Pastina Timbale with Zucchini

pastina timbale with zucchini Before I get to this very fun and delicious recipe I would like to say I enjoyed all the comments on the Lagostina Round Grill Pan giveaway, lots of inspiration from everyone regarding their favorite things to grill.  So without further ado, the winner of the beautiful grill pan is…. LUCIA!!! Congratulations Lucia, I will be contacting you by email to get your address so the company can send the pan directly out to you.

So let’s get on with the recipe. This dish is great for entertaining and is such a fun way to serve little tiny pasta, or pastina as we call it in my family.

Even though you can make this in individual ramekins I prefer the more dramatic presentation using one large bowl, and it’s easier!

pastina timbale with zucchini This is my version of Michael Chiarello’s recipe for pastina timbale, he used a pound of diced Italian sausage folded into the pasta and sauce, I like using zucchini  instead of meat, it’s lighter and I think it pairs well with the delicate pastina. I like to saute it first, get it a nice deep golden brown then fold it into the mixture of pasta, cheese and a nice marinara flavored with garlic and basil, I always opt for homemade but if you can get a good store bought one go ahead, make your life easier!

This is perfect for a summer buffet because you don’t have to worry about it sitting out.

pastina timbale with zucchini Line a bowl with crispy and flavorful breadcrumbs then press the pasta mixture into your mold.

pastina timbale with zucchini Let it sit for fifteen minutes and then it’s time to un-mold.

pastina timbale with zucchini TA-DA! Isn’t she pretty?

pastina timbale with zucchini

And it tastes crazy good!

Proud Italian Cook is also on Instagram follow me to see what I’m cooking up during the week.

 

Pastina Timbale with Zucchini
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of tiny pasta, I like the round shape
  • 4 medium zucchini, all seeds removed and then diced small
  • olive oil for sauteeing zucchini, crisping the breadcrumbs and for brushing
  • 1 cup of good bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced small or grated
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • a sprinkle or 2 of pepperoncino, (optional)
  • 3 full cups of prepared marinara sauce, garlic and basil flavored, homemade or an exceptional store bought
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil and parsley leaves for decorating
Instructions
  1. In a skillet drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil,add the garlic over medium heat till golden then pour in the breadcrumbs stirring until lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. remove from heat, let it cool then add ¼ cup each of parsley and the grated cheese, then drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil, toss and mix.
  2. Brush a large round bowl with olive oil, mine was 8 inches.
  3. Press breadcrumb mixture along the sides and bottom of the bowl evenly. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and on high heat cook your diced zucchini until nice and golden, keep stirring and watching it only takes a few minutes, set aside.
  5. Boil your pasta according to package directions, don't overcook it,then drain.
  6. Heat your sauce at the same time.
  7. Get a different bowl then add the drained pasta, the sauce, the tablespoon of butter, the ½ cup of grated cheese and the additional ¼ cup of parsley, toss together then fold in the sauteed zucchini.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  9. Spoon mixture into breadcrumb lined bowl, evenly distribute it along the sides and bottom, pressing down lightly.
  10. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  11. Un-mold onto a platter then decorate with basil and parsley leaves.
  12. Enjoy!

 

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Grilled Seafood Salad and a Giveaway

summer seafood salad This grilled seafood salad is one of my all time favorites for light casual summer eating, it’s a combination of shrimp, scallops and calamari which lay on top of mixed greens and crunchy vegetables, it’s all tossed in a lemon vinaigrette that’s spiked with a little limoncello, which gives the dressing that extra zing!

All the seafood can be grilled ahead of time and then the salad can be composed at the last minute so it’s perfect for entertaining. Add some crusty bread and a bottle of wine and I promise you’ll be in for a scrumptious treat!

Lagostina round grill panRecently the folks who work for Italian cookware brand, Lagostina contacted me again and this time they asked if I would like to try out their round grill pan and guess what?they generously offered to give one away to one of my lucky readers!

