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Video: The Scottos’ Italian Thanksgiving feast

TODAY recipes
updated 11/22/2011 2:33:44 PM ET 2011-11-22T19:33:44

Recipe: Italian cheese bread

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub garlic on both sides of bread thoroughly. Using a pastry brush, coat each slice of bread on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of parmigiano reggiano onto each slice of bread. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and melts, or lightly browns. Serve warm.

Serving Size

Serves 6

Recipe: Creamy polenta with veal and chicken bolognese

  • Bolognese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large bulb fennel, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups veal stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Polenta
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups instant polenta
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

For the bolognese: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the carrot, onion, fennel, red pepper flakes and garlic. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates, stirring occasionally. In the same pot, brown the chicken and veal then add the tomato sauce, white wine, and veal stock to the saucepan. Stir to mix and simmer over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours or until the sauce thickens and is reduced by one quarter. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the polenta, heat milk and heavy cream in a large pot and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Slowly add the polenta stirring constantly for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in mascarpone and parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Portion the polenta into bowls and top with the bolognese sauce.

Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe: Braised short ribs of beef with mashed potatoes

  • Ribs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 pounds short ribs of beef, cut 2 inches wide
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup prosciutto, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 2 cups finely grated onion
  • 1 cup finely grated fennel (1 trimmed bulb)
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mashed potatoes
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes peeled, cut in quarters
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the ribs: In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and put about a third of them into the skillet. Sear them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Until browned, and transfer to a roasting pan. Sear the remaining ribs in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan with the ribs. Reduce the heat to low, add the prosciutto to the same skillet, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fat is rendered. Carefully pour off the fat and discard, keeping the prosciutto in the skillet.

Add the carrots, onion, fennel, and garlic and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add the lemon and orange zest, tomato puree, wine, stock, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt  if necessary and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour the sauce over the ribs in the roasting pan, making sure they are nearly covered. If necessary, add more stock or water so that the liquid comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the ribs. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1½ hours. Remove the foil and bake for about 1 hour longer, until the ribs are very tender.

Transfer the ribs to a warm serving platter. Pour the sauce remaining in the pan into a saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to about 3 cups. Serve the ribs with the sauce.

For the mashed potatoes: In a 6-quart pot, cover potatoes with water and cook until potatoes are soft all the way through. Drain and cover to keep warm. In a 1-quart pot, heat the heavy cream and butter until hot, stirring frequently. Add the hot butter and cream to the warm potatoes and smash with a potato masher or large fork until you get a lumpy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Tiramisu

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 cups brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
  • 18 Italian ladyfingers, 6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings

Whip egg yolks and ½ cup granulated sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow and tripled in volume, about 2 minutes. Add in mascarpone and whip for 1 minute more until just combined. Whip egg whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time while beating, then continue to beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whip heavy cream in another bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold cream into mascarpone mixture, then fold in egg whites.

Stir together coffee and Marsala wine in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8

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