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Managing Editor | JustLuxe

The Perfect Italian Holiday Menu

Nov. 18th, 2010 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment   
Food & Spirits: The invitations are sent and the decorations are up, now all that's left is planning the perfect menu for your holiday party. This season, why not step it up a notch and impress your guests by throwing an Italian-inspired soirée, complete with homemade dishes, seasonal drinks, and delectable desserts. Whether you're hosting an intimate dinner or a full-scale production, De'Longhi promises to make this holiday season truly unforgettable by offering a wide range of luxury kitchen appliances.

For more than a century, De'Longhi has been leading the way in both design and innovation, proving to be the number one choice for today's discerning party planner. With its exceptional line-up of kitchen appliances, cooking a gourmet meal has never been easier. Here are some of our favorite recipes that are sure to leave your guests wanting more.

Appetizer - Holiday Artichoke Dip

This year, impress your guests by serving a delicious homemade dip. De'Longhi's innovative 3-in-1 food processor comes equipped with a full size 50-ounce blender, unique built-in food scale, patented Dual Drive System, multiple attachments, and more.

Ingredients
  • 16 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
Preparation
With a De'Longhi food processor, this dip can be be made in minutes. Serve with 1/4 inch slices of a toasted crusty baguette.

1st Course- Creamy Tuscan Bean Soup

A traditional Italian soup is the perfect way to begin any holiday meal, and with the De'Longhi hand blender with variable speeds, prep time is cut in half.

Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Dried Cannellini Beans
  • 2 Ounces Finely Diced Prosciutto
  • 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Carrot, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Chopped
  • 1 Quart Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • Prosciutto or Parmesan Rind
Garnish:
  • 1 Apple, Peeled And Diced
  • 4 Ounces Pancetta, Diced
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
Preparation
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of clear water. The next day, drain and place in a saucepan, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand covered for about 20 minutes, then drain.

Return the beans to the saucepan along with the prosciutto, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and prosciutto or parmesan rind if using. Pour in the chicken stock and then add water as needed to cover the beans by 2 inches. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer uncovered, until the beans are almost tender, 20 minutes or longer, depending on the age of the beans. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and continue cooking until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let the beans cool.

Once cooled, remove the rind, then place the bean mixture in a food processor or blender and process until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot and re-warm.

Cook the pancetta, onions, and apple in the olive oil in a frying pan until tender and lightly browned. Remove from the heat and add the parsley. Toss.

Serve the soup in individual bowls with a tablespoon or two of the garnish on top, and drizzle with a little of the olive oil.

2nd Course - Italian Ravioli

When it comes to ravioli, the sky's the limit. You can stuff yours with meats, ricotta, fish and chicken...it's entirely up to you, so be creative. The best way to prepare your dough is by using the De'Longhi food processor.

Ingredients for Pasta Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, un-bleached
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt

Preparation
For making pasta dough in a processor, insert metal blade and using the same ingredients as above, add eggs and process till smooth. In a separate bowl combine the two flours, salt and slowly add to the egg mixture till a ball is formed and the dough leaves the side of the mixing bowl clean. If dough is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too thick or dry add small amounts of water and continue to process.

When the right consistency is achieved, knead the ball of dough on a floured surface for 4 to 5 minutes, then set aside.

Roll out one of the smaller dough balls to create a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. If you do not have a ravioli form, take a ruler and mark gently with a kitchen knife 6 rows of five 2 inch squares. In the center of each square place a small amount of your preferred ravioli filling and gently cover with a second sheet of pasta dough using the same rolling method as before.

Using your fingers or the bottom edge of your hand, press down between the rows to create a seal on all four edges of each ravioli. Then take a pastry wheel and cut between the rows in both directions. You now have 24 Ravioli ready to cook.

Pesto Sauce
  • 4 cups (well-packed) basil leaves
  • 4 (lightly crushed and peeled) cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts (or a combination of the two)
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or a combination of the two)
  • 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Start by placing basil leaves and garlic in De'Longhi food processor, slowly add nuts and cheese, followed by olive oil, and salt and paper to taste.

3rd Course - Maltaga Ice Cream

Sweeten up any holiday party by presenting your guests with a scoop of your very own homemade gelato. With the self-refrigerating gelato maker, you can host a truly authentic Italian-style holiday, with absolutely no prep time required. Now, how's that for convenience?

Malaga Ice Cream
  • 150 g/ml cream
  • 200 g/ml milk
  • 120 g sugar
  • 20 g raisons
  • 30 g rum
  • 40 g egg yolks (ca. 2 egg yolks)



Preparation
Wash the raisins and leave them to soak in the rum. In a bowl, whip the egg yolks with the sugar, then continuing to whisk add the cold milk and cream a drop at a time. Pour into the II Gelato cylander. The ice-cream will be ready in 30 minutes. Now add the raisins and rum to the ice cream maker and continue to process for a few minutes. The recipe makes 6-8 portions.

So, whether your goal is to create an Italian-inspired soirée, or simply an intimate holiday gathering, with De'Longhi in the kitchen, you're sure to make this holiday season one for the books.
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