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Sicilian Recipes – Vegetarian & Fish Entrees

Roasted Cod with Escarole Tomato Ragout

Serves 6

Cod with Escarole Tomato Ragout
1 head escarole, trimmed, outer leaves discarded
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves sliced garlic
2 tomatoes, cored, peeled and seeded
2 cans (14 ½oz.) chicken brothSalt and pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
1 can White Cannelini Beans (Goya)
¾-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 ¼ pounds cod fillets, cut into 6 ounces each

Cut escarole into 2-inch pieces and rinse several times. Put a pot on medium high heat and add escarole still wet. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes until tender. In a large skillet add oil and garlic. Cook until barely colored. Add tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Add escarole, broth, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add beans and cheese. Toss gently to heat beans and cheese. Salt and pepper fillets. Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Cook fish 3 minutes per side.


Sicilian Baked Pasta Gratin

Serves 6-8

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 peppers, red and yellow cut into ¼ inch strips
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves, minced garlic
Red pepper flakes to taste
1-2 lb. can whole plum tomatoes, drained
12 Calamata olives, pitted
¼ cup capers, rinsed¼ cup fresh basil
3 tbsp. olive oilSalt and black pepper
1 lb. thin spaghetti
1 cup grated pecorino cheese

Preheat oven to 400°In a 12-inch sauté pan heat oil. Add peppers and onions and cook till tender. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes more.Bring a pot of boiling salted water to boil.Put tomatoes, olives, capers and basil in a food processor and pulse coarsely. Add tomato mixture to the skillet and mix and reheat. Adjust seasonings.Cook pasta until al dente, drain and add to sauce mixing in cheese. Turn into a lightly oiled casserole and bake for 30 minutes.Note: You can assembly the dish and refrigerate up to two days ahead.


Lasagna with Eggplant

Serves 8-10

2 pounds eggplant, peeled & sliced ¼ inch x 1 inch
½ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows)

Recipe for 3 egg fresh pasta
1 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tbsp. Butter

Preheat oven to 425°. In a bowl combine sliced eggplant, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on two baking sheets in a single layer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn eggplant over and cook for 5 minutes more. Set aside. Lower oven to 400°.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Dry on cotton towels.

Butter a 13×9 baking dish. Spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom of the dish. Make a layer of lasagna noodles. Add a layer of tomato sauce and eggplant, béchamel sauce and grated cheese. Continue until you have four layers of pasta. The final layer of pasta is covered with tomato sauce, béchamel and grated cheese. Dot with butter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let lasagna rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tomato Sauce:3 tbsp. olive oil1 small onion, finely diced1 can Italian plum tomatoes, 1 lb.12oz.1 bay leafSalt & pepper1 tsp. sugar½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Cook onions with oil in a saucepan for 8 minutes. Break tomatoes up and add to the pan along with bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Cool and add chopped basil.

Béchamel Sauce:4 tbsp. sweet butter3 tbsp. flour2 cups hot milkSalt and white pepper

Melt butter over low heat. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 minutes. Off heat add milk stirring constantly. Add salt and white pepper to taste.. Turn heat to medium and whisk until mixture comes to a boil. Cook at a simmer for 5 minutes.


Warm Potato Salad

2 lbs. small white or red potatoes, peeled
Chicken broth to cover
Salt and black pepper
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2-tbsp. parsley chopped
1 shallot chopped

Add potatoes to a saucepan with broth and place over high heat. Cook about 15 minutes.

In a bowl combine oil, garlic, parsley and shallots and mix well. Slice potatoes ¼ inch thick. Reserve broth. Add potatoes and toss with ½ cup reserved liquid. Season generously with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Add more cooking liquid if desired.

To serve, spoon potatoes in a bowl top with escarole mixture and its broth. Set a piece of fish on top.


Wonton Lasagna with Salmon and Wild Mushroom Sauce

Serves 8

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. shallots, chopped
1 lb. mixed sliced mushrooms, shitake, crimini, and button
¼ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
½ lb. mascarpone
¼ cup Inglehoffer Thick-n-Creamy Horseradish
3 scallions green and white chopped
1 tbsp. chives, chopped
1½ lbs. salmon filet
Canola oil for sautéing
½ stick butter, melted, seasoned with salt and pepper
24 thin wontons, 3½ x 3½ inches square
2 scallions cut into thin rounds for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°.Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté shallots until softened. Raise the heat to high and add all the mushrooms, season generously and cook for 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Pour in cream and heat through. Set aside.In a large bowl mix together mascarpone, horseradish, scallions, chives and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush seasoned melted butter on the paper and brush butter on both sides of the wontons. Place on the parchment paper and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.Slice salmon on an angle into thin pieces, about ¼ inch thick, cutting them into 3 x 3-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large non-stick skillet heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Cook salmon for about 1 minute on each side and set aside on a plate. Reheat mushroom mixture.To assembly lasagna: Place a crisp wonton centered on a heatproof dish, next a piece of salmon on top with a tablespoon of mascarpone mixture and a tablespoon of mushroom mixture. Repeat again and then top off with the wonton, salmon, mascarpone and some chopped scallions on top. Decorate the dish with mushrooms and cream. Keep warm in the oven before serving. 


