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Pat-NoCal

Recipes: Crostini Piccanti, and Acquasale

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Joined: Dec 9, 2005

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Posted to Thread #25 at 6:32 pm on Dec 10, 2005

I had a chance to assist author Carol Field in a cooking class earlier this year. These tasty crostini toppings would be pretty on the holiday table, one is green, the other red.

Crostini Piccanti (Irresistible spicy crostini)

2 large slices country-style bread, cut 1-inch thick, crusts removed
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 anchovy fillets in oil or 3 anchovies preserved in salt, rinsed very well in cold water and boned (Carol said she much prefers anchovies packed in salt but in class we used anchovies in oil)
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp pine nuts
4 tsp capers, drained and rinsed
4-1/2 hard-boiled egg yolks (yolks only)
12 large green olives, pitted
1/2 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 recipe crostini

Set the bread slices on a plate, drizzle the vinegar over them (she spooned the vinegar on the bread), and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Then squeeze the bread with your hands to remove any excess vinegar.

Set all the ingredients except the crostini in a food processor outfitted with the steel blade, and process to a fine paste. Spread over the crostini and serve. Makes 25.

Pat’s notes: This was a delicious topping for crostini. Another good spread was the Acquasale (Sweet Pepper Sauce)....the 2 different crostinis were great served together and looked pretty on the platter with one spread being green and the other red.

Source: Carol Field class “Italy in Small Bites”

Crostini (toasts for appetizers)

1 loaf good-quality Italian baguette cut into 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices OR
8 slices Italian country-style bread cut into 3x3-inch slices, 1/2-inch thick
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil, set them on a baking pan, and bake until lightly browned on both sides, turning once, about 8 to 10 minutes. You may also set the slices under a heated broiler and broil until lightly browned on both sides, or brown them over a grill.


Acquasale (Sweet Pepper Sauce)

3 to 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 garlic clove, finely minced
3 or 4 sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 or 3 medium tomatoes, seeded (not peeled) and cut into chunks
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs, optional (in class we used dry breadcrumbs)

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy saute pan.
Add the red onion and saute over a low heat until the onion becomes limp and translucent. Stir in the pepper strips and sweat them over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes (in class it was about 15 minutes). Add the garlic and saute briefly (book says add garlic before peppers but Carol prefers after peppers now). Add the tomatoes and salt and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. Put the mixture in a food processor outfitted with the steel blade, and pulse about 30 times. DO NOT PUREE. If it seems too moist, add the breadcrumbs. Makes 3 cups.

Serve either as an antipasto, or as a main dish with pasta or polenta. Or, add stock & serve as a soup.

Pat’s notes: This was a delicious topping for crostini. At home I also used some on hot angel pair pasta and it was terrific that way too. Another good spread was the Crostini Piccanti....the 2 different crostinis were great served together and looked pretty on the platter with one spread being green and the other red.

Source: Carol Field class, "Italy in Small Bites"

Notes from book: “Acquasale is the answer to every course: It can be an antipasto, a salad, a sauce for pasta or polenta, and with the addition of chicken broth, it becomes a delicious soup. It started as a simple country dish in Basilicata, where people simply pluck onions, tomatoes and sweet pepers from the garden, slice and drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and set the mixture on top of softened stale bread. To make splendid crostini, spread the mixture on pieces of grilled country bread, top with a bit of arugula, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.”


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