Thank You, Thank You, Thank You For The Cannolo Award !

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I’m so happy and proud to announce that I just won the Cannolo Award,  a recognition given to food bloggers, blogging about Authentic Italian Food in the English language. The purpose of this award is to preserve and acknowledge the Authentic Italian Food worldwide.

A very special thanks to Paolo Rigiroli, founder and creator of http://www.disgraceonthemenu.com and Cannolo Award!!!

Grazie ;)

Frozen Yogurt On A Stick

LollipopYogurt_BLAD blog - 03 copyAs a Mom, I always try to give to my daughter fresh and healthy snacks, especially during the summer when the heat makes kids inappetent. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thought about putting a stick on a yogurt and freeze it, so a couple of days ago I gave it a try and it worked beautifully. A yummy, healthy and inexpensive treat ready in a couple of hours. You’ll only need your kid’s favorite yogurt, a wooden stick, a scissor and that’s it.

Enjoy!!!

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini

 

For 6 Frozen Yogurt on Stick :

 

INGREDIENTS

4 oz.- 6 pack organic yogurt

 

TOOLS

6 wooden sticks for ice cream bar

1 pair of kitchen shears

 

DIRECTIONS

With a pair of kitchen shears, make a little incision on the center of the sealing film.

Insert a wooden stick into each yogurt cups.

Put in the freezer and freeze them completely.

Unmold the frozen yogurt  peeling off the sealing film, then make a little cut on the edge of the plastic cup and unwrap it.

 

 

 

My Cooking Philosophy

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Julia Child

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This is definitely my favorite quote about food and these words reflect exactly my cooking philosophy.
Always remember to keep it simple, use the freshest ingredients, shop at your local Farmers Market or pick your own fruit and vegetables at your nearest farm. Think organic and environmentally friendly. Grow your favorite cooking herbs on your garden, balcony or apartment. Let your kids play with the dirt, teach them to respect humans, animals and nature.
Eat well and be happy!!!

A very special thanks to Maurizio “OttO” De Togni for these beautiful photos @ Underwood Family Farm, Moorpark (CA).

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Calamaretti Alla Sorrentina (Calamaretti Pasta Sorrento Style)

Everyone has probably heard about Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, a typical dish from the beautiful city of Sorrento (Campania region), a yummy first course with potato dumplings, tomato sauce, mozzarella, quickly baked. I adapted this traditional recipe to the Calamaretti (squids), an uncommon shape of Italian pasta that resembles in shape and color the calamari fish rings .
I only used the freshest mozzarella cheese, homegrown basil and organic Italian strained tomatoes. The perfect dish to celebrate the beauty of the summer and to feel like on Italian vacation.
Pair this dish with a Collio Sauvignon or Frascati Superiore white wines.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Servings : 4
Difficulty : easy
Prep Time : 40 min.
Cook Time : 10 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

9 oz Calamaretti pasta
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (see the recipe below)
8 oz mozzarella cheese balls, diced
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1 sprig of fresh basil, for garnish

For the tomato sauce
24 oz organic strained tomatoes
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Prepare the tomato sauce placing the olive oil and the onion on a medium sauce pan. Sauté until golden then put the strained tomatoes, the basil and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.

Cover the pan with the lid and cook at very low heat for 30 minutes. Remember to stir frequently.

Cook the Calamaretti pasta on a large pot of salted boiling water, until “al dente” (usually 9 minutes).

Drain the pasta, then return the pasta on the pot and toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Stir until just blended.

On a baking dish, place half of the pasta then add half of the diced mozzarella and sprinkle lightly with Parmigiano cheese. Place over the remaining pasta, pour over the remaining tomato sauce, the mozzarella, sprinkle with Parmigiano and bake for 10 minutes.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and serve hot.

 

Pizza Cupcakes With Parmigiano Reggiano Frosting – Happy 4th Of July !!!


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With this recipe I’ve truly tried to honor the beautiful Country where I live since 2008, without forgetting my roots, my culinary heritage, my Homeland. I combined of one of the symbols of the American cookery (the cupcakes) with the ingredients of the Italian tradition. The salty flavor of these cupcakes reminds the taste of the Italian Pizza, the icon of the Italian food worldwide. I added a very simple frosting made ​​with butter, Parmesan cheese and a hint of black pepper. Put these “unconventional” cupcakes into your your pic-nic basket and have one each (should be more than enough) while waiting for the fireworks. After all, it was an Italian who discovered America, land of opportunity where dreams come true.

Happy 4th of July and Buon Appetito !!!

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Yields : 4-6 standard cupcakes

Difficulty : medium

Prep Time : 40 min.

Cook Time : 12 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup flour 00

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated

5 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp Italian oregano

1 egg separated

1/4 cup whole milk

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp tomato sauce

For the frosting

12 tbsp ( 1  1/2 stick ) unsalted butter

2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated

ground black peppercorn, to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 325 F degrees.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, Parmigiano Reggiano, basil and oregano. Set aside.

With a hand or stand mixer beat slightly the egg yolk, then add milk, olive oil, tomato sauce, salt and mix thoroughly.

Meanwhile whip the egg white at stiff peak, then fold it gently into the egg yolk mixture.

Line a standard muffin pan with cupcakes liners, then fill with batter 3/4 full.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool on the pan for a couple minutes, then move on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting creaming the butter with a hand or stand mixer, then add the Parmigiano Reggiano and ground black peppercorn. Beat until a very rich and creamy mixture forms.

Fill a pastry bag with no tip or a star tip with the frosting  and pipe over the cupcakes.

Serve at room temperature.

 

Photo by Maurizio De Togni & Ale Gambini

 

Taròz (Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Cheese)

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The Taròz is a traditional dish from Valtellina (Lombardy region), prepared with local vegetables as green beans and potatoes, boiled and fried with onion, garlic and butter and blended with two types of cheese : Val Lesina (or Casera) and Grana Padano. The word Taroz in dialect means blend (tarare = to blend). Taròz are a second course to eat along with cured meats (salame or bresaola).
Pair this dish with NINO NEGRI VIGNETO FRACIA VALTELLINA SUPERIORE DOCG .

Buon Appetito!!!

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Serves : 4

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min.

Cook Time : 30 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 medium potatoes
10 oz green beans (locally grown)
3 oz onion, chopped
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 oz Val Lesina Cheese or Casera Cheese, diced
2 oz Grana Padano, grated
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 clove of garlic
ground black peppercorn , to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Peel and wash the potatoes and boil in a medium pot with salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender.
In the meantime, wash and trim the green beans, then boil in a large pot with salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender.
In a large skillet, soften the onion with olive oil then add the green beans (previously drained) and sauté for 5 minutes.
Drain and dice the potatoes, then add them to the green beans and onion.
With a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes and green beans until blended.
Add the diced Val Lesina or Casera Cheese and the grated Grana Padano. Stir all the ingredients together until well blended.
In a medium skillet, brown the butter with a garlic clove.
Place the Taròz on a serving plate, pour over the browned butter.
Serve hot sprinkled with ground black peppercorn

Photo by Ale Gambini