Archive for Italian Recipes


Cherry Love: Cherries with Chianti

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Hooray it’s finally cherry season! To celebrate we will bring you one chef or restaurant recipe daily featuring cherries for the next several days. The season is sadly a short one so enjoy it ASAP!

Today’s feature is Cherries in Chianti by Chef Ben Davis, which can be served on it’s own as a simple Tuscan dessert or served over vanilla ice cream. Chianti wine has primary notes of cherry in addition to plum, strawberry, spices and almonds, giving this dish a gorgeous harmony of flavors.

photo by bensonkua on Flickr

Cherries in Chianti
Chef Ben Davis, Tony’s Market, Denver

1/2 cups Chianti (you may substitute zinfandel or syrah)
1/2 cups sparkling water
2 cups sugar
2 strips lemon zest
3 strips orange zest
4 black peppercorns
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 pound pitted cherries (you may substitute frozen or canned)

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid until slightly thickened and reduced by half, which should take close to 15 minutes.

Add the cherries and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before storing covered in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature, enjoy!

For more recipes with cherries, explore the rest of the Cherry Love series including Chef Michael Symon’s Pickled Cherries recipe, and a contest winning Cherry Basil Pasta recipe.

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Leeks, Clams, White Wine, Chef Bartolotta and Average Betty, can you imagine anything more scrumptious?     Our favorite diva foodie rocks it in a video interview with Chef Paul Bartolotta, a two time James Beard award winner from Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare restaurant in Las Vegas.   Here he tells all and shares the recipe for his famous Brodetto di Vongole e Porri, aka “Tiny Clams in a White Wine Broth with Leeks”.  It looks amazing and we cannot wait to make it!  Read about Average Betty’s experience here and view the written recipe here.

Care to join in?  Make this recipe, take photos, and send them to our email on the about page.    We will feature you and publish your version with a shout out  to your site or blog, test the recipe, send our reviews and your version will be sent to the chef and Average Betty.  Be a star!

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It’s simple, it’s gorgeous, and best of all it’s homemade and authentic Italian. This comforting ravioli recipe with four cheeses recipe is from one of our favorite chefs, Anthony Priolo from Piccolo Sogno in Chicago. His restaurant features fresh seasonal rustic Italian cuisine paired with gorgeous regional wines.  It’s a win in our book, always.  We love.

Ravioli Quattro Formaggi aka Ravioli with four cheeses recipe:


1 C Ricotta cheese – fresh
1/8 C Reggiano Parmesan – freshly grated
1/8 C Capriole Farms goat cheese
1/8 C Gorganzola dolce latte cheese – chopped
1 t Italian parsley – chopped
Sicilian sea salt to taste
Ground black pepper – fresh & to taste

Mix all ingredients together & adjust the seasoning.


4 Eggs – whole
4 Egg yolks
1 T Olive oil
1 t Sicilian sea salt
2 3/4 C Semolina flour
1 1/4 C Flour – all purpose
2 T Water


Method #1 – In a food processor, add all ingredients. Pulse until a ball forms & then take out and knead by hand until dough is slightly firm.

Method #2 – In a large bowl add all dry ingredients into center of the bowl. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the remaining ingredients. With a fork beat the liquid until smooth, slowly touching the sides incorporating the dry ingredients.

KEEP MIXING UNTIL A BALL IS FORMED. Take the ball out and then knead by hand until the dough is slightly firm (Texture should be slightly firmer than your ear lobe). You may need to adjust the water amount due to the humidity in the air.

After the dough has rested, roll out the pasta dough progressively with a pasta machine until the dough is thin enough that you can see your hand through it. Brush the dough with egg yolk and add the filling on half of the dough with a spoon (the size of a Quarter).

With the other half of the dough, place over the side with the filling so that you form a ravioli. With a small shot-glass, form the center of the ravioli & press all the air out. Cut with a circle cutter so there is a small edge around the center. Press the sides gently pushing the air out and set aside.

Cook in boiling salted water about 2 minutes and then toss into the sauce.


1/2 C Chicken broth – fresh
1 T Butter – unsalted
1 T Pine Nuts – toasted
Sicilian sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Shavings of Reggiano Parmesan Cheese


In a saucepan, reduce the chicken broth down by half. Add the butter and bring to a boil. Then take the sauce off the heat. Stir quickly so the sauce does ot break. Add the cooked ravioli and toasted pine nuts. Adjust the seasoning & serve.

Arrange the ravioli on the plate (about 6 pieces) like a flower overlapping only on one side. When you get the sixth ravioli, slip it under the first. Drizzle the sauce & pine nuts over the ravioli, adding a little extra sauce.

Garnish with “Marsala Glaze” (using a squirt bottle, make sure the glaze is warm, ot hot). Drizzle the ravioli’s like it was a zigzag line.


1 C Marsala wine


Using 1 C Marsala wine, cook down by 3/4 until it is thick, or you can use a corn-starch slurry to thicken.

Finally, add the shavings of parmesan cheese over the ravioli & serve immediately.

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