Thursday, September 18, 2008


Lunch is generally the main meal of the day for most families here in southern Italy. Many people are either finished with work by midday, or able to return home for the lunch hour.

On those mornings when I don't have to work, I like to prepare a complete homemade Italian-style meal. That means a first course, a second course, a side dish and, perhaps, even a dessert.

But, as you probably have guessed by now, I am a lazy cook. If it ain't easy, I don't cook it, right? Today's lunch was right up my easy cookery alley.

Here's what we had...

First course, Pumpkin Soup. This pumpkin was one of the volunteers that grew in our garden this year.
pumpkin, potatoes, water, boullion cube, seasoned croutons

Chop pumpkin and potatoes into cubes and place in cooking pot. Use about one third the quantity of potatoes as compared to pumpkin (that means less potatoes!) Add water to just below level of vegetables (more water makes a thinner soup, less water makes it thicker). Depending on quantity of water, add one or two boullion cubes. Bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are soft. Blend with a hand blender. Serve with seasoned croutons.

Second course, breaded chicken cutlets. These got eaten up so fast that I hardly had time to take the picture. This is the last piece left...

Ingredients: chicken cutlets (chicken breast sliced into thin flat pieces), 1 egg, bread crumbs, milk, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil.

Directions: Beat egg in a dish, add a splash of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Put bread crumbs in another dish. Heat oil. Dip cutlet in egg mixture and cover both sides with egg. Next, place the cutlet in the bread crumb plate and cover completely with crumbs. Fry in hot olive oil till golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Dessert: chocolate chip cookies! I always use the Original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with a couple of variations. I use only half the quantity of chocolate morsels that they advise and I double the quantity of walnuts (I love walnuts!). I also take the cookies out of the oven a couple of minutes earlier than recommended, so that they remain soft!

So, there was no side dish today...but, hey, nobody's perfect! We got our veggies in the soup!

Buon appetito!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What a lovely lunch. I adore pumpkin soup.

Saretta said...

Me too! We had the leftover soup over rice today...delish!