PASTIERA NAPOLETANA (Easter cake)

My mom came to visit me here in Tuscany… she cannot get rid of traditions and since is easter time she HAD to make a typical easter cake very famous in Italy but typical of Naples, in the south.
This cake is not easy or fast to make, but people really love it….like it is the best thing in the world!! i have to be honest, i’m not a big fan….but maybe I’m the only one.  My mom was very jelous of this recipe since it came from a long family tradition…but I convinced her to share with you!

Since the procedures isn’t easy I’ll make a big effort in translating it from italian to english… so please forgive my mistake!!

INGREDIENTS:

THE FILLING:

500 gr of canned cooked wheat

500 gr ricotta cheese

400 gr sugar

12 eggs
20 gr butter
orange flour water or millefiori

vanilla

cinnamon

candied orange  chopped

THE PASTRY:
2 eggs
400 gr all purpose flour
150 butter
100 sugar
1 pinch of salt

I know some ingridient may be hard to find…sorry about that!

PROCEDURES:

PREPARE THE FILLING

1) Put a pan over medium heat with 1 cup  of water, the canned cooked wheat  and 20 gr of butter.
Let it cook until the water is completely absorbed, then add some cinnamon powder.

2) In a bowl mix togheter the ricotta cheese and 12 eggs white. Mix well until creamy. (do NOT whip egg whites till stiff)

3) Into another pan make the cream: Put the eggs yolk togheter with sugar and wisk until creamy…now add the milk and 1 tablspoon of flour, mix well.
Put the pan over medium heat and mix until it becomes less fluid

When all those three steps are ready and the ingridient cold, put everything togheter and add the vanilla, candied orange, flawor extract.

PREPARE THE PASTRY

Mix togheter the ingridient and knead until smooth


Let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hour

Once the pastry is ready  strecth it out with a rolling pan…it must be very thin.


Put it into a deep cake pan (buttered) and add the filling.

Cover with strips of pastry

Cook at 180° until gold (about 1 hour)
Once is cooked wait until is completely cold.
Cover with icing sugar if you like it

Chocolate orange muffin

Hi everybody….it’s been a lot of time since I’ve write on the blog…

It is a very stressfull period, working really hard on exames and final dissertation.

Today it’s the first day back on cooking! I started with a sweet recipe….

I know it looks like a cup cake, but it’s not!

It’s the classic muffuin recipe I took from Nigella website, I knew I didn’t have to overmix ’cause it will cause a tough muffin with compact texture….but this time I mixed it even quickly then I used to….with a lot of lumps… and i have to say it came out heavenley…soooooo soft….it meleted in the mouth!!!!!

As frosting I melted 100 gr of dark orange chocolate with 25 gr of butter , 80 gr of cream cheese and 50 gr of icing sugar….so delicious!

Also I squezeed half orange and I’ve put the juice into the muffin dough…

The result is amazing!

The only thing that I don’t like is that the frosting is quite “wet” I mean that you are going to get dirty when you eat it, because it0s not dry….is that normal?

orecchiette con cime di rapa

orecchiette are a traditional home made pasta …very popular in Puglia which is one of the italian region (in the south)

They are simply made  with semolina flour ( hard wheat flour) lukewarm water and salt.

I can’t explain how you can give it the traditional shape…you have to watch it, so I suggest to look for a video on you tube ..even tough it is in italian doesn’t matter beacause all you need to do is to watch the movemet….

I made a variation of the traditional recipe because I used half smolina and half whole wheat flour.

it was very tasty, not to mention that whole weat flour is helthier…

as topping I used turnip tops (cime di rapa)

procedures and ingridients

wash the cime di rapa and put in a bowl of boiling water, let it cook for 10 minutes

in the meantime put in a pan over low heat some extravirgin olive oil,  minced garlic,  hot peppers and 1 or 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced.

once the cime are ready, add them to the pan.

in the boilong water (where you have cooked the cime) cook the orecchiette for 2 or 3 minutes

Then add the orecchiette to the pan, and 1 tbs of bread crumbs, mix well…. enjoy!

castagnole

Another Carnival treat….

there are tounds of regional carnival recipe…most of them are deep fried…I don’t like frying….so I didn’t make it.

My Aunt Susy made those wonderful “castagnole” …she is such a great cook!

here is the recipes for you guys…

INGRIDIENTS

15 oz flour (oo type)

2.6 oz corn starch

4 oz butter

3.5 oz caster sugar

3 eggs

0.2 oz baking powder

PROCEDURES

Mix separately th dry and the wet ingridients.

Than mix togheter and knead until smooth

make it rest  for half hour

then form little ball from the dough and deep fry

cover with caster sugar

mediterranean style Gilthead bream fillets

Fish is so good and so healthy we all should eat it more often.

I like just fresh fish but I don’t have time to go to the fish market everyday ….So I usually eat it only  once at week, twice if I’m lucky.

Today was one of the lucky days… This recipe is sooooo easy, healthy end fast that everyone loves it.

