Best Sweet Potatoes Ever!

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sweet potatoes 1 finish with script

Buon giorno!

Everybody seems to have a sweet potato recipe they love and are willing to go to the mat for. Here is mine! I call it the BEST SWEET POTATOES EVER. Why – it is because over the years I have tried them all and pulled a little from one dish and a little from another – things that I love about these dishes that come together to create just – well – the Best – in my book!

As always the simple elements rule the day – sweet potatoes, apples, butter, spices, brown sugar, orange, and a topping that is the crown of crowns. Actually – this recipe pretty much states the obvious – when it works – it works – and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Now for the secret ingredient! The addition of the Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur is an old Thanksgiving secret of mine. We cannot have Thanksgiving without it!  I add it to almost everything for this holiday – the turkey stuffing – the gravy – the sweet potatoes – and the pie! This Bourbon based liqueur is made with pure honey and is simply amazing!

The best part is that you can make this days ahead and freeze it!! Then defrost and heat it through in the oven before serving.

Actually – this one is so decadent, it can serve as your dessert!

Andiamo!

THE BEST SWEET POTATOES EVER

Serves 8

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 60 minutes

Ingredients

3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

2 Large Fuji Apples

1 Cup Pecan Halves

1 Cup Brown Sugar – divided in half

1 tsp. Cinnamon divided in half

Grated Fresh Nutmeg

1 Stick butter – divided in half

1 Cup Orange Juice – divided in half

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: Heavy Drizzle of Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur (such an asset to the dish!)

Ingredients for Topping

1 Cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 Stick Butter

1 Cup brown sugar

Instructions

Peel sweet potatoes and slice thinly.

Peel apples and slice.

Grease a shallow 12 x 9 rectangular or 12 inch shallow round baking dish as in the photo.

Place sweet potato slices in pan creating a single layer.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now place apple slices making the next layer.

Top with pecan halves

Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar, half of the cinnamon, and grated nutmeg.

Cut half of the stick of butter in pieces and place over the top.

Pour half the orange juice over the top.

Give it a sprinkle of the Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur.

Now repeat with another layer of sweet potato slices.

Add salt and pepper, the remaining brown sugar, spices, butter cut into pieces, and orange juice.

Give your dish another sprinkle of  Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur.

FOR TOPPING

Place brown sugar and pecans in a bowl with 1/2 stick softened butter.

Mix together – I like to use clean hands as it is faster and mixes better. When crumbly – sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 30 minutes.

Uncover and bake 30 more minutes.

If made ahead – once it is cool, cover and freeze. Defrost and heat through in the oven when you are ready to serve. If you really love the liqueur, as I do, give the dish one last drizzle when it comes piping hot out of the oven. Oh my!

Enjoy THE BEST SWEET POTATOES EVER and forget the pie!

PARLA COME MANGI!

  Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pumpkin Pecan Gelato

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pumpkin Gelato finish with script

Buon giorno!

There is nothing more satisfying than a creamy tasty bowl of gelato. Here is one that is bound to please. PUMPKIN PECAN GELATO is a delicious addition to any dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas – or just anytime in the fall when the flavor of pumpkin is on everyone’s “craving list”. It is like eating a creamy bowl of pumpkin pie with a little crunch—only better – just because it’s gelato!  You must exercise a little self control with this one because the custard that you need to make for this is as amazing as the finished product. NO TASTING!

PUMPKIN PECAN GELATO

Makes: about a quart

Prep: 30 minutes

Ingredients

6 Large Egg Yolks

1/2 C. Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 C. White Sugar

1 1/2 C. Heavy Cream

1 C. Whole Milk

1 C. Pumpkin Puree

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pinch Salt

3-4 Tbsp. Rum (optional)

1 C. Coarsely Chopped Pecans

Instructions

Heat the milk and cream in a pan until bubbles form on the side. Remove from heat and cool while proceeding.

Beat together the yolks and sugars until combined and lighter in color. This will be quite thick.

Pumpkin gelato 1

Pour a little of the warm cream and milk mixture into the yolks whisking in. Then add a little more while continuing to whisk. Then add the rest and whisk in.

Now add the pumpkin puree, extract, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and completely combine with the whisk.

Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and cook slowly over medium to medium high heat until thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon – just a few quick minutes.

Pumpkin gelato 2

Remove from heat and add the rum, if using.

Pour into a bowl.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl with the wrap right on top of the surface of the custard. This prevents a skin from forming. Now chill several hours or preferable overnight.

Pumpkin gelato 3

Pour into your ice cream machine and follow the directions for making ice cream or gelato that are appropriate to your machine, adding the chopped pecans towards the end.

Pumpkin gelato 4

In motion! Adding the pecans!

Pumpkin gelato 5

Place in the freezer several hours until ready to serve.

Oh Boy! Is this Pumpkin Pecan Gelato good!! –so good that you will want to serve it again and again!

PARLA COME MANGI!

 Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pistachio and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rack of Lamb 6 with script

Buon giorno!

With Italians, Easter is all about the lamb…unless you are a Calabrisi…Then it’s all about the lamb or the goat! That’s kind of the way it was growing up. We never knew quite what the main course would be until almost the last minute. But we always knew it would be lamb or goat. The reason for all the suspense was that my father, Attilio – the “high priest of the church of all things carnivore”  was in charge of procuring the meat. Good thing too – because, like his father before him, he simply knew everything about meat. Sometimes he could get a young goat – and sometimes it was the milk fed lamb. Whatever it was – we always knew it would be an event – succulent, perfectly cooked, flavored, and prepared with utter perfection by “numero uno” in our kitchen. Here, in honor of those bygone Easters, we step into the modern age with a simple Rack of Lamb – but not just any rack – a PISTACHIO AND HERB CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB. Just take a look at this recipe, and you’ll see how simple this is to prepare.  Attilio would approve of this choice, as all of his favorite flavors and seasonings for lamb, his perfectly chosen herbs, are present in this dish. Buona Pasqua, Pop!