Linguini with Swordfish Sauce

Linguine with Swordfish Sauce, Sicilian Style Serves 6

Tomato and Swordfish Sauce:1 – two pound can San Marzano tomatoes I small onion, finely chopped I tbsp. minced garlic 2 tbsp. olive oil1/2 cup white wine1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes I sprig parsley I sprig basil I bay leafSalt and freshly ground black pepper I cup Perfect Addition fish stockI pound swordfish, cut into small cubes

Finishing the Dish:1 pound of linguini2 tbsp. extra virgin 1/2 dry breadcrumbs¼ cup parsley, basil, chives & lemon thyme, chopped

Puree the tomatoes in a blender. In a saucepan over medium heat, saut6 the onion and garlic with olive oil until soft. Add the white wine,, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, herbs, bay leaf and seasonings. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the fish stock and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the swordfish. Cook for 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Preheat broiler. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water and drain.

In an ovenproof bowl, add the pasta and toss with the extra virgin olive oil. Spoon the tomato sauce with the swordfish over the pasta. Combine the breadcrumbs and herbs and sprinkle over the pasta. Place the pasta under the broiler and brown the breadcrumbs for several minutes.


Grilled Shrimp in Lemon/Herb Aioli Sauce

Serves 4-6

Marinade for Shrimp
1½ lbs. large shrimp, 16-20 count, peeled, deveined
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup mixed herbs, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup olive oilSalt and freshly ground black pepper
8-10 wooden skewers soaked in water for a few hours or overnight

With a small knife butterfly the shrimp by making a deep cut lengthwise down the back of each shrimp. In a bowl combine garlic, herbs, pepper flakes, lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper. Coat the shrimp with the marinade. Marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat broiler or grill. Weave 4 shrimp on each skewer and grill about 2-3 minutes per side.

Lemon Herb Aioli Sauce

6-8 anchovies
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1 egg
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh mixed herbs, finely chopped

In a food processor, combine anchovies, garlic, lemon juice and egg. Blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add the chopped herbs in by hand. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

Serve shrimp warm on a platter with aioli sauce.


Grilled Stuffed Eggplant Slices

Serves 8

2 eggplants, 1¼ lbs. each
¾ cup olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
One-14½ oz. can Del Monte Fresh Cut Tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
1 sprig of fresh basil
¼ cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg yolk, beaten lightly
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
Basil leaves and Parmesan shavings for garnish

Trim eggplant and slice into ¾ to 1-inch rounds. You should have 20-22 slices. Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Brush eggplant rounds with seasoned olive oil and cook for 10 minutes on each side. While the eggplant is cooking start the tomato mixture.

Heat 3 tablespoons of seasoned oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add chopped onions and sauté for 6-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, pinch of sugar and sprig of basil. Cook for 20 minutes or until mixture is thick and pulpy. Remove basil and set aside to cool. As the eggplant is cooked, place on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Preheat oven to 400° Combine grated cheese, egg yolk and vinegar to tomatoes. Top half of the eggplants with tomato mixture and place remaining eggplant slices on top. Heat through in oven for 10 minutes.

Garnish with Parmesan shavings and basil.


Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Risotto Fritters

Makes approx. 50 hors d’oeuvres

1 cup arborio rice
1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
½ pound mascarpone, room temperature
3 tbsp. sour cream ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups all purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
3-4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ½ -3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs, * made in the food processor
2-3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine
Salt and black pepper
Canola oil for frying

Prepare risotto following directions on the package. When cooked spread on a sheetpan to cool.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in basil, mascarpone, sour cream, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls.

At this point you can refrigerate balls for three days or freeze for 1 month.

Set up 3 shallow dishes, one with seasoned flour, second with beaten eggs and third with breadcrumbs mixed with parsley. Lightly dredge fritters in flour, then eggs and breadcrumbs.

Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Heat a deep fryer or pot with oil, about 3 inches deep. Fry fritters for 3 minutes or until golden brown all over. Transfer to a sheet pan with a rack. Serve warm or make ahead and reheat in preheated 350° oven for 5 minutes.

*Use Portuguese Rolls or substitute Panko breadcrumbs which can be bought in an Asian store.

Sicilian Recipes – Vegetarian & Fish Entrees

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