Peach Bellini Tartlets

Ingredients:  The peaches are from my neighbor’s tree !!!

 

  • 6 medium peaches–skinned and finely diced.  Dice the peaches on a board with a groove that will collect the juice.  Use the juice along with the diced peaches to make the filling.
  • 1/4 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of vanilla sugar.  The sweeter the peaches are the less  sugar you will need.  I use organic evaporated cane juice which has leftover vanilla pods sitting in it.  I always throw my leftover vanilla pods into my sugar jar to make vanilla sugar.  If you don’t have vanilla sugar just use regular sugar with a splash of vanilla extract.
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts.  Toast the hazelnuts.  Let them cool.  Set aside 15 hazelnuts for garnish.  Pulverize the rest, into a coarse powder, in a spice grinder or food processor.
  • 1 package of mini fillo shells.  The package I used has 15 shells.
  • 1 split bottle of prosecco
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chai masala (optional)
  • 15 small mint leaves for garnish

Making the peach filling:

  • Place a heavy skillet on a medium flame
  • Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt and turn light brown.  Watch the butter carefully.  Do not let it burn.  Letting the butter brown adds a deep nutty flavor to the filling.
  • As soon as the butter is brown add the peaches and vanilla sugar to your level of sweetness.  Set aside a little sugar to make the ricotta cream for the topping.
  • Stirring occasionally, cook the peaches until their liquid evaporates.
  • Add the hazelnut powder and spices.  Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with 1/2 of the prosecco from the small prosecco bottle.  Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let the peach filling cool to room temperature.

Making the ricotta topping:

  • Place the ricotta in a medium mixing bowl and add vanilla sugar to your level of sweetness.
  • Use a fork or small whisk to cream the ricotta and sugar together.
  • If the mixture is too thick add a bit of prosecco to thin it out.  It should be the thickness of whip cream.

Cook the tart shells according to the package instructions and set aside to cool.

Assembling the tartlets:

  • Fill each shell with the peach filling
  • Top with a dollop of the ricotta cream
  • Garnish with a whole hazelnut and a small mint leaf

Serve with a glass of prosecco and enjoy.  They are so cute and absolutely delicious.

Peach Tartlets IG

 

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Collard Greens

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 16 large collard green leaves
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red chillies, minced
  • 16 oz package of pumpkin gnocchi
  • 8 oz package of shaved or grated Italian cheese (Parmesan, Romano , Asiago or a mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep:

Pumpkin Gnocchi Prep

  • Remove the stems from the collard greens.  Cut the leaves into strips.
  • Dice the onion
  • Strip the leaves off the oregano and thyme stems
  • Mince the garlic and chilies

Cook:

  • Coat a large stainless steel skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chilies, oregano and thyme.  Saute until golden brown.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Add the collard greens and stir.  Let the collard greens wilt for 2 minutes.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 3

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  Then turn off the heat and cover with a lid while you cook the gnocchi.
  • Coat a large non-stick skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on  medium high heat.  Add the pumpkin gnocchi and cook until brown on all sides. Toss the gnocchi gently with a plastic or silicone spoon so that all sides get brown without bruising the delicate gnocchi.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 5

  • Add the browned gnocchi to the cooked collard greens.  Add half the cheese and gently toss everything together.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 4

  • Plate the dish.  Sprinkle with additional cheese .  Serve with a glass of Chianti or any red wine you like.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Feature

I served this as a side dish at Thanksgiving.  Also for those who don’t eat meat, it serves as a yummy and satisfying main dish.

If you can’t find pumpkin gnocchi, you can use another flavor.

Hope you enjoy!!!

 

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

Roasted Carrots Ingredients

 

  • 3 bunches of baby carrots (grown by JBG Organic Farm in East Austin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • served with center cut gorgonzola on the side

Prep:

Roated Carrots Prep

  • Coat the carrots with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle with my Italian Spice Mix
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Toss to coat the carrots evenly

Cook:  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Place the carrots in an oven proof baking dish and roast in oven until tender and brown (about 15 minutes.)

I have kept this recipe very simple so that the flavor of the beautiful carrots shines.

Serve as an appetizer with the center cut gorgonzola and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Roasted Carrots Instagram

 

 

 

Roasted Tromboncino Squash Medallions

Ingredient Source:

Trombocino Squash

Tromboncino Squash grown by Sunset Hill Farms in Smithville, Texas.  I bought the beautiful, longest one at the farmer’s market in downtown Bastrop, Texas.  I was very excited to see this squash because it is an Heirloom vegetable originally from Liguria, Italy.  It tastes halfway between butternut squash and spaghetti squash.  I used the long part to make roasted medallions topped with pesto.  I used the bottom part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.

Ingredients:

Trombocino Squash Ingredients

  • The long part of the squash cut into one inch medallions (use any squash you like)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil, enough to coat the squash medallions

Prep:

Trombocino Roasted

  • Cut the long part of the squash into one inch medallions.  Set aside the fat part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.
  • Put the medallions on a lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
  • Combine the Italian Spice Mix with salt, pepper, and the smoked paprika.
  • Sprinkle the first side of the medallions with the spice mix and drizzle on olive oil to coat.  Gently rub in the spice mix and olive oil into each medallion.  Flip the medallions and repeat on the second side.

Cook:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Place sheet tray of medallions in the middle of the oven.
  • Let roast until you see the moisture in the medallions bubbling.  About 10 minutes.
  • Remove the sheet tray from the oven and flip the medallions over.  Roast until tender.  About 7 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave in for another 5 minutes.  This will allow the side resting on the sheet tray to get nicely caramelized without burning.
  • Place medallions on a platter caramelized side up.  Top with pesto sauce (optional.)

Enjoy with a glass of red wine (not optional, HA!! HA!!, LOL:)

Italian Spice Mix

I use my Italian Spice Mix in a lot of my recipes.  I have posted it here so that you can refer to it.

To make a dry rub, mix equal parts of:

Italian Spice Mix

  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Chili Flakes

You can also just sprinkle each item on individually.  It is a simple but flavorful spice mix.  I have linked this as a reference tip in each recipe where this formula is used.

If you want to make it less or more spicy just increase or decrease the amount of red chili flakes.

Heirloom Caprese Salad

Ingredients:  Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound baby heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of basil leaves (I used sweet Italian basil which I grow myself)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • the best olive oil you can find (I drizzle it on.  I don’t measure how much I am using)
  • seal salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Prep:

  1. Cut tomatoes in half (use a serrated knife so the tomatoes don’t get bruised).  Put them in a bowl.  Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and olive oil.  Toss together and set aside.
  2. Cut the fresh mozzarella into pieces about the same size as the tomatoes.  Set aside in a bowl.
  3. Remove the individual leaves of basil from the stem and set aside on a plate.

Assembly:

  1. Arrange on a platter.20151105_152317
  2. Place a tomato half, then a piece of mozzarella, then a basil leaf.  Keep alternating in this fashion.  I usually start at the edge of the platter and work my way to the center.  You can use whatever pattern you like.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.