Today I am using some Italian Christmas recipes my friend Amanda sent me from Food & Wine magazine (thanks, Amanda!). They look scrumptious!!
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound oyster mushrooms, thickly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 4 inner celery ribs, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch matchsticks, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves, for garnish
- 10 cups baby arugula (10 ounces)
- 6 ounces Pecorino Toscano, shaved with a vegetable peeler (1 1/2 cups)
- 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon zest and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the celery matchsticks, arugula and mushrooms and gently toss. Transfer the salad to a large platter or bowl, top with the Pecorino Toscano, prosciutto and celery leaves and serve right away.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 pound salsify or parsnips
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- One 14-ounce jar vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, halved
- 1 1/4 cups Ham Hock Stock or water
- 4 ounces thinly sliced country ham, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup snipped chives
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with water and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon into it. Peel the salsify, adding them to the bowl as you go. Cut the salsify into 1 1/2-by-1/4-inch sticks and return them to the water.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large bowl and stir in the eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add the 2 cups of flour, a generous pinch of pepper and the nutmeg and stir until a soft dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a heavily floured work surface and gently knead in more flour—as much as 1/2 cup—until the dough comes together but is still very soft. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 1-inch lengths and dust each piece with flour. Roll each gnocchi against the tines of a floured fork to make small indentations. Transfer the gnocchi to a lightly floured baking sheet.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half of the sweet potato gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface, about 1 minute, then cook for 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the salsify sticks. Add the remaining lemon half and the drained salsify to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the salsify and discard the lemon half.
- In a very large, deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the salsify, chestnuts and 1 cup of the Ham Hock Stock and simmer over moderate heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the gnocchi and the remaining ham stock and 4 tablespoons of butter and cook, stirring gently, until the gnocchi are hot and the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large platter. Sprinkle with the ham and chives and serve
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
- 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
- Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess.
- In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
- Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
- Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.