Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Rye and Herb Ciabatta / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciabattine alla segale e erbe aromatiche

Ciabatta. A versatile crunchy bread roll. Breakfast? You can have ciabatta spread with butter and jam. Lunch break? Bite into a cheese and lettuce ciabatta. Snack? A mini ciabatta with a piece of chocolate will ease those hunger pangs. Dinner? Ciabatta is the perfect accompaniment for any soup, or a valuable help to scoop spaghetti sauce from the plate. For today’s recipe for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook I flavoured the dough with fresh herbs. What a flavour! And what a pleasure to eat them with a little soft goat cheese. Maroggia’s Mill’s farina bianca nostrana is the perfect choice for this highly hydrated dough, developing a good gluten bond which traps all the air bubbles who make this ciabattas so soft. But in order to bite in those crunchy rolls you have to pull your sleeves up! Let’s get started!
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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Parmesan and Chive Polenta Muffins / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Muffins alla polenta, parmigiano e erba cipollina

muffin polenta 1

Polenta. For centuries it has been the staple of our grandparents and great-grandparents diet, accompanied by meat, cheese, or more commonly by milk (even though I’m aware it is a quite childish on it’s my favourite combination). Corn is a tenacious plant with a very good yield, two features which make of this plant the most commonly cultivated and the staple of many peoples diet all around the world. It can also be toasted and reduced to a fine powder to produce farina bona, a special flour which is typical of the Valle Onsernone, a Valley in Ticino. Corn flour can be used in many different ways, as coating meat or bread sticks instead of using breadcrumbs, and can also be used in sweet preparations such as cakes (like amor polenta) and biscuits. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

“Cuochi d’artificio”, creativity and a piadina that believed itself to be ravioli / “Cuochi d’artificio”, la creatività e delle piadine che si credevano ravioli

piadina that believed itself to be ravioli - piadine che si credevano ravioli 1

What is creativity? An impulsive motion triggered by sudden illumination which moves the pen, the brush, the fingers on the keys of a computer or a piano? Or rather is it an education to see, to hear, to reinterpret things that surround us? As Bruno