Cookbook cover for the Glorious Vegetable of Italy


Domenica Marchetti

Chronicle Books
August 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1452108865

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Domenica Marchetti is a writer and cooking teacher who specializes in contemporary Italian home cooking. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, and other publications. She is the author of The Glorious Pasta of Italy, Big Night In and The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy (all from Chronicle Books). She lives with her family in Virginia and can be reached through her website,

Sang An is a New York based, Korean born photographer specializing in food, interior, and still life. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in advertising photography. His work has appeared in many magazines including Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple.

Domenica Marchetti’s childhood memories of Italian summers, where nearly every day began with a trip to the farmers’ market, are the inspiration behind these more than 100 recipes showcasing Italy’s glorious vegetables. Sniffing, poking, and prodding (and then haggling over) such fresh offerings as elegant, long-necked fennel; dark, crimped leaves of Tuscan kale; the scarlet beauty of radicchio; and delicate baby zucchini with blossoms still attached was a family affair and the beginning of her life-long love of vegetables.

Italian home cooks prepare these vegetables with careful thought, mixing them into frittatas and savory tarts, letting them shine atop pizza, and giving them equal time with meat and seafood at the center of the meal.

Domenica does the same here, with such varied recipes as Cherry Tomato and Red Onion Foccacia,Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Roasted Fennel Seeds, Spring Risotto with Green and White Asparagus, and Smashed Green Beans and Potatoes with Pancetta.

Preserves and condiments are also represented with such delights as Tomato Marmalade and Pickled Snacking Peppers, while essential basics such as Fresh Egg Pasta Dough, Simple Tomato Sauce, and Sauteed Rapini embrace the ease with which vegetables are incorporated into Italian-style meals.

These treasured recipes comprise a mix of tradition and innovation—some handed down from previous generations, others collected during the author’s travels throughout Italy, and more created in her home kitchen.  Marchetti hopes they will inspire you to bring vegetables into the heart of your own kitchen as well.

Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Glorious Vegetables of Italy_Chicory Salad

Every now and then I like a salad with attitude. This one has it, with its mix of assertive, crunchy radicchio, pungent anchovy-lemon dressing, and crispy croutons. Serve it with a rich main course such as Vegetable-Stuffed Pasta Shells or Crêpe Cannelloni with Mushrooms and Zucchini.

1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 rizzoli-brand alici in salsa piccante or best-quality imported italian or spanish anchovy fillets in olive oil, coarsely chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the oil
1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 dashes of worcestershire sauce
juice of 1 small lemon
1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup/75 to 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head radicchio di chioggia (8 oz/225 g), torn into large pieces
1 head radicchio di castelfranco (8 oz/225 g), curly endive, or frisée, torn into large pieces
1⁄2 cup/60 g freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 cups/60 g bread croutons (see cook’s note)

In a small bowl, mix together the salt and garlic to form a paste. Whisk in the anchovies and 1 tbsp of their oil, and then whisk in the mustard, mayon­naise, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the lemon juice. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is thick and emulsified.

Place the radicchios in a large bowl and toss together. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Sprinkle the cheese on top and toss again. Transfer the salad to a decorative bowl and top with the croutons. Serve immediately.

COOK’S NOTE: To make bread croutons, spread 2 cups/60 g cubed Italian country bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle 1 to 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over them. Toss well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, if you like, and toss again. Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer. Bake at 400°F/200°C/gas 6 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are evenly browned and crisp. Let cool before using.


Crêpe Cannelloni with Mushrooms and Zucchini

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Glorious Vegetables of Italy_Crepe Canneloni small

Crespelle is the Italian word for crêpes, and although they are mostly associated with French cuisine, they also figure prominently in the traditional cooking of my mother’s native region of Abruzzo. In this recipe, they are stuffed with a savory filling of mushroom and zucchini, bathed in porcini-flavored balsamella sauce (the Italian version of béchamel sauce), and baked until beautifully browned and bubbly. This is definitely a dish fit for company.


