Come Si Dice: Weekly Menu Spotlight?

by . on March 16, 2011

The Gourmet:

Hey guys, it’s been a while. My how I’ve missed you. I’ve also missed cooking, dining out, drinking wine, having a life and all of those other blog related details that allow me to write post more often then every two weeks or so. Mardi Gras behind us and the last three weeks of work related chaos in the books and I felt that a Gourmet/Gourmand Family Dinner was sorely needed. 

I recently picked up Gourmet’s Italian Kitchen, a novella length special edition of Gourmet Magazine’s best Italian recipes of past years. In this sadly Gourmet free world I’ll take anything I can get so I was happy to take my very own issue home. 


After leafing through the magazine and seeing many familiar recipes, I was reminded of a dish that I used to cook quite frequently. About a decade ago I spent a long, leisurely summer wandering the streets and museums of Florence.


So as to justify the trip to my parents I took Italian language, cooking and (hard as it was) wine tasting at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute. Needless to say, it was wonderful and while I have long since forgotten my Italian, I have managed to hold onto a few wrinkled, stained recipe pages. I dug out those pages on Sunday and set to work:

Spaghetti alla Chitarra Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper spaghetti)

Serves 6

400 gr flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk

200 gr pecorino cheese
100 gr parmesan cheese
100 gr flour
2 bunches basil
2 cups vegetable stock (warmed)
grated pepper (lots)

Mix flour, egg, salt and oil. Work dough until elastic and smooth and roll into a ball. Leave the dough covered 30 minutes.
Roll dough through press to desired consistency.

In a large bowl add cheese, stock, pepper and hot spaghetti. Once fully combined and gooey, add basil. Toss and serve. 

Really easy, really gooey and really delicious. The original recipe included fried zuchini flowers instead of basil, which is so much more delicious. If you can find them, absolutely use them, but they are very seasonal and hard to get your hands on. I gave up a long time ago and simply started adding large quantities of chopped basil instead. Also, watch the salt, as the pecorino is extremely salty and will probably suffice. 


Involtini di Tacchini al Prosciutto (turkey rolls with ham, sounds better in Italian)

6 Turkey cutlets
125 gr spinach, chard or kale
6-12 slices proscuitto
6 slices mozzarella cheese
2 large zuchinnis 
1 cup heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Oil, Salt, Pepper

Julienne both the zuchini and mozzarella and set aside. Pound out the Turkey cutlets until thin and maleable. Salt and pepper each cutlet. At one end of each cutlet add both cheese and zuchini. Tightly roll each cutlet until closed, finishing each off by wrapping it with 1 or 2 slices of proscuitto.

Sautee the garlic in oil until soft. Add your choice of greens and cook until just slighly warm, but not limp.

Place greens in a baking dish and top of with extra julienned zuchini. Place the turkey rolls on top of the greens. Pour 1 cup of heavy cream over the entire dish and top off with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and slice when done. 

And dinner:


I threw in a Gourmet Italian Kitchen recipe for dessert. The magazine has a huge number of gorgeous looking recipes that I had forgotten about over the years. They are now conveniently packaged in 128 glossy pages. So, while I had an excellent Tiramisu from my trip, I thought I would give the cookbook version a try. Little did I know that it would be virtually impossible in this little town of ours to find ladyfingers. I visited no fewer then three large chain grocery stores in my quest for the delectable little cookies, from Tchoupitoulas Street to Mid-City and nary a ladyfinger could I find. After all of my efforts I let out a strangled scream in the aisles of Rousses and bought two boxes of Nilla Wafers. The product was not pretty, infact it was quite unappealing to look at but tasted mighty fine. I also didn’t have the heart to buy an entire bottle of Tia Maria so I substitued Pussers Rum.

You can find the link to the recipe here. but please enjoy these picutres in the mean time:

Buon divertimento!!



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