A Cipriani Summer Soire
When dedicating an entire party to the famous Cipriani restaurants, one must start with the most recognizable cocktail they serve: The Bellini! Did you know this refreshing drink, is one of Italy's most famous cocktails and is made with sparkling white wine (Prosecco) and pureed white peaches, or succo di pesca. This popular drink was invented in Italy in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, head bartender, and owner of perhaps the most famous bar in the world, Harry's Bar, in Venice. Recipes to follow.
The starter for this summer luncheon is Cipriani’s Cucumber Salad. There are only a few ingredients, but the flavors combine to give it an explosion of flavor. It can partially be made ahead, so you have more time to enjoy your guests. I’ve updated a few ingredients such as the corn. I blanch whole corn cobs and then immerse them in water and cut directly from the cob. This partial cooking releases so much flavor in the corn. I also added a bit more tomatoes and avocado and used Persian cucumbers for their crispiness. Feel free to adjust to your tastes.
The piece de resistance is the Cipriani’s Baked Tagliolini with Ham. Use the best proscuitto you can find. I think it makes a difference because of the high salt content of the ham. Lean proscuitto should give you less salt. Once assembled, you can refrigerate until ready to bake. Your guests will be well fed with just these two dishes. I’ve added cheese straws and a summer cobbler for dessert. The Bellini’s of course, can continue to flow.
750 milliliters prosecco
5 white peaches
1 tablespoon simple syrup
Blend peeled, chopped peaches and simple syrup in a food processor until you have a smooth purée.
Strain the purée through a fine mesh sieve, and chill for at least 2 hours.
Divide the peach purée into Champagne flutes and top with chilled prosecco. Garnish with mint or peach slices.
Use any pretty glass you have for serving these refreshing drinks.
CIPRIANI'S BAKED TAGLIOLINI WITH HAM
YIELD 4 main courses
3/4 lb dried tagliatelle or tagliolini (green may be best)
1/2 c or 2 oz prosciutto, cut into julienne strips.
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus extra
3 tablespoons butter
Bechemel Sauce: this makes 2 cups, (although 3/4 lb pasta needs 1/2 cup)
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/4 c flour
2 c cold milk
For Bechemel Sauce: Melt butter in the top of double boiler or in heavy bottom saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook gently without browning, stir constantly, about 4-5 minutes. Take pan off heat and vigorously whisk in cold milk. when sauce is well-blended, return to stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is thick and smooth. Use a wooden spoon and be sure to stir the sauce from the bottom and the sides of the pot. Let it come to a boil, then put the pot over simmering water and let it cook gently for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt & pepper. 2). Pasta: preheat the broiler. bring a large pot of water to boil, add tablespoon salt. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over med high heat. add ham, cooking for a minute or 2, stirring. Cook pasta in rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes, al dente. Drain it well, and put pasta in the skillet. Toss it with the ham, adding another tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with half the cheese, toss well. Spread pasta evenly in a 2 quart ovenproof casserole dish. spoon the sauce over the top, sprinkle remaining cheese.. cut remaining butter into bits and scatter over top. Broil as close to heat as possible, for 1-2 minutes, until golden and bubbly. serve piping hot, passing bowl of grated cheese
CIPRIANI’S CUCUMBER SALAD
YIELD: 4 servings
1 cucumber large, English, or 4 small Persian cucumbers
1 cup grape tomato
1 cup corn, cut from 3 cobs
1 ripe avocado
2 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp balsamic vineger
1/2 tsp pepper to tast
1/2 tsp lemon
3-4 fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
in a pot of boiling water place corn cobs in for 4 minutes. Submerse in an ice bath. Drain and cut from cob.
Slice cucumber lengthwise and the into half moons
Halve the tomatoes
In a medium size bowl mix the cucumber, tomato and corn. Set aside.
In a bowl, mash 1/2 of the avocado with lemon add the oil, vinegars and pepper.
When ready to serve, mix the dressing with the vegetables, toss gently, add salt to taste.
Add the basil garnish if desired.