Friday, November 13, 2015

Making it Simple ~ Italian Cuisine

The Piedmont region is a very mountainous region in Italy where hunting and fishing are commonplace. The autumn is the best time to visit here and all the tastes, smells and colors of autumn are reflected in their most famous dishes. Mushrooms, nuts, truffles and grapes are all gathered in the autumn, including the elusive, delicious and very expensive white truffles which are sought out by pigs or white dogs, usually at midnight when their smell is at it strongest. There are other mushrooms which are just as delicious and less expensive, for example the Boletus Edulis ~ Porcini.

Tonight, I am serving stuffed mushrooms with mushroom filled ravioli. This recipe is truly delicious way to enjoy mushrooms. Now, if you can't find any Porcini mushrooms just buy and use the large 'palm size' Bavarian mushroom that can be bought at most local grocery. For stuffing, I like to use a mixture of ground beef and seasoned ground pork, in fact a mild breakfast sausage will work. Wash your mushrooms and remove the stem. Press into the dark side or gill side of the mushroom a small patty shaped amount of ground meat depending on the size of your mushrooms. Prepare your skillet with olive oil and fresh dried herbs. Once the oil is hot, lay in your 'stuffed' mushrooms patty side down.  Let them sizzle for 5-6 min. on a high heat, then reduce heat to med and cover. After 5 min, flip them over gently and add 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Cover again and simmer for 8 min on low heat.  In the meantime, prepare water to boil the ravioli. Once it rolls, add a pinch of salt and the ravioli.

Set the table and get ready to serve. Ladle the ravioli onto a low lipped serving plate, spoon the stuffed mushrooms onto the plate 'here and there' and pour out the sauce. Garnish with fresh green parsley.

~ Tutti a Tavola! 

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