I am so glad you stopped by. Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I've been converting my Italian family's recipes to gluten free. My family and friends can't tell the difference! I also create my own delicious recipes. I will be posting new recipes weekly which will range from traditional comfort foods to gourmet dishes. Not all of the recipes will be Italian, but they all will be delicious! In addition, you will find helpful tips for gluten free living, related links and product recommendations. I welcome any specific requests for recipes. If I don't have it, I will find it! You can email me directly. A link to my email is located in my profile. . . simply click on the tab to view my full Enjoy the site!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin Roast
1 6 lb Pork Loin Roast
5 large Garlic Cloves roughly chopped
1/3 Cup Salt
1/3 Cup Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Paprika
1/2 Cup Dried Parsley
1/4 Cup Dried Basil
3 Tblspn. Dried Oregano
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Vegetable Stock

Rinse Pork Loin Roast and pat dry with paper towels.  With the point of a sharp knife, make pockets sporadically over entire roast and insert a piece of the chopped garlic into each pocket.  I try to make the pockets approximately 1 inch deep.  Pour all of the dried herbs, salt, pepper and paprika into a mixing bowl and drizzle the Extra Virgin Olive oil slowly into the mixture until it forms a paste like consistency.  (Reserve any remaining olive oil.)  Coat the Pork Loin Roast with the herb paste mixture.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.  (I usually let the roast marinate with the paste rub overnight.)  Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Place roast on a rack in center of roasting pan.  Place in oven for approximately 20 - 30 minutes at 500 degrees until the paste forms a golden crust over roast.  Add wine, stock and any reserved Extra Virgin Olive oil to the bottom of roasting pan and reduce heat to 425 degrees.  Cover the roast with aluminum foil and cook until center temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Remove from oven and pan and place meat on a carving board.  Cover meat loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for 1/2 hour prior to carving.

Note:  This roast is extremely tender and does not need any sauce.  However, it is delicious with a Balsamic Black Cherry Glaze drizzled over the top.

Balsamic Black Cherry Glaze

1.5 Cups Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Cup Black Cherry Preserves (Gluten Free Preserves)
1 Small Shallot minced
1/4 Tspn. Salt
1/4 Tspn. Black Pepper

Add Balsamic Vinegar and minced shallot to a small sauce pan over medium high heat.  Let the Balsamic Vinegar cook over a low boil, stirring frequently, until the vinegar is reduced and thickened to a glaze.  (You will know that it is the correct consistency when the glaze coats a spoon when it is dipped and removed.)  Lower heat to a simmer and add the Black Cherry Preserves, salt and pepper.  The salt and pepper should be added slowly and adjusted for taste.  Stir to incorporate and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.  Drizzle glaze over meat.

Balsamic and Herb Green Beans

Balsamic and Herb Green Beans

1 lb Fresh Green Beans cleaned and trimmed
1 Medium Sweet Yellow Onion Sliced
1 Large Garlic Clove Minced
3 Tblspn. Dried Parsley
1 Tblspn. Dried Basil
1 Tspn. Dried Oregano
1 Tspn. Salt (can be adjusted for taste)
1 Tspn. Black Pepper (can be adjusted for taste)
1/2 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Pour water into a sauce pan and add Green Beans, Onions and Garlic.  Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Dried Parsley, Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, salt and pepper over the beans and stir to incorporate ingredients.  Cook covered over medium heat until Green Beans are tender, but retain a slight crisp.  Remove from heat transfer Beans and Onions with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.  Prior to serving add Balsamic Vinegar and toss. 

Note:  This side dish is delicious hot, room temperature, or cold

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

I will be posting more recipes after the Christmas Holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and blessed holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fennel and Orange Salad. . .A Wonderful Salad For Christmas Day. . .

Visit InfoServe for webpage pictures.

Fennel and Orange Salad

1 Large Bulb Fennel
2 Oranges (1 ½ for salad and ½ for dressing)
½ Red Onion
3 Tblspn. Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Italian Parsley


2 ½ Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of ½ Orange
1/4 Tspn. Salt
1/4 Tspn. Pepper

Whisk together and set aside.

