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  1. Risoto is one of my favorite dishes to cook for guests. My preferences lean to seafood and mushroom variations. I love, but haven't tackled black risoto yet. I'd be interested in other recipe ideas. For convenience, I buy freshly made fish stock from Citarella's or Jake's Fish Store here in NY. I doubt that home made fish stock would be much better, but I'd be open to opinions on that. I use arborio rice exclusively. I'm unaware of any quality differences among the arborio rices avalaible in super markets and specialty stores. Any opinions?
  2. What are your favorite Italian places? Here are two of mine: In the formal category, I LOVE Tulio (Vintage Park Hotel, 1100 5th Ave). Top to bottom, I have never had a disappointing meal there. The appetizers are fantastic: sweet potato gnocci with marscapone and sage, a bundle of asparagus wrapped in proscuitto. Service is also excellent. In the neighboorhood bistro category, Salvatore's (61st & Roosevelt) is amazing. I've been there probably 25 times. The menu is fine (get the grilled mussell appetizer), but the 5 daily specials are where it's at. Tremendous veal and chicken dishes.
  3. We've just enjoyed my favorite end-of-summer pasta, spaghetti with uncooked tomatoes. I hope others will share their favorites. Spaghetti with Uncooked Tomatoes For each person, Mix together: 1 large dead-ripe tomato, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped. 1 tablespoon high extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon red wine or balsamic vinegar, optional 4 or 5 black olives, pitted and slivered 3 or 4 basil leaves, julienned salt and pepper, to taste Let tomato mixture sit for an hour or two. When ready to serve, pour over cooked spaghetti. Grated parmesan cheese may be added at the table, if desired. Fresh mozzarella, cubed, may be added to the tomato mixture or scattered on the spaghetti just before spooning on the tomatoes, so that the cheese melts slightly. (Edited by Sandra Levine at 10:03 am on Sep. 5, 2001)
  4. I'm interested in peoples thoughts and experiences with home made pasta. For me its one of the simple delights in the kitchen. Something about getting your hands into flour and eggs on a counter top (freaks out my wife's neat-freak cousin :) ) and rolling out big sheets of pasta. I've only tried plain pasta (flour and eggs) and I always seem to end up making ravioli, typically with whatever is at hand - some combination of things like olives, spinach, fetta (some great stuff from the yarra valley here in Australia), porcini mushrooms, anchovies, capers... all pretty standard stuff, but no less pleasing! I always seem to get carried away with the sizes too - once they're cooked they end up pretty big... Anyone with favorites or inspired combinations?
  5. a few nights ago Fat Guy was bellyaching tme over instant messenger that all he had in house was a bag of frozen ravioli, but as it was late he didnt feel like going through the hassle of making his own sauce -- and adding that he never bought jarred sauces. I quickly chided him for being such a prima donna, and that some brands were good and not just sugary concoctions resembling ketchup. There are times when boiling up some pasta and quickly heating up some sauce without major additional preparation can be a satisfying meal. The other end of the spectrum however reveals jarred sauces in the 8 bucks a jar and over microbrew sauce category (such as Rao's, Patsy's, etc) which arent quite worth the money although they do taste very good. Rachel told me after her experience working for Lipton that 5 Brothers is actually a decent sauce since apparently, unlike its brother Ragu, is made in 1 day from a process of reducing fresh tomatoes to sauce, whereas ragu is made from paste. And its fairly cheap. Anyone else got brand recommendations?
  6. Wow! Did you know that the Olive Garden chain of restaurants sends all of it's cooks to Italy to learn how to cook authentic Italian cuisine? It's true! I just saw a commercial that shows how they sent their cooks to Italy to make tortellini! To think I've been fooling myself with all these local mom & pop family owned Italian places who have probably never been closer to Italy than Mulberry street! I'll have to start checking out these Olive Garden places, they even offer endless refills of bread sticks and salad! Can't get more Italian than that... :-)
  7. gfweb


    I've been following various seemingly legit recipes and have made nothing edible. The balls fall apart as I'm breading them and those that survive don't have a nice coating. Anyone have an idiot proof recipe?
  8. Not sure if this is the right place for this thread... I've just received a copy of Edda Servi Machlin's "Classic Dolci of the Italian Jews", (ISBN 1-878857-12-6) and I'm blown away. Its the third volume of her "Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews". click for pix Lots of recipes new to me, in the Italian biscuit tradition, with chestnuts, almonds and often flavoured with anise. Its where my Pannetone recipe will come from this year. I usually use Cresci, but this seems a simpler and more direct recipe.
  9. Busboy

    Rabbit Ravioli

    My wife, knowing that she would get to play with it often, bought pasta maker attachments for the KitchAid and they are spectacular and addictive. I thought this weekend I might try to replicate the rabbit-sage raviolis I once deeply enjoyed at a local trattoria. But then I realized I have no idea how they were made. My thought is to braise the duck in red wine and the usual garni-type stuff, strip the meat, turn the bones into a rich broth and lightly warm the meat with sage, a little garlic and a little fat before stuffing. But I am wide open to suggestion, if anyone has been there and done that. Thanks.
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