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Pasta with Vodka Sauce

From: Claire
To:  phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 13:04
Subject: PS

> Also do you have a quick recipe for Vodka sauce?
> Claire

Hi Claire,

Try one of these.


Penne With Vodka Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

     1 tablespoon olive oil 
     1 onion, chopped 
     2 cloves garlic, sliced 
     28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes 
     1 cup heavy cream 
     1/4 cup vodka 
     1 pound penne pasta 
     1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese 
     crushed red pepper, optional 
     parsley, basil, chives- for garnish 

Saute onion in olive oil until translucent. 
Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. 
Add tomatoes and cook about half. 
Add cream, stirring quickly, parmesan, vodka 
and bring to a boil. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
(Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead.
Cover and refrigerate.)

Serve over cooked pasta. 
Can garnish with chopped basil, parsley or chives. 
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper if desired.
Vodka Sauce for Pasta 
(makes 4 servings)

1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter
6 oz (1 can)    tomato paste
1 clove         crushed garlic
1 cup           chicken stock
1/2 cup         heavy cream
3 oz            vodka
1 pound         pasta (penne, ziti, etc)


  1.put water on to cook your pasta 
  2.melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan 
  3.add the tomato paste; stir constantly until blended smooth 
  4.add garlic & chicken broth; cook until smooth and "velvety". 
  5.add the cream 
  6.finish cooking the pasta & drain. 
  7.add the vodka to the sauce, cook for ONE minute, and serve. 


From: alice
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2000 22:55
Subject: Caponata Recipe from Molise or Abruzzo

> Hi Phaedrus!
> I have a request for a caponata recipe from Molise or Abruzzo.  I was
> looking up "caponata" when I saw your site and decided to say hi and
> make the request at the same time.
> Thanks for any help you can give me.
> Sincerely,
> Alice 

Hi Alice!

I could not find a caponata recipe from Molise or Abruzzo. The dish is primarily Sicilian, and that's what I found, hundreds of Sicilian caponata recipes. A few of the best of those are below.


This makes a delicious appetizer when served with lightly toasted bread

1 medium eggplant
3/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup pitted, halved green olives
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 TBS pine nuts
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS sugar
Freshly ground pepper

Peel and cube the eggplant. Place the cubes in a colander and salt
thoroughly. Let drain for one hour. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper
towels. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Saute half the
eggplant until golden brown (5-8 minutes). Remove to a strainer and drain.
Add the remaining oil, saute the rest of the eggplant, and drain. Wipe the
pan clean, add the additional 2 TBS oil and saute the onions and celery just
until tender. Add the tomatoes, cover the pan and cook 4-5 minutes. Uncover
the pan and cook additional 5 minutes. Add the sauteed eggplant, olives,
capers and pine nuts. Combine the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is
dissolved. Pour into the eggplant mixture and simmer, covered 5-10 minutes.
Season to taste and cool. Makes 7-8 cups.
Caponata recipe

4 small eggplants
6 tablespoons salt
2 tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 peppers
4 zucchini
4 white onions
1/2 cup wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 spoon capers
1-2 bay leaves
1 cup pitted green olives
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut eggplant into piece, sprinkle with salt and let it stand with a heavy
weight on it for 30 minutes. Chop up tomatoes, heat oil saucepan and add the
tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Cut Cut peppers and zucchini into pieces.
Slice the onions thin. Pat eggplant dry Heat vinegar in saucepan over a low
flame, dissolve sugar in vinegar and mix together all ingredients and place
in a oiled roasting pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 11/2 to 2 hours
turning every 30 minutes.
Serves 6-8 (Serves more on large buffet)

This is traditionally served on toasted pita triangles. It also makes an
excellent sauce for pasta. And leftovers can be added to soups.


Olive oil
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup drained chopped tomatoes or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita bread, cut into triangles
Brush eggplant with olive oil. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add
eggplant in batches and saute until golden. Remove from skillet, drain on
paper towels if necessary, and set aside.

Place pine puts in skillet over medium heat and toast until golden brown,
stirring constantly.

Add a thin film of olive oil to same skillet and saute onion, celery, garlic
and pine nuts, tossing lightly. Reduce heat to medium and add olives,
tomatoes, capers, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; cook briefly over medium
heat. Add eggplant and simmer until eggplant is tender, but celery is still
crunchy. Allow to cool slightly, then cover and chill well.

