I have recently been speaking with friends and some new acquaintances about cooking and sharing recipes. Below are two of my favorite, easy recipes. Take some liberty and add a few things here and there. I will give you options as well.
Pasta Con Melanzane E Mascarpone
(Pasta with Eggplant and Mascarpone) I have used this 100 times and it is simple to make.
8 ounce container of mascarpone cheese. (be sure not to purchase the one ready for Tiramisu)
One pound of pasta, I like DeCecco (ziti, penne or Orecchiette)
One pound of eggplant
6-8 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes, please in the saucepan and add the olive oil and Salt/pepper. Cook over low heat and stir frequently so that they do not stick. Keep warm.
Boil the pasta per the brand’s instruction to al dente. Be sure to salt the water per taste.
Now take the mascarpone and while the pasta is cooking, add to a separate small saucepan along with 1/2 cup of the past water. Keep on very low heat and warm, not boil.
Drain the pasta, add the eggplant and mascarpone and toss. When thoroughly mixed, toss with the parmesan and a bit of salt & pepper. Serve with crusty Italian bread.
and now Pollo con Brie e asparagi
(Chicken stuffed with Brie and Asparagus)
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs beaten
Flour, salt and pepper for dredging (mixed and in a flat dish or bowl)
Brie Cheese (your personal favorite, none specified)
4-6 slices of Prosciutto, optional
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons of butter
Capers, Olives or pancetta as an option
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a glass dish, spray with a non-stick spray.
If the chicken breast is not already thinly sliced, use a tenderizer and pound it to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, and mix with the EVOO and squeezed lemon juice. Keep medium warm, not too high heat.
Take the tenderized chicken breasts one at at time and dip each in the beaten eggs and then dredge in the flour mixture. Just brown them slightly…really, slightly… you want to be able to roll/fold them later. Turn once to brown each side and remove to a plate. Cool a bit.
Meanwhile, slice the brie into sized pieces that will fit inside the chicken.
Once the chicken is cool, using your hands, place the brie inside the chicken and either roll it or fold it. Use a toothpick to secure closed if needed. You can roll Prosciutto in the chicken as well. Place in the glass dish.
Once all the chicken is done and in the dish, pour the remaining drippings from the pan onto the chicken.
You can sprinkle capers, olives, chopped pancetta whatever you wish on top.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or so; you’ll know when it is done.
Service over polenta or brown rice…or of course, with crusty Italain bread.
Please note: I have made these for years with many variations so my measurements may be off. Use your judgement and always try it out on a spouse/friend before serving it when it counts. You will fine tune these to become yours. Buon appetito!