January 18, 2011

Bella Alimentare...Sul Lato Più Leggero!

Beautiful food....on the lighter side!

The Maine House is planning another trip to Boston. In visiting this magnificent city in the past, we discovered that it is so necessary to research and plan ahead for particular sights you want to include in your visit. The city is fast-paced and there are so many historical sights you will not want to miss. On this visit, we are spending a day in Little Italy in North End!

The "North End" is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It has the distinction of being the city's oldest residential community, where people have lived continuously since it was settled in the 1630s. Though small, with a 1/3 mile distance, the neighborhood has approximately 100 eating establishments, and a variety of tourist attractions. In the early 20th century, the North End became the center of the Italian community of Boston. It is still largely residential and well-known for its small, authentic Italian restaurants and for the first Italian cafe, Caffe Vittoria.

 Boston's Freedom Trail also passes through the North End and you will be able to see early structures such as the Old North Church (1723), the Paul Revere House (1680), the Pierce-Hichborn House (1711), and the Clough House (1712).

While visiting "Little Italy",  be certain to schedule a walking tour which will enable you the opportunity of experiencing the" Markets of Boston's North End." The secret of Italian cuisine is the high quality of ingredients, a sense of regional tradition, and that very Italian love of life. Sources for ingredients abound in the narrow streets of the North End.

  • Discover the pasticcerias that offer the best biscotti, amaretti, sfogliatelle, cassata, taralli, cannoli and other confections.
  • Visit an authentic salumeria in search of the best olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives, salami, cheese, prosciutto and pasta.
  • Savor the scents of an Old World 70-year-old coffee, spice and candy store.
  • Learn and be inspired by how the Mediterranean diet has influenced peoples' health since antiquity.
  • Tour an enoteca to learn how to select aperitivi to begin, wine to complement, and digestivi to conclude your meal.
  • Enjoy the colorful sights, the tantalizing aromas and authentic tastes of America's most vibrant Italian neighborhood.
  • Relive memories, perhaps of holidays past, of growing up in an Italian household.
  • Understand how the Italians adapted their dishes to their new country and created the familiar Italian-American cuisine.
Be sure to add these lighter versions of wonderful Italian dishes to your collection!

Baked Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage Meatballs
1-1/4 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1-1/4 lb. hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1-1/2 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
1-1/2 cups fat-free ricotta
1 cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan
2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, mix together the sweet and hot Italian turkey sausage. Form sausage into 1-inch meatballs and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 12 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 7 – 9 minutes until cooked through, yet firm to the bite. Drain and set aside.
In a separate large bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan, 1 cup of mozzarella, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add the spaghetti, toss to combine, and carefully stir in the cooked meatballs. Spray the inside of the 6-qt. roaster oven with nonstick spray and add the mixture. Top the spaghetti with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and parsley. Bake in the roaster oven at 275°F for 50 – 55 minutes until bubbly, warm throughout, and nicely colored.

Antipasto Salad
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips
1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips
1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips

1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve


1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Vinaigrette: In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.

"Sharing Delicious Food is the Italian Way"

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