Category Archives: Food

Rosalie Serving Cookbooks Inc Wedding Soup Recipe

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup with Tiny Meatballs & Chicken
NOTE:  The Italian Wedding is one of those classic Italian soups, in which you have both chicken and beef.  So easy to make, and even great for freezng in later use.
 
3 quarts water
1 carton Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock (4 cups)
1 whole soup chicken
 
3 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thick pieces
2 medium carrots peeled and quartered
1 medium onion quartered
2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 
1-pound ground chuck or sirloin
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic chopped fine
2 tablespoon fresh curly parsley
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 
1 head escarole, chopped, about 4 cups
½ pound acini di pepe pasta,
2 teaspoons salt
 
Coarse ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 
  1. Using an 8-quart pot, add 3 quarts water, and the chicken stock. Rinse chicken under cool water, and remove liver, gizzard, and neck; use for later, or discard. Place chicken in pot with liquid. Add the celery, carrots, onion, parsley and salt and pepper. Bring to boil and skim foam as it rises to the top. Cover with lid and cook for 1 hour or longer, until the chicken is tender.
 

2.  Remove chicken to platter and let cool completely. Keep vegetables in soup, or discard  Bring broth to soft boil and make meatballs by combining ground chuck, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, parsley, eggs, and salt and pepper. Mix together well and make tiny meatballs, about the size of large grapes. Drop the meatballs into the hot broth; skim any foam from meatballs as it rises to top and remove. Skin and debone the cooled chicken; cut into small pieces and return to broth. Let the meatballs and chicken cook together about 10 minutes.

 

3.  Rinse the escarole and remove bottom core; chop and add to the broth. Keep broth on soft boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pre-boil the acini di pepe in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, drain and add to the broth; simmer an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Taste soup and add any additional seasonings as desired.  This soup will have a rich chicken and beef flavor. Ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 8 to 10.

 I

           ITALAIN WEDDING SOUP      
          by Rosalie Firoino Harpole

Rosalie’s Cannoli Cake
         TIME: 1 ½ HOURS
 
NOTE: This cake is not only beautiful but just as delicious as an Italian cream-filled cannoli. Topped with a whipped mascarpone frosting, the cake is just rich enough without competing for flavor.
 
2 (9-inch round) layers, Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix
1 (9-inch round) layer, Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake Mix
 
Ricotta/Cream Filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
 
Whipped Mascarpone Frosting
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ (8-ounce) cartons mascarpone cheese
 
Candied Pecans/Sliced Almonds
½ cup pecans, chopped coarse
4 teaspoons sugar, divided
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
¼ cup raspberry preserves
 
Fresh raspberries
 

1. Butter and flour four 9-inch round cake pans. Prepare cake mixes as directed and pour batters into prepared pans. Bake as directed, careful not to overcook cakes. Remove from oven and place on cake racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes and continue to cool on racks for about 1 hour. Prepare filling while cakes are cooling.

 

2. Make the ricotta cream filling by placing the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in electric mixer.  Beat mixture until thick and smooth, about 5 to 6 minutes. Fold in the ricotta cheese and continue to mix with a fork until completely smooth. Set filling in refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.

 

3. Make whipped mascarpone frosting by placing cream in electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium until stiff peaks form, about 6 to 8 minutes; add the mascarpone cheese and continue to mix on medium speed until smooth and thick. Place frosting in glass bowl and refrigerate until ready to frost cakes.

 

4. Place pecans in small fry pan with 2 teaspoons sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar disappears and the pecans are candied, careful not to burn. Place pecans in small bowl to cool before garnishing cake. Toast sliced almonds in same fry pan with 2 teaspoons sugar; stirring constantly until lightly toasted. Remove and place in small bowl to cool. When both pecans and almonds are cooled, combine nuts.

 

 

5. To Assemble Cake: On large round platter, place one layer yellow cake. Place about 1 cup of the ricotta filling over cake. With large serrated knife, cut the chocolate layer in half. Place one of the halves over the filling. Add another 1 cup ricotta over the chocolate layer. Top the ricotta with the other half chocolate layer, and spread another 1 cup filling. Top the second chocolate layer with the other yellow cake layer. Frost the sides and top of cake with the whipped mascarpone frosting, leaving a 3-inch circle on the top middle of the cake unfrosted for the raspberry preserves. With nuts in hand, press the nuts all around the sides of cake. Spread the raspberry preserves in the middle top of the cake, out about 2-inches. Apply dollops of frosting all around the outer edge of the top of the cake up to the raspberry preserves. Garnish with fresh raspberries and place a dollop of the frosting in the middle of the cake with raspberry in the center.  Serves 16.

