Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

That's Italian!

The Lunch Bunch gathered once again at Linderhof

That's Italian

Alas, not the table

the only nod to Italy in the table setting is the little flag at the top of the menu

Yellow flowers in a crystal ice bucket

My beloved Spode blue and white, hotel silver, a coin silver dessert spoon, damask napkins and 
crochet tablecloth

But the menu,
Oh, the menu was Italian . . . 

Deconstructed Caesar Salad

Served family style

Pasta Ponza
a Gaida recipe

Also served family style
with hot "Italian" bread and tarragon butter


espresso and vanilla gelato
topped with whipped cream

That's Italian!


2 cups red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I only had red ones so I used all red)
1/4 c. capers, rinsed and drained
1 T. olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
1/2 t. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 t. pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 c. Italian style breadcrumbs
1 pound penne pasta (or other short tube shaped pasta)
1 1/4 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 375.    Butt an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish.    Set aside.   Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper in the prepared baking dish.    Toss to coat.    Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture.    Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden.    Cool for 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.    Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 to 10 minutes.    Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.    Spoon the tomato mixture over the pasta.    Add the cheese and toss eel.   Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.    Season with salt and pepper to taste.    Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.


I made my own dressing using real anchovies, garlic, olive oil, Dijon,  Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and olive oil.    (No egg!)   I cut my romaine in half, laid it on a platter, drizzled the dressing over all, sprinkled with a bit more olive oil, sprinkled with some more cheese and then topped with crushed croutons.    You could use boughten dressing if you desire.   I just think that it is a neat presentation!


A simpler dessert can't be found.    Put a big scoop of vanilla gelato (or vanilla ice cream if you can't find gelato but Hagan Daas does make one and I found mine at Wal Mart) into a heat proof glass.   Pour over it some freshly made (and hot) espresso.    Top with whipped cream (if you want to gild the lily) and serve.

It's Thursday and I"m joining Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


GardenOfDaisies said...

It looks delicious, Martha! I like the simple presentation on the caesar salad. My husband is a coffee lover and would really enjoy your gelato espresso dessert!

Entertaining Women said...

I just finished dinner at a Mexican restaurant, but your post has me thinking about the beautiful pasta dish. I must give this a try. Thanks for all the recipes! Cherry Kay

Bernideen said...

Totally yummy!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful your Spode. The dinner looks great!

Tricia said...

Oh, my, the food looks fantastic! The table is a pretty setting for the meal, too -- love that crocheted tablecloth!

Sarah said...

The menu looks so tasty, and any table set with blue and white makes me happy. '-)

Teresa said...

What a beautiful looking meal. Your deconstructed caesar salad looks so tasty and I would love to have some gelato right now.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh My! This looks quite delightful!

Marigene said...

OMG, our tablecloths are almost identical, Martha!
Have a great week...