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Panzanella (Tuscan Bread Salad)

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Panzanella, literally PAN: Bread and ZANELLA: Soup Bowl, is the name of the traditional Tuscan bread salad. The main ingredients of panzanella are stale Tuscan bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I had the pleasure to teach how to make this dish during Culinary Tour Of Italy, the cooking class I led at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles as a part of the LA FoodBowl, the month long food fest organized by the Los Angeles Times.

Here are some tips for a delicious Panzanella:

Use Tuscan bread, the unsalted Italian bread loaf.

Don’t drench the bread in the water solution, simply wet it.

Use the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Make the Panzanella ahead of time as the ingredients will blend together during the resting time in the fridge.

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Photo Credits : Mirko Mirakle Urania

INGREDIENTS

4 slices stale Tuscan bread

2 ripe tomatoes

1 medium cucumber

1small red onion

white wine or apple vinegar

8 basil leaves, hand chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

salt and pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut the onion into thin slices, soak them in a small bowl with water and a tablespoon of vinegar for at least 1 hour. Peel the cucumber with a potato peeler then cut into thin rounds. Wash, dry and cut the tomato into small pieces. With a serrated knife, remove the crust from the Tuscan bread slices, wet them with a solution of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar without soaking too much. Once softened, squeeze out any excess of liquids and chop it coarsely into pieces. Place the bread in a large bowl, then add the drained onions, tomatoes, cucumber, basil leaves and mix all the ingredients with the help of a spoon. Season with Evoo, salt and pepper and mix again. Place the Panzanella in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Return the Panzanella to room temperature before serving

 

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Tiramisù Truffles

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Tiramisù truffles are an eggless version of the authentic Italian Tiramisù, very simple to make and great for any occasion. Recently I made these mouthwatering truffles during the TV show Taste of Sunrise hosted by Mary Winners on CCN Sunrise and it was a HIT!

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When it comes to Tiramisù, remember to use only SAVOIARDI (Italian crispy ladyfingers) and the best quality ingredients. I personally used Di Stefano cheese mascarpone and it worked beautifully.

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You’ll be amazed by their incredible velvety texture. These tiramisu truffles will completely melt in your mouth.

 

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Photo Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

16 savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)

tablespoons powdered sugar

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 shot espresso coffee

cocoa powder, to dust

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, pulverize the savoiardi. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Blend in the espresso then add the savoiardi and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls then roll them into cocoa powder.

Store tiramisu truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.

Remove from fridge 10 minutes before serving.

The 9th Taste Awards Ceremony & Reception

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This upcoming April 9th, I’ll be walking the Red Carpet as FINALIST at the 9th Taste Awards with  Maurizio “OttO” De Togni and Mirko “Mirakle” Urania, executive producer and director of my online food program A QUEEN IN THE KITCHEN. The TASTE AWARDS Red Carpet Dinner and Reception will take place at Chef Casey Lane’s Viale dei Romani in West Hollywood (CA).

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A Queen In The Kitchen, the online food program based on the homonymous blog and cookbook , has been nominated as finalist at the Taste Awards for the fourth year in a row in four categories:

  • Best Chef In a Series
  • Best Single Topic Series
  • Best Instructional Web Series
  • Best Food Program – Online/Streaming

I am beyond proud and happy to represent once again the authentic Italian cuisine and the extraordinary Italian food in the world at such a prestigious event!

The TASTE AWARDS are the highest awards for creators, producers, hosts, and directors, celebrating the year’s best achievements in Food, Fashion, Health, Travel, Sports and Lifestyle programs on Television, in Film, in Online Video, and in Apps, Radio, Podcasts and Photography.

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Torta Pasqualina

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” Natale con i tuoi. Pasqua con chi vuoi.”

“Christmas with family. Easter with whoever you want to be with.”

Italian saying

Torta Pasqualina is an Italian savory pie filled with chard or spinach, eggs and ricotta. This is one of Liguria’s iconic dishes but is prepared throughout the country during the Easter celebrations. The original Pasqualina pie calls for 33 layers of thin dough to represent the 33 years of Jesus. This savory pie is traditionally enjoyed on Paquetta, the Monday after Easter Sunday, when Italians like to go on a picnic.

Follow my step-by-step recipe and learn how to prepare this simple and delicious Easter pie. Enjoy the Pasqualina slightly warmed up or at room temperature.

Buona Pasqua – Happy Easter!

 

Yields : 8 servings

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min.

Cook Time : 30 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 lb spinach, cooked and chopped

1 egg

10 oz ricotta cheese

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano

salt and pepper, to taste

2 puff pastry frozen sheets, thawed

3 eggs

1 egg yolk, to brush

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic clove with butter until golden, then add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, the spinach and 1 egg until well blended. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if necessary.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with parchment paper.

Roll the thawed puff pastry on a slightly floured work surface then move the puff pastry into the pie pan, trim the excess of puff pastry from the edges with a knife, pinch the pastry with a fork.

Spread evenly the filling into the puff pastry.

With the back of a dinner spoon, make 3 marks into the filling then fill the marks with the eggs.

Lay over the other puff pastry sheet, pinch the edges to seal the pie.

Brush the puff pastry with one beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool a bit in its pan before serving.

A Queen In The Kitchen Feat. TG Dei Bambini by Angelica DT

A Queen In The Kitchen Special Edition featuring Angelica DT and her TG dei Bambini. The Neapolitan art of pizza has received the recognition as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Learn how to prepare the authentic Italian pizza from Angelica and Neapolitan pizzaiuolo Pasquale, owner of Da Pasquale Restaurant in Beverly Hills (CA)

Please take a moment to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE.  https://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGam

Credits: Ale Gambini (Chef, Author)

Angelica DT (Host)

Maurizio OTTO De Togni (Executive Producer, Music, Director, Video Maker, Editor, Photo).

Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams and SuperOttO Publishing Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Birthday & Happy International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2018 …Happy Birthday to my wonderful daughter Angelica and Happy International Women’s Day too. So much to celebrate and to be happy for!!! Here is the cake I baked for the birthday girl, a delicious 8-shaped pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake) frosted with white chocolate buttercream and garnished with fresh flowers, raspberry macarons, fresh strawberries, chocolate kisses and rainbow candies.

AUGURI!!!!

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Gnocchi & Gnocchetti Cooking Class

Gnocchi & Gnocchetti

2018 is the year of the Italian Food! Join me for another fun and delicious cooking class at the  Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and learn how to make different types of Italian GNOCCHI using the finest Italian ingredients (Caputo Flour, Parmigiano Reggiano Bertozzi).

MENU:

Gnocchi di patate – Classic Italian dumplings

Spaetzle del Sud Tirolo – South Tyrolean dumplings

Gnudi Toscani – Tuscan dumplings

in traditional Italian sauces

 

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
10:30 AM – 1 PM
Italian Cultural Institute
1023 Hilgard Avenue – LA 90024
To register:
please call 310-824-7408 or email to classes.iicla@esteri.it