 
 
Cookbook Specials:
Rosalie Serving Best Loved Italian and Rosalie Serving Country Regular Price:  $24.95 plus S/H
Rosalie’s Special:
Get any 2 cookbooks for $20.00 each, plus S/H equals $45.00 total.
Mail check to Rosalie Harpole
52 Madden Rd.  Troy, MO 63379
They will be sent, author signed.
Cookbooks – $24.95 + S/H

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         Mother’s Day Specials

BUY ANY TWO COOKBOOKS FOR $ 45.95 – INCLUDES S/H.  Cookbooks: 
Rosalie Serving Best Loved Italian and/or Rosalie Serving Country.
*********************************************
Don’t wait too long to get them before May13, 2018
*********************************************
Rosalie will mail these books to you.

Make check to: Rosalie Serving Cookbooks, Inc., Address: 58 Madden Road, Troy, MO 63379

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Italian Wedding Soup with Tiny Meatballs and Chicken.
Rosalie at Diebergs’s School of Cooking showing off her Rosalie’s Cannoli Cake with Mascarpone Cheese and Raspberries

 

UPCOMING EVENTS
*************************************

 Cooking Classes – Dierbergs School of Cooking

 
June 5, Tuesday – from 6:30PM to 8:30 PM – Southroads Dierberg’s School of Cooking- 12420 Tesson Ferry Rd. – St. Louis, MO. 63128

 
June 29, Friday- from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM – West Oak Dierberg’s School of Cooking -11481 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur, MO. 63141
  
Menu:  Rosalie’s Italian Salad with Provel Rope Cheese – Bay Scallops & Shrimp Scampi over Linguine – Garlic Bread Sticks – Fried Asparagus in Garlic Butter Sauce – 4-LayerYellow Cake with Strawberry & Cream Cheese Filling
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Book Signings:


DeGregorio’s  June 9, 2018 -On The Hill – DiGregorio’a at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  5200 Daggett Avenue on The Hill, St. Louis, MO. 63110
Come taste my  

White Yogurt Pudding Cake. .

 

 – from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Funny Bone
Did you know that bats are not actually blind?  It seems that they have been hitting baseballs for a very long time.

Rosalie Serving Pic

 

Check out my website….www.rosalieserving.com
Rosalie Serving Cookbooks Inc, 58 Madden Road, Troy, MO 63379
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Giada on her new cookbook ‘Giada’s Italy’

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis is a native of Rome and grew up in Southern California. The granddaughter of famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis, she learned to cook in her family’s kitchens and in her grandfather’s restaurant.

She graduated from UCLA with a degree in social anthropology and later attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with hopes of becoming a pastry chef. After returning to the United States, she worked in several Los Angeles-area restaurants, including Spago. Work as a food stylist led to shows and other appearances on Food Network, for which she has become most widely known. Her first restaurant, Giada, opened at The Cromwell in 2014; her second spot, the fast-casual Pronto, opened at Caesars Palace early this year. She has published nine cookbooks, including “Giada’s Italy,” released in March (Clarkson Potter; $35).

Las Vegas Review-Journal: In your new cookbook, you talk about “the pleasure that Italian home cooks take in every aspect of preparing meals,” which sounds a lot like a cross between the slow-food and farm-to-table movements in America, although a more pure version of both. Would you agree with that, and what can Americans learn from Italians’ enjoyment of meal prep?

De Laurentiis: Yes, definitely. In “Giada’s Italy,” I talk a lot about “la dolce vita,” which is about embracing life and enjoying each moment. In Italy, no one is in a rush like we are in America and with cooking, it’s more than just preparing a meal — it’s about taking pleasure in cooking for those you love, and slowing down to embrace every moment.

What do you think Americans like so much about your interpretations of classic dishes?

I put a California twist on Italian dishes, so my dishes are usually lighter and fresher, but still very Italian. I also simplify the recipes and include ingredients that are easy to find. It shouldn’t be hard to make a great meal!

Always in your fridge at home?