PISTACHIO AND HERB CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB

Rack of Lamb with Herb and Pistachio Crust with script

Makes: one rack (2-3 servings)

Prep: about 15 minutes

Cook: about 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

1 Lamb Rack – 1 1/3-1 1/2 lb.

1/4 C. + 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for pesto and a little extra for drizzle

1 Large Clove Fresh Garlic cut in 3 pieces

1/4 C. Shelled Pistachios

1 Tsp. Lemon Zest

1 Tsp. Lemon Juice

1/2 C. Fresh Italian Parsley

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary leaves

3 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh Rosemary or Italian Parsley for garnish

Instructions

Pat dry your rack of lamb.  If the rack is especially fatty, you might want to trim some off, but you DO want some fat on it to keep it moist and provide flavor.

Drizzle a little Extra Virgin on the underside of the lamb rack. Add salt and pepper to both sides of the rack.

Rack of lamb 3

In a blender or processor, pulse the following until a smooth paste is formed (the pesto!) – while adding the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a stream:

pistachios, garlic, parsley, rosemary leaves, Parmigiano, lemon zest, and lemon juice

Rack of lamb - ingredientsRack  of lamb - paste

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Do this earlier in the morning and refrigerate: Press the pesto on the fat or rounded side of the rack. This will provide the crust. Now, get on with the rest of your day! So easy!

Rack of lamb 4

About 1/2 hour before you are ready to roast – Take the crusted rack out of the frig early and allow it to reach room temperature.

Roast the rack of lamb at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes – Then reduce your oven heat to 400 degrees and cook until it reaches your preferred level of “doneness”. For me this requires 10-15 minutes of roasting at 400. (internal temp around 145 degrees)  I like my lamb pink and juicy. For best results do not roast to well done – kind of a waste of good lamb.

This next step is important: Let the meat rest for about 15 minutes to reabsorb the juices.

Rack of lamb 5

Slice the rack into individual chops with a sharp knife or scissors.

Garnish with Fresh Rosemary or Parsley and drizzle with the loveliest Extra Virgin you can find!

Rack of lamb 8 with script

Don’t just wait for Easter to make this fabulous PISTACHIO AND HERB CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB.  Hey! Make two racks – The leftovers are to die for. Looking for a perfect wine pairing? Look no further than a beautiful Toscana for this one – medium bodied and not to heavy on the tannins.

PARLA COME MANGI!

 Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

January: Porchetta

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Porchetta finish with glaze with script

Buon giorno!

New Year’s Day is one for treading softly and speaking in muted tones in deference to those who might not be able to process shouting from the rooftops after a night of too much.. well.. everything. Since I am not the type of celebrator who needs coddling on this day – I may get a little, shall we say, enthusiastic in tone here , so you may want to protect your tender ears for a moment. Actually, I can’t shout loudly enough about this one and my family would back me up on my exuberance for this recipe. PORCHETTA is a divine dish to serve and enjoy. It makes a beautiful presentation for not a lot of effort — just a little time!

What is PORCHETTA exactly? This is an Italian rolled boneless pork preparation which in its purest form requires a HUGE process which includes gutting the pig, rolling, stuffing, spicing, and covering with belly fat etc and accompanied by a long roasting time.  It is a most flavorful preparation and makes absolutely incredible sandwiches.

Origins? The region of Lazio, where Rome is located, is given credit for the beginnings of this amazing pork preparation. However, you can easily find PORCHETTA in most other regions of Italy with variations depending upon area.

Are we REALLY going to gut a pig?? Uh, no!

My PORCHETTA is much easier. In fact, you will love making and serving this one so much, it will become a regular favorite for you, your family, and your amazed guests! This makes a spectacular holiday dish or one for a special dinner party.

I love using pork tenderloins from Circle B Ranch – humanely raised natural Berkshire Pork. They ship and there really is a difference in their extraordinary pork products – so much flavor – just the right amount of fat.

Let’s get to the pig!

PORCHETTA

Makes: about 8 thickly cut slices usually serving 4

Prep: 40 minutes

Cook: about 30 minutes

Ingredients

One 1-1 1/3 lb. Pork Tenderloin, patted dry with paper towels

Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper

1 lb. Loose Italian Sausage (out of the casings) and browned in a pan

1 8 oz. Jar Fig Jam or Preserves (found often in the cheese section) or Apricot Preserves

1 Jar Roasted Red Peppers ( or roast your own), patted dry with paper towels

Whole fresh Basil leaves

8 oz. Fresh or Smoked Mozzarella, sliced thinly

Good quality bacon

Butcher’s twine or string

Fresh stalks of Rosemary

Saba or Balsamic Glaze for drizzling to serve

Instructions

Porchetta 1

Begin by butterflying your pork tenderloin with a sharp knife. This is easier than you think, but if you must – ask your butcher to do it for you. To butterfly, slide your knife through the meat vertically down the side about 1/2 way through – not all the way. Open the meat so you now see the inside.Then take your knife and make another vertical cut all the way down the side of the meat on one of the thick sides not all the way through. You will actually watch the meat open up further. Repeat this again until the meat is fully opened and about 1/2 inch thick.

Then using a meat mallet or heavy can of tomatoes, pound the meat so it is thin and flatter.

Porchetta 3

Salt and pepper the inside. Then spread the inside with the fig preserves.

Porchetta 4

Line the inside over the preserves with the Basil Leaves.

