Cucina Casalinga Abruzzese (Abruzzese Home Cooking)

This following recipes for Canneloni, Italian Wedding Soup, Osso Buco, Chicken with Tomato and, White Clam Sauce are remarkably identical to mine, that is my Abruzzese family recipes, but since I didn't have to type them up, I am more than happy to credit the author: ~Rue :)


Make crepes and stack and put aside covered lightly.

4 eggs 1 cup flour ½ cup milk ½ tsp salt ½ cup chicken stock 1 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all ingredients with either Mixer, Blender or with wire whisk. Cover and let stand 1 hour before baking.

Meat Mixture

1-2 cloves garlic minced ½ lb. ground chicken ½ lb ground veal 2 Tbsp butter 1 cup Ricotta Cheese ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1 egg beaten ½ tsp salt Dash nutmeg ½ lb mozzarella cheese sliced ½ cup frozen thawed chopped spinach cooked and squeezed until all liquid is out. 1 Cup Basic Sauce plus

Sauté garlic, chicken and veal in butter, breaking apart the meat until cooked and in small pieces. Cool. Add ricotta and spinach and mix. Add parmesan cheese, egg, salt and nutmeg.

Place the Basic Sauce into greased baking dish enough to cover bottom generously. Spoon meat mixture into crepes, and fold and place crepes in baking dish. Spoon either more tomato sauce on top or use Béchamel Sauce on top but either one should be used lightly. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted and browned.

Makes approx 8-10 crepes. An option is to place mozzarella cheese right on top of crepes without using sauce on top. It is good this way but will be less moist.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is one of the great treasures of Mediterranean Cooking. It may be a lot of work, but every savory spoonful is worth the effort.

As its name suggests, Wedding Soup was reserved for the most special occasions, although if you grew up in an Italian family, it wasn't uncommon to find bowls set before lines of guests at family reunions or graduations, Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Some interpretations differ. One version holds that the "Wedding" refers not to nuptials at all, but to the perfect marriage of the soup's various key ingredients -- chicken in broth, miniature meatballs, tiny soup-style pasta, chopped shreds of greens, and puffy clouds of egg beaten with freshly grated cheese and dropped into the bubbling soup pot during the final moments of preparation.

Whatever your interpretation of this indulgent and very special-occasion splurge, here's how it's done.

First prepare a large pot full of homemade chicken soup, using a stewing hen, carrots and celery, large sprigs of parsley, salt and pepper and water to amply cover. Remove excess fat from the chicken, and clean the spine and inside. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil and skim off the foam from the top turn the heat down to low so the pot simmers. Add additional water if needed. Add the chopped carrots and celery and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and simmer 1-1/2 to 3 hours, covered. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, discard the fat that has risen to the surface. Strip the meat from the bones and discard skin, fat and scraps along with the parsley. Dice the meat and return to the broth.

Next prepare miniature meatballs. Although they can be assembled the day of your party, they can just as easily be made, shaped and frozen a week ahead of time and cooked on the day of your party. Start with 2 pounds of extra-lean ground beef round. (I prefer to use about 1/2 pound of ground veal in place of 1/2 pound of the ground beef). Do not use chicken or turkey, however; as the flavor may be lost amid the chicken broth. Crumble the meat into a large bowl. Take 4 slices of white bread and crumble into another bowl and add enough milk to moisten, then add the bread to the meat. Next, add 1 cup of freshly grated Pecorino, Romano or Parmesan cheese, along with 1 tablespoons dried parsley 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1 large clove garlic pressed through press. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs with a fork, then add them to the meat. Mix thoroughly. I use my hands to mix as it is the best method of getting everything combined.

Using about a half tablespoon size portion of the mixture shape into mini-meatballs and place them on plastic-lined cookie sheets. Place a small amount of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs just long enough to brown them on all sides and reserve. These can be covered, frozen solid, then transferred to reseal able containers, or you can fry them ahead of time and refrigerate them until you are ready to use them.

Now, ready the greens: Chopped dark, leafy greens are an important and symbolic ingredient. In many cultures, the tender greens represent springtime, new birth, union and renewal. I always use curly endive leaves for the slightly bitter flavor they impart, but other cooks make substitutions like escarole which is a very good substitute and I use it when I can't get curly endive, thoroughly washed spinach or even shredded romaine. Whatever the case, chop the greens into small pieces -- eliminate tough, pale stems -- and cook them in boiling salted water. You can do this a day ahead of time, but drain thoroughly before using.

