Tag Archives: tuscany

Torta Della Nonna…Happy Thanksgiving!

Torta della Nonna (Grandma’s Tart), the typical tart from Tuscany filled with custard cream and topped with pine nuts, will be on our table tomorrow to celebrate family, friends and everything we should be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones from #aqueeninthekitchen 🙏

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

 

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.

EatIT LA : Torta Della Nonna

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I’m flattered to announce that I’ve hosted the 7th episode of EatIT LA : Torta della Nonna with pastry chefs Damiano and Massimiliano Carrara from Carrara Pastries in Moorpark, CA.

EatIT LA is a culinary tour through the best Italian restaurants of Los Angeles, created by the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles for Expo 2015 Milan.

To watch this episode, please download the APP :

http://italyartla.com/italyartla-app/

#Expo2015 #EatIT #ItalyArtLA #IICLA #AleGambini

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Festa Dell’Autunno (Fall Feast) September 22-23, Newport Beach (CA)

Festa Dell'Autunno ( Fall Feast) September 22-23, Newport Beach

Don’t miss the occasion to taste authentic Italian food from four of Italy’s premier foodie regions : Tuscany, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Veneto.

http://www.pelicanhill.com/Festa_Intro

Trattoria “Il Grappolo” (Santa Ynez, CA)

Since I moved to LA I’ve tried to find a simple, authentic italian restaurant as the real italian cuisine should be and after many attempts I’ve finally found what I was looking for….TRATTORIA IL GRAPPOLO =)
This restaurant is a little gem nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley (California), only 4 miles away from the famous “Danish” town of Solvang.
Here you can enjoy the authentic italian meal in a bucolic atmosphere that reminded me the Tuscany country.
I HIGHLY recommend it!!!!!!

http://trattoriagrappolo.com

On a scale from 1 to 10 :

Food 10

Service 10

Atmosphere 10

Setting 10

Wine list 10

Buon Appetito =)