Now that Fall is finally here, I’m so excited to start cooking comfort food again with flavorful seasonal ingredients like wild mushrooms, truffles, sage, prosciutto, toasted nuts, hearty greens, whole grains…yum. Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year when it comes to food 🙂
In particular, I love making homemade pasta and one-pot dishes, which is so easy to do with my KitchenAid® Gourmet Pasta Press that attaches to my KitchenAid® Stand Mixer.
It makes six different types of pasta in a snap: Bucatini, Spaghetti, Rotini, small and large Macaroni, and Rigatoni simply by swapping out a different disc for each pasta cut…how cool is that?!?
I decided to make a homemade Buckwheat Bucatini with Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce, Prosciutto, Spinach, Pecans and Sage. I love Buckwheat pasta because of its rustic flavor, and it’s perfect for fall pasta dishes. Similar to the traditional Italian Pizzoccheri (flat buckwheat fettuccine), buckwheat noodles have hearty depth of flavor, and pair perfectly with warm fall flavors and ingredients like wilted greens, potatoes, cabbage, cheese and garlic.
My pasta dish is topped with a luscious savory sauce made with crispy prosciutto and sage, nutty toasted pecans, garlic, shallots and wild mushrooms (portabella, porcini, oyster, beech, cremini, and shiitake) that I sautéed in olive oil and butter, then made into a luscious sauce with chicken broth and truffle oil.
CLICK HERE TO SEE STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND THE FULL RECIPE ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG!
I’d love to hear how you would use the KitchenAid Pasta Press and what recipes you would make! Share your take on my Buckwheat Bucatini & Truffled Wild Mushroom Sauce recipe on KitchenAid’s Instagram page using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured.
Summer is in the air and it’s that time of year to cool down with some refreshing Stoli cocktails and light small bites for the patio or beach. I love melon in the Summer time, especially paired with cucumbers with their light flavors that make a great refreshing cocktail.
I created a Cucumber-Melon Martini that’s made with Stoli vodka, cucumber liqueur, agave cayenne lemonade (or regular lemonade or limeade), garnished with cucumbers, mint and cubes of honeydew melon. It has a hint of sweetness from the lemonade and a lovely refreshing flavor from the melons and cucumbers and a spike of minty freshness and kick of heat from the cayenne lemonade.
A great small bite pairing to go with the martinis are Prosciutto, Melon and Feta Bites. They’re super easy to make and just as light and refreshing as the cocktails that go with them.
A little bit sweet, a little bit tangy and a whole lot delicious. Here’s to the lazy days of Summer! ENJOY 🙂
Stoli Cucumber-Melon Martini
1 part Stoli vodka
1 part cucumber liqueur
2 parts lemonade or limeade
Garnish with Cucumber slices, honeydew melon cubes and fresh mint sprigs
Pour vodka and lemon or limeade into a drink shaker over ice. Shake well and strain into martini glasses. Drop cubes of melon into the martini. Garnish with cucumber slices and fresh mint sprigs.
Makes 1 cocktail.
1 package of prosciutto, sliced thin and cut in half (about 20 slices)
1 package of feta cheese, sliced into ¼ inch sliced cubes
8 ounces honeydew melon, cubed
8 ounces cantaloupe melon, cubed
Prep all ingredients by cutting the feta cheese and melons into similar size chunks. First layer the melon with the feta, then top with a slice of prosciutto folded into small squares and secure with toothpicks. Serve on a platter along with the Cucumber-Melon Martinis.
Makes approximately 20 small bites.
Note: You can also include watermelon in the mix for some extra flavor or serve the bites over arugula with a cucumber melon vinaigrette. Simply throw the melon and cucumber slices in a blender with some olive oil and vinegar, a dash of salt and pepper; then drizzle over the bites.
I love Spring. There’s nothing better than a dose of gorgeous sunshine, cherry blossoms in bloom, and the tempting promises of Summer on the way. It’s the perfect time of year to throw open the windows, do some Spring cleaning and celebrate new beginnings. I also love the bountiful selection of fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables that come along with it.
Asparagus is in its prime now, so I wanted to create a light and savory chicken dish to complement it for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner – a twist on classic Chicken Saltimbocca with the addition of some cheesy goodness and bright lemony flavor.
I picked up some fresh lemons, thin chicken breast cutlets at the market along with some Italian Prosciutto, fresh sage and Provolone cheese to stuff them with. To start, I laid out the chicken breasts in a large baking pan and layered the ingredients on top – first a slice of Prosciutto topped with a few sage leaves and thinly sliced cheese. I then folded them over and secured them with toothpicks and seared them in a pan in olive oil to get a nice golden brown crust. Once the chicken breasts were browned, I set them back in the pan, poured the juices on top and finished in the oven for about 15 minutes.
The best part of this dish is the buttery lemon wine sauce for serving. I sliced up some garlic and sautéed it in olive oil for a minute or two, then added some chicken broth, white wine and let it come to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered it down to reduce the sauce, stirred in some lemon juice, a nob of butter and set the sauce aside for drizzling on the chicken later.