Cook the pasta: shortly before the soup will be assembled and served, cook 1/2 pound of tiny "soup pasta" such as orzo, acini di peppi, ditalini, pastina or even angel-hair broken into short lengths. For best flavor do this while the soup is heating and transfer just enough of the hot broth to a separate saucepan to boil the pasta al dente.

You're about to assemble the soup. First beat 5 or 6 eggs in a large bowl until fluffy, then whisk in a cupful of freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and set aside.

Assuming you've completed everything else, the rest is easy:

Bring the chicken soup to a full boil.

Drop in the fried meatballs, a few at a time, into boiling soup. Stir very carefully to avoid breaking them. Let the soup return to a boil.

Stir in some diced fresh celery and return to a boil.

Add the cooked pasta along with the greens. Bring to a boil.

Whisk the egg-cheese mixture and drizzle it, in a stream, into the boiling soup. The egg will puff and solidify. If it forms a mass, use the side of a spoon to break it into small puffs.

Serve the soup immediately, making sure to mix it up from the bottom so that everyone gets some of the meatballs and chicken, tender greens, tiny pastas and egg "clouds".

At a wedding or a full-blown feast, this would only be the warm up course. But for contemporary palates, Italian Wedding Soup is a feast all on its own.

Osso Buco (Veal Shanks)

These fork-tender veal shanks are slowly braised with wine, vegetables, and herbs. Risotto or Polenta are traditionally served with this dish.

6 Veal Shanks, cut 2 inches thick, remove thick fat from outside and tie with string around their circumference. 1 cup all purpose flour salt and pepper 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped 4 large cloves garlic, minced 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. dried parsley 1 28 ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 cups dry red wine 1 cup chicken stock 1 large bay leaf 3 strips of lemon zest

Gremolata Finely chop parsley, garlic and grated lemon or orange zest.


In a large non-stick frying pan heat the oil over moderate heat.

Add the salt and pepper to the flour and dredge the veal in the flour and shake off any excess. Working in batches, brown the veal on all sides. Do not crowd the pan. Remove to a roasting pan large enough to be able to hold all the shanks in one layer.

Add the carrot, peppers and garlic to the pot and cook until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Add the chopped tomato with the juice and the paste, then add the wine to the pot and stir to collect all the flavor from the browned meat. Pour over the veal shanks in the roasting pan. Add the lemon zest, the bay leaf and enough stock to cover the shanks.

Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 1 to 2 hours covered until the meat is tender. Make sure it is not boiling. If it is boiling you should turn the temperature down on the oven to as low as 250 if necessary to not allow it to boil. It should just simmer not boil.

Transfer the veal shanks to a heated platter; remove the strings and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Pour the sauce over the meat. If the sauce is too thin you can cook it over high heat to a boil and stir frequently to reduce and thicken. Just before serving sprinkle the Gremulata over the top in the serving dish. This step is traditional but optional and I personally do not use it.

Serves 8.

Chicken with Tomato

This is a favorite chicken dish in our house and it is quick and can be made ahead and put in the oven on time bake to make it easy.

1 Chicken cut into pieces, washed and cleaned 1 28oz can plum tomato cut into small pieces 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 green pepper chopped 5 cloves of garlic chopped 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (Optional) Salt and pepper 1 cup Chicken broth Olive oil enough to coat bottom of frying pan.

Dry chicken pieces with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in pan and fry chicken pieces starting with skin side down until browned on both sides but not cooked through. As pieces are browned place in a roasting pan in one layer. After all chicken is browned place the chopped pepper and garlic with the red pepper flakes into the pan and sauté until cooked then add the tomato paste and cut tomatoes with juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup chicken broth and cook until sauce comes to a boil and then simmer for short period Pour sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serves 4 generously.

White Clam Sauce

2 cans Snow’s Minced Clams 1 can Snow’s Whole Baby Clams 1 bottle Clam juice 1 cup White Wine (Dry) Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover bottom of sauce pan 5-6 large cloves garlic 1 Tbsp. parsley (Dry is ok) Pinch Red Chili pepper flakes (more if you like a bite to your sauce) Salt and Pepper

Chop garlic to a fine mince. Drain clams reserving the juice. Saute garlic in olive oil until golden. Add drained clams and stir, add Red Pepper flakes. Cook a few minutes stirring until all have a chance to warm and cook a little bit. Add all of the clam juice and wine. Add salt and pepper and parsley. Cook at a simmer long enough for flavors to blend.

This will be enough for 1 lb. pasta. Good with linguine. Taste to adjust seasoning because I can’t say how much salt and pepper to use. You can also use more Red pepper flakes and it will add a zing.