Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent!: The Grain At Home in Every Course of Italy's Meals

Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent!: The Grain At Home in Every Course of Italy's Meals

by Giuseppe Orsini, Regis Philbin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466873285
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/10/2014
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
File size: 740 KB

About the Author

Father Joseph Orsini is the author of Papa Bear's Favorite Italian Dishes, Father Orsini's Italian Kitchen, and Pasta Perfetta. In addition to ministering part-time at the Italian parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in New Jersey, he is also the co-chaplain of the Bayonne, New Jersey, chapter of Unico National and the national spokesperson for the Una Voce National Italian-American Anti-Bias Foundation. Father Orsini is the founder and chairman of a new Italian food company called Father Orsini's Italian Specialties.

All of Father Orsini's personal earnings from his books and his food company are donated to charities.

Father Giuseppe Orsini is the author of several books on Italian cooking, including Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent! He claims to be retired, but he still manages to minister occasionally in an Italian parish in New Jersey, and to hold office in several Italian-American community organizations.

Read an Excerpt

Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent!

By Giuseppe Orsini

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2005 The Word of God Fellowship, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-7328-5


Getting Ready

Most of these recipes, except for the desserts, of course, require either chicken or beef stock, or broth. I like to make my own stocks and keep them on hand in my freezer. There are times when I run out of my homemade stocks, and I will use canned chicken or beef broths. Swanson is the brand I prefer. I also stock my pantry with Goya chicken and beef bouillon cubes. They are very convenient and make acceptable stocks.

Many of these recipes use Arborio rice imported from Italy. It is a must where indicated. It may be mail-ordered from:

Dean and Deluca's 121 Prince Street New York, N.Y. 10012

Where long-grain rice is indicated, I prefer Uncle Ben's Converted Rice. Of course, you may choose your own brand. But please, no instant or quick cooking or boil-in-the-bag stuff! Don't even think about it, okay?

Most of these recipes require grated Parmesan cheese which is mild and delicate in taste. Buy it by the piece and grate it freshly yourself. Stay away from grated Parmesan cheese that comes in a cardboard or glass container. It won't do your cooking justice. A few recipes require Pecorino Romano cheese, which is more robust in flavor. My advice for buying and using this cheese is the same as for Parmesan.

Julienne is a cooking term that means to cut the ingredient with a sharp knife so that the slices will resemble matchsticks.

Dice means to cut the ingredient into cubes.

Mince means to chop the ingredient into fine pieces.

Parsley — use only the flat leaf (Italian) variety. It has more flavor.

Herbs — use only fresh herbs unless otherwise indicated.

If you have the time, please use the following recipes for your own homemade stocks.

Brodo di Manzo (BEEF BROTH)

5 quarts water
3 pounds boneless beef chunks
3 pounds boneless veal stew chunks
2 pounds beef bones
4 teaspoons salt
2 large onions, unpeeled
2 celery ribs
2 large carrots, unpeeled but scrubbed

Rinse all the ingredients (except salt) under cold running water. Place 5 quarts water and the salt in an 8-quart pot. Bring to boil on high heat, then add all the ingredients and return to full boil. After five minutes, reduce heat to low and simmer broth very slowly for two and a half hours. Skim foam from the surface from time to time. Remove the meat, bones, and vegetables from the broth. Strain the broth through a muslin kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth lining a colander. Refrigerate overnight and skim any solid fat from the top. Store in plastic containers in the refrigerator for one more day. Skim off any remaining fat. Then store in the freezer for up to three months.

What to do with the meat? Shred it and refrigerate it. You can add quantities of it to your soups or you can make an Italian meat salad by adding chopped celery and onion to the meat and dressing it with salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. The vegetables and bones must be discarded.

Brodo di Pollo (CHICKEN BROTH)

4 quarts water
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
1 tablespoon salt
2 large onions, unpeeled
2 celery ribs
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley

Wash the chicken under cold running water. Place 4 quarts water and the salt in a 6quart pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Add chicken and vegetables and bring back to full boil for five minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours, skimming foam from time to time. Remove chicken with slotted spoon. Strain broth through colander lined with muslin kitchen towel. Refrigerate overnight. Skim off all fat from the top. Freeze in plastic containers for three or more months. Use the chicken meat for chicken salad.

