Farinata

               

Farinata is a type of thin pancake made from chickpeas flour. It originated in Genova and then became a popular food all over the Ligurian sea coast. Farinata has different names…..if you are in Genova it is called faina, in Nice is socca, in Tuscany cecina and in Sardinia faine……

Originally farinata is sliced in irregular slices and enjoy with fresh crushed black pepper. In Tuscany is served between two slices of focaccia and at home I enjoyed warm with cold cuts……

Give a try to this recipe and let me know what you think.

Detail recipes is under Appetizers

Carnevale

 

 

Believe it or not, the month of February is almost over, and we are in the middle of Carnevale. Check out my Carnevale page for finger licking delicious  frittelle, lattughe and more, to enjoy the most colourful time of the year…….

……and if you like it, don’t forget to leave a comment.
Have a fabulous Carnevale time….I know I will.

 

 

 

Apple Strudel

         

Let’s start with a bit of history about this pastry.
Apple Strudel or Apfelstrudel, is a famous Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria and in many parts of Europe that once belonged to the Austro Hungarian Empire.
Strudel is related to the Ottoman Empire’s pastry baklava, that came to Austria from Turkey via Hungarian cuisine, Wikipedia docet…….
Apple Strudel is a long strudel  pastry jacket with an apple filling.
There are so many different recipe for this extraordinary pastry but the one that our family enjoys the most is the one that I am sharing with you today.
I think the trickiest part of preparing a Strudel is in rolling the dough in an almost see trough sheet. I usually start rolling the dough with the rolling-pin and then I pull it with my knuckle, this picture will show you what I mean.
I have a friend from Austria that told me that the dough is ready when you can read a newspaper trough the dough…..with mine I could see the shape of Lake of Garda on the kitchen cloth underneath…..
After making your dough super thin you just have to add apples and fold sides.
   
With the help of the kitchen cloth roll the Strudel tight.
Seal it and bake it.
I like to serve my strudel dusted with icing sugar, but feel free to enjoy it with Creme Anglaise, a dollop of whipped cream or a yummy scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Find detail recipe under Dessert Page.
Find detail recipe of Creme Anglaise under Basic Pastry Page
If you like this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment. I like hearing from my readers.

Torta delle rose, Rose cake

Torta delle rose, Rose cake
Torta delle rose, rose cake, is an Italian regional cake more specifically from Mantova. This cake consists of a well proof dough rich in butter and sugar rolled, sliced, arranged in a cake pan and after the last proof it looks like a beautiful bouquet of roses.
Little bit of history for this delicious cake. This cake was created by the chef of Isabella d’Este from Ferrara when she moved to Mantova to marry Francesco II Gonzaga in 1490 to celebrate the event.
Find detail recipe under Desserts page.

Chicken Cacciatora my way

   Chicken Cacciatora my way

Since I started menu planning my life has been so much easier and stress free, at least food wise. I wake in the morning and I know that most of my preps are done and the only thing left is to pack lunch for the kids and enjoy my day, focusing on what I enjoy the most. This is the perfect example for stress free meal. This dish is best when made in advance and the earthy flavor will pop in your mouth to make your taste buds dance. Enjoy it with baby roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes
You can find detail recipe under Meat page.

Potatoes and bell peppers Calabrese style

Potatoes and bell peppers Calabrese style

Let me quote one line from Wikipedia about Italian Cuisine:”Italian cuisine is generally characterized by its simplicity, with many dishes having only two to four main ingredients.”  Potatoes and bell peppers Calabrese style reflects this quote perfectly well….. combining few simple ingredients to produce an amazingly delicious tasty meal.  

Enjoy it as a side dish or as a meal on its own.

Find detail recipe under Sides page

 

Bolognese sauce

   Bolognese sauce

What are the main ingredients for the perfect Bolognese sauce or Ragu alla Bolognese? Ground meat ( Beef or veal and sometimes pork),the classic soffritto (brounise of celery, carrots and onions), tomato paste and wine. In my recipe I use minced beef and I avoid wine. I prepare this recipe twice a month and freeze whatever is left after making lasagna that get freeze as well.  Let’s get started then. Follow this step by step recipe and prepare the best Bolognese sauce ever.  For full list of ingredients visit Basic recipes .

Heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

Add brunoise of onion, carrots and celery. Saute till  vegetables are half way cooked.

Add meat to the vegetables. Make sure that the pan is very hot and that all the moist from the vegetables has been evaporated.

Braise for another 10 minutes. Keep stirring the sauce.

Add tomato paste. Mix well to the minced meat.

Add tomatoes.

Add water.

Reduce the heat to minimum and cover with a lead. Simmer for 2 hours.

Adjust seasoning and here is your Bolognese sauce ready to be used for pasta or lasagne.

Canestrelli cookies

Canestrelli are deliciously buttery soft melt in your mouth cookies.
Canestrelli Cookies
A little bit of history of Canestrelli; this cookie is originally from Liguria in Italy and has the shape of the Daisy flower.
Canestrelli were already famous during Medieval time, people use to gift this cookies during weddings and religious ceremony.
The recipe for this cookie is very simple. Basic ingredients that we all have at home, flour, icing sugar, butter or margarine, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs. 
If you find yourself in Liguria more precisely in Torriglia Val Trebbia during May you will be able to attend the festival of the Canestrelli, where on the main road of Torriglia all the historical bakeries will make you try this delicious cookie.
   Canestrelli with jam
My kids have decided that our Canestrelli will have the shape of heart to show me how much they love me….so sweeeeeeeet.
What they also asked me to do was to spread dairy free hazelnut cream and jam between cookies….according to them they taste even better than the simple one…..I have to agree with them….absolutely divine.
Find detail recipe under Desserts page

Fiorentina

Does world-renowned Fiorentina need an introduction? I don’t think so. This are  just few info for the best steak that you can make at home even without a bbq grill.

Make sure that the meat is at room temperature.
Don’t salt meat before cooking, it will make it dry.

The grill pan must be super hot and that means smoking hot.

Grill meat for to 2-3 minutes on both sides.

Coat meat with EVO, fresh herbs and pepper on both side. Finish cooking it on very high temperature oven. Should not be baked for more than 20 minutes.

Before cutting the meat let it rest for few minutes.
Sprinkle with salt before serving it.
I add on mine some thinly sliced garlic for extra flavor.
And now you have no more excuses not to make Fiorentina at home without the bbq grill.
Find detail recipe under Meats.