Lent is a time for reflection and abstention. For those who forgo meat on Fridays, there is often the question of what to prepare. When following the practice, there is a myriad of delicious recipes to try during this Lenten season.
Corn Soup with Crab Meat and Truffle Oil
This warm and filling soup is just right during the cold days of February. This recipe is sure to be a delight.
For the soup
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 small shallots, finely chopped
1 pound whole-kernel corn
¼ cup sherry
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup cream
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
For the crab mixture
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
½ pound crab meat, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon Black Truffle Olive Oil
In a sauté pan, cook the oil over medium flame until shimmering. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase to a high flame and add the sherry. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Allow the soup to cool for at least 30 minutes, then place in a food processor and process for 2 minutes. Strain the soup into a clean saucepan. Add the cream and sugar and bring to a boil over a medium flame. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is cooking, prepare the crab mixture. In a sauté pan, cook the butter over medium-high flame for 1 minute. Add the red bell pepper and chives; cook, stirring well for a minute. Add the crabmeat and increase the flame to high, cooking for an additional minute. Add the brandy (be careful – it might flame!) and stir well. Cook for one more minute, then turn off the heat. Cover and keep warm.
Pour the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle with the truffle oil. Top each bowl of soup with a quarter of the crab mixture and serve.
Pasta con i Gamberi Amatriciana
This classic pasta is very satisfying and perfect if you are preparing dinner for the family after a day at work – quick and delicious, it is an ideal recipe for the working mom.
1 pound rigatoni
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, sliced thick
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
Bring a pot of water to boil, add the pasta, but undercook it by two minutes from the suggested time on the package. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. While pasta is cooking make the sauce.
Pour the oil in a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until sizzling. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for two to three minutes. As soon as the shrimp turns pink on one side, turn it onto the other side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside. Do not overcook!
Add red pepper flakes to the oil in the pan and stirring well, add the garlic and onion, cook for two more minutes. Stir in the parsley and increase to a medium-high flame; add the wine and continue to cook until the wine has reduced by about two thirds, about 2-3 minutes. As you stir, deglaze the bottom of the pan.
Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce, stir together all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cooked shrimp back into the pan. Stir well for one minute.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, stirring gently until most of the sauce is absorbed by the pasta, about 2-3 minutes and serve.
Verdure Miste Arrosto
These vegetables go with everything, whether you are making pasta or fish. These vegetables are also versatile and can be used on top of salad greens.
1 eggplant, stem end removed
1 red onion, peeled
3 zucchini, stem end removed
1 red pepper, cored and seeded
1 yellow pepper, cored and seeded
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut all of the vegetables into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the vegetables lightly to coat. Sprinkle the vegetables with the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and browned. Make sure to turn the vegetables at least twice during cooking to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped basil, toss to mix well and serve.