Porchetta 5

Follow with the cooked sausage that has been drained and patted a little after browning.

Porchetta 2

Add the roasted peppers.

Porchetta 6

Then add the slices of mozzarella.

Porchetta 7

Now with the meat in front of you horizontally, carefully roll it forward onto itself, pushing the stuffing in with your fingers until it is completely rolled. It takes usually just one or two rolls as it is pretty full. Tuck in the two ends to try to cover the stuffing.

Porchetta rolled

Cover the roll with bacon slices, tucking the extra underneath.

Porchetta 9

Cut several lengths of the string – about 8 inches each. Taking one string at a time, slide it under the roll and tie it at several intervals down the roll. You can even do one long vertical tie at the end to secure it.(Can refrigerate several hours)

Porchetta 11

Place stalks of rosemary over the top of the roll and place it in an oiled pan in a 450 degree oven.

Porchetta 13

Cook until a meat thermometer registers about 150 degrees. (The time depends on your oven – approximately 30 minutes) Remove from oven and let it rest about 15 minutes. Cut the strings off the roll and discard them.

Porchetta finish without glaze with script

Slice the roll thickly and serve one or two slices to each person, drizzled with Saba or Balsamic Glaze. (Saba is a wonderful Balsamic-like liquid made totally from grapes reduced to “must”. It is valued much like a long aged Balsamic Vinegar and used in much the same way.)

You might want to make two and freeze one!

PARLA COME MANGI!

  Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Crostini

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Christmas Crostini

Sweet Pepper Crostini finish 2 with script

Buon giorno!

Look no further for an easy and beautiful Christmas appetizer with all the colors of the season. EGGPLANT AND SWEET PEPPER CROSTINI is the perfect choice. Watch them fly off the dish! Everyone loves these. They offer a little sweet and spicy tang to your cocktail fare and will pair well with cocktails of all types and wine, wine, and more wine!

This is also the perfect snack to leave for the Befana  who is sweeping her way to leaving treats for Italian children everywhere. Caution: she rides a broomstick, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint her!

They are easy to make and the topping can be made ahead and frozen. So what are we waiting for??

EGGPLANT AND SWEET PEPPER CROSTINI

Makes: about 18 crostini

Prep: 25 minutes

Ingredients

French baguette – thinly sliced and toasted under broiler – brush with a little olive oil

2 Cloves fresh garlic – chopped finely

2 C. Cubed Eggplant, peeled and chopped small

1/4 C. Olive Oil

6 Peppadews – chopped (South African sweet peppers – so delicious not to be believed – found at olive bars at grocers everywhere!)

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp. Orange Zest

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley – chopped

1/3 C. Dry White Wine

Salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 Tbsp. Pignoli Toasted

Mascarpone Cheese

Fresh Italian Parsley for garnish

Instructions

Cook eggplant on medium high 5 minutes.

Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Crostini 1

Add garlic, peppadews, tomato paste, vinegar, orange zest, parsley a couple of minutes.

Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Crostini 3

Then add wine. Cook at a strong simmer for a couple of minutes until some of the liquid cooks off.

Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Crostini 4

Add salt and pepper as needed.

Add pignoli and stir in.

Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Crostini 5

Make this ahead and freeze if you like.

When ready to serve – prepare the crostini with the baguette slices as described.

Spread each slice with a little Mascarpone Cheese and top with just a little of the eggplant and pepper topping.

Garnish with fresh Italian parsley and serve.

Sweet Pepper Crostini finish 1 with script

These EGGPLANT AND SWEET PEPPER CROSTINI are so delicious and seasonally appropriate in color that I call them Christmas Crostini!

For more crostini recipes like this one, check out my ebook, for yourself or for a gift for someone else:  FOR LOVE OF CROSTINI

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce finish 3 with script

Buon giorno!

We hear so much, as Italians, about the famous Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. We could recite so many of those traditional dishes: Stuffed Calamari, Baccala Salad and Soup, Smelts, Eel, Octopus, Codfish Balls, Clams Oreganata, Clam Sauce etc. The list is endless. Some of you less familiar might be a little unsure about trying some of those dishes. Today we have a pasta dish that everyone will love that isn’t quite.. shall we say.. exotic? ORECCHIETTE WITH BABY SHRIMP AND PROSECCO SAUCE is a delicately flavored pasta dish that is suitable for this famous feast, but also for a lovely candlelight dinner anytime of the year –or even New Year’s Eve.

Orecchiette is a form of pasta that is shaped like little cups. It may not be familiar to you, but it is easily found in the dry pasta area of most grocers. Orecchiette actually means “little ears” in Italian’’.

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce 1

The Orecchiette is so appropriate for a sauce as lovely as this one, that it deserves to become trapped, if you will, or caught in the nooks and crannies of each little “ear”. PRESECCO SAUCE is definitely one of those sauces – delicate, almost sweet, and light even with the presence of cream. This sauce and pasta are just waiting for a special evening as a beautiful first course or for the main event.

An added benefit to the making of this simple dish is the aroma while it’s cooking. Oh my my my…

And.. yes .. it contains butter. I heard on TV recently that butter is back, and it’s all good now. Oh realllly– I was not aware that it ever left!

As if you needed another reason to make this, there is the Prosecco – light, bubbly, and festive – drink it right along with the sauce as you cook it.

ORECCHIETTE WITH BABY SHRIMP AND PROSECCO SAUCE

Serves: 4

Prep: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. Orecchiette Pasta

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 Tbsp. Butter

1 Whole Shallot finely chopped

1 lb. Raw Baby Shrimp, peeled

1 Clove Fresh Garlic – finely chopped

3 Tbsp. Chopped Basil

1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

1/2 C. Prosecco

1/2 C. Heavy Cream – warmed

1 Tbsp. Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh chopped basil for garnish

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Drinking the Prosecco as you prepare the sauce is highly recommended for preparing the mood!

