ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Lesson 8

Lesson 8: Cooking Instruction

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Lesson 8, Part 2: Cooking Instruction

Patate e Finocchi al Latte/Potatoes and Fennel in Milk

Ingredienti (For One Baking Pan)

  • 4–5 large patate (e.g. Idaho or Russet are perfect) and/or 2 finocchi/fennel bulbs
  • latte/milk
  • grated parmigiano
  • olio d’oliva/olive oil
  • sale, pepe nero, noce moscata/salt, black pepper, nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C/400 degrees F.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them in disks about 1/2 cm thick (1/5 inch).
  3. Wash the fennel bulbs, remove the stalks/leafy part and slice them (there isn’t an ideal thickness, but if you make them thinner, they cook faster).
  4. Lightly coat the bottom of a porcelain or pyrex baking pan with olive oil.
  5. Make a few layers of potatoes/fennel and cheese, seasoning with a little salt, nutmeg, and black pepper.
  6. Add enough milk to cover.
  7. Top with grated parmigiano.
  8. Bake until the milk becomes creamy, the patate/finocchi are soft and the top is golden brown (based on the thickness, it usually takes 20–30 minutes).


  1. You can add sliced onions and some garlic if you like them.
  2. Non-vegetarians can add a couple of thin layers of ham.
  3. If you want to reduce the time in the forno/oven, you can boil the potates/fennel before placing them in the baking pan. But you will have one extra pentola/pot to wash =P, so I do not consider it a time saver after all.
  4. You can add different spices, such as curry (not much used in Italy, but tasty).
  5. You can use also the stems of the finocchi if you slice them very thin.
  6. Finocchi are delicious raw, as a healthy snack, or in a salad.

Involtini di Pollo al Latte/Chicken Roll-Ups

Ingredienti Per 2 Persone

  • 500 g (about 1.1 lb) of chicken/pollo breast/petto→petto di pollo thinly sliced
  • 2-3 thin slices of prosciutto cotto/ham
  • Fontina or Scamorza or another tasty cheese
  • About 10 fresh sage/salvia leaves/foglie→foglie di salvia)
  • latte/milk
  • olio d’oliva
  • sale
  • noce moscata


  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C/400 degrees F.
  2. Out of 500 g of petto di pollo you should get about 16 thin slices (you can also buy the chicken breast pre-sliced).
  3. Pound the chicken slices to tenderize them.
  4. Layer each cutlet with a small piece of ham, half a leaf of sage, a small piece of cheese and a few grains of salt.
  5. Roll up tightly and seal with a toothpick.
  6. Lightly coat the bottom of a porcelain or pyrex baking pan with olive oil and place the chicken rolls/involtini di pollo side by side.
  7. Let them bake for about 10 minutes, flipping them until some parts get brown.
  8. Then cover with milk, season with salt and ground nutmeg and bake for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the milk is creamy.

As an alternative, you can cook the involtini in a non-stick pan or skillet initially at medium-high, then at medium heat. When you will be over 21, between steps 6 and 7 you can add a glass of wine and let the alcohol evaporate.

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Spring 2012
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