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Video: The Scottos make dinner easy with one-pot meals

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    >>> this morning on cooking with the scotto family, warm, hot meals to warm you up on these cold winter days. fresco by scotto and particularly frisky this morning, i have to say.

    >> we are.

    >> let's get right into it.

    >> we're beginning with this, done with shrimp. risotto is done with italian rice, chicken broth . you have to do tender loving care.

    >> it takes a lot of time, too.

    >> it takes a lot of time. you have to stand by the saute pot. this is our star this morning, italian wedding soup . that has been in our family for years and years and years. now every wedding, italian wedding soup . and we even begin valentine's day in the restaurant with italian wedding soup . of course. so we start with our onion and our garlic. we saute.

    >> nice and brown.

    >> and then we do celery carrot squash. any vegetable.

    >> can you quarter them any size?

    >> i like it diced. it cooks faster. and then you put your chicken broth in. this is two quarts. you let it stay a while. we can't let it stay too long. these are my meatballs. again, the meatballs are done in the soup. they're half chicken and half veal and a little grated cheese and pepper. soup shoulding boiling when you put it in. it cooks about ten minutes, that's all. it's bite sized. valentine's day, you know. you can't chew too much.

    >> there is garlic in there. you have to be careful.

    >> no, no, not in the meatballs, no! just in the foundation.

    >> right, right, right.

    >> and as she pointed out, this is okay for a second wedding.

    >> are you married, will?

    >> i am, yes.

    >> okay, forget it.

    >> we were going to have it at the restaurant but now forget it.

    >> i was going to cook you a pot if you were getting married. go ahead, go on down.

    >> all right. what's next?

    >> what's next?

    >> i love short bread.

    >> one pot. we have this on valentine's day at fresco. i brown off the short ribs. using all the gristle, garlic and onion, cook that down for a couple of minutes. add a little beef stock .

    >> beautiful.

    >> take a little bit of that red wine you have there, please.

    >> okay.

    >> thank you so much, sir. and then we'll let that settle down for about -- we'll put the beef back in, i apologize. cover it for about half an hour, 45 minutes. let it simmer. you go back. an hour before you serve this, add all your vengetables. cover again one hour. sorry. cover for one hour, salt and pepper .

    >> so an hour after the vegetables?

    >> an hour and an hour again.

    >> after the vegetables.

    >> absolutely delicious.

    >> i love short ribs.

    >> here is the deal. sausage, peppers, onions, potatoes, classic.

    >> you got me here.

    >> even though it's one pot it still takes a bit longer to cook than any of these other dishes.

    >> okay.

    >> i brown my sausage. i use my oil from the sausages now to cook my onion. so the idea is you cook each thing individually and now i will do the peppers. and once everything is done, we'll also do the potatoes, another round. my family took up all the time, so we probably won't get to the peppers.

    >> it was the wedding soup .

    >> don't you love family businesses?

    >> i'm going on my second wedding. mom told me no meatballs.

    >> oh, take out the meatballs.

    >> i swear, willie --

    >> spent all the money on the first wedding, i'm taking the meat out. anyway, put everything back in the pot. ba balsamiv vinegar to give it a little sweetness.

    >> looks gorgeous.

TODAY recipes
updated 2/4/2013 10:49:48 AM ET 2013-02-04T15:49:48

Recipe: Beef short rib stew

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 8 pounds short ribs of beef, cut 2 inches wide
  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 3 to 4 cloves)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 onion)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 quarts beef stock
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 8 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, left whole
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (1 trimmed bulb)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large, 8-quart stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Dust the short ribs in seasoned flour and place in the pot. Sear them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Sear ribs in batches, and set aside on a platter, taking care not to crowd the pot with the ribs.

Reduce heat to low, add pancetta, garlic and onions to the pot, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then add the ribs, red wine and beef stock; simmer covered for 1 hour. Then add carrots, potatoes, fennel, cook, covered, for 1 more hour; total cooking time about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the ribs and vegetables to a warm serving platter and serve.

Serving Size

Four to six servings

Recipe: Italian wedding soup

  • For the meatballs
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs (store-bought are fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • For the soup
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 pound escarole, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

To make the meatballs:

Place the ground veal and chicken in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs, egg, parsley, cheese, salt, and pepper. With wet, cold hands mix the ingredients together well.

Add the cold water into the mixture then form into about 18 one-inch meatballs, then set aside.

To make the soup:

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and onions and sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and zucchini, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the meatballs and escarole and simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Six to eight servings

Recipe: Risotto with shrimp, gorgonzola and parmesan Cheese

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 pound large shrimp, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over low heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until every grain is coated with butter and olive oil.

Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and stir 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. Cook until rice is just tender and creamy but still al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Just before removing risotto from heat, add shrimp and cook until pink in color, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove risotto from heat, stir in crumbled gorgonzola cheese, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Serving Size

Four to six servings

Recipe: Sweet italian sausage with peppers, onions and potatoes

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 sweet Italian sausages
  • 4 large Idaho potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 2-inch wide strips
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch wide strips, seeds removed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch wide strips, seeds removed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 2-inch wide strips, seeds removed
  • Salt and pepper

In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausages and brown on all sides; then remove and set aside.

Add the potatoes and brown on both sides; set aside with the sausages.

In the same pot, add the onions and balsamic vinegar, sauté over low heat until translucent. Add the peppers and cook until peppers are tender.

Return the sausages and potatoes to the skillet and sauté for five minutes.

Serving Size

Makes six servings

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