Melt the butter in a pan with the olive oil. Cook the shallot in the pan until tender.

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce 2

Add the shrimp, garlic, and basil – simmer a minute to blend.

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce 3

Dissolve the tomato paste in the Prosecco and add to the pan.

Cook down about 5 minutes at a strong simmer.

Turn off the heat – cool a minute and add the warmed cream, stirring in to blend.

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce 5

Add the tablespoon of butter, melt and heat through.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add sauce to pasta, mix, and garnish with basil before serving.

Orecchiette with Baby Shrimp and Prosecco Sauce finish 2 with script

Of course, to serve your ORECCHIETTE WITH BABY SHRIMP AND PROSECCO SAUCE,  the obvious choice of pairing is…PROSECCO!

PARLA COME MANGI!

  Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

December: Zuppa di Pesce

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Seafood Stew Buon Natale

Buon giorno!

Buona festa a tutti! It’s that time of year when Italians turn their attention to things “fishy”. Why? It’s that Christmas Eve thing – you know – choosing the dishes for the great night before Christmas dinner, known as “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”. It’s funny though – that it is different in every household with some serving the 7 dishes – some serving more than seven – and some serving fewer than 7. The important thing here is that these dishes are carefully chosen and revered in family lore. One of them that speaks “Natale” to so many and is among the best known is the ZUPPA DI PESCE or Italian fish stew or soup. This dish – evokes mouthwatering memories that run deep into my soul. There are no other flavors – so delicate – yet so bold that remind me of more of an Italian Christmas than those in this dish.

It is not a difficult recipe. The key to its success is freshness! As in all Italian dishes, fresh ingredients reign supreme. For this one, I would say freshness makes or breaks the dish. Whether you use all of the fresh fish recommended, or some of them, or even add others – the important thing to remember is to rely on fresh seafood. Aside from that, truly, you cannot mess this up.

Reminiscent of the well known French Bouillabaisse, ZUPPA DI PESCE is a dish found by many names depending where you are in Italy – or what your family decided long ago to call it because of their region of origin. It is Cacciucco in Tuscany and in the coastal areas of Liguria. It is Cioppino by the Italian-American families of the San Francisco area. If you are boating around Sardinia, you will hear it called La Cassola. The original recipes for the Sardinian version use local fish like dogfish, eel, skate etc. Sicily offers Zuppa di Pesce Siracusana ( in the style of Syracusa) which is a baked stew served with toasted bread. However, Southern Italy – most notably Campania or Naples,  is the area most associated with ZUPPA DI PESCE ,as we most often speak of it, with tomatoes, herbs, hot pepper, and garlic, and just as you see it here.

All of these preparations have one thing in common – the need to be served with plentiful amounts of crusty Italian bread or Crostini!

Because, my father, Attilio, who was from the Campania region, made this soup so artfully, I dedicate this recipe to him and think he might find it quite familiar!

ZUPPA DI PESCE

Serves: about 6

Ingredients

1/2 C. Olive Oil

4 Cloves Fresh Garlic – chopped

1 Large Onion – sliced thinly

1 Large (or 2 Medium) Fennel Bulb – sliced

3 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, unpeeled – cut up

2 Stalks Celery – chopped coarsely

A few baby carrots – chopped coarsely (6-7)

2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano – chopped

1/2 C. Fresh Italian Parsley – chopped

1/2 C. Dry White Wine

3 Tbsp. Pernod or Sambuca

1 28 oz. Can San Marzano Tomatoes – I like to use whole peeled and then crush them with clean hands

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

4 Cups Seafood Stock or Clam Juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

THE FISH

1 lb. Cleaned Calamari  – cut into rings – include the tentacles!

1 lb. Fresh Cod – cut into large pieces

A large bag (about 30) Littleneck Clams – scrub the shells well!

2 lb. Very Large Shrimp – cleaned and peeled

1 lb. Sea Scallops – cut in half or horizontally

3 Medium Lobster Tails – or 2 Large ones – cut each into a few large pieces, leaving shell  intact

Instructions

In the olive oil added to a large pot, cook the next 8 ingredients about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Seafood stew 1

Add the wine and Pernod or Sambuca – Cook another minute.

Add the tomatoes, the red pepper flakes, and the stock or clam juice.

Seafood Stew 2

Then add the clams being first sure to brush and clean their shells well.

Seafood Stew 3

Cover and bring to a boil – Reduce heat to medium and cook about 20 minutes. Check and see if all clams are open. If not – cook another 5 or so minutes. Some are a little stubborn and need more cooking time.

Then remove and clams that have not opened and discard.

Remove the opened clams with shells carefully with a slotted spoon to a dish and reserve.

Add the calamari, cod, shrimp, scallops, and lobster to the pot.

Stir gently and cook about 10 minutes or until just cooked through. Do not over cook.

Add the clams back to the pot.

Taste for seasoning – adding salt and pepper as needed.

Seafood Stew 4 with script

Serve with the garnish below.

THE GARNISH

Fresh Lemon Wedges

Lots of fresh chopped Italian Parsley

This ZUPPA DI PESCE  is both beautiful and fun to serve. You will be so proud to have this dish at your table and hear the audible gasps. Serve this amazingly flavorful concoction with large Crostini as you see in the photo. For more delicious ways to serve Crostini, check out my ebook “For Love of Crostini”: HERE 

For a perfect pairing with this Southern Italian interpretation, serve this dish with a crisp Falanghina, the Italian white wine that was “made for” seafood.

