©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography
I've always had a passion for Italian cooking and fortunately the perfect opportunity to make food, take photos and get paid came along. An Italian client of mine asked me to research a variety of dishes that would pair well with his prosecco. And the result... these are just of few of the dishes we prepared and photographed. They happen to be some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy.
©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Shave Prosciutto
A quick and classic start to any Italian meal. Fresh is the key here and that really makes the flavor soar. Anyone that knows how to slice and dice can knock this out in under ten minutes. And while you're prepping, take a moment and pour yourself a glass of cold prosecco.
Italian bread sliced into 8, 1 inch slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1/2 red onion (finely diced)
1 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 clove of garlic (peeled)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 lb prosciutto (thinly sliced)
Serves four
Combine tomatoes, onion, lemon juice and parsley in a bowl.

Cut a peeled garlic clove in half.

Brush both sides of the bread slices lightly with olive oil. Grill the bread slices in panini press until toasted golden brown on both sides. With the bread still warm, rub each slice with the peeled garlic clove on the top side.

Slice the prosciutto into 1/2 inch ribbons.

Top the grilled bread with tomato mixture then add prosciutto.

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

This is a slightly different twist on traditional bruschetta, which is typically served on thick Tuscan bread. In this recipe, a thinner sliced Italian bread is grilled in a panini press, resulting in a delicious toasted, olive oil & garlic-flavored foundation to build upon. In addition to the classic tomato topping, we're adding thinly sliced ribbons of prosciutto, which brings out a flavorful accent to a timeless Italian appetizer.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Prosecco Mimosa and Fresh Cantaloupe
These delightful crepe egg wraps are made with Italian ingredients and choice cheeses for a taste-sensation that melts in your mouth.
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 10 - 12 oz bag baby spinach (chopped)
1 16 oz jar roasted red peppers (thinly sliced)
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 thin slices prosciutto
1 pint heavy cream
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 tsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
8 oz mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1 small cantaloupe
1 qt fresh chilled orange juice
1 bottle chilled Prosecco
Two rolls serves four as an appetizer
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, gently whisk egg yolks, eggs and 2 tbsp of cream together. Be sure not to whisk the mixture quickly as this will cause an excess of bubbles and unwanted rising in the egg crepe.

Heat a medium sized nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in half of the egg mixture (saving the other half for another crepe) and quickly spread around the flat surface of the pan. This should create a thin coat across the entire pan. Cook only one side of the crepe. After 1 minute, use a spatula to slide egg crepe off pan and onto a flat surface to cool slightly. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on 1/2 of the crepe leaving a one inch margin at the end. Top this half of the crepe with a little of each of the chopped spinach, roasted peppers and prosciutto and roll starting with the filled side of the crepe. Place the roll on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes.

While wraps are cooking, make the bechamel sauce by combining a pint of cream, unsalted butter, salt, flour and nutmeg in a sauce pan. On high heat whisk mixture until it begins to thicken - 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand.

Remove egg wraps from oven and slice into 1 1/2 inch wheels.

Arrange the wheels on a plate, drizzle with bechamel sauce and garnish with cantaloupe.

The cantaloupe can be sliced or shaved by using a peeler.

To prepare the mimosa, mix all of the orange juice and prosecco together in a pitcher. Stir gently and serve.

In this unique dish, we're using classic Italian ingredients, infusing it with a Japanese presentation. Instead of the typical fold-over omelette, we're slicing the egg wrap into individual pieces and serving them in a manner similar to Japanese sushi. The flavor is 100% Italian and the presentation is 100% Japanese. In this case, fresh cantaloupe slices replace the traditional sliced ginger for sushi. This delightful dish can be served as an appetizer or a meal.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Cherry Tomato Salsa
An open-faced Italian omelette featuring a fabulous filling of cured Italian pork, fresh tomatoes and chewy mozzarella cheese.
6 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 roma tomatoes (sliced)
4 oz fresh mozzarella (grated)
6 basil leaves (cut into strips)
4-6 slices pancetta
1 dozen cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 oz olive oil
4 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
Serves four as an appetizer and two as a meal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare the cherry tomato salsa, slice cherry tomatoes in half and place in a small bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and toss to coat the tomatoes. Set aside at room temperature.

