The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook

The Italian Slow Cooker cookbook, by Michele Sciolone, is my latest library checkout and what a hit it’s been.



You can recreate traditional Italian dishes, soups and desserts in a crock pot – perfect for anyone with a busy schedule. Michele Sciolone is the author of many cookbooks, a cooking instructor and an Italian culinary tour guide.



The recipes in this book are intended for slow cookers with a 5 to 7 quart capacity. If you are a household of two, as we are about to be, the extras may be frozen for a quick dish later on.

We tried Chicken and Orzo Soup

Ingredients.......

8 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch chunks **
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup orzo (or another pasta you like)
1 cup thawed frozen peas
Salt and pepper
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

**NOTE: I am not a fan of the breast meat as it tends to dry out too quickly for me. I used chicken thigh meat – wonderful choice!

In slow cooker. Combine brother, onion, carrot and celery. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Add chicken, zucchini, orzo and peas. Cook for 30 minutes or until orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and serve!

I halved the ingredients because it's just the two of us…..Tristan ate one bowl, but the rest came to work for our lunch.

The orzo cooked in the slow cooker was incredibly tender and fluffed up. It was like having tiny dumplings…must be the lengthy (and low heat) cooking process from using a slow cooker. You’ll be amazed if you cook orzo this way – promise!

Mushroom Soup with Marsala

An elegant soup for company or just a family serving prior to placing a roast beef dinner on your table


Ingredients needed........

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 ½ cups beef broth
2 cups water
Thyme
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup Marsala
¾ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper



Place dried porcini in a bowl with hot water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Lift porcini out of water and squeeze to extract juice. Save the water and filter through a coffee filter if it seems gritty. Set water aside, chop porcinis.



Melt butter in a skillet – then add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until tender (about 10 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Scrape the mixture into a slow cooker.

Add porcini, the soaking liquid, button mushrooms, broth, water, thyme and tomato paste. Cover and cook on low
6 to 8 hours. Just before serving stir in Marsala and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.



A nice winter soup – warm the bones.

I will be linking this up to Brenda’s Cookbook Sunday series and Pasta Presto Nights! Fun blogs, both of them…go check them out and better yet, join in the fun with a dish of your own.

Cheers!



This is definitely one I will send to Presto Pasta Nights (that orzo...Mmmmm)



Enjoy!

15 comments:

Kim said...

Tina- I've heard some amazing things about that cookbook. I keep looking in the stores for a copy, but haven't seen it yet. Both soups look amazing!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I love using my slow cooker, so this is definitely a cookbook I would look out for. That Mushroom & Marsala soup sounds particularly wonderful.

Hope your arm is healing.

Sue xo

Pierce said...

Kim - The library has been a great deal for me as I can look over a book before purchasing. Sometimes it isn't worth it for me. I had Jessica Seinfeld's book and I gotta tell you, there wasn't anything there for me so I was happy that I could preview it!

Sue - A slow cooker sure is helpful when you don't have much hands on time available! Thank you, the soups were very good.

Drick said...

both sound wonderful 'though might just be inclined to favor the Marsala.... love hot soups this time of year

Brenda said...

I'm going to look for that cookbook too as my crock pot is one thing I love, but don't use nearly enough. I only have a handful of recipes I use over and over but I definitely need some new ideas. Both these soups look so good, especially the mushroom and marsala (I can almost taste it...). Thanks so much for sharing with Cookbook Sundays Tina and have a great week!

Ruth Daniels said...

This is definitely one cookbook to add to my list. And the chicken soup with orzo has me licking my lips! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Le laquet said...

Both of the recipes sound delicious - the soup looks amazing ... what have you drizzled over it?

Pierce said...

Drick -
There is just something about Marsala and the appetizing aroma when it comes into contact with heat and butter.

Brenda - I think you'll like the cookbook. They had so many recipes for soups...these were just two we tried so far.

Ruth - Thank you for having me as a guest at PPN! I love pasta so you'll be seeing me quite a bit in 2011!

Mrs. L - Cream! And a bit more marsala :-)

Joanne said...

I am SO going to have to investigate this cookbook! Everything you've made looks delicious.

Rita said...

Thank you so much for sharing this book and recipes. I used my slow cooker all the time and always looking for something new to try.
all the best for 2011.

Pierce said...

Thanks Joanne - you won't regret it :-)

Rita - Happy New year to you. Yes, we love our slow cooker. Wwe just made some Carolina BBQ pork.

Magic of Spice said...

Sounds like a great book...I love using my crock pots (I have 2) and if there are leftovers, usually not, but then freezing them...I love this recipe :)
A beautiful and happy 2011 to you and your loved ones!

Pierce said...

Magic of Spice - Thanks so much and happy new year to you too!. I aso have two crock pots but only one is large. They are such time savers for me!

The Food Hunter said...

I need to check my library for this book. Thanks for reporting on it.

Melynda said...

Hello, I have this book, and have enjoyed cooking from it also. I will have to review the soups more closely!

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