BUON NATALE!

  Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

 LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Cranberry Almond Cake

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cake - Finish 1 with script

Buon giorno!

Almonds, almond flavor, and almond paste have long been a fixture among Italian dessert preparations. It is hard to find a list or assembly of Italian desserts that do not have a couple of “dolci” among them, made from almonds or carry the almond scent and flavor. Those familiar with the famous desserts from Little Italy in New York City can attest to the almond cakes and pastries that are always displayed in the restaurant and shop dessert cases. CRANBERRY ALMOND CAKE will bring all of those almond dessert memories back to the forefront for you.

This luscious cake is surprisingly simple to make considering the complex flavor and texture it bears. Is it a pastry — or a cake? More Pastry, I think! The consistency of this cake is quite reminiscent of the Italian pastries you may remember, especially when you take that first bite – rich, soft, moist, sweet. The almond flavor is prominent. The added cranberries give it a holiday flair.

The use of almond paste capturing that “pastry quality” is the key to this dessert. Without it – it would be just another cake. Instead, the use of the almond paste kicks it into another arena altogether and defines it as more of a pastry. Your guests will LOVE this!

As an added benefit, the deep almond aroma will give your kitchen a totally undeniable Italian essence.

Let the pleasure begin – allow yourself to indulge!

CRANBERRY ALMOND CAKE

Makes: 1 9-10 inch cake

Ingredients

2 8 oz. Cans Almond Paste

Zest of a Fresh Lemon

1/2 C. Sugar

3/4 C. Unsalted Butter cut into bits

3 Eggs

1/2 Tsp. Almond Extract

1/2 C. Flour

1 C. Fresh Cranberries – coarsely chopped

1/3 C. Candied Lemon Peel – found in markets at holiday time or make your own – Recipe: HERE

Sliced Almonds for Top of Cake

Brown Sugar for sprinkling

Sifted Powdered Sugar for Topping

Instructions

In food processor – mix the almond paste, lemon zest, and sugar.

Cake 1

Add butter and combine.

Add eggs and almond extract – mix again.

Add flour – mix.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in the cranberries and candied lemon peel.

Cake 2

Pour batter into a greased 9-10 inch springform pan.

Cake 3

Place sliced almonds on the top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. It may be soft in the middle but that’s fine. Let it sit in refrigerator overnight and it will be fine. Remember — it is more of a pastry than a cake!

Cake 4

Cool and remove side of springform.

Cake 5

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cake 6

A serving suggestion for your CRANBERRY ALMOND CAKE: Garnish with fresh cranberries and serve with a scoop of Honey Gelato – Recipe: HERE

PARLA COME MANGI!

  Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

April: Pizza Rustica

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pizzagaina or Easter Pie

 

Pizza Rustica slice with script

Buon giorno!

Now if that doesn’t get your attention – you might want to check your pulse! One of the most traditional Italian dishes of the Easter season is PIZZA RUSTICA. This wonder of the Italian kitchen is also known as Pizzagaina or Easter Pie. No matter what you call it, this delicious layered delight is fabulous. Eat it for brunch, lunch, dinner or as a special course at your Easter dinner. No matter how you slice it, this will win the hearts of all at your Italian table. Many raised in Italian homes will remember it. Perhaps, their Nonnas prepared it for Easter. Others, not familiar, will find this a simple dish that will please everyone. It is the best “Italian sandwich” you will ever find with everything in it that you love!

This is an easy dish to make really. This recipe is especially simple I think. You can make your dough in advance and refrigerate. Your results will be better if you allow it to come up to room temperature before you work with it. I make the dough in the food processor. You can just throw the ingredients in and whirl away! My addition of fresh Rosemary Leaves gives the dough a more interesting essence and really adds flavor overall.

The fun with this is that you can use any combination of filling ingredients that you like. Choose your own meats and cheeses. Some like to chop up all the filling items and just throw them into the pie shell all at once. this is easier of course. But I like to layer my ingredients. I think it is more interesting and prettier when it is sliced to layer.

This is one great pie to have hanging around in the frig. It is a meal in itself. You need nothing more!

PIZZA RUSTICA

Pizza Rustica 6 with script

Makes: 1  9-10 inch pie

Prep:

Bake: 50-60 minutes depending on oven

Dough Ingredients

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Sticks Butter – cold and cut into small pieces

1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary Leaves – chopped finely

2 Large Eggs

Dough Instructions

Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor bowl – and run the processor until the dough comes together.

Pizza Rustica 1

Pour it out onto a board and form into 2 balls.

Pizza Rustica 2

Rest the dough in the refrigerator about an hour.

When ready to use, set the dough out for about 20-30 minutes, letting it become warmer and easier to work with.

Roll out one ball and place into a 9-10 inch deep dish pie plate – or press it into the plate with your hands. Even out the edges.You can use a springform pan if you like.

Now you are ready to fill your Easter Pie.

Filling Ingredients

6 Hard Boiled Eggs sliced into about 4 slices

2 Links Italian Sausage taken out of the casings and browned in a fry pan.

1/2 lb. Fresh Mozzarella or Basket Cheese

1 Medium Onion sliced thinly and cooked in just a little olive oil until just tender and golden.

Choose your own sliced meats such as prosciutto, capicola, ham, soppresata, salami etc. I have used here:

1/2 lb. Sliced Ham

6 Oz. Sliced Capicola

2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil (you can substitute parsley if you like.)

4 Raw Eggs beaten

1/3 C. Grated Cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino or Provolone are good for this

Salt and Pepper to taste

( You can also add ricotta, drained or some chopped roasted red peppers if you like)

1 beaten egg to brush the top of the pie

Instructions

After rolling out or pressing into the pie plate – one of the dough balls, begin to layer your ingredients inside it.