Common Ingredients and Terms in Italian Cooking

Al burro Dressed with butter
Al dente Not overcooked; firm-textured pasta
Al forno Cooked in the oven
All 'aceto In vinegar
Alla casalinga Home style
Alla marinara Seaman style
Arrosto Roast meat
Asparagi Asparagus
Baccala Dried salt cod
Basilico Sweet basil
Bel Paese Semi-soft mild cheese
Biscotto Biscuit
Bistecca Beefsteak
Braciolo Meat for rolling and stuffing
Brodo Broth
Caffè latte Coffee with milk
Caffè espresso Black "espresso" coffee
Cannelloni Large round pasta often served stuffed
Capperi Capers
Carciofo Artichoke
Cassata Rich cake
Cavolfiore Cauliflower
Cavolo Cabbage
Cipolla Onion
Coppa Cup
Costoletta Cutlet
Crudo Raw or uncooked
Ditali Short tubular pasta
Ditallini A small variety of the above
Dolce General term for dessert
Fagioli Dried beans
Fagiolini Fresh beans
Farina bianca White wheat flour
Farina integrale whole-wheat flour
Fegato Liver
Fettucine Homemade narrow ribbon pasta
Filetto Thin fillet of meat or fish
Finocchio Fennel
Formaggio Cheese
Frittata Omelet
Frittelle Pancakes; term also used for fritters
Fritto misto Mixture of fried foods
Frutti di mare Small shellfish
Funghi Mushrooms
Gàmberi Shrimp
Gelato Frozen — usually ice cream
Imbottiti Stuffed
Involtini Slice of meat stuffed and rolled
Insalata Salad
Lasagne Wide flat noodles
Latte Milk
Lesso Boiled
Limone Lemon
Maccheroni Macaroni; a generic term for all types of pasta
Maiale Pork
Manzo Beef
Melanzane Eggplant
Minestra Soup; also generic term for pasta or rice course
Minestrone Thick vegetable soup
Mozzarella A soft white unsalted cheese
Olio Oil
Oliva Olive
Origano Herb used for flavoring: Oregano
Pane Bread
Pane abbrustolito Toasted bread
Panna Cream
Parmigiano Hard cheese much used in Italian cookery: Parmesan
Pasta Dough; generic term for all macaroni products
Pasta asciutta Pasta served with butter or a meatless sauce
Pasta in brodo Pasta cooked in broth and served as soup
Pasta secca Eggless pasta
Pasta all'uovo Egg pasta
Pasta verde Green (spinach) pasta
Pasticceria General term for pastry
Pastini Small pasta shapes used in soup
Pecorino Strong sheep's milk cheese
Peperóne Sweet peppers
Peperoncini Small hot peppers
Pesce Fish
Pignoli Pine nuts
Polenta Cornmeal mush
Pollo Chicken
Polpette Small meatballs
Polpettone Large meat loaf
Pomodoro Tomato
Prezzémolo Parsley
Prosciutto Ham
Provolone A hard yellow cheese
Ravioli Stuffed squares of pasta
Ricotta Soft curd cheese, "pot cheese"
Rigatoni Large grooved macaroni
Ripieno Stuffed or stuffing
Riso Rice
Risotto Rice dish
Salsa Sauce
Salsiccia Generic term for sausage
Scaloppine Thin small slices of veal or breast of chicken
Scampi Large shrimp
Sedano Celery
Spaghetti Long, thin varieties of pasta
Spinaci Spinach
Spumante Sparkling wine
Sugo Sauce
Tagliatelle Homemade ribbon pasta
Tonno Tuna fish
Torrone A type of nougat candy
Torta Generic term for cake
Tortellini A stuffed pasta
Trippa Tripe
Uovo Egg
Uva Grapes
Verdure Vegetables
Vermicelli Very thin spaghetti
Vino Wine
Vitello Veal
Vongole Clams
Ziti Tubular-shaped pasta
Zucchini Squash
Zuppa Soup

Minestre (Soups)

At an ordinary Italian dinner, soup is the usual first course, followed by a main course of meat, fish, or poultry. Dinner is usually served around two o'clock in the afternoon. About 4 P.M. everyone returns to work. Supper is eaten in the late evening. Often, the only course served is one of the following soups.

Minestra di Riso con Lattuga e Piselli (RICE SOUP WITH LETTUCE AND PEAS)


This is a delicate soup with intriguing flavor. It takes about one hour to make and it seems to taste better if made the night before, refrigerated, and reheated for supper. It also has great eye appeal.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped coarsely
9 ounces frozen, shelled, peas
1½ beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1½ quarts water
1½ cups rice (any long-grain rice can be used)
Pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon)
5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons half-and-half or light cream
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large (6-quart) saucepan, sauté the onions for five minutes in melted butter. Add the lettuce and peas. Cook uncovered for ten minutes on moderate heat. Add the bouillon and pinch of salt. Add the water and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, add the rice and cook on simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring often. Add the basil, parsley, cream, and grated cheese. Stir well. Pour into a preheated soup tureen and bring to table.


Minestra Delicata di Riso (DELICATE RICE SOUP)


Legendary Verona is the location of Shakespeare's tragic play, Romeo and Juliet. At its center is a Roman amphitheater that has been in constant use for over two thousand years. It has a lively and lovely open-air market, near which I first tasted this delicate and beautiful rice soup

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 small heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed (save for salad) leaving only the white
tender hearts, washed, dried, and torn into small pieces
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
10-ounce package frozen peas, completely thawed
2 quarts boiling hot chicken stock
1 cup long-grain rice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheese for the table (either Parmesan or Pecorino)

In a large saucepan, sauté onion in butter on gentle heat for five minutes. Add lettuce and sauté five more minutes. Add diced potatoes. Stir with wooden spoon. Add peas. Cook for three minutes. Add hot stock. Simmer on low heat uncovered for twenty-five minutes. Add rice, stir, and simmer for eighteen minutes. Add wine, grated cheese, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Pour into a tureen and bring to the table. Provide more grated cheese to pass at table. Ottimo! (The best!)