In a small sauté pan, brown slices of pancetta over medium heat for 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. The pan must have a heat resistant handle as it will be placed in an oven.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and half and half.

Pour egg mixture into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on medium high heat while folding the mixture from the bottom to the top with a large spatula.

When egg mixture is a little over halfway done (you will see pieces of cooked egg mixed with uncooked egg) top with the browned pancetta, followed by the sliced tomatoes and then the fresh, grated mozzarella.

Move the pan to oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from oven and slide frittata out of pan and onto a large cutting board using a large spatula. Cut frittata into four portions and top with the fresh basil strips.

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper as desired. Using a slotted spoon, place the cherry tomato mixture in center of serving plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and place the frittata sections around the mixture to serve.

This great dish is not your classic omelette. It's simple and easy to prepare, and can be served chilled as an appetizer or hot as a meal. Pair this dish with a glass of Prosecco and you'll have a luxurious brunch!

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Spicy Rosa Sauce
Crunchy, tasty bowtie pasta treats to dip into a delightful Italian Rosa sauce. Prepare plenty - you'll be serving more of this appealing appetizer than you might think!
1 16 oz box bow tie pasta
8 oz crushed tomatoes
2 large tomatoes (diced)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz spinach
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 cups canola oil
1 cup water
Serves four
To prepare the Rosa sauce, combine crushed tomatoes, cream, spinach, ricotta cheese and red pepper (if you like a spicy sauce) in blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl.

Blend in diced tomatoes. The Rosa sauce can be prepared ahead of time and served chilled or at room temperature.

To cook pasta, follow the instructions on the box and add an additional 2 minutes boiling time. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat.

Heat canola oil to 350 degrees in large sauce pan.

In small container, whisk egg and 1 cup of water. In a second container combine flour, salt and pepper.

Coat the cooked pasta first in the egg mixture then in the flour mixture and drop into hot oil. After thirty seconds, stir bowties gently and continue frying until golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon, remove fried pasta from oil, allow to dry on paper towel.

Serve with the Rosa sauce.

This is an unusual "chips and dip" approach to having a tasty appetizer or snack. By over-cooking the pasta, until it is soft, and then deep-frying it, you end up with a crispy pasta chip that goes very well with a spicy, creamy Rosa dip sauce. This is an easy and quick dish to make and it's an interesting twist on the typical tortilla or potato chip appetizer.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Sausage Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
After pasta and pizza, this satisfying Northern Italian staple completes the "Italian food trinity." Top this flavorful grilled cornmeal cake with gorgonzola sausage cream.
1 polenta loaf
6 oz gorgonzola
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 lb Italian sausage (medium to spicy)
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (finely diced, divided)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme (finely diced, divided)
1/2 tsp fresh oregano (finely diced, divided)
1 cup olive oil
Serves four
To prepare the sauce, first remove the sausage meat from its casing. Brown the meat in a sauce pan over medium heat with just enough oil to glaze the bottom of the pan. Continuously stir the meat to break it up into very small pieces. Once the meat is browned, (about 5 minutes), add the gorgonzola cheese and heavy cream. Allow mixture to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.

To prepare the polenta, slice the loaf into eight 1 inch slices.

Mix half of the fresh herbs with olive oil in small bowl. Brush the oil and herb mixture onto the polenta slices.

Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium high heat and grill the polenta slices for 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Transfer the polenta slices to a serving plate and spoon the gorgonzola sausage cream over them. Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the dish as a garnish.

For the sake of time, we've chosen to use store-bought polenta loaves, which come in a variety of flavors. You can always make your own polenta, however, it would have to be made the day before, and set to chill, in order to slice it effectively. The Italian sausage and gorgonzola cream sauce, blended with the rich texture of the polenta, is reminiscent of classic breakfasts from the southern states of the U.S., although it can be served any time of the day.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Virgin Olive Oil Drizzle
Deviled eggs are great, but a touch of tuna, capers and tarragon turn these into an Italian taste treat. These are sure to be a favorite!
6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 red onion (finely diced)
2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp capers (divided)
1 3 oz can tuna
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Serves four to six
Slice the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a separate bowl. Rinse any remaining yolk out of the egg white halves and place them on serving tray.