Trim fennel. Cut in half and core the bulb then quarter. Cut off the shoots, but reserve the fronds (looks similar to dill). Slice thinly and rinse. Peel the orange and break out the orange slices. Skin them and peel away all the white pith. Chop the orange slices. Thinly slice the red onion. Chop the parsley and fennel fronds. Toss the fennel, oranges, onions, dried cranberries, parsley and fronds together and dress.

Serves 4

Friday, December 18, 2009

Asparagus Parmigiano Risotto

This is a fantastic dish as a main course or a side dish! Arborio rice is a must for this dish. It has a wonderful creamy consistency.

Asparagus Parmigiano Risotto:

1.5 Cups Arborio Rice
1 Small Sweet Yellow Onion Finely Diced
1 Cup Chopped Asparagus Tips and Spears
4 Tblspn. Unsalted Butter
1 Tblspn. Fresh Lemon Zest
1 Tblspn. Fresh Italian Parsley Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Finely Grated Parmigiano Cheese
1 Cup Dry White Wine
4 Cups of Warmed Chicken Stock
1 1/2 Tspn. Sea Salt
1/2 Tspn. Black Pepper

Trim the tough ends off of the Asparagus and cook the Asparagus in boiling water until tender. (For this recipe, I prefer the Asparagus very tender with no crisp.) In Saucier or shallow sauce pan melt butter over medium high heat and add the Finely Chopped Sweet Yellow Onions. When onions begin to sweat, add Arborio Rice. Stir Arborio frequently and allow to toast to a light golden color. (This brings out the nuttiness in the Arborio.) Add the Dry White Wine, Salt and Black Pepper and stir frequently until liquid is nearly absorbed. Begin to add warmed Chicken Stock by the ladleful so that the Arborio is just covered. (I keep my Chicken Stock on a nearby burner on low heat.) Continue stirring and as the liquid is absorbed add additional stock. When half of the stock is used, add the cooked and chopped Asparagus. Continue to add the Chicken Stock until the Arborio is tender and creamy in texture. (It may take slightly less or more stock so be certain to test the consistency from time to time. I usually check the consistency after each addition of Chicken Stock is absorbed.) Once the Arborio is tender and creamy in consistency, lower the heat and add the finely grated Parmigiano Cheese. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat. Sprinkle Fresh Lemon Zest and Fresh Italian Parsley over the Risotto and serve.

Serves 4 - 6 as an Entree

Note: You must stay on top of this dish as you cook. It has to be stirred frequently to avoid sticking. The cooking process takes approximately 25 minutes.

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata
When making Chicken Piccata, I stay true to character of the dish and keep the ingredients simple. I have had what I call "turbo charged" Piccata where other ingredients such as artichoke hearts or mushrooms are added. This also makes for a delicious dish. If you prefer "turbo charged", feel free to improvise!
Chicken Piccata:
4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts. (Butterfly the breasts if you prefer it to be thinner.)
Gluten Free Flour for dredging the chicken breasts. (Season the flour with 1 Tspn. Salt, 1 Tspn. Black Pepper, 1/4 Tspn. Garlic Powder and 1 Tblspn. Dried Parsley per 1 cup of Flour used.)
4 Tblspn. of Capers (Non-Pareil) rinsed
1 Tspn. Fresh Lemon Zest
1 Tblspn. Fresh Italian Parsley Finely Chopped
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Gluten Free Chicken Stock (Look for a Stock with no MSG or Modified Food Starch. Contact Company to ensure that stock is gluten free.)
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Rinse Chicken Breasts and dredge in Seasoned Gluten Free Flour. Shake off excess flour and set aside. Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts. Allow to cook until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes) and turn to brown other side. Remove breast from pan and add Dry White Wine, Chicken Stock and Lemon to pan. Stir, scraping bottom of pan to deglaze and incorporate pan drippings into sauce. Reduce liquid by 1/2 and add capers. Return Chicken to pan and lower heat. Allow chicken to simmer in sauce for 15 minutes. Remove Chicken from pan and plate. Pour sauce over the Chicken and sprinkle with the chopped fresh parsley and lemon zest.
Note: Thin slices of Lemon as garnish look beautiful on the plate and allow each individual to add more lemon if desired. I also like to use one of the ingredients as a garnish because it tells the mind what flavor to expect!

