5 Best Italian Recipes from Emirate’s Favorite Italian Restaurants
Octopus with Potatoes and Baby Green
Octopus is perhaps the most tender and succulent ofall shellfish. Its sweet, richflavor is much like that oflobster and is best enjoyed eitht by itself or in simple combinations. Here we combine it with earthy potatoes and tenderfresh green beans. Serve with a nice light Pigato.
- 3/4 pound Yellow Finn or fingerling potatoes
- 1/4 pound tender young green beans
- 1-1/2 cups cooked octopus, about 1-1/2 pounds
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Juice of 1 lemon
- 20 flat-leaf parsley leaves Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked
- black pepper
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the water and cook the green beans in the same water until tender; drain.
While they are still warm, scrape the peels off the potatoes and cut them into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Cut the octopus into 1-inch lengths. Warm it in the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and
green beans, toss with the lemon juice and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Seafood Fritto Misto
Once you get the hang of it, deep-frying is no big deal. Fritto misto, or “mixedfry, ” can be lots of fun. Don’t restrict your self to seafood:
All sorts of vegetable combinations also work. Here we combine caia- mari and shrimp, small wholefish, and salt codfritters (optional). A garnish of fried lemon slices and seaweed adds unexpected crunch and color to the dish. Look for seaweed at Japanese fish markets, or ask your favorite fish restaurant or fish store to save you the seaweed lobster is packed in for shipping. The type we use is called limu in Hawaiian, wakame in Japanese.
This dish works equally well as an antipasto or as a main course.
- 4 cups olive oil, for deep-frying
- 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 2 cups flour, preferably oofarina di grano tenero from Pastiticio or a flour such as Wondra
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked
- black pepper
- 1/2 pound caiamari, cleaned and cut into rings and tentacles
- 1/2 pound large shrimp
- 3/4 pound small fish, such as fresh anchovies, whitebait, fresh sardines, small sole, and/or sand dab
- 1 recipe Salt Cod Fritters (without the salad ) optional
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup seaweed, optional
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot to 350°F. Meanwhile, steam the mussels in !4 cup water in a large saute pan, covered, over high heat until they just open. Remove from the pan and let cool. Whisk together the flour with salt and pepper to taste in a shallow dish. Working in small batches, toss the mussels, caia- mari, shrimp, and fish in the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a skimmer to a wire rack placed over paper towels to drain, then keep warm in the oven until all the fish is cooked.
Toss the lemon slices in the flour. Fry the seaweed with the lemon slices until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Serve alongside the fried seafood. Enjoy while hot.
Ribollka is a Tuscan soup, a creation of frugal house wives who never abandon stale bread or cooked vegetables. The name translates as
“reboiled, ” acknowledging the custom of reheating leftover vegetable
soup, with the addition of day-old bread. Here is our version, not made with leftovers. At Rose Pistola, this soup cooks in a cauldron on a hook sus- pended over a wood fire for days on end, until meltingly tender, soft, and rich. We add fresh ingredients daily to make up for what we have
served. As the seasons change, so does the soup. In summer, vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes, still warmfrom the sun, joinfresh shell beans, zucchini, mature lettuces, and other producefrom the garden. Serve with Stuffed Roasted Sardines.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
3 pale inner celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, bruised
2 cups fresh shell beans, such as cran- berry beans or black-eyed peas, or 2 cups dried cannellini beans
1 cup dry white wine
6 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Parmesan rind (about 1/4 pound) Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked
1/3 pound day-old coarse country
bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
3 zucchini, coarsely chopped
12 basil leaves