Italian summer recipes from Venice, Lake Como

Looking for a delicious summer dish that isn't too complicated? Give your kitchen a taste from abroad with the the Scotto family, of Fresco by Scotto restaurant! Learn six delicious recipes, including Risotto Milanese with Fontina Cheese Fondue, Potato Gnocchi with Calamari, and Venetian Tiramisu — from famous Italian chefs of Lake Como and Venice:

Risotto with Fontina Cheese Fondue
Servings:

4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • For risotto

    • 6 cups chicken stock
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, finely diced
    • 2 cups Arborio rice
    • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For cheese fondue

    • 1 cup fontina cheese, cut into cubes
    • 1 cup whole milk

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. To make risotto: Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep at a bare simmer. 2. Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and wine and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the onions are translucent and the white wine is reduced. Add the rice and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until every grain is coated with the liquid. 3. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. When half the stock has been added, add the saffron. Continue to add stock. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes. 4. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. 5. To make cheese fondue: In a medium pot, add the fontina cheese and milk and cook until cheese is melted. 6. To assemble: Place risotto in a serving dish and drizzle the melted cheese fondue on top. Serve immediately.

Potato Gnocchi with Salsa Nera
Servings:

6 servings

Ingredients

  • For gnocchi

    • 6 pounds potatoes
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 eggs
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For salsa nera

    • 4 ounces tomato paste
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1/4 pound calamari, sliced thin
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 1 tablespoon fresh, black squid ink
    • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. To make gnocchi: Scrub the potatoes and place, unpeeled, in a large pot of boiling water (lightly salted). 2. Cook for 45 minutes until tender but not overcooked. When cool, peel potatoes and mash. Add flour, eggs, salt and pepper. 3. Roll dough into long thin rods, and cut into small pieces about 1-inch in length to form the dumplings. 4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil (add a touch of olive oil to prevent gnocchi from sticking together). Drop gnocchi in and cook for approximately 1 minute until they float to the top. 5. To make Salsa Nera: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add parsley, tomato paste, white wine, black squid ink, salt and pepper; cook for 20 minutes then add the calamari and cook for 3 minutes more. 6. To assemble: Place cooked gnocchi on a large serving platter. Add the salsa nera and gently toss to cover gnocchi with sauce. Top with pats of butter and serve immediately.

Mediterranean Sea Bass (Branzino)
Servings:

6 servings

Ingredients

    • 6 sea bass filets (about 8 ounces each)
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 jar capers (in salt)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. To cook filets: Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. 2. In a separate dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Flour the filets and place in the sauté pan. Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove to a serving platter. 3. Using the leftover oil and butter in the sauté pan, add the parsley, capers, white wine, and cook over a low flame for 3 minutes. 4. Spoon the sauce over the filets and serve immediately.

Venetian Tiramisu
Servings:

12 servings

Ingredients

    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 container mascarpone
    • 1 1/2 cups cream
    • 2 cups espresso
    • 1/4 cup rum
    • 1 package ladyfingers
    • Cocoa powder to garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Whip egg yolks and ¾ cups sugar until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Add mascarpone and whip again until light in texture; set aside. 2. Whip the cream with ¼ cup sugar until stiff peaks form and then fold into egg mixture. 3. Dissolve ¼ cup sugar in the espresso. Dip ladyfingers in espresso and line bottom of a baking dish. 4. Pour half of the cream mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers and drizzle with rum. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, cream and rum. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 5. Just before serving, sprinkle tiramisu with an even layer of cocoa powder.

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