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Foods that can warm up the winter

On a cold winter’s night, there are few things that can warm you up better than a home-cooked, Italian meal. The Scotto family, owners of New York’s popular restaurant Fresco, share their recipes for specialties like polenta with portobello mushrooms and goat cheese, and chocolate walnut brownies, found in their new cookbook, “Italian Comfort Food: Intensive Eating From Fresco by Scotto Rest
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On a cold winter’s night, there are few things that can warm you up better than a home-cooked, Italian meal. The Scotto family, owners of New York’s popular restaurant Fresco, share their recipes for specialties like polenta with portobello mushrooms and goat cheese, and chocolate walnut brownies, found in their new cookbook, “Italian Comfort Food: Intensive Eating From Fresco by Scotto Restaurant.” Check them out below.

PAPA POMODOROThe Scotto family

5 servings

In a pasta pot, sauté the olive oil and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until the garlic turns light brown. Add the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the diced tomato and juice. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, or until you see the soup start to thicken.

Add the honey, bread, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and let the soup rest for approximately ½ hour before serving. Quickly reheat soup and serve immediately.

912368660481604826048660492extra-virgin olive oil3tablespoon3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilgarlic1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped garlicleeks2cup2 cups leeks, diced smallwhole tomatoes 1can1 can whole tomatoes (2 pounds) cut and diced, juice reservedSalt and pepperSalt and pepperchicken stock2quart2 quarts chicken stockhoney3tablespoon3 tablespoons honeybread 0.5loaf½ loaf of Italian bread (18 inches long), cut and diced small basil1cup1 cup chopped basil


6 servings

To make the polenta, heat the milk and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. While it is simmering, slowly add the polenta. Stir constantly for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone. Set the polenta aside.

To prepare the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 425. Break off the stems and spoon out the gills. Brush the mushrooms with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on a non-stick sheet pan with a sprig of rosemary under each mushroom.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Cool in the pan, slice and set aside.

To prepare the balsamic glaze: in a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the whole butter.

Spoon the polenta into 6 small soup bowls. Garnish with the sliced mushrooms, and place a piece of goat cheese on top. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the bowls, and garnish with the parsley sprigs.

9123686604816048282746milk3cup3 cups milkwater1cup1 cup waterinstant polenta1cup1 cup instant polentamascarpone0.5cup½ cup mascarponemushrooms66 large Portobello mushroomsolive oil2tablespoon2 tablespoons olive oilSalt and pepper Salt and pepper to tasterosemary6sprig6 sprigs fresh rosemarybalsamic vinegar1cup1 cup balsamic vinegarwhole butter4tablespoon4 tablespoons whole buttergoat cheese6slice6 inch-thick slices of goat cheeseflat-leaf parsley6sprig6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley


6 servings

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta just until the fat is rendered, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic. Cook very slowly, stirring constantly until very soft, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb shanks in a single layer.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over high heat, heat 3 tablespoons oil until very hot. Sear the shanks for about 3 minutes, or until they are nicely browned, turning to brown all sides. Transfer the shanks to the roasting pan. Add the pancetta, red wine, veal stock, thyme, tomato puree and zests. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Use liquid on the bottom of the pan for the sauce.

To make the orange gremolata: zest the oranges, and then peel them. Remove the orange segments, skin them and place in a bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well.

Serve with roasted winter vegetables.

9123686604816048260674pancetta0.5pound½ pound cooked pancetta, dicedextra-virgin olive oil6tablespoon6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilonion11 large onion, chopped finelycarrots0.5pound½ pound carrots, chopped finely (2 medium sized carrots)fennel bulb11 fennel bulb, chopped finelyminced garlic3tablespoon3 tablespoons minced garliclamb shanks6pound6 pounds lamb shankssalt and peppersalt and pepperdry red wine2cup2 cups dry red wineveal stock3cup3 cups veal stock (see recipe on page 000) thyme2tablespoon2 tablespoons chopped thymezest zest of 1 orange and 1 lemontomato puree3cup3 cups tomato pureeoranges22 orangesparsley1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped parsley garlic1tablespoon1 tablespoon chopped garlicolive oilExtra-virgin olive oil


6 servings

Preheat the oven to 325. Place the garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cover with aluminum foil.

Roast the garlic for 1 hour. Let the garlic cool, and then grind it into a paste with a food processor (or a blender or spoon).

Place the potatoes in a saucepan full of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer until they can easily be pierced by a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In another saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the cream and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the potatoes and garlic paste and mash the mixture to your desired texture. Season with salt and serve immediately.

912368660481604826049760492 garlic cloves1cup1 cup peeled garlic clovesextra-virgin olive oil1tablespoon1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oilSalt and pepperSalt and pepperred bliss potatoes2pound2 pounds red bliss potatoes, cut in quartersheavy cream0.5cup1½ cups heavy creambutter7tablespoon7 tablespoons unsalted butterKosher salt Kosher salt to taste


6 servings

To make the roasted vegetables: Preheat the oven to 350. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and garlic. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft.

To make the risotto: sauté the onions in ½ cup of the olive oil. Add the rice and stir until coated with oil.

Add the wine and ½ cup of the chicken stock, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Add another ½ cup of the stock and stir for approximately 20 minutes, adding more stock as the risotto absorbs it, until the rice has reached a creamy texture and is cooked.

Stir in the roasted vegetables and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

9123686604816048260492zucchini» cup diced zucchinibroccoli» cup diced broccolicarrots» cup diced carrotseggplant» cup diced eggplantolive oil½ cup olive oil garlic1teaspoon1 teaspoon chopped garliconion11 onion, finely choppedextra-virgin olive oil1cup1 cup extra-virgin olive oilrice2cup2 cups Arborio or Carnarolli ricedrywhite wine0.5cup¾ cup drywhite winechicken stock2.5quart2½ quarts chicken stockParmesan cheese0.5cup½ cup Parmesan cheeseparsley0.5cup½ cup chopped fresh parsley


In the top of a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate and butter. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 defrees and grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whip the eggs and sugar together until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then the melted chocolate, and then the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes (it won’t look done, but it is). Cut into squares.

9123686604916048227770chocolate1.25cup1 1/4 cups finely chopped UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE (about 10 ounces)butter2cup2 cups ButterEggs66 Eggssugar3cup3 Cups Sugarbaking powder1tablespoon1 tablespoon baking powderall-purpose flour1cup1 Cup All-Purpose Flourchocolate chips1.5cup1 1/2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chipswalnuts1.5cup1 1/2 Cups Walnuts


12 servings

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Combine the two mixtures and mix well.

To make the streusel: mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter, then add the vanilla and the pecans. The mixture should be crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a tube cake pan. Pour half the batter into the cake pan and top with half the streusel. Repeat with the remaining batter and streusel. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

9123686604816048226560all-purpose flour4cup4 cups all-purpose flourbaking powder1tablespoon1 tablespoon baking powderbaking soda1teaspoon1 teaspoon baking sodasalt1pinch1 pinch saltbutter1.5cup1½ cups melted buttersugar1.5cup1 1/2 cups sugareggs44 eggsvanilla extract1tablespoon1 tablespoon vanilla extractsour cream2cup2 cups sour creamlight brown sugar1cup1 cup light brown sugarall-purpose flour1cup1 cup all-purpose flourcinnamon2teaspoon2 teaspoons ground cinnamonbutter0.5cup½ cup buttervanilla extract1teaspoon1 teaspoon vanilla extractpecans2cup2» cups chopped pecans