Two Italian Dishes

Last weekend, I made way too much food, but it was all really good. I got the recipes from the Food Network web site, but of course, I sort of made things up as I went along.

Goat Cheese and Ricotta Crostini
Easy and delicious recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. The trick is not burning the bread when you broil it.

Baquette – sliced, brushed with olive oil, and broiled
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper

I think you can overdo the lemon peel, so watch for that. Mix the spread ingredients together and serve it with the bread. The spread is also excellent mixed with mashed potatoes the next day.

Spicy Bean Soup
Also from Giada De Laurentiis. This is really spicy, especially the next day. I say the spicier the better, but you know, use your own best judgment. This also makes A LOT of soup.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili powder (I used a bit less; it still was super spicy!)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 (11 1/2-ounce) can tomato juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind (this didn’t actually seem to melt or add much, oddly)
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried green lentils
3 cups broccoli florets
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 yellow crookneck squash, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Really good with bread.

Pollo alla Cacciatora
Nigella Lawson recipe. Super fast and easy, yet delicious. I liked it best so far with mashed potatoes.

1 tablespoon garlic oil
1/2 cup pancetta cubes
6 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 pound chicken breast, each cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans

Probably too much to eat all in one night, particularly when you add the nectarine and blueberry crisp, served with vanilla ice cream. We tried our best though.  

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