Bob and Jenny's B&B in Vicenza

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Italian food recipes at Bob and Jenny's B&B


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Italian food recipes

Bob's favorite Italian recipes:

Bruschette rustiche: A tasty starter of grilled sesame bread with diced tomatoes and olive oil.
Risotto with zucchini and Asiago cheese
: Classic rice dish with fresh zucchini and local cheese.
Pollo alla pizzaiola: Simple chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce with Parmesan or goat cheese.
Insalata fantasia: Bob's secret salad recipe with lots of fresh veggies and a killer salad dressing.

Italian food recipes are quite varied depending on which region of Italy you live in.  Recipes here in Vicenza have been strongly influenced by Northern European dishes (Baccalā for example), while Southern Italy has more of a Mediterranean flavor to its cuisine.  Local cheeses often dictate the character of a particular region, like Buffalo mozzarella in Napoli and Asiago in the Veneto region.
What follows is a personalized "taste" of some Italian food recipes we have enjoyed here in Italy.

Sesame baguette

Salted capers


 

Bruschette rustiche - For starters a real simple and tasty treat is bruschette, quick and easy to make and sure to please.  We prefer to grill the bread rather than bake it in the oven, using a sesame baguette which is easily found here but has its roots from the southern regions of Italy.

  • Slice the baguette from end to end into small pieces about 2cm thick each.  Heat up a grill in the meantime (we prefer the grooved type which we place directly on a gas range) at medium fire.
     

  • Dice up some ripe tomatoes, the meatier the better.  We find that "Marinda" tomatoes from Sicily work best but any type is fine as long as they are tasty and not too watery.
     

  • Grill the bread making sure to turn it only once.  By keeping a careful eye trained on each slice you'll know when it's time to turn them at the first whispers of smoke.  Lower the flame a bit.
     

  • For Garlic lovers all you need is to peel a clove and rub it directly on the hot bread, provided of course it's been grilled correctly and is crispy enough to hold its own without breaking up.
     

  • Put a dab of extra virgin olive oil on each slice (a spoonful or so depending on how big the slice is) and sprinkle lightly with salt and oregano.  Add the diced tomato and you're good to go!

Bruscette rustiche

Marinda tomatoes

 

 

Risotto with zucchini and Asiago cheese - A great "primo piatto" which is really quite filling, risotto takes about 25 minutes to cook and requires constant stirring but is well worth the wait.  Risotto can be done in any combination of ingredients, we like it with zucchini and Asiago cheese.

  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil, adding your favorite bouillan cubes for flavor.  We use a purely vegetable bouillan in powder form which is strictly without MSG.
     

  • While the water is heating up dice up a fresh white onion and fry slowly in olive oil until it begins to brown.  It's important to slow fry the onions and be as generous with the olive oil as you like.
     

  • While the onions are slow-frying dice up some fresh baby zucchini, a red bell pepper and some Asiago cheese (mezzano - aged about 6 months), we like Piave which works quite well too.
     

  • Prepare the amount of rice you'll need (a small glass is generally enough for one person), be sure to use only rice which is specifically recommended for risotto otherwise it'll be mushy!
     

  • Once the onions have begun to brown stir in the vegetables for a minute and then add the rice.  Slowly add broth, stirring constantly so it "bubbles" (you don't want it to "boil" in the broth).
     

  • It's important to stir constantly, scraping the bottom of the pot so it doesn't stick.  After 20 minutes or so the rice will be nearly ready, add the cheese and stir in a bit of milk for a minute.
     

  • Risotto is best eaten "al dente", firm but chewable so to speak.  The last thing you want is soft mushy rice!  Turning up the flame and stirring quickly the last minute adds texture, enjoy!

Risotto with zucchini

Fresh zucchini

Piave cheese

 

 

Pollo alla pizzaiola - Chicken cooked the Pizza man's way, using fresh tomatoes and Parmesan.  Sliced veal can be substituted for the chicken if you like, and goat cheese for the Parmesan.

  • Dice up some juicy red tomatoes and place into a frying pan, adding olive oil, parsley and capers.  Let the tomatoes boil a bit while you prepare the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
     

  • Add the chicken to the tomato sauce along with some grated Parmesan cheese and let it cook slowly for 10 minutes on each side, add water if necessary.  Sprinkle with oregano at the end.
     

  • Goat cheese yields a stronger taste, and olives can be added too for extra flavoring.  Make sure you cook the chicken slowly and thoroughly, veal may require a bit more time.  Ummm...

Chicken in tomato sauce

 

 

Insalata fantasia - A salad dish which is a meal in itself, any number of vegetables works well.

  • One basic principle of the kitchen which is good to remember is that the more color you have the better it will taste.  Key ingredients stand out by themselves and make for a great salad.
     

  • We like to use a mixture of both red and green radicchio, crisp and somewhat bitter.  Arugula also works quite well as do many other base salad ingredients like lettuce.
     

  • For a good mix add scallions (spring onions), carrots, radish, cucumber, capers, dried tomatoes, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, diced asiago and tuna.  Grate some Parmesan on top.
     

  • A good salad dressing starts with aged balsamic vinegar (from Modena), add teriyaki sauce (Kikoman), soy sauce, sesame seeds, olive oil and spices like oregano and pepper.  EAT!

Mixed green salad

 


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Bob and Jenny's B&B in Vicenza Italy
Italian food recipes and local cuisine
email: bed@bed-breakfast-italy.com
telephone  (39)  0444 - 320884
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