Jennifer Hollack - Wine and Cheese I
Wine and Cheese I
Jennifer Hollack
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wine recommendations 125 x 125

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La Belle Cuisine - More Appetizer Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create an act of integrity, and faith."






"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

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  Antonio Di Viccaro - Riflessi Sul Lago
Riflessi Sul Lago
Antonio Di Viccaro
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Friday, November 10, 2006

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  George Bates - Liguria
George Bates
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Ligurian Pasta Layered with Pesto and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

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

by Carol Field, 1997, HarperCollins

Serves 8 as a first course or appetizer, 4 as a main course

“Vittoria Genovese, a wonderful cook from the Lunigiana region of Liguria, was amazed that I’d never heard of panigacci. To correct the gap in my pasta experience, she whipped up a thin batter in a flash and then spooned it onto a hot griddle, essentially making crepes. She stacked them in layers. Painting a wash of pesto and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese between each one and the next, and served up the simplest and most delicious pasta torte in a matter of minutes.
The batter should be as thin as crepe batter; keep thinning it until you get it right. Vittoria suggested using a nonstick pan instead of the ‘testo’, a large flat griddle of fireproof terra-cotta clay or iron, but she told me I must use oil in the traditional way: cut a potato in half, dip it into olive oil, and use it to spread oil over the surface of the pan. Although most people make panigacci and serve them immediately, Vittoria has been known to make ten or twelve about half an hour before it is time to eat. She sets them in a deep bowl over a pot of boiling water and covers them with a kitchen towel. When people are ready at table, she dips each one for a second in the boiling water, puts it on a plate, spreads a thin layer of pesto over the top, and repeats the process until all the panigacci are used up. At the end, she sprinkles grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and drizzles olive oil over the top of what looks like a cake. To serve, she just cuts a wedge for everyone and passes a little extra cheese. Serve it with a wash of pesto with olive oil and salt, or with tomato sauce. You can also cut panigacci into ribbons, like fettuccine or tagliarini, and toss them with sauce.”

2 scant cups (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups water
1 potato
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pesto (recipe follows)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Make a smooth crepe-like batter by putting the flour and salt into a large bowl and mixing in the water, whisking at the beginning to prevent lumps from forming, then stirring with a wooden spoon. You can also mix the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Keep thinning until you get the fluid consistency of crepe batter.
Cut the potato in half and dip one half into the olive oil. Heat an 8- or 9-inch Teflon pan until it is hot, almost smoking. Impale the oiled potato half on a fork and use it to spread the oil over the surface of the pan. Fill a ladle half full of the batter and pour it in to coat the bottom of the pan in a very thin circle. Use the bottom and side of the ladle to pat the batter down and flatten it as much as possible. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes and when it begins to pull away from the bottom of the pan, turn it over and cook briefly on the other side. Bubbles will appear in the dough. When they are cooked, both sides should look speckled and lightly brown, but you may need to turn them twice to achieve this effect. You will probably have to throw out the first crepe before you get it right. Lightly re-oil the pan for each crepe.
You may keep them for half an hour as Vittoria does or serve immediately with a thin wash of pesto sauce and sprinklings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese between each layer. You may also cut them into strips, toss with pesto, olive oil, and salt ,and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted briefly in a 350-degree F. oven
1 cup tightly packed leaves of fresh basil, cleaned
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons grated Sardinian pecorino cheese and 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin Ligurian olive oil

You may purée all the ingredients for pesto in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade. To be authentic, pound together the garlic and pine nuts or walnuts in a marble mortar with a pestle. Add the basil and salt – use coarse sea salt – use coarse sea salt when making the pesto in a mortar – and grind them, crushing into a coarse paste. Add the cheeses. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the best Ligurian olive oil drop by drop, as if you were making mayonnaise, until you have a creamy sauce. If the sauce is too thick, slowly add more oil and taste for seasoning.

Featured Archive Recipe:
Linguine with Spinach, Garlic and Olive Oil

Index - More Appetizer Recipes

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