Braciolle is a savory and versatile dish. . .

Braciolle is a classic Italian Dish which calls for bread crumbs. This is an easy fix for a gluten intolerant diet. Simply replace the standard bread crumbs in this dish with gluten free bread crumbs seasoned to your liking. (My seasoning mix for bread crumbs can be found in my posting dated 12/17/09 "Clams Casino" recipe.)

Braciolle can be served as an appetizer, but a larger portion could be served as a dinner entree. My mom used to slice it up and serve it alongside meatballs as an accompaniment to pasta.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have measured this recipe as an appetizer, but you can simply increase the number of Braciolle being made and the amount of sauce to accomodate an entree.

Braciolle with Marinara


2 Large slices of Top Round cut thinly for Bracciole
1 Small head of Escarole
2 Hard Boiled Eggs sliced (optional)
1 Stalk Celery finely chopped
1 Small Yellow Sweet Onion finely chopped
1 Large Garlic Clove
1/4 Cup of Kalamata Olives roughly chopped
3/4 Cup Seasoned Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


3 Cups Crushed Tomatoes
3 Tblspn. Tomato Paste
2 Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
¼ Cup Sweet Yellow Onion chopped
1 Clove Garlic minced
6 Large Fresh Basil Leaves (Chefanade)
1 ½ Tblspn. Dried Parsley
1/8 Tspn. Dried Oregano
½ Tspn. Salt
½ Tspn. Pepper
Pinch of Hot Red Pepper Flakes

Prepare the marinara sauce. In a skillet or saucier add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped sweet yellow onion and minced garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Lower the heat if necessary. When the onions start to sweat add the Tomato Paste, Red Wine, Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano, Salt, Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes. Stir to thoroughly incorporate ingredients. Allow to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the Crushed Tomatoes. Stir to incorporate. Bring to slow boil. Lower heat to medium low and allow sauce to cook for at least 30 minutes. (45 minutes to an hour is optimal for this recipe, but 30 minutes works when you are in a hurry.) Place your fresh Basil leaves one on top of the other with the underside of the leaves facing upward. Tightly role them and chop the leaves into thin strips. (Chefanade style). Add to the marinara sauce right before serving for a fresh taste.

Prepare the Braciolle. Chop and clean Escarole and place in skillet with 1 cup of water. Cook over medium high heat until Escarole begins to become limp. (Usually about 5 minutes) Remove from heat and drain. Run cold water over the Escarole to stop it from cooking. While the Escarole is cooking rinse Top Round and pat dry with towling. Rub each side of the Top Round with the garlic clove and sprinkle each side of the meat liberally with salt and pepper. Place the two top round steaks on a plate or board and divide the bread crumbs equally between the two. Spread the bread crumbs in a thin layer over the length of the meat. In a mixing bowl, combine the wilted chopped escarole with the chopped Celery, chopped Sweet Yellow Onions, and chopped Kalamata Olives. Divide this mixture between the two pieces of meat and spread the mixture over the length of the meat. Thinly slice the hard boiled eggs and place over the escarole mixture lining the egg slices down the center of each piece of meat. Beginning at either end of the meat, roll the meat going the long way. Use a linen cooking twine to secure the roll. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, sear the meat on all sides to form a golden brown carmelization on the meat. When nicely seared, remove meat from pan and place on plate lined with towling paper to drain off excess oil. Place seared Braciolle in the marinara sauce and turn to coat liberally. Let cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes. Note: If serving as an appetizer, slice into 1 inch thick pieces and drizzle marinara over the braciolle. (Many additional flavors can be added to the escarole mixture such as Pimentos and Capers. Don't be afraid to use your imagination.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Eve Is Right Around the Corner!

