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Old school recipes

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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
If I go to an Italian restaurant, I'll usually order veal sorrentino, chicken picatta, saltimbocca, shrimp oreganata, or something like that. But I sometimes get a hankering for the simple, old school dishes that remind me of my youth. Just as egg rolls, won ton soup, lo mein, and shrimp with lobster sauce still have a place in a world that's used to szechuan cuisine, the old Italian classics will always have a place in my heart. So I embarked on a quest to catch up on some old favorites, and recently made such low tech wonders as-
  • spaghetti and meat balls
  • sausage and peppers
  • lasagna
  • chicken cacciatore
  • eggplant parmigiana


What did I miss?
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
If I stick to Italian classics... It so easy to miss one as there are so many dish!

Pizza (of course)
Fritta with spinach and cheese
Devil's chicken (Pollo al Diavolo - I love Mario Batali's version)
Pasta Fagioli
About anything with Gnocchi
Macaroni and cheese
Creamy polenta (I was not a fan of polenta until I found a recipe to make it creamy)

Panettone
Lemon cookies
 
  • spaghetti and meat balls
  • lasagna
  • eggplant parmigiana

+1 to these. One of my favourites is Berlotti beans( fresh ones when available in autumn) and pasta. Coupled with a glass of homemade wine it's bliss.
 
For me, growing up in an Italian household, I'd also have to add the following.
  • Polenta with a mushroom sauce
  • many different forms of simple Risotto
  • Gnocchi
  • Pasta Tonnato
  • Cannolis

the list could go on and on, but these would be required for me. I'm interested in finding some really old school traditional Italian recipes, from say 150 years ago when they still thought tomatoes were poisonous.
 
Bagna Cauda.

Or, anything in this book:
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I love gnocchi, and wish I could do them well. I have fond memories of visiting The Hill in St Louis. The restaurants I've tried tend to be highly-Americanized, but the grocery stores (DiGregorios', etc.) and Volpi are wonderful.
IMHO, the best Italian food I've had has been made at home!
 

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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
I love gnocchi, and wish I could do them well.

I think the key to gnocchi is to have the potatoes as dry as possible. My trick is to bake them in a tray filled with kosher salt. A little egg, a little flour, don't handle them too much, et voila!
 
If I go to an Italian restaurant, I'll usually order veal sorrentino, chicken picatta, saltimbocca, shrimp oreganata, or something like that. But I sometimes get a hankering for the simple, old school dishes that remind me of my youth. Just as egg rolls, won ton soup, lo mein, and shrimp with lobster sauce still have a place in a world that's used to szechuan cuisine, the old Italian classics will always have a place in my heart. So I embarked on a quest to catch up on some old favorites, and recently made such low tech wonders as-
  • spaghetti and meat balls
  • sausage and peppers
  • lasagna
  • chicken cacciatore
  • eggplant parmigiana


What did I miss?

Oooh... strong and fond memories of my grandfather making this for himself for lunch, often with a scrambled egg mixed in. Grandma made her own ravioli, lasagna, and "gravy" (tomato sauce).
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
I think the key to gnocchi is to have the potatoes as dry as possible. My trick is to bake them in a tray filled with kosher salt. A little egg, a little flour, don't handle them too much, et voila!

+1

Don't handle the dough too much and if you put if in the freezer for 15 mins it also help. I usually put the dough in a bag, cut a corner and push it out!
 
How about Eggplant Rollatini? Pretty delicious!

Any number of Risotto dishes can be considered classic.

Although maybe not classic, considering I pair it with salmon and Sauvignon Blanc, one of my favorites is Risotto Asparagi ai Funghi.

Risotto with fresh, thin asparagus, porcini mushrooms, shallots, your choice of stock and a splash of dry white wine, sprinkled with pecarino.

Simple, creamy, delicious.
 
A simple Marinara sauce, which can be transformed into numerous other dishes. And you gotta have garlic bread in whatever form that suits you.
 
Orangina AKA Sicilian rice balls

A wonderful way to finish all these wonderful and suprisingly simple Italian dishes would be with freshly stuffed canolis or a decadent slice of a Sicilian Bomba cake with a cup of espresso with Sambuca (Molinari) or anisette.

All simple all Heaven.
 

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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Bolognese. What is better than pork, milk and pasta. Wait, aren't I a Jew?

Pici...thick, hand rolled spaghetti, with a puttenesca sauce. Or just olive oil and a local fresh cheese. I ate this all over Tuscany last summer and it was different in ever restaurant. Absolutely killer in Da Mario in Buonconvento, a place that felt more like home than I ever new possible when so far from home. Here's the family eating there, outside in the back "room":

My girls!
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My hand, and a large part of my family!
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Polenta with baby clams and olive oil.

Gilled anchovies, or baby squid, with olive oil, salt and pepper.

The last Italian dish brings to mind to other nations versions of similar dishes....Morrocan sardines grilled with tomatoes and herbs de provance and Chinese salt and pepper squid.

Wow...I'm hungry again.
 
I think the key to great Italian food is the wonderful ingredients. Wonderful seafood, cheeses, oils, etc.... Good food, prepared simply and with care beats anything. I see films of what's available in some street markets in Italy and drool!
 
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