• Jane Evans Bonacci The Heritage Cook

    WELCOME to The Heritage Cook ... we're sharing traditions, one recipe at a time! I learned to cook at my grandmother’s side, watching her create nourishing meals for the family. I love to share the lessons she taught me. I am a recipe editor, developer and tester, a food writer, passionate cook, and baker. Subscribe to the blog and never miss a recipe or the fun of Chocolate Mondays! Creating, exploring, sharing, nurturing ... that is what I love about cooking!

  • Some comments made by readers …

    ... Woo hoo! Mondays just got a whole lot better now that you’re featuring chocolate in some shape or form each week. It’s my favorite food group, after all...

    ... We prepared the “Fathers Day Brunch” on Sunday. It was a big hit! I was amazed at the light and very tasty pancakes. It looks like your recipes are going to keep me busy!...

    ... The [Chocolate Crinkle] cookies look beautiful. First bite brings a sensational experience to the pallet. Slightly crunchy exterior at first, then the moist interior with a burst of chocolate flavor through out my mouth. The flavors lingers long enough that I feel I must have another bite to experience it all again...

    ... This chicken is delicious. So tender, even the breast meat, with a hint of onion and lemon. Definitely a keeper...

    ... Just had my first bite and WOW! I think this is the best homemade brownie i have ever tasted. Great chocolate flavor with the right amount of sweetness. And the fudgy consistency is perfect! ...

    ... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the glossary. I’ve “heard” these terms but never have I seen them in print. Keep ‘em coming! ...

    ... I made this pasta sauce this past weekend...what can I say, it was delicious! I added fresh zuchinni and eggplant for a vegetarian style meal like you suggested. Topping the pasta dish with fresh basil from my "Swiss" herb garden made the sauce perfect! ...

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Italian Pasta Salad

I love main course salads, especially during the summer. They are cool and easy to prepare. I usually have all the ingredients in my refrigerator and can add any vegetables I have left over from my last trip to the farmer’s market. Antipasto is a traditional Italian appetizer platter full of cured meats, olives, pickled vegetables, cheeses and breads. I have incorporated those ingredients and I changed the spelling to amuse myself! This Italian pasta salad is full of big, bold flavors and can be ready in less than 30 minutes. With pasta, salami, garlic, and zucchini, it doesn’t get much more Italian than this!

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Chocolate Monday – Chocolate Biscotti !!

Happy Chocolate Monday! Today’s treat is Chocolate Biscotti! Biscotti (biss-koh-tee) (the plural of biscotto) is an Italian twice-baked cookie. Extra crunchy, they are perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso. You form the dough into logs and bake them most of the way through. Then take them out of the oven, cool slightly, slice and finish baking. The first time I tried to make biscotti, I didn’t trust the recipe and left the cookies in too long on the first bake. When I tried to slice them, they crumbled. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

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Ingredients for Chocolate Monday, July 12th

This week’s Chocolate Monday recipe is a fun Italian treat. When I married my Italian husband, I had never made this dessert and I knew I had to learn how. Now it is one of my favorites. Not nearly as challenging as I thought it would be, you will discover how easy it is to make. The name is usually mispronounced, but after Monday, you’ll know the right way to say it, LOL!

Gee, what could it be? Come back on Monday to find out!

Add to your shopping list:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cups top-quality Cocoa Powder
4 Large Eggs
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Almonds
3/4 cup Chocolate Chips

Coarse or crystal sugar such as Raw, Turbinado, or Demerara

Baking Soda
Vanilla Extract
Almond Extract

Aunt Jane’s Killer Marinara Italian Pasta Sauce

How I learned to make spaghetti sauce … oops, make that pasta sauce! When you join an Italian family one of the first things you learn is that there many types of pasta, what they are each called, and that you never refer to pasta as “spaghetti” unless it really is spaghetti! And, God forbid, you think a jar of sauce is something you can serve!

When an Italian-American refers to pasta sauce, it will invariably be Marinara, a vegetarian sauce made with just tomatoes, garlic (or onions), olive oil, and maybe basil. The rest of America typically pops open a jar or makes a meat-sauce. You know the one, with tomato sauce, hamburger, onions, and a ton of garlic. When Marinara is so quick and easy to make and tastes monumentally better than store-bought sauce, I don’t know why anyone would ever buy another jar.

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Creamy Parmesan Farro

Creamy and rich, with a soul satisfying flavor, Creamy Parmesan Farro is going to become one of your favorite recipes! Using the same technique as risotto, Farro is easier to work with than Arborio rice. Your family and guests will think they are eating at a fine restaurant when you serve this dish!

We have heard a lot lately about how good whole grains are for us. Unlike highly processed grains like white rice, they are left in their natural state and are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. All of that is interesting, but what I really care about is that they are delicious! Brown rice, barley, rye, oats, and Farro are some of the whole grains available today. Chewy with a nutty character, they are a tasty change from the normal starches we are used to.

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Italian-Style Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with Polenta

Last week I went to San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. In addition to the fresh produce, we have vendors who offer a variety of homemade products and I couldn’t resist buying a package of finely ground polenta. On the way home I was thinking of all the different ways I could use it: creamy with a little Parmesan, grilled squares topped with Marinara Sauce, and then I thought of this succulent recipe from Michele Scicolone.

The slow-cooking method keeps these ribs moist and tender, and imparts a deep, rich flavor. If you like a little spice in your dish, add a dash of red pepper flakes to crock-pot. The sauce is so good you have to serve them with something to sop it up. I decided to make a soft Parmesan polenta. Creamy and rich, it is the perfect backdrop to the ribs. If you have never made polenta before, don’t let it scare you. It really isn’t as difficult as many people make it out to be. Just don’t walk away or answer the phone while it is cooking so you can stir it regularly. If it does stick to the bottom of the pan, don’t scrape it. Finish cooking and pour it into another container, leaving the burned part behind. No one will ever know!

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