Simple Italian Cookery, by Antonia Isola

Rice, Etc.

Rice with Peas

1/2 cup of rice
Grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
1 small onion

Chop the onion up fine and put it into the saucepan with one-half the butter (one tablespoon). Cook until the onion is brown, then pour on the rice (raw) and fry until the rice is dry. Then add hot water, a ladleful at a time, taking care not to let the rice boil too hard, as it will then become hard in the middle and floury around the edges. When the rice is cooked, put the saucepan at the back of the stove, and add the rest of the butter. Before taking off the stove add a little grated Parmesan cheese and the peas, which have been prepared as follows:

Take a small piece of ham fat, one-half small onion, and some parsley. Chop together fine, add three tablespoons of olive-oil, salt and pepper, and put into a saucepan on the fire. When the onion is colored add one can of green peas (or fresh peas, according to season). When the peas have absorbed all the olive-oil add a sufficient quantity of broth to cover them (or water) and cook until peas are soft. Then mix the peas with the rice, add one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, and serve.

Rice “Alla Romana” (Risotto alla Romana)

A small piece of ham fat
1 stalk of celery
1 onion
2 mushrooms canned, or 1 fresh mushroom
1/3 pound of lean beef

Chop these ingredients together and put them into a large saucepan with a small piece of butter. Cook until the meat is well browned. Then add one tablespoon of red or white wine. Cook for a few minutes, then add one tablespoon of tomato paste dissolved in a little hot water, or two and one-half tablespoons of the other tomato sauce. Cook well, adding from time to time a little water — one-half cup in all. Wash the rice (a little less than a cupful), add it to the other ingredients in the saucepan, and cook for about twenty minutes, until the rice is soft, adding more water from time to time. Then add two tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, mix well, and serve, with more cheese if desired.

Risotto “Alla Nostrale”

Take a small piece of onion, slice into small bits, and put into a saucepan with two tablespoons of butter. Cook until onion is browned.

Wash well one-half cup of rice. Put it into the saucepan with the onion, add salt and pepper, and fry until the rice is dry. Then take one and one-half tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with hot water (or two tablespoons of other tomato sauce), and add to the rice. Little by little add hot water until the rice is cooked through (about one cup of hot water). Then add grated cheese, Parmesan or Gruyere, one and one-half tablespoons of butter, and mix well over the fire, then serve.

This rice can be served alone or with fried sausages, or with cold chicken, or any left-over meat prepared in the following manner:

Take one and one-half tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Cut the cold meat into slices, and add them to the butter. Fry well, then take one and one-half tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned in water (or three tablespoons tomato sauce). Add to the meat a little at a time. Simmer for one-half hour, then put into the middle of hot platter, surrounded by rice, and pour this sauce over all. Add a handful of grated Parmesan cheese to the rice.

This preparation of meat can be served with macaroni or corn-meal instead of the rice.

Rice with Butter and Cheese (Riso in Bianco)

Take one-half cup of rice. Boil in salted water. After twenty minutes of boiling take off the fire and drain. Then put the rice back into a saucepan with three tablespoons of grated cheese (Parmesan) and three tablespoons of butter. Mix well and serve as an entree, or around a plate of meat..

Rice with Tomatoes

Boil a cup of rice soft in hot water. Shake it now and then, but do not stir it. Drain it, add a little milk in which a beaten egg has been mixed, one teaspoon of butter, and a little pepper and salt. Simmer for five minutes, and if the rice has not absorbed all the milk, drain it again. Put the rice around a dish, smooth it into a wall, wash it over with the yolk of a beaten egg, and put it into the oven until firm. Take the strained juice and pulp of seven or eight tomatoes, season with pepper, a little salt and sugar, and one-half of a chopped-up onion; stew for twenty minutes, then stir in one tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of fine bread crumbs. Stew three or four minutes to thicken, and then pour the tomatoes into the dish, in the middle of the rice, and serve.

Rice with Tomatoes “All’ Indiana”

Wash a cup of rice and boil it. Take seven or eight good-sized tomatoes, boil and strain them, and season with salt and a little allspice. Take a baking-dish and put into it alternate layers of tomato and rice, finishing off with a layer of tomato, covered up with grated bread crumbs moistened with melted butter. Bake in a moderate oven for a good half-hour.

Risotto with Ham

Cut into small pieces one ounce of raw ham, fat and lean. Chop up fine a small piece of onion, and put it with the ham into a frying-pan with one-half a tablespoon of butter. Fry slowly until the ham and onions are golden. Then add one-half cup of uncooked rice; when it has cooked for a few minutes, add twice its height of bouillon (or water), salt and pepper, a dash of nutmeg, and mix well and allow it to boil for twenty minutes over a good fire. Then take off the stove, add two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese grated; mix well and serve.

