Why is this grilled cheese so good? Oh, that would be because of the shaved black truffles. And why is that lox and bagel better than anything anyone has ever eaten at any deli, anywhere? Because the salmon is house cured, and the bagel, is brioche. You know you’re at The Hotel Bel-Air when the day feels like it's delivered from the heavens above and your little one is right beside you.
In the 1945 Mario Pavesi, an Italian baker from the city of Novara (Piedmont), decided to bake a new version of the Biscotti Di Novara (Novara’s Cookies).These cookies soon became very popular because made with simple ingredients and easy to digest.
Pavesini are a good alternative to make a lighter Tiramisu’. This is the perfect cookie when you crave something sweet but very light.
The original Pavesini are sold at the Italian Deli or onAmazon.com.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectioners’ sugar, to sprinkle
Preheat ove at 325 F degrees.
In a large bowl whip the eggs white and half of the sugar at stiff peak.
In another large bowl whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale yellow and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and stir until incorporated.
Fold gently the whipped egg whites into the egg yolks mixture.
Add the sifted flour, and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
Place the mixture into a piping bag without tip.
Squeeze the mixture into a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Make 4 inches long lines, leaving a couple of inches between them.
Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Let the sugar to be absorbed, then sprinkle again.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.
Cool completely on a cooling rack.
Photo by Ale Gambini
Ciambella is the typical Italian cake with the hole. Because of the huge size of cake made with the following recipe, we used to call it Ciambellone which means BIG Ciambella.
This is the perfect treat for breakfast or afternoon snack.
The texture of this cake is soft and light, and it tastes very delicate.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 cup mild olive oil
1 cup water
1 orange (squeezed juice and zest)
grounded hazelnuts or walnuts, for garnish
confectioners sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.
Grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, the potato starch, the baking powder and set aside.
With a hand or stand mixer cream the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and creamy.
Add half of the flour mixture, then one cup of olive oil and eat until well incorporated.
Add the rest of the flour mixture, one cup of water, orange juice, orange zest and beat to form creamy cake batter.
Whip the eggs whites at stiff peak.
Fold gently 3/4 of the whipped eggs into the cake batter.
Pour into the cake pan and spoon on top the remaining whipped eggs.
Sprinkle with grounded hazelnuts or walnuts.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Let cool completely , then sprinkle whit confectioners’ sugar.
Photo by Maurizio “OttO” The Togni
Only 22 days left until Christmas, and what could it be better than learning how to make a traditional Italian dinner to celebrate Christmas?
From now on until Christmas Eve, I’m going to be sharing my family’s Christmas recipes, the ones my Dad and my Grandma used to cook together to delight the palate of the whole family, the ones engraved into my soul.
Let’s get it started with my family’s favorite Christmas appetizer : Cocktail Di Gamberetti – Shrimp Cocktail.
COCKTAIL DI GAMBERETTI – SHRIMP COCKTAIL
This recipe serves 4 people
1.5 pound shrimps
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Brandy
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons teaspoon tomato ketchup
4 leaves of iceberg lettuce
lemon slices and fresh parsley, for garnish
Bring to boil a large pot of salted water .
Wash, peel and devein the shrimps .
Drop the shrimps into the pot of boiling water and boil for a couple of minutes.
Drain the shrimps into a colander, allow to cool completely and set aside.
In a medium bowl put the mayonnaise , brandy, Worchestershire sauce, tomato ketchup and salt (if necessary) .
Mix thoroughly until very well blended.
Add the shrimps and stir gently.
Rinse and pat-dry the lettuce leaves.
Place a generous amount of shrimps on each lettuce leaf.
Garnish with slices of lemon and fresh parley.
Buon Appetito & Buone Feste
Thanks to my very talented dear friend Shihomi, for this beautiful and unique LOGO.
She’s an artist!!!
Caldarroste are chestnuts roasted on fire on a holed pan; a seasonal treat usually sold by street vendors from late fall to the end of the winter throughout Italy.
Is it possible to make Caldarroste at home, as well.
Before roasting, chestnuts need to be prepared with an incision on the skin to allow the chestnuts to be peeled easily when fully cooked. Caldarroste can be roasted on the gas burner in a holed pan or in a grill pan covered, shaking the pan occasionally for about 20 minutes.
Once cooked, the Caldarroste are extremely HOT so it could be tricky to peel them; but it worths to have your fingers slightly burned because their taste and smell is unique
Photo by Maurizio “OttO’ De Togni