May 9, 2013 by Giulietta
I don’t know how many times I’ve told you that I adore pistachios , I don’t know whether it’s necessary to repeat this concept again or I have to say it in other languages , but I love pistachios, this is the reality. Sure, it’s difficult having doubts after my pistachio mille-feuille or since I put pistachios even in a meatloaf but, as Latins said, repetita iuvant.
So, having 100 g of precious Bronte pistachios flour I bought last summer in Calabria (the same I used in these ricotta truffles) to get rid of (I didn’t want to get rid of it, let’s be clear, but you can’t store it for too long, or it may go rancid, and it would be a mortal sin), I wanted to find a recipe that would fully enhance the green gold. Moreover, having only a small amount of this, flour I couldn’t make some of those Sicilian pistachio mini-cakes that I love so much.
And so -here it is the stroke of genius- I thought: why don’t make a caprese cake with pistachio flour instead of almond flour? The result is simply delicious: you can taste pistachio just a bit (its taste is a bit stronger than almond taste), and it’s a pleasant aftertaste to the caprese cake, already a real delicacy, that I love and adore. And I love pistachio caprese cake even more (if it’s humanly possible).
Category Cakes and pies, Campania, Chocolate, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Italian cuisine, Nuts, Pantry cakes, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: cakes and pies,campania,chocolate,dark chocolate,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,italian cuisine,nuts,pantry cakes,pistachio,regional italian cuisine,unsweetened cocoa powder | 6 Comments
April 29, 2013 by Giulietta
Oh, yes, now I’m addicted to mountain memories… and so, aided by the memories, by the desire to go to Alto Adige and by this wintery climate (and it’s almost May, for God’s sake), I propose another mountain dish, and this time it’s a dish typical of the Alto Adige.
Of course, I’m going there also because of a recent and unmissable purchase (a spätzle grater), so here they are, my spinach spätzle, with one of the most classic topping, cream and speck (but they’re delicious also with a simple butter and sage topping).
A very easy, quick and yet delicious recipe!
Category Cold cuts, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Trentino Alto Adige, Vegetables | Tags: cold cuts,cream,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,pasta,regional italian cuisine,spatzle,speck,spinach,Trentino Alto Adige,vegetables | 10 Comments
April 22, 2013 by Giulietta
When I think back to winter (and it’s very easy to do, since in these days the weather in Turin is so cold), I think about mountain. And, if I think about the mountain, I think about those great comfort food, those rustic dishes, tasty and rich, in which you usually indulge yourself after a walk, or after a day on the snow.
I’ve never been a big fan of the mountains … until this year. I think that sometimes it’s necessary seeing the love that another person feels in front of the vastness, the majesty and peace of the mountains to re-evaluate places you’ve never considered before. So now I’m slowly learning to appreciate this place so far away from me (I’m very fond of the sea): I’m beginning to enjoy a trip in which I spend hours photographing butterflies, I’m starting to love the cable car rides crushing the hand of my boyfriend ( it’s dizzy heighs’s fault), the long walks with amazing views, a sandwich in your backpack, and I still love (I never hated it) mountain food.
It’s amazing how in just one year my head filled itself with memories of a natural system that I always considered hostile, whose charm never touched me before. It’s amazing how the curiosity for this environment grew up so much in such a short time: and now in my travel wish-list at the top stands Alto Adige, a wonderful mountain paradise in Northern Italy. Well, many things change in a year, but mountains don’t, and maybe in this lies a big part of their charm.
So, to remember the mountains and the amazing mountains food, today I propose you the Pizzoccheri from Valtellina, a very rough kind of pasta, made with buckwheat flour (by the way, do you remember my buckwheat tart with raspberry jam from Trentino Alto Adige?), richly topped with potatoes, cabbage, butter and cheese.
The recipe is the one encoded by the Academy of Pizzocchero in Teglio, a sure hit.
Category Cheese, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Lombardy, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: butter,cheese,earth first course,first course,fontina,fresh pasta,Lombardy,pasta,potatoes,regional italian cuisine,savoy cabbage,vegetables,vegetarian | 6 Comments
February 27, 2013 by Giulietta
In Jenuary I decided to join the MTC, a challenge between bloggers: every month everybody make the same recipe, but all dishes are obviously different, ’cause everyone makes some changes, so that his/her recipe becomes unique.
