Add These Tuscan Recipes to Holiday Dinners




With festive times at Thanksgiving and the December holidays fast approaching, you'll want some hearty, soul-warming dishes to serve your family, friends, and guests. You'll also want menu items that are easier to prepare and use healthy, fresh ingredients. Supermodel/celebrity chef Maria Liberati shares some great recipes and family cooking secrets with Design2Share. Her new book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions (PrimaMedia, Inc. 2009) features more holiday treats. This book just won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award, selected by a panel of prestigious chefs and culinary experts worldwide as The Best Italian Cuisine Book in America for 2009.




Fettunta is the Tuscan word for Bruschetta.

Here's what you'll need:

4 slices crusty Italian bread
2 cloves garlic
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tsps Tuscan Picnic Spice Blend (see Maria's store for Tuscan Picnic Spice Blend)

To prepare: Grill or place slices of bread under broiler. Rub with garlic clove. Drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle on Spices.



Wild Mushroom Risotto


This recipe is for 2 people.

Here's what you'll need:

1 cup rice for risotto
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 slice onion-chopped
2 tblsps extra virgin oilve oil
2 tsps butter
4 tsps grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese
2 ounces dried wild mushrooms

To prepare: Place mushrooms in small dish, pour in ½ cup warm waer, soak for 15 minutes. Heat broth until hot. In saute pan, place in olive oil and chopped onion, place in rice and toast for 30 seconds, then pour in white wine. When liquid is absorbed, pour in ¾ cup broth, stir, and when liquid is absorbed repeat. Place in mushrooms with their water and stir, then repeat with broth and stirring until al dente. Remove from heat. Top with butter and grated parmiginao cheese. Stir and serve hot.



Spinaci Alla Fiorentina


This is a Florentine-style spinach dish.

Here's what you'll need:

2 lbs chopped fresh or frozen spinach
1/3 cup butter
1 ½ cups milk
4 tblsps grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese
2 tblsps flour
salt and pepper to taste

To prepare: Place chopped spinach and 3 tblsps of butter in sauce pan. Stir until butter is melted.  Butter casserole dish, set aside.

In sauce pan, place in remaining butter, milk, flour, 2 tblsps grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese. Stir into a beschamel sauce.

In buttered casserole, place in spinach. Top with beschamel sauce. Top with remaining grated cheese and place in 360-degree preheated oven for 20 minutes.


(Recipes reprinted with the permission of Maria Liberati; copyright 2009.)

Jay JohnsonComment