8 large eggs
2 cups/480 ml whole milk
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1⁄2 cups/175 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more as needed for the crêpe pan


1⁄2 oz/15 g dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup/240 ml boiling water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot (2 oz/55 g), minced
1 pound/455 g mixed fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, and shiitake, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 pound/455 g zucchini, cut into thin half-coins or diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup/120 ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 1⁄2 cups/340 g well-drained whole cow’s milk ricotta cheese
4 ounces/115 g fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1⁄2 cup/60 g freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Balsamella sauce:
2 1⁄2 cups/600 ml whole or 2-percent milk
Reserved liquid from reconstituted porcini
4 tablespoon/55 g unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup/30 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Unsalted butter for the baking dishes, softened

1 cup/115 g freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

To Make the Crêpes: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and parsley. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, salt, a few grindings of pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, whisk­ing all the while to avoid lumps. Cover the crêpe batter with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.

Melt a little butter in a 9-in/23-cm nonstick skillet placed over medium heat (I use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet). When the pan is hot, pour in 1⁄4 cup/60 ml of the crêpe batter and quickly swirl it around to completely coat the bottom of the pan, forming a thin pancake. Cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until just set. Use a small angled spatula to lift up one edge of the crêpe. Flip the crêpe and cook on the other side for 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer the crêpe to a plate. Continue to make crêpes until you have used all the batter, making sure to grease the pan from time to time with a thin film of butter. You should end up with 24 crêpes. Cover the crêpes with plastic wrap until you are ready to assem­ble the cannelloni.

To Make the Filling: Put the dried porcini in a small heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain the porcini in a fine-mesh sieve lined with a damp paper towel, reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms coarsely and set the mushrooms and liquid aside separately.

Warm the oil and butter in a large skillet placed over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are softened but not browned. Add the porcini mushrooms and the mixed fresh mushrooms and stir to coat them with the oil. Sprinkle the parsley and salt over the mushrooms and toss gently. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid released by the mushrooms has mostly evaporated. Add the zucchini to the pan and season with pepper. Cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms and zucchini are tender and there is little liquid left in the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine. Let it bubble for 1 or 2 minutes, until most of the wine is evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Transfer the mushroom-zucchini mixture to a medium bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, stir the ricotta with a fork until it is creamy. Fold in the mozzarella and Parmigiano. Then fold the cheeses into the mushroom-zucchini mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To Make the Sauce: Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Pour the reserved porcini liquid into a glass measuring cup, and add enough water so that the liquid equals 1 cup/240 ml. Pour the liquid into the pan with the milk. Bring just to a boil over medium heat and then turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot milk mix­ture in driblets, whisking constantly and taking care to eliminate lumps and avoid scorching. The mixture will look like it’s breaking but it will come together again and become smooth. When all of the milk mixture has been added, cook the sauce, stirring it frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from the heat.

To Assemble and Bake the Cannelloni: Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5. Have the crêpes, filling, and balsamella sauce at the ready. Lightly coat three 8-by-12-in/20-by-30.5-cm baking dishes with butter. Spread a thin layer of balsamella sauce in the bottom of each dish.

Place a crêpe on a clean work surface. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the mushroom-zucchini filling across the bottom third of the crêpe. Roll it up, jelly-roll style, and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. Continue filling and rolling the crêpes, arranging them side by side in a single layer in each baking dish. You should be able to fit 8 crêpes in each baking dish.

Divide the remaining balsamella sauce among the three baking dishes, spread­ing it over the filled cannelloni. Sprinkle one-third of the Parmigiano cheese over each assembled dish. Cover the dishes with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 min­utes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese and balsamella sauce are bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Serve the cannelloni piping hot from the oven.

Cook’s Note: This dish is not difficult to make, but it is a bit labor intensive. The good news is that it is worth every bit of effort, and most of the work can be done in advance. The crêpes may be made in advance and refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The filling may be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days. The dish may be assembled in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before baking.

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from The Glorious Vegetables of Italy by Domenica Marchetti. (Chronicle Books; August 2013; $30.00/Hardcover; ISBN-13; 978-1452108865).

Contact: David Hawk
(415) 537-4276