And the crazy thing is that this decision has brought me luck, because January recipe was pici, a type of fresh pasta that awakens in me so many memories of a long gone holiday I spent in Umbria (I checked the pictures: damn it, it was the year 2007). For me pici mean Umbria, Trasimeno lake (where I ate pici with a rich duck ragù), a green and hospitable land, with a great history and culture.
Making pici I was able to remember all these things, and I hope I could return soon to Umbria, but also I hope to discover the Tuscan side of this dish.
For the seasoning of this wonderful dish, I chose a very Piedmontese sauce, instead. I chose a chicken livers ragù, typical of Langhe region, a very poor sauce, with a strong and rustic taste, and yet very velvety on the palate.
Category Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Italian cuisine, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Sauces, Tuscany | Tags: chicken livers,contest,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,italian cuisine,livers,pasta,pici,ragù,regional italian cuisine,sauces,Tuscany | 6 Comments
February 7, 2013 by Giulietta
This recipe marks the end of my “once on shore we pray no more” serie, born to remember Christmas holidays, which now are just a distant memory.
Between the recipes I proposed starring Mr. Capon (with capital C), perhaps this one is the most holiday-related … sure, tortellini are no joke, but I think that you could eat tortellini any day of the year, while stuffed capon immediately recalls Christmas holiday. Stuffed capon is a sort of culinary party: how else you can call, in fact, a fat and tasty, when you stuff it with other delicious things?! It’s a party, there is no other definition.
For my stuffed capon I drew inspiration from this Piedmontese recipe, making some changes here and there.
Category Capon, Christmas, Holidays, Meat, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking, Second course | Tags: capon,chestnut,Christmas,dried prune,eggs,holidays,meat,minced meat,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine,sausages,second course,stuffed capon | 4 Comments
January 19, 2013 by Giulietta
In Italy, especially in Southern Italy, there is a famous saying, which reads “passata la festa, gabbatu lu santu” (something like “once the holiday is gone, the saint is duped“, more or less the same meaning as “once on shore we pray no more“) … in a nutshell, when somebody obtains something he/she really wanted, he/she often forget very quickly the thing he/she obtained.
So, quickly after Christmas holidays, it’s easy to forget the relax and the sumptuous lunches we had at Christmas.
But I say NO to this bad habit to forget too quickly, so I’m publishing now three recipes to remember Christmas when it’s already gone (sooooo gone). Two of these recipes are very traditional one, while one is a “leftovers” one, but all have something in common, Mr. Capon (which has already suffered castration in life, and deserves a little celebration, uh?!).
The first of these recipes, a very traditional one (and very festive), typical of Emilia region (but there’s a “war” between Modena and Bologna about their origin), tortellini in a capon broth. Needless to say, this is not a family recipe.. well, not my family, at least. I “stole” Sara’s family recipe (Sara aka Fiordifrolla), and I slightly modified it.
Category Christmas, Earth first course, Emilia, First course, Fresh pasta, Holidays, Home-made is better, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Soup | Tags: broth,capon,Christmas,earth first course,emilia,first course,fresh pasta,holidays,pasta,regional italian cuisine | 9 Comments
November 22, 2012 by Giulietta
Ok, I have a soft spot for pumpkin… a big one, I might say.
And, if the cream of pumpkin soup is my Achilles heel (those of you who believe I only have one Achilles heel raise your hand … well, who raised his/her hand is wrong), pumpkin tortelli are placed second place in my “favourite pumpkin dishes” top 10: their filling with amaretto and mustard flavour amazes me every time and makes me go crazy; well, and they’re served with butter and a lot (really a lot) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano… simply delicious, I have no further definitions.
Also, for me it pumpkin tortelli mean Mantua, and I love this city so much, a human scale city, with a discreet and delicate charm, with its cobblestones, its little squares, its palaces, its rich and generous cuisine.
I have many memories of Mantua: some of them are tied to little holidays spent between bookstores and restaurants, with people who now I tend to neglect, but who I always carry in my heart for what they gave to me, because of their advices, because of the laughter and the noshes. Some of those memories, instead, are tied to people I lost, and thanks to their departure I learned the importance of picking myself up, the greatness and the power of change. Thus, these memories that have a sweet-sour flavor, the ones that leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth, are now replaced by new memories, with a sweet taste and able to surprise with something unexpected and delicious, a bit like these pumpkin tortelli, that now in my mouth taste like tenderness, like surprise, like happiness.
