Mad & Delicacy Italian recipes

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

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.).


Cauliflower couscous

Today is Shrove Tuesday and almost all the cities in Italy are invaded with colourful and cheerful masks, getting ready to celebrate the last day of Carnival.

From tomorrow, we suppose you want to get your diet started,  for religious reasons or to get out of a binge period. To compensate for the excesses of the Carnival celebrations, try this healthy recipe, without giving up the Carnival colours.

The super easy recipe in this link: couscous

Carnival Castagnole

When I was a child, Carnival was the funniest period of the year. I remember that the excitement for Carnival started already in January when my Mom and my Great-aunt, who was dressmaker, started thinking about which carnival costume to sew for my sister and me. Every year I wore a different costume, and together with my friends I used to go banking on the doors in my town asking for treats. I really enjoyed walking around my town throwing confetti at the people with masks on and smelling the fragrance of Carnival fritters that filled the streets.

Living abroad I can’t celebrate Carnival as much as I did when I was young, but at least I can prepare the traditional treats for my family.

So let’s go for these Carnival Castagnole!


INGREDIENTS for ∼ 50 pieces:

200 gr flour
5 tbs sugar
2 small eggs
100 gr butter
zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
8 gr baking powder
30 ml grappa
pinch of salt
peanut oil for frying
granulated sugar to serve

Place the sugar, eggs and grappa in a large bowl and beat with a mixer, fitted with the   wire whip attachment, until light and fluffy. Add melted butter to the batter and keep mixing.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt, and then add it to the batter a little at a time, along with the orange and lemon zest. Knead, using the dough hook, to form a a smooth and soft dough.

Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Cutting a piece of dough at a time, roll the dough out to form a long cilinder of about 2 cm thick. Cut it in small pieces and roll every piece between your hands forming a small ball (see the picture below).

Meanwhile heat the peanut oil in a deep frying pan. The oil temperature has not to be higher than 170 ºC. Once the oil has reached the right temperature, fry few Castagnole at a time for about 2 minutes, until golden brown.

Drain the Castagnole on a paper towel and, as long as they are hot, roll them in granulated sugar. Enjoy!

Bergamot risotto

This risotto is made with two products from Calabria, a region in Southern Italy: the bergamot whose taste is less sour but more bitter than lemon, and the red onion of Tropea, of extraordinary sweetness and with a delicate scent.

The Bergamot comes from a short stretch of land in the Reggio Calabria Province, along the Ionian Sea coast. The red onion instead is cultivated in the area around Tropea, a small city by the Tyrrhenian Sea, known for its clifftop historic center, and for stunning beaches.

Are you asking where to find this week the bergamot in Copenhagen area?? Of course at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup), our special supplier for high quality and diverse varieties of fruit and vegetables. :-)

INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:

240 gr rice Arborio
60 gr butter
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
a small Tropea red onion or a red onion, finely sliced
salt and black pepper
1 1/2 tbs bergamot juice
50 gr grated parmesan cheese
bergamot bio zest
a handful of pistachios
1 lt vegetable broth: 1 small onion, 1 carrot, 1 stick celery, diced

To make the vegetable broth: pour 2 liters of water in a saucepan then add celery, carrot, onion, and salt.  Leave the broth to simmer for about 30 minutes.

In a pan heat olive oil, add the onion and let it sautè very gently, stirring constantly until tender. Pour the rice in the pan, stirring for a few minutes, until the rice becomes translucent.

Pour half of the bergamot juice (its taste is very intense, so we suggest to add a little at a time, to taste), keep stirring all the time until the bitter taste has evaporated.

Add to the rice a ladle of hot broth at a time, cooking over medium heat. The rice shouldn’t cook too quickly, otherwise the outside of each grain will be stodgy and the inside hard and nutty. Stirring all the time, simmer until almost all the broth has been absorbed.  Check the  seasoning and add salt, if needed.  Add the rest of the broth, a ladle at a time, until the rice is cooked. You might not need all the broth. Be careful not to overcook the rice. It should hold its shape but be soft and creamy.

Turn off the heat, add the butter, the Parmesan and mix gently. Check the seasoning and, if needed, add salt and pepper. Cover the pot with a lid and leave the risotto to rest for a few minutes. Finish with the grated bergamot zest (avoid the white bitter part of the zest) and with a handful of crushed pistachios.


Take a look here for more Italian recipes!!!


Orange Sicilian traditional cake - Pan d'arancio

To prepare this traditional Sicilian cake we used Sanguinello blood oranges (a type of blood oranges), which come from Eastern Sicily. This variety has a pulp lightly streaked with red due to the presence of anthocyanins. The flavour is more intense and sweeter than other varieties of oranges.

We recently found Blood oranges at Mercatino delle verdure (Ca’- Cucina, Rebekkavej 49 – Hellerup), which has become our trusted supplier when it comes to high quality and special variety of fruit and vegetables.

If you live in the Copenhagen area then it’s easy for you to go and buy at Mercatino delle verdure. Otherwise, you can use other types of oranges to prepare this cake. The most important thing is to make sure to buy oranges whose provenance is certified and known, as you’ll use the entire orange.

INGREDIENTS for 6-8 servings:

3 eggs
100 g all – purpose flour
200 g powdered almonds
1 orange
100 ml vegetable oil
300 g caster sugar
1 packet baking powder

Preheat oven to 180°C.

In a food processor, process the entire orange until it is pureed.

Place the sugar and yolks in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and then add to the red – egg mixture a little at a time along with the powdered almonds. Continue mixing until well combined. Stir in it the orange puree until completely blended.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Then fold gently the beaten egg whites into the batter. When well mixed, drizzle the vegetable oil, mixing thoroughly.

Grease and flour a cake tin and then pour the batter into it.  Bake the cake for about 40 minutes. If you want to make sure your cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, without streaks of batter, then you can take the cake out of the oven.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the cake tin. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.


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