Dark chocolate, Fuji apples, fennel, arugula, Parmigiano reggiano and usually a leftover pasta dish.

Currently obsessed with?

Shakeratos (espresso shaken with ice) … and Cardi B!

Newest Las Vegas discovery?

I recently took (daughter) Jade on a helicopter ride over the Strip for her birthday and it was SO fun. We’re going to do another ride over the Grand Canyon next month. Definitely my new favorite way to see Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada!

Favorite indulgence?

A sailboat trip to the Sicilian Islands.

I never eat …

Coconut or kombucha

Favorite brunch at home?

Refrigerator frittata if it’s just me and Jade. When friends drop by, the Smoked Scamorza, Spinach and Pancetta Pizza from my new book. It’s topped with a sunny-side-up egg and always a crowd pleaser. My peach, corn and burrata salad is also simple to throw together and so delicious.

Best tip for home cooks?

Always start by reading a recipe all the way through so you make sure you have all the ingredients, equipment and time you need. And taste. Every step of the way, taste. That is the best and only way to make sure everything is seasoned properly.

Have you been working on any other Las Vegas projects?

Not yet. I’m tackling Baltimore first. But things are always changing in the Vegas world.

Smoked Scamorza, Spinach and Pancetta Pizza

1 (16-ounce) ball of store-bought pizza dough

4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped

5 ounces baby spinach, chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for dusting

1/2 pound smoked scamorza or smoked mozzarella cheese, grated

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Place the pizza dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and allow it to rest in a warm place for one hour.

Position one rack in the highest position of the oven and remove the others. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the pancetta in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until crispy, about eight minutes. Drain off half of the fat. Add the spinach to the hot pan, turn off the heat and stir until the spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Dust a rimmed baking sheet that has been flipped upside down with the flour. Gently stretch the pizza dough into a round and place it on the flour-dusted baking sheet. Continue to stretch out to a 1/4-inch thickness, leaving it a little thicker around the edges. Sprinkle the dough with half of the cheese. Spoon the spinach mixture over the cheese layer and top with the remaining cheese. Place the baking sheet directly on the floor of the oven and bake for five minutes, then move the sheet to the top shelf and finish cooking for an additional five minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

When you move the pizza to the top rack, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Crack the four eggs into the skillet and cook them until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about three minutes. Slide the eggs onto the pizza and serve.

Italian Chicken and Rice

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 pound chicken tenders

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup basmati rice

1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 fresh sage sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 (2-inch) piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

3/4 cup frozen peas

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish

Heat a medium straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter until the bubbles subside. Season the chicken tenders evenly on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken tenders to the pan in one layer. Cook the chicken for about four minutes per side, or until golden brown. (They don’t need to be cooked through at this stage; they will cook further with the rice.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and beginning to caramelize, about four minutes. Add the rice and chile paste and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional two minutes to toast the rice. Add the milk, chicken broth, sage, thyme and cheese rind, and stir to combine.

Return the chicken tenders and their juices to the pan, nestling the chicken down into the rice. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the peas on top. Replace the cover and allow the mixture to steam for an additional 12 minutes off the heat. Remove the herbs and rind from the pan and discard. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Italian Carrot Salad

1/3 cup limoncello

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 pounds large carrots, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces soft goat cheese

In a small saucepan, gently warm the limoncello over medium heat until steam begins to come off the top. It should be hot to the touch but not simmering. Remove from the heat, add the dried cranberries and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the cranberries to soak for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour. Drain and set aside.

Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the carrots into a medium bowl. Season the carrots with the salt and toss well. Add the soaked cranberries, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and toss again to combine. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and serve.

Recipes from “Giada’s Italy”

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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Panelle siciliane: la ricetta

 

 

 

 

Panelle is another traditional food eaten in Sicily

Panelle (ie pancake chickpea flour ) is one of the most popular dishes of the cuisine of Sicily , or rather, of Palermo.

Very easy to make, requiring the use of very few ingredients chickpea flour and vegetable oil for frying. If you wish, you can add a little ‘pepper.

Ingredients for 4 people:

– 200 grams of chickpea flour

– 1/2 liter of water

– Sunflower oil for frying

– Parsley or fennel seeds

– Salt and Pepper To Taste

Preparation

In a saucepan, melt cold 200 grams of chickpeas in a pint of flour salt water , making sure that no lumps are formed. Add some ‘of pepper and put on the fire to low heat stirring constantly.

