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Italian Cuisine Recipes

by Rosemary Furfaro

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I am including two recipes that my mother used to serve on summer nights. This was considered a "light" meal in our household. She would put together an antipasto with whatever was in the kitchen but the core ingredients were the red peppers that my father roasted over coals, her garlic and dill pickled string beans, oven-roasted new potatoes, and dry cured olives. All this was drizzled with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with hard boiled eggs that were put through a fine sieve.

Pasta with Clams and Tomatoes
serves 6

8 beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half and squeezed of their seeds
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dark green extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons dark green extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 dozen small clams, cleaned
1 lemon, juice only
1/2 cup white wine
2 pounds linguine

Cut tomatoes into small cubes and mix with garlic, and let marinate in 1/2 cup oil, basil, salt, oregano and parsley for about half an hour at room temperature.

Put a pan of water on for your pasta. When water comes to boil, add pasta and cook according to manufacturers directions. Drain well but do not rinse.

While pasta is cooking, heat remaining olive oil in saute pan. Add minced garlic and clams. Shake pan quickly for about one minute then add white wine and lemon juice and shake pan once more, then cover to steam the clams for about two minutes. Remove lid and add marinating tomato mixture. Shake pan again to disperse sauce and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Toss with drained pasta.

Mixed Berries with Ricotta Creme
serves 6

My mother made this recipe with her Easter ricotta pie filling, which we all loved, and fresh berries that are available during summer. This is also good with wedges of winter pears, slices of star fruit, circles of navel oranges and bananas.

1 quart strawberries
1 quart raspberries
1 quart blackberries
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 orange zest only
3/4 cup toasted almond slivers
6 sprigs mint

Combine berries in a large bowl. Place ricotta and sugar in a processor and mix until smooth, or mix by hand. Remove from the processor and stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve half cup of berries per person. Top with a good sized dollop of the ricotta creme. Garnish with mint sprig.

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