Simple Italian Cookery, by Antonia Isola

Vegetables

Onions “Alla Parmegiana”

Take six onions. Take out the centers with an apple-corer and fill them up with the following stuffing: One tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese mixed with two hard-boiled eggs and chopped parsley. Boil them first, then roll them in flour and fry them in olive-oil or butter. Then put them in a baking-dish with one-half tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese and one tablespoon of melted butter. Put them in the oven and bake until golden.

Onions “Alla Veneziana”

Take six small onions, remove the centers with an apple-corer. Boil them for a few moments, drain them, and stuff them with the following: Take a piece of bread, dip it in milk, squeeze out the milk, and mix the bread with one tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs. Mix well together, then add some fine-chopped parsley, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper, and the yolk of one raw egg; mix again well, and then stuff the onions with the mixture. Then dip them in flour and in egg, and fry them in lard. Put them on a platter and serve with a piquante sauce, made as follows: Chop up fine some pickles, capers, and pickled pepper, and add one-half cup of water. When these are cooked, add one tablespoon of butter and cook a little while longer, then pour over the onions and serve.

Lima Beans with Ham

Take three-quarters of a pound of lima beans, very tender young ones. Put them in boiling water for about five minutes to whiten them. Then put into a saucepan one heaping tablespoon of butter, some chopped parsley, and one small onion chopped up fine. When the onion is fried, add three ounces of raw ham, also chopped up. When the ham is fried put in the lima beans, and a little while before they are cooked add two or three tablespoons of stock. Serve with dice of fried bread.

Fried Squash, Parsnips, Celery, and Mushrooms

Take two small squash, the smallest size possible; cut off the two ends, divide them in two, and slice them in fine slices lengthwise. Put them in an earthen dish and sprinkle well with salt. Take one parsnip, scrape it, wash it, and boil it slightly, slice it, add it to the squash with more salt. Take the heart of celery, boil for a moment, and slice as with the other vegetables. Lastly, take some mushrooms, not very large ones, clean them, boil them a moment, and add them to the rest. Then dry all the vegetables with a clean towel, mix them all together, roll them thoroughly in flour, dip in egg, and fry in hot lard, dropping them in carelessly. Serve them in a hot dish with a napkin under them.

Pumpkin “Alla Parmegiana”

Take a slice of pumpkin, remove the rind and the seeds, cut into square pieces, and then slice these into slivers about the thickness of a ten-cent piece. Boil these for a moment in salted water, drain and put them into a saucepan, and fry in butter, with a little salt and a pinch of allspice. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and melted butter. Or, if preferred, when the pumpkin is fried, put it in a baking-dish, add thin slices of cheese (Parmesan or Gruyere), and put it into the oven until browned.

Fried Pumpkin

Take a slice of pumpkin, remove the rind and the seeds. Cut it into strips as for French fried potatoes, only finer. Roll in flour and dip in egg, and fry in boiling lard or olive-oil.

If desired as garnishing for meat, cut the pumpkin exceedingly fine, roll in flour, but not in egg, and fry.

Spinach “Alla Romana”

Clean and prepare the spinach. Put one pint of cold water with one tablespoon of salt on to boil, and when it boils put in the spinach. When the spinach is cooked — in about ten minutes — drain it in a colander, and turn onto it the cold water from the faucet for a few moments. Then squeeze out all the water with the hands. Put three tablespoons of olive-oil into a frying-pan; when this is thoroughly hot add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook for a few moments, stirring well with a fork and spoon, so the oil will permeate the spinach; then serve. Do not chop the spinach.