Shortly before serving, toast pita triangles in 350° F oven until slightly
Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer

4 eggplant (cubed)
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
4 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups olive oil (extra virgin is best)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 pint pimento stuffed green olives
1 pint sliced black olives
1 small jar (4 oz.) small capers Dry oregano, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans (28 oz.) whole Italian plum tomatoes
or 2 Pomi tomato chunks

Sauté onion, garlic and celery in 1/2 of the olive oil until soft.  Add 1/2
of the cubed eggplant and 1/2 tomatoes and cook until all is soft, all
balsamic vinegar and pour all into large dish.  Put the rest of olive oil in
saucepan and add the rest of the eggplant tomatoes, and vinegar.  Cook until
soft and done.  Pour into large dish with first batch and add olives, capers
and spices to taste.  Allow to marinate.   Best when served at room
temperature with bread or crackers.  Can keep 7 to 10 days in refrigerator.

Pasta alla Carbonara

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Peanut
To: phaedrus 
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 21:16
Subject: pasta sauce recipe

A few years back, my Mother(age 80) went to Olive Garden and had 
pasta with a sauce with bacon, cream and maybe eggs. She said it was 
carbanara or cabanera or carbona? I just don't know what it was but she 
has been asking me to make it and I just don't know where to start. 
Olive Garden cannot tell me as they don't have that anymore. 
I sure can use some help.

Hi Peanut,

No problem. I don't know about the Olive Garden's exact recipe, but here's one that's very tasty.


  Pasta Ala Carbonara 
  Delicious spaghetti dish from Northern Italy! 

2 tablespoons extra virgin Olive oil 
6 ounces Pancetta or Guanciale cut into pieces 1-inch long by 1/8 inch thick (can use regular bacon in a pinch) 
3 whole eggs 
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano 
Peppermill with whole black peppercorns 
1 tablespoon Kosher salt 
1 pound Spaghetti 

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium 
flame. Add the pancetta and cook slowly until crisp and just lightly 
browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. 

Beat the eggs together in a bowl large enough to easily hold all the pasta. 
Add the cooked pancetta and, if you like, some or all of the rendered 
pancetta fat. Stir in the Pecorino Romano and add at least 10 turns of the 
pepper mill. Set aside in a warm place. 

Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil and add the salt. Plunge the spaghetti 
into the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the spaghetti into 
a colander and then immediately toss into the bowl with the egg, pancetta 
and cheese mixture. Stir the spaghetti well to both cook the egg and coat 
the pasta, and serve immediately in heated bowls. 
Top with grated Pecorino Romano. 4 servings 

Meatball Lasagne

----- Original Message -----
From: Sal
To: "Phaedrus" 
Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 16:45
Subject: Re: Need help!!

> I would like some Lasagne recipes, my mother use  small meatballs, and
> hard boiled eggs in hers. I'll be using a 15x11 pan.
> Sal

Hi Sal,

I could not find a lasagne recipe with hard-boiled egg, but I did find the first one below with small meatballs. The meatballs are a southern Italian touch, particularly in the Naples area. I'm also sending you several other lasagna recipes.


Grande Lasagna di Carnevale

1 pound store-bought Lasagne noodles
1/2 pound beef, in one piece
1/4 pound prosciutto, in a single fat slice
1/4 pound Italian salami, in 2 or three slices (Italian salami is raw -- no
trichinosis here -- has fairly large chunks of fat, and is lightly spiced.
If you cannot find it in your delicatessen use mild Italian sausage, not
something cooked or spiced)
2 ounces lard (see your delicatessen; it should be lightly spiced)
1 medium onion, finely minced
1 cup broth
3/4 pound drained canned plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced parsley
An egg
Oil for frying
1 cup grated Parmigiano
1/3 pound mozzarella
1/4 pound ricotta -- optional, see note

Cook the sheets of pasta in abundant, slightly salted water until they're al
dente, run them under cold water, and lay the sheets out on a cloth,
covering them with a second cloth.

Sauté the onion in the lard, with the piece of meat. Turn the meat often,
and when it has browned on all sides season it with salt and pepper, then
add the tomatoes. Simmer over a moderate flame for about an hour, adding the
broth a bit at a time. When the meat is done remove it from the pot (reserve
the sauce), grind it, and combine it with an egg, the parsley, and half the
grated cheese. Make smallish (1-inch diameter) meatballs from the mixture
and dredge them in the flour. Heat the oil and fry the meatballs until
golden, about 10 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon, place them
on absorbent paper, and keep them warm.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 360 degrees (180 C). Dice the prosciutto,
salami and mozzarella. Butter a pan (a high-sided 6 by 9-inch should do, but
use your judgment). Lay down a first layer of pasta, and then a few meat
balls, some of the sauce, some of the diced ingredients, and a dusting of
Parmigiano. Continue until all is used up, then bake your lasagne for 15
minutes. Let them sit for five minutes before serving them.

This will serve 4-6 as a main course, or 6-8 as a first course.