Category Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Lombardy, Pasta, Regional Italian cooking, Vegetables | Tags: amaretto,butter,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,italian cuisine,Lombardy,mantua,pasta,pumpkin,regional italian cuisine,sage,tortelli,vegetables | 7 Comments
November 15, 2012 by Giulietta
If the gestation of the first recipe I sent to the Fiandino Farms’ Contest was long and painful, I had no doubt about the second recipe (I could send how many recipe I want, but I opted for two recipes, a savoury one and a dessert) since the first moment I saw, made and tasted it during the professional pastry class that I am attending.
Ta dà! Surprise! I didn’t tell you, yet, but I’m attending a professional pastry class at the Chefs’ Association in Turin, and I’m finally learning the basics of pastry, which I wanted to learn for a long, long time, and now I’m finally learning them.
During the lesson about short pastry for tarts and tartellette we made a great Piedmontese classic, the Langarola (which means “from Langhe“, wonderful Piedmontese lands) cake, a triumph of butter and hazelnuts, a delicious cake in which a sort of frangipane cream (made with hazelnuts instead of almonds, though) is enclosed in a shell of short pastry, a real bomb of flavor (and calories, but I didn’t tell you this). A cake perfect for a special occasion, rustic but elegant and refined at the same time .
Maybe it’s my Piedmontese DNA, but I love it … and you?
Category Cakes and pies, Contest, Dessert and Sweets, Dried fruit, Pantry cakes, Piedmont, Regional Italian cooking | Tags: butter,cakes and pies,contest,dessert and sweets,dried fruit,hazelnut,italian cooking,pantry cakes,Piedmont,regional italian cuisine,short pastry | 6 Comments
September 22, 2012 by Giulietta
Summer is ending (these are the words of a famous Italian “trash” song… it’s amazing how many trash songs I know), but my idea is to enjoy this summer as long as it lasts: today, according to the calendar, is the first day of autumn, the air is fresher already, but I still crave nice outdoor walks and bike rides, picnics (oh mine, I really love picnics) and fresh and colourful dishes (but, don’t worry, I already have a pumpkin in the fridge ready for soups, and it won’t be my first soup of the season).
Today is the first day of autumn, but I want to celebrate summer with a dish that constantly (and pleasantly) marks my summers: the eggplant caponata. This is my grandfather’s recipe (blood ties never meant much to me, so he’s not my grandfather, but this grandfather not grandfather is more of a grandfather than my real grandfather .. it looks like a tongue twister, but I understood myself – I’ll make a test to see who understood this strange phrase) and now for me it’s THE recipe, the only one I have ever tasted that make me wanna steal the bowl and hide it under my covers, so I can eat caponata until winter arrives.
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Bittersweet, Cold dishes, Family recipes, Fried food, Herbs, Regional Italian cooking, Sicily, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,basil,bittersweet,cold dishes,eggplant,family recipes,fried food,herbs,regional italian cuisine,sicily,vegetables | 6 Comments
July 28, 2012 by Giulietta
Live from Calabria (haven’t I said that I’d write from somewhere else, this time?), in a seaside-holiday mode, I leave you a sciué sciué (it means “quick quick” in Naples) post, sciué sciué as the dish that I made, with a few (but good) ingredients, without cooking, without special equipment (just a dish, a bowl and a knife), but with a great taste.
Furthermore, this simple dish reminds me of distant echoes of that bread and tomatoes that my grandmother made for me and my cousin as a snack, that we ate in the hammock in the shade of a thorn bush; but, even more, it reminds me of the hundreds of summer lunches that my father and I had with friselle, when the weather was so hot to get close to the stove. Maybe it’s because bread (or frisella), tomatoes, salt, oil and oregano (now I added something a little more sophisticated) it’s a mix both simple and perfect, maybe it’s because of this tender and fuzzy childhood memories or maybe it’s because the memories that from now on I’ll tie to this dish, but frisella for me is and will stay a summer must I’ll hardly give up … and why should I?!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Breads and pizzas, Cheese, Cold dishes, Cooking for dummies, Extra-virgin olive oil, Herbs, Holidays, Regional Italian cooking, Southern Italy, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,breads and pizzas,buffalo mozzarella,cherry tomatoes,cold dishes,cooking for dummies,extra-virgin olive oil,friselle,herbs,holidays,oregano,regional italian cuisine,southern italy,vegetables | 6 Comments