Category Archives: Holidays & Celebrations

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.




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).


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  


Chiacchiere (Carnival Fried Pastries)


“A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale” (Anything goes at Carnival time).

Carnevale (Italian Carnival or Mardi Gras) is celebrated 40 days before Easter and is the last chance to party before Ash Wednesday and the restrictions of Lent. In Italy we celebrates Carnevale with masquerade balls, goliardic parties and parades showcasing gigantic floats. Children, dressed up in costumes, throw coriandoli (confetti) and stelle filanti (party streamers) at each other and blow party horns and blowouts. The traditional Carnival treats are chiacchiere (fried pastries) and tortelli (fritters). Chiacchiere are sweet crisp pastries, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and are known by different names depending on the regions in which they are prepared :

Lombardy : chiacchiere

Bologna : sfrappole

Tuscany : cenci

Rome : frappe

Tentino Alto Adige & Friuli Venezia Giulia : crostoli 

Liguria & Piedmont : bugie

Sardinia : meraviglias

No matter how we call them, Chiacchiere are simply delicious.

Buon Carnevale!!!

…another recipe homemade, simple and delicious included in my cookbook “A Queen In the Kitchen“.


Available on:

buy4 (US)CA, Amazon Europe: (ITFRESDE) and UK.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen IN The Kitchen

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. to rest

Cook Time : 2 min.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1 shot of Grappa

vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar, to dust



In a large bowl place the flour, make a well then add sugar, butter, eggs, salt and Grappa.

Kneed by hand until the dough becomes soft and pliable. (You can also knead with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook).

Cover with plastic paper an allow to rest for 30 minutes in a cool place.

Divide the dough in 4 equal parts.

With a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.

Cut the dough with a pastry wheel or serrated knife into rectangles 2×4 inch , make 1 or 2 incisions in the middle of each rectangle.

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot then fry the chiacchiere in small batches until both sides are golden brown.

Drain with a slotted spoon and place the chiacchiere over a serving plate covered with paper towel.

Dust with abundant powdered sugar while warm.

Cooking Classes 2018 at IICLA


Happy New Year!!! Buon Anno!!!

Let’s start the 2018 announcing the winter session of A Queen In The Kitchen cooking classes at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.

We’ll start on February 10th, 2018 with a very special cooking class: San Valentino Con Amore! (Valentine’s Day with Love).

I’ll be preparing with all the attendees a romantic Italian meal, using only the freshest and finest ingredients imported directly from Italy. Attendees will also enjoy the food with a flute (or two) of Italian prosecco.

A special rate will be offered to the IIC members & couples (friends, spouses, family…).


Parmigiana di San Valentino – Valentine’s Day Eggplant Parmigiana

Taglierini allo Zafferano  – Taglierini Pasta with Saffron Sauce

Tartufi della Passione – Chocolate and Chili Truffles

Millefoglie Cupido con Crema e Frutti di Bosco – Mille-Feuille Cream and Berries


Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018

Place: Italian Cultural Institute/Kitchen

Time: 10:30am to 1pm

To register please call (310) 824-7408

Can’t wait to celebrate the LOVE with you all!

*Photo Credits : Maurizio “OttO” De Togni and Mirko “Mirakle” Urania




Pandoro Christmas Tree With Chantilly Cream


The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Let’s celebrate Christmas with a delicious Pandoro Christmas Tree filled with Crema Chantilly (Chantilly cream).

Pandoro (literally golden bread), is a traditional Christmas sweet bread from Verona that gets the name from its golden color. Pandoro is baked  in a special star-shaped mold and doesn’t contain contain any dried fruits or nuts, unlike panettone.

I made this scrumptious Pandoro with all the attendees at my cooking class BUON NATALE! THE FESTIVE TABLE at the Italian Institute Of Culture Los Angeles. We shaped our Pandoro into a Christmas tree and filled it with delicious Chantilly cream. We also added some hazelnut spread between some layers for a nutty twist. My students and I  decorated the Pandoro with wild cherries in syrup as ornaments, dusted with lots of powdered sugar.


With this traditional Italian sweet treat, A Queen In  The Kitchen wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year!!!





Photo credits: Maurizio “OttO” De Togni


1 Pandoro (traditional sweet bread of Verona)

For the Chantilly Cream
16 ounces heavy whipping cream, cold
5 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

wild cherries in syrup, to garnish

powdered sugar, to dust



Slice the Pandoro horizontally in 6 slices (1 inch thick). Prepare the Chantilly cream by whipping the cold whipping cream with a hand or stand mixer. When the cream is almost whipped, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a star tip or plain round tip. Build the Pandoro tree by adding layers of cream between the slices and stacking the slices in order to reproduce a Christmas tree. Pipe more cream on the star points and add wild cherries as ornaments. Dust with powdered sugar.

And The Winner Is…

Congratulations to Mary Beth Huddleston, the lucky winner of a fantastic Fabbri 1905 Gif Box.

Thank you all for entering the giveaway and Happy Holidays!!!

Giveaway courtesy of Fabbri USA


Buon Natale! The Festive Table Cooking Class

PanettoneChristmas2013 - 9

Join me Saturday, December 9th, 2017 – 10.30am to 1.00pm at the IIC Los Angeles as I’ll have the pleasure to prepare with all the attendees an authentic Italian Festive Dinner. 

All the participants will also recieve a complimentary jar of Amarena Fabbri courtesy of Fabbri1905 and a Bertozzi parmigiano fridge magnet courtesy of Bertozzi America.

Pandoro Loison courtesy of Sorrento Market.




Cocktail di Gamberetti – Shrimp Cocktail

Strudel Salato – Potato and Zucchini Savory Strudel

Cannelloni Ripieni – Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni

Albero di Pandoro con Crema Chantilly – Italian Sweet Bread with Chantilly Cream


Fee: $60.00 (IIC members)/$65.00 (non-members)

To register call – (310) 824-7408

#aqueeninthekitchen #iicla #cookingclass #christmas #italianfood

Photo credits: Mirko Miracle Urania and Maurizio “OttO” De Togni