A Queen In The Kitchen – Estate Italiana: FICO Eataly World (Bologna)

FICO, acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Contadina (Italian Peasant Factory) and literally fig or cool! (Italian expression), is THE WORLD’S LARGEST AGRI-FOOD PARK in beautiful Bologna (Emilia-Romagna)

100.000 square meters of authentic Italian agri-food related stuff including :

  • shops and marketplace
  • 40 eating points
  • 40 farming factories
  • 6 multimedia carousels
  • 6 classrooms
  • theater and cinema
  • 2 hectares of fields and stables
  • 1 congress center

FICO is HUGE and the best way to explore it is to rent at the entrance the FICO bike, a Bianchi tricycle provided with two shopping baskets.

If you are planning to visit Bologna, the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, don’t forget to plan a whole day at FICO.

Buona Estate!


Majestic entrance at FICO Eataly World .


Red Hot Chili Pepper sculpture in the parking lot.


Best way to visit FICO is to rent a FICO Bike.


Neapolitan Pizza at ROSSOPOMODORO.


Italian Gelato Workshops at Gelato University Carpigiani.


Traditional Sicilian pastries at Pasticceria Palazzolo.


Outstanding Italian rice at Grandi Riso spot.


Huge selection of Italian wines.


Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, shop and tasting.

IMG_2032Authentic Italian restaurants and bistros a go-go.


One of my favorite spot at FICO: Librerie COOP bookstore.


Ale Gambini (Host, Author, Editor)

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

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

A Queen In The Kitchen: How To Make Watermelon Caprese


Everyone knows Caprese, the simple Italian salad, made of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, that features the Italian flag colors : white, red and green. Follow the new episode of A Queen In The Kitchen and learn how to prepare this surprising version of the traditional caprese because I won’t use tomatoes, but watermelon instead. You’ll only need the freshest ingredients and a melon baller.

Buon Appetito!

…and if you like it, please take a moment to subscribe, share and give us a thumbs up!





fresh ciliegine (cherry size) mozzarella, drained

fresh basil, coarsely chopped

lemon rind

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt (if desired)


melon baller



Scoop the watermelon in balls with the help of a melon baller. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, place the watermelon balls, the fresh ciliegine of mozzarella, fresh basil, lemon rind and season with Extra Virgin Olive Olin and salt (if desired).

Give it a nice stir with a spoon.

Enjoy right away or place in the fridge until serving.


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.




Baking Bread : How To Make Panzerotti


Panzerotti are savory deep-fried filled pocket of bread originally from Apulia region (Italy). They are similar to pizza and calzone and they taste AMAZING! The most popular filling is made with fresh mozzarella and tomato (crushed or sauce). The name Panzerotto (literally potbellied) comes from the shape of this bread that resembles a swollen belly.
Enjoy every single bite!
…and if you like it, please take a moment to subscribe, share and give us a thumbs up!




Yields : 6 panzerotti

Difficulty : intermediate

Prep Time : 25 min + 2h and 30 min. to rise

Cook Time : 5 min. each



2 cups flour type 00

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

3 gr instant dry yeast

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup lukewarm water

1 fresh large mozzarella

4 tbsp crushed tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano

1 pinch of salt

olive oil or vegetable oil , for frying


In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar.

Add the yeast, extra virgin olive oil, lukewarm water and knead by hand until an elastic dough forms.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Move the dough over a floured working surface, knead briefly then shape into a long log.

Cut into 6 equal pieces, shape into balls, cover again with the towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by slicing a fresh mozzarella into small pieces, place them into a bowl, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and mix.

Flat each balls of dough with the palm of your hand, roll out into circles, spoon a tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold the edges, seal with the fingers first then with the help of a fork.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil then drop each panzerotto into the hot oil and fry until the bottom side turns golden brown. Flip the panzerotto and fry the other side until golden brown.

Move over a plate lined with paper towel and enjoy right away!


Ale Gambini (Host Chef – Founder – Video Maker – Photo)
Maurizio OTTO De Togni (music)
Produced by: BreadLoveAndDreams

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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



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

Yield : 4 servings

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 10 min.

Cook Time : 4 min.



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



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.


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.




Extra Virgin Olive Oil Chocolate Truffles


Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate are two amazing types of food not only because of their organoleptic characteristics but also because they taste great together. Chocolate Truffles are a variety of chocolate confectionary usually made with a chocolate ganache coated with cocoa powder, chopped nuts or dried flaked fruit. Their name comes from the resemblance with the fruiting body of the Tuber fungus. I gave to my chocolate ganache a Mediterranean twist adding a little amount of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a smidge of fine sea salt. These truffles are melt-in-your-mouth, intense, chocolatey, fruity bites of goodness.