In the bowl containing the egg yolks, add the remaining ingredients, 1/2 of the capers and fold together loosely with a fork. Spoon the yolk mixture into the reserved egg halves and top with additional capers and drizzle with virgin olive oil.

Why settle for traditional deviled eggs, when you can add this uniquely Italian twist? While it may sound unusual, blending the tuna, tarragon, capers and egg yolks together, makes for an unexpected and delightful appetizer that you and your guests will absolutely love! Tasting is believing, and once you do, you'll understand its magical flavor.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

over Pasta with Spicy Marinara Sauce
An irresistible combination of seared shrimp and scallops over pasta, seasoned with a spicy tomato sauce. Make extra - you know it'll be a hit!
6 tomatoes (diced)
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
6 Tbsp olive oil (for the sauce)
1/2 cup of olive oil (for the bread)
1 loaf Italian bread
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 16 oz box linguini
1/2 tsp sugar
1 lb jumbo shrimp (shelled and de-veined)
1 lb sea scallops
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1/2 tsp fresh oregano (chopped)
4 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
1 large red onion (chopped)
2 red bell peppers (chopped)
Serves four
Preheat broiler.

Following the directions on the box, boil linguini in salted water until done, strain and drizzle with olive oil to coat. Set aside.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan and place over high heat. Add the diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, crushed red pepper, sugar, rosemary, thyme and oregano to the hot pan. Cook this mixture for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and reduce heat to low, continuing to cook until onions and peppers become soft.

Slice the Italian bread in into 1 inch slices. Coat one side with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place under broiler on medium heat until cheese begins to melt and bread turns golden brown.

In a separate large sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Season the shrimp and scallops lightly with salt and pepper and dust in flour. Sear the coated shrimp and scallops in the heated sauté pan for 2 minutes per side or until the coating becomes a golden brown.

To serve, top the linguine with the spicy tomato sauce and then with the seared shrimp and scallops. Place the warm bread around the plate and garnish with chopped parsley.

Lightly dusting the shrimp and scallops with flour adds a hint of crunch to the dish. This dish has loads of flavor from the seafood, pasta and sauce. And as always, this dish goes perfectly with a glass of Prosecco.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Prosecco & Parmesan Sauce
This Prosecco-sweetened manicotti stands at attention, awaiting you and your guests to discover a superb cheesy, buttery seafood stuffing.
1/2 lb shrimp (shelled and de-veined)
1/2 lb scallops
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 manicotti shells
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
2 sticks butter (melted
) 2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups Prosecco
4 Tbsp parsley (chopped)
Serves four
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To cook the manicotti, follow the package instructions, but reduce the cooking time by two minutes. After cooking, rinse the shells with cold water and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl mix the ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Mince the shrimp and scallops and add these to the bowl with the ricotta mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Cut the cooked manicotti shells in half on a diagonal and fill each with the seafood mixture. Place each filled manicotti shell flat side down (standing vertically) in a deep baking pan and pour the Prosecco into the pan filling it 1/4 inch deep. Reserve 1/4 cup of the Prosecco for the cream sauce. Top the manicotti shells with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and paprika. Drizzle with 1/3 of the melted butter. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

To prepare the cream sauce, add 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese to the remaining butter, in a small sauce pan over medium low heat, whisking frequently until smooth. Add a 1/4 cup of Prosecco to the parmesan-butter mixture and reduce heat to low while continuing to stir. Remove from heat when creamy smooth (about 3 - 4 minutes). Pour the Prosecco-parmesan sauce on base of serving dish and top with stuffed ricotta shells. Garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika.