This pan is gorgeous, you can feel and see the quality as soon as you pull it out of the box, I couldn’t wait to try it out.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Reflecting the Italian passion for cooking, this elegant stainless-steel pan has a heat-retaining aluminum core, so your favorite foods caramelize beautifully as they grill to juicy perfection. High ridges sear foods with attractive grill marks while elevating them above fatty drippings.

·         11″ diam.

·         Tri-ply construction ensures rapid, even heating and retains heat flawlessly.

·         Combines a polished 18/10 stainless-steel exterior with an aluminum core and nonreactive stainless-steel interior.

·         Ergonomic cast-stainless steel handles provide a steady grip.

·         Inclined edges make it easy to pour off drippings.

·         Ideal for use on any cooktop, including induction.

·         Made in Italy.

Where to buy:

The Lagostina Round Grill Pan is available at Williams – Sonoma. For more information please visit the Lagostina website.

stove topped grilled seafood Quite honestly I don’t like grilling delicate seafood directly on top of the grates on my out door grill unless it’s on a plank or something to hold them secure, because with out fail something always falls between the grates and I have to try and pick it out before it burns, so I’ve always used an indoor grill pan for this grilled seafood salad.

I already own a heavy cast iron grill pan with a popular name that I thought I would use much more than I do, but it’s a pain to clean. I end up boiling water in it to loosen up the food that gets stuck between the grates then I have to take my time using a plastic scraper to try and remove it all, like I said it’s a pain!

stove topped grilled seafood Total opposite with the Lagostina grill pan, it was a pleasure to cook with, beautiful even cooking throughout, a nice wide surface, but my favorite feature was the clean up. I put it in my sink with a little hot sudsy water for just a few minutes and then wiped it clean, it makes me want to use it over and over again, and after it’s washed it retains it’s beautiful shine.

You can use it to sear steaks and chops and then finish it off right in the oven, you can pretty much use it for anything you want to grill.

summer grilled seafood salad Fresh, easy and pretty enough for a summer party, picnic or any get together of friends or family!

summer grilled seafood salad Arrange everything on a big platter with crusty bread all around and some of the grilled lemons and you’ll be sure to impress your guests.

Lagostina round grill pan

CONTEST RULES

The giveaway starts today Monday, April 25 2016 and will end on Saturday, (midnight central standard time) April 30, 2016

Leave one comment, telling me what your favorite thing is to grill, but you must have a valid email address so I can reach you, no anonymous comments will be accepted.

Facebook, Instagram and any subscriber of mine who would like to enter this giveaway must leave a comment here on my website.

Winner will be picked randomly and announced on Monday, May 2, 2016 and contacted by the email used in their submission.

The winner of this giveaway will receive one Lagostina Round Grill Pan.

You must be at least 18 years or older and a US resident.

Good Luck everyone! CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Proud Italian Cook is on Instagram, follow me there to so see what else I’m cooking up daily.

4.9 from 70 reviews
Grilled Seafood Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Amounts will very according to your seafood preference, this is just an estimate on what I used for 4 servings.
  • SEAFOOD
  • 8 large shrimp, tails off
  • 8 oz. sea scallops
  • 1 lb. of calamari ( I leave the bodies whole and cut into rings later, it's easier
  • SEAFOOD MARINADE
  • 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  • the zest of 1 big lemon
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzled olive oil to coat seafood
  • 2 lemons, cut into slices for grilling
  • SALAD
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch of celery hearts with the leaves, chopped
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin
  • a handful of capers
  • assorted olives, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • For the greens I used a mix of water cress and arugula,(mostly arugula)
  • LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
  • 1 part lemon juice ( with a splash of limoncello, optional) to 3 parts extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Make sure all seafood has been padded dry before you marinade them, you should have no added moisture.
  2. Place all seafood in a glass bowl with all the marinade ingredients, toss and let it sit for 40 minutes.
  3. Grill all your seafood, which can be grilled up to a day ahead, let it cool down then refrigerate them separately, if you're doing them ahead, not all mixed together. Either way seafood should not be warm or hot for this salad, room temp or cold.
  4. Whisk up your dressing and set aside.
  5. When you're ready to compose your salad slice the scallops into quarters or in half according to their size.
  6. Cut calamari bodies into rings.
  7. Leave shrimp whole and the calamari legs.
  8. In a separate large bowl toss all salad ingredients together except for the seafood, you can add more or less or any other ingredient you would like to add, there is no exact rule with a salad.
  9. Add and toss your dressing, less is more, don't drench it, taste as you go.
  10. Grab a huge platter, place salad on top, arrange all the seafood on top of the greens, add in some grilled lemons slices.
  11. Don't forget toasted or grilled crunchy bread, it's a must!