In my family, Christmas day is the day for the big sit down dinner and Christmas Eve is an all night 'grazing fest'! I decided to start this blog with some gluten free Hors d'oeuvre recipes. Some of these are naturally gluten free (no glutens called for in the original recipe) and some have been converted to gluten free. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Clams Casino

1 5oz. can of Minced Clams (water packed)
2 Strips of Bacon broiled crisp and crumbled (Please be sure that the bacon is gluten free)
1 Small Green Bell Pepper minced
1 Celery Stalk minced
1 Small sweet yellow onion minced
1 Medium Garlic Clove minced
3 Tblspn. Pimentos lightly chopped
3 Tblspn. Sliced Black Olives (optional)
2 Tblspn. Capers (Non-Pareil) (optional)
1/4 Tspn. Salt
1/4 Tspn. Pepper
1/4 cup of Italian Seasoned Gluten Free Bread Crumbs*
4 Tblspn. Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated finely
3 Tblspn. Olive Oil
1 Pad Unsalted Butter

Heat the olive oil and 1 pad of unsalted butter over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Add the minced Green Bell Pepper, Sweet Yellow Onion, and Garlic to the pan and cook until the pepper is tender and the onion is translucent. Add the Minced Clams, Pimentos, Crumbled Gluten Free Bacon, Black Olives and Capers and stir to incorporate mixture. Allow to cook for approximately 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and turn to low heat. Add in the Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs and the Parmigiano Reggiano and stir until the bread crumbs and cheese are well incorporated into the mixture. Remove from heat and serve.

Serving suggestion: This mixture should be served in either decorative clam shells or in a cupped leaf of Radicchio. It also could be served in leaf of Belgium Endive. The casino also works well as a spread with crackers. An additional Pimento could be used on top of each serving as garnish.

Serves 6

*I usually will make my own gluten free bread crumbs by running a loaf of brown rice bread in a food processor with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried basil and dried oregano. You can also mix these ingredients into packaged gluten free bread crumbs. Per two cups of bread crumbs I add 1 Tspn. salt, 1 Tspn. pepper, 1/2 tspn. garlic, 2 Tblspn. dried Parsley, 1 Tblspn. dried Basil, 1 Tspn. dried Oregano.

Portobella Bellisimo

1 Large Portobella Mushroom per person
1/4 Tspn. Sea Salt per 6 Mushrooms
1/4 Tspn. Pepper per 6 Mushrooms
1 Medium Shallot minced
2 Tspn. of Capers (Non-Pareil) per 6 Mushrooms
8 Tblspn. plus 1 pad Unsalted Butter
2 Tblspn. Olive Oil

Wipe the Portobella Mushrooms with a soft cloth to remove any dirt. Do not rinse mushrooms as they act as sponges and will absorb water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus 1 pad of unsalted butter in skillet. Place mushrooms in single layer in the skillet and cook for approximately until lightly golden brown on each side. After Mushrooms brown in color sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate skillet melt the butter over medium heat and the minced shallots and capers (rinse the capers under cool water and drain thoroughly before adding to butter) and cook over low heat until shallots are translucent. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but be aware that the capers are somewhat salty so I encourage you to taste the butter sauce prior to adding more salt.

Spoon the butter sauce over the top of each Mushroom and Serve.

Note: If you prefer, the Mushrooms can be grilled instead of cooked stove top, but prior to grilling, lightly brush each Mushroom with olive oil.

Prosciutto and Roasted Asparagus

12 Asparagus Spears
12 Thin slices of Gluten Free Prosciutto
Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving
1 Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 Tspn. Salt
1/8 Tspn. Pepper
1 Tblspn. Lemon Zest
1 Tblspn. Fresh Lemon Juice

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Trim the tough end off and clean the Asparagus Spears. Arrange on a small baking sheet. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice over the Asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to roll the Asparagus so that they are well coated with the olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Place in oven and allow to roast until fork tender and slight carmelization begins (slight browning from the natural sugars being released in the cooking process).

