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Trattoria Gianni
1711 North Halsted

Melanzane del Pecoraio

1 large eggplant
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of tomato sauce
2 oz of goat cheese
2 kalamata olives pitted
1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1 medium fresh basil leave


Preheat the oven at 325 and turn on grill to highest heat. Wash and dry the eggplant.  Cut two wide slices a quarter of an inch thick.  Use a basting brush and brush both sides of the eggplant with the olive oil. Place each piece of eggplant on the grill and cook them two minutes on each side. In a pyrex pan pour 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce and place the eggplant slices on top of the sauce side by side.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper to taste then put 1 ounce of goat cheese and 1 Kalamata olive on top of each slice.  Then top it with the rest of the tomato sauce and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove them with a wide spatula and place them on a plate garnish with fresh basil.

Tomato Sauce

1 28 oz can of imported San Marzano peeled tomatoes
1 small chopped onion
1 small chopped carrot
1 small chopped celery stalk
1 medium clove peeled garlic
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 oz fresh basil
1/4 tablespoon each of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dry oregano

Open the can of tomatoes and put them in a strainer.  This will get all of the seeds out and eliminate the acidity. Pour and heat the olive oil in a saucepan.  Add the chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic clove.  Slightly brown everything then add the strained tomatoes, salt, pepper and fresh basil.  Cook it at medium heat for about 35 minutes. Add the dry oregano and cook for additional 5 to 10 minutes to thicker consistency.

Linguine Portofino

10 medium/large peeled shrimps
6 to 8 medium/large sea scallops cut in 1/2
6 cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
2 cloves of peeled garlic
3 oz of olive oil
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian Parsley
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon or less red chile pepper flakes
2 leaves of fresh basil
1/2 package of a good source dry linguine pasta
3/4 of gallon of water

In saucepan place the olive oil to heat then add the garlic till slightly brown.  Next add the shrimps and scallops and cook for a couple of minutes on each side.  Then add the cherry tomatoes, salt, red chile pepper flakes(to taste) and white wine.  Cook for a few minutes until it evaporates. In a large pot, pour the water and salt then bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook following the package instructions for al dente. Drain the pasta and keep a cup of the drained water on the side. Add the pasta to the sauce pan with the shrimp and scallops and warm it to medium heat for a couple of minutes. Then add a couple of tablespoons of the water from the pasta and the chopped parsley. Place the pasta in Individual bowls placing the shrimp, scallops and cherry tomatoes on top. Garnish with fresh basil.