Manicotti tubes are traditionally baked in a flat dish, laying on their sides and topped with a variety of cheeses and sauces. What makes this dish most interesting is that the manicotti tubes are baked in a vertical position with Prosecco at their base. This technique provides additional flavor and prevents the manicotti from getting any dried or hardened edges.

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

with Parmesan Grilled Italian Bread
A delicious and savory tomato soup that combines the essence of Italian cooking with garlic, garden herbs, olive oil and cheeses.
3 tomatoes (diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
1/2 red onion (chopped)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 5 oz bag fresh spinach (chopped)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
1 tsp fresh thyme (chopped)
1 tsp fresh oregano (chopped)
1 loaf Italian bread
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1/2 cup olive oil
6 oz ricotta cheese (softened)
2 oz heavy cream
1 cup Prosecco
Serves four
Preheat broiler.

Place the ricotta cheese in glass container and microwave, checking the ricotta every twenty seconds until it is soft. Add the heavy cream to the softened ricotta cheese and whisk until smooth and creamy.

Heat a large sauté pan drizzled with olive oil to medium high heat. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another large sauté pan drizzled with olive oil and heated to a high heat, add the spinach and cook for one minute while stirring.

Add the cup of Prosecco to the spinach and cook for another minute then remove from heat.

In a large soup pot combine the crushed tomatoes, softened diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, sautéed spinach and half of the chopped herbs. Bring to a boil while stirring, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Slice the bread into 3/4 inch slices and brush top side with olive oil. Top with the remaining herbs and Parmesan cheese. Broil in oven for 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.

Place one slice of herb bread in the bottom of a soup bowl. Ladle soup over the bread. Spoon the ricotta-cream mixture over the top of the soup. Serve with side of additional herb bread.

The parmesan-encrusted herb bread and the ricotta-cream topping provide the perfect accents to this dish. When you get to the bottom of the bowl, a wonderful piece of bread that has soaked up this tremendous flavor awaits your final enjoyment. This isn't just a bowl of soup - it's a meal!

©2015 Henry McDaniel Photography

filled with mascarpone and Nutella®
This light, buttery pastry, filled with a chocolate and hazelnut spread and fresh berries, is a perfect ending to any get together.
1 cup Nutella
1 cup mascarpone cheese
14 sheets phyllo dough
16 Tbsp butter (melted)
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 sprigs fresh mint
Serves four
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In separate bowls, warm Nutella and mascarpone in microwave for 1 minute each or until softened.

Lay the 2 unbuttered sheets of phyllo dough out, side by side.

Lightly brush each sheet with melted butter.

Place another sheet of dough on each buttered sheet then brush with butter. Repeat this three more times.

You should now have two sets of five buttered sheets each.

Using a rubber spatula, spread a thin layer of mascarpone cheese on the top layer being careful not to tear dough. Lay another sheet on top of the mascarpone, brush with butter and gently spread with the softened Nutella.

Lay one more sheet on top of the Nutella but do not butter.

In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1/4 cup water. Brush the top phyllo sheet with the egg mixture.

Starting with the short side, lightly roll the phyllo into a tube shaped wrap.

Brush the outside of the wrap with the egg mixture, then with some melted butter and finally sprinkle with granular sugar.

Place the rolls on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While the phyllo rolls are cooking, slice the strawberries in half.

Remove phyllo wraps when done. Let cool for 3 minutes then cut into 1 inch slices. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh strawberries. Garnish with mint.

This light and flaky pastry is the perfect finish to any get together. The blended flavors of the Nutella and mascarpone work very well with not only Prosecco, but also any complementary fruit that you may want to serve with this dessert.

Prosecco has always played an important part of the Italian lifestyle. It's thought of as an everyday, anytime beverage to enjoy when friends get together, during meals or simply enjoying the moment. It is not uncommon that restaurants in Italy will offer guests a complimentary glass when they first sit down. It goes well with so many foods that it is often consumed throughout a meal. Prosecco is easy to enjoy; It's light, affordable, uncomplicated, fun, and probably fair to say that Prosecco is truly part of the Italian daily life. Thanks to Zonin for the opportunity to engage in this project.
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