ZUPPA E INSALATA (SOUP AND SALAD)

Escarole & Bean Soup with Sausage Meatballs

This soup is my absolute favorite, and is always on my holiday buffet. I make it often during the year as well. The soup can be made ahead of time and frozen, without the pasta. Just defrost and reheat the soup and add pasta the day of the event. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli (Northern Region)

This pasta e fagioli recipe is a northern Italian version that incorporates pancetta and pureed cannellini beans for a thicker, creamier soup. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and semolina bread for dipping. This recipe is really delicious and a family favorite!

Colombo Family Pasta e Fagioli (Southern Region)

Pasta e Fagioli is a staple in our home.  This soup is really hearty, inexpensive and delicious, and was one of Grandpa Colombo’s favorite dishes.  Canned cannellini beans can be substituted for the dried beans…just use (2) 15-oz. cans of beans, drained, and skip the soaking and boiling method to tenderize the dried beans.  

Ceci Soup alla Madonna

We enjoyed the most delicious soup during a cooking class at “Alla Madonna del Piatto” in Assisi, Italy.  The soup was made of an amazing chickpea puree, topped with the freshest extra virgin olive oil, sautéed mushrooms, croutons, fresh dill and grated pecorino cheese.  It was simple and yet incredibly delicious.

Chicken Soup with Polenta Dumplings

Chicken soup has always been my son, Nicholas’ favorite.  This recipe kicks it into high gear by adding polenta (cornmeal) dumplings to the top of the soup.  This is incredibly hearty and wonderful on a cold wintery day!

Tortellini in Brodo with Spicy Pork Meatballs 

This is a very simple soup to prepare, and very hearty with the addition of tortellini, spicy pork meatballs and roasted chicken.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Capellini Soup with Chicken Broth

This is my chicken soup recipe, using capellini pasta.  Using a purchased (or homemade) roasted chicken really adds depth of flavor.  This soup is one of Nicholas’ favorites, and I make this often during the year. 

Meatball Soup with Pasta

This soup recipe is delicious, made with meatballs and pasta in a beef broth.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese and warm Italian bread.

Jen's Favorite Escarole and Bean Soup with Pancetta, Meatballs, Pasta & Melted Parmesan

This soup is my absolute favorite, and is always on my holiday buffet.  I make it often during the year as well.  The soup can be made ahead of time, without the pasta.  Just re-heat the soup and add pasta the day of the event.  Serve with freshly grated pecorino cheese.

Minestrone Soup

Growing up, we enjoyed minestrone soup as an alternate to the traditional pasta e fagioli.  Any of your favorite vegetables can be added to this soup. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Italian Rice Soup

This soup has great depth of flavor, and is rich and hearty.  Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread for a delicious meal!

Pastina Soup

This is a very simple soup dish to make…the pastina cooks quickly and you can have this on your dinner table in no time.  Serve this soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese for depth of flavor. 

Italian Wedding Soup with Fennel

I have made this recipe many times over the years….it’s always a crowd favorite.  The addition of fennel gives this recipe a different flair.  The soup can be made ahead of time, without the pasta.  Just re-heat the soup and add the pasta the day of the event.  Serve with grated cheese.

White Bean Soup

This white bean soup is really hearty…perfect for a cold winter day.  The creaminess of the beans, paired with the flavors of pancetta and basil pesto really makes this simple dish a treat.  I like to serve this soup with garlic crostini.  Any small pasta, like ditalini, can be added to this soup if desired.

Ribollita (Tuscan Bean Soup)

This Tuscan bean soup recipe is similar to minestrone soup.  I like to add spicy sausage for an extra kick.  That ingredient can be excluded for a vegetarian option.  Serve warm with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Eggplant Tower Salad

This is one of my go-to recipes when I have a seated dinner party at the house. I like to plate the salads and place on the dining room table just before guests arrive. The table setting is always impressive.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Salad

I am always looking for delicious salad alternatives. The texture of the pistachios along with the flavors of the chicken and honey balsamic dressing make this a very savory and satisfying meal. Feel free to modify this recipe by using different nut, cheese or fruit mixtures.

Mixed Green Salad with Ricotta Salata & Cashews

This is a delicious and beautiful salad…combining mixed greens with a salty, shaved ricotta salata, a sweet candied cashew and a chewy dried cranberry. Top this with a honey balsamic dressing, and you have a perfect salad. Any combination of fruit and nuts can be substituted based upon your preference.

Aunt Millie's Arugula Salad

Aunt Millie brought this salad to Grandma’s house many years ago. There were several ingredients that I had never incorporated into a salad, but are truly delicious together. Give this one a try!

Pork Milanese with Mixed Greens

I enjoyed this salad at a restaurant in Red Bank, NJ named Buona Sera.  The combination of a well seasoned and cooked pork cutlet, along with a deliciously flavored mixed green salad makes a wonderful weeknight meal.  This is also a nice light meal to serve at a dinner party. 

Capicola Salad with Arugula & Shaved Parmesan

This is a nice salad for a holiday buffet – peppery baby arugula paired with involtini di capicola (rolled capicola).  Capicola is an Italian cured pork.  I have also used Bresaola for this salad, which is an Italian cured beef.  Feel free to use your favorite ingredient.

Insalata di Zia Nancy (with Feta Cheese & Vegetables)

Aunt Butchie loves to eat healthy, and this salad is one she would thoroughly enjoy.  This recipe combines mixed greens with flavorful grilled vegetables and feta cheese.  The salad is topped with a champagne vinaigrette that gives this salad a kick. 

Grilled Vegetable Tower with Mixed Greens

This salad looks great for seated dinner parties.  I plate the mixed greens with a tower of grilled eggplant, zucchini, tomato and mozzarella, topped with tomato bruschetta.  Place a decorative toothpick through the tower for a nice aesthetic.

Veal Milanese with Arugula & Roasted Peppers

I also enjoyed this salad at Buona Sera Restaurant in Red Bank, NJ.  The combination of the veal cutlet with the arugula salad is truly delicious.  Any of your favorite ingredients can be incorporated. 

Insalata di Zia Carmela (with Goat Cheese & Strawberries)

This salad is really delicious, combining the creamy flavors of the goat cheese with the sweetness of the strawberries and the crunchiness of the pistachios.  

Insalata della Casa

Insalata Della Casa literally means "house salad".  This is a salad that we enjoy often.  The flavor profile of the salami with the fennel really brightens the taste of the arugula and mixed greens.

Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Salad

This is a simple salad to prepare for a quick weeknight dinner.  Any of your favorite ingredients can be incorporated.  I like to occasionally add a small quantity of baby arugula with the sliced vegetable salad. 

Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a delicious tomato and mozzarella salad.  Since there are only a few ingredients, it’s really important to use fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes. I prefer the heirloom tomato variety for the flavor and beautiful color.  Feel free to alter the ingredients based upon your preference.  This salad is best when served at room temperature, so it can be plated early the day of your event.

Italian Potato Salad

This is my favorite Italian Potato Salad recipe, particularly because I have added so many of my favorite seasonal ingredients.  Feel free to modify as you desire. I like to serve this salad during summer gatherings.

Italian Chickpea Salad

This is a nice alternative to a mixed green salad.  The flavors of the vegetables with a sharp red wine vinaigrette is exceptionally tasty.

Italian Green Salad

I always serve a green salad when I entertain.  I like to prepare salads with a variety of ingredients, but I am always reminded that this traditional Italian Green Salad is generally the biggest crowd pleaser.  You can certainly use any mixture of ingredients that you prefer.  The salad dressing below is a simple dressing to prepare.  I often use the Good Seasons Italian salad dressing as a substitute.

Insalata di Mamma (with Gorgonzola & Pignoli)

A mixed green salad with crumbled gorgonzola and pignoli nuts is one of my Mom’s favorites.  The honey balsamic dressing provides a wonderful balanced flavor with the gorgonzola cheese.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I always serve a green salad when I entertain.  I like to prepare salads with a variety of ingredients, but I am always reminded that this traditional Italian Green Salad is generally the biggest crowd pleaser.  You can certainly use any mixture of ingredients that you prefer.  The salad dressing below is a simple dressing to prepare.  I often use the Good Seasons Italian salad dressing as a substitute.

Peach Caprese Salad

A mixed green salad with crumbled gorgonzola and pignoli nuts is one of my Mom’s favorites.  The honey balsamic dressing provides a wonderful balanced flavor with the gorgonzola cheese.

Vegetable & Farro Salad with Shaved Pecorino

This is a salad that I first enjoyed at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant (hard to imagine that I ordered a salad there….!)

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