Lasagne al Carciofo – Tuscan White Artichoke Lasagna

Serving our mission in Italy has allowed me to learn about local dishes, and today’s blog features a favorite! Thanks to the generosity of Laura, co-owner of a local ristorante kitchen located in the historical center of Barga, I have been learning about traditional regional dishes during my time in Italy.

This white lasagna is different than anything I had ever made, as it showcases artichokes as the main flavor in this Italian classic. Rather than eat the outer leaves as we do in the States, the more tender inner leaves and heart are selected. Tasty and oh-so delizioso, this has become a surprise favorite on our table!

Ingredients and directions for the béchamel sauce are listed below, but you may also refer to our Baked Cauliflower Pie blog. That recipe is doubled below for this lasagna.

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Lasagne al Carciofo - Tuscan White Artichoke Lasagna
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45
PREP TIME
30
READY IN
1hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Béchamel sauce
  1. Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add shallots (if using) and sauté 2 minutes. Do not let brown.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add flour, and whisk until smooth and raw taste is cooked off, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Add bay leaf and cook until just thickened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in nutmeg and salt. Season with ground white pepper. Cool sauce slightly. Discard bay leaf before using.
Lasagna
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the tops, about 2 inches. Chop the stem, leaving the leaves attached and cut the whole artichoke in half.
  3. Thinly slice the artichoke in half vertically and set aside.
  4. Drizzle the bottom of a pan with olive oil and add the slices of artichoke. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender. Remove from heat.
  5. Gently combine the cooked artichoke with béchamel sauce and set aside
  6. Thinly coat the bottom of a casserole dish with the béchamel sauce and begin layering the lasagna, beginning with the noodles, béchamel, and mozzarella. Continue layering for 3 layers, ending with a topping of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven approximately 45 minutes or until the noodles are fully cooked, and the lasagna is bubbling around the edges.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

DELICIOUS AND GLUTEN-FREE—TAPIOCA ROLLS!

Our retreats, both group and personal, often include guests with specific dietary restrictions. We support them, trying our best to accommodate the needs of those concerned—and it broadens the scope of our menu planning and recipe research.  

We’re discovering all kinds of recipes—gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and more. I’ve selected a gluten-free recipe, which is a proven winner with our Sisters that need gluten-free foods. We find these hot rolls fresh out of the oven are eagerly received by non-gluten-free Sisters as well! They’re easy to make and taste fantastic when hot and crispy, a little chewy inside, and with a generous dollop of butter!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
DELICIOUS AND GLUTEN-FREE—TAPIOCA ROLLS!
SERVINGS
242 inch puffs
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
2 inch puffs
COOK TIME
25minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
45minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven at 450 degrees
  2. Combine milk, oil, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
  3. Add the tapioca flour and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is blended; it will be sticky and gelatinous.
  4. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl, and let cool for a few minutes. Then with the paddle attachment, beat for a few minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, on medium speed
  6. Beat in the cheese until fully incorporated; dough will be sticky and stretchy.
  7. Scoop the dough with a medium-size ice-cream scoop, dipping it in warm water between scoops, spacing them about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with baking, parchment paper.
  8. Place in oven, and immediately turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes until puffed, outsides are dry and crispy; rotate pan and bake another 10 minutes, and bottoms are golden brown, and the tops not too golden.

Carrot Ginger Soup

This year, I am teaching a home school culinary class. It’s a great joy for me to pass on to the younger generation all the tips and skills that I learned. We loved making this Carrot Ginger soup together. When making soup, I always start by sautéing the vegetables. Sautéing caramelizes them and brings out the very best flavor of the vegetable – never start by boiling them in liquid, or you’ll produce a very tasteless soup! Carrot Ginger freezes well, so make a big pot of it, cool and freeze flat in zip lock bags. Once they are frozen, the bags can then stand upright in your freezer or be stacked. This soup can be made completely dairy-free, just substitute olive oil or coconut oil for the butter. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Carrot Ginger Soup
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
1hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a 6-quart pan, over medium-high heat, add butter and olive oil. Sauté onions and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize and become golden and tender.
  2. Add the ginger and 6 cups of the broth, cover and simmer. Reduce heat and cook until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. Add the coconut milk.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender (don’t fill the blender more than halfway). Pulse the blender to start and then purée until smooth.
  4. Return to the pan and add more broth or coconut milk to reach desired consistency. Reheat over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

OATMEAL CARMELITAS

HANDS-DOWN, ONE OF OUR SISTERHOOD’S MOST FAVORITE TREATS!

