deli cut thickness.

Ingredientsarugulapenne

1 lb Penne pasta
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Arugula, chopped

1 small lemon, halved
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a skillet, cook onions and prosciutto with oil until well heated, onion should be transparent.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium to high heat.
  • Add a good palmful of salt to the water.
  • When water is at a good boil, drop in the penne and cook until firm.
  • Ladel out about one cup full of the water and set aside.
  • Drain pasta.
  • In serving dish, stir pasta, arugula, and prosciutto thoroughly.
  • Add reserved water until all pasta is well coated.
  • Squeeze lemon over top.
  • Stir in grated cheese.
  • Serve.