From meatballs and spaghetti to baked ricotta with bruschetta, the Scotto family shares recipes for these Italian classics!
Baked Ricotta with Bruschetta (6 to 8 servings)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds whole milk ricotta
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
10 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 ounce dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Butter a 2-quart oval baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, mozzarella, 8 ounces parmesan cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly.
Place the ricotta mixture in the buttered baking dish, top with the remaining 2 ounces parmesan cheese, and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F.
1 round loaf Italian bread
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Slice bread on into ½-inch thick slices. Coat both sides with olive oil using a pastry brush, and rub each slice with garlic.
Place on a cookie sheet and toast in top rack of oven for 3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown on both sides.
Meatballs with Tomato Sauce (6 servings)
2 pounds ground beef
2 slices American bread soaked in a ½ cup of milk
1 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 sesame buns
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups tomato sauce, warmed
In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef, bread, onions, parsley, eggs, cheese, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is dry, add ½ cup of cold water and mix well. Form into about 12 meatballs.
Place the meatballs in a sauté pan with the olive oil and fry over medium to high heat until brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the meatballs on paper towels.
In a stockpot, heat the tomato sauce over low heat. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the heat.
Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Tomato Basil Sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large (28 ounces) cans Italian Plum Tomatoes
½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
8 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
salt to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for serving
1 pound fresh spaghetti
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and butter, and cook covered over low heat, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions, drain and top with tomato basil sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.