Dinner Recipes that will Impress in 30 Minutes or Less
The "Food and Gathering" section of the October issue is inspired by New Little Italy with four Italian-American recipes that are lighter than some more classic Italian dishes. The Zucchini Rollatini looks so beautiful on the opening page and includes all of my favorite ingredients—zucchini, mozzarella, prosciutto and basil.
This dish is a great side-dish or a lighter main course (you could easily serve with pasta or grilled chicken or make it without prosciutto for a vegetarian dish). It is a beautiful dish that tastes even better than it looks.
Zucchini Rollatini 2 large zucchini (8 to 10 inches long), cut lengthwise into twelve 1/8-inch-thick slices Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 5 to 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced 24 large fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish (from about 2 handfuls) 1 1/3 to 2 cups tomato sauce
PREP: 30 MINS, TOTAL TIME: 45 MINS, SERVINGS: 4
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season zucchini slices on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Blot moisture from zucchini. Swirl oil into skillet and cook zucchini in 2 single-layer batches, adding more oil between batches as needed, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
Top each strip of zucchini with a piece of prosciutto torn to fit, a slice of cheese cut to fit, and 2 basil leaves. Roll each stack into a pinwheel and spear with a toothpick to hold together. 3. Place tomato sauce in an 8-inch-diameter baking dish (or divide among four 3 1/2- or 4-inch-diameter ramekins). Place rollatini (a pinwheel side down) side by side in dish and remove toothpicks. Bake until cheese is bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Before serving, garnish rollatini with basil.
Another recipe that looked too irresistible not to make is the Chicken Paillards with Squash and Spinach. This dish is SO easy to make and takes no time at all. Jacobs was starving and I got it to the table in 25 minutes (no one will ever know it though because it looks incredibly sophisticated and tastes fresh and complex).
It's perfect for this time of the year with the squash (I used acorn), caramelized red onions and fried sage leaves (which made my kitchen smell incredible).
The key that makes this dish so quick and easy is butterflying the chicken breasts and pounding them thin. It cooks faster and makes the chicken tender. The October issue gives you step-by-step illustrated instructions for butterflying chicken. Check it out in Martha's cooking school here or watch this video how-to. It's something that you'll use time-and-time-again in your cooking.
Chicken Paillards with Squash and Spinach 1/2 small kabocha squash, unpeeled, seeded and cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch slices 1 small red onion, cut into wedges, root end attached 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt 4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (4 to 5 ounces each), butterflied Red-pepper flakes 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 16 fresh sage leaves (from about 4 sprigs) 1 cup baby spinach leaves
PREP: 25 MINS, TOTAL TIME: 30 MINS, SERVINGS: 4
Flavor Swap: Instead of squash and onion, go for a more traditional topping of chopped fresh tomatoes and arugula tossed in olive oil.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Distribute squash and onion evenly on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt, and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, pound chicken to a 1/8-to-1/4-inch thickness. Season on both sides with salt and redpepper flakes. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in remaining tablespoon oil, then butter. Fry sage until just crisp, about 1 minute; let drain on a paper towel.
Working in 2 batches, add chicken to pan and cook until golden and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Divide chicken among 4 plates and top with spinach, squash, onion, and sage.