Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Italian Style & Two Italian Recipes

My wish for you, my readers is a festive Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends, and all the fixings. I, among everyone else, have many things to be thankful for, especially to you my readers from coast to coast and across the seas. May your day be filled with past blessings and prayers for a bright future! Thanks for coming back and enjoying my stories and my favorite family Italian recipes.

Italians love any holiday that brings family, friends, and food together. Every Italian family has traditions and recipes that are unique and make their Thanksgiving special. As well as turkey and the trimmings, Italian Americans will often add to their Thanksgiving dinner an antipasto, a pasta or soup course, and then the desserts come. The desserts are not only your typical pumpkin pie, but sweets and pastries that Italians have been baking for years. I have two recipes this week to share with you my readers. The first one is called “Ricotta Pancakes with Honey and Raisin Sauce”. What a light, fresh, and sweet dessert for after your Thanksgiving meal. A delightful accompaniment with a cup of tea, coffee, or an after dinner drink.

“Ricotta Pancakes with Honey and Raisin Sauce”
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-3 minutes
Serves: 4 people

SAUCE
4 tablespoons of clear honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon of raisins
1 tablespoon of Pine Nuts

FILLING
8 ounces of whole milk Ricotta Cheese
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon of Pine Nuts
8 small, (8 to 10 inch) pancakes. The pancakes should be sweeter and thinner than a pancake but thicker than a crepe.

TO ASSEMBLE
To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a small pan and warm through gently. For the filling, beat the cheese and lemon rind until soft; mix in raisins and pine nuts. Divide the filling among the hot pancakes and either roll them up or fold into triangles. Arrange the pancakes on a warm plate spoon the sauce over the top and decorate with twists of lemon. Serve immediately warm or hot.
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The second recipe is one that my mom has used for Thanksgiving for many years. It is so delicious that we ask her to cook this dish even if it is not a holiday. This recipe has been passed down from my great-grandmother Sofia. It is called “Rice Stuffing: Rice, Sausage & Onions” My family loves this stuffing as it is made in a baking dish and not stuffed inside the turkey. The flavor is sweet from the onions and sausage plus has that savory taste from the cheese. It is a perfect marriage to have along side of your turkey dinner.

Sofia, great-grand mother
  “Rice Stuffing: Rice, Sausage & Onions”

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of sweet sausage bulk (out of casing)
2 cups of rice (uncooked) Uncle Bens
3 large eggs
2 large onions (sliced thin)
3/4 cup of Pecorino Romano grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Sauté sausage in pan with a little oil. Before sausage is totally cooked add onions and finish cooking. While sausage is cooking cook rice. Drain rice and put in a large bowl. Next beat eggs in a small bowl. Then mix together cooked rice, raw beaten eggs, grated cheese, and cooked sausage with onions. Put in a baking dish. Bake in a 350° for about 40-45 minutes until mixture sets.

So, as we say in Italian, “Abbondanza!!” (Plentiful & Abundance) “Happy Thanksgiving” to everyone…..

Till Next Time…………………………

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