Italian Inspired Recipes

Italian Inspired Recipes

November 12, 2018

There is nowhere in the world that is synonymous with delicious food quite like Italy. Italian food is known for its relative simplicity that allows each dish to showcase the quality ingredients rather than relying on elaborate preparation, and is one of the most popular and replicated style around the world. We have put together our favourite Italian dishes, so open a bottle of wine and let's get cooking!


 

Two Corn Polenta with Basil and Cheese

Yields 7 servings.



Ingredients:

  • 2teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup instant dry polenta
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil


Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat
  2. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the broth, garlic, and corn, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for around 5 minutes. 
  4. With a whisk, slowly stir in the polenta, and simmer until thick
  5. Add the cheese, stirring it as it melts. 
  6. Add the salt and pepper and remove from heat. 
  7. Top with basil and serve immediately. 


Spaghetti with Chicken breast

Yields 4-6 servings


Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ½ in strips 
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil 
  • ½ cup green pepper, julienned
  • ½ sliced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 can Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cups cooked spaghetti


Directions:

  1. In a large pan, cook the chicken in about 2 tablespoons of oil for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Drain the liquid, remove the chicken and keep it warm.
  2. In the same pan, sauté the onion, garlic, and green pepper in the remaining oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms and seasonings; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and return chicken to pan and serve with spaghetti. 


Classic Margherita Pizza with Homemade Dough:

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking yeast 
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water 
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Cornmeal to dust the pan


Toppings (amounts are for one pizza):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves finely chopped roasted garlic
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce 
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • Ground pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the yeast and warm water. Stir it then let sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is dissolved. If the yeast doesn’t dissolve it is dead, so you must start again with active yeast. Add flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar. Hand mix or with a dough hook on low for 1 minute.
  2. Once mixed, knead for 7 minutes. If the dough is too wed add up to ¼ cup more flour. Once kneading is complete, the dough should be smooth and elastic. A way to test if it is ready is to poke it with your finger if it slowly rises back up it is ready. 
  3. Roll the dough into a ball and place It is a large bowl with a light coating of olive oil. Cover all sides of the dough with oil and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F then turn it off and place the dough inside. Be sure to leave the oven door slightly open as the ideal temperature for the yeast is between 57F-80F. After about half an hour close the door to trap the warm air. Depending on the yeast the dough will double in size in 1-2 hours. 
  4. Remove from the oven and press down on the dough to release the air.
  5. Divide the dough into two, rolling each half into a ball, and let rest in two separate covered bowls for 15 minutes. 
  6. Preheat the over to 475F. Grease and dust 2 baking sheets with olive oil, and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  7. After 15 minutes flatten each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface or on a baking mat. Flatten into a 12-inch diameter circle, flattening and stretching the dough. 
  8. Lift and pinch the edge of the dough to create a raised lip around the edges. Brush the top of the crust lightly with olive oil to prevent the toppings from making the pizza soggy. Push dents into the dough with your fingers to prevent it from bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  9. It is now time to prepare the toppings for the margarita pizza. Mix the olive oil and chopped garlic in a small bowl. Once the dough had been left for 15 minutes spread the olive oil and garlic mixture on the top of the crust. Spread the pizza sauce on the dough, then add mozzarella slices, and tomato slices. 
  10. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and bubbles are forming in the cheese. 
  11. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil and pepper.


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