Minestra di Riso con Fegatini di Pollo (RICE SOUP WITH CHICKEN LIVERS)


Chicken livers have a mild, pleasant flavor in this robust soup. (Have you noticed that you have to buy chicken livers separately these days? I mean separate from the whole chicken. What used to get thrown to the family cat in the old days, now we get to pay a premium price.) This is an earnest soup that I'm sure you'll all enjoy. If the kids ask what the meat is in the soup, tell them chicken. That's not a lie. The livers did come from chickens.

½ large onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3½ ounces dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated and minced
3½ ounces chicken livers, chopped coarsely
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dry white wine
½ cup any long-grain rice
1½ quarts beef stock
Grated Parmesan cheese to pass at table

Sauté the onion and parsley in oil and butter in a large saucepan on low heat for five minutes. Add mushrooms and cook five minutes. Add chicken livers and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and cook until it evaporates. Add rice, stir well. Add all the broth. Bring to boil, lower to simmer and cook for fifteen minutes. Serve the soup very hot and pass the grated cheese at table.


Minestra di Riso con Cavolo Rosso (RICE SOUP WITH RED CABBAGE)


This is another hearty soup from the extreme north of Italy on the Austrian border. It is a soup that would be spoiled with the addition of grated cheese. I asked for grated cheese and was told "Absolutely not!" Red cabbage is also very good in a salad and makes an excellent sauerkraut.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ ounces pancetta or bacon, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 small red cabbage, cut in half and julienned
2 large peeled potatoes, diced small
2 tablespoons tomato paste, dissolved in ½ cup dry white wine
1½ quarts boiling hot chicken or beef broth
½ cup long-grain rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan on moderate heat, and sauté the pancetta and the onions for eight minutes. Add cabbage and stir for five minutes. Add tomato paste dissolved in wine. Add all the boiling hot broth. Adjust heat to low and simmer covered for one hour. Stir in rice and cook covered for fifteen minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into tureen and bring to table. Genuine rye bread and a glass of beer make this a great meal.




This is an unusual and enticing first course to put on your Thanksgiving table. It goes well with the roasted turkey and all the other trimmings. It will get rave reviews from your family and guests.

½ large onion, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can of unflavored pumpkin puree
1 quart boiling hot chicken stock
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in ½ cup hot water
10 ounces long-grain rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion in olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook on gentle heat five minutes. Add pumpkin and hot stock. Mix well and cook on gentle heat for ten minutes. Add the dissolved bouillon, bring to a boil. Add rice and parsley, and cook for fifteen minutes. Add sugar and stir. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Empty into soup tureen, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and serve.


Minestra di Riso con Broccoletti (RICE SOUP WITH BROCCOLI FLORETS)


Remember what the medical profession is saying about the cancer preventatives found in the cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli. This soup is a delightful way of enjoying broccoli and is perfect for a cold winter night's supper.

1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 tablespoons butter
1 bunch of broccoli, florets only
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1½ quarts boiling hot chicken broth
1 cup long-grain rice
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan on gentle heat for five minutes. Add broccoli and stir-fry for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste dissolved in a cup of broth. Stir and cook for ten minutes. Add remaining broth, bring to boil, adjust heat to simmer, and cook for twenty minutes. Add rice, stir, and cook for twenty more minutes. Stir. Add 2 tablespoons butter and grated cheese. Stir and serve. Excellent!


Minestra di Riso e Fagiolini (RICE AND GREEN BEAN SOUP)


When I visited Parma, I stayed in one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever seen. It was the Baglioni Palace Hotel (five stars). I could hardly believe its sumptuous luxury. But it made me yearn for simplicity, so I walked through the beautiful city of Parma, stopped at the church of Santa Maria Stecchata, and thanked God for allowing me to be there. Then I meandered through the open-air food market and nearby found a simple family-owned restaurant (trattoria). My yearning for simplicity was satisfied as I sampled this flavorful dish.

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion peeled and thinly sliced
6 ounces tender green beans, washed and cut into ½-inch pieces
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced small
1½-quarts water
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 cup long-grain rice
1 large egg
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 heaping tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons light cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan on moderate heat. Sauté onion for five minutes. Add green beans. Adjust heat to low and sauté for eight minutes. Add potatoes and sauté another eight minutes. Add water and bouillon. Bring to boil. Adjust heat to low and simmer covered for forty minutes. Add rice and cook covered another twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, in a soup tureen beat together the egg, lemon juice, parsley, light cream, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.

When soup is done, whisk egg mixture for one minute and pour into soup in the tureen. Add cream, stir briskly, and bring to table.



Excerpted from Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent! by Giuseppe Orsini. Copyright © 2005 The Word of God Fellowship, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Foreword by Regis Philbin,
Getting Ready,
Common Ingredients and Terms in Italian Cooking,
Minestre (SOUPS),
Risotti (RISOTTOS),
Insalate di Riso (RICE SALADS),
Other books by Father Giuseppe Orsini (as Father Joseph Orsini),

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