You can chop and mix the meats, cheese, hard boiled eggs, onions and basil together and pile it all in at once or layer the ingredients as I have done in the photos.

Start with the ham. Follow with the egg slices and then the sausage. Next spread the cooked onions over the top followed by the Basil and then the mozzarella. End with the capicola. You can do it as you like, but I like a layer of the sliced meat at the bottom and also at the top.

Pizza Rustica 3

Pizza Rustica 4

Next beat the 4 eggs and mix with the grated cheese and salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture over the pie. Watch that it doesn’t spill out.

Top the filling with the second ball of dough rolled out. Neaten, crimp, or flute your edges.

Beat an egg and brush the top of the pie with it.

Pizza Rustica 5

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes until golden on top. Let cool completely.

I like to make it a day ahead. This gives it a chance to set well and to make beautiful slices.

You will truly enjoy making and eating this PIZZA RUSTICA, a sign of spring in any Italian kitchen! 

PARLA COME MANGI!

 

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Dark Chocolate Tortoni

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Choc Tortoni - finish with script

Buon giorno!

 Growing up, occasionally we would go to dinner at one of the local Italian restaurants. As delicious and wonderful as everything was at home, I still loved doing this. When you’re a kid, you never quite appreciate fully what is in front of you. Anyway my very favorite thing to order for dessert at these places was Biscuit Tortoni. It was a heavenly concoction of whipped cream and cookie crumbs which was frozen and served in muffin cups. Fast forward to 2013, and I experience that memory again times 10 with DARK CHOCOLATE TORTONI. Wish I could go back in time and share this amazing and simple dessert with those restaurant folks. It really takes anything you might remember about Tortoni to another level entirely.

The “biscuit” part of the Biscuit Tortoni refers to the crushed cookies or biscotti. This gives the dessert a little more body than it would have if it were just cream. Of course, the crumbs add flavor as well. In this recipe, the tortoni contains dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and candied orange peel. You can make the peel yourself or purchase it at your grocer. Candied peel is found in abundance at holiday time. If you don’t use the peel, I suggest substituting some grated orange zest – but only about 2 teaspoons.

This is really special. One thing that truly makes my heart sing with this one is that it is soooo easy. It is made in a similar way to the Biscuit Tortoni of days past with a few extra ingredients that make it just divine. The funny thing is that once you mix it together and taste it as you fill the little cups, it doesn’t taste anywhere near to what it becomes once frozen. It’s like a little magic in your freezer! Perhaps the elves get in their and do something when you’re not looking. Whatever it is – it is not the same. The flavors enhance and come alive with just a little freezing time.

To make the recipe even more enticing, you can make it ahead. You’ll want to freeze it at least 3 hours. However, it’s ok if you make it a day ahead and it freezes solid. Just take it out of the freezer a few minutes before serving and thaw it just a little, so it is not quite so hard.

These lovely desserts, as well as being delicious, also look like little clouds on your plate. They are really pretty and fun to serve.

DARK CHOCOLATE TORTONI

Makes: about 14

Prep: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Foil or paper muffin cups

3/4 C. Crushed Chocolate Biscotti or Chocolate wafers or cookies

1/2 C. Toasted Coarsely Chopped Almonds

2 C. Heavy Cream

1 Tbsp. Kahlua (coffee liqueur) or Coffee

3/4 C. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Cocoa powder

Dash Salt

1/4 – 1/3 C. Coarsely Chopped Good Dark Chocolate – depends on your thing for chocolate!

1/4 C. Chopped Candied Orange Peel

Extra Chocolate cookie crumbs, Dark Chocolate and some Sliced Almonds for garnish if desired

Instructions

Crush the cookies or biscotti in a food process to a fine consistency.

Choc. Tortoni 1

Toast the chopped almonds.

Choc. Tortoni 2

Begin whipping the cream in a mixer along with the Kahlua or coffee. After it begins to form, add the sugar, cocoa powder and salt and finish whipping until it firmly holds shape when you draw a spoon through it.

Choc. Tortoni 4

Remove from the mixer and with a spatula, fold in the dark chocolate pieces, nuts, and candied peel or zest.

Choc. Tortoni 3

Spoon the mixture into muffin cups generously. Overfill them, as you want them to look full like big clouds or snow capped peaks.

Choc. Tortoni 5

Place them in the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight. If frozen solid – let them sit out of the freezer a a couple of minutes before serving so they soften a little.

Garnish them before serving with a sprinkling of the chocolate cookie crumbs with Sliced Almonds and Dark Chocolate pieces or with some candied orange peel.

Choc. Tortoni 6

Serve your DARK CHOCOLATE TORTONI with Kahlua or espresso.

PARLA COME MANGI!

 

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Calamari and Beans

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Squid and Beans - finish with script

Buon giorno!

Each year at the season of Christmas, Italians everywhere scurry to prepare dishes that will fulfill a spot on their menu of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. In some families, the same dishes are prepared each year. In others, they vary somewhat from year to year. This year, we look at a dish, Florentine in origin, CALAMARI AND BEANS  or as it is sometimes called, Squid and Beans.

Although the Florentines are not on a seacoast, they are no less observant of tradition, and they value dishes of the sea, as if they were a coastal city. CALAMARI AND BEANS is a traditional offering from this area and is just about perfect for any Feast of the Seven Fishes menu. It is simple in its preparation and very easy to create unlike some other dishes of its kind.

