Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pane Cotto

Today would have been my Mom's 94th birthday. I thought of her all day as I was doing my cooking. And boy did I do some cooking. A large pot of meat sauce. Chicken Pot Pie. Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna. Beef Strudel. Tomato Soup. And I made a pot of chicken broth from the carcasses of some roasted chickens I had in the freezer. I used a recipe from What's Cooking America. I ended up with 7 cups of broth. Not bad. Now doing all this cooking is not hard. Yes it is time consuming but I know I am putting a home cooked meal on the table every night. What is hard? Cleaning up.
Cooking is easy, it's the cleaning up that is hard.
Besides all the things I listed above I still made something different for dinner. Pane Cotto. Escarole, bread and I added chicken. This is true comfort food.

This recipe was from the New Haven Register, April 15, 2009. It is from Jo Farricielli of East Haven, CT.

Pane Cotto
Ingredients -
1/2 loaf Italian bread, cubed; bread can be day-old, stale or fresh
1/2 sliced onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 - 6 cups of cooked Escarole and Beans, recipe follows

Coat 9- by 13-inch casserole or baking dish with cooking spray. Spread enough cubed bread to cover bottom of a 9- by 13-inch casserole or baking dish. Saute onion in olive oil until onions are golden and slightly caramelized. Spoon this mixture over the bread. Then cover with the Escarole and Beans.
Sprinkle top generously with grated Parmesan and mozzarella and bake in a preheated 350- degree oven for 20 minutes. Move to upper shelf in oven, and broil for 5 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned. Makes 6 generous servings.

Escarole and Beans
Ingredients - 
1 large head of escarole
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup cooked cannellini or pea beans, canned or freshly cooked
Salt and pepper

Wash escarole. Remove core, cut leaves and boil in about 2 cups of salted water until it cooks down and is completely tender. Remove from heat; reserve liquid. Lightly saute garlic in olive oil. Add cooked beans, escarole along with enough liquid to make the mixture slightly soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook together on top of stove for 20 minutes. This can Be made ahead of time, eaten as is with fresh Italian bread or made into Pane Cotto.


Catherine said...

Dear Lucia, I know how you feel. My mom would have been the same age. She passed away 28 years ago and I still miss her so.
I will keep you and your mom in my prayers.
I think that the cooking you did would make your mom happy and smile.
xoxo Catherine

Luciana said...

Hello, and I too have lost my Italian mother who was an amazing cook. She loved feeding everyone and always made enough to share with anyone who visited. She is the reason why I have become so passionate about cooking tasty meals! I have made your escarole and beans recipe for many many years for myself and family reunions. Everyone compliments how tasty it is and I can’t agree more. I have also made it with broccoli rabe and use some of the liquid from boiling it and add some chicken bullion to the liquid. The onions are what gives it that extra kick of flavor.....Sooo tasty and Italian yum! Sometimes I use onion rolls for the bread to skip sautéing the onions and it just as delicious. This dish and it’s flavor definitely reminds me of my mom’s cooking. Like you, I am so happy that she has inspired me to be able to make many great tasty dishes!!!