Even a brief visit to Italy inspires food creations

January 25, 1998|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Having just returned from a short stay in Italy, my mind is teeming with memories of the glorious foods I sampled while across the Atlantic.

The dishes I savored were both extraordinarily simple to prepare and at the same time incredibly delicious.

Back in my own kitchen, I've been busy duplicating some of the specialties I liked best.

I've included two of my favorites here -- carrot ribbons cooked in cream, and golden potatoes with garlic and rosemary from a family restaurant, Lancellotti, in the town of Soliera.

Carrot Ribbons in Cream

Makes 4 generous servings

2 pounds carrots (preferably very large carrots), peeled and cut in half crosswise

1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if needed

Using vegetable peeler, shave thin, ribbon-like strips from each carrot half. Peel as many strips from each as you can and discard stumps that remain or use for another dish.

Heat cream in large, heavy skillet with lid over medium heat until hot. Add carrot ribbons and stir well to coat with cream. Add salt. Cover and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Serve carrots warm.

Potatoes Alla Lancellotti

Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

6 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 pounds red skin potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter), peeled and halved

1 tablespoon dried rosemary, finely crushed

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if needed

several grinds black pepper

Place olive oil and butter in large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add garlic and saute, stirring constantly, just until garlic is light golden, about 1 minute. Remove garlic to side dish with slotted spoon.

Add potatoes to skillet and stir to coat with oil mixture, about 2 minutes. Cover skillet tightly with lid and cook, stirring and tossing often, until potatoes are golden and tender when pierced with knife, 15 to 18 minutes.

Uncover. Season potatoes with rosemary, salt and pepper. Return garlic to pan and cook a few seconds more. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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