We know, we know: Keeping things fresh in the kitchen can be quite the feat for the modern-day chef — especially for those who like to stick to the classics (or whose kids have picky taste buds)! But fret no more. Top Chef’s famed culinary genius Fabio Viviani has shared three unique yet family-friendly recipes from his new book Fabio’s Italian Kitchen! Viviani, who starred on season 5 of Bravo’s hit show, has come up with a treasure trove of scrumptious yet creative takes on everything from ravioli to biscotti. Sink your teeth into one of these dishes, and you’ll be whisked away to the lands of Tuscany — without even leaving the dinner table!
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce (Ravioli di Zucca)
In northern Italy, a traditionally wealthier area than Tuscany, they fill their pasta with meat, truffles, or expensive cheese. We had no money, so our pasta was filled with potato and squash. The squash are roasted, and the flavor that comes out is intense and sweet. Then you add the ricotta and the amaretto cookies. What? Amaretto cookies? This dish is sexiness at the purest level, with crispy sage on top. It is the dish for the person you’re about to love, the person that you loved already and would like to love again, or for somebody who hates you, as it will make them love you.
Drunken Chicken (Pollo Ubriaco)
Normally, drunken chicken has red wine but mine uses white wine with a little lemon and garlic: My family didn’t really like white wine for drinking, so we always had some left over. It’s a very simple dish but the zest of the wine gives it an amazing flavor, especially if you use something dry like a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio.
I’m not even going to talk about this one. These fritters are too good to be talked about. You just have to make them, eat them, and don’t say anything to anyone. I know the recipe says “makes about 15 fritters,” but who cares? Sit down, beg for forgiveness first, then eat them all, feel guilty about it, pray, pay your dues, and do it all over again next month. Once a month, you are allowed to stuff your face with ricotta and chocolate fritters. It’s the perfect substitute for a bottle of whiskey when you have had a very bad week. Not that I endorse drinking to forget.
Recipes taken from Fabio’s Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani. Copyright © 2013,
VF Legacy, LLC. Published by Hyperion in April 2013. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.