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2/28/2014

Comfort Food:
Italian Style
 

Winter is not over. Sure we have cherry blossoms and patches of sunshine, but two big storms this week are keeping us in rain boots and extra cups of tea. What do we do while we wait for Spring produce to catch up with our growing impatience with root vegetables?

 

It's time for comfort food, and the Italians are experts: warm plates of pasta, rich sauces, great wine, and decadent desserts. Check out these easy-to-prepare, staff favorites to get you through a rainy weekend.

 


 

Italian Harvest Authentic Artisanal Colorful Pasta

Pasta simply cannot get more beautiful! Delightful shapes, bright colors that hold when cooked, great texture, and flavor that is delicious in even the simplest dishes. This pasta-party in a bag brightens up Winter doldrums.   

Cucina & Amore Sauces    

These are some of the best pasta sauces we have tried. Produced and directly imported from Italy, they are authentic and taste (quite frankly) better than home made. You will be pleasantly surprised by what a jar of pasta sauce can be!     

 

Il Casolare Cold Pressed, Unfiltered, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil 
This buttery, dark green oil emits the fragrance of freshly-pressed olives. It's sweet, slightly grassy with hints of black pepper. It comes in a beautifully-designed bottle and reusable pour spout.  
 
La Piana Grilled Peppers
Grilled and packed in oil, herbs and spices according to traditional Italian recipe, they make a perfect appetizer on their own, or served with assorted cheeses and crackers. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar to make wonderful hors d'oeuvres or a side dish to complement meat and fish. 
 
2010 Brancaia Rosso Toscano
A Tuscan red blended from three grapes. The 2010 is easygoing, but with character and substance. It conjures up the taste of blueberries and dark cherries and a darker earthy-ness.  
 
 
Talenti Frozen Gelato
Talenti sets the ice cream bar a few notches higher. Its velvety feel, fresh ingredients, and a indulgent selection of beautifully-balanced flavors keep us going back to the freezer section. 
 
Lazzaroni Amaretto Cookies 
Crispy, delightful, and amazing when crumbled over ice cream or dipped in red wine! Lazzaroni Amaretto Cookies are classic Old World goodness. Treat yourself!

 


Recipe Highlight 

Chicken Piccata from Giada De Laurentiis on Everyday Italian is a delicious meat course to go with the list of Italian foods we just lined up. It is simple enough for a weeknight, and might just become one of your go-to recipes, too. 

 

Ingredients  

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
 

Vendor of the Month 

Lula's Chocolates

 

Amazing Chocolates

Every­thing Lula's makes tastes home­made. They brim with quality; these are old-fashioned chocolates redefined.

 

Lovingly presented, their elegant varieties including creams, nut-clusters, and toffees. We especially love their salted caramels: rich chocolate on the outside, luscious caramel centers, and delectable crunchy salt crystals sprinkled on top. Read More...

 

 

 

Perfect Hot Chocolate.

This is some of the best hot chocolate out there! It dissolves easily, and tastes terrific.

 

Silly Cow Farms makes a delicious, organic, old-fashioned Hot Chocolate Mix. It's made with real Dutch Cocoa, vanilla powder and natural cane sugar-that's it-no scary ingredients. Just add hot milk to make a creamy, and so-rich hot chocolate!

 

Plus, you won't want to recycle their retro milk bottle. It looks too good in the kitchen. Read More...

  

From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog 
  

Peas of Mind 

 

Over the weekend I started get­ting my garden ready for the spring. I water­proofed the floor of my green­house, started my pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds, and planted the English peas that I had started a few weeks ago.

 

Because I have done this, we are now sup­posed to have a torrential down­pour that will last for days starting on Wednesday. Had I known that I could make water fall from the sky by the bucketful just by working in the garden, I would have started at the beginning of January. Now I just have to hope that my plants will survive the beating.

 

This year I opted not to plant fava beans along with my peas, and I am now regret­ting that deci­sion. After finishing in the garden and feeling rather pleased with myself, I sat down with my lemonade and Sunset mag­azine, and pre­tended that I was the kind of person who would normally be enjoying the spring-like weather while reading Sunset. (I really would like to be that person, who is a gardening bad ass, but it's just not true. If I am successful it usually dumb luck.)

 

Anyway, while thumbing through the March issue, I spied a recipe that made me stop in my tracks. Open-Faced Fava and Egg Salad Sandwiches. What could say "The Winter produce doldrums are over!" better than that? It's so simple, but the bright green color of the favas screams Spring, and the picture made my mouth water. After noting that it included a recipe for tabil by Kitty Morse, one of my favorite Moroccan cooking teachers, I knew I would have to try it. Now I will regret not having the fresh fava beans from the garden.

 

For now, I will sit back and be happy for the rain, and cross my fingers that my peas will survive...and wait for fresh favas to appear at the market.

 

Read the article and get the recipe on our website...

 

In This Issue
Chicken Piccata
Vendor of the Month
What's Hot
Open-Face Fava and Egg Salad Sandwiches
What's For Dinner Wednesday
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Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.
 















 

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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