Note: Should the meatballs come out too soft, work some finely ground
breadcrumbs into them to thicken them. Tradition calls for, and you can add,
some ricotta to the mixture.
Lasagne alla Ricotta

To serve 8:

1 1/4 pounds store-bought lasagne noodles
For the béchamel sauce:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
4/5 quart milk
Salt to taste
For the sauce:
1 1/4 pound Neapolitan mild sausages
2 ounces prosciutto
2 ounces smoked pancetta (in its absence use unsmoked pancetta, not bacon)
1 medium-sized onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
Parsley, thyme and marjoram, minced (to taste; figure about a tablespoon of
parsley and a teaspoon each of the other two, then adjust until you reach
what you like)
A few leaves rosemary
1/4 cup butter
1 cup dry white wine
Meat or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
For the filling:
1 1/4 pounds fresh ricotta
3 cups grated Parmigiano (about 1/3 pound)
1 pint milk
Salt and pepper
A rectangular pan, 9 by 12 inches, and 3 inches deep

Make a moderately thick béchamel sauce and let it cool. (See instructions

Skin and crumble the sausages, and mince them with the prosciutto, pancetta,
onion, carrot, parsley, thyme, marjoram, and just a little rosemary. Work
the butter into the mixture, then sauté everything over a low flame, adding
the wine a little bit at a time, and then broth; let all the liquid
evaporate between additions. When done, the sauce will be rich, moderately
browned, and not dry.

Mix the ricotta and a bit more than half the Parmigiano together, season
with salt and pepper to taste, then beat enough milk into the mixture to
turn it creamy and light.

In the meantime a pot of bring lightly salted water to boil; sprinkle a
tablespoon of oil into it and cook the lasagne until they're barely al
dente, then run them under cool water and set them to drain on a cloth.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (220 C). Meanwhile, take your rectangular
pan, and spread some béchamel sauce over the bottom, then a third of the
lasagne (overlap the sheets of pasta slightly). Sprinkle the pasta with
Parmigiano, then a third of the sausage sauce, and finally a third of the
ricotta. Repeat the procedure twice more, and bake the lasagne for 35-45
minutes; let the top brown lightly and then cover it with a sheet of
aluminum foil if need be. Once they are done and removed from the oven, let
them sit for five minutes before serving them.

»   1 medium sized aubergine
»   1 garlic clove, crushed
»   25g (1oz) butter
»   350g (12oz) minced beef
»   15ml (1 tbsp) plain flour
»   350g (12oz) tomatoes, skinned and chopped
»   30ml (2 tbsp) tomato puree
»   250ml (1/2 pint) dry white wine or beef stock
»   Salt and pepper
»   10ml (2 tsp) dried mixed herbs
»   225g (8oz) lasagne

»   25g (1oz) butter
»   25g (1oz) plain flour
»   250ml (1/2 pint) milk
»   100g (4oz) grated cheddar cheese

Serves 4-6

1 Slice aubergine, sprinkle with salt, leave for 30 minutes, pat dry.
2 Heat butter and fry aubergines and garlic. Cook until soft.
3 Add minced beef and fry until brown. Stir in flour, cook for 2 minutes.
4 Add tomatoes, puree, wine or stock and seasonings, bring to boil, simmer
for 30 minutes.
5 If necessary, cook lasagne as directed on packet.
6 Make cheese sauce using 50g (2oz) of cheese.
7 Grease large shallow ovenproof dish.
8 Arrange lasagne on base of dish, cover with half meat sauce, then cheese
sauce, continue layers until finishing with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with
remaining grated cheese.
9 Bake:
 Fan Oven 165°C 25-30 mins
Conventional Oven preheat shelf 4 190°C 30-40 mins
Second Oven preheat 180°C 30-40 mins
Gas Oven Mark 5 shelf 2 30-40 mins
(3 - 4 Servings)

1 onion
1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
5 tbsp. red wine
1 tbsp. tomato paste
6 tbsp. whipping cream
pinch dried oregano
1-1/4 lb. lasagne
1/4 cup butter
pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel and dice onion. Heat oil in pan and fry meat and onions for 5 minutes,
until brown. Add salt, pepper, wine, and tomato paste and cook until thick. 
Stir in cream and oregano. Cook lasagne in boiling water until just tender. 
Drain and rinse under cold water. Dry with paper towel.
Arrange lasagne and meat sauce in layers in greased ovenproof dish, ending
with a layer of lasagne. 
Dot with butter and sprinkle with nutmeg and grated cheese. Bake at 350
degrees for 10 minutes.

Pasta con le Sarde

From: Gerry
To: phaedrus
Subject: Can you find this recipe?
Date: Saturday, August 26, 2000 12:03

> Dear Uncle Phaedrus,
> A few years ago, I had a Pasta dish at a St. Joseph's was
> described to me as tomatoes, fennel, sardines?, over percatelli topped
> with "sawdust" a cinnamon breadcrumb mixture.  I have searched for this 
> recipe but can't seem to find one.  can you help?
> Thanks
> Gerry

Hi Gerry,

The dish you had was "Pasta con le sarde." There are many, many variations of it, using different types of pasta and different ingredients. Below are several that I found.