Remove from oven and transfer from the hot pan to a plate. Wrap each Asparagus Spear with a slice of Prosciutto and plate for serving. Prior to serving, shave Parmigiano Reggiano over the top of the wrapped spears.

Note: Please inquire with your deli manager to ensure that the Prosciutto you choose is gluten free. I believe that Boar's Head luncheon meats are gluten free, but please double check directly with the company or its website.

Calamari Fresco

1 lb Calamari
3 Stalks of Celery Chopped
1 Small Red Onion Chopped
1 Large Garlic Clove minced
1/4 Cup Kalamata and Green Olives roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Italian Parsley and Fresh Basil finely chopped and mixed together
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tblspn. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tblspn. Lemon Zest
Fresh Juice of ½ Lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Clean Calamari thoroughly (make sure to squeeze the Tentacles to remove all matter). Cut tubes into rings. (Calamari can be bought cleaned and cut if you prefer). Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop Calamari into the boiling water and stir well until it reaches a boil again. Cook for two minutes and remove from heat, drain immediately under cold water until Calamari is cooled down. (This is important to avoid any residual cooking.)

Mix celery, onion, garlic, olives and herbs with Calamari tossing to incorporate thoroughly. Add oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Salt and Pepper to Taste. Toss to coat all ingredients. Refrigerate for 24 hours prior to serving. Before serving salad, taste test as you may need to add additional olive oil and vinegar to taste as well as salt and pepper.

Mellanzane di Mama

4 Medium Eggplants
1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion
8 Celery Stalks including the leafy ends
5 Medium Garlic Cloves
Salt (Amount to be discussed in detailed instruction)
Pepper (Amount to be discussed in detailed instruction)
1 Tspn. Hot Red Pepper Flakes
Olive Oil (Amount to be discussed in detailed Instructions)
2 Cups White Vinegar

Prepare Eggplant by cutting off the stem and tip of the Eggplants. Peel off the skin. Slice into 1/4 inch slices on the round. As you slice them place them into a container of liberally salted cold water so that no discoloration takes place. The salt helps eliminate any bitterness from the Eggplant.

While the Eggplant is drying, dice the celery and onions and mince the garlic. Toss the diced celery, onions and garlic together in a bowl and set aside. Put 3 tablespoons of salt in a small bowl, 3 tablespoons of pepper in a small bowl and 1 teaspoon of hot pepper in another small bowl.

Once all of the Eggplant is soaking, let them soak until the water turns brownish in color. Drain the Eggplant and lay the slices in a single layer on sheets of paper towels. Let the eggplant dry for at least 30 minutes.

Have a sealable large container available to you near the stove at this point.

Pour 1 cup of the white vinegar into a large skillet and heat until slightly bubbling. Place as many slices of eggplant into the hot vinegar as will fit in a single layer. You will turn the Eggplant over after approximately 1 minute. The Eggplant should be removed as soon as it becomes slightly limp. Remove the Eggplant and place in the container in a single layer. Some overlapping is acceptable.

Spread a large handful of the onion, celery and garlic mixture over the Eggplant and then sprinkle the salt (approximately ½ tspn.), pepper (approximately ½ tspn) and a pinch of the red pepper flakes over the layer. Add olive oil until the eggplant is barely submerged. Repeat this process until all of the Eggplant is in the container and prepared as described.

Seal the container and refrigerate. The eggplant will be ready for serving after 24 hours of refrigeration. Please note that the eggplant will hold for approximately 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and the taste improves with time.

Please note that during the cooking process the vinegar will evaporate and you should add more as you go along. The vinegar should be kept at approximately 1/4 inch thick in the skillet.

To serve, ensure that each eggplant is topped with the vegetable mixture. Use a slotted spoon to avoid excess oil in the plate.

This recipe yields approximately 3 quarts. Of course it can be adjusted to smaller portions or larger portions.

Note: In addition to an appetizer, these eggplant are delicious in a sandwich by themselves or as a accompaniment to other sandwiches, such as Italian cold cuts or hamburgers.


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