Ricette Italiane – by Leelee

Happy 4th of July (tomorrow) everyone! 

Summer Fare (Italian Style)

A great start to a wonderful meal!

Insalata Caprese (compliments of our Ann)

Leelee- Insalata
4 Tbsp 100% Extra virgin Olive oil
10 fresh cherry tomato cut into large chunks
2 mozzarella cut into pieces
basil chopped
black olives chopped
black pepper
In a large bowl put the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olives, salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil then gently mix thoroughly. Allow the mixture to stand for 15 min. Serve.

Anyone who knows Italians knows you have to have pasta as the second course. Okay, okay, maybe this can be the main course.

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes (compliments of Foodnetwork.com/Recipes)

Leelee - rzo with SausagueEI1209_Orzo-with-Sausage-Peppers-and-Tomatoes.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 pound orzo pasta
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 ounces (2 links) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
Using tongs, place the bell peppers over a gas flame. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until charred.) Place the charred peppers in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for 20 minutes. Under running water, peel away the charred skin from the peppers. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water, and kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to combine all ingredients, adding reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Top with the ricotta salata and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve.


Chocolate Chip and Mascarpone Cupcakes (also compliments of Foodnetwork.com/Recipes)

Leelee - Choc chip cipcake


5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup water
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Special equipment: 2 (12-count) muffin pans with paper liners

For the Cupcakes:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Combine the unsweetened chocolate and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth.
Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Stir in the mascarpone mixture. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. Stir until just blended.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with no crumbs attached. Cool the cupcakes completely before dipping, about 1 hour.
For the Ganache:
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until small bubbles appear on the outside edge of the cream. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate chips. Using a fork, gently stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Dip the tops of each cupcake in the ganache and transfer to a baking sheet. Place the dipped cupcakes in the refrigerator to set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow cupcakes to return to room temperature before serving.
Cook’s Note: For puffier cupcakes allow the batter to rest in the muffin pans for 20 minutes before baking.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


31 thoughts on “Ricette Italiane – by Leelee”

  1. Hello everyone and Happy 4th of July. A co-worker makes a similar salad like the Insalata Caprese, but adds tri-color pasta and brings a large bowl to work for us to enjoy. She is Italian and loves to cook and is a very good one. She brings us all kinds of desserts to work for us to enjoy. She made Pizzelles last week and brought a big container for us and they were so good.

    1. Hi Barb, Where do you work and do they have any openings? (Kidding). We’re not allowed to bring into work any homemade items. We used to have potlucks all the time, but unfortunately the company stopped it.

      1. Hi LeeLee, you wouldn’t want to work where I work. Believe me that’s all we have time for is work. I hardly get into this website to see what’s going on and when I do it’s usually too late. I’d rather have a “normal job” so I can just go home on time and do the things I really enjoy doing.
        My Grandmother was raised on a farm in Virginia and she planted so many vegetables and of course one of them was rhubarb and we ate her rhubarb pies, as well as her apple, blueberry, cherry and so forth pies. I liked the way it looked growing and ate the pie she made. She also made dandelion wine which I never got to taste it, my brother and I were too little at the time. A great woman and an awesome cook with a big heart.

  2. I grew up eating Rhubarb Pie but in Texas it is not a popular item. Back in Cleveland no problem. So i am sharing this with you ladies that can buy Rhubarb in your part of the world.
    Make your crust or use store bought

    1. Icky Rhubarb! When I was a kid in So Calif I remember that rhubarb was served with the famous Chicken Dinner at Knotts Berry Farm. I recall it looking like jellied pink celery. Have never eaten it since. I don’t know if they also served rhubarb pie. the only time I hear of it now is occasionally listening to Garrison Keiller on NPR.

      1. When I grew up in So. Cal. we ate rhubarb raw, but never in a pie. I don’t remember it at Knotts Berry Farm. Good thing. sounds awful.

