lunedì 12 maggio 2014


Appetizer or entree - Can be vegetarian (READ notes at bottom)

For the dough:
1 cup Italian 00 flour
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt

For stuffing:
Ham, cheese, tomato sauce, mushrooms, bechamel (and more)

For finishing:
Oil to fry
NON-flavored, fine breadcrumbs
2 eggs

Prepare the stuffing ingredients that need to cool down to room temperature.

Soak a handful of Italian dried porcini in lukewarm water for 20 minutes and slice white mushrooms; warm some Italian extra virgin olive oil, sautee white mushrooms and porcini (squeezed) and add the soaking water, carefully strained (this will give more flavor to your white mushrooms). Simmer util cooked, set aside.

For the tomato sauce, warm up a little Italian extra virgin olive oil, sautee a clove of garlic and add 2 cups crushed Italian San Marzano tomatoes, simmer until it thickens, add some basil and set aside.

Prepare bechamel, if you don't have it ready, with 1 cup milk, salt, nutmeg and flour. Warm up milk; In a little saucepan, on medium heat, put 1 big spoonful of flour, a pinch of salt and nutmeg, slowly add the warm milk whisking to prevent knots. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously (to prevent sticking on bottom), remove from heat as soon as it thickens, and set aside, covered, to prevent film on top

In a heavy bottom saucepan, warm up milk with butter and salt. Just before boiling, turn off the heat and throw flour in, all at once.

Stir with a wooden spoon since it will become hard to work! Set aside to cool down.

In the meantime, prepare the remaining stuffing ingredients.

Dice or roughly chop cheese (I used a mix of Italian provolone and swiss cheese. Roghly chop or strip ham.

When dough has cooled down enough to be handled, start kneading it: it will really soft and sticky so keep flour handy: you'll need it! Try to keep you hands and working surface floured to avoid excessive sticking. Knead until you obtain a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. (Check our video, link at the end, for reference)

On a floured surface, knead the dough a little more and roll it out to a 1/8" thick. Cut in rounds and stuff them all with cheese and bechamel and one of the other ingredients. Fold and seal the sofficini in a half moon shape, which is the traditional shape. Otherwise, shape them as you prefer: triangles, rectangles, rounds....

Warm up oil (olive or sunflower oil), beat eggs with a little milk, immerse sofficini in eggs, dredge in breadcrumbs and fry until golden on both sides.

Lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil, and serve immediately.

The quantity listed for the dough will make about 10-15 medium sofficini.

- They can be served as appetizer or entree
- It can be vegetarian (DON'T use ham).
- You can stuff them with many other items: marinated artichoke hearts (well drained), spinach and more. You haveto remember bechamel and cheese are necessary to have a creamy stuffing.

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