Love My Logo!!!

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Do you like my logo? Actually I’m in love with it.

This “work of Art” has been created by the talented Artist Shihomi Patane'; her refined sensibility as an artist has perfectly captured the essence of me and my blog. I love every single details, the beautiful colors, the simplicity of the design. I always thought that art and food have a strong artistic bond and this drawing is the proof.

I’d love to hear from my readers what do they think about my logo, so please feel free to leave personal thoughts and comments.

Have a wonderful week end!!!

“La Buca L’ E’…

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La buca l’è minga straca se la sa nò de vaca. (La bocca non è stanca se non sa di latte di mucca).

The mouth doesn’t get tired until it tastes of cow cheese. (We should always finish a meal with a piece of cheese).

Italian proverb from my hometown Milan

Malfatti Ricotta Cheese And Spinach

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The Italian word Malfatti means “badly shaped” but despite their name, Malfatti are delicious little dumplings made with fresh ricotta cheese and spinach.
This is a typical primo piatto (first course) from Lombardia Region (North Of Italy), but it can be found in other region as Tuscany where Malfatti are called “Gnudi” (Naked).
Easy to make, even easier to eat; toss the Malfatti with browned butter and sage sauce and pair this dish with a dry, full-bodied red wine.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

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  1/2 cups Béchamel sauce

1 egg

1  1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese, grated

1  1/2 cups breadcrumbs

8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter

8 sage leaves

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 melting the butter at low heat, then add the flour and stir until smooth and golden. Remove the butter mixture from the heat and pour in the warm milk, whisking continuously until very smooth. Return to heat, add the nutmeg and the salt, continue to stir and cook until starts to boil and become thick. Set aside.

Chop the spinach and place them in a big mixing bowl.

Add the ricotta cheese and stir until just combined.

Add the Béchamel sauce, the egg, the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the breadcrumbs. Mix the ingredients until well blended.

Flour a work surface, then divide the dough into golfball-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a log, 1 inch thick then cut each log into dumplings 1 inch wide.

Bring to boil a large pot of salted water, then gently dump in the Malfatti and cook until they float to the top (about 2 minutes).

Melt the butter and sage in a medium skillet and cook until just brown.

Drain the Malfatti with a slotted spoon and plate them.

Serve warm, tossed with browned butter and sage, and sprinkled with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

White Grapefruit Tiramisu’

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I’m a very citrusy person, which means that I LOVE lemons, limes, oranges and above all white grapefruits. I’m in love with the  tanginess and sweetness of these precious gifts of nature and for that reason I made a healthier and fresher version of the most famous Italian dessert in the whole world : the Tiramisu’. This recipe also works great with lemons. Have a boost of vitamin C while enjoying a delicious dessert and savoring the taste of the upcoming summer.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

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

INGREDIENTS

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

DIRECTIONS

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.

Easter Green Pie…Buona Pasqua!!!

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The dove in Christianity is the symbol of peace and salvation as much as asparagus in nature is the symbol of Spring, in fact the etymology of this word comes from the greek aspharagos which means sprout. The combination of these two symbols allowed me to deliver a delightful, savory, green, light and very kid-friendly Easter pie.

As always a simple and delicious recipe to share with your loved ones during this Holiday.

Buona Pasqua – Happy Easter!!!

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Photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

Servings : 6

Difficulty : easy

Prep Time : 25 min.

Cook Time : 35 min.

INGREDIENTS

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley

9 oz fresh ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

3 egg yolks

salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large skillet, boil the asparagus in salted boiling water until tender. Drain with a colander then return them into the skillet with 2 tablespoon of browned butter. Sauté for a couple of minute, adjust with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool than cut into pieces (reserve a couple of tips for decorating the pie), whirls asparagus and parsley with a hand blender until creamy.

In a big bowl prepare the pie filling mixing together ricotta cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, asparagus cream, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper to taste.

Roll the thawed puff pastry on a slightly floured work surface, then move the puff pastry into the pie pan, trim the excess of puff pastry from the edges and reserve it. Pinch the pastry with a fork.

Cut from the reserved puff pastry 2 doves with a cookie cutter dove-shaped. Set aside.

Spread evenly the filling into the puff pastry.

Decorate the pie with the doves and some asparagus tips.

Brush the edges of the pastry and the doves with one beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature, either way tastes great.

Easter Doves With Chantilly Cream Now On Expo 2015 Worldrecipes Homepage!!!

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Today is a very special day because is Good Friday (the Christian religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary) and my beloved granny Nonna Fernanda 89th Birthday!!!

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There is no better way to celebrate my Nonna dedicating her my recipe Easter Doves With Chantilly Cream featured on the Expo 2015 Wordlrecipes homepage.

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For this recipe, please visit http://worldrecipes.expo2015.org/en/ in the section EASTER COOKING or http://worldrecipes.expo2015.org/en/recipe-easter_doves_with_chantilly_cream_7953.html

#expoworldrecipes #Expo2015 #tastetheplanet

BUON COMPLEANNO NONN FERNANDA, YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Photo by Maurizio “OTTO” De Togni

Zuccotto Meringato

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Recipe and photo by Ale Gambini – BreadLoveAndDreams.com

The idea of this scrumptious dessert came to my mind thinking about three of my favorite elements of the Italian Art of Pastry : Pan di Spagna, Zuccotto and Meringata.

Pan di Spagna is the traditional Italian sponge cake used as a base for many Italian desserts. It is a light and quite dry cake that is usually brushed with liqueur or syrup before the addition of the filling.

Zuccotto is a semi-frozen, chilled dessert made with cake, liqueur and ice cream. This dessert is traditionally made in a special pumpkin-shaped mold called Zuccotto ( literally little pumpkin ).

Meringata (Italian Meringue Cake) is a delicious frozen dessert made of whipped cream sandwiched between meringue rounds. The Meringata is usually served with warm chocolate sauce.

Buon Appetito !!!

Servings : 6

Difficulty : difficult

Prep Time : 45 min. + 3 hours in the fridge

Cook Time : 20 min.

INGREDIENTS

For the Italian Sponge Cake

5 eggs, separated

4.5 oz granulated sugar

3.5 oz flour 00

0.88 oz potato starch

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Syrup

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 shot of rum

For the fillings and cover

1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 cup mini chocolate chips semi-sweet

10 vanilla meringues, crushed

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

Grease a round 9 inch cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

In a medium bowl sift together flour and potato starch, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow, then add the vanilla extract and blend.

In another medium bowl, whip egg whites until stiff.

Gently stir the whipped egg whites into the egg/sugar mixture.

Fold in, little by little, the sifted flour and the potato starch.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Slice horizontally into 3 thin layers then cut every layer into stripes (1 inch width).

Prepare the syrup placing water and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved . When the syrup is warm, add the rum and stir well.

Whip the heavy whipping cream until just firm, add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a medium mixing bowl with cling wrap, place stripes of sponge cake to cover the entire bowl (bottom and sides), brush the sponge cake with the syrup. Trim the edges with a knife (if necessary).

Fill the cake halfway up with the filling, make a layer with sponge cake, fill with more filling. Finish the cake with a layer of sponge cake. (Preserve the remaining filling and place it in the fridge).

Cover the cake with cling wrap than place a wheight over (a plate will work well). Let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Invert the zuccotto over a serving plate, remove the cling wrap, spread the remaining filling evenly over the cake.

Decorate the cake by joining the crushed meringues to the top and sides of the cake.

Place the zuccotto in the fridge for another hour before serving.