While the chicken was roasting in the oven, I blanched the asparagus for a minute or two and then tossed it with sliced garlic, olive oil and sea salt, roasting it for about 10 minutes or so until tender. So easy and soooo good!
Once the chicken and asparagus were done roasting, I served them on a plate and finished them off with the buttery lemon wine sauce. If you want to add a starch to the meal, simply cook up some orzo, pasta or some crusty bread to go with it. You can also use Fontina cheese for a slightly different flavor, or to make it a vegetarian dish, omit the prosciutto and substitute some sautéed mushrooms or spinach and prepare the same way. Keep it light with a side salad and a lemony vinaigrette, and serve with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris.
Here’s to Spring and the days leading up to Summer – Bon Appetit!
Prosciutto Sage Provolone Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Garlic Asparagus
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
4-6 chicken breast cutlets
4-6 thin slices of Italian Prosciutto
12 fresh sage leaves
4-6 slices of Provolone or Fontina cheese
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, sliced plus 1 clove minced (for sauce)
1 bunch of asparagus
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris)
juice from half a lemon, plus 1 tablespoon zest for garnish
1 tablespoon butter
lemon wedges and additional torn sage leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread out the chicken cutlets flat in a large baking dish, and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
Layer on top of each chicken breast a slice of prosciutto, two sage leaves, and a slice of provolone or fontina cheese, then fold over the chicken in half and secure with a toothpick to secure.
Heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high and sauté chicken breasts approximately 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
Remove the chicken and juices from pan and place back into the baking dish and roast in the oven for another 15 minutes until cooked through. You might want to baste the chicken in its juices once or twice to make sure the chicken doesn’t dry out in the oven.
Meanwhile, slice 2 cloves of fresh garlic, mince 1 clove and set aside. Trim the ends off the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water in a large pot for about 1 minute. Drain, place asparagus in a baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and sliced garlic. Place in oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes until fork tender and slightly browned (be careful not to overcook or the asparagus will get dark and mushy – aim for tender yet crisp and green).
In the same sauté pan for the chicken, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the additional clove of minced garlic for about 1 minute until lightly golden and soft. Add the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. . Let sauce reduce to about half, then add 1 tablespoon of butter, swirling in to finish the sauce.
When chicken and asparagus are done roasting, plate them and top off with the lemon butter wine sauce.
Garnish with lemon wedges, torn sage leaves, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a side of cooked orzo or pasta, crusty bread or a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette and a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.
Veal Saltimbocca is one of my favorite dishes, and makes a simple, elegant meal for any dinner occasion. This traditional Roman dish uses thinly pounded veal scallopine cutlets which are sautéed in butter and oil, then topped with crispy prosciutto and sage with a buttery white wine sauce.
This Romanesque Italian dish is usually served with a side of mashed potatoes or Piselli alla Romana – savory buttered peas sautéed with onion and pancetta (recipe follows). Make it a complete meal by serving with an Arugula salad, topped with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dressing of EVOO and lemon juice and some fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy with a glass of dry white wine and crusty Italian bread.
Veal Saltimbocca with Buttery Wine Sauce (Saltimbocca alla Romana)
1 lb veal scaloppine, ¼ inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 to 14 sage leaves
¼ lb thinly sliced prosciutto, slices halved
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
Sage leaves, for garnish
Place veal cutlets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and with a meat pounder or heavy sauce pan, pound veal to 1/4 inch thick. Cut scaloppine in half crosswise and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.
Place 1 sage leaf on top of each scaloppine and cover each with a half piece of the prosciutto.
In a large skillet, combine 2 tbsp of the butter and the oil and heat over high heat. When the mixture starts to brown, add the scaloppine, prosciutto side down first for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and flip over scaloppine, sauté turning as needed, until the scallopine are evenly browned and cooked through about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the scallopine to a warm platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
To make the sauce, add the wine to the skillet and with a wooden spoon scrape the pan bottom to deglaze it. Increase the heat to high and allow the sauce to reduce until golden and syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Season with the salt and pepper, and pour over the veal. Garnish with the remaining sage and serve warm.
Roman Sauteed Peas with Pancetta (Piselli alla Romana)
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cups peas, fresh and shelled (or 1 package frozen peas*)
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. chicken stock or water
6 thick slices pancetta, chopped fine (can also use bacon or prosciutto)
1/4 tsp. sugar
Place butter and onion is a saucepan and saute over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent. Add peas, salt, pepper, stock and pancetta; cook until peas are tender and pancetta and onions are cooked through. Add sugar, mix well and serve hot with Veal Saltimbocca.
*If frozen peas are used, follow cooking directions on the package after cooking the onion.
Recipes from Techniques of Italian Cooking, Institute of Culinary Education.
Peaches. There’s something so satisfying about biting into the sweet, juicy flesh that quenches the thirst for a cool and refreshing treat in the summertime.
Even the perfectly round shape, bright peachy red and fuzzy exterior gives it a heavenly appeal.
