Tortelloni with ricotta cheese

Tortelloni with ricotta cheese

Ingredients (for a sfoglia with 6 eggs – for around 6-8 people)

7 eggs (6 for the sfoglia, 1 for the stuffing)
600 gr. of flour
200 gr. of ricotta cheese from sheep
200 gr. of cheese cheese from cow
80 gr. of grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
some sprigs of parsley
salt

Create a dough with 2 eggs and 200 gr. of flour (see the recipe for the sfoglia here) and put it on the refrigerator. Do the same other 2 times with the remaining 4 eggs and 400 gr. of flour.

Finely chop together the parsley and garlic. Take the last remaining egg and divide the yolk and the albumen. Beat only the yolk in a bowl (you are not going to use the albumen).

In a large bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, the garlic, parsely, parmesan and half of the egg yolk. If necessary, add also the remaining egg yolk. Adjust with salt.

Take out of the refrigerator one of the 3 doughs and roll it out (see again the recipe of the sfoglia). When the dough is thin enough, cut into squares with a sharp knife, fill with the stuffing and close the tortelloni. This work should be done by two people because the dough dries out quickly, making it impossible to close the tortelloni.

Once closed, if you do not cook them immediately, the tortelloni may be frozen in the freezer taking care to put them on trays fairly spaced from each other. Once frozen, you can put in freezer bags and store them safely a few months.

Once cooked, serve with butter and sage.

Thanks to mom Carla.

Recipe in Italian here.

Sfrappole

sfrappole

This is a traditional sweet for Carnival in Italy: in my region (Emilia Romagna) they are named “sfrappole”, but you can find it almost everywhere in Italy with different names: frappe, bugie, chiacchiere, lattughe, crostoli, rosoni, etc

Ingredients (for 2 people) for the dough:

1 egg
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 knob of butter
1 pound of flour (and at least another 30 grams to roll out the dough)
1 tablespoon of brandy (Old Romagna)
1 lemon (possibly not treated with pesticides)

Ingredients (for 2 up to 4 people) for frying:

1 liter of sunflower seed oil

Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl. Leave about 20 minutes in the refrigerator in a bowl covered with a cloth.

Roll out until you obtaining a thin sheet (the final diameter should be about 50 cm.). Cut with a washer or a sharp knife; the strips should be 3-4 cm. wide and 20-25 cm. wide.

In a pan of about 20-25 cm in diameter and very high (at least 5-6 cm.) put the sunflower seed oil and put it on the heat.

To check if the oil has reached the right temperature, put in it one of the edges that remained after cutting the dough. If this resurfaces almost immediately, then the oil is ready.

Put one piece of dough at a time in the oil, leave 5-10 seconds and turn it on the other side inside the oil. The sfrappole should be just golden, this is enough to be cooked.

Drain on paper towels. Never put two sfrappole already fried one above the other.

Move sfrappole on another paper towel and wait 10-20 minutes. Then, sprinkle them with icing sugar one at a time and stack in a serving dish.

While frying change the oil with new one if it darkens too much.

If you want to double the dose of sfrappole, it is good to do two separate doughs. You can also do only one dough and then split it into two parts. Anyway, you cannot roll out the entire dough at the same time because it would become too large.

Thanks to grandma Iris.

Recipe in Italian here.

Cookies with jam

Cookies with jam

Ingredients:
100 gr. of sugar
250 gr. of flour
1 egg
50 gr. of butter
1 lemon (possibly not treated with pesticides)
half dose of baking powder (8 gr.)
milk
jam (the best for this recipe are those made of cherries, peaches or plums)

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients except the milk and the jam. If the dough is too dry, add a few tablespoons of milk.

You have to get a soft dough, but such that it does not stick to your hands. Then divide it into 2 or 3 pieces. Use a rolling pin in order to have every piece thick a few millimeters.

With a cup of coffee (5-6 cm. of diameter) make many disks of dough, trying to use at best the pastry.  You can remix the remaining parts of the dough, and proceed as before.

In half of the disks, drill a hole in the center with a thimble, if you have one at home, or with any other object with a diameter of around 1.5 cm.

On each whole disk, put a tablespoon of jam in the center and put a disk with a hole over it.

Press along the edges in order to glue the two layers of dough and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.

Brush each cookie with some milk and bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Thanks to grandma Iris (and Elisa, who helped me …)

Recipe in Italian here.

Pasta with pumpkin and sausage

Pasta with pumpkin and sausage

Ingredients (for 4 people):
400 gr. of pasta
200-300 gr. of sausage
500 gr. of pumpkin
1 large onion
white or red wine (1-2 glasses)
sunflower seed oil
parmesan

Cut the pumpkin in small cubes.

Finely chop the onion and fry it in sunflower seed oil.

When the onion is golden, add the pumpkin and leave frying over a medium heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

When the pumpkin is just al dente, add to pumpkin and onion also the sausage (cut in small pieces) and one or two glasses of wine.

Bake at high heat in order to evaporate most of the wine. The pumpkin should not overcook, but remain quite compact.

Drain the pasta. Add both the pasta and the sauce into a baking pan.

Bake 5 minutes in the oven at 200 degrees until the pasta is golden.

Serve with parmesan cheese shavings.

Thanks to mom Carla.

Recipe in Italian here.

Apple cake

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Ingredients:
1 kg of apples (pippin or golden)
2 eggs
150 gr. of brown sugar
50 gr. of butter
180 gr. of flour
100 gr. of milk
a lemon (possibly not treated with pesticides)
breadcrumbs
1 packet of baking powder (16 gr.)

Whip up the eggs with the sugar. Add the grated lemon zest, the milk and the melted butter.

Stir in the flour and the yeast. Leave the dough rising for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the apples, cut them into cubes. Incorporate them into the dough. Take a baking pan, grease it with some butter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Add the dough in the baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Thanks to Giulia (and Gianfranco Vissani for the original recipe).

Recipe in Italian here.

Cantucci with nuts and chocolate

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Ingredients:
500 gr. of flour
250 gr. of sugar
250 gr. of nuts
100 gr. of dark chocolate in blocks
1/4 of a glass of white martini
50 gr. of butter
3 small eggs
1 packet of  baking powder (16 gr.)
10 gr. of “ammonia for sweet” (see here for some info)
1 lemon (possibly not treated with pesticides)

Chop half of the nuts coarsely and set them aside. Break up the chocolate and put it aside. In a bowl put together the flour, the baking powder, the ammonia, the sugar, the butter (softened but not melted), the eggs, the grated lemon zest and the martini.

Knead for several minutes first in the the bowl and then on a cutting board until you obtain a compact mixture. Add some flour if necessary.

Roll out the dough (up to a diameter of about 25 cm) and add above it the chopped chocolate, both the whole and the chopped nuts (if you want, add first the chopped nuts, knead and then add the whole nuts). Knead for a long time, adding flour if necessary.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Turn each of them into a loaf that is nearly two fingers wide and 1 finger thick.

Bake at 180 degrees in a convection oven for 25 minutes in pans covered with parchment paper. In the oven the loaves inflate quite a lot, so you have to put them very distant from one another and from the walls of the pan.

In the oven the ammonia evaporates, so you have to be careful when you open the oven: wait around 10 seconds before breathing and protect your eyes.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife cut the loaves into slices that should be as wide as a finger. Bake again for 10-15 minutes in order to make them crispy.

Serve accompanied with vin santo.

Thanks to mom Carla.

Recipe in Italian here.

Homemade sfoglia

la-sfoglia-index

Ingredients for a sfoglia for 2-3 people:

  • 2 eggs
  • 200 gr. of flour

On a very large cutting board create a “fountain” with the flour. The fountain should be wide enough and with high walls. Add to the eggs inside.

At the beginning knead very fast with a fork seal, always in the same direction, incorporating the flour from the walls from time to time.

When the mixture reaches a good consistency, continue to knead by hand. At this stage, if the mixture is too wet, you can add 20-30 gr. of flour. The mixture must be knead by hand for around 10 minutes. The correct movement is done as follows: first compress with the left palm, then take a flap with the right hand and put it above the mixture. Then compress again with the left hand and rotate the mixture (in order to obtain a better homogeneity).

Leave in a cool place or in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes in a large bowl covered with a kitchen towel.

Begin to roll out the mixture by hand, in order to obtain a shape as circular as possible. Then start rolling with a rolling pin. Use the rolling pin especially on the edges of the sfoglia (otherwise it will remain too thick on the edges). Once every 2-3 rollings, wind up the sfoglia on the rolling pin an unwind it on the other side on the cutting board. At first, you can do this also by hand, then you have to wind the sfoglia up using the rolling pin.

mattarello

Depending on the consistency and the humidity of the sfoglia, if necessary you can sprinkle it with a handful of flour. In any case, do not add too much flour, because otherwise you can no more roll out the sfoglia.

With two eggs the sfoglia should be sufficiently thin when it reaches 40-45 cm. in diameter (for tagliatelle and tortelloni) or 50-55 cm. (if you want to prepare tortellini with it).

You can make sfoglia with more or less eggs: the ratio is always one egg every 100 gr. of flour. With more than 3 eggs you can knead the flour and the eggs together but then you are forced to roll out 2 pieces separetely (when you are rolling out the first one, leave the second one in the fridge).

Thanks to dad Moreno and grandma Lucia.

Recipe in Italian here.

Meringues

Immagine

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 200 grams of sugar

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees.

With an electric mixer whip-up the eggs’ whites incorporating the sugar slowly, until it dissolves completely in the mixture.

Continue to whip-up until the mixture takes a good consistency. The batter should be such that it casts very slowly if it is put on a spoon. If necessary, in order to obtain a less liquid batter, you can still add 20-30 gr. of sugar.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread over the dough by spoonfuls, keeping well away from one another.

Bake in a convection oven for about 15 minutes, then remove the pan, remove the meringues from the parchment paper and put again in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Recipe in Italian here.

Soft cake with double cream

Torta soffice con panna liquida

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr. of double cream (for cakes)
  • 250 gr. of sugar
  • 250 gr. of flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 lemon (possibly not treated with pesticides)
  • 2 tablespoons of rum or Marsala
  • 1 packet of  baking powder (16 gr.)
  • butter to grease the baking pan

With an electric mixer whip-up the sugar, the eggs and the grated lemon zest.

Slowly add the double cream and the rum and whit-up again.

Continuing to whitting-up, slowly add the flour (through a sieve if possible) and the baking powder.

Take a round baking pan, grease with butter and cover in flour. Add the mixture in the baking pan.

Bake at 180 degrees in a convection oven for about 45-50 minutes.

Allow to cool in the open oven for half an hour.

Recipe by my grandma Iris.

Recipe in Italian here.