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Sunrise Chef: Maria Liberati

Published On: Sep 20 2012 05:55:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 21 2012 05:52:33 PM EDT

Sunrise Chef: Maria Liberati

Chef and author Maria Liberati joined 69 News at Sunrise to show us some of her unique creations.

Recipes Excerpted from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition
by Maria Liberati

Farfalle con Tonno
(Bow Tie Pasta with Tuna)
First Course

 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 Juice from 1 lemon
 Pinch of salt and black pepper
 1 garlic clove
 8 ounces tuna in olive oil
 1 pound farfalle pasta
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

In a small bowl and with wire whisk, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Cut garlic clove in half, and rub on bottom of large salad bowl. Flake tuna in a separate dish.

Boil pasta until al dente. Drain. Place in large salad bowl and top with dressing and flaked tuna. Toss. Serve with chopped parsley on top.

Panettone di Cioccolata
(Chocolate Panettone)

 ½ a large panettone
 16 ounces dark chocolate (70-90% cocoa), broken into small pieces or chopped
 4 chopped dried figs
 ¼ cup dried cherries
 ¼ cup raisins
 2 eggs
 2 cups milk
 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
 ¼ cup sugar
 1 fresh lemon rind, grated
 Powdered cocoa

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Break or pull apart panettone into small cubes.
Place one layer of panettone cubes in an 8 inch round or square glass or ceramic bak¬ing dish. Cover with chopped chocolate pieces, chopped fig pieces, cherries, and raisins. Cover this layer with remaining panettone cubes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and lemon rind together. Pour liquid over panettone cubes. Gently push down on top to be sure liquid soaks into all layers. Let sit for 10 minutes, then bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until firm and golden on top. When cool, dust with powdered cocoa and serve.

Tilapia in Acqua Pazza

2 lbs of fresh, washed Tilapia or cod
5 red ripe tomatoes, plum or tomatoes on the vine
¼ onion chopped finely
1 clove garlic peeled, whole
(Optional-2 potatoes, sliced and peeled)
fresh parsley chopped finely
4 slices crusty Italian bread

Place 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in sauté pan, place over low heat, in chopped garlic and onion chopped finely. When onion begins to turn golden, add in Tilapia that has been rehydrated, cover with 1 cup wine. When wine is almost evaporated, add in pinch of salt, pinch of peppeoncini, tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded and chopped. At this point add in sliced potatoes. Drizzle all with olive oil. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Be sure tomatoes do not stick to pan, if no liquid remains, add in a tablespoon of water. Remove from heat; serve with fresh chopped parsley leaves. On top of brochette slices, drizzle tomato sauce on top serve.

Risotto with white grapes
from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edtion, copyright Art of Living, PrimaMedia, Inc./Maria Liberati

1 cup rice(Arborio or carnaroli rice)
1 tblsp butter
1 cup dry white wine
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
½ lb firm white grapes
1 slice of onion chopped finely
6 cups vegetable broth, (must be kept hot)
4 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano cheese freshly grated or shaved

Wash grapes, pat dry, cut in half, set aside. Place olive oil in sauté pan and sauté minced onion. When onion is transparent, add in rice and let rice toast for approx 2 minutes. Then add in ¾ cup vegetable broth, stir constantly until liquid has evaporated, repeat this until rice is cooked (risotto should take approximately 18 minutes to cook till al dente consistency). Halfway through the cooking (9 minutes) add in halved grapes. When rice is cooked, remove from heat, top with butter and parmigiano-reggiano cheese, stir gently and serve. Garnish plates with some whole grapes.