the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “Italian”


Main Course Italian


for classic tomato and mozzarella:

  • 9 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz peeled tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves


Take the dough and divide it into balls of around 3 oz (= 85g). If the dough has been frozen, you can let the balls rise a bit, or not.

Cut the mozzarella into cubes (or buy the fresh mozzarella in small balls). Take the peeled tomatoes, cook them for ten minutes in a pan with a little oil, salt to taste and once you’ve removed them from the heat, add the fresh basil leaves.

Roll out the balls into a circle. Place a tablespoon of sauce and a few cubes of cheese, then fold shut, forming a crescent. Press the edges well, then fold the edge over inward and seal it again with a fork.

In a pan, heat the oil to around 350F and fry two panzerotti at a time, waiting for them to turn golden before you flip them over. Drain and serve hot.

La Cucina Italiana, adapted

Pollo Ligure

Main Course Chicken Lemon Italian


  • olive oil, 80 ml/ 2.7 fl oz
  • onion, 1 large chopped
  • fennel seeds, a good pinch
  • chicken thighs, 8
  • white wine, 200ml/ 6.8 fl oz (Vermentino is the local grape)
  • fresh herbs, 2 tbsp roughly chopped – sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and a few whole sprigs
  • pine nuts, 25g/1oz
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • olives, 60g/ 2.5oz preferably Taggiasca, the local Ligurian cultivar
  • sea salt and freshly milled pepper


  1. Pour a good glug of olive oil into a good-sized pan. Sauté the onion in the oil until it is translucent and then add the garlic and fennel seeds being careful not to let them catch.
  2. Next, in a separate pan, heat a little olive oil and sear the chicken all over until it is golden brown. Then add the chicken to the onion pan.
  3. Next add the wine and cook letting the wine evaporate a little.
  4. Add the herbs, zest of the lemon, olives, pine nuts and salt and pepper and cover and cook on a low heat for 40 minutes.
  5. When the chicken is cooked add the fresh juice of the lemon and serve with a small jug of freshly squeezed lemon juice on the side for those who like it extra tangy.


Instant Pot Lentil Risotto

Main Course Side Dish Instantpot Lentil Italian


  • 1 cup dry lentils, soaked overnight
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 sprigs parsley, stems and leaves chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly mashed
  • 3¼ cups (750ml) vegetable stock
  • optional: 1 medium potato, chopped in 1cm cubes


In the pre-heated pressure cooker, add the olive oil and cook the onion until just beginning to soften. Then add the celery, parsley and cook for another minute. Add the rice and garlic cloves mix well and cook until it is all evenly wet and pearly (about a minute). Add the stock, potato (if using), and strained lentils, mix well. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker, and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. When time is up, quick release pressure and open the cooker. Mix well and serve immediately with extra virgin olive oil.

Hip Pressure Cooking

Saffron Risotto

Side Dish Italian Rice


  • 1.5 L chicken stock
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 350g risotto rice
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • 80g Parmesan cheese, grated


Bring the stock to the boil. Melt 2/3rds of the butter in a saucepan and add the finely chopped onion, stirring occasionally on a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the risotto rice so it’s evenly coated in butter and starts to turn translucent. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Then start to add the broth, one ladle at a time, so the rice slowly absorbs the liquid. Add more stock as the saucepan goes dry. This will take about 20-25 minutes. The rice should be tender with a pleasant bit of bite in the middle.

Before you add the last ladle of stock, stir in the saffron threads and a pinch of salt. After all the stock has been absorbed take the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the grated parmesan. Serve.


Braised Pine Nuts with Butternut Squash

Main Course Italian Squash Untested Vegetarian


  • 1 small butternut squash (2 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup Italian pine nuts (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings


Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel and slice the butternut squash 1/2 inch thick; spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until tender but not browned, 45 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden, 4 minutes.

Transfer the squash to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside 1 cup of the puree and reserve the rest for another use.

Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pressure cooker. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the pine nuts and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 5 minutes. Add the broth. Cover and cook at 15 PSI (see Note) for 7 minutes. Place the pressure cooker in the sink and run cold water over the lid to depressurize it rapidly; remove the lid once it can be released without force.

Return the pressure cooker to medium heat, uncovered, and bring the contents to a boil. Allow the liquid to reduce until the pine nuts are suspended in a thick sauce, about 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved squash puree and saffron and cook until heated through. Stir in a tablespoon of water if the puree is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into bowls, garnish with orange zest and the cheese shavings and serve.

Food & Wine

Simple Lemony Linguine

Main Course Side Dish Italian Lemon Pasta Vegetarian


  • 500 g dried linguine
  • 3 lemons (zest and juice)
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g. parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the linguine according to the instructions on the packet - in a generous amount of boiling, salted water. Drain and return to the saucepan. Mix the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil, then stir in the parmesan so that it becomes creamy. Season and add more lemon to taste. Add the lemon pasta sauce to the linguine shaking the pan to coat each strand. Garnish with some herbs to suit yourself.


Cacio e pepe

Main Course Side Dish Italian Pasta


  • Salt
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more for dusting completed dish
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, plus more for finishing the dish
  • ¾ pound tonnarelli or other long pasta like linguine or spaghetti
  • Good olive oil


Put a pot of salted water on to boil. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and black pepper; mash with just enough cold water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste evenly in the bowl.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. The second before it is perfectly cooked (taste it frequently once it begins to soften), use tongs to quickly transfer it to the bowl, reserving a cup or so of the cooking water.

Stir vigorously to coat the pasta, adding a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. The sauce should cling to the pasta and be creamy but not watery.

Plate and dust each dish with additional pecorino and pepper. Serve immediately.

Mark Bittman, NYT

Italian Sausage and Mustard Greens

Main Course Greens Italian Sausage


  • 2 bunches mustard greens
  • 6 italian sausages
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • grated parmesan
  • lemon


Rinse and chop the mustard greens. Brown the sausages, very thoroughly, with a tiny bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. They do not, however, need to be fully cooked. Add the garlic and sautee for around 30 seconds. Add the greens in batches, cooking them down. Add around 1/2 cup of water (if the greens haven’t produced enough of their own liquid) and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for around ten minutes, until the greens are fully cooked. Serve with parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Epicurious, modified

Orecchiette al Cavolfiore

Main Course Side Dish Cauliflower Italian Pasta


  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chili (red?)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g (just over 1 lb) orecchiette pasta
  • 3 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • salt
  • parmesan, for serving, grated


Cut the cauliflower into little florets, cook in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, drain. Peel the garlic and deseed and chop the chili. Heat the oil and gently cook both for a few minutes. Add anchovies, cook two more minutes. Add cauliflower, cook until it just begins to brown on the edges. Meanwhile, cook pasta to package directions. Drain and toss with the cauliflower. Serve with generous parmesan and more olive oil.


Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Main Course Fennel Italian Pasta Sausage


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (JP: reduce to make less spicy)
  • Salt
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and sliced thin
  • ½ c. pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ c. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lb. whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 oz. grated parmesan (~½ c.)


1. Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.

2. Heat sausage in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook, stirring to break sausage into ½-inch pieces, until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate, leaving rendered fat in skillet. Return skillet to medium-high heat, add fennel and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until fennel is tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Push fennel to sides of skillet to create 3-inch clearing; add oil-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine garlic mixture with fennel and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sausage, pine nuts, basil, and lemon juice.

4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; cook until al dente. Reserve ¾ cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta, and return pasta to Dutch oven.

5. Add sauce and reserved cooking water to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.