Keep on the stove for about 15 minutes, or until the dough will begin to break away from the walls of the pot.
At this point, quickly pour the mixture of chickpeas on a smooth and wet surface (such as a marble table or wood) and flatten with a knife so as to make it as thin as possible.

Let cool the dough for a few minutes, then cut into rectangles; done this, heated in an abundant seed oil frying pan and fry the fritters until they are lightly browned.

So you can eat them, or put them inside a soft bun. However, the result will be great!

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Easter egg tradition in Italy.

Chocolate Easter eggs are
a popular part of Italian culture, but …

Easter egg tradition

…did you know that
how to color eggs is also
a part of Easter egg tradition?

Easter, and egg tradition in ancient Rome

Easter in Italy
The Leghorn chicken
comes from Livorno.

Chickens, eggs and Italy go back a long way.

Recipe books from ancient Roman daily life use ‘peafowl’ eggs and ancient writings show that chickens were regularly used in sacrifices.

Ever heard of the ‘Leghorn’ chicken?

It takes its name from Livorno, the part of Italy it originated from long before Christopher Columbus took it to America.

And long before Christianity adopted the egg as a part of Easter traditions, the ancient Romans believed that “omne vivum ex ovo” – all life comes from the egg – and it was commonly a symbol of new birth after the winter when everything has lain dormant.

There is some evidence that, even in ancient Roman culture eggs decorated with vegetable dyes using onion skins, beets and carrots were given as gifts during the spring festivals.

Easter egg tradition

Easter egg tradition in modern Italy :  why color Easter eggs?

Easter in Italy is above all a religious celebration, and Easter egg tradition reflects that.

During Lent, the weeks before Easter, neither meat nor dairy produce can be eaten and the tradition of hard-boiling eggs so as not to waste food, and painting them to be given as gifts and eaten on Easter Sunday is likely to have originated there.

Easter traditions in Italy originally coloured eggs red. The story goes that following the death of Christ on Good Friday Mary Magdalen travelled to Italy to spread the word of the resurrection.

In an audience with a sceptical Emperor Tiberius Caesar, an egg she had taken as a gift miraculously turned red, symbolising the blood of Christ.

These days eggs are hard-boiled and coloured using food dyes.  You won’t find the Easter bunny leaving hidden coloured eggs though – they are more likely to be decorating the table for dinner on Easter Sunday.

Easter egg tradition

Easter egg tradition in Italy : chocolate Easter eggs

Chocolate Easter eggs
Chocolate Easter eggs in Rome.

As chocolate became increasingly popular in the early 20th Century, the skills of knowing how to color Easter eggs started to fade, and chocolate eggs began to take the place of painted hens’ eggs.

Chocolate Easter eggs have now overtaken decorated eggs in Italy as the most popular gift at Easter.

Chocolate Easter eggs

Italians take everything chocolate very seriously – and Easter eggs are no exception.

Chocolate eggs have become increasingly elaborate as manufacturers tempt people to buy their eggs. In every tiny village in Italy, every supermarket, shop window and market stall will have a huge variety of chocolate eggs in the days leading up to Easter Sunday.

They range from the tiny, solid milk chocolate to the massive, showy hollowed out eggs containing sometimes quite elaborate gifts. All of them will be wrapped in foil or, more commonly, cellophane; most will have at least decorative ribbon, often massive bows.

And, despite Italian engagement ring tradition being to give and receive a ring on Valentine’s Day, modern customs are beginning to use Easter eggs as a way of surprising a partner, the ring being hidden in the hollow egg.

Easter egg tradition and Italian culture : which is the most popular of chocolate Easter eggs?

Most people assume that the company making the very popular Kinder Eggs is German – in fact they are made by Ferrero, a hugely successful Italian family company based in the Piemonte region in Italy’s north-west.

Chocolate Easter eggs

‘Kinder Surprise’ eggs have for some years now been the most popular of chocolate Easter eggs in Italy.

They range from tiny ‘mini-eggs’ to the giant special eggs produced as a limited edition at Easter. Each contains a ‘surprise’ toy, sometimes themed, sometimes not.

As far as Italian children are concerned, these are the best of all chocolate eggs – not necessarily for the chocolate, but for the surprise toy each egg contains.


