Falmouth is Cooking 8, Lu Mastrascia

In Episode eight, Gail brings in guest Lu Mastrascia, author of There are Rules, to create some Italian favorites.


Tonnato (Tuna Sauce)

2 cans Italian tuna in olive oil

2 oz anchovies, drained on a paper towel

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp brandy

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (Ligurian or other “sweet” olive oil)

1 tbsp capers in salt, rinsed and drained

Place the tuna, anchovies, and lemon juice in a blender and mix on high for one minute.  With the blender running, add the brandy, all at once.  Slowly add the olive oil as the blender runs and continue until the mixture is thoroughly blended.   Scrape into a bowl and add the capers, stirring by hand.  Traditionally served over cold roast veal (Vitello Tonnato). Can also be served over steamed chicken breast, over pasta or steamed green beans, broccoli, or cauliflower, or on grilled bread as bruschetta.  Some people love it on Triscuits!  

Zuppa di Lenticchie (Lentil Soup)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium carrots, rough chopped

2 medium carrots and 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ tsp pepperoncini

1 cup Umbrian lentils, rinsed

1 qt chicken stock (plus more, as necessary)

Salt to taste

Pour the olive oil into a stock pot over medium heat, followed by the onion, and finely chopped carrots and celery.  Stir occasionally, then add the garlic and pepper flakes, along with salt and black pepper to taste, and continue to cook for a total of 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and beginning to turn golden.  Add the chicken stock to the pot, stir in the lentils and remaining rough chopped carrots. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt accordingly. Continue to cook the lentils for about half an hour or until the beans are tender. Add more stock as needed.

Panna Cotta (Cooked Cream)

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

3 sheets gelatin, 9” by 3”

5 Amaretti cookies, crushed

Bring cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a two-quart saucepan, stirring constantly.  JUST BEFORE it boils, remove from heat and add the gelatin sheets.  Stir for 5 minutes to be certain all the gelatin melts, then pour the mixture into a glass bowl to cool.  Stir occasionally to prevent a film from forming on the top.  When cool, pour into dessert cups and refrigerate overnight.  Sprinkle crushed Amaretti on top and serve slightly chilled.