Italian festival to take place in Huntington

August 8, 2018
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Courtesy of allrecipes.com Italian wedding soup

Huntington might as well be shaped as the boot of Italy as Huntingtonians and the surrounding area experience a wide range of Italian culture Saturday, Aug. 18, as some of the region’s best Italian-American restaurants come together for a good cause.

Palates focus on pasta smothered with Parmesan cheese and other favorite cuisines of the country as the fourth annual Italiano! Italian Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 4th Avenue between 8th and 10th streets.

Two local restaurants - LeBistro and 21 at The Frederick - share the spirit by hosting Italian dinners earlier to kick off the annual event Aug. 18. A four- and six-course prix fixe dinner for the Italian Festival Charity Dinner Event is Thursday, Aug. 9, at LeBistro. The four-course dinner is from 5 to 7 p.m. for $80, while the six-course dinner is served at 7:30 p.m. for $100. An additional $15 is charged with wine pairings for the four-course meal or $25 for the six-course. The four-course meal menu includes aperitivo; primi; secondi; Insalata; dolce e caffe. The six-course meal features Aperitivo; Antipasti; primi; secondi; insalata; formaggi; dolce e caffe; and digestivo. For reservations, call 304-523-2012.

Mark Cross hosts a charity dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at 21 The Frederick. A choice of one of the seating costs $80. Wine and cocktail pairings are suggested with service at a separate cost. The featured courses include heirloom tomato, cucumber and sweet onion salad; Italian wedding soup; house-made smoke-trout ravioli with heirloom tomato cream sauce; intermezzo; strawberry lemon granite; Italian sausage stuffed chicken breast with wild mushroom risotto; and tiramisu. For reservations, call 304-529-0022.

Proceeds of each dinner are split with the Facing Hunger Foodbank to support food programming. Food demonstrations, wine tastings, children’s area with games, music and entertainment are offered at the Aug. 18 event. WVIFH Dancers, Brandon and Marissa, The Vogues and Oakwood Road Band provide entertainment.

Similar as to what may be served at one of the dinners, these recipes are from allrecipes.com:


18 jumbo pasta shells

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste

1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs

3 cups cottage cheese

1 (16-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese, divide

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill large pot with lightly salted water and bring to rolling boil; stir in shell pasta and return to boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta has nearly cooked through but still very firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water. While shells are cooking, heat large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir beef and onion in hot skillet until beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease; stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, salt, oregano and garlic powder. Bring to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Spread half of sauce into 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Beat eggs in mixing bowl.

Stir in cottage cheese, 3/4 of mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon cheese mixture into shells and set them into prepared baking dish. Once all shells have been filled, pour remaining meat sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven until shells are hot in center and mozzarella cheese is melted and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.


1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

5 3/4 cups chicken broth

2 cups thinly sliced escarole

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

1/3 cup finely chopped carrot

In medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into 3/4-inch balls. In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling; stir in escarole, orzo pasta, chopped carrot and meatballs. Return to boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

This recipe is from Taste of Home:



4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 French bread baguette (10-1/2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/4 cup butter, softened

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

In small bowl, combine first 10 ingredients. Spread baguette slices with butter; top each with cheese slice. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. With slotted spoon, top each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato mixture.

Martha Stewart provides this dessert:



2 3/4 cups fresh ricotta cheese

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

3/4 cup sweet Marsala wine

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

4 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao)

1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

Make filling: Line sieve with layer of cheesecloth, and set over bowl. Spoon ricotta into sieve. Cover, and let drain in refrigerator overnight. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat ricotta and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in chocolate chips, vanilla, zest, and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Make shells: Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in bowl of electric mixer. Add Marsala and oil, and beat on medium speed until dough comes together. Using hands, knead dough on lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Wrap in plastic, and let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Pass 1 piece of dough through widest setting of pasta machine (keep remaining pieces covered). Continue passing through narrower settings until it is thickness of dime. Lay on floured work surface. Cut out rounds with 3 1/4-inch cutter. Gather scraps and reroll. Pour enough oil into large, heavy saucepan to come about 4 inches up sides. Heat over medium heat until deep-fry thermometer registers 380 degrees. Wrap each round of dough around 3 3/4-inch-long cannoli form, sealing with dab of egg white. Working in batches of 3 or 4, fry until golden, about 1 minute. Using wire skimmer or tongs, transfer to paper towels, and let cool 5 minutes. Carefully slide out forms, and let shells cool. Continue rolling, cutting, and frying the remaining dough. Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water. Dip one end of each cannoli shell into chocolate and then into pistachios. Let set 15 minutes on parchment paper. Transfer filling to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch star tip. Pipe filling into one end of shell to center, then into other end. Repeat with remaining shells and filling. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately.

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