• Saturday, November 28, 2020

Ischia Style Recipes

Al Fresco Feast
By , CYJ Contributor
June 19, 2013

It’s no wonder celebrities favor Ischia, a volcanic island of hot springs, mud treatments, and healing where guests depart more beautiful than when they arrived. Where else can you down Prosecco all day and night, yet the next morning your skin glows? Even if spas aren’t your scene, Ischia’s inner Zen, creative vibe, and al fresco dining will lure you off the yacht. Our menu is based on classic dishes from the island and surrounding Campania, featuring what’s local and seasonal.

Chicken all’Ischitana


1/4 cup olive oil
1 (3 lb) whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces (breasts without backbone and legs)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 cup white wine
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


The island’s most famous dish is as strong a remedy for a bad day as its therapeutic springs.  Typically, it’s made with rabbit. Regardless of which protein you choose to cook, patience is rewarded: It’s molto buono if served the next day.

Yield: 4 servings

Pat chicken dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add oil. When oil is shimmering, place chicken skin-side down in pan. Sear each skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Turn chicken and sear other side for another minute. Remove from pan, and reserve.

Reduce heat to medium, and add onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes, and cook for 1 minute.

Add wine to deglaze the pan, scraping brown bits up from bottom. Add tomatoes, water, and bay leaf. Return chicken to pan, skin-side up, along with any juices that have collected. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until legs are tender, about 50 minutes.

Turn on broiler. Place chicken, uncovered, under broiler, until skin is crispy. Remove chicken from braising liquid, and place on a serving platter with several spoonfuls of sauce. Top with basil and parsley.

Strain sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down on carrots and onions with the back of a spoon so all juices are released. Reserve sauce for spaghetti.

Fennel with Saffron and Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs, quartered
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


This dish will fill any void left if you or a loved one is avoiding pasta, risotto, and most starches. Fennel, after braising, acquires a lovely richness, and the chili offers a nice kick.

Yield: 4–5 serving

Add oil to a sauté pan on medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add fennel, and season with salt and pepper. Sear fennel until golden brown on all sides. Add garlic and chili, and cook 1 minute. Add saffron, white wine, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until fennel is very tender, about 20–25 minutes.

Artichokes with Wine and Garlic


6 artichokes
1 lemon, halved
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup mint, chopped fine
2 cups white wine
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Perhaps Teddy Roosevelt spent time cooking artichokes before saying nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… All dramatics aside, the challenges of prepping artichokes beforehand disappear once you taste them.

Yield: 2 servings

Prep artichokes: Cut 1/2-inch off artichoke stem, and discard. Remove tough outer leaves, and discard. Using a paring knife, remove tough skin off stem and base of artichoke. Cut 1-inch off top of artichoke, and discard. Slice artichoke in half. Remove hairy choke and discard. Rub entire artichoke with lemon, and place in a bowl with cold water. Repeat process with remaining artichokes.

Add 1/3 cup parsley, 3 tablespoons mint, and garlic to a small bowl, and mix well. Strain artichokes, and rub herb mixture in center of artichokes. Add artichokes, wine, oil, and water to a pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until artichokes are very tender, about 60–70 minutes.  Top with remaining parsley and mint, and serve with cooking juices.

Limoncello Yogurt Sorbetto


1/2 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups whole Greek yogurt
1 cup Limoncello
zest of 1 lemon



A mere mention of Campania brings cravings for Limoncello, the region’s bright, sweet, and soothing liqueur that lends itself to endless dessert interpretations. We’ve kept it simple with this yogurt sorbet, which pairs nicely with chilled berries or grilled peaches.

Yield: 8 servings

Add lemon juice and sugar to a small saucepan on medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature. Add mixture to a bowl with yogurt, Limoncello, and lemon zest. Whisk until combined. Transfer to the bowl of an ice cream maker, and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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