This is a dessert / snack that I think is fair to say, always brings a smile and sparkle to the eye.  Whether served as a plated reception option, a surprise snack for a hard-working crew, a dessert tucked into a bag lunch, it always hits the mark—and is never refused!  And as a living testimony to this—today, I left the batch of fresh baked Carmelitas on the counter, only to find when I returned to do my blog “photo shoot”, that the Sister on duty saw them and couldn’t resist offering a few to some Brothers doing a spackling job; I’m still hearing how much they loved them!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
OATMEAL CARMELITAS!
SERVINGS
9-12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN
50

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for crust; blend well to form a crumbly, moist crust.
  2. Press half of the crumbs into bottom of 9” pan and bake at 350 degrees, for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. After blending flour with caramel topping, spread over chocolate and nut mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs, and bake 15-20” until golden brown

Arancini: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Greetings from Barga, Italy! For the past several weeks I have been serving at the Community’s outreach in Tuscany, and learning about Italian food in the process. During the holidays I made one of my most favorite Italian dishes: arancini. You would be hard pressed not to find comfort in these creamy risotto balls stuffed with cheese, aside from the fact they are also breaded and deep fried…mama mia.

As with most things I’ve encountered in Italy, this dish brings a centuries-long history to the table, dating back to 10th-century Sicily. While arancini has undergone some modern interpretation over the centuries, it remains a delicious treat. Buon appetito! 

 

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Arancini: The Ultimate Comfort Food
SERVINGS
6(30) arancini
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
(30) arancini
COOK TIME
30minutes
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
45minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan, crockpot or deep fryer with 4-5 inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees, regulating frequently with a thermometer if not using a crockpot or deep fryer appliance.
  2. Form a ball of risotto no larger than a golf ball in your hand and press it flat on a piece of wax paper. Place a mozzarella cube in the center, and close the risotto around it. Reshape into a ball if needed and set aside and repeat with remaining risotto.
  3. Once all the risotto has been formed, gently roll in flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
  4. Working in batches, gently drop risotto balls into the oil, frying until the outside becomes a light golden brown color. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack to drain excess oil.
  5. Serve warm or with a red or white sauce of your choosing.

Magi Sugar Cookies

“O Star of wonderStar of night, Star with royal beauty bright…Guide us to thy perfect light.”  How wondrous the Star that leads the Magi to the Infant Christ!  And as we continue to celebrate this season so filled with awe and beauty, it lends itself to more creativity as we prepare treats for the many Yuletide events—(or for any festive occasion!)

 

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Magi Sugar Cookies
SERVINGS
24-36cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cookies
COOK TIME
15minutes
PREP TIME
2 hours 15minutes
READY IN
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar in mixer bowl until light and fluffy; add egg and flavorings and beat until smooth.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low, and after sifting flour, baking powder and salt together, add slowly until just blended.
  3. Divide dough in half, forming 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm, or longer if need be. It will need to be pliable to be able to roll out.
  4. Using a sprinkling of flour, roll out dough to about an 1/8’ thickness. Cut out your desired shapes; place on baking sheet and bake for about 15” or until slightly golden. Let cool for a few minutes before glazing them.
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix by hand, the sifted confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, salt, and flavorings until smooth and well blended. Depending upon the colors you’re using, divide glaze into separate dishes, adding colors
  6. Holding the cookie, gently lay it on top of the glaze, so that surface is covered. Set aside for a few minutes and then decorate with colored sprinkles of your choice, before glaze sets too firmly.