Hasselback Zucchini

hasselback zucchini Hasselback zucchini, who would have thought? It’s a brilliant idea and such a fun and delicious way to cook up your summer squash. It’s sliced in the hasselback fashion just like we’ve seen it done to potatoes, only minus the carbs. I recently featured this on my Instagram account but for those who haven’t seen it there, I thought I’d share it here on my blog.

hasselback zucchini Slice your zucchini accordion style being very careful not to cut all the way through, you don’t want it to break apart, you just want to be able to fan out nicely. There’s a very good technique using chopsticks on each side of the zucchini while you’re slicing it which will prevent that from happening, check out YouTube for a visual, it’s very easy and works well.

hasselback zucchini Once it’s cut, gently fan out the slices and stuff some cheese in there, I used slices of asiago cheese but just remember the slices have to be thin, there’s not much room to stick thick pieces into the slots, also try to use a semi-hard cheese, nothing too soft.

hasselback zucchini After you stuff each slice, place the zucchini onto a parchment lined baking sheet then drizzle them with olive oil, some salt and pepper and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

hasselback zucchini Place your hasselback zucchini into a hot 400 degree oven and roast until the cheese melts and the zucchini is tender but not mushy.

hasselback zucchini You could stop right at this point and enjoy it as is, and believe me it’s very good, but……

hasselback zucchini You might want to bathe them in some warm marinara sauce like I did, because honestly the sauce just enhances each and every bite even more.

It’s outrageous!

Happy Summer

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Tomato and Corn Pie, Italian Style

tomato and corn pie This is one of my favorite meals to make during the peek of summer because finally tomatoes actually taste like they’re suppose to taste, corn on the cob is also available and in abundance and so nice and sweet. This is what summer eating is all about to me.

tomatoes and corn Take these two essential ingredients, combine them into a pie that has caramelized onions, garden fresh basil, shredded asiago, mozzarella and romano cheese and the end result is a summer flavor explosion!

tomato and corn pie I love having big planks of corn throughout the pie, it provides a nice texture and taste with every bite.

tomato and corn pie No need for a pastry crust on top just let the tomatoes shine in all their brilliant glory, any variety will do.

tomato and corn pie

Make this as many times as you can this summer, serve it with a nice green salad. I promise you will be dreaming about this in the dead of winter!

Want to see what I’m cooking up during the week? You can follow me here on Instagram.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Tomato and Corn Pie, Italian Style
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 crust pastry dough, I used a good store bought one
  • 2 large onions sliced and then slowly caramelized until deep golden
  • tomatoes slices, any variety, enough to cover the top completely
  • 3 ears of fresh corn on the cob, cooked and cut into planks
  • shredded asiago, mozzarella enough to fully cover the bottom of the crust area
  • romano cheese
  • olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Roll out your dough and place it into a pie pan
  2. Brush the crust with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle cracked black pepper all over.
  4. Prick the crust all over with a fork.
  5. Layer the bottom with the shredded mozzarella and the asiago, fully covering the bottom, then give it a good sprinkling of grated romano cheese.
  6. On top of the cheese scatter the caramelized onions all around and the fresh basil
  7. Place the fresh corn planks all around filling the top.
  8. Give a quick olive oil drizzle and more romano cheese on top of the corn planks.
  9. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top, sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano.
  10. Do a final quick drizzle of olive oil all over.
  11. Bake in a pre-heated, 375 degree oven until the crust is crispy and a deep golden brown.
  12. Let it cool down before cutting into it.
  13. Garnish with more fresh basil.

 

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Party and Picnic Timpano

timpano With the Fourth of July right around the corner and the many other celebrations that will be going on this summer, like graduations, family reunions, picnics, birthdays and loads of other get- togethers, I thought I would bring back the idea of making a timpano. What’s a timpano you might ask?

A timpano is a huge round drum or dome of delicious crust that is filled with pasta, meatballs, salami, cheeses and sauce, it is self contained, huge and feeds a crowd, It’s party food to the max and has a ton of WOW factor!

timpano Timpano was made famous by the movie Big Night, staring Stanley Tucci. The timpano, (which is the real star of the movie),was actually his moms recipe. I’ve been making it for special occasions and parties since the first time I saw the movie and bought his cookbook many years ago.

I love this scene in the movie, the first time we saw it, both my kids said “mom you got to make that! ” And I’ve been doing it ever since.

timpano pan The vessel you cook it in is VERY important so as to get the right shape, it looks like a big basin made out of old enamelware. I took a permanent magic marker and wrote my name on the back, this will be a family heirloom that will be past down to my kids with lots of happy memories attached.  This is the pan I use.

homemade marinara Since I’ve made it so many times I sort of simplified the sauce, Stanley’s family makes a meaty ragu, I just make my homemade marinara, it’s much lighter and not as heavy, besides there’s so much going on inside with all the other ingredients. The mini meatballs I just make ahead of time and bake them.

timpano ingredients As far as all the ingredients go everything can be prepped ahead of time which is a great time saver for a big party going on. Like I said I make my marinara, cook up my mini meatballs, pre -cook the pasta (very al’dente), cook my eggs and chop up my cheese and salami. Everything gets put into a ziplock and ready for assembly.

timpano ingredients Even the dough I make the night before so it’s all prepped and ready, just make sure it’s at room temperature before you start rolling it out.

You see it’s really not that daunting of a recipe to make, don’t let it scare you, it’s fairly simple, a little time consuming with the prep, but then that’s it! The day you put it together will be a breeze and no clean up.

rolling timpano dough For all the years I have been making timpano I can honestly say I have NEVER had any problems with the dough, it always comes out perfect!

rolled out timpano dough Just take your time rolling it so that it drapes way over the pan, you’re going to be filling it with some heavy stuff and you’ll need to be able to close it up with out any of the ingredients showing.

 Fill it to the brim!

timpano Sauce it one last time then wrap it up like a present and bake it.

baked timpano The smells are unbelievable!

cooked timpano But I have to stress a very important step, LET IT REST, a good 45 minutes to an hour, think turkey rest, otherwise you will cut into it and it will be a big saucy mess, you won’t be able to slice it into nice wedges. You know how lasagna is when you try and cut it piping hot? It’s a hot mess, you don’t want that.

I have taken this whole, baked piping hot timpano, wrapped it up in heavy towels and brought it to picnics and family reunions where it would be sitting for 2 hours and it was still hot when I cut into it, just remember if you transport it you need something to cut it on and a good serrated knife. Did I mention it feed a ton?

cut open timpano This is fun party food, people will be talking about it and craving it for your next gathering. It’s just some basic Italian essentials all wrapped up in a crusty drum where all the flavors meld together in perfect harmony with amazing results!

timpano wedge Try to stash a piece for your self the next day, leftovers are awesome.

slice of timpano

Stanley Tucci’s original timpano recipe is here but remember I replace his rich ragu with my lighter homemade marinara.

Otherwise follow his directions to the tee I should show you my own personal copy of this recipe, it’s filled with yellow highlighted marks all over.

Study the recipe well, once a good friend of mine made this for a very special occasion, she forgot one important step, covering it with foil, the top burned, she cried…

Go ahead now, make a timpano for your next party or picnic, no need to be intimidated.

Come see what I’m cooking up during the week on Instagram, you can follow me here.

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