martedì 26 novembre 2013


Dessert - vegetarian

For the dough:
2 1/4 cup of Italian 00 flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 extra large egg
6 1/2 tbsp butter, diced and chilled
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Lemon and orange zest (about 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange)

Strawberry jam

In a bowl arrange all dry ingredients and mix them to combine evenly. Add butter and mix it roughly pinching it with flour mixture; form a well and put the eggs in it.
Mix all ingredients well but quickly in order not to warm up butter too much (which would result in a "hard" dough), you have to obtain a smooth "ball".
Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes at least.

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease and dust with flour a 9" tart pan (or line it with parchment paper).

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it on a lightly floured surface until you obtain a disc about 1/4" thick.

Place dough in the tart, remove excess dough and poke the bottom with a fork in order to allow steam to escape.

Spread the jam in your "shell" about half of the depth, use part of the leftover dough to decorate it.

Bake on center rack for about 30 minutes (edges have to be golden, baking times depend on the oven, also). Wait until it cools down before cutting it or your jam will go anywhere...

It will serve 8 people at least.

- With leftover dough you can make cookies or freeze it for later use.
- You can use any jam, just choose a thick one since it will be better when you slice it.

lunedì 18 novembre 2013

How to prepare butternut squash fritters

Here is the video of our latest recipe!! The recipe is written in a post here below...

How to prepare Pici alle briciole

Here is the video of how to prepare Pici (with a breadcrub sauce in this case). Recipe is in a post here below.


Appetizer - Vegetarian

Recipe nicely provided by my friend Raffaella in Rome!

7 oz (1 cup) finely minced butternut squash
1/3 cup Italian 00 flour
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
3 eggs
1/2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
Extra virgin olive oil to fry

Lightly beat eggs, the add parmigiano, flour, lemon zest and parsley. Mix to combine and add the squash, stir until all ingredients are nicely combined. You should obtain a dense batter.

Bring extra virgin olive oil to frying temperature (if you don't have a thermometer and want to know if the oil is warm enough, just put a little piece of bread in it: is has to "rapidly" fry).

Spoon batter into the olive oil (not more than 3-4 fritters at a time), and flip them a first time as soon as they start getting solid. Then turn another couple of times until golden on both sides.

Lay them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve immediately.

This will make about 20 fritters, depending on size.

- I didn't put salt in it, even though my friend Raffaella likes it.
- Sprinkle with salt, if you like it, AFTER frying!

martedì 12 novembre 2013


Bella Italia's basket of the week! Italian dinner.
It contains 1 lb of pasta, 1 can of Italian peeled San Marzano tomatoes, 1 can Italian eggplant caponata, 1 bag Taralli with fennel seeds, 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts and 1 package amaretti.

You can find a video presentation here: http://youtu.be/I98rc8afSbE

lunedì 11 novembre 2013

PICI ALLE BRICIOLE (Hand made pasta with breadcrumbs sauce)

Entree - lactose free - hand made pasta

Pici are a typical Tuscan peasant dish.

For pici:
1 1/4 cup Italian 00 flour (150 gr.)
1 cup Italian durum semolina (150 gr.)
2/3 cup lukewarm water (150 ml.)

For sauce:
2/3 coarse breadcrumbs
4 sage leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp rosemary leaves
4 tbsp Italian Extra virgin olive oil

First of all, prepare the dough. In a bowl mix together the 2 flours and then add water. The quantity of water depends on the flour you're using and on the
humidity around you. Add almost all the water and see it it's enough, if not add the remining water and more, if needed. Knead until you obtain a smooth
dough, wrap it in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes at least.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce: chop garlic, sage and rosemary together, warm the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sautee the mix for 1 or 2 minutes,
then add the breadcrumbs. Sautee until golden, season with salt and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Now you can start preparing your pici. Unwrap the dough and cut a small section from it; cover the remaining dough otherwise it will dry too much.

Flatten the section a little, cut in strips and start rolling and stretching them until you reach your desired thickness, then lay pici on a floured
surface or on a foured tablecloth.

IMPORTANT: when rolling pici your working surface must be free of flour otherwise they won't roll!

When all your pici are ready, add salt to a large amount of rapidly boiling water.

Cook until al dente (5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness) and transfer them to the skillet with the sauce.

Since the moisture of the pici will make your breadcrumbs soggy, sautee on high until they get crunchy again, you'll most likely need some more olive oil.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 2-3

- You can add Italian dried porcini to this sauce, if you'd like
- You can also add a pich of hot pepper flakes, to give an extra kick
- The other traditional ways to serve pici are: all'aglione (tomato sauce with A LOT of garlic) or with duck sauce. You can serve them with regular meat
sauce or sausage, too.
- If you like, you can sprinkle with a little bit of grated parmigiano on top.

martedì 5 novembre 2013

How to prepare chicken breast scaloppine and sauteed mushrooms

Here is our new video recipe (you can find a written version in the previous post).



Entree - meat - gluten free (READ notes at bottom)

For scaloppine:
1 lb sliced chicken breast, 1/8" thick
2 cups milk
1 rosemary sprig and 4 sage leaves, tied together
3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
00 flour to dredge

For mushrooms:
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, cut in wedges
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped with 2-3 mint leaves
3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil

Dredge your chicken breast slices in flour and shake away any excess. Warm up the olive oil, in a non-stick skillet, over high heat.

Sautee meat slices until lighty golden on both sides. Season with salt, add herbs and milk. Lower to medium heat and cook until done through.

While meat cooks, prepare mushrooms. In a diferent non stick skillet, over high heat, warm up the olive oil; sautee onions until translucents, then add mushrooms.

Season with salt and cook until desired doneness. Sprinkle with chopped parsley/mint mix, cook another couple of minutes, and set aside.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 4

- Most of the times I deglaze scaloppine with brandy (wine doesn't react well with milk: it breaks down milk!).
- Milk is necessary in order to keep your chicken breast moist and tender. Also, given the flour, your milk will thicken nicely.
- If you're gluten intolerant or allergic, use corn starch, instead of flour.
- Serve this dish with salad, fruit and bread to have a complete meal.
- If you have leftover meat (I always prepare more than I need), you can freeze it in portions, so you'll have a quick meal ready in the freezer.
- With the sauce, you can prepare a great risotto!!!

venerdì 1 novembre 2013

Bella Italia Basket of the week "pasta e fagioli"

Our new feature: the basket of the week! This week it's "pasta e fagioli", all you need to add is broth and a little salt and you'll have dinner for 4 pepole!!! (and some products that won't be completely used ). For a thicker soup, add 1 potato and, when soup id ready, blend it! Comes with a recipe!!!!

Click here to watch the video!