Tuscan Onion Soup

Tuscan Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds white onions (3 or 4 large)
  • 4 medium leeks
  • 4 ounces pancetta, in 1 piece
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Merlot or Beaujolais
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices rustic country style bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese, in 1 chunk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Cooking Directions

Peel the onions and cut in half lengthwise. Thinly slice crosswise. Trim the leeks and cut in half lengthwise. Slice crosswise in 1/4-inch slices, using 3 inches of pale green. Place the leeks in cold water, and rinse to remove the dirt. Drain. Reserve the onions and leeks.

Unroll the pancetta and dice into 1/4-inch pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until some of the fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and leeks. Sauté for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir the vinegar, wine, salt, and pepper into the soup. Cook until thoroughly heated.

Toast the bread slices, and rub with the peeled garlic clove halves. Spoon the soup into soup bowls. Float the bread croutons in the soup. Pare 4 or 5 shavings of the cheese on top of each serving. Garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Gratin

Butternut Squash Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup Curemonte parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cooking Directions

Heat oven to 375°F.

Peel squash, then cut lengthwise and seed. Cut slices 1/4-inch thick. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spray 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass pan or pottery gratin dish with cooking spray. Layer squash slices and sprinkle with parmesan. Roast 30 minutes, until squash is tender and beginning to brown.

Peel squash, then cut lengthwise and seed. Cut slices 1/4-inch thick. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spray 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass pan or pottery gratin dish with cooking spray. Layer squash slices and sprinkle with parmesan. Roast 30 minutes, until squash is tender and beginning to brown.

Cheesy Corn-on-the-Cob

Cheesy Corn-on-the-Cob

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste (available in tube style)
  • 2 tablespoons Curemonte parmesan cheese, grated

Cooking Directions

Place butter, garlic, basil and tomato paste in bowl of small food processor (or place in bowl and use electric mixer). Pulse mixture until blended. Add parmesan and mix. Remove to sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Form a log about 1 1/2 inches across and 6 inches long, rolling paper tightly around. Refrigerate and let season overnight, if possible. Bring butter to room temperature and spread over corn-on-the-cob.