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Christmas ..State of Mind…Recipes…

Posted in Abruzzo, aperitifs, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Cook With Maria, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, and Uncategorized


Christmas is a state of mind….and it doesn’t matter how you choose to celebrate … but here’s hoping you get to celebrate in some way by just relaxing  with great food and thoughts….

Here are some  of my favorite recipes for a celebratory week of eating here in the mountains of Abruzzo…especially from our Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner

Copyright 2014 Maria Liberati/Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc


Spinach & Shrimp Turnovers

from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition


Serves 4-6.

  • 20 large spinach leaves
  • 18 shrimp (steamed) cleaned, deveined, peeled
  • ¹⁄8 cup butter (unsalted & softened)
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil

Wash spinach leaves and cook in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, dry well and leave in a colander to drain. Chop anchovies and capers together. Place in a bowl the butter, chopped capers and anchovies. Blend together with wooden spoon. Separate the spinach leaves. On a plate fold out one leaf at a time and place a small about 1 tsp of butter mix­ture topped with some shrimp pieces. Fold leaf over so you have a sack or turnover.

Place in refrigerator till time to serve.

Sapore di Mare al Pesto

(Seafood with Pesto)

from the Gourmand World Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-second edition. Copyright 2014 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.

¼ cup diced shallots

3 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lb of sea scallops, diced

½ lb small shrimp diced

dash of pepperoncino (hot red pepper)

Pesto Sauce

1 cup fresh basil leaves, remove stems

1 clove garlic crushed

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese freshly grated

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup pine nuts

Wash basil leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend for 5-10 seconds or until smooth. Add more parmigiano-reggiano cheese to taste. Pesto sauce can be stored in the refrigerator,

In a large skillet, saute the shallots and tomatoes in oil for 3 minutes. Add in diced scallops and shrimp and mix thoroughly; saute for 3 minutes. Pour the pesto sauce over seafood, toss, and saute for another 5 minutes. Serve warm or cold over radicchio leaves.


Buon Natale!

For more recipes get your copy of  the Gourmand World Award Winning Book-The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions=2nd edition

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Special events in  2015:
Join me in Celebrating The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style with 2 Italian feasts with a cooking demo at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown Pennsylvania on Thursday evening march 5th and Thursday evening march 12th both from 6-9 PM, registration is required  Go here to get more info and register or email us at

Hope to see you there!

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