Big Game Recipe:: Sausage and Peppers

The Big Game is this weekend, and this recipe is perfect for those of you planning to watch. When hosting a party for the Big Game, easy recipes fit for a crowd is key. Keep it masculine, sporty, simple, and in season with my Sausage and Peppers recipe. It’s perfect for a crowd because you essentially toss everything together, pop it in the oven, and serve it right from the baking dish. No fuss required!

Here’s the recipe which is from Picture Perfect Parties, my cookbook. Give it a try and let me know what you think. May the best team win!

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Sausage and Peppers for a Crowd
Serves 8
You will need:

– 6 Italian sausage
– 2 red peppers sliced
– 2 hot banana peppers sliced
– 1 jalapeno pepper minced
– 2 green peppers sliced
– 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
– 4 cloves of garlic minced
– ¼ cup olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the peppers and the sausage into bite size pieces. In a large bowl toss all the ingredients and mix well. Place mixture into a ceramic baking dish. Bake for 1 ½ hours and serve warm. Garnish with assorted herbs like rosemary, parsley, oregano, or chives.

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Limoncello Party Punch, a Festive Sangria

This Limoncello Sangria is zippy, festive, and most of all, fun. Prepare the punch ahead of time, pour it in a gorgeous pitcher and set it in the bar.

The holiday season typically means loads of soirees, parties, and swaps, and I for one, love it. There are so many festive gatherings to attend and of course, to host.

One of the best things you can do as a hostess is prepare a signature cocktail. It gets everyone talking. Plus, it’s a stress free way to host, especially if you serve a punch like this one. This Limoncello Sangria is zippy, festive, and most of all, fun. Prepare the punch ahead of time, pour it in a gorgeous pitcher and set it in a designated bar area complete with coupes and fun holiday napkins.

This cocktail, along with many others, is available in my book, Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY. Grab a copy here or add it to your Christmas wish list! While you’re there, don’t forget to pre-order my next book, Cocktail Italiano. It would make the perfect gift for any cocktail connoisseurs. Cin cin!

Limoncello Party Punch (aka. Festive Sangria)
Serves 8

You will need:

– 2 cups of Limoncello
– 1 pint of sliced strawberries hulled and sliced
– 1 small blood orange thinly sliced and quartered
– 1 cup seedless white grapes, halved
– 8 cups Sauvignon Blanc
– 3.5 cups club soda

To prepare:

In a pitcher, macerate the fruit in the limoncello overnight in the refrigerator.

Pour the wine and club soda into the fruit-filled pitcher and serve in champagne coupes.

Happy holidays, and cheers to a happy & healthy 2018!

Photo Credit: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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My Life in Photos, April

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Can you believe that April is almost over? It’s been a busy month, but I’ve loved every second of it. April has been full of wrapping-up phase one of our Italian renovation, whipping-up spring recipes using veggies from my garden, and putting the finishing touches on book two.

I’m both exhausted and excited thinking about it all.

As most of you know, I adore Instagram. It’s truly a place where I can share all of my goings on with you. However, I know some of you like to visit the blog instead, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite photos from April with you here. There’s so much color, beauty, and of course, memories in these photos. Enjoy!

xx Annette

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Our master bath door waiting to be installed at our renovation.

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Many people ask me how long it takes to put a book together. When I hand in the final manuscript plus all the photos, it will be 3 years.

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How cute was Vivi as a puppy? We brought her home 5 years ago.

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This torta pasqualina was featured on City Sage a few weeks ago.

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Props, props, and more props for Cocktail Italiano.

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That’s a wrap on photographing book 2! Love this mash-up of the wrap party for Picture Perfect Parties 5 years ago.

 

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Best New Italian Cookbooks for Gift Giving on Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year! Gift giving time, people and it’s Cyber Monday. I must say my favorite gifts are usually cookbooks. Italian cookbooks are even better. Check out my faves and today is the best time to buy them all online at Amazon since it’s Cyber Monday!

As most of you know, I am a bit of an Italiophile (understatement). There are quite a few folks, who like me, adore Italy as their adopted country and write about their favorite Italian recipes. These talented ladies are fanatical Italiofoodiephiles… Here’s a list of some of the best new Italian cookbooks that have come on the scene this year. All of these ladies are obsessed with sharing their favorite Italian recipes, and let’s face it, Italian food is best enjoyed at home. Pick-up a copy for a friend or family member, and of course, don’t forget to gift yourself one or all of these beauties, too.

Happy gift giving. xx

I should add I enjoy following these ladies on Instagram; they have amazing feeds and adventures. I suggest you head over and follow them as well.

Florentine

  1. Emiko Davies runs a super cool blog; she’s a food writer, but she’s now authored a couple books, and this is her latest (and her first), and she has one on the way in March 2017. Can’t wait. She’s a transplant from Australia living her life with her family in Italy. She runs cooking classes, writes form Italian newspapers, and has a vast knowledge of all things Italian. Her book Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence is tremendous and well written. I highly suggest it. Emiko’s Blog : Emiko Davies

Preserving Italy

2. Domenica Marchetti has written the quintessential Italian preserving book, Preserving Italy. Domenica grew up in an American Italian family. She is a writer and with a passion for all things Italian especially food, she has turned her passion into writing about and cooking Italian cuisine. Domenica will be joining me in Italy for a workshop at the Fortress in 2018. Wait for details. In the meantime, pick-up this book; it’s really the perfect gift. Domenica’s Blog: Domenica Cooks

tasting Rome

3. Katie Parla and Kristina Gill are both American transplants in Rome their book Tasting Rome is one of my favorites as the recipes are easy straight forward and delicious. Katie is a food writer, and Kristina is a food writer and photographer (she photographed most of their book). Pick-up a copy and be transported to Rome. Katie’s blog: Katie Parla , Kristina Gill Photography

Five Quarters

4.Rachel Roddy is the author of 2 cookbooks about Rome; either one or both make an excellent gift. Five Quarters is her latest endeavor. I love this book because it highlights Roman neighborhoods. Cooking from each quarter! Would that make a great dinner party theme! Just sayin’… Rachel is a contributor to The Guardian.