In our household – years ago – my parents, Attilio and Loretta divided some of the labor connected with this yearly feast. My father prepared the baked clams and one of the calamari dishes that was especially spicy. My mother carefully sewed the stuffed squid tubes and made the sauce for them along with 2 preparations of Baccala (Baccala Salad and Baccala Soup). They came together on some of the dishes such as the fried smelts and the cannoli shells. It was a meal that took weeks of prep.

This calamari dish takes only a few minutes and is sooo delicious especially served with crusty bread. It is made with the squid rings – easy to cut from the tubes. Some complain about their calamari being tough and chewy. I have never had that issue. Served with a crusty bread, I think you’ll find this dish is a winner!

CALAMARI AND BEANS

Serves: about 4

Prep: about 40 minutes

Cook: about 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. Squid tubes – cleaned and cut into rings

1 15 0z. Can Cannellini Beans – rinsed and drained

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Cloves fresh garlic – chopped finely

1 Fennel bulb – cleaned and sliced thinly

1 Medium Onion – sliced thinly

1 Large Can (about 28 0z.) San Marzano Whole Tomatoes – crushed with your hands – better!

3 Tbsp. Chopped fresh Sage

1 Piece of Fresh Orange Peel

Dash Red Pepper Flakes

Coarse Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Instructions

Clean your squid tubes and cut into rings.

Squid 3

Heat your oil in a pan with the garlic, onion & fennel.

Cook 5 minutes – do not burn garlic. Keep things moving in the pan to coat and so as not to overheat.

Squid 1

Squid 2

Add the squid rings and cook just 5 minutes.

Squid 5

Then add the tomatoes, sage, Orange peel, Red Pepper Flakes, salt & pepper.. I like to crush my tomatoes with my clean hands as this gives them the perfect consistency and doesn’t over process them.

Cook over a moderately high heat to reduce the liquid, stirring occasionally. for about 30 minutes.

Squid 6

Squid 7

Add the beans and cook a couple of minutes more until heated through. Remove the orange peel. Check for seasoning and add if needed.

Squid 8

Serve as is with fresh sage or fennel fronds for garnish.

CALAMARI AND BEANS  just screams for crusty bread – So feed the beast and serve it! OOOOO this is good!

PARLA COME MANGI!

 

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Chocolate Ricotta Cookies

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Choc finish 1 with script

Buon giorno!

CHOCOLATE RICOTTA COOKIES are absolutely delicious. You make them in a very similar way to the traditional  Ricotta Cookies   – just adding some different ingredients. They are a lovely compliment to each other. I always make both as I can’t ever decide which I like better!

CHOCOLATE RICOTTA COOKIES

Makes: about 3 1/2 dozen

Prep: about 20 minutes

Bake: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

1 Stick Butter – softened

1 1/2 C. Sugar

2 1/2 C. Flour

3 Tbsp. Cocoa powder

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

Pinch Salt

2 Eggs

1 1/4 C. Whole Milk Ricotta

1 Tsp. Almond Extract

GLAZE

2 C. Powdered Sugar for glaze

1 Tsp. Almond Extract for glaze

About 4 Tbsp. milk for glaze– use more or less depending on the consistency you like

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.

Lemon 1

(For more photos – see the post on Ricotta Cookies.)

Add Eggs, Ricotta, and almond extract to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix together.

Add the four mixture to the mixer and gently mix in until it just comes together.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the batter by the tablespoonful or two onto the paper lined sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Cool the cookies before glazing.

For the glaze: Mix together the almond extract, milk, and powdered sugar and drizzle onto the cookies or cover the tops completely.  You might use more milk or less – add gradually and see how it comes together and how thick you want it. You can add colored sprinkles if you like.

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Ricotta Cookies

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lemon finish with script

Buon giorno!

RICOTTA COOKIES are such a standard among the traditional choices of Italian cookies. They are almost always part of the Italian repertoire of cookie baking. So many of the Italian cookies are really easy to make, and these are no different. They are simple in ingredients and in construction. Making them last until you are ready to serve them will be your biggest task – as they tend to disappear quickly!

When I was a child – too many years ago to count – one thing I looked forward to every year was the Christmas visit of my mother’s cousin Carmela. She arrived every year through our back door – never knocking  and cackling in a high pitched voice, in Italian. She did not speak a word of English. Carmela loved my mother and never missed a Christmas visit – sort of  blowing in and out quickly like the wind. I loved being there when she came, listening for her high voice calling for my mother. She was a baker extraordinaire and made the very best Italian cookies I have ever tasted before or since. She made all of the familiar ones – all of the many kinds that are usually found on Italian plates and some less well known. Her arrival on Christmas was so welcome as she came with a huge platter of assorted homemade delights that was her gift to us – but especially for my mother. These Ricotta Cookies were always on Carmela’s platter.

My RICOTTA COOKIES contain lemon. I just like them that way, the lemon is more traditional—and so lovely. I try to use the Meyer Lemons, if they are available, as they offer a milder and nicer lemon flavor. You will find these cookies with orange and other flavors as well.

This year, I am also introducing Chocolate Ricotta Cookies which you will find in a later post! The two together make a good start to your Italian cookie list for the Christmas season.

RICOTTA COOKIES

(With Lemon)

Makes: about 3 1/2 dozen

Prep: about 20 minutes

Bake: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

1 Stick Butter – softened

1 1/2 C. Sugar

2 1/2 C. Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

Pinch Salt

2 Eggs

1 1/4 C. Whole Milk Ricotta

2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon juice (Use Meyer Lemons if you can find them.)

Zest of 1 fresh lemon

GLAZE

About 4 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice for glaze ( Use more or less depending upon how it comes together)

2 C. Powdered Sugar for glaze

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl.

Lemon 1

Add Eggs, Ricotta, lemon juice and and zest to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix together.