  3. SORRY
    Make or use store bought pie crust
    6 cups diced, unpeeled rhubarb
    2 cusp sugar
    6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces
    1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    PREHEAT oven to 350F
    Combine rhubarb with sugar and flour. Spoon into piecrust. Dot with butter.
    Mix butter, sugar and flour with a pastry blender or hands until crumbly. sprinkle over rhubarb mixture.
    1 hour or until filling is bubbling and topping is browned.

  4. Hi Gina
    We had rhubarb growing in our backyard and I remenber the red stems of the rhubarb poking up through the last vestiges of the snow. The curled over stems were a sure sign that spring was on its way! That was in Chicago a long time ago!

  5. In USA is available l Volo “Live From Pompeii, DVD.Track List
    1. Grande amore
    2. Io che non vivo (senza te)
    3. Beautiful That Way (La vita è bella)
    4. E lucevan le stelle
    5. Delilah
    6. Caruso
    7. Quando l’amore diventa poesia
    8. The Best Day Of My Life ***(bonus)
    9. Anema e core (With All My Heart and Soul)
    10. Volare
    11. L’immensitá
    12. Unchained Melody
    13. Ricordami ****(bonus)
    14. Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)
    15. Eternally
    16. La vita
    17. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (Io che non vivo)
    18. Si me falta tu mirada (Spanish)**** (bonus)
    19. Recuerdame*** (bonus)
    20. La vida*** (bonus)
    and Il Volo Live From Pompeii, CD “Grande Amore” Track List
    1. Grande amore
    2. L’immensità
    3. Piove
    4. La vita
    5. Volare
    6. Beautiful That Way (La vita è bella)
    7. Eternally
    8. Caruso
    9. Si me falta tu mirada
    10. Quando l’amore diventa poesia
    11. The Best Day Of My Life
    12. Io che non vivo
    13. Delilah .
    I envy you a bit 🙂 , hope that CD will be able to purchase even in Europe…

      1. The link didn’t work! I guess eventually it will be all over…

    1. Thank you for posting this, Lydka. Finally – the long awaited CD. Interesting mix of songs. I hate to say this, but I’m a little disappointed that Canzone per Te and Ancora are not on either the DVD or CD. I absolutely love these two songs that they sing. However, I adore the song Caruso and that alone is worth getting the CD (well, maybe not THAT alone 🙂 ).

      1. But we already have recordings of Canzone per Te and Ancora on the San Remo disc. I am quite happy they are not duplicating things the way Interscope did.

      2. Penina, I’m aware that these two songs are on Sanremo. But to your point, Grande Amore, L’Immensita and Piove are “duplicated” and on both CD’s. I happen to love Canzone per Te and Ancora as well. To have everything on one CD just makes it nicer for me without having to switch out CD’s each time I want to listen to certain songs.

      3. It’s like the dilemma with the We Are Love CDs. If you want to hear the English songs you have to listen to the Special Edition, but if you want El Triste you have to listen to the Deluxe edition, and if you want the Spanish version you have to listen Mas Que Amor etc! I personally would rather NO duplication. There would be more room for new songs we haven’t heard before!

  6. The links worked and you can order the DVD $84.00 and Track $72.00 with a donation. There might be shipping charges. Not sure when they will come out on Amazon etc. I am sure it will be cheaper. Matter is WHEN?

  7. Thanks crew, for the info on the cd and dvd! Nowhere else can we get all the “news” we NEED to hear except on the crew report! AND those slurry sounding recipes!! It’s so much fun being a part of the crew! Happy 4th if you’re hear in the States, and happy weekend for those who are abroad! Dot…in Texas!! That should read “slurpy” recipes!! Spell check doesn’t know all my slang words!!

  8. Thanks for the recipies to all this delicious Italian food… rhubarb is not in the Italian dictionary though! LOL!

    1. I am fighting for RABARBARO because that is connected to my early days of this long life.
      Marco Polo searched for the place where the plant was grown , discovering that it was cultivated in the mountains of TANGUT province.
      The fun of being part of this “I love Il Volo” group is sharing. I have learned more things about this world by following the boys and looking up information.

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