This summer salad recipe pairs white peaches with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella tossed in a tangy sweet vinaigrette. It’s refreshing, light, and the salty prosciutto paired with the cool, mild mozzarella and sweet peaches is a combination to die for. You can also substitute the mozzarella with Ricotta Salata (fresh ricotta) or Feta cheese, and add some sliced or slivered almonds for crunch if you like. Serve this salad with some crusty bread and a glass of white wine – perfect for a lunch or dinner side salad with an Italian dish.
Check out my behind the scenes interview with Chef de CuisineJimmy Canora from Valentino’s on the Green – the legendary fine dining Italian restaurant in Bayside Queens. The Chef demonstrates his infamous dish Chicken Breast Valentino with Creamy Polenta, Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Spring Vegetables and Madeira Wine Sauce and discusses his background and history as a Chef and Cookbook Author.
Valentino’s on the Green is a romantic fine dining Italian restaurant in a beautiful old mansion in a neighborhood rich in history, culture and style. This elegant establishment pays homage to Italian-born silent film legend and former resident, Rudolph Valentino. Valentino was America’s first sex symbol derived from his provocative roles in films such as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and The Sheik (1921). He helped launch the new era of film and film stars and was one of the most iconic figures of Hollywood. Valentino’s on the Green combines this romantic history and Italian culinary expertise into a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Headed by restaurateur Giorgio Kolaj, and renowned chef and cookbook author, Don Pintabona, who helped Robert DeNiro launch Tribeca Grill in NYC, Pintabona has served as Executive Chef for over a decade. Jimmy Canora, an award-winning chef, also formerly of Tribeca Grill and Delmonico’s; has brought his culinary mastery to Valentino’s on the Green and created an exceptional menu for this gorgeous historical landmark.
Valentino’s on the Green has several dining rooms inside elegantly furnished with chandeliers, grand mouldings, burgundy leather and mahogany furnishings and large windows. They have a gorgeous outside patio for dining in the warmer months, overlooking a golf course and beautiful park. They serve lunch, dinner and brunch on Sundays and have a spectacular dessert menu as well as a special Mother’s Day brunch annually. Reservations are accepted for private parties in the banquet hall with space for up to 220 guests, and catering is also available.
Start your meal with an Appetizer of fresh seafood including Shrimp or Crabmeat Cocktail, Grilled Octopus and Oysters or an Antipasti platter, soup or salad. Their Pasta is fresh made daily – Braised Short Rib Ragu with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta and Rosemary and Sweet Pea Mascarpone Ravioli or Lemon Tagliatelle Frutti Di Mare are just a few of their popular selections.
For Main Course, Valentino’s offers classic entrees such as Veal Marsala, Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi, Grilled Swordfish, Herb Crusted Lamb Chops, Steaks, Pork Braciole “Valdostana”, and their infamous Chicken Breast Valentino, stuffed with Fontina Cheese, Prosciutto and Spinach cooked in a buttery Madeira wine sauce with mushrooms and served with luscious creamy polenta and grilled Spring vegetables (recipe below). Last but not least they have an amazing dish of Spicy Chili Glazed Lobsters, with Spring Onion and Bay Scallop Risotto, Asparagus and Brandied Lobster Sauce that is out of this world.
Appetizers range from $8-29, Soups and Salads range from $7-$13 and Dinner Entrees range from $16-49. They offer a $24 Three Course Lunch Prix Fixe and Mother’s Day Brunches run at $49.50 per person. Reservations are accepted and recommended via phone or OpenTable.com.
Chicken Breast Valentino
6 boneless chicken breasts, pounded ¼” thin
1 c Seasoned all purpose flour
¼ c unsalted butter
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
½ c Madeira wine
1 c chicken stock, as needed
1 c veal stock, or low sodium beef broth, as needed
6 slices Prosciutto Di Parma, thinly sliced
6 slices Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
3 tbsp Parmiagiano Reggiano, grated
6 fresh Sage leaves
1 c cooked mixed mushrooms, (Oyster, Portabella, Crimini & Shitake)
1 small leek, white part only, diced and blanched
2 c cooked polenta, (Mascarpone, Parmesan, Chicken stock, Cream)
2 c roasted Spring veggies (baby zucchini, patty pan squash & baby carrots)
¼ c fresh chopped parsley, garnish
6 springs fresh thyme, garnish
Season and lightly flour chicken breasts, shaking off excess flour.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil/butter, 2 tbsp at a time and when butter starts to foam, add the chicken breasts in batches, sauté until lightly browned about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside, and repeat until all chicken is cooked.
Increase the heat and add the mushrooms and leeks and sauté until the release of their liquid and start to crisp, about 1 minute, then add the Madeira wine and simmer to reduce to ¼, adding in the stock along with some more butter, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to very low and top each chicken breast with a slice of prosciutto, sage, Fontina and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Return to the skillet until the cheese melts and chicken is warmed through.
Serve with hot polenta and roasted Spring vegetables and sauce each plate with the Madeira Mushroom sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a spring of fresh thyme for garnish.