You guys know me – I’m about as Italian as it gets without having been born and raised there. So when we start talking about Italian food I have some definite opinions. There are the classics that everyone knows, and then there are some things that are really old school Italian peasant food that we eat at home quite often. And then there are some good ideas that people have that are different and fun – and they’re not pasta. And I love pasta but there is so much more to Italian food. That’s why I like what everything I am sharing here – these are easy Italian recipes that are a little different than what you see all the time – and they’re not pasta.
A lot of you know by now that I am a cheesemaker. My specialty is burrata cheese – the creamy prince of the mozzarella family – and I have been making it and selling it to restaurants all over the Southwest for years. So, this recipe has a special place in my heart.
Continuing with the cheese theme – I can’t seem to get away from cheese – I love a caprese sandwich with my freshly pulled mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, a little olive, and sea salt on a great crusty Italian bread. I also love a good panini. This combines both. Yum.
Roasted or grilled artichokes are so simple they can hardly be called a recipe – but they are delicious and that’s all that counts. This is classic Italian. When I make this, I grill it with my everyday olive oil and then I finish it right before I serve it with some white truffle oil. That is what I call going from good to great.
I’ve been on a roll with cookies lately – primarily because I have the book coming out. And these are such a uniquely Italian cookie that I just love them. The rich earthiness of the polenta is a nice complement to the sweet of the sugar.
I like to finish strong – so what could be easier and more Italian than olive oil gelato? The recipe for this gelato is actually quite simple to make and well worth the time. Ice cream? Yes. Gelato? Heck yes!!!