Scotto family Columbus Day recipes

- Rosanna Scotto and her family prepare some of their favorite dishes for Columbus Day in the Good Day Cafe.

Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto, Parmesan and Cannellini Beans (6 servings)
½ pound prosciutto, diced small
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup cannellini beans, drained of liquid
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook prosciutto in a large heavy saucepan over medium to high heat until crisp; remove prosciutto and set aside. Add olive oil and the rice to the same pan and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until every grain is coated with olive oil.
2. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. Cook until the rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and heat for 5 minutes.
3. Remove risotto from heat, stir in the parmesan cheese and top with the crispy prosciutto; serve immediately.

Cod with Beluga Lentil Ragu (6 servings)
For Lentil Ragu
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, cleaned and finely chopped
3 carrots, cleaned and finely chopped
3 celery sticks, cleaned and finely chopped
2 onions, cleaned and finely chopped
1 pound bag dried beluga lentils
2 (14 ounce cans) chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
3 whole bay leaves
4½ cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions. Reduce heat to low and cook gently for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are softened.
2. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, herbs and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 40-50 minutes until lentils are tender and saucy – add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For Cod
6 cod filets (8 ounces each)
¼ cup canola oil
Salt and pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons sliced thin
1 bunch parsley leaf, chopped

1. Season filets with salt and pepper on each side.
2. In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Sear 3 cod filets on one side until lightly golden brown (don’t overcrowd) then place in preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside then repeat for remaining filets.
3. Add lentil ragu to serving platter, top with cod filets, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with lemon slices and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Honey and Nuts (6 servings)
1 (12-inch) piece day-old baguette, cut into ½-inch slices, then slices halved crosswise (4 cups)
3 cups half & half
½ cup sugar
Pinch salt
10 ounces sweetened bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup honey
1 cup mixed nuts, toasted and chopped

1. Generously butter a 2½ quart oven proof glass soufflé dish.
2. In a large bowl, add cubed bread and cocoa powder, toss well then add to soufflé dish.
3. Heat half & half, sugar, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add chocolate, then let stand 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Lightly beat eggs together in a large bowl and slowly add chocolate mixture, whisking until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over bread and let soak at room temperature for about 1 hour.
4. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Dot top of pudding with butter bits. Bake in a hot water bath until edge is set but center still trembles slightly, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool down.
6. To serve, top pudding with nuts and drizzle with honey; cut and serve.

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