Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Imitations of Italy

As soon as we returned from our trip SPP started talking about how I should make the stuff we ate in Italy.

Easier said than done.  The food in Italy was just so darned divine and quite hard to imitate.  Why do you think I keep saying I never want to eat my own cooking again?

But the meals we had in Italy were relatively simple dishes, even if they were so expertly prepared.  I could at least attempt them and make them my way.  I still kept things simple, so there are no official recipes here, just suggestions.

I started with the Zucchini in Parmigiana. 

I thin-sliced 4 zucchini and coated them in egg and then in a mix of a little cornmeal and finely-grated parmesan.  This was my first deviation from the recipe at the farm.  I don't think they breaded their vegetables at all.  I fried them in LOTS of olive oil (they didn't skimp on olive oil at the farm, so why should I?) and layered the slices in the dish with some of the cheese, then put most of the cheese over the top.  I poured 2 cups of my lovingly-made-from-farm-market-tomatoes sauce and baked the thing for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

It was cheesier and less saucy than the farm version, which I guess is just my American showing.  I only used a half-pound ball of fresh mozzarella to make this and it was still twice as cheesy as the Italian version.  I still liked it a lot and so did SPP.

I served some chick peas boiled with sage and rosemary and a little garlic then doused with olive oil on the side. I was still trying to imitate the meal I had at the farm.
Kevin's favorite dish of the week was the simplest.  He loved the spaghetti with herbs. It's an easy dish, although there is an actual recipe available for it.  It's garlic, parseley, and a little hot pepper in olive oil. 

Then I tried to do their frittate.  These were harder because they were called "omlets" on the farm and weren't exactly like traditional omelets, but also weren't thick like a frittata would be.

I cooked 3 chopped onions until they were super soft, almost caramelized.  Then I browned some mushrooms with them.  I placed them in a small frying pan with lots of olive oil poured 3 eggs over the top.  I cooked that until it was barely set and then placed it in a 400 degree oven until it was cooked and a bit brown on top.  I served it over mixed greens.  Not quite the farm, but pretty good.

I suppose in my kicthen I can keep a bit of Italy with me always.


Sue said...

I'm all for not skimping on olive oil. These dishes all sound good. It's interesting how, just as you said, they're simple and have few ingredients, but handled the right way, they're super.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm trying that zucchini. It sounds delish!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Sue - I think the olive oil is why they are super. ;-)

Emily said...

You're amazing. I wish I had all of this delicious food you've been making! I think I'd like the spaghetti. I kinda like it when it's prepared simple.

What was your favorite cheese you had in Italy?

The Blonde Duck said...

Have a magical Tuesday.