Oranges in Marsala
Arance al Marsala

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Oranges in Marsala
Arance al Marsala
cookbook: Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
main ingredients: orange
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serves: 4 to 6

Sicily produces the best oranges in the world, bar none, as well as the delicious sweet wine Marsala, a wine created in the late eighteenth century by J. Woodhouse, an English merchant who wanted to import it from Sicily to England. So that the wine would survive the long hot trip, he fortified the local Marsala, like sherry or port. His first shipment reached England in 1783 and was a huge success. Marsala is 16 to 17 percent alcohol, and can be either dry or sweet. In this case, I’d go with the sweeter one.


6 navel oranges
½ cup sugar
1 cup Marsala wine
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


With a paring knife, cut the peel from the oranges, removing the white pith as well. Cut the oranges crosswise into -½--inch slices.

Layer a third of the orange slices in a glass serving bowl. Sprinkle with half of the sugar and a third of the Marsala wine. Layer another third of the oranges, then the remaining sugar, and another third of the Marsala. Top with the remaining oranges, and pour over them the remaining Marsala.

Cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with mint.

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking

In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips--from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from the companion Public Television series, Lidia’s Kitchen, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, Lidia draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother, Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her. Whether it's Citrus Roasted Veal or Rustic Ricotta Tart, each recipe is a tangible feast. We learn to look at ingredients as both geographic and cultural indicators; in Campania, the region where mozzarella is king, we discover it is best eaten three hours after preparation. In Genova we are taught that while focaccia had its basil origins in the Ligurian culinary tradition, the herbs and flavorings will change from region to region--home chefs can experiment with rosemary, oregano, olives, or onions! When it's time for dessert, Lidia draws on the sacred customs of nuns in Italian monasteries and convents and reveals the secret to Rice Pudding with a Blessing. Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking is a collection of 150 delectable recipes told with common sense cooking wisdom that teaches us how create simple, seasonal, Italian dishes with grace, confidence, and love.

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