Category Archives: Antipasti

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

 

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 : How To Make Bruschetta

The new episode of A Queen In The Kitchen is live on YouTube and Vimeo!

Watch me preparing Bruschetta (pronounced bruˈsketta), the Italian antipasto (starter) consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and salt. It can also be topped with tomato, basil, cured meats and cheese.

…and if you like it, please subscribe to my You Tube Channel (it’s free!).

Buon Appetito!

#aqueeninthekitchen #cookbook #bruschetta

Bruschetta

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Photo by Mirko “Mirakle” Urania – A Queen In The Kitchen

Yield : 4 servings

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 10 min.

Cook Time : 4 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

4 slices country bread

1 garlic clove

3 small ripe tomatoes, diced

4 fresh basil leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Grill the sliced bread in a cast iron skillet or outdoor grill until browned on both sides (2 minutes per side).

Rub each slice with the garlic clove.

Place some tomato mixture on top of each bread slice.

Serve right away.

 

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host, Chef, Author)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (Executive Producer, Music)
Mirko “Mirakle” Urania (Director, Video Maker, Editor, Photo)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams and SuperOttO Publishing
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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BUY IT ON :

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Torta Pasqualina (Ligurian Easter Pie)

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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 is one of the recipes I’ve shared with my foodie students during the Primavera! cooking class at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. For this delicious savory pie, I’ve used the outstanding Di Stefano Cheese ricotta, because Italian cuisine is all about the freshest and finest ingredients.

Buona Pasqua …Happy Easter!

Photo by Maurizio “OttO” De Togni

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.

HOW TO Make Vegan Potato Roses

A few of days ago I bought by mistake a box of vegan puff pastry so I decided to prepare a vegan dish. I sliced the potato with the mandolin slicer, I prepared a spice mix blending sea salt, fresh rosemary and chimichurri blend and I shaped the puff pastry and potato slices into roses. I baked the roses in a muffin tin greased with vegan butter spread. For a non-vegan version these beautiful and yummy roses , use regular puff pastry, brush with a slightly beaten egg before baking and grease the muffin tin with melted unsalted butter.

Make these savory roses as appetizer for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Buon Appetito!

Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Yields : 3 potato roses

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.

INGREDIENTS

1 sheet vegan puff pastry, thawed

1 potato

1 tablespoon spice mix (chimichurri blend, rosemary, sea salt)

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

vegan butter spread, to grease the pan

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Peel, wash, pat dry the potato then slice it with a mandolin slicer as thin as possible.

Meanwhile put spice mix and olive oil in a bowl and combine then add the potato slices to the mixture and blend all the ingredients.

On a floured work surface, slightly roll the thawed puff pastry .

Cut into three rectangles.

Lay the potato slices along the length of each puff pastry rectangles, leaving 1 inch of the pastry uncovered.

Fold the empty puff pastry over the potatoes and  roll into a spiral. Seal the roses by pinching the puff pastry.

Brush three cups of a muffin tin with vegan butter spread.

Place the potato roses in the tin.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Enjoy warm.

 

 

 

HOW TO Make Caprese Snowman

Everyone knows Caprese Salad, the simple Italian salad, made of mozzarella and tomato slices, fresh basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil , salt and pepper that resembles the Italian flag (green, white and red). In this episode of HOW TO I’ll turn a caprese salad into a super cute snowman, the perfect ANTIPASTO (appetizer) for the Christmas dinner or Holiday Celebrations.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious!

…and if you like it, please take a moment to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE.
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker – Video Editor)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

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HOW TO Make Pizzette

Raise your hand if you like Pizza! Today I’ll show you how to make Pizzette. Pizzette are mini-size pizzas made with puff pastry, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and oregano. The perfect snack, finger-food and hors d’oeuvres for birthday parties, children’s parties, graduation parties and block parties.

Keep it always homemade, simple and delicious!

…and if you like it, please take a moment to LIKE, SHARE, and SUBSCRIBE.
http://www.youtube.com/AlessandraGambini

Credits:
Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker – Video Editor)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams.com
Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.