 

 

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Fuss Free Entertaining

luncheon ideas Sometimes you just don’t need hours of planning and prepping in advance or cooking 3 days ahead of time when entertaining, especially in the summer months when things are more relaxed and casual. Here’s a few things I like to make when having friends or family stop by either on short notice or even planned in advance.

I love to spread everything out buffet style, once it’s laid out you can enjoy yourself and not worry about getting up and down to serve things.

Most of the ingredients I always have on hand either in my pantry or fridge, the others I usually buy weekly anyway and a couple of things I like to keep handy in my freezer. There’s no mayo required in any of this so you don’t have to worry about anything spoiling either.

focaccia sandwich ingredients Have you seen those round or square pre-made focaccia breads? I get mine at a local Italian market, but I’ve seen them in the bakery section at many different grocery stores, they keep really nice in the freezer and are easy to defrost. I’ve seen them topped with many things like olives, onions, jalepenos and chedder, they all look so pretty and they make a great sandwich.

My two favorites that I personally get are the ones topped with artichoke hearts and the simple crushed tomato topping, they taste so good as is, so I like to keep my deli meats simple. You’ll want to cut them horizontally with a serrated knife, just take your time and they will split in half fine.

What adds to the flavor of the sandwich is this oil based pepper spread, it’s a staple in my fridge, a mild combination of finely chopped veggies some spices and vinegar, like a giardiniera but only finely chopped, it’s spreads really nice and it’s packed with flavor. If you can’t find it finely chopped you can just pulse a regular jar of giardiniera in your food processor a few times to make it more spreadable.

focaccia sandwich I prefer not over packing my sandwich full of meats and cheese, just a simple layer will do, you have a lot going on in flavors with the topping and the spread. I used prosciutto and sliced Asiago on the artichoke topped one and  a rosemary ham also with Asiago on the other.

focaccia sandwich You can cut your focaccia sandwiches according to what other things you’ll be serving, out of one eight inch focaccia, I had six to nine servings.

caprese salad Who doesn’t like a caprese salad, the more it sits the better it gets! Even though it’s not officially tomato season, I was lucky to find some beautiful heirlooms and they tasted wonderful, in fact I’m going back for more.

shrimp and endive platter This endive salad is made with two bunches of endive, a half pound of cooked shrimp, an avocado, a hint of lemon,radishes, green onions, fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil all chopped into bite size pieces and folded together and then spooned onto individual endive leaves and arranged on a platter. So simple and so light and a nice presentation to boot, I could eat this alone for lunch!

pasta salad This pasta salad is also light and fresh, there’s no mayo in here,the creaminess comes from goat cheese and it’s all tossed in a light vinaigrette.

pasta salad It’s an old recipe from Martha, you can take the basic concept and add or take away any ingredients you personally like, I added red pepper strips to mine, but it’s delicious and it can sit out on a buffet without worry.

luncheon party

Add in some fresh fruit and olives then tell your friends to bring dessert, cannolis in my case!

Pour a glass of wine, sit and enjoy the time with your guests.

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