Lemon 2

Add the four mixture to the mixer and gently mix in until it just comes together.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the batter by the tablespoonful or two onto the paper lined sheet.

Lemon 3

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Cool the cookies before glazing.

For the glaze: Mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar and drizzle onto the cookies or cover the tops completely. You can add colored sprinkles if you like.

Lemon glaze

Ohhh yeah! You’re gonna want these! Make RICOTTA COOKIES part of your cookie baking for the season. These are soooo delicious. No Italian cookie platter should be without them!

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

December: Peppermint Gelato with Dark Chocolate

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pepp gelato finish 1 with script

Buon giorno!

Think of the creamiest, mintiest, crunchiest Peppermint Gelato you can imagine. This is it! PEPPERMINT GELATO WITH DARK CHOCOLATE! I do not need another thing this holiday season. I would be content with just this. Well, maybe this and …something else?

Not only is this gelato the best ever and so easy to make – an added benefit is that it makes your kitchen smell of mint while you make it!

For those sensitive to food coloring – the red food coloring is optional. I just like using it at holiday time – seems to make the gelato more festive. It’s up to you! Merry Merry!

PEPPERMINT GELATO WITH DARK CHOCOLATE

Makes: about a quart

Prep: 30 minutes + time required in the ice cream maker

Ingredients

1 1/2 C. Whole Milk

1 1/2 C. Heavy Cream

8 Egg Yolks

1 C. Sugar

Dash Salt

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp. Peppermint Extract

3-4 Drops Red Food Coloring (optional but nice for holidays)

3/4 C. Crushed or Chopped Peppermint candy ( I use candy canes) – chill in refrigerator until ready to use

3/4 C. Coarsely Chopped Dark Chocolate – chill in refrigerator until ready to use

Instructions

Heat the milk and cream in a pan until bubbles form on the edges. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

Peppermint Gelato 1

In a bowl, beat the Egg Yolks with the sugar and salt until light colored and thickened.

Peppermint Gelato 2

Add a little of the hot milk and cream mixture to the yolks while whisking constantly. Gradually add a little more – whisking.

Then add all of the yolk mixture to the pot.

Peppermint Gelato 3

Heat and stir constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. Do not overheat or it will separate. This takes just a few minutes. It is done when it coats the back of the wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. This is your custard which will thicken more when chilled.

Add the extracts and food coloring – stir in.

Peppermint Gelato 4

Peppermint Gelato 5

Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic sits directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to make gelato, pour into your ice cream maker and proceed according to your machine directions.

Peppermint Gelato 6

When finished quickly add the chilled peppermint candy and chopped chocolate and fold in or add as directed to your ice cream maker.

Peppermint Gelato 7

Place in freezer to freeze to desired consistency.

Peppermint Gelato 8

If frozen hard, let stand a few minutes before serving as gelato is  served a little softer than ice cream.

Enter Stage Left: PEPPERMINT GELATO WITH DARK CHOCOLATE  as Sugarplums making ready to dance in head!

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pignoli Cookies

Pin It
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pignoli Cookies finish 1 with script

Buon giorno!

 PIGNOLI COOKIES are a sacred tradition among Italians. They seem to appear in every assortment of Italian cookies whether made at home or purchased by the pound at Italian pastry shops. These are the cookies everyone sees on the Italian cookie trays that make their way to Italian weddings and every other special occasion. You might refer to them as “the gold standard” among Italian cookies.

Most recipes for these cookies are similar and fairly basic. Maybe that is because sometimes keeping it simple and sticking to basics is the best policy when dealing with something perfected by the Nonnas since time began—well maybe not quite that long! Really – why complicate it? So we won’t!

The secret that many may not have guessed is that they are SOOOO easy to make and take very little time. You won’t believe how simple they are, and yet they look like something you think is only found at the famous Ferrara’s. They are similar to a macaroon in their chewy consistency, and they can be highly addictive. Ya just can’t stop!!

You will want to make these treats again and again once you try them – perfect for holidays, weddings, parties, anytime!

Pignoli Cookies finish 2 with script

PIGNOLI COOKIES

Makes: About 3 dozen plus

Prep: 25 minutes

Bake: About 20 minutes

Ingredients

2  8 oz. Cans Almond Paste (sold in baking section of grocer – also found in tubes)

3/4 C. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Flour

2 Tbsp. Honey

1/8 Tsp. Nutmeg

1/4 Tsp. Almond Extract

Zest of 1 Fresh Lemon

2 Egg Whites

Dash Salt

1 3/4 – 2 C. Pignolis (pine nuts)

Powdered Sugar for dusting

Instructions

I like to use a food processor. You can use a mixer if you like.

Pignoli Cookies 1

Put your almond paste in the processor. It’s a good idea to break it up in small pieces before mixing.

Add all ingredients to the processor except the pignoli and powdered sugar.

Pignoli Cookies 2

Mix together well.

Then spoon out the dough into a bowl.

Pignoli Cookies 3

Place your pignoli in another bowl.

Pignoli Cookies 4

Roll the dough into small balls – about 1 1/2 inches or larger if you like. If you roll larger balls, you will have fewer cookies.

The roll the balls in the pignoli and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.

Pignoli Cookies 5

Flatten the balls slightly with a fork. This helps them to spread a little.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. You may want to add a couple of minutes more depending on your oven. You want the cookies to be a light golden color.

Pignoli Cookies 6

Remove the cookies to cool. They should be slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside like a macaroon.

PIGNOLI COOKIES —soooo easy – yet so good. An Italian dessert standard!!

PARLA COME MANGI!

Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.

LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE

LIT_logo_trademarked_blogbottom_thum

Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter

Subscribe to my free blog

Follow Me on Pinterest