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Dinner Tonight Italian Style


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Dinner tonight at Alessandra Rovati is always Italian.  This Venice-born Kosher Italian chef turns to simple, healthful, and authentic Italian fare when cooking for her family—including her Brooklyn-born husband, who loves it. The little ones (a four-and-a half-year-old son and three-year-old daughter) love to help, but you can imagine the mess they make.

Cod Fillets in Bread Gratin

Cod Fillets in Bread Gratin

My husband, who is an Ashkenazi from Brooklyn, still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that when I am feeling down, rather than opening a pint of ice cream, I head right for the anchovies. In his opinion, this must be a sign of some mysterious psychiatric disturbance. But Italians love anchovies, both plain on bread and butter, or as a secret ingredient to perk up a sauce or a vegetable side that came out a little “flat.” You’ll see what I mean after you try this very easy fish recipe!  Serve with Jewish Venetian Spinach.

Risotto with Lemon and Ricotta

Risotto with Lemon and Ricotta

Venetians—and Venetian Jews in particular—are world famous for their creamy risottos. I can make over a hundred varieties of this dish, which is my ultimate comfort food. This unusual combination of tart and creamy will be a very pleasant surprise, and full-fat ricotta is naturally very low in fat (go figure! 5% versus 90% in cream cheese), so go ahead—get seconds! You can serve this risotto Italian-style: as an appetizer to any fish dish, or as a main course with a green salad and a side of vegetables, such as, Green and Yellow Saute.

Roman Saltimbocca

Roman Saltimbocca

The traditional Roman recipe for Saltimbocca (literally “jump in your mouth”) uses bresaola, a type of “kosher prosciutto” made from a lean cut of beef cured in spices and salt and left to hang for a month. Until kosher bresaola or goose “prosciutto” becomes available in the States, you can replace it with good-quality Hungarian salami, very thinly sliced—but don’t tell any purists, especially Romans!  Serve with Italian Mashed Potatoes.


Chicken in a Salt Crust

Chicken in a Salt Crust

Some afternoons I spend so much time picking up after my 3- and 4- year-olds that I have no energy left for the kitchen. I’m not talking about cooking, I just cannot stomach the idea of having to clean up one more area. That’s when I resort to this recipe, which can be prepared in less than 5 minutes (plus cooking time) and will leave your counters absolutely spotless! Now how about a glass of wine?  Serve with Slow Baked Tomatoes.

Shopping List for This Week’s Dinner Tonight

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About Alessandra Rovati


Alessandra Rovati was born and raised in Venice, Italy, and has had a passion for food since a very young age (she is said to have feasted on garlic and chili-marinated herring at 15 months). Alessandra writes about Kosher and Jewish Italian food and teaches cooking; she also posts free recipes and how-to’s, offering a glimpse of Jewish Italian culinary history, on her website, Dinner in Venice




2 Responses to Dinner Tonight Italian Style

  1. Your recipes and style are always an inspiration to me!

  2. You can always rely on Alessandra to bring unique, tasty and healthy dishes to the table! These sound amazing!

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