Rice with Mushrooms

10 mushrooms if canned, or 5 or 6 if fresh ones
3/4 of a cup of rice

Chop up a little onion, parsley, celery, and carrot together, and put them on the fire with two tablespoons of good olive-oil. When this sauce is colored, add two tablespoons of tomato paste, thinned with hot water (or a corresponding quantity of tomato sauce). Season with salt and pepper. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces, and add them to the sauce. Cook for twenty minutes over a medium fire. Put on one side and prepare the rice as follows:

Fry the rice with a lump of butter until dry; then add hot water, a little at a time, and boil gently. When the rice is half cooked (after about ten minutes) add the mushrooms and sauce, and cook for another ten minutes. Add grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Polenta (Indian Meal)

3/4 of a cup of yellow Indian meal (fine)
3 cups of water

Put the water into a granite or iron saucepan, add salt. When it begins to boil add the Indian meal, little by little. Keep stirring constantly as you pour it in, to prevent lumps. Boil for one-half hour, stirring constantly over a moderate fire. If desired, a little more water may be added if preferred not so thick. Add grated cheese and butter.

Polenta Fritters

Put one pinch of salt and one tablespoon of sugar into a cup of milk, and put it on to boil. As soon as it boils pour in, little by little, one-half scant cup of fine Indian meal, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Allow it to boil gently for twenty minutes.

Take it off the stove, add one level tablespoon of butter and the yolk of one egg and a little grated lemon-peel. Beat up well to mix the egg and butter. Then turn the mixture onto the bread-board, which has been dampened; spread it out to the thickness of a finger. Allow it to cool, then cut into squares or diamonds or little rounds, dip these into egg and then into the bread crumbs, and fry them in boiling lard, a few at a time. Sprinkle with sugar, and serve hot.

Polenta “Alla Toscana”

2 cups of Indian meal
3 pints of cold water

Put the water on, and when it boils add salt. Then add the Indian meal, little by little, stirring all the time. Allow it to boil over a moderate fire for one-half hour, stirring constantly. When the meal has become quite stiff, take a wooden spoon and dip it into hot water, and with it detach the Indian meal from the side of the saucepan, then hold the saucepan for a moment over the hottest part of the fire, until the Indian meal has become detached from the bottom. Then turn it out onto the bread-board; it should come out whole in a mold. Let it stand a few moments to cool. Then with a wire cut it into slices about the thickness of a finger. Place these slices on a hot platter in a layer; pour over them a good meat gravy and grated cheese; then put on another layer of the polenta, and add more gravy and cheese, and so on, until your polenta is used up.

Polenta with Chopped Sausages

Prepare the Indian meal as in the preceding receipt.

Take four Deerfoot sausages (or two, if a larger variety of sausage), remove the skins, chop fine, then fry in butter. When they are a nice brown add one tablespoon of stock, and two tablespoons of tomato paste thinned with hot water (or a corresponding amount of the tomato sauce).

Cook for fifteen minutes more. Then cut the polenta in slices as in preceding receipt and add the chopped sausages with their sauce and grated cheese, in layers as before.

Chicken with Polenta

Take a small chicken; clean and prepare it. Take a slice of ham fat four fingers wide and one finger long (or one tablespoon of good lard). Chop up very fine with a chopping knife, and put into a good-sized saucepan. Take one-half an onion, a small carrot, a piece of celery, and cut all into very small pieces and add them all to the fat. Then put in the chicken, the salt, pepper, and a pinch of allspice, and cover the saucepan. Cook until the chicken is covered, basting with the grease, and turning the chicken until it is brown on all sides; then add one-third of a glass of red or white wine. When the wine has become absorbed, add one tablespoon of the tomato paste, dissolved in a cup of hot water (or a cup of tomato sauce not too thick). Cook for a few moments more — until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Prepare the Indian meal as in receipt for Indian meal, and serve the chicken surrounded by the Indian meal, with the sauce poured over all and grated cheese sprinkled over the Indian meal.

Pigeon may be prepared in the same way as the chicken and served with the Indian meal; or either one may be served instead of the Indian meal with rice, as in receipt for Risotto alla Nostrale; Macaroni, as in receipt for Macaroni with Butter, or Ribbon Macaroni, as in receipt given.

Polenta Pasticciata

3/4 of a cup of Indian meal
1 quart of milk

Boil the milk, and add the Indian meal, a little at a time, when milk is boiling, stirring constantly. Cook for one-half an hour, stirring constantly. Add salt just before taking off the fire. The Indian meal should be stiff when finished. Turn it onto the bread-board, and spread it out to the thickness of two fingers. While it is cooking prepare a meat sauce, and a Bechamel sauce as follows:

Meat Sauce

Take a small piece of beef, a small piece of ham, fat and lean, one tablespoon of butter, a small piece of onion, a small piece of carrot, a small piece of celery, a pinch of flour, one-half cup of bouillon (or same amount of water), pepper. Cut the meat into small dice; chop up fine together the ham, onion, carrot, and celery. Put these all together with some pepper into a saucepan with the butter, and when the meat is brown, add the pinch of flour, and the bouillon a little at a time (or the water), and cook for about one-half an hour. This sauce should not be strained.

Bechamel Sauce

Take one tablespoon of flour, and one tablespoon of butter. Put them into a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until they have become a golden-brown color. Then add, a little at a time, one pint of milk; stir constantly until the sauce is as thick as custard, and is white in color. If it grows too thick, a little more milk may be added; or if it is too thin, a tiny lump of butter rolled in flour will thicken it.

Now take the cold Indian meal and cut it into squares about two inches across. Take a baking-dish of medium depth, butter well, then put in a layer of squares of Indian meal close together, to entirely cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle over it grated cheese; then pour on the top enough meat sauce to cover the layer (about two tablespoons), then on the top of this add a layer of Bechamel sauce. Then put another layer of the squares of Indian meal, sprinkle with grated cheese as before, add meat sauce, then Bechamel sauce, and continue in this way until the baking-dish is full, having for the top layer the Bechamel sauce. Put the dish into a moderate oven, and bake until it is a golden brown on top.

Polenta Cake (Migliaccio di Farina Gialla)

2 cups of coarse Indian meal
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 teaspoons of sugar (granulated)
3 tablespoons of lard

Mix the salt, sugar, and raisins with the Indian meal in a bowl, then pour in boiling water, a little at a time, and stir well with a wooden spoon until you have a stiff paste and no dry meal remains sticking to the bottom of the bowl.

Then take a cake-tin and grease it well with one-half of the lard. Then turn out the Indian meal into the pan, and even it out with the wooden spoon. Spread on the top of this the rest of the lard, softened slightly so as you can spread it easily. Cook in a slow oven until a golden brown. Serve hot.

Gnocchi of Farina (Gnocchi di Semolina)

1 pint of milk
1 egg
1/2 cup of farina
Butter and cheese

Put the milk on, and when it boils add salt. Take a wooden spoon and, stirring constantly, add the farina little by little. Cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the fire and break into the farina one egg; mix very quickly, so that the egg will not have time to set. Spread the farina onto the breadboard about the height of a finger. Allow it to cool, then cut it into squares or diamonds about two or three inches across. Butter well a baking-dish, and put in the bottom a layer of the squares of farina; sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan cheese (or Gruyere), and put here and there a small dab of butter. Then put in another layer of the squares of farina; add cheese and butter as before. Continue in this way until your baking-dish is full, having on the top layer butter and cheese.

Bake in a hot oven until a brown crust forms. Serve in the baking-dish.

Gnocchi of Potato

Take six medium-sized potatoes and put them on to boil in their skins. When they are done, peel them and pass them through a fine colander. Add a little salt. Take one cup of flour, and mix on the bread-board with the potatoes until they form a paste. Roll this paste with the hands into a sausage about the thickness of three fingers. Cut this roll across into pieces about an inch long. Press these pieces lightly with the finger or the handle of the knife, so they will take little cup-shaped forms. Leave these to one side, and put two quarts of salted water on to boil. When it boils add the gnocchi a few at a time, until all are in the water. When the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, take them out with the skimmer. Put them into a platter a few at a time, adding each time gravy and cheese, and covering them well. Put a layer of grated cheese sprinkled on top. Serve with meat, or as a first course.

Gnocchi of Milk — A Dessert

1 cup of milk
1 level tablespoon of powdered starch
2 or 3 drops of vanilla extract
2 yolks of eggs
2 tablespoons of sugar

Put all these ingredients together into a saucepan and mix together with a wooden spoon for a few moments. Then put onto the back of the stove where it is not too hot, and cook until the mixture has become stiff. Cook a few moments longer, stirring always; then turn out onto a bread-board and spread to a thickness of a finger and a half. When

cold, cut into diamonds or squares the width of two fingers. Butter a baking-dish, and put the squares into it overlapping each other. Add a few dabs of butter here and there. Put another layer of the squares in the dish, more dabs of butter, and so on until the dish is full. Brown in the oven.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:56