For 2 people:

Chop very finely half gold onion and let it sautèe with 1 tsp of extravirgin olive oil.

Cut 5 cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pan, after a minute or two add some brandy and let it evaporates (that will help to caramelized the onions and the tomatoes)

Add the fish fillet and 3 or 4 tpsb of water.

Add the mix herbs ( fennel seeds, thyme, garlic powder, ground rosemary)

Cover and let it cook for not more then 10 minutes.

Once is ready add some fresh chopped basil, salt, pepper.

 

 

 

Where’s the missing half?

I was in a bad mood today  so I absolutely needed to bake something!

Few days agò I found out this amazing recipe from here and since then I could’t stop thinking about it.

but today, well…I didn’t had the ingridient home and I couldn’t wait to bake, so I readapt the recipe according to what I had into the fridge.

I made basic Nigella muffin recipe (it never dissapoint me)

Once I spooned into the prepared muffin cases, I add 1 tsp of wildberries jam directly on the top of each muffin.

Then I sprinkled on  the topping which I made with:

1 oz melted butter, 4 tsp brown sugar, lemon zest.

Mix togheter and slowly add flour until it looks like crumble (use your finger).

Cook for 20 minutes at 390 F°

 

 

I was really satisfied 😉

CENCI

Another traditional  carnival recipe!

it comes from my friend Marco’s mom….

Once you start eating one you can’t stop!….They were so delicious I asked him to make a pic and give me the recipe.

So…

16 oz Flour

3.5 oz caster sugar

1.8  fl oz milk

1.8 oz butter

1 tbs orange juice or limoncello

1 egg

vanilla

oil to fry

confectioner’s Sugar (Icing or powdered Sugar)

PROCEDURES

Put the flour in a large bowl and make an hole in the middle.

wisk egg and sugar and add to thr middle of the flour together with melted butter, milk, and vanilla.

knead until it turns out smooth.

roll out the dough (about 2 mm; 1/16″)

cut into unregular stripes.

fry and cover with icing sugar

ENJOY!!!

Frittelle di Riso

Carnival has just started! It’s celebrated all around Italy, but there are some places where the tradition is more important and there is a big party every weekend…

Here in Tuscany Viareggio is famous for carnival.

Then there are Venezia and Cento just to mention some of the most important.

…bakeries all over the country are making traditional carnival desserts….which are different in every italian region.

Here in tuscany “frittelle di riso” are very popular…also because they are so delicious and I can’t wait carnival to eat them!

Ingridients:

100 gr (3.5 oz) originario rice. I’m not sure, but I think you can use sushi rice instead.

1 oz caster sugar

17 fl oz milk (500 ml)

orange or lemon zest

1 egg

1.7 oz flour (50 gr)

1 tsp baking powder

caster sugar to decorate

procedures

cook the rice with the milk , orange zest, sugar

cook until milk is completely absorbed.

Once is cold, wisk in egg , flour, baking powder

Frie the frittelle helping your self with a spoon (oil temperature 175 C°/ 347 C°)

once they are cooked roll each one in caster sugar ( you may also add some cinnamon powder if you like it)

ENJOY 😉

Pasta tuna and beans

i’m so busy with studying for exames and preparing my final dissertation that i didn’t had time to go to to supermarket and buy some food!…unfortunately here thare are no wallmart open overnight, so I had to figure out something with the few ingridients I had left in the store room.

It came out with a delicious 10 minutes pasta…

Ingridient and procedures. Serving 2

Bring some water to boil.

In the meantime finely chop together half blond onion, 4 black olive such as kalamata or gaeta, and some parsley.

Put 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan and let sautèe the chopped onions, olives and parsley.

Add 1 can of white beans and mash half of them with a fork.

Add 1 can of tuna, garlic powder and hot chili powder.

while you are cooking pasta bring some of the water from the casserole (a couple of tbp) and put into the pan, the water where pasta is cooking  is rich in starch and that will helps the tuna/beans topping to be more creamy.

Once the pasta is ready put into the pan and stir  in 1.4 oz of cream cheese.

ENJOY!!

Sorry about the ugly pic….

cereals and chocolate chunks cookies

I’ve made those cookies a couple of months agò, I just found out I made a Picture of them….but I didn’t remebered the recipe…luckly I wrote it down ( this never happens!) So I’m going to share it with you….because the only thing I remeber is that they were really tasty 😉

INGRIDIENTS and PROCEDURES:

Cream togheter:

3. 5 oz ( 100 gr) butter

3.5 oz (100 gr) brown sugar

1 egg

Then add to the cream:

4.5 oz flour

1 pinch of baking soda

3.8 oz (110 gr) of your favourite breakfast cereal

2 oz dark chocolate chunk

mix well, cover the dough with a  plastic wrap and refrigerate for half hour.

Form dough into ball (you can help yourself with a icecream scoop)

Put the balls on a baking paper and press it with you hands….

cook on the oven at 356 F° (180 C°) for about 14 minutes.