Under the broad and generic name of antipasti we find in Italy an endless number of small snacks, products and dishes that in Spain we could equate to our appetizers or starters. A antipasti is precisely that, something eat before the main meala prelude to the dishes that act as true protagonists of the menu.
Eye, do not confuse with a appetizer Italian, which refers rather to a alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, normally eaten mid-afternoon but also suitable mid-morning on a holiday, which may be accompanied by a small snack, but not necessarily. Today we focus on antipastisnacks to whet your appetite or even turn them into an informal lunch or dinner, something that you really want on the weekend and even more so in the middle of summer.
In Italy, as in Spain, they enjoy all kinds of starters and snacks with very different specialties and customs depending on the region. abound preserves, cheeses and sausages, but also more elaborate recipes, hot and cold dishes, and the taste for flavors from other parts of the world is increasing. Yes, guacamole and hummus have also conquered the Italians.
For our Italian-style pecking proposal, we gather here some of our appetizer recipes favorites inspired by the traditional recipes of the country of pasta, perfect to share and accompany the drink that we most want.
We will start by uniting the warm water together with the honey and the yeast. Mix with a few rods and let stand for ten minutes until the mixture looks foamy.
Add the flour, salt, oil and mix with a fork until you get a dough that does not stick, remove to a countertop and knead for a few minutes until you get a elastic dough. Put it in a bowl and cover with a clean cloth or plastic and let it rise in a warm place for half an hour.
After some time, we degas the dough and stretch it to form a rectangle as wide as we want our breadsticks. With a sharp knife cut the dough into narrow strips and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Let rise again for another half hour. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and bake the grissini for 20 minutessprinkling them at half time with water in a sprayer.
Full recipe | Italian basic grissini
Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta
Ingredients. 5 courgette flowers, 100 g ricotta or cottage cheese, 5 anchovies, flour, olive oil for frying, aromatic herbs for serving (optional).
Elaboration. We clean the flowers with a cloth, without wetting them. We remove the pistils and stamens. Chop the anchovies and mix them with the cottage cheese or ricotta. Next, using a pastry bag or carefully using a teaspoon, we fill the flowers. We try to close the ends so that the filling remains inside. We pass the flowers through flour and reserve them until the oil where we are going to fry them is very hot. At that time, we prepare a plate covered with two layers of absorbent paper. After frying and draining them, place the courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta and anchovy in a serving dish and bring them to the table, decorating with some shoots of aromatic herbs such as oregano or basil.
Full recipe | Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta, the elegant summer recipe typical of Italy to start the menu
Ingredients. 200 g of arborio or carnaroli rice, 70 g of butter, 100 ml of white wine, 750 ml of broth, saffron, salt, pepper, 50 g of grated Parmesan, 50 g of chopped Serrano ham, 50 g of diced mozzarella, flour, breadcrumbs and oil for frying.
Elaboration. We prepare a risotto. Melt half the butter in a saucepan and add the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the white wine. Cook over high heat until it evaporates. Add the saffron and the hot broth little by little and at the same time we stir while it cooks over medium heat. After 18-20 minutes the rice will be ready. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the butter, the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Let it cold down. You can prepare the risotto the day before and let it take shape in the fridge. Using moistened hands, take portions of risotto and roll them into balls. We introduce a few pieces of ham and cheese in the center and close well, making sure that the filling does not come out. Pass each ball of rice through flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Fry in plenty of hot oil (180 ºC), until well covered, until golden brown.
Full recipe | Sicilian Arancini and a trick to make them easily and quickly
Ingredients. 1 aubergine, diced small, 120 ml extra virgin olive oil, 2 fresh celery sticks, chopped, 1 medium onion, chopped, ½ yellow pepper, chopped, ½ red pepper, chopped, ½ green pepper, chopped, 400 g tomato, chopped without skin or seeds, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 4 teaspoons of sugar, 1 jar of green olives stuffed with anchovies, 3 tablespoons of capers, salt and anchovies.
