9 March 2008

Festa Italiana !!!!!

Marie of Proud Italian Cook and Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita are co-hosting a party. Can you imagine anything more enjoyable than spending a few hours outside on a gorgeous day, savoring great food, drinking good wine, and listening to great music...and don't forget the good conversation with our blogging friends?

The festival will bring everyone out, both those who are Italian by birth and others like myself that are Italian at heart.

Italians know how to eat !! They seem to have infinite courses, but, their meals are more of a social event than just simply eating! The portions are much smaller than those served in northern European countries, and being generally based on vegetables and fruits and home-made pastas, they generally are healthier. In addition, the secret when preparing an Italian meal is to select the freshest of local ingredients, so what you eat will change from month to month. If you want to find out everything you need to know about the art of eating Italian with all the different courses, delicious recipes, etc., check out Italian Food Forever .

Where I grew up in Ontario there was a large population of people of Italian descent. As teenagers we would head to the Italian Club on a Saturday night to eat good food and dance the night away. I was an honorary Italian long before I was an honorary Greek. My love affair with Greek food I discovered in my early twenties.

"Spiedino" is Italian for "skewer." These kebabs make a great appetizer. Serve them for an informal lunch with salad of arugula and baby tomatoes. I wanted to offer them as an appetizer for the Festa so used cocktail-sized bocconcini to make miniature versions.

Chi mangia bene, mangia Italiano!!!!

**Wrapped Bocconcini Spiedini**

12 bocconcini, but in half (I used cocktail size)
12 to 18 slices prosciutto
30 1- ½-inch (3.8-cm) cubes of Calabrese, focaccia, country or white bread
Olive oil for brushing kebabs
½ cup (120 mL) olive oil
5 anchovy fillets (tinned), minced
Generous squeeze of lemon juice

(You will need 2 whole bocconcini, 2 to 3 slices of prosciutto, depending on their size, and 5 cubes of bread for each kebab. You'll also need 6 bamboo skewers soaked in water, or metal skewers).

Wrap each bocconcini half tightly in prosciutto.

Starting and finishing with a cube of bread, thread the bread and the wrapped cheese alternately on the skewers. Lightly brush olive oil on all sides of the kebab. You may need 4 to 5 tablespoons (T) (60 to 75 mL) of oil.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil and minced anchovy until the oil is very warm and the fillets have almost disintegrated. Just before serving, squeeze the lemon juice into the warm sauce. Pour the sauce into a small bowl.

Heat the barbeque, grill pan, or frying pan until very hot. Place the kebabs in the hot pan. Using the tongs, turn the kebabs about every 45 seconds so that the prosciutto crisps up, the cheese starts to melt, and the bread toasts. Serve one kebab per person and let them dribble the sauce over it.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Those look like a delicious appetizer. I'd never heard of bocconcini until now, but it certainly sounds good! And you're right about Italians and food--my wife and I honeymooned in Italy, and aside from an amazing trip, I don't think I've ever eaten as well in my life. They know what they're doing!

  2. What a great little appetizer! And I love the Italian website you posted the link to- looks like they have some great stuff on there.

    We ate well when we were in Italy that's for sure!

  3. Val, a great and smart Antipasti...with all that on the skewer, I can load more on my plate!

  4. That looks soo yummy! Yeah, Italians always make the best food, and have fun doing it!

  5. I could have eaten this 'Un grilled' like the photo. This sounds really yummy with a nice salad. Going to try this in the summer.

  6. Ciao Val, sei bene? Your dish sounds great, cara mia, pity I missed it because today I made ravioli but I posted it together with something else, so finita la musica, passata la fiesta as our Italian friends say.

  7. I have never tried bocconcini, but I will have to look for it so that I can try this out!

  8. What a great fresh looking spring time appetizer! Sometimes I would rather have a dish like this before dinner instead of a salad! Nice presentation also Val, as I like your plate!

  9. I did grill them a little Glamah:D I wasn't sure what they would look like once I grilled them to the max...would they still be photographical? What I don't do for a photo:D They are fab cooked or uncooked I can attest to that becauase I had them both ways:D

  10. Fresh, delicious, and just perfect for our "Festa Italiana", I'll be sure to grab a few of these for my plate!! Thank you Val!

  11. A great appetiser Val...and very inventive...you can never go wrong with Italian inspiration.

  12. It sounds like a really great festival. We have a small version in the summer time, I think. And you are right, Italians know how to eat.


  13. Those look like a perfect summertime light supper to enjoy with a green salad, prosecco cocktails and sunshine! Beautiful photos, Valli! :)

  14. Ciao, Val! Il vostro speidini รจ molto bello. Amo la salsa di acciuga! Bravissima!

    (This means I loved it!) ;)

  15. Wonderful valli! Nice version of bagna cauda to drizzle over.
    Wouldn't it be great if we could all really get together like this? Marie and I wish we could :)

  16. This is a great appetizer Val!! I wouldn't say no to one of these beauties on my plate mmmmmm

    Great post and pics!!

    Rosie x

  17. Vall. really looks delicious, reallly and the pictures is beauty!! xxx Gloria

  18. Mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes: a great combination. And the anchovies!

  19. Beautiful spiedini--how brilliant to wrap the mozz in prosciutto so it doesn't melt! I can't wait to try this--oh, it must taste so good!

  20. This looks like a perfect summer snack. I can just picture myself sipping wine and enjoying one of these skewers.


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