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1 1/2 cups small green lentils
1 pound cotechino-type sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled but left whole
1 teaspoon salt
Handful finely chopped parsley

  1. Place the lentils in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak 8 hours.
  2. Puncture the cotechino several times with the point of a knife so the skin won't split when it cooks. Place the cotechino in a saucepanand cover by a couple of inches with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the sausage is cooked through, about 1 hour.
  3. In the meantime, drain the lentils and place in a pan with 1 cup water, a drizzle of olive oil, the bay leaves and onion and season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes, adding a little more water if the lentils start to dry out. When the lentils are done, check the seasoning and add salt if necessary. Stir in the parsley.
  4. Remove the sausage from the water. Slice and serve over the cooked lentils.



320g Carnaroli rice
800g fresh porcini mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
Parsley or nepitella – this is a typical herb that is used in Italy when cooking mushrooms
Parmigiano Reggiano Dop
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

  1. Remove the stalks of the mushrooms and clean the cap and the stalk with a knife.

  2. Cut the cap and the stalk into medium sized pieces. In a saucepan, sauté the garlic and the herb in 5 tablespoons of oil, before the garlic becomes golden brown add the mushrooms and salt and pepper then cook slowly with the cover for 15 minutes.

  3. Using the basic risotto recipe, add the mushrooms 5 minutes before the rice is cooked.

  4. This mushroom recipe can also be used to dress homemade pasta, for crostini (toasted bread), with polenta with a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano Dop.



2 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano Dop
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

12 thin slices of baguette, cut on the bias
Extra-virgin olive oil
9 fresh figs
12 fairly thin slices of Parmigiano Reggiano Dop, each about the size of a baguette slice, at room temperature
Flaky sea salt (Maldon) or fleur de sel
Fresh ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients for the pesto in a mini food processor and process until a fairly uniform but not a completely pureed paste. Add more oil if needed to reach a consistency that is neither so thick that it stands up by itself, nor as thin as a sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Brush the baguette slices quite generously with olive oil. Toast in a 350 degree oven until nicely browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
  3. Cut the figs into quarters and brush the cut surfaces with olive oil. Grill as discussed in the headnotes, until the cut surfaces are well browned.
  4. To serve, put a piece of Parmigiano on each piece of bread. Top with 3 of the fig quarters and then mash them gently with a fork so that they will lay down and hold the pesto. Spoon a generous amount of pesto on the figs and finish with a few flakes of sea salt and a couple grinds of black pepper.



Mortadella di Bologna Igp
Prosciutto di Parma Dop
Prosciutto di Modena
Culatello di Zibello Dop
Coppa Piacentina Dop
Parmigiano Reggiano Dop
Salame Felino IGP
Spalla cotta di San Secondo
Pancetta Canusina


This antipasto is a selection of the best deli-meat of Emilia Romagna. Display very thin slices of each ingredient on a wood board. Start serving the meat from the least to the most flavory, ending with Parmigiano Reggiano. Better served with fresh sliced bread or Italian grissini, or a homemade warm Piadina (a very thin layer of flat bread made with flour, water, salt and melted lard).
Usually served as appetizer with a pre-dinner glass of Lambrusco.



Italian bread, sliced diagonally
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp. local honey
fresh strawberries

1 cup Fragole imported Italian strawberries in syrup
1 tsp. Aceto balsamico di Modena Dop
cinnamon-sugar mixture

  1. Slice bread diagonally. Spread butter on both sides of bread. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon (about 1 cup sugar to 2 tsp. cinnamon to start).
  2. Broil for a few minutes on each side; do not burn. Set aside. Blend local honey with mascarpone cheese. Spread a big dollop on each slice of bread.
  3. Cut up strawberries. Blend with imported Italian Fragole strawberries in syrup. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Blend in 1 tsp. Aceto Balsamico di Modena Dop (add more to your taste preference). Top each cheese-covered crostini with the strawberry mixture.
  5. Garnish with mint, basil, and fresh whole strawberries.



2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
1 lemon, juiced
2 sprigs oregano or marjoram, finely chopped
1 small fresno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
6 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
12 jumbo shrimp or large prawns, peeled and deveined, tails left on
Seafood seasoning blend (optional)


Sea salt and pepper
12 thin sliced Prosciutto di Parma Dop
1/2 small red or golden seedless watermelon, cubed (3 cups)
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 pound ricotta salata or feta, crumbled into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, oregano (or marjoram), chile (or crushed red pepper) and 2 tbsp. EVOO. Add the shrimp, season with seafood seasoning blend, if using (otherwise, use sea salt and pepper), and turn in the dressing to coat. Roll up each shrimp in a slice of prosciutto. Drizzle or brush a little more EVOO over the shrimp.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, indoor grill pan or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until the shrimp are firm and opaque and the prosciutto is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes, onion, cheese, parsley and mint. Dress with the remaining 4 tbsp. EVOO; season with sea salt and pepper. Top each serving of salad with 3 shrimp.

(Guanciale, Egg and Parmigiano Reggiano DOP)


4 ounces (115 grams) guanciale, cut into 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter) dice
2 generous tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably lightly fruity
3 large eggs, at room temperature
10 rounded tablespoons (100 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Dop
freshly ground black pepper
To make the dish:
1 pound (450 grams) pasta (see note below)

  1. Put the guanciale and oil in a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the edges of the guanciale pieces are just turning brown, about 2 minutes. Don't let it get too crisp. Set the pan and its contents aside but keep warm.
  2. Bring 5 quarts (5 liters) of water to a boil in an 8-quart (8-liter) pot over high heat. When the water boils, add 3 tablespoons kosher salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, break the eggs into a small bowl and add all the cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Drain the pasta (reserving and keeping warm a cup of its water) and put it in the skillet with the guanciale over low heat. Toss quickly to mix well.
  5. Holding the skillet slightly above but not touching the burner, pour the egg and cheese mixture in a stream into the pasta. Now, if you have the skill, toss the pasta with a deft movement of the wrist to blend all the contents of the pan. If you don't, remove the pan from the heat and mix quickly with two wooden spoons. If you have a warm spot, such as a food warmer or even over a pilot light, rest the pan there while you work.
  6. Whatever you do, work fast or the pasta will get cold and the eggs will stay raw and runny. Ideally the heat of the pasta will cook the egg just enough, and the sauce should be creamy.