Pasta Con le Sarde

1 onion
1 can anchovies
1 tbs. pine nuts, lightly roasted
1/4 cup wild fennel or feathery leaves form the fennel bulb
1 tbs. raisins, snipped in half
1 can of sardines
Italian olive oil about 1 tbs.
1 can tomato paste
Toasted bread crumbs

Fry chopped onion in oil. Add anchovies until desolved in oil and onions.
Add 1 can of tomato paste and2 cans of water. Simmer gently for about 15

Add pine nuts, raisins, fennel. Simmer until tomatoes separate from oil. Add

While sauce is simmering, cook bucatini macaroni until "al dente". Strain
the macaroni, pour the sauce over macaroni and sprinkle toasted bread crumbs
lightly over the pasta. (Italians generally do not put cheese on fish dishes
and some folk ever consider that to be sacrilegious).

To make the toasted breads crumbs, add a little oil to a fry pan, add
unflavored bread crumbs, a pinch of sugar for color and toast until golden.
Pasta with Fennel and Sardines
'Pasta Con le Sarde'

Feathery top of one large bulb fennel
2 tbls. dried currants
6 sun dried tomatoes cut into small pieces
2 pinches saffron threads in 1/4 cup very hot water
6 tbls. olive oil
1 Onion, chopped fine.
7 flat fillets of anchovy, drained rinsed and chopped
fennel seeds to taste ( I use 1 Tbls)
pine nuts (I use 1/3 cup)
2 4 oz cans of sardines
ground pepper
1/2 lb. spaghetti or other pasta

Cook the fennel greens in 3 qts salted water until tender (15
minutes).  Scoop out the greens and drain.  Reserve the remaining
water for cooking the pasta.  (It makes a difference!)

Soak the currants and tomato in saffron tinted hot water for ten

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wide heavy skillet, add the
onions and gently cook them until they are golden.  Add the anchovies
and mash them in well with a fork.  Cook for 1 minute and remove
the skillet from the heat source.

When the fennel greens are cool enough to handle, put them into a
food processor.  I add a bit of the fennel water to assist in the
process.  Do not over process,  leave it a bit course.

Add the greens, currants, tomatoes and soaking liquid, fennel seeds
, pine nuts and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the skillet.
Cook for 2 minutes over moderate heat to blend the flavors.  Add
the sardines crush them into the sauce.  If the sauce gets dry add
some more fennel water.  Add salt and pepper.  Makes 2 cups.

Bring the fennel water back to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook
until al dente.  Drain the pasta and toss with half of the pasta
sauce.  Cover the pasta with the remaining pasta sauce.
Bucatini with Sardines
Pasta con le sarde

Ingredients: 3 bunches wild fennel , 1 Tbs. olive oil , 1 onion, diced , 4
boned, salted anchovies , 1 Tbs. tomato paste , 1 lb. cleaned, boned
sardines , 1 Tbs. raisins , 1 Tbs. pine nuts , saffron threads , 1 lb.
bucatini , salt , pepper

Clean the wild fennel and boil in salted water. Drain carefully, retaining
the cooking water, then chop the fennel coarsely and brown in a small amount
of oil. In another pan brown the onions cleaned and coarsely chopped in
plenty of oil. Add the anchovies and the tomato paste then stir briskly
until the mixture becomes homogeneous. Add the sardines, the browned fennel,
raisins, pine nuts, and a few threads of saffron. Let cook lightly for 5
minutes, adding some of the reserved fennel water if necessary. Salt to
taste. Bring the remaining reserved fennel water to a boil and use it to
cook the pasta. When the paste is al dense, drain, mix in the sauce and
serve hot
Pasta con le sarde
Pasta with sardines
Chef Gianni Delisi, Trattoria Gianni

1 small white onion, chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil
6 anchovy fillet
1/2 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 cups of fresh tomato sauce
1 cup white wine
4 ounces fresh dill, chopped
1 pound fresh sardines, cleaned, stripped of scales and boned
Salt and pepper to taste
Spray olive oil
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 16-ounce package bucatini or spaghetti

Saute the onion in the olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until just golden. Add
the anchovies and mash them, then add the raisins, the pine nuts, the tomato
sauce. Add the wine, cover and simmer for a few minutes, then add 3 ounces
of the fresh dill, cook the sauce for about 15 minutes, then add the fresh
sardines, season to taste with salt and pepper, cook it for about 10 minutes
more and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta, following directions on the box or bag for
appropriate cooking time, in boiling water, salt and a touch of olive oil.

Spray a saute pan with olive oil and add the breadcrumbs; toast for a few
minutes until golden.

Drain the bucatini and place in the pan with the sauce, mix well. Serve
garnished with toasted bread crumbs and the remaining chopped dill. 4


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