Elaboration. Heat the oil and sauté the eggplant for six minutes. Remove it to a bowl, lower the heat and add a little more oil, then sauté the celery cubes, taking care not to burn them, for another five minutes. We withdraw to the source again. Add another tablespoon of oil and add the peppers with a pinch of salt and cook them for six minutes, returning them to the source with the rest of the cooked vegetables. Add another tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion for another five minutes, increase the heat and add the tomatoes, let cook for five minutes and add the vinegar, the sugar and continue cooking for another eight minutes, finally adding all the sautéed vegetables to the pan along with the chopped olives and capers. Add some chopped anchovies. We leave everything on the fire for another five minutes and remove it to cool completely.
Full recipe | Sicilian caponata: the traditional recipe that will revolutionize your aperitif
Ingredients. 200 g of strong flour, 300 g of wheat flour, 7 g of dry baker’s yeast (1 sachet), 10 g of sugar, 10 g of final salt, 350 g of water, plenty of extra virgin olive oil for brushing , Provencal herbs and coarse or flake salt.
Elaboration. Combine the flour with the salt in a bowl. Make a hole and add the water with the sugar and the yeast. Start mixing until smooth, cover with a cloth and wait 10-15 minutes. As it is a wet dough, you can use a mixer or robot with a dough hook (about 8-10 minutes), or by hand. It is easier if the first few minutes you make folds of the dough on itself using a slightly oiled scraper. Grease the work table, add the dough and knead by hand, greasing them from time to time with oil or water, working in a row or with short kneading and resting for 15-30 minutes. When the dough is elastic and smooth, cover it with a damp cloth or film in a greased container, and leave until it almost doubles in size. Grease a rectangular tray of about 15×25 cm and about 3 cm high. Gently pour in the dough and spread it slightly without crushing it, spreading it from the bottom with oiled hands. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will expand on its own. Brush with oil and let rise 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 250-240ºC. Extend the dough again very gently, taking it from the bottom and stretching it with your fingers, without reaching the edges completely. Brush it again and make some holes all over the surface sinking your fingers. Water again with a little more oil and leave for 10 minutes. Garnish with the desired ingredients. Press gently, add more oil and let stand 10 minutes. Do not let it rise more than 3 cm. Season with another splash of oil, add coarse salt and place in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 220ºC and continue until well browned, about 15-20 minutes in total. Drizzle with oil as soon as it comes out of the oven, wait 5 minutes, unmold and let cool on a rack.
Full recipe | How to make the perfect focaccia: basic recipe and many ideas to customize it
Ingredients. 1 jar of olives of 1 kg, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 piece of chopped celery, 300 g of minced meat (chicken, pork and beef), 1 small glass of white wine, nutmeg, grated 1/ 2 lemon, 2 eggs, 150 g of grated Parmesan cheese, flour, 1 egg for coating, breadcrumbs for coating, olive oil.
Elaboration. Sauté the vegetables with a little oil. Add the meat and let it make the water, then add the white wine and nutmeg. Let cool and while we remove the bone to the olives. We must be careful so that they do not break. It is best to start at the top and go down making a spiral with the knife, as if we were peeling an orange. We shred everything together. Add the lemon zest, the two beaten eggs and the Parmesan cheese. Let’s mix it all up. If it seems to us that it does not have too much consistency, we can add a little breadcrumbs soaked in milk). Fill the olives with the stuffing and return them to their original shape. We coat them with flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Let them rest for ten minutes and repeat the operation again. We fry them in plenty of hot olive oil.
Full recipe | Olive all’ascolana or stuffed olives a la escolana
Quick and easy Italian recipes (FOOD-COOK)
Baked Provolone with Pesto
Ingredients. 200 g of provolone cheese cut into a 1-2 cm thick slice, 2 tablespoons of tomato passata, 1 teaspoon of chilli paste, 2 tablespoons of white wine, pesto sauce, black pepper and fresh basil.
Elaboration. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Find a small casserole dish or other oven-safe container that is about the size of a serving of provolone cheese. Mix the tomato passata with the chilli paste, mustard and wine in a bowl. Cover the bottom of a saucepan with this preparation. Arrange the cheese on top, sprinkle with pepper and bake until well melted, about 10-15 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of pesto sauce on top and decorate with a little basil.
Full recipe | Baked provolone with pesto and spicy stock: an appetizer recipe to dip non-stop
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