Tag Archives: authentic Italian food

Italian Bread Baking @IICLA

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Kick off summer with another extraordinary cooking class at the  Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles and learn how to make homemade Italian bread and focaccia.

MENU:

 

Onion & Cherry Tomato Focaccia (LIGURIA)

Crescione with cheese and spinach (EMILIA-ROMAGNA)

Briosche col Tappo and Granita al Caffè (SICILY)

Save your spot now!

Saturday, July 14th, 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  

Coconut Sicilian Granita

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Granita is a traditional semi-frozen Italian dessert from the ravishing Island of Sicily. The Sicilian granita is usually prepared with water, sugar, fruit juice ( lemon, orange, mandarin ) or other ingredients such as almonds, pistachios, coffee, cocoa, coconut or jasmine. It is traditionally served in a transparent glass and accompanied by the typical brioche col tuppo, an oval-shaped bread topped with a hemispherical ball (tuppo). During the Arab rule in Sicily, the Arabs introduced on the Island the ancestor of the granita : the sherbet, an iced drink flavored with fruit juice or rose water. Afterwards the Sicilians developed the sherbet recipe collecting the snow on Mount Etna, Mountains Peloritani, Iblei and Nebrodi on the nivieri, (stone buildings erected over natural or artificial caves) and using the collected ice covered with fruit syrups or flowers as a refreshing treat during the Summer. Since 2012, in the beautiful city of Acireale (Sicily), takes place the Nivarata a festival dedicated to “the rite of Granita Siciliana”. This festival has been named after theNivaroli, the people that in the past were in charge of collecting the snow.

Buon Appetito!

 

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

1 cup caster sugar

1  1.4 cups spring water

2 cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons rose water

chopped pistachios, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan, put the water and the sugar and cook at low heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.

Transfer the cooled water and sugar mixture into a pitcher or a quart measuring cup then add the coconut milk and the rose water. Stir well.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for about 20 minutes.

Serve right away in transparent glasses, sprinkled with chopped pistachios on top.

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.

A Queen In The Kitchen In-Home Cooking Classes

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I’m flattered to announce my new in-home cooking classes!!!

A Queen In The Kitchen in-home cooking classes will teach you how to cook like an Italian in the comfortable setting of your own kitchen. Enjoy an authentic Italian meal with your family and friends at home.

Buon Appetito!!!

 

What to expect

  • Authentic Italian food.
  • Fresh and seasonal ingredients.
  • Recipes and culinary tips & tricks.
  • A taste of every dish.
  • A complimentary eco-friendly reusable shopping bag “A Queen In The Kitchen”.

 

Classes 

  • Approximately 3 hours
  • Hands-on class.
  • Up to 8 participants.
  • Home cook of all levels are welcome.

 

Where 

  • Los Angeles Area

 

Cooking Class Price 

  • $69 per person

 

Book a Cooking Class

alegambini@breadloveanddreams.com

 

Gnocchetti Della Valchiavenna (Valchiavenna Milk And Bread Dumplings)

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Gnocchetti della Valchiavenna, also known as Pizzoccheri della Valchiavenna (Valchiavenna Pizzoccheri ), are delicious tiny dumplings made with stale bread, flour, milk and tossed with Valtellina Casera cheese, Grana padano cheese, browned butter and sage sauce. Traditionally they were shaped with the help of two teaspoons, I personally love to shape them with the spaetzle maker. The spaetzle maker is the kitchen tool that forces the batter through with a back-and-forth motion when the reservoir is full of  mixture.

The Valchiavenna is an alpine region located to the north of Lake Como in the province of Sondrio (Lombardy region). The Valchiavenna is the home of the CROTTI, small natural rocky cellars where cheese and salami of the valley are preserved.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

Serves : 4
Difficulty : easy
Prep Time : 20 min.
Cook Time : 2 min.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups flour type 00
1 stale bread roll
1 cup whole milk
water, as much as needed
7 oz Casera cheese PDO, diced
1 large potato, diced
3 oz Grana Padano cheese, grated
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
5 sage leaves
ground peppercorn, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Soak the bread with the milk, let it soften for 1 hour.
In a large bowl, place the flour and the soaked bread, mix well adding a little water until a soft mixture forms.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, boil the potatoes until fork tender.
Place the spaetzle maker right over the pot, fill it with some mixture then allow the little dumplings to fall directly into the water. Continue until all the mixture is gone.
Cook for a few minutes, then drain dumplings and potatoes with a slotted spoon and place over a baking dish.
Meanwhile, brown the butter with garlic and sage in a medium skillet.
Add the diced Casera cheese to the dumplings, sprinkle with grated Grana Padano and pour over the browned butter sauce.
Stir all the ingredients together until well combined.
Serve hot, sprinkled with black pepper.

How To Make Risotto Giallo Alla Milanese (Milanese Risotto)

A Queen In The Kitchen Episode #2 : Risotto Giallo Alla Milanese (Milanese Risotto).

Risotto giallo alla Milanese is a specialty dish of my hometown Milan (Italy), traditionally made with beef stock, raw bone marrow, onion, butter, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, flavored and colored with saffron. The best varieties of rice for making a superb risotto are Carnaroli and Arborio.

Learn how to make Risotto giallo alla Milanese simply following my step-by-step video recipe.

Another authentic Italian recipe included in my new cookbook “A Queen In The Kitchen”.

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Available on:

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

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Fun Facts 

In 1981 Gualtiero Marchesi, the Italian chef considered the founder of the Italian modern cuisine, added to this dish a gold foil over the risotto, as a sign of noble dish of the Italian cuisine.

Buon Appetito!!!

…and if you like it, please share and give us a thumbs up.

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Credits:

Ale Gambini (Host, Chef, Author)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (Executive Producer & Music)
Mirko “Mirakle” Urania (Director, Video Maker, Editor, Photos)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams and SuperOttO Publishing
Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Spinach and Ricotta Malfatti

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The Italian word Malfatti literally means “badly shaped”, but despite their name Malfatti are delicious dumplings made with fresh ricotta cheese and spinach.
This is a traditional Lombard first course but it can be found in other regions under different names. In the city of Florence they are called GNUDI (naked) and in Trentino Alto Adige region (northeastern Italy) are known as STRANGOLAPRETI (strangler priests).
Malfatti are usually tossed with browned butter and sage sauce or homemade tomato sauce.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams

SERVINGS : 4-6
PREP TIME : 30 min.
COOKING TIME : 2 min.
DIFFICULTY : easy

INGREDIENTS

12 oz spinach, boiled and squeezed dry

9 oz fresh ricotta cheese

1.5 cups Béchamel sauce

1 egg

1.5 cups Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese, grated

1.5 cups breadcrumbs

For The Béchamel Sauce

4 tbsp unsalted butter

4 tbsp flour 00

2 cups whole milk, warm

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the Béchamel Sauce by heating the butter until it melts, then remove from heat and  add the flour, whisking until smooth. Pour in the warm milk little by little, whisking continuously until well combined. Return to a boil, add nutmeg, salt and stir until thickened. Set aside.

Chop the spinach and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Add the ricotta cheese and mix until just combined.

Add the Béchamel sauce, the egg, the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly until well combined.

Flour a work surface, then divide the dough into golf-sized balls. Roll each balls into a log (1 inch thick) then cut each log into dumplings about 1 inch wide.

Bring to a boil a large pot of salted water, then gently dump in the Malfatti and cook until they rise to the top (about 2 minutes).

Drain the Malfatti with a slotted spoon.

Toss the Malfatti with your favorite sauce or condiment and serve sprinkled with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.