Best Ever Crostata With Nutella (Nutella Tart)

IMG_3352 copyToday in Italy is FERRAGOSTO, from the Latin : Feriae Augusti (Augustus’ rest), the most important nationwide summer holiday. Schools, businesses and government offices are closed for celebrating the Catholic feast of the Assumption of Mary. In many cities, towns and villages there will be a procession of people carrying the statue of Jesus’s mother Mary and at the and of the day a fireworks show. The majority of Italians will spend the day out of town, heading to the beach or mountains, eating at the restaurant or setting up a picnic.

Today’s recipe is Crostata with Nutella (Nutella Tart), the perfect dessert to put in your picnic basket and share with family and friends….I’m pretty sure it will be all gone in no time.

Buon Appetito and Buon Ferragosto!!!

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini

Servings : 8-10

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15 min + 30 min (to let the dough rest in the fridge)

Cook. Time : 45 min

INGREDIENTS

For the crust
1.1 lb  flour 00
11 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lemon rind, grated
 
For the filling
1 pound of Nutella
 
 
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

Grease with butter and flour a 9.5 inch pie dish.

Place the flour on a work surface, male 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.

Place 2/3 of 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 pie dish, remove the excess of dough then spread over the Nutella evenly.

Roll the remaining dough 1/12 inch thick and cut into tripes with a pastry or pizza wheel slicer.

Make a grid over the pie with the strips.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the lower rack of the oven for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.

Cool completely before serving.

 

Alpine Fresh Contest July 2014….I Won!!!

photo-204I’m so happy and thrilled to announce that I’m the winner of the Alpine Fresh contest July 2014 with my recipe : LASAGNE ASPARAGUS AND BURRATA!!!

Thanks to Alpine Fresh Inc. for this recognition and for their fresh and healthy products (asparagus, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, french beans and fresh cut).

 

For my winning recipe, please visit:

http://www.alpinefresh.com/#!contest-winners/c4pc

 

White Chocolate Chips Blondies Now On La Mia Cucina Americana (American Recipes For Italians)

Blondies are chewy, rich and flavorful cookie bars made with flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla, sometimes enriched with walnuts, pecans, white or dark chocolate chips. The brown sugar gives to the blondies their distinctive molasses flavor. These delicious cookies are usually baked in square pan, then cut into square pieces and should be served with a glass of cold milk as snack-cakey treat.

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This recipe yields 12 blondies

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon vanilla paste
1 1/4 all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter and flour.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
With a hand or stand mixer beat butter and brown sugar until creamy.
Mix in the egg and vanilla paste.
Add all the dry ingredients slowly until just blended.
Stir in gently the white chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the pan and wipe evenly with the spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown.
Allow to cool at room temperature, then cut into little squares

Tips & Tricks:

Store in airtight container or tightly wrapped with cling paper at room temperature for up to 3 days.

New England Clam Chowder

So happy and excited to announce that I’ve just added a new blog’s page called La Mia Cucina Americana, traditional American recipes that I love to cook and share with my family and friends.

This is my personal tribute to a kitchen still not very popular in my homeland (Italy),  a “virtual” invitation to taste new, delicious dishes directly from my American kitchen (la mia cucina Americana).

For this and other American recipes in English and Italian languages, please visit :

http://breadloveanddreams.com/la-mia-cucina-americana/

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ClamChowder_BLAD blog - 062 copyNew England Clam Chowder is a soup made with clams, potatoes, bacon and milk, a dish from the traditional American cookery. Originally from the northeastern States of the Country (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island), is appreciated and consumed all over the US. Despite the combination of the ingredients may seem bizarre (at least according to the taste of Italians), this soup is actually very tasty, delicate and incredibly creamy. New England Clam Chowder is usually served with saltines (corresponding to the Italian crackers), oyster crackers (hexagonal small crackers)  or edible bread bowls (typical tradition of the city of San Francisco).

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  • Serving : 4
  • Difficulty : medium
  • Prep Time: 30 min.
  • Cook Time : 40 min.

INGREDIENTS

4 pounds fresh clams
1 bunch of parsley
2 slices of bacon
2 cups of water
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch of black pepper
1 pinch of red pepper

DIRECTIONS
Scrub clam shells with a kitchen brush, then wash them very well under cold running water.
Put the clams in a large pan with a sprig of parsley, cover with the lid and cook over medium heat until the clams will open.
Remove clams from shells and chop finely. Filter the cooking clam juice and preserve it.
In a medium saucepan, fry the bacon until  crisp and the fat is been released. Remove it from the pan and crumble.
Sauté onion and celery in bacon fat  for a few minutes, then add water, potatoes and clam juice. Bake for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add milk, cream, clams and crumbled bacon. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
Simmer until the soup begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and serve hot with crackers.

Tips & Tricks:
Discard the unopened clams.
For this recipe you can also use canned clams.
The recipe recalls for whipping cream (unsweetened of course) because in the USA there is no Italian cooking cream.

 

Frittelle Di Carnevale – Carnival Fritters (Mini Documentary Film) Feat. Nonna Fernanda

Frittelle Di Carnevale – Carnival Fritters , the mini documentary film about my amazing Nonna is now on Vimeo !!!

Enjoy  Nonna Fernanda talking about food, history and her own life while preparing FRITTELLE DI CARNEVALE (Carnival Fritters) and RISOTTO CON I FUNGHI (Mushroom Risotto).

 

I’ll never stop to say THANK YOU for having her in my life.

 

A very special thanks to Mirko “Mirakle” Urania, Raimondo Di Egidio and Maurizio “OttO” DE Togni for making my dream come true !!!

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.

 

INGREDIENTS

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

 

DIRECTIONS

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.

 

 

 

 

Trofie With Barramundi Lemon Sauce

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Have you ever heard about Barramundi fish? Me neither, until my husband bought it at our local Whole Foods by accident. Barramundi AKA Australian Sea Bass is one of the world’s finest eating fish with a succulent, sweet flesh and a very delicate texture. I cooked this precious fish in a lemon sauce and  then I used this fish sauce for tossing Trofie, a traditional short,  twisted pasta from the city of Genova (Liguria region).

Pair this summer dish with Greco di Tufo DOCG or Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC white wine.

Buon appetito and eat fish, a good source of protein and Omega-3.

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Recipe & Photo by Ale Gambini

 

Servings : 4

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 15

Cook Time : 20 min.

 

INGREDIENTS

9 oz Trofie pasta

2 Barramundi fillets, thawed

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp capers

1 organic lemon juice, freshly squeezed

6 Italian Basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp fresh parley, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper , to taste

freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to sprinkle

 

DIRECTIONS

Thaw the Barramundi fillets, rinse and pat dry. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté garlic in EVOO and butter until golden, then add caper, basil , parsley and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken .

Add the Barramundi, salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden.

In the meantime cook Trofie  in a large pot of boiling , salted water for 10 minutes..

With a slotted spoon, drain slightly the pasta an place it on the skillet.

Sauté  Trofie in the Barramundi lemon sauce quickly.

Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano.