5-Course Italian menu

I don’t normally get excited about salads, cakes yes, pasta yes, salad no. However, this salad is different using some of my favorite ingredients creamy avocado, peppery rocket, salty Parmesan cheese and Parma ham in a sweet balsamic dressing this is pure heaven. For a long long time salad for me was lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes all chopped up in a bowl with no dressing and that was pretty much how I liked it. Sometimes I’d have a bit of spring onion or sliced radish but that was as adventurous as I’d get.

Parma Ham Goat Cheese Salad  

  • PREP
    5 MIN
  • COOK
    5 MIN
  • SERVES
    4
Ingredients
150g goat cheese
50g double cream
1/2 large shallot
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of white pepper
20g chopped parsley
2 cooked beetroots
4 slices of Parma ham
100g of mixed salad leaves
How to make it
STEP 1
Blend together the goat’s cheese, double cream, shallots, salt, pepper, and parsley
STEP 2
Slice the beetroot finely and divide across 4 plates. Top with the goat's cheese mixture and slices of Parma ham. Serve with some salad leaves
  • PREP
    15 MIN
  • COOK
    45 MIN
  • SERVES
    6
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water 1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
How to make it
STEP 1
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
STEP 2
Place 2 cups soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. Return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Fettuccine Alfredo  

  • PREP
    10 MIN
  • COOK
    15 MIN
  • SERVES
    6
Ingredients
1⁄2 cup butter
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt and pepper 
2⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb fettuccine, prepared as directed
How to make it
STEP 1
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. When butter is melted, add cream cheese. When the cream cheese is softened, add heavy cream. 
STEP 2
Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan. Serve over hot fettucine noodles.

Grilled Italian Sausage  

  • PREP
    15 MIN
  • COOK
    30 MIN
  • SERVES
    4
Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 red bell peppers,
2 green bell peppers
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lbs sweet or hot Italian sausage
Buns for serving
How to make it
STEP 1
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
STEP 2
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
STEP 3
Transfer pepper mixture to a 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan. Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high. Nestle sausages into pepper mixture.
STEP 4
Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill with vents over the sausages. Cook with all vents open until sausages register 140° to 145°F on an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes, turning once in the middle.
STEP 5
Remove lid. Using tongs, remove sausages from peppers and place directly on cooking grates over hot side of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return to peppers. Toast buns over hot side of grill if desired. Serve sausages with buns and sweet and sour peppers.

Tiramisu  

  • PREP
    15 MIN
  • COOK
    35 MIN
  • SERVES
    8
Ingredients
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
200ml thickened cream
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
2 cups warm water
28 sponge finger biscuits
1 tbsp cocoa powder
How to make it
STEP 1
Using an electric hand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Gently fold in mascarpone and liqueur. Wash and dry beaters. Whip cream to firm peaks. Fold into mascarpone mixture.
STEP 2
Wash and dry beaters. Beat eggwhites until stiff peaks form. Fold into mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
STEP 3
Combine coffee and warm water in a shallow dish, stirring until coffee dissolves. Using half the biscuits, dip biscuits 1 at a time in coffee, turning to coat. Place, in a single layer, over the base of a 6cm-deep, 18cm x 28cm (base) baking dish.
STEP 4
Spread half the mascarpone mixture over biscuits to cover. Repeat layers with remaining biscuits, coffee and mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Dust top with cocoa powder and serve.

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