Italian Street Food

5.Paola Bacchia is one of Australia’s most popular Italian food bloggers. Her book Italian Street Food is one of my newer acquisitions. I am going to cook from it this holiday season. I think it’s such a clever premise. I will let you know how I like it, but I am pretty sure I am going to love it. Definitely on the radar as a great holiday gift. Paola’s blog:  Italy on My Mind

Let me know which ones you buy, and if you make recipes from these books. I would love to hear about them. Happy Holidays, it’s truly the most delectable time of year. xx

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I am giving away 3 copies of:: Tasting Rome

Butcher Shop

I am so excited to share this new Italian cookbook with you. My sweet friend Kristina Gill has written a lovely cookbook with co-author Katie Parla titled Tasting Rome. When I first heard about the project, I mistakenly thought that Kristina (who I regard as a photographer) was the photographer on the project, but she is in fact the co-author of the cookbook.

I was captivated by the story of making this book happen as she shared it’s conception recently at a book signing in Atlanta. Kristina, who lives in Rome, started working on this book many years ago. As a way to communicate with the cab drivers, she would chat about their favorite Roman recipes. Kristina wrote down all the recipes, tried them at home, and eventually had collected 100! More than enough for a book. I enjoyed hearing her interviewed in Atlanta recently, and this story resonated with me. How clever to talk to cab drivers about their food experiences. Living in Italy, I know that everyone in Italy has an opinion when it comes to food. Everyone in Italy’s Mama is the best cook, or makes the best this or that. Italians love of food is a serious passion; a pastime that is not only relished but revered.

The book is a little gem, filled with Roman food history, and beautiful recipes. These recipes are typical of the region since in Italy eating regionally is the way it is. The recipes are simple and ingredient-based.

One word of advice before delving into these recipes: if you live anywhere other than Italy, make sure the ingredients you use are the best of the best. For example, I made the chicken meatballs. I must say they were delicious, however I really wish I would have had the butcher grind the dark and light meat for me, rather than buying the pre-ground white meat. The taste would have been richer. I cannot stress enough that Italian food is mainly based on the gorgeous ingredients.

The recipe that I wanted to share today is one of my favorite salads in all of Italy. When I saw it in Tasting Rome, it was like seeing an old friend. The first time I tasted it was in Genova many years ago; my best friend’s boyfriend made it as a lunch course. It’s called insalata di carciofi crudi. I had never tasted raw artichokes, and they were so good. Eating young artichokes raw in Italy is quite common in most regions, and I was blown away. The delicate crunch and mild green flavor is sensational. Give it a try.

Shaved Artichoke Salad

 

Note: ROMANS TYPICALLY cook the tender inner leaves, hearts, and stems of artichokes, but wine bars, many of which lack a full kitchen, have taken to serving raw artichoke salads as a fresh, crisp, and flame-free alternative. The texture is best when the artichokes are sliced as thinly as possible, ideally on a mandoline. Their slightly sweet, bitter, and nutty flavors pair well with the tangy lemon juice and a hard cow’s-milk cheese.

SHAVED ARTICHOKE SALAD
Serves 4 to 6

You will need:
– 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus more to taste
– 4 tender young artichokes cleaned (see below)
– ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
– Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, for shaving

To prepare:

Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside.

Remove each artichoke individually from the lemon water and halve them. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out and discard the fuzzy inner choke and trim off any rough, pointy bits.

Slice each artichoke half into the thinnest possible wedges, then add them to the bowl with lemon juice and mix well. Slice the trimmed stems into the thinnest possible rounds and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Garnish with the mint leaves. Use a vegetable peeler to shave slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the salad. Serve immediately.

Note: Rome’s local artichoke, called carciofo romanesco, is a staple that floods market stalls from December until May and appears on tables as a starter or a side dish. If you can’t find them, substitute young, tender artichokes, ideally fresh and in season. You may need to adjust seasonings to accommodate. In Rome, they are available already cleaned and pruned, but you’ll likely need to do this yourself.

Begin by filling a large bowl with cold water. Add the juice of 1 lemon and drop in the squeezed lemon halves. Snap off the tough outer leaves of each artichoke just above the base, one at a time. Continue to remove the layers until you reach the light-colored inner leaves. Cut off the stem, leaving about 1 inch attached to the base. Using a small knife with a short, thin blade, or a vegetable peeler, peel off the fibrous outer skin from the removed stem until you reach the pale green inner flesh. Drop it in the bowl with lemon water.

Carefully peel away the tough, dark green skin from the base of the artichoke and its trimmed stem. Remove and discard the upper cone of leaves. Hold in the lemon water to prevent oxidizing until ready to use.

GIVEAWAY

Now for the fun stuff! I am giving away 3 copies of Tasting Rome. I know right?! 3 copies!!!

Enter the giveaway below, and I hope you win! As we say in Italy…Boca di Lupo. GOOD LUCK!

Winners will be announced May 3rd, just in time for Mother’s Day! xx

9780804187183
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo credit: Kristina Gill

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