Our beautiful Grandma Florence DeBlasi. She cooked wonderful Neopolitan cuisine which was learned from her native home in Naples, Italy. She was a master seamstress and made many of our childhood clothing and costumes. How lucky we were! ❤
Would you like to make dinner in one roasting pan and have an easy cleanup?
This simple recipe comes from our maternal grandmother Florence. Our family has been enjoying this dinner for as long as we can remember. We regret not having a written record of her wonderful meals but we’re on a journey to recreate them to share with you. Some crusty Italian bread to soak up the juice is a great way to enjoy this meal.
4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick connected), skin on
2 sweet onions, sliced
2 cans Le Sueur® very young sweet peas in their liquid
4 russet potatoes, cut in quarters & quarter again
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder to sprinkle on skin of chicken
dash poultry seasoning
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Place potatoes and onions in a large roasting pan (9x12x2 or larger) and drizzle a little EVOO then add garlic.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper, mix well.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes, stir 2 or 3 times. (This starts softening the potatoes & onions)
Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle the skin side with salt, pepper, garlic powder & poultry seasoning.
Place the pan back in the oven and cook for 20 minutes then turn the chicken skin side up.
Continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes until skin is brown
Add the 2 cans of peas with the liquid. Stir well and cook 10 – 15 minutes longer or until chicken skin is crisp and pulls away from the bone.
FYI…We use pink Himalayan salt for its natural mineral content which is not present in regular table salt. I found I’m not sensitive to the pink salt as I am with table salt.
After our mother passed away, Dad made his own version sometimes adding mushrooms and Italian sausage. Most of the family loves Mom’s original but Dad’s is tasty too! Feel free to add your own favorite veggies.
When our families were young, Barbara used to host Christmas Eve dinners in her tiny cape cod house. We never had a sit-down dinner back then so we would be scattered all over the kitchen and living room with 25 adults and children, give or take, but who’s counting? Her shrimp scampi became a favorite part of Christmas Eve dinner but you don’t need to wait for a holiday to enjoy it. In our families, we usually serve this over pasta topped with Pecorino Romano grated cheese. 😋 😋
2 lbs large raw shrimp
2 sticks salted butter
1 tsp salt
6-8 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
lemon slices for garnish (may be omitted)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Remove shells from shrimp, leaving the shell on the tail section only.
Devein then wash under running cold water, and drain on paper towels.
Melt butter in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish in the oven.
Add the salt, garlic, and 2 Tablespoon parsley; mix well.
Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in baking dish.
Bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
Turn the shrimp. Sprinkle with lemon peel, lemon juice, and remaining parsley.
Bake 8-10 minutes, or just until tender. Do Not overcook shrimp or they will be tough. (If using smaller shrimp, cut down on the cooking time)
Arrange shrimp on a heated serving platter. Pour garlic butter over all. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
Serve over linguini pasta†, rice or a nice crusty Italian bread to soak up the butter.
†If serving over pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water after cooking to add to the butter sauce before serving.
Variation: Try adding some bay scallops to the shrimp!
Add cubed eggplant to a colander along with a generous amount of course salt & drain for 30 minutes.
Heat EVOO in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add pancetta and cook 4-5 minutes until browned & crispy, stirring occasionally. Add sausage to skillet & cook 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Remove the sausage & pancetta with a slotted spoon. Set aside in large bowl.
Set aside 3 Tablespoons of the oil & fat from the skillet and discard the rest.
Add fennel & onions to skillet along with a pinch of salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant to fennel & onions and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the sausage & pancetta mixture back to the skillet.
Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 40 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
While mixture is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water then drain pasta in a colander.
Add the pasta and the 1/2 cup pasta water to the skillet then cook 1 additional minute to incorporate. Stir in the 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese.
Add the pasta to a large serving bowl and top with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese and basil leaves.
This is a fabulous dish for a gathering of good friends accompanied by a simple salad, crusty Italian bread and a glass of dry red wine.