A Queen In The Kitchen – Estate Italiana: Ravenna

Ravenna is Italy’s city of mosaics, named by UNESCO world heritage.

Watch the new episode of A Queen In the Kitchen-Estate Italiana and discover one of the most beautiful Italian city and why Ravenna should be included in your next trip to Italy:

Five of these beauties can be visited by purchasing a combination ticket €9.50 (€8.50 for children) , one is free and the remaining two have their own visiting options.


  • Mosaics

Mosaics are literally everywhere, from the ancient sites to charming little shops and laboratories where to learn the Art of Mosaic. Annafietta is one of them, in the city center of Ravenna,


  • Food and Wine

Romagna cuisine is delicious and I highly suggest to have lunch/dinner at Osteria Passatelli. Established in 1962 the city center of Ravenna, Osteria Passatelli is nestled inside an old movie theater. Great food and good selection of wines in a unique location.




  • Marina di Ravenna

Founded in the 1930s, Marina di Ravenna is a lively beach town and a very popular tourist destination for families and young ones. This small town offers well-equipped beach establishments, hotels, beach clubs and great seafood restaurants.


  • Ravenna Festival

The Ravenna Festival is a summer music and art festival held in Ravenna during the June and July. The most prestigious conductors have appeared in this world-class Festival (Riccardo Muti, Zubin Metha, Lorin Mazel).

Buona Estate!


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.

How To Pronounce And Make Bruschetta

Do you now to pronounce and prepare Bruschetta??? Watch me and learn how to make both of them.

Bruschetta (pronounced bruˈsketta) is 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.




White Grapefruit Tiramisù….Welcome Summer!

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I’m welcoming the summer 2017 with a tangy version of the classic Tiramisù. This recipe works great with any citrus fruits (grapefruits, lemons, limes) or with Limoncello, the lemon liqueur originated from Sorrento (Almafi coast). This dessert is a great idea for entertaining your guests on a warm summer night and remember, it will taste even better if prepared one day ahead.

Have a boost of vitamin C and a splash of summer with the white grapefruit Tiramisù.

Buon Appetito!

Photo by Ale Gambini – A Queen In The Kitchen

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 20 min. plus 2 hours chilling in the fridge



1 white grapefruit

2 eggs, separated

7 tablespoons caster sugar

8 ounces fresh mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup water

7 ounces savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)



Wash, dry and grate half of the peel of the white grapefruit, then squeeze out the juice of the whole grapefruit. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks and 5 tablespoons of sugar with a hand mixer until creamy.

Add the mascarpone cheese and continue to beat until incorporated.

In a second mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff then gently fold into the mascarpone cream.

In a third mixing bowl, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream until stiff then fold into the mascarpone cream.

Stir in the grated grapefruit peel.

Pour the grapefruit juice and 1 cup of water into a rim soup plate, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir until dissolved.

Spoon the bottom of a baking dish with a little amount of the mascarpone cream.

Dip briefly the ladyfingers (one at the time) into the grapefruit and water mixture, then squeeze out the excess of liquid.

Make a layer of dipped ladyfingers into the baking dish then spoon evenly half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.

Make another layer of dipped ladyfingers, spoon evenly the remaining mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.

Cover the grapefruit tiramisu’ tightly with cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve garnished with grapefruit slices.

Crostata Di Fragole (Strawberry Tart)


Today is a big day, is my precious daughter graduation day from Kindergarten. Let’s celebrate this important milestone in her life with a delicious Italian dessert : Crostata di Fragole (Strawberry Tart). For the shortcrust pastry I used my shortcrust recipe that yields more than one shell, so I usually use half of the dough for making a tart and I freeze the remaining half for another cake or cookies. For the filling I made Crema Pasticcera (Custard Cream), and a simple lemon syrup for glossing the fresh strawberries. Enjoy this beautiful day with a slice of Crostata di Fragole.

Buon Appetito!!!





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

Servings : 6 to 8

Difficulty : intermediate

Prep Time : 30 min. + 30 min. ( the dough needs to rest in the fridge)

Cook. Time : 30 min.


For the shortcrust pastry 

1.1 lb (500 gr) flour type 00

11 oz (300 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature

7 oz (200 gr) powdered sugar

5 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 lemon rind, grated

For the custard cream

3/4 cup (150 gr) granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1.76 oz (50 gr) corn starch

8.5 fl oz (250 ml) whole milk

For the syrup

1.7 fl oz (50 ml) water

1/4 cup (50 gr) granulated sugar

freshly squeezed juice of half lemon

For garnish

1 pound of fresh strawberries, washed dried and hulled


Prepare the custard cream beating with a whisk egg yolks and sugar until smooth.

