That's Amore

Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 00:22 - Written by Christine Gardner, food@tylerpaper.com

 

“When the moon hits you eye like a big-a pizza pie,


That’s amore.


When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine,


That’s amore.



When the stars make you drool just like pasta fagioli,

That’s amore.


When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet,

You’re in love.

When you walk in a dream but you know you’re not dreaming signore.

Scusi me, but you see, back in old Napoli,

That’s amore!”

Paris may be considered the most romantic city, but the Italians are known for their passion for life, love and food.

As described in this famous song by Dean Martin, pizza, pasta and falling in love are the greatest things in life.

Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner at home or a fun meal for family and friends this Italian feast is delizioso. As the Italians like to say, “Mangiare bene, Vive bene, Amore bene.”

 

That’s Amore Menu

Antipasta

Heart-Shaped Pizza

Pasta

Spinach, Mushroom & Gorgonzola Rigatoni

Entree

Peach & Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Baby Artichoke Hearts & Creamy Parmesan Polenta

Dolce

Chocolate Panna Cotta

 

Heart-Shaped Pizza

 

INGREDIENTS

1 container pizza dough, refrigerator section

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper, ground garlic, dried basil and oregano

fresh mozzarella cheese

desired toppings

 

DIRECTIONS

On a well-floured surface roll out the pizza dough. Flour on both sides and roll to desired size. Fold the circle over and using kitchen shears cut the dough into a heart just like you would to create a paper heart. Unfold the dough and place on a floured baking sheet. Stretch in places to adjust the shape. In a bowl combine the tomato sauce and seasoning and stir to combine. Spread over the crust and top with mozzarella and desired toppings. Pepperoni and salami slices can also be cut into heart shapes. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

 

Spinach, Mushroom & Gorgonzola Rigatoni

 

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces rigatoni

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 shallots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola

1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. While pasta is boiling heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots and mushrooms. Sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the wine and let it reduce by half. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the spinach and wilt slightly. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and leave it in the pot. Place the pot back on the stove over low heat. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir to combine. Add the parmesan, gorgonzola and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with cracked black pepper and toasted walnuts and serve immediately.

 

Peach & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pork loin, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus 1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Generous pinch of salt and cracked black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, minced

3 peaches, peeled & pureed

3 peaches, peeled & sliced

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup dry red wine

 

DIRECTIONS

Place the tenderloin in a baking dish and pour over the two tablespoons of balsamic and ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme and rub into the pork loin. Marinate for at least four hours or overnight. Meanwhile, combine the remaining cup of balsamic, honey, red wine and pureed peaches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let the mixture reduce by half and thicken. Will probably take about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Separate into two small bowls – one for basting and one for serving with the pork. Do not refrigerate or it will thicken too much. After the pork marinates, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scatter the sliced peaches around the pork loin. Place in the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees. When the pork reaches 120 degrees begin basting it with the balsamic reduction. Baste twice in the oven and again, once the pork is finished. Discard any leftover balsamic reduction that was used for basting. Cook the pork until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Creamy Parmesan Polenta

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quick cook polenta (not the polenta in a tube)

1 cups water

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

 

DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan add the water, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil. While stirring, pour in the polenta. Turn off the heat. Continue to stir until polenta thickens. Immediately stir in the parmesan cheese. If a looser consistency is desired, stir in additional milk.

 

Roasted Baby Artichokes

 

INGREDIENTS

1 bag frozen quartered artichokes, thawed

2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

After the artichokes have thawed, pat with paper towels and allow to air dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Place the artichokes flat in a baking dish. Scatter the cheese and tomato mixture over the top of the artichokes. Place in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and a small amount of grated parmesan cheese.

 

FRESH Ideas

 

Chocolate Panna Cotta

 

INGREDIENTS

1 packet of unflavored gelatin (1 tablespoon, 5 grams)

2 cups whole milk

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup raspberry jam

2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur

whipped cream, for topping

 

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of the milk. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Place the chopped chocolate in a large pourable mixing bowl. In a saucepan, off the heat, combine the cocoa powder and sugar. Whisk in the remaining milk over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, pour in the milk with the gelatin. Remove from the heat and whisk to combine. Pour the milk mixture over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until melted and combined. Let cool to room temperature. Stir again. Pour into dessert bowls or wine glasses half way full. Place in the refrigerator to cool and set for at least two hours or overnight. Heat the jam gently over low heat. Stir in the liqueur. Let cool to room temperature. Spoon over a layer of the jam mixture and top with whipped cream.