Spinach Souffle

Wash the spinach in several waters, put it in a covered saucepan on a good fire. Stir now and then to prevent burning, and after fifteen minutes add one tablespoon of salt. Cook five minutes more; drain and squeeze out the water. Then chop up very fine. Put into a saucepan one generous tablespoon of butter, three-quarters tablespoon of flour, stir, and when they are half cooked, add the spinach and a little salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, then pour in four or five tablespoons of cream, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Take a cup of spinach, prepared as above, beat up the yolk of one egg, mix it with the spinach, and stir over the fire until the egg is set; then let it cool, and before serving stir the well-beaten whites of three eggs lightly into it. Fill china cups or buttered papered forms half full, put them into a hot oven for ten or fifteen minutes, and serve at once. If too little baked or not served at once, the souffle will be spoiled.

Spinach “In Riccioli”

Boil the spinach and pass it through a fine colander. Beat up two eggs, add salt and pepper, and mix enough spinach into them to make them green. Put a little olive-oil into a frying-pan, and when it is thoroughly heated (but not boiling), pour a little of the egg, turning the pan about so that the pancake should be as thin as a piece of paper and dry. Toss if necessary. Take it out; repeat with the rest of the egg. Then take the pancakes, place them one on top of the other, and cut them into pieces the width of a finger and about two inches long. Fry them in butter, and grate a little Parmesan cheese over them. They make a very nice garnish.

Spinach in a Mold with Mushrooms

Boil the spinach for a few moments, drain, squeeze out the water, then pound it well, and pass it through a fine colander. Put it into a saucepan with a lump of butter and a few drops of lemon juice. Let it boil for a few moments, then turn it into a dish and allow it to cool. When cold mix with it the beaten-up yolks of two eggs. Put them into a buttered mold, leaving an empty space in the middle. Bake in a slow oven for about an hour. When cooked turn it out onto a dish, and fill up the empty space with mushrooms, which you have prepared as follows: Wash and clean a sufficient quantity of mushrooms and put them into a saucepan with a good-sized lump of butter, a little flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over a brisk fire for ten minutes. Moisten well with chicken broth or stock, and add some roux made as follows: Put one tablespoon of flour and one of butter into a saucepan, and cook until the flour has lost all raw taste. Then add stock or milk as desired, slowly — one cup for every tablespoon of butter or flour — and stir until smooth. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the mushrooms, put them with their sauce into the spinach, and serve.

Flan of Vegetables

Wash, chop up fine, and boil several vegetables, a potato, some spinach, a carrot, and a small beet, etc., then boil them again in a saucepan with some stock; then add a half a cup of cream or milk, stir well together, take them off the stove, and let them cool. When cool add the yolks of two eggs, some grated cheese, and the whites of the eggs beaten up. Put the vegetables into a mold which has been well buttered and lined with bread crumbs, and cook in the oven.

Lettuce in the Oven

Take several young lettuces, wash them and remove their wilted leaves, tie the tops together, and lay the lettuces side by side in a baking-pan and pour in one and one-half inches of stock. Cover the pan, and put it in a moderate oven for one-half an hour, adding stock when necessary. Place a fork under the middle of each lettuce, raise and drain, and lay them doubled up on a hot dish. Season the gravy in the pan with butter, salt, and pepper, thicken with one beaten egg, and pour it over the lettuce. Serve hot.

Cucumbers “Alla Toscana”

Peel and blanch three or four cucumbers in boiling salted water for five minutes. Drain and cut them into pieces one inch thick and put them into a frying-pan with one ounce of butter, a little flour, and one-half pint of veal broth, stir well, and add some salt and pepper. Reduce for about fifteen minutes, stirring until it boils, add one teaspoon of chopped parsley, one-half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg, one-half a cup of cream, and the beaten-up yolks of two eggs. Put on the fire again for three or four minutes. Do not let boil, and serve hot.

Cauliflower “In Stufato”

Remove the outer leaves and clean a fine cauliflower. Cut it into several pieces and wash them well with cold water, put them into a pot of boiling salted water, and cook quickly for twenty or thirty minutes, until they are quite tender. Take them out without breaking, and place them on pieces of buttered toast, then put some butter in a frying-pan, add a little flour mixed with some stock, stir well until it boils, then add several finely chopped mushrooms, and cook a little more. Take it off the fire, and add the yolks of two eggs which have been well beaten, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, and the juice of one lemon. Pour this sauce over and round the cauliflower, and serve. The sauce must not be boiled after adding the eggs.