Add the sifted corn starch and continue to whisk until incorporated.

Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly.

Transfer the mixture into a sauce pan, add the vanilla extract and bring to boil. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and cook until thickens. Remove promptly form heat, pour the cream into a bowl, cover the surface of the custard cream with cling paper and allow to cool. When cooled move into the fridge.

Grease with butter and flour a 9.5 inch pie dish. Set aside.

Place the flour on a work surface, make a well and add powdered sugar, butter, lemon rind. Work with hands until sandy.

Add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract and work until smooth and not sticky.

Shape the dough into a large ball then wrap it with cling paper.

Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

Place the dough between to large pieces of parchment paper then, with a rolling pin, roll the dough approximately 1/8-inch thick.

Move the dough into the dish pie, cut the excess of dough, than pinch it with a fork.

Cover bottom and sides with parchment paper than place over dried legumes such as beans or chickpeas so the shortcrust pastry will not rise while baking.

Bake for 15/20 minutes than remove the paper and the dried legumes and continue to bake for  another 8 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

Prepare the syrup placing  water and sugar into a small sauce pan.

Heat at low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to boil, than add the lemon juice and cook until thickens.

Move the syrup into a small bowl and allow to cool.

Cut the strawberries in half. Set aside.

Place the custard cream into a sac-à-poche then pipe the cream into the crust with circular motion starting from the center. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Decorate the cake with strawberries as you prefer.

Brush the strawberries with the syrup.

Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Water Gnocchi With Swordfish And Pistachio Pesto


It’s always sunny in LA, which reminds me of the beautiful summers spent on my favorite Italian island : Sicily.

This dish combines some of the traditional ingredients of the Sicilian cuisine: swordfish, pistachios and lemon. 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 traveling.

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!!!

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Recipe and photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

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 lemon  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, lemon 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.

Avocado Grapefruit Italian Sorbetto

Avocado Grapefruit Sorbet

I’m finally back home in beautiful Los Angeles and it feels like summer, so let’s prepare a refreshing sorbetto made with healthy and delicious ingredients such as avocado and grapefruit.

Sorbetto  (Italian sorbet) is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water and fruit juice o fruit puree. Although it is very similar to the Italian granita, the sorbetto has a smoother texture and is usually served after a rich meal as a digestive.

Enjoy this sorbetto along with fresh fruit and crushed raw pistachios.

Buon Appetito!

1/2 cup water
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons raw crushed pistachios, to garnish
Prepare the syrup bringing to boil water and sugar in a small sauce pan, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Cut each ripe avocado lengthwise all around the seed then rotate the avocado and separate in halves. Remove the seed, scoop out the flesh and place it into a medium bowl. Mesh the avocado flesh with a fork then add the grapefruit juice and puree with a hand blender until very smooth.
Add the syrup and blend again with the hand blender until well combined.
Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes.
Serve the avocado grapefruit sorbet garnished with crushed pistachios.

Potato & Zucchini Lasagna


Summer is almost over which means that the majority of my favorite fresh green vegetables won’t be available until next Spring, so let’s prepare a delicious, healthy lasagna made with zucchine (Italian zucchini) and potatoes. This lasagna is a lighter and yummy alternative to the traditional meat lasagna, perfectly suitable for vegetarians and people with tomato intolerance. For this dish I used only fresh organic produce and the highest quality of dairies. Enjoy every bite.

Buon Appetito!!!





Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – BradLoveAndDreams.com

Servings : 6

Difficulty : intermediate

Prep Time : 40 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.


1 package (12 oz) fresh lasagna sheets

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 garlic clove

2 large zucchini

2 medium potatoes

1 cup water, warm

2 cups whole milk, warm

4 tbsp unsalted butter

4 tbsp flour

1 pinch ground nutmeg

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Wash, dry and cut into thin rounds the zucchini.

Peel, wash, dry and cut into thin rounds the potatoes.

In a large skillet, brown the garlic with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Remove the garlic and add zucchini and potatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, than add 1 cup of warm water, salt and pepper to taste and cook at medium heat until tender.

In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce melting the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Remove the butter from heat then add the flour and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture over medium heat, add nutmeg and cook until just thick. Set aside.

Boil the lasagna sheets on a large skillet of salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then remove and lay on a kitchen towel to dry.

To assemble the Lasagna, grease the bottom of a rectangular baking dish with a knob of butter then spread over a couple of tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Place the first layer of lasagna sheets than some zucchini and potatoes, spread over some  béchamel sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Repeat (lasagna sheets, béchamel sauce, zucchini and potatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano) for other 3 times or until all the ingredients are gone. (I usually prepare my lasagna with no more than 4 layers).

Cook for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.