Another Homemade & Delicious idea for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

Buon Appetito!






Recipe and Photo by Ale Gambini & Maurizio “OttO” De Togni – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Yields : 12 truffles

Difficulty : Easy

Prep Time : 20 min. + 90 min. refrigeration


3.5 ounces Extra Dark Chocolate bar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

a smidge of fine sea salt

unsweetened cocoa powder and pink sugar mini pearls, for coating


Break the chocolate bar into chunks and place them into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream and the sugar until it dissolves and tiny bubbles have formed around the edges.

Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate chunks. Stir until combined. That is called ganache.

Beat the ganache with a hand or stand mixer for 5 minutes or until glossy.

Pour the ganache into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Scoop the ganache over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a tablespoon or  melon baller.

Move the baking sheet into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Shape the chilled ganache into balls by rolling between the palms of your hands. Remember to wet your hands with cold water to prevent from sticking.

Roll into cocoa powder or sugar mini pearls and place back in the fridge until needed.

Serve at room temperature.

Summer Lettuce And Sour Cream Soup

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I’ve always had troubles getting to eat the salad to the members of my family, so I ended up to camouflage a beautiful organic lettuce in a delicious creamy soup. This could be a healthy and fresh alternative for the one who are not a big fan of green vegetables. I’ve used organic lettuce, homegrown basil, yellow potatoes and sour cream. The taste is delicate and elegant and the texture super smooth and creamy. Enjoy the summer with a bowl of warm or cold lettuce soup, either way you’ll be pleased.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini

Servings : 4

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min

Cook Time : 30 min.


2 organic big heads of lettuce

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 small bunch fresh Italian basil, chopped

2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup for garnish

salt & pepper, to taste


Wash, dry and chop coarsely the lettuce.

In a large sauté pan, sauté the onion in  olive oil until golden than lettuce and diced potatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Cover with vegetable stock, milk, add the basil (previously washed, dried and chopped) and salt & pepper to taste.

Simmer until lettuce and potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat and  blend the ingredients with a hand blender until very smooth.

Reheat the soup, stir in the sour cream and heat thoroughly.

Serve lukewarm with a quenelle of sour cream on top, a dash of ground black peppercorn and a drizzle of EVOO.

Water Gnocchi With Swordfish And Pistachio Pesto


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Water Gnocchi With Swardfish And Pistachio Pesto

Speaking of weather, in these days LA is “burning” and reminds me the hot Sicilian summer. I decided to cook a dish that combines some of the traditional ingredients of the Sicilian cuisine: swordfish, pistachios and citrus. The gnocchi are very simple, made just with semolina flour and hot water. After the first bite you will feel the taste of the Mediterranean sea, a culinary trip without travel.

Pair this dish with a dry and fragrant white wine from the coastal areas such as Vermentino (Liguria and Sardinia), Falanghina (Campania), Salina Island (Sicily).

Buon Appetito!!!


Serving : 4-6

Difficulty : medium

Prep Time : 50 min.

Cook Time : 15 min



For the gnocchi

1.8 cups (300 gr) semolina flour

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) hot water

1 pinch coarse salt


For the pistachio pesto

1 big lemon or citron zest

1.5 oz. of capers capers

3 oz. of pistachio

1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1 small bunch of basil

1 pinch of thyme

1 pinch of oregano

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper , to taste


For the swordfish

8 oz. swordfish

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 clove of garlic

1/2 glass white wine

1 pinch chili pepper



On a medium bowl sift the semolina flour.

In a large sauce pan bring to boil the water with salt, then remove from heat and add the semolina flour stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until a firm dough forms.

Move the dough on a wooden cutting board, then knead with hand until a smooth dough will form. (Be very careful because the dough will be hot).

Shape the dough into little logs then cut them into pieces about 1 inch long.

Roll over a gnocchi board, then place them on the floured work surface, well spaced one to another. Set aside.

Dice the swordfish then sauté in a a large skillet with olive oil, garlic and pepper. Pour over the wine and cook until evaporate. Set aside.

On a food processor whirr together pistachios, capers , herbs, citrus peel, Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. You can also do it with a traditional mortar.

Bring to boil a pot of salted water with a tablespoon of olive oil, then dump the gnocchi in.

Cook for a couple of minutes or until they rise to the surface.

Drain the gnocchi with a skimmer and place them on the skillet with the swordfish.

Sauté the gnocchi with swordfish, then remove from heat and add the pesto.

Stir until well incorporate.

Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano.


Photo by Ale Gambini