Mad & Delicacy Italian recipes

21st March - Tiramisu day

Tiramisu’ is the most famous Italian dessert and today is that day of the year where everyone is allowed to prepare it and eat it, without having a guilty conscience….or nearly!

INGREDIENTS for 6-8 servings:
4 eggs
4 flat spoons sugar
250/300 g mascarpone
2 packets savoiardi biscuits
200 ml espresso Coffee
2 tbsp Marsala liqour 
Cocoa powder

Method:
Separate yolks from whites. Beat yolks with sugar until it looks whitish. Add mascarponeone spoon at a time and mix carefully. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Add whipped whites to cream very carefully or the air will go out.
Dip savoiardi in coffee (you can add some sugar and Marsala to the coffee) quickly as they should not go soft.
In a square/rectangular form, alternate layers of biscuits and layers of cream and end with a layer of cream.
Put some cocoa powder in a sieve and with a fork sprinkle it over the last layer.
Put in the fridge to set.
If you want to make a version for children, skip the Marsala and replace the coffee with barley coffee 

Mini tart with Parmesan cheese and broad beans

In this recipe you’ll have a well balanced combination of different tastes, starting from the salty flavour of the parmesan cheese, passing through the delicate taste of broad beans and finishing with the tartness of the cream.

We do hope your palate will be appreciating all the ingredients and their features!

INGREDIENTS for 12 tarts:

200 all-purpose flour
100 g grated parmesan cheese
150 ml milk
150 g broad beans (fresh, canned or frozen)
30 g extra virgin olive oil
7 g dry yeast

Serve with:
a sprig of cherry tomatoes
1 cup sour cream mixed with chopped spring onions

 

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

If you use fresh or frozen broad bean, boil them until tender, and then drain through a colander.

In a bowl sift together flour, parmesan cheese and dry yeast. Mix well to combine the dry ingredients. Add to the dry mixture the broad beans, milk and olive oil and stir until obtaining a stiff batter. Add salt if needed.

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

Bake the tarts for 30 minutes or until tarts tops just begin to brown.

At the same time you can bake a sprig of cherry tomatoes to be served along with the tarts.

Serve the tarts with a dip of sour cream mixed with chopped spring onions.

Ceglie Biscuits

These biscuits are a traditional goodness from Ceglie Messapica, a small town in Itria Valley (Upper Salento) – Puglia – Southern Italy. In recent years, its elegant downtown, its amazing countryside (filled with farmlands, olive groves, medieval castles, vineyards, almond trees and trulli) and its food, made with simple and tasty ingredients, have attracted people not only from all over Italy but also from all over the world.

Ceglie biscuits, Slow food Presidium, are made only with products from the territory: almonds, jam, liqueur, lemon. If you wish to have a taste of the original ones and you find yourself in Ceglie Massapica, go and visit one of these bakeries: “Forno Allegrini“, “da Gigliola” or “Caffé Pasticceria centrale“.

If you live, just like us, far from Apulia, bake them by yourself following our recipe and you will get an initial idea on how delicious they are!

INGREDIENTS for ∼ 15-20 pieces:

500 g peeled almonds
250 g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon zest
cherry  or grape jam

 

Preheat the oven at 180 °C.

Toast 250 g almonds for few minutes in the oven (at 180 °C). Then ground the toasted almonds together with the rest of the almonds, but not too finely.

On a marble, or steel, surface knead the grounded almonds with sugar, lemon zest and eggs. When the dough has the right consistency (it has to be sticky), cut it into stripes, 12 cm wide and 30 cm long, and 1 cm thick. Spread the cherry jam along the longest side and fold the opposite side over. Then roll the stripe up to make it longer and thiner.

Cut the stripes into ∼ 4 cm small cubes, as seen in the picture below.

Bake in the oven at 180 ºC for about 15-20 minutes.

Baked ricotta and spinach frittata

This dish, healthy and nutritious, is a good weeknight meal as well as a home-made food to share with friends during a picnic. And a piece of advice: try the frittata between two slices of bread and it will taste even better!

 

INGREDIENTS for 6 servings (a baking tin around 20cm)

3 eggs
400 g spinaches
200 g  ricotta
40 g parmesan
200 gr day old bread
salt and pepper
extra vergine olive oil to grease the tin

Pour some water in a large bowl and soak the bread for approximately 20 min or until totally wet. Then squeeze it to expel the excess liquid. In another bowl mix very well all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinaches and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Drain them into a colander and squeeze it very well until all liquid is drained. Cut them.

In a large bowl mix very well the ingredients all together.

Grease the baking tin with extra vergine olive oil and pour into it the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 180-200°C and bake the frittata for about 30-40 min, until the top is puffed and golden brown and inside it is no longer creamy.

 

Sicilian savoury brioche or ravazzata

This traditional Sicilian recipe is contained in a cookbook that Nonna Teresa, the granny of our friend Matteo Fantacchiotti  wrote to leave her recipes in inheritance to her family.

Tanks to Matteo to kindly share with us this dish of his childhood.

INGREDIENTS for 8-10 servings (round deep pie dish 26 cm diameter)

Brioche dough:

400 gr flour
25 gr sugar
40 gr fresh yeast
100 ml warm water
100 gr butter or 75 ml extra vergine olive oil
3 eggs
salt

For the filling:

150 gr primosale or provola dolce cheese or scamorza, sliced
150 g peas
2 tbsp extra vergine olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
120 g ham or salami, sliced
a handful of grated parmesan cheese
besciamella sauce

For the besciamella:

1/2 l milk
75 gr flour
50 gr butter
salt and grated muscat, to taste

The original Sicilian brioche is made with primo sale or provola dolce, if you don’t find these cheeses you can prepare it with scamorza. 

1)  Prepare the besciamella sauce and cook the peas.
Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan until it melts. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Let cook over medium heat, while still stirring, until it starts to get a golden color (around 4 to 5 minutes).
Slowly pour the warm milk into the mixture, while whisking, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat after 30 seconds since the first bubbles. Season with salt and nutmeg. When the besciamella is cooled, add the parmesan cheese in and mix very well. Cover with a lid and keep aside.

In a saucepan heat the oil, add the onion and let cook for few minutes, until the onion becomes translucent, stirring constantly. Then add the peas and salt, cover with a lid, lower the heat and let cook the peas until soft, adding a bit of water little by little, if needed.

2) make the dough.
Add the fresh yeast in a glass with warm water, mix well with a spoon until the yeast is totally melted. Pour it in a bowl with 100 g of flour and knead until obtaining a thick and uniform dough. (first dough)

In another large bowl or on a wooden table pour the remaining flour and make a hole in the center, adding the eggs, sugar, chopped butter and salt. Using your hands, knead all together until obtaining a smooth dough. (second dough)

Then knead the first dough together with the second one and knead until obtain a smooth and elastic dough.

You can prepare these two doughs by using a planetary mixer fitted with the dough – hook attachment. In this case, to prepare the second dough, we recommend you to add a small portion of butter at the time and wait until it is completely absorbed, before adding the next portion.

3) combine all the ingredients.
On a wooden table roll out 2/3 of the dough in a circle big enough to fit the bottom and the sides of the round – deep – pie dish. Grease the pie – dish with extra vergine olive oil and line the sheet-dough in.

Pour the besciamella into the pie dish and level it using a spoon. Pour the peas on and level them. Then add the ham or salami and finish layering the primosale or provola slices.

Roll out the remaining dough in a circle layer and cover the filling with it. Then pinch together the sides of the two layers, sealing well.

Cover the pie dish with a transparent film and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200-220°C and bake the briosce until brown (about 30 min.).

 

 
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