If you’re visiting Italy at Easter and looking for things to do in Rome keep an eye out for the exhibition of eggs at the ‘Palazzo delle Esposizioni‘ – it takes place each year in the two weeks leading up to Easter, and all proceeds go to charity.

And if you want things to do in Rome for kids at Easter, look out for the amazing variety of chocolate Easter eggs in shop windows, especially in the Trastevere district. Some of the displays have to be seen to be believed and kids love them – though you may find you have to buy an egg or two as a result!

If you want to incorporate some Italian culture and traditions into your own Easter – no matter where you are in the world – make sure you use hens’ eggs as part of your Easter meal.

No Easter in Italy would be complete without chocolate in one form or another. Try making chocolate biscotti  – they’re delicious with coffee at any time of day.

Source; https://www.explore-italian-culture.com/easter-egg-tradition.html

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Three of the best Easter cakes and pies

by: Carla Passino 

Italy has yummy tradition of Easter treats, with a particularly rich range of regional offerings. We select three of the very best cakes and pies which you really shouldn’t miss and recommend three savoury ones also worth trying

Easter is the sweetest holiday of the year. No other festivity can beat the crop of chocolate eggs, marzipan lambs, and Bundt cakes that make their appearance between mid March and mid April. In Italy, in particular, regional traditions make the Easter table even richer and sweeter than elsewhere.
Eggs are ubiquitous of course, as are the colombe, dove-shaped cakes made with flour, eggs, sugar, candied peels and butter, and covered with pearl sugar and almonds. But eggs are just as popular in other countries while colombe, though loosely linked to Lombardy’s history and gastronomy, are a clever and relatively recent commercial initiative from panettone producers, who thought they could adapt the traditional Christmas recipe to another holiday.
Far more interesting are the many regional offerings, which are often artisanal and steeped in religious symbolism—Le Marche’s ciambelle pastries, for example, are shaped like Christ’s crown of thorns. And, like the festivity itself, some of the Easter cakes and sweets are rooted in pre-Christian rites, such as the pastiera, a pie from Naples whose origins are linked to the Roman Spring festival and the cult of Ceres, goddess of agriculture.
You could almost hop from place to place in an endless gastronomic tour of Easter delicacies, but if you want to show some restraint, here are three of the very best regional sweets you really shouldn’t miss.

Pastiera napoletana

The first thing that strikes you about pastiera is its scent. It’s like smelling a bouquet of orange flowers. Indeed orange flower water and orange peel go into this pie, which has a crisp golden crust and a soft, creamy filling of ricotta, sugar, eggs and cooked wheat, flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla. It is so heavenly that legend wants it to be the creation of a siren, Partenope, protectress of Naples, who concocted it from the food offerings the populace brought her every spring. The cake, Neapolitans say, was the only thing that was sweeter than the siren’s voice.
Another story gives pastiera equally sacred but more modern origins—it is said that a nun of a Neapolitan convent first made it to celebrate Easter, and tried to capture in the recipe the scents of Spring blooming in the cloister garden. Indeed, pastiera was long the preserve of nunneries, which excelled at making the cake.
Today, it is made at home, usually on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, so that the flavours have time to blend and steep before the Easter banquet.
There are huge debates in Naples over which is the yummiest pastiera recipe—the traditional version, which uses beaten eggs and ricotta, or the more modern one, which replaces the eggs with custard. The best way to settle the controversy is to eat a slice of each type—purely for research’s sake, of course!
Picture by Mattia Luigi Nappi.

Cassata siciliana

The queen of Sicilian desserts, cassata is one of the richest, most Baroque cakes you’ll ever taste. It is originally an Easter tradition, even though you can now find it at other times of the year too. Its origins, however, are far from Christian.
It was the Arabs who first brought to Sicily the ingredients and, probably, the recipe that later evoved into the cassata. Even the name, cassata, likely comes from the Arabic quas’at, which means bowl, although some people think it may derive from the Latin word for cheese, caseus—cassata being, after all, a luxurious form of cheesecake.
But each of Sicily’s many rulers added something to the cassata recipe. In Norman times, the shortcrust with which the cake had originally been made was replaced with green-tinted marzipan. During the Spanish domination, chocolate and a Spanish style sponge cake (called Pan di Spagna, or Spanish bread) were introduced. And the Baroque era brought the rich candied fruit with which the cake is now topped.
Throughout this time, nuns were widely recognised as Sicily’s best patissiers. They made cassata at Easter, and the cake became a synonym for the festivities—to the point that, according to a Sicilian saying, “those who don’t eat cassata on Easter morning lead a miserable life.”
Today, cassata is a sponge cake filled with ricotta, chocolate and candied peel, topped with marzipan and intricately decorated with icing and candied fruit. It is a feast for eyes and palate—and a serious threat to the waistline.