Celery Fried

Cut off the green leaves, and cut the stalks of the celery in pieces about an inch long. Wash them and then put them into boiling water for fifteen minutes. Then dry on a napkin. Beat up an egg with a little stock, or hot water, add salt and pepper, dip the celery in, then roll it in bread crumbs, and fry in boiling lard.

Celery with Tomato Sauce

Cut off the green leaves, clean and wash the celery stalks, and then throw them into boiling water and boil fast for twenty minutes. Drain, dry well, put them on a dish, and pour a pint of tomato sauce, or tomato paste diluted with hot water, over them.

Tomatoes “Alla Piemontese”

Take four rather unripe tomatoes of about the same size, put them into boiling water and boil for a few minutes. Cut off the stem part, and take out some of the inside with as many seeds as you can. Fill them with boiled rice and some mushrooms chopped up small. Pour over them the yolks of two eggs, place them in the oven to color; serve hot.

Tomatoes “Alla Spagnuola”

Take three or four large ripe tomatoes and boil them. Lay them on a sieve to drain until wanted, and then pass them through a fine hair sieve. Put them in a stew-pan and stir until all the liquid is evaporated. Then add a small piece of butter and three or four raw eggs, stirring them quickly with the tomatoes. When the eggs are cooked, turn all out into a dish and serve hot.

Tomatoes with Eggs

Choose round tomatoes of about equal size and peel them. Cut off their tops, take out their insides, and drop a raw egg into each, replacing the top as cover. Put the tomatoes in a baking-dish and bake for about ten minutes, until the eggs are set. Serve up in the baking-dish very hot, with Bechamel sauce (see Sauces, page 29), or some brown gravy.

Tomato Pudding

Scald, peel, and slice eight tomatoes. Squeeze out three-quarters of their juice into a bowl through cheese-cloth, and put it to one side; then chop up the pulp of the tomatoes with two tablespoons of bread crumbs, a little salt, sugar, and pepper, and a tablespoon of melted butter. Pour them in a buttered mold, place the mold in a double boiler, and put on the cover, and boil hard for one hour. Then turn out on a dish. Meanwhile take the juice of the tomatoes, season with sugar, salt, and pepper, mix in one tablespoon of butter rolled in flour. Boil one minute, then pour over the pudding and serve.

String-Beans “In Fricassea”

Cut off the ends and string some young string-beans. Cook them in salted water, then drain them well. Put them in a saucepan with some butter, parsley, and chopped onion. Be careful to add occasionally some broth if the beans dry up before they are completely cooked. Boil slowly, and a few moments before taking them off the fire add the yolks of one or two eggs (according to the quantity of beans) well beaten up with a little water, the juice of a lemon, and some grated Parmesan cheese. Stir from time to time, and never allow them to boil, or the eggs will set. To keep the beans a good color put a pinch of soda into the water with the salt.

String-Beans with Tomatoes

Take some young string-beans, cut off the ends, and string them. Wash them in cold water, drain, and while still wet put them into a baking-dish with some good olive-oil, some chopped onion and parsley, salt, and pepper. Put the dish on the fire with its cover on, and cook slowly. As the beans dry add the juice of some tomatoes, or some good tomato conserve. Take care they do not burn.

Fried Bread with Raisins

Take some rather stale bread, cut it into slices, removing the crust. Fry the bread in lard, and then arrange it on a platter; meanwhile prepare the raisins as follows: Take a small saucepan and put into it two tablespoons of good raisins, a good slice of raw ham chopped into small pieces, and a leaf of sage, also chopped up, one tablespoon of granulated sugar, and two tablespoons of good vinegar. Put these ingredients on the fire, and as soon as you have a syrup (stir constantly) pour the raisins onto the pieces of fried bread, and the sauce over and around them. Served with cold meat these are very nice.

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Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:38