Both of these easy and cheap recipes are adapted from The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
Bacon, Pea, and Ricotta Pasta (serves 4-6):
- 10 oz frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 lb bacon, chopped
- 1/4 lb ricotta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
- black pepper to taste
- 1 lb pasta
Fry the bacon, and pour off all but 2 tbsp rendered fat. Fry the peas in the fat for 2 minutes, coating thoroughly. Place ricotta in a large bowl, crumble. Add butter.
Cook and drain the pasta in well salted water, then toss the pasta in the bowl with ricotta. Add peas and bacon. Toss, then add parmesan cheese and black pepper. Taste for salt and add some as necessary. Serve with more grated parmesan.
Chicken Cacciatora (serves 4-6):
- 3 lb chicken parts
- 2 tbsp oil
- flour, spread on a plate
- black pepper
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can chopped tomatoes with their juice
- crushed red pepper, to taste
Add some salt and pepper to the flour, then dredge chicken parts in flour. Heat the oil in a pot, then fry chicken pieces until very golden on all sides. Do this in batches if needed. When all chicken is browned and removed, add onion to pot. Cook until golden, then add the wine. Let simmer for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom meanwhile. Place any dark-meat chicken pieces back in the pan. Add bell pepper, carrot, celery, garlic, and tomatoes. Season with crushed red pepper. Reduce to a simmer and cover. After 40 minutes, add white meat pieces, and continue to cook 10-15 minutes until all pieces are done. Remove chicken from pan and reduce the sauce, if desired, or just serve as is. Adjust for salt as needed.