Pardula sarda

Unlike cassata and pastiera, pardulas are tiny. They are pretty star-shaped pies of thin, crisp pastry filled with a perfect, soft, golden mound of cheese, sugar and, unexpectedly, saffron, subtly flavoured with lemon or orange zest and occasionally peppered with raisins.
The local tourist board insists that Sardinia is “almost a continent” and, at least for what concerns food, this is true. So it is hardly surprising to discover that both recipe and name of these miniature cheese tarts—which are somewhat reminiscent of medieval darioles—change significantly from North to South of the island.
They are called pardulas in the southern Campidano plains where they are made with ewe’s milk ricotta; and casadinas in the North, where they are made with fresh pecorino cheese. The former are delicate and light, the latter stronger and more flavoursome.
Both variants, however, are quintessential Easter treats, although they are now available at other times of the year too. Their origins are lost in the mist of time and their association with the Spring festivities is unclear. But it is evident that the pardulas are deeply rooted in Sardinia’s shepherding tradition, which turns simple, every day ingredients into a mouthwatering feast.

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How to Make a Colomba, a Traditional Italian Easter Cake

Surprise and delight your friends and family this Easter with a traditional Italian treat — colomba!

“Colomba” means “dove” and is an important Catholic symbol. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll have the aromas of Italy filing up your kitchen in no time! Thanks to Simona of Walks of Italy for letting us use her kitchen, and showing her family recipe. Buona Pasqua! (Happy Easter!)

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Recipe: The lamb with almond paste

The lamb with almond paste

One of the typical sweets of the Easter tradition in Puglia and ‘lamb with almond paste . Thealmond paste (also called real pasta ) is very similar to marzipan , with the difference that one is the raw, cooked, and the other is prepared with one of the typical fruits of Puglia : the almond .The origin of this traditional pasta cake is quite uncertain and confused. According to some, it would have been invented by a monk from Lecce who in 1680 wrote the recipe. However, they appear references to this sweet even in ” De honesta voluptate et valetudine” written byBartolomeo Sacchi said Platina , humanist and Italian gastronome of 1400. Some even think that the characteristics of this will postpone pasta in a sense to the kitchen Arab and in fact there is an Arabic manuscript of 1226 which speaks of Faludhaj, ancestor of the almond paste.You could go even further back in time, to the Romans and the Etruscans , but it is better to stop and return to Apulia . Here, with the aid of special molds are made sheep and lambs in almond paste, which refer to the Christian tradition and symbolize the sacrifice of Christ .
INGREDIENTS:

– 500 g peeled almonds

– 500 g of powdered sugar

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

– 1 DL water

– cinnamon to taste

 

METHOD:

Chop finely the almonds in a blender. Mix the water with the sugar and pour the mixture into a saucepan. Heat the mixture on low heat, stirring, until the sugar begins to spin. At this point, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon and stir the mixture vigorously.

Given a homogeneous paste, pour it onto a slightly damp floor and continue to work the dough with hands until smooth and be compact. Form a ball and let it dry for about 1 day.

After this time use a mold shaped like a sheep, or working the dough with hands to shape it. Let dry the sheep for about two days.

 Source: http://www.pugliaetmores.it/en-GB/insights/1590/ricette-di-pasqua–l-agnello-di-pasta-di-mandorle.aspx
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St. Joseph’s Day – March 19th, 2018 and the Pasta

If you cannot make it to one of the many St. Joseph’s Day Celebrations during the month of March, try this dish to serve at home.

Since St. Joseph’s Day always falls during the season of Lent, a period of penance and fasting, no meat is served.  Instead, fish and pasta are staples of the feast.  One traditional Sicilian dish is Pasta con le Sarde or Pasta with Sardines and another is Spaghetti with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs.  Since St. Joseph was a carpenter, the breadcrumbs, which are an ingredient in both dishes, are meant to symbolize sawdust.  Both of these dishes are also commonly served as part of the Eve of the Seven
Fishes
dinner on Christmas Eve.

The pasta used in Pasta with Sardines is typically a long hollow pasta such as bucatini or perciatelli.  In Italy, wild fennel is used and also fresh sardines. Since it is usually difficult to find fresh sardines in the US, this recipe substitutes canned sardines.

 

Pasta con le Sarde (Pasta with Sardines)

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, perciatelli)
1 fennel bulb
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 5 anchovies, chopped
3 (3.75 ounce) cans sardines in olive oil, drained
1/3 cup dried currants
1 pinch saffron
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Heat a small skillet; toast the pine nuts until lightly golden, 3-4 minutes.  Transfer the nuts to a small plate; set aside.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet; add the breadcrumbs.  Stir the breadcrumbs over medium eat until golden, 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Remove the fronds from the fennel, chop them, and set aside.  Remove the core from the fennel bulb; coarsely chop the bulb.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions, garlic, and chopped fennel bulb until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the anchovies and half of the sardines; stir to break up the sardines and anchovies.  Add the currants and toasted pine nuts.  Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.
Scoop a ladle of the pasta water into the sardine mixture.  Stir in the saffron; season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.  Add the drained pasta to the sardine mixture in the skillet.  Stir pasta well to coat with the sauce.  Gently stir in the remaining sardines.  Allow to cook for another minute, just to heat the added sardines.  Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the sauce is too dry.  Transfer the pasta to a serving dish.  Sprinkle some of the toasted breadcrumbs and chopped fennel fronds on top.  Serve, passing the remaining breadcrumbs to be added, if desired.

Spaghetti with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

12 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
Salt
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs

Directions:

Finely chop 6 anchovy fillets; cut the remaining 6 into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.  Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic, red pepper, and finely chopped anchovies.  Cook, stirring until the anchovies dissolve.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Stir in the parsley and remaining anchovies.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.  Add the pasta to the skillet with the anchovy sauce.  Toss until the strands are well coated.  Add some of the reserved pasta water if the mixture seems too dry.  Set aside 2 tablespoons of the toasted bread crumbs.  Add the remaining crumbs to the skillet and toss the pasta again.  Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls.
Top each serving with a sprinkling of the reserved bread crumbs.

Toasted Fresh Bread Crumbs
(Makes about 3/4 cup)

Toasted breadcrumbs can be made by sauteing them in a skillet or baking them in an oven.

In a skillet: 
Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add 3/4  cup of fresh breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes.

In the oven:
Place 3/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Using your hands, gently combine the ingredients.  Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree F. oven.  Bake about 8 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until golden brown and crisp.

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Easter Baking – Pupa Con L’Uova (Italian Easter Cookies) by Marianna Santangelo Vitale

Easter Baking – Pupa Con L’Uova (Italian Easter Cookies)

I love this time of year when winter ends and spring begins. There is such a sense of renewal and hope.  It has warmed up earlier than normal many plants are in full bloom and the spring flowers are opening every morning.

Easter is just around the corner.  Every year I have an Easter cookie tradition that is a pleasing reminder of days gone by, baking pupa con l’uovo. It can be a sweet yeast bread that is braided around colored eggs or it can be a cookie dough braided around the egg. My Sicilian mother made these every year.

It is a wonderful combination that smells so good and tastes great. My favorite part is icing the cookies and topping  them with various sprinkles, such as little chocolate eggs, marshmellow bunnies  or non-pareils.

Pupa Con L’Uova

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks of butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Moisten with about 1/3 cup of milk

Blend butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  slowly add the four and baking powder and milk to bring dough together. Let dough rest in the fridge for an hour.

Icing
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp anise, almond or lemon extract…..optional

In mixer combine butter and sugar. add the eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and add one cup at a time until you have a soft dough that is easy to handle. Break off a baseball-size piece of dough and form into a disk;  then form a double twist with the ends and wrap around egg. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet  Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until firm and pale golden, but not brown. Cool on rack. Combine icing ingredients and whisk until smooth. Use a silicon pastry brush to brush cookies with icing, then sprinkle with non-pareils. You can adjust the flavor of the dough with combinations like almond and orange, or lemon and vanilla if desired. Makes about 12 cookies

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