A restored Giotto fresco in Assisi
After all the Thanksgiving feasting, a simple Neapolitan recipe
A restored Giotto fresco in Assisi
After all the Thanksgiving feasting, a simple Neapolitan recipe
Hello Food Lovers!
For all those with a sweet tooth, a delicious, easy recipe for a cake from Venice!
Enjoy and happy baking!
Butter and flour a 25 cm spring-form pan
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon(s) grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon(s) grated orange zest
10 tablespoon(s) butter softened
Whirl the almonds in a food processor with 3 Tbs. sugar until finely chopped or chop by hand. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Add the butter and eggs and use your fingertips to mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cake mixture to the springform pan and press down gently with your fingertips. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When cool, break into irregular shapes and serve with a dessert wine.
Today’s recipe comes to you from the beautiful island of Sicily. Follow our chef’s recipe and treat your family and friends to an authentic Italian dessert!
1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of red wine
2 tablespoon melted butter
½ to ¾ cup water
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 ½ pound of fresh ricotta cheese
½ cup sugar
½ cup chocolate chips or good dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup candied peel, finely sliced
4 glace cherries and icing sugar to decorate
Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, melted butter, and salt. Add enough wine to make a smooth, stretchable dough. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile drain your ricotta cheese. Add the sugar, chocolate chips and the candied fruit. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep pan to be able to submerge the shells.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured board to about 1/8 of an inch thick (or use a pasta machine). Cut out into squares, about 8cm/ 3 inch per side, and roll again until very thin. Wrap dough around tube by overlapping the 2 sides, sealing the overlapping sides with a little egg white. Be sure the edges are well sealed because they tend to pop open when frying.
Drop 1 or 2 of the tubes at a time into the hot oil. Fry until they are light brown and crisp. Place on paper towels to drain. Let the shells cool before removing them from the tubes. Do this until all of your dough is used.
Place filling in a piping bag with large nozzle and fill cold cannoli shells from both enda. Decorate each end with a piece of glace cherry and dust the cannoli with icing sugar.
From The Huffington Post - Take in the sights and sounds of a short but sweet stay in Venice
“Amidst the daily scramble of mobile communications, information overload and intrusive technologies, who wouldn’t want to take a holiday from our postmodern (on the cusp of post-human) era? I recently had the opportunity to ditch the tech in favor of the timeless when I visited Venice for the first time…”
From Honest Cooking – Italian White Wines Worth Tasting
“ Are you drinking enough Italian whites? Probably not. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of some of these wines. I found a wine new to me as well, and I loved it…”
From Bella Baita – Time to Make A Crostata
“ I don’t know about you but, it’s been a hectic time around our house these days, with all of the small fruits starting to coming in full force and the weeds in the garden holding their own too. No shortage of jams to make and weeds to pull…. “
“ Caravaggio’s Resurrection of Lazarus has gone on display in Rome, after seven months of restoration work. The painting, also known as The Raising of Lazarus, is believed to have been painted in 1609, one year before the artist’s death at the age of 38…”
“The city of Venice often seems like the worlds largest set as it has been featured in numerous films. This can often make you feel you are walking through a dream world when you are here… “
“ With first-time and long-time travelers alike planning their spring, summer and fall vacations, I thought I would offer a few tips and pieces of advice for traveling in Tuscany.
If you’ve seen one hill town…You can probably stand to see a couple more… “
From The New York Times – The Soaring Legacy of Luca Signorelli
“…Born around 1450 in Cortona in Tuscany, near the border with Umbria, the artist spent much of his career in this neighboring region, and it is Umbria that is hosting “Luca Signorelli,” a long overdue exhibition devoted to him (the last monographic show, in his hometown and Florence, was in 1953), with a trio of shows in Perugia, Orvieto and Città di Castello….”
From Wandering Italy – The Bell Ringers of Cascio
“Italian Bells. They lull the locals to sleep. They irritate the tourist unaccustomed to their presence—which is why we foreigners don’t know diddly about the workings of them…. “
From the archives of Departures – Carbonara: Secrets of a Perfect Dish – A Culinary Potboiler
“ Who invented Rome’s classic pasta recipe spaghetti alla carbonara? More important, what’s the trick to making a perfect batch?… “
Here at Italy Hotline we organize cooking classes all over Italy. We set them up for couples on their honeymoon, for groups of friends traveling to Italy on vacation, for families with kids who are looking to do something fun and different (and messy!) and for culinary professionals traveling to Italy to widen their horizons. The Chefs we work with range from Italian “mammas” to professional gourmet Chefs.
One fine Saturday, during a cooking class organized in Rome with Chef Francesca for a group of friends, The New York Times dropped by and followed the lesson. The food writer and journalist Ann Mah was doing an expose on the best cooking classes in Europe, and we were chosen to represent Rome! The New York Times documented every step by taking beautiful photographs of the students, our Chef and – of course – the culinary creations themselves!
Here is a small selection of the wonderful pictures that Chris Warde-Jones took in the kitchen at a historic home in a Monti. Enjoy!
And after a long morning’s work …… the group enjoys a beautiful sit-down lunch up on the historic terrace that overlooks the rooftops of the Eternal City.
Buon Appetito !!!
To see the whole article, please visit the following URL: http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/travel/in-europe-cooking-classes-for-every-palate.html
Credit: Photographs by Chris Warde-Jones for The New York Times
The great writer and Chef Julia Child famously said: “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” It’s a commonly known fact that she was, of course, speaking about French cooking. But we at Italy Hotline feel it’s the perfect approach to any culinary experience, regardless of the cuisine you are tackling!
With this in mind this April 2012 we are launching our all-new cooking classes with Chef Ilaria, a passionate, fun, food-lover who is excited to introduce travelers to the world of Tuscan cooking, and eager to share her little culinary tricks and secrets! Ilaria was interested in cuisine from a very early age, and remembers spending hours in her granny’s kitchen as a child, watching her cook and helping her out. What began as a hobby became her life when Ilaria decided to attend first a wine tasting course on her way to becoming a sommelier, and finally Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris from which she graduated with a Grand Diplome in Cuisine et Patisserie, in other words, cooking and pastry making. Ilaria likes traditional Tuscan cooking, but also enjoys giving “fresh spins” on old favourites. She was taught by Michelin Star winners, has worked in five of the finest restaurants in Florence, and is now offering private cooking classes for us in her beautiful home in the heart of Florence.
Our Chef will meet you in the morning in your hotel, and walk with you to her home located centrally just minutes from the famous Ponte Vecchio. She’ll welcome you in her spacious, luminous and beautifully designed kitchen with a glass off chilled Prosecco or – if it’s still a little early for that – a cup of real Italian coffee.
After this, it’s down to business! The Chef will arm you with a cooking apron, a Chef’s hat, and you’ll begin preparing dishes! The menus are always decided ahead of time, and are based not only on factors such as seasonal specialties, but most importantly on your personal preferences, wishes and any dietary needs you may have. Our Chef is very happy to cook for vegetarians, vegans, travelers with celiac disease or any allergies.
You will be preparing a four-course meal consisting of a Starter (“Antipasto”), a First Course (“Primo Piatto”; in Italian cuisine usually a pasta or risotto dish), a Second Course (“Secondo Piatto”; typically a meat or fish dish) and Side Dish (“Contorno”; typically a side of vegetables like artichokes, zucchini, broccoli, potatoes, etc) and, finally, a Dessert (“Dolce”) with a coffee and a liqueur.
Guests traveling with children often request to make fresh pasta, ravioli or gnocchi with our Chef – it’s increadibly messy, fun and something for the whole family to enjoy!
Since our Chef is also a sommelier she is very happy to serve each dish with a different, correct wine. These will be accompanied by an explanation on the wine itself, the serving temperature, the right glass to use and the flavours it developing from the food it is paired with. The price range is entirely up to you, and this wine pairing is something we will customize together with you and Chef Ilaria.
After you are done with the cooking, your Chef will set the table and you will be able to enjoy a meal with your party! It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and an event that your friends and family will never forget!
If you like, our cooking class may be combined with a brief Market Visit first. If the Cooking Class is done during the Spring/Summer, or early Fall and the weather is nice, the Chef is happy to host the lunch in her beautiful historic private garden.
by Ally Novgorodtseva