Cooking dinner this Valentine’s? Recipes from chef Anne Burrell & Johnny Iuzzini

By Dana Leigh Supnick

Chef Anne Burrell cooking using induction technology

There’s something very special about preparing a home cooked meal for your sweetie. While I LOVE dining out and trying new restaurants, this year I’m staying in with my guy, and we’re whipping up some of our favorite savory and sweet recipes. So, it was a good thing I stopped by the Electrolux’s ‘I (heart) Induction’ event hosted by top chefs Anne Burrell and Johnny Iuzzini. They shared a few of their go-to Valentine’s Day recipes, using Electrolux’s amazing induction technology, which I can’t wait to make myself!

If you’re not familiar with induction cooking, here’s the quick 411:
• Induction cooking is rapid heat that comes from the burner and is generated through the cookware – this means induction cooking heats the cooking vessel itself, as opposed to using heat transfer from electric stovetops or gas ranges
• Cooking with induction is faster and is 70% more efficient than gas and 20% more efficient than electric
• Since heat is transferred directly to the cookware, the smooth cooktop stays cooler to the touch, so it’s easier to clean and keep clean!
• The coolest thing about Electrolux’s Induction Cooktops…you can boil a pot of water in 90 seconds or less!!

Chef Anne Burrell

I’m a huge fan of Anne–I watch her Food Network show Secrets of a Restaurant Chef religiously! She is one of Chef Mario Batali’s disciples, so Italian cooking is her specialty. To start, she made a Warm Fennel Salad with pink grapefruit and green olives.

Warm Fennel Salad

I absolutely love fennel – it’s so crisp (even when warm) and has a sweet, perfume-y, anise-like flavor. It worked really well with the sweet citrus of the grapefruit and the saltiness of the olives. Fennel also contains Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and calcium, so it is actually really good for you too!

Pasta Bolognese

For the entrée, Chef Burrell did a Pasta Bolognese…OMG! I am a total pasta lover, and having spent a lot of time in Italy I have a true appreciation for great pasta. This Bolognese was right up there, so if what they say is true, and the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, this one is definitely a winner! For this dish, she says it’s all about the browning of the meat. You can find both of Chef Burrell’s recipes on Frigidaire’s website (or check them out below).

Chef Johnny Iuzzini (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Electrolux)

Next: Dessert! Master Pastry Chef, Johnny Iuzzini showed us two delicious recipes. Chef Iuzzini was named by Forbes as one of the 10 most influential chefs working in America today and has worked with some of the most famous chefs/restaurateurs in the world (Jean George, Daniel Boulud, and François Payard). He stole my heart with his Caramelized Banana and Chocolate Tart with a yummy banana puree garnish.

Caramelized Banana and Chocolate Tart

Now seriously, what’s better than velvety chocolate ganache, chilled banana, and buttery caramel in a cute little chocolate tart? A cool thing I learned was the difference between caramel and carmel: with caramel you add butter at the end and for carmel you do not.

Vanilla Anise Poached Pear with Almond Sponge Cake, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and a Walnut Nougatine

Chef Iuzzini also made a Vanilla Anise Poached Pear with Almond Sponge Cake, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, and a Walnut Nougatine. This dessert was delicate and delicious. I really enjoyed the sweet and salty combo of the Salted Caramel Ice Cream, which for me was the highlight. This dessert is definitely time consuming, so if you’re planning on making it, definitely try to do as much as you can in advance. To try some of Chef Iuzzini’s recipes visit the Electrolux website, or pick up a copy of his book, Dessert FourPlay.

If you do decide to stay home and cook this Valentine’s, I hope you’ll try some of these delizioso recipes. Don’t forget, food smells fear! And always remember you NEED salt to cook – it brings out the flavors in cooking AND baking…so don’t be scared of it.

Warm Shaved Fennel Salad

Serves: 4 servings


1 fennel bulb
1 pink grapefruit
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup slivered cerignola or other big green olives
1/4 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/4 cup picked fennel fronds


Using a mandoline, slice the fennel into thin shavings.

Cut the bottom and top off of the grapefruit. Using a knife, cut the peel off of the sides following the curve of the grapefruit and being careful only to cut away the peel and bitter pith. Hold the fruit in 1 hand over a bowl and cut the flesh of the grapefruit away from the membrane to release a wedge. Repeat until all segments are released.

In a large saute pan over medium heat coat with extra-virgin olive oil and add the fennel. Season with salt and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the fennel is warm and coated with the oil. Remove from heat. Toss in the grapefruit segments, olive slivers and juice and sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Pasta Bolognese

Serves: 6 to 8 servings


1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
Kosher salt
3 pounds ground chuck, brisket or round or combination
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups hearty red wine
3 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
High quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing


In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.

Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. BROWN THE BEEF! Brown food tastes good. Don’t rush this step. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don’t be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will). Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the spaghetti. Pasta water should ALWAYS be well salted. Salty as the ocean! TASTE IT! If your pasta water is under seasoned it doesn’t matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned. When the water is at a rolling boil add the spaghetti and cook for 1 minute less than it calls for on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.

Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the remaining ragu. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved sauce, if needed, to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook the pasta and sauce together over a medium heat until the water has reduced. Turn off the heat and give a big sprinkle of Parmigiano and a generous drizzle of the high quality finishing olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls or 1 big pasta bowl. Top with remaining grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.


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