Loaves & Dishes
By Jennie Geisler Erie Times-News staff blogger
Follow Jennie Geisler's kitchen adventures on her Loaves & Dishes blog.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1885
Posts tagged ‘Italian food’
Posted: October 31st, 2013

italian foodThanks to everyone who entered the drawing for “Great Homemade Soups: A Cook’s Collection,” by Paul Gayler. The winner is Pamela A. Mackowski. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not Pamela A. Mackowski, you are eligible to enter the drawing for “Crazy for Italian Food: A Memoir of Family, Food & Place with Recipes,” by Joe Famularo.
The book includes lovely descriptions of Italy and his Italian friends and family, all of whom inspired in him wonderful food.
The book would be a treasure to anyone who feels a tug toward the homeland of pasta, pizza and canolis. Every chapter ends with several recipes appropriate to a short tale. This one looked good to me:

Escarlole Soup With Beef Meatballs

Serves 6 - 8
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Hot
Region Italian


  • 1 medium slice Italian bread (crust removed)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4lb lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cups grated (Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 large egg (well beaten)
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt, pepper (to taste)
  • 1 head escarole (about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth (homemade, or)
  • 5 cups chicken broth (canned, and 5 cups water)


Step 1
1. In a small bowl, soak bread in milk until bread is thoroughly moist, about 5 minutes. Squeeze dry and crumble bread into a larger bowl.
Step 2
2. Add beef, 1/4 cup cheese, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well and form into marble-sized balls, about 60 in number, and put them on waxed paper or on a plate.
Step 3
3. Trim and separate the escarole leaves. Rinse well and cook in boiling salted water until tender, 5 minutes. Drain and put leaves in cold water, drain again and squeeze dry. Thinly slice the leaves.
Step 4
4. Bring broth to boil over medium heat, add meatballs and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add escarole and, partially covered, cook 10 minutes longer. Serve in large bowls and pass remaining cheese.

To enter the drawing, send an e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK YOU WANT. I don’t share or store this information.

By the way: Happy Haunting!

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 31st, 2012

Buddy Valastro has put together 100 recipes for favorite Italian dishes. It's going to be hard for me to let this one go. Photo from Amazon.com

Thanks to everyone who entered the book drawing for “Lidia’s Favorite Recipes,” an Italian cookbook by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich. The winner is James Lehr. I’ll pop it in the mail today.

If you are not James Lehr, you are eligible for today’s drawing for “Cooking Italian With The Cake Boss: Family Favorites as Only Buddy Can Serve Them Up,” by Buddy Valastro, of TLC series “Cake Boss.”
The book has lots of personal reflection, as well as helpful tips and down-to-Earth recipes. Recipes for Garlic Bread, Pesto Chicken Panini, and Pasta Carbonara, below.

To enter the drawing, send e-mail to jennie.geisler@timesnews.com including your NAME, MAILING ADDRESS and NAME OF THE BOOK you want.

Just here for the food? Here you go:

1 pound dried spaghetti
3 large very fresh eggs, preferably organic
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch dice, about 1 cup
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Put the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat them, then stir in the cheese.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy saute3 pan over medium heat. Add the oil and warm slightly. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until it renders its fat and starts to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4. When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the spaghetti in a colander. Immediately transfer the spaghetti to the bowl with the egg-and-cheese mixture. Toss thoroughly to coat, cooking the egg slightly with the heat of the pasta. Add the pancetta and garlic and toss to coast. If the mixture appears dry, add a little of the pasta’s cooking liquid and toss again.
5. Season the pasta with the pepper, divide among 4 to 6 plates or large, shallow bowls and serve.
– “Cooking Italian With The Cake Boss: Family Favorites as Only Buddy Can Serve Them Up,”

Posted in: Uncategorized

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