Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! {Giveaway Closed}

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

Nothing screams family to me quite as loudly as food.

For as long as I can remember, the special events in my family have always revolved around food – wonderfully, ridiculously, excessively so. A birthday doesn’t go by without the birthday girl or boy having the opportunity to pick the meal for their special day; Christmas isn’t complete without an absolute feast that has been preceded by a handful of appetizers and is followed by an absurd selection of sweets; and Mother’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for me to cook a meal (usually brunch) for my amazing mom, who is so often responsible for filling our bellies at Sunday family dinner. Because of my Norwegian roots on my mom’s side, it is our family tradition to make flat bread and spritz cookies every Christmas, to serve lefse at family gatherings, and a jar of pickled herring occasionally graces the table (something I have not yet developed a taste for and am not sure that I ever will). On my dad’s side of the family, you could almost always expect German cabbage rolls, platz, and my Grandma’s buns at our family gatherings.

Some traditions are not to be messed with. My extended family on my mom’s side has developed a brunch menu that tends to be strictly followed when we get together: gooey pull-apart bread, quiche (at least two varieties), sausage/bacon, and a massive fruit plate, at minimum. It is not uncommon for me to receive a horrified glance if I suggest that we change the menu up a bit and try something new.

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

These balsamic roasted pear wedges with prosciutto (and a gorgonzola cream dip) have nothing to do with brunch. However, they come from professional home economist and author, Emily Richards’ latest cookbook, Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking. The Italian translation of Per La Famiglia simply means “for the family.” Many of the recipes I make with regularity today I learned from the women in my family. A wonderful excerpt from Emily’s book states: “Sharing time in the kitchen with mothers, aunts and Nonnas is a way to gather your history in the kitchen. By not spending time in the kitchen with your family members, recipes can be lost. When possible try to get in the kitchen with them and take notes, take part and taste what can become of the ingredients. It’s a special moment to have.” (page 4). I cannot put into words how much I value the time I was able to spend in the kitchen with my Nana, learning to make cinnamon buns, or the times, past and present, spent cooking with my mom or my aunts. I regret not making the opportunity to cook more with my grandma (she recently passed away) and learn how to make her famous rhubarb platz. Per La Famiglia is a wonderful collection of family recipes that highlight the importance of learning how to carry on the food traditions in your family.

These sweet and savoury pear wedges are incredibly simple to prepare and boast so much flavour! The pears are quickly marinated in a balsamic mixture, then wrapped in prosciutto and roasted to perfection. The gorgonzola cream dip adds another dimension of flavour and provides a creamy and cool accompaniment to the pears.

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

You can find the recipe for these tasty little morsels on page 87 in Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking by Emily Richards. I recall watching Emily on Canadian Living Cooks on the Food Network years ago! I love her approach to food and her emphasis on passing those special family recipes on from generation to generation. I cannot wait to spend more time with this book and try more of Emily’s recipes. She includes recipes for a variety of different holidays (Easter and Christmas), plus sections for antipasti, pizza, bread, first courses and light meals, main courses, veggies and salads, desserts (my fave, obvi), and cookies. And I love the little snippets that Emily shares throughout the book about growing up in a loving Italian family.

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

It was not an easy task to choose a recipe to share. With options like Balsamic Lamb Chops, Ricotta Cannoli, and Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi, how was I to pick just one? I want to make everything! I chose these balsamic roasted pears with prosciutto simply because I thought the flavours in the recipe sounded wonderful. And they were! I shared these pears at a family gathering last weekend and they were enjoyed by all.

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

Oh, and I have great news! There is an opportunity for one of you lovelies out there to win this amazing cookbook along with a gnocchi board and a three-piece Microplane Elite Grater/Zester set. Oh, happy day!

Good luck to all of you and Happy Easter! I hope you all have the chance to spend time with loved ones this weekend and enjoy some delicious food!

Please be sure to check out more incredible treats from my fellow Per La Famiglia blogger pals in celebration of Emily’s wonderful cookbook!

Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Ricotta Cannoli

Julie from Dinner with Julie made Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi

Chrissie from The Busy Baker made Amaretti Cookies

Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Squash and Hazelnut Rotelle/Polenta with Sausage and Rapini

Britt from My Daily Randomness made Tiramisu

Libby from Libby Roach made Nonna Ortenzia’s Meatballs

Kristy from She Eats made Egg and Raisin Bread

Gwen from Devour and Conquer made Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter

Tiffany from Eating Niagara made Potato Doughnuts

Nancy from Gotta Get Baked made Hazelnut Chocolate-Filled Cookies

Nicole from Culinary Cool made Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Pickled Eggplant

Kelly from made Roasted Tomatoes

Christina from Strawberries for Supper made Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta

And now, for the giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a personally signed Per La Famiglia cookbook by Emily herself along with a gnocchi board (which Emily is best known for), and a three-piece Microplane Elite Grater/Zester set. More details are listed below. Good luck!

Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite family recipe. Be sure to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside.

Void in Quebec.

No purchase necessary to enter.

Giveaway will run from Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 12:01am to end on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner’s name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.

Prize value is approximately $75CDN.

A big warm thank-you to Jenny Jack of the Brunette Baker for organizing this blog hop and Emily Richards, Whitecap Publishing, and Microplane for providing this tasty giveaway!

Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway! | Once Upon a Recipe

Disclosure: The Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking cookbook was provided to me by Whitecap Publishing for review at no cost. All opinions are my own.

Some Things and a Pizza (Zucchini, Tomato, Feta, and Balsamic)



















Well hello there strangers. Long time no see. Don’t worry, I’m not blaming you. I take full responsibility for our lack of chatting lately, and the lack of sharing going on around here. You see, I’ve been on holidays for the last week and a half. I wish I could say that I’ve been on a beach or lounging lakeside somewhere far away from here, sipping on cocktails and exerting myself as little as possible. But no, this summer I’m having a little staycation right within my humble abode. As lovely as vacations are, staycations can be rather delightful as well. Staycations allow a person to forego the stress of packing, gratuitous spending, long days of traveling, and instead allow one to do things that need doing around the house (ie. tackling that dang room, which for the record, I still haven’t tackled), relax less than should be necessary while on holidays, and be productive with important projects, such as one’s food blog. While I am definitely succeeding with the first two things, clearly I have missed the mark on that last one. #epicfail













Trust me, I had the best of intentions going into this staycation of mine. I had envisioned baking or cooking up something fabulous on a daily basis, sharing a recipe with you every other day, and basically overstaying my welcome on the interwebs over these couple of weeks. But the thing about staycations is, they allow you to really live, and put responsibility aside when other things come up – things like invitations for patio drinks at 2pm/4pm/8pm on a beautiful summer day, a sporadic trip to the park to sit and read a good book, sleeping in way later than necessary, random backyard/living room yoga, or quick little road trips to visit friends that you just don’t see often enough. My mantra for my holidays? You only live once. YOLO! And sometimes, when you’re in the thick of YOLO’ing, blogging takes a back seat for a short while. PS. If you require further deets about YOLO’ing, Joy and Tracy got ya covered.



















However, I did manage to whip up this simple and delicious summer pizza, and after taking the first bite, I snapped a couple of photos so that I could share it with you. But first, a couple of things…

First of all, I joined Pinterest. Finally! I realize I’m a bit behind the eight ball on this one, but better late than never. Too be honest, I was a little stumped by Pinterest when I first checked it out a few months ago (pins? boards? say what?), but a friend gave me a quick tutorial last week (thanks J!) and I am officially obsessed. OBSESSED. If you wish to follow me, you can search for me under onceuponarecipe.

Secondly, I caved on another social media front and now Once Upon a Recipe has a Facebook page! Check it out here.













And now, onto the good stuff, a fabulous pizza that I created last week. What started out as a venture to use up some of the market produce that was on its last legs in my fridge ended with one of the most delicious pizzas I’ve created in a long time. I don’t really want to call it a recipe, but here are some guidelines for you.

Zucchini, Tomato, and Feta Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

Start off with a pizza dough of your choice. I used some fresh dough from my local Italian market, but if you want to make your own, go for it! I have a great recipe for whole wheat pizza dough that you can find here.

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. The cornmeal will help create a nice crispy crust! Stretch out your dough to the desired thickness (I made mine quite thin), and brush with olive oil. Cover with thinly sliced veggies of your choice – I used zucchini and grape tomatoes, as well as thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese, and season with good sea salt (I used fleur de sel) and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

You can eat this pizza as is, and it will be delicious. But if you want to take it over the top, make a quick balsamic reduction (pour 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and allow to reduce to about half over medium heat), and drizzle it over the hot pizza. OMG. YOLO, indeed.













More recipes coming up soon friends, pinky swear! xoxo

%d bloggers like this: