Appetizers & Side Dishes


In this section, I will put recipe's
that are little side dishes, main dishes
or can be used as an appetizer


Roasted Bell Peppers

You will need 4-5 red bell peppers, depending on what you are using them for. Now in a lined cookie sheet, place bell peppers under broiler, on middle shelf. Broil peppers until the skin is blistered, and darkened. When the peppers are done, take and immediately put them into a doubled paper bag. Close tightly and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take and peel the skin off of peppers, and seed. Break them up into slices and put into a covered container. and Refrigerate These peppers will be used in certain recipes.


Maria's Antipasto©

© Ottaviana's Kitchen

This antipasto has been a tradition in my family since I was little. Mamma made if for Christmas, and New Years. I have stretched it out for the Super Bowl also, since my family loves it so much. Twice a year is not enough for them. I have also substituted Genoa salami for Italian dry salami, since Genoa seems to be easier to find in some areas.

1/2 Lb sliced Genoa salami
2 slicing tomato
1 large white onion
3 roasted red bell peppers
1 lb sliced provolone
2 cans black pitted olives
1 can baby corn on the cob
1 small jar of Pepperoncini peppers
2 stalks of celery
1 can of rolled anchovies
extra virgin olive oil

Use a long platter, and arrange in the following order. Salami, provolone, tomato, onion, red peppers, and anchovies. Put the baby corns and olives in the center of tray. Take and cut in half celery sticks. Then slice each again length wise. Arrange celery sticks in between each antipasti. Sprinkle some salt lightly on everything. Then drizzle olive oil on everything. Let the antipasti sit covered in the refrigerator till ready to serve. Sitting helps enhance the flavors. (see full size gif for help in how to lay it out).


Neapolitan Appetizers©

4 thin slices of bread
8 2x4 inch slices of mozzarella
cheese, 1 inch thick
8 anchovy filets
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano

Toast bread on one side and cut slices in two. Place 1 slice of mozzarella, 1 anchovy filet and a little oregano on toasted side of 4 half slices, sprinkle some pepper, and cover with other half slices toasted side in. Heat oil in frying pan and fry sandwiches gently till cheese is melted. serve immediately.

Caponatina Siciliana

4 medium thin eggplant
1-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 onions sliced thin
1/2 cup tomato sauce
4 celery stalks diced
1/2 cup capers
12-13 sicilian green olives pitted and cut into pieces
1 1/2 tbs. pine nuts
1/ 2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Peel eggplant, dice and fry in 1 cup of olive oil. Remove eggplant and add remaining oil and onions to skillet and brown. Add tomato sauce and celery and cook until the celery is tender adding a little water if it becomes to dry. Add capers, olives, pine nuts and fried eggplant. Heat vinegar in a saucepan, and dissolve sugar in the vinegar and pour over eggplant. Add salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes stirring often. Cool before serving.
Note: Caponatina will keep a long while in refrigerator.

Ottaviana's Stuffed Mushrooms
Pecorino Romano©

(funghi farcito)

This is a very easy side dish, and very
good for those who love cheese, like me.

12-14 medium size mushrooms
1/2 cup of Percorino Romano, or Plain Romano

Wash and remove stem carefully and let drain on paper towels. Fill center of mushroom with cheese, and pack. Set mushroom in a large covered frying pan with flat bottom. Put a 1/2 cup water in bottom of pan and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower and let steam until cheese is melted. These are wonderful as a side dish to steak.

Maria's Breadcrumb
Stuffed Mushrooms©

This is the way my mamma made stuffed mushrooms. I
make them with all cheese, because I love cheese so
much. This way is also delizioso.

Use the same recipe as the one for the cheese stuffed
mushrooms, only change the filling to......

1/2 cup of unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup of Pecorino or Plain Romano
1 & 1/4 tsp dry oregano

Mix all ingredients well, and stuff into center
of mushrooms. Cook the same as in above recipe.

Ottaviana's Sautéed Mushrooms©

1-2 packs of mushroom
Or as many loose mushrooms as you want to make)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs, extra virgin olive oil
sliced tomato's optional)

Wash and dry mushroom. Slice or leave mushrooms whole. Mince garlic. In a deep covered sauté pan, add olive oil and an minced garlic. cook garlic till golden. Add mushrooms ,and tomato's (optional), and about a 1/2 tsp. of salt. Sauté mushroom in oil and garlic for a few minutes, and then cover and turn on low. Cook until mushrooms are done. About 15 minutes. Serve over bbq steak, or just plain.


Maria's Zucchini /Onions©

4 zucchini peeled and sliced
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small white onion
1 tsp. dried oregano

In a two-three quart saucepan, put olive oil, and sliced onions. Sauté onions until soft. Cut zucchini into to round slices about a 1/2 inch thick. When onions are done, add the zucchini and oregano to the pot, and sauté zucchini in onions stirring to mix well for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook until zucchini is tender.


Ottaviana's Zucchini Farcito©

© Ottaviana's Kitchen

Zucchini comes in all sizes. I use to grow my own, and let them get real big for stuffing. Now people say they are too tuff when you let them get big. I never had that problem, you just need to par boil them longer. If you are going to use big one, around 12-15 inches long, be sure to try and pick one that is uniform in size. Par boil them for at least 15-20 minutes on each end, unless you have a pot big enough for the whole thing. For medium ones, about 12 minutes should do.

1 large (12-15 inch) Zucchini, or 4 medium sized
1/2 lb ground round
1 large white onion chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
4 med sized very ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped
3 tbs. bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely shredded med. cheddar cheese
2 tbsp grated Romano cheese
pulp from zucchini
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Brown meat and keep warm. Parboil Zucchini, and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeded section and discard. Scoop out remaining pulp, being careful not to go too deep as to break the skin. Chop pulp, onions, tomatoes and garlic and dice peppers. Add salt, pepper and Romano cheese to ingredients and mix. Add to browned meat and sauté' for about two minutes. Fill boats, and sprinkle on bread crumbs, and top with cheddar cheese. Place on an lined and oiled cookie sheet and Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes.

Note: Ingredients may be adjusted accordingly to size of Zucchini's being used.


Ottaviana's Fried Cardoon©
(Cardoon Fritto)

Cardoon is a Mediterranean plant that is closely
related to the Artichoke. It resembles celery,
and can only be found in stores Nov.-Jan. It has
a taste like the heart of an Artichoke, and is very

1 bunch cardoon
2-3 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
(add more as needed when frying)
2 tbs. milk

Remove leaves and strings from cardoon stalks. Cut into 3 inches pieces. In a large pot, boil the cardoon until tender. Add tsp. salt. Drain in colander. In a bowl beat eggs, milk and a pinch of salt. In another bowl put the bread crumbs. Dip cardoon in egg and bread crumbs. In a frying pan add vegetable oil, and heat oil on med. Put breaded cardoon in pan and fry till golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.


Ottaviana's Garlic Bread©

Now what can you say about Garlic bread, except it is
delicious. But I have a little secret ingredient that
I use that makes it even better.

2-3 French rolls sliced in half
soft margarine, or butter
Garlic Powder

Spread margarine on each roll not too thin. Sprinkle a generous amount of garlic powder on each roll, and then sprinkle paprika on, not too heavy, enough to color. Place on middle rack of oven and broil until golden. Another variation is to also sprinkle some pecorino Romano on, but I prefer it without.


[Ottavina's Quiche]
© Ottaviana's Kitchen

Broccoli Quiche Ottaviana©

1 pkg. Frozen Chopped Broccoli
(Thawed and drained)
1 cup half and half
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
9 or 10 inch pie crust
(Frozen ready made)
Dash of Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Dash of Powdered Oregano
2 cups finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 tsp. Dried chopped chives
1 tsp. Dried chopped green onions tips

Thaw and drain Broccoli. In the pie pan, arrange the Broccoli, and cheeses in layers. In a bowl, beat eggs and dry ingredients, use a hand mixer, and beat about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over Broccoli, and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted 1 inch form edge comes out clean.


Maria's String Bean Salad©

1-2 lbs fresh string beans
3-4 small white potatoes
several leaves fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
garlic flavored red wine vinegar
garlic powder

Wash and break up string beans, boil in salted water until tender. Pour beans in strainer. While beans are cooling, peel and cut up potatoes in small pieces (not too small). Boil potatoes until tender (do not overcook). In a bowl put and beans, potatoes. Now I'm just guessing here, because I never measure anything, but about 2 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and 2 tbsp vinegar. Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Chop or tear up basil leaves, and mix well. If you need more vinegar, add more, since the potatoes have a tendency to absorb all the vinegar.


Melanzane Sandwich Fritto©

2 eggplants
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 egg yolks
1/2 lb finely diced mozzarella
2 1/2 tbs grated romano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Roll slices in flour and fast fry. Drain on paper towels. Mix well egg yolks, mozzarella, Romano cheese and salt. Put about 1 tbsp of mixture on one side of eggplant slice, and top with another slice. Dip in egg and then roll in bread crumbs. Fry both sides until golden.


Click here to send mail



All recipe's on this page are Copyrighted©Ottaviana's Kitchen. And are not to be reproduced in any way without the express written permission from Ottaviana's Kitchen©. This includes reprinting, use in any restaurant or eating facility including in any book or on web pages. These are for personal use only!

Copyright © Ottaviana's Kitchen 1996-2019
All Rights Reserved