Alessandra Rovati

Christmas Envy Panettone Trifle

If you think New York is a tough place to be a Jew on Christmas, try Venice.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Every year, right after Thanksgiving, New York City seems to turn overnight into one giant display of dazzling Christmas ornaments. The lure of illuminated store windows and sweet-smelling candy canes is hard to resist for adults, and just impossible for young Jewish children.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 panettone (home-made or store-bought) or use sponge cake or lady finger cookies
1/3 cup Frangelico or Disaronno (skip and use just decaf coffee if you have kids)
2 cups decaf espresso, sweetened
For the custard:
1/2 cup sugar
6 yolks
5 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For decorating:
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely ground
A few cherries in syrup, or fresh berries
1/2 cup whipped cream or/and chocolate shavings if desired

For Turkey Day, A Jewish-Italian Tradition

Make a meatloaf the way they do in Venice and Ferrara.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

This year’s much-hyped “Thanksgivukah,” aside, many Jews always celebrate Thanksgiving Day with an intensity usually reserved to our most sacred holidays. We identify with the Pilgrims, who travelled across an ocean to flee religious persecutions and find freedom. With their sweat and faith, they fought against illness and scarcity, finally turning America’s wilderness into their “Promised Land.”

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
About 4 lbs turkey meat, mostly dark
Few slices Hungarian salami, finely minced
2 raw eggs and 2 boiled eggs
1 tbsp freshly minced parsley
Handful pistachios, optional
Salt and pepper
Chicken or meat broth

Cheesy, Buttery Squash Manicotti With Sage

After a successful prayer for autumn rain, comfort food is in order.

Jewish Week Online Columnist

Even after the long cycle of fall holidays has ended and most sukkahs have been put back in storage until next year, many foods that traditionally symbolize the holiday will remain on our tables for several months. Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period spent by the ancient Israelites wandering in the desert; but it is also associated with the autumn harvest, much like Thanksgiving. While the crops in modern America may be different from those in ancient Palestine, the same concept applies: It’s time to change our menus!

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 package manicotti (boiled as per instructions, or can use raw)
4 pounds butternut squash
2 scallions or 1 onion
3 logs goat cheese (about 3/4 pound)
1 to 1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese or Gruyere
3 to 4 tablespoons milk (more if not pre-boiling the manicotti)
1 stick butter
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
14 sage leaves
Pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Italian Summer Salad

 

Protein-packed, light, and full of Italian flavor, this pasta salad is a summer time-saver.

Special To The Jewish Week

It’s summer, and it’s time for a kitchen make-under. Why sweat for hours over the stovetop when you could be done in a few minutes and enjoy your food outside?

For example: now is the time to experiment with chilled one-course meals, like pasta salads. Add vegetables and some type of protein, and you’re good to go. Enjoy on a bench in a shady spot right by your office, or pack them into the trunk and head to the beach. They keep well in the refrigerator for days, and always taste more grown-up than a simple sandwich.

Ingredients
Ingredients: 
1 package pasta (penne, rigatoni or sedanini)
1 pound fresh tomatoes
2 cans oil-packed tuna, drained and broken into chunks
2 tbsp mix of freshly minced parsley, basil and majorane,
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 handful pepper-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 handful pitted black olives, sliced
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a touch of ground chili, if desired
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