In Nonna's Kitchen: Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers by Carol Field

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Lemon-flavored ricotta cake (Timballo di ricotta)

    • featherbooks on May 26, 2013

      Big hit with M and Shannon&Bill. I halved the recipe for the four of us, used Cointreau instead of rum and a mix of orange & lime rind since I was out of lemons, plus orange juice. Baked it in an artful ceramic pottery piece and bowed to the applause.

  • Neapolitan ricotta, mortadella, and salami pie (Rizza rustica alla Napoletana)

    • Couture911 on September 19, 2010

      I made this at least a dozen times. Always good. It is sort of an Italian take on quiche. After becoming familiar with the technique you can start to vary the filling, just as you would with quiche.

  • Orecchiette pasta with tender leaves of broccoli rabe (Orecchiette e broccoli rape)

    • Breadcrumbs on October 25, 2010

      Oct 2010 - First use of this recipe. Selected because it called for broccoli rabe and ricotta salata which I'd recently picked up. Wanted something that would compliment the Italian Beef I was making in the slow cooker. Prepared this dish exactly as directed. I needed to add a bit of pasta water to aid in the even distribution of the chilli oil mixture in the pan. Served w the beef on the side so the tomato mixture could blend w the Orecchiette and glad I did this as I believe it enhanced the dish which was a little bland on its own I thought.

  • Pasta with almond and basil pesto from Trapani (Spaghetti col pesto alla Trapanese)

    • featherbooks on September 10, 2012

      One of the best pestos and excellent for freezing since cheese is not in the pesto but is put on at the table. I did not blanch the almonds, added 1/4 C. of walnuts for that many almonds, and added fewer tomatoes which I had on hand.

  • Polenta with a white ragù of pancetta, sausage, and ham (Polenta con ragù bianco)

    • ashallen on October 31, 2019

      This is a delicious, intensely flavored meat sauce. The serving size is relatively small - it's almost more like a meat condiment to be eaten with polenta and vegetables (it was great with cooked dark greens), but I think that's the way it's meant to be eaten! Because it's so flavorful, a small amount goes a long way. My sauce came out surprisingly sweet for a meat sauce (probably the brand of ham and sausages I used) - I added lots of black pepper which balanced it out. Meat gets nicely tender after its long simmer. I cooked it until liquids were fully reduced and drained off some of the rendered fat since there was more than I prefer. There was sufficient salt to season the sauce in the meats I used - no additional salt necessary. In fact, I made my polenta a bit less salty than usual to balance the sauce. I used a different polenta recipe (and cooked it with chicken stock) than the one in this book - so no feedback on the polenta part of the recipe.

  • Pork chops cooked in the broth of polenta (Costine di maiale cotte nel brodo di polenta)

    • ashallen on October 31, 2019

      The pork chops seemed a bit dry and "cooked"-tasting to me (though my husband really liked them). What I really loved, however, was the polenta than cooked with the chops - it was absolutely delicious from absorbing the pork juices in the oven. Recipe doesn't yield a large quantity of polenta, but what's there is very, very flavorful. I used a coarse stone-ground cornmeal that required some extra time in the oven before it was done. I removed the chops, stirred in an additional 1/3-1/2 cup water and put it back in the oven for 15 more minutes - that fixed it. Polenta has a large quantity of butter in it (in addition to the pork fat/juices) - there were pools of butter in it at the end of cooking. I'll try cutting back the butter somewhat next time and see if I notice its absence. I'll also try pulling the chops sooner to see if they come out more succulent that way.

  • Rice pudding (Torta di riso)

    • ashallen on July 07, 2019

      A nice rice pudding for those who like a thick layer of smooth custard over a well-defined rice layer. I didn't have a 10" souffle/baking dish as called for in the recipe and used a 2.5 qt oval casserole instead - the pudding just fit. Recipe suggests baking pudding for 80-85 minutes but I took it out after only 65 minutes since it was already 182F in center and 202F at edges by that point. Custard texture was a little coarse/scrambled egg-y around the outer edges but the interior was great - very smooth! Leftovers kept well over a few days. Microwaving gently before serving worked well.

  • Rice, celery, and sausages (Riso, sedano, e salsicce)

    • ashallen on September 14, 2020

      I chose this recipe to use up some bits and pieces of things and wasn't expecting much, but it's a deeply flavorful and savory dish. Risotto-like, but with a lower proportion of rice than most risottos I've made - the rice here is more like a creamy binder for the other ingredients. The dish is, however, very rich and a small amount goes a long way, so even though each serving as specified by the recipe is less than 1 cup, that's enough for me! I'd experiment in the future to see how much the oil/butter could be reduced without compromising the flavor. I used mostly plain ground pork instead of the sausage specified in the recipe and would do that again in the future since it's less fatty. Used homemade chicken stock and Arborio rice. Cooked in a saucepan, but I'm guessing the recipe was tested in a pan with a broader base since my onions took longer than the specified time to turn golden and there was some excess liquid to cook off after the rice finished cooking. Leftovers kept well.

  • Spaghetti with lamb sauce (Fusilli con sugo di agnello)

    • Breadcrumbs on November 07, 2010

      p. 146 - Nov 2010 - First use of this recipe. As always when I cook a stew or sauce w lamb, I was concerned that the lamb flavour would overwhelm the other ingredients. Happy to report that in this instance, this wasn't an issue at all. The sauce was absolutely delicious. I made as directed with a couple of exceptions. I only used 1/2 cup of white wine and added 2 tbsp of good balsamic as my lamb wasn't as lean as the recipe suggested so I thought the vinegar might help in breaking down some of the sinew in the meat. I also increased the cooking time and allowed the sauce to simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. The meat broke down beautifully and the sauce was rich and flavourful. I'll definitely make this dish again. K - 9

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