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Video: Dinner with the in-laws? Cook an Italian feast

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    >>> taking a little urgency this morning because ms. elaine scotto getting married in august.

    >> yes.

    >> so, now to show you what to make when your future in-laws are over for dinner, our friends of the new york restaurant fresco by scotto. welcome.

    >> good morning.

    >> a wedding, how are we feeling about this?

    >> this family is the healthiest family we've ever met. the most important food are broccoli and chicken . i try when they come to the restaurant, have lasagna, have pasta, nothing. now they put my broccoli in their mouth and they go, this is the best broccoli i ever ate.

    >> there you go.

    >> i go, it's just broccoli.

    >> but it's your broccoli.

    >> this is for the in-laws.

    >> but this is what you really do.

    >> we're doing chicken meatballs today. why? because they like chicken , but i didn't want to make baked chicken .

    >> the real bride is here.

    >> yes.

    >> it was beef until she got engaged.

    >> show us how to make these.

    >> brown chicken . this is bread we moistened with milk. onions, we do it like a regular meatball. and some eggs to keep it in form. grated cheese , everything. a little garlic. you got to be careful with the in-laws. a little garlic, parsley.

    >> you sound like they're an endangered species . got to be careful with the in-laws.

    >> so, now we saute them. we put them with ricotta, mars capone cheese.

    >> what's this?

    >> chicken bolagnese.

    >> you lightened it up.

    >> it's the in-laws. i'm sorry, it's the in-laws. instead of -- we use onions, garlics.

    >> vegetables.

    >> yes and then add a little fennell. we sweat that down, reduce a little bit. half chicken , half beef. we got all this, tomato sauce . add tomatoes, a little beef stock . we'll cook this down for an hour, hour and a half. the best thing to do is refrigerate it, take the next day, add a little more tomato sauce . it makes it a little more livelier. this is what it looks like. we'll add whole what's paseat pasta.

    >> i see you have butter in there.

    >> don't tell the in-laws. a little cheese . here's what it looks like. here comes the bride

    >> i'm getting two for the price of one because my future husband has an identical twin .

    >> that's not right.

    >> it's crazy!

    >> it's the two-fer.

    >> because actually one time i ran into the twin and i thought it was the husband.

    >> you have to get name tags.

    >> okay. so, you know what, we are doing an orange blossom pound cake .

    >> right.

    >> so, the usual, flour, butter, eggs, a little orange. and then we're going to put this lieuly glaze on top. we bake this for about an hour and 15 minutes .

    >> is it healthy enough for the in-laws?

    >> well, they won't eat it but mom will. so, the bride, so, there you go.

    >> the bride loves her cake.

    >> the quick and easy way to see if your bundt cake is done, take a toothpick, clean in.

    >> and we're going serper is pin --

    >> you want a piece of this?

    >> he's the lasagna.

    >> scottos, thank you very much. congratulations. we're back in a

TODAY recipes
updated 5/1/2013 10:25:03 AM ET 2013-05-01T14:25:03

Recipe: Chicken meatballs alla fresco

  • Meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 slices American bread soaked in a 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup onions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced Italian tomatoes
  • Whipped ricotta and mascarpone
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

To make meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix the ground chicken, bread, onions, parsley, eggs, cheese and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is dry, add ½ cup of cold water and mix well. Form into about 12 meatballs.

Place the meatballs in a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat and cook meatballs until brown on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the meatballs on paper towels.

To make tomato sauce: In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and onions, and cook for 5 minutes until lightly golden brown; reduce heat to medium low. Add tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.

To make cheese mixture: In a bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large platter, place large dollops of the whipped mascarpone and ricotta mixture, top with meatballs, and drizzle tomato sauce on top of the meatballs and all around the platter; serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Whole wheat pasta with beef and chicken 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 beef
  • 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat pasta, cooked

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 beef then add the chopped tomatoes, white wine and beef stock to the saucepan. Stir and simmer over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½ hours or until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat, stir in the butter (optional) and Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper. Add cooked whole wheat pasta to a large serving bowl and mix with the Bolognese sauce. Leave ½ cup of the sauce to top the pasta.

Serving Size

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe: Orange blossom pound cake

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 9 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons orange flower water (available in specialty food stores)
  • Zest of 3 oranges, minced
  • 2 cups orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. In a large bowl, mix the butter together with 2 ¼ cups of the sugar. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until well combined. Add the milk, eggs, 1 tablespoon of the orange flower water, and orange zest and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick and let it cool thoroughly.

In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, the remaining 2 cups of sugar, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange flower water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Paint the sauce onto the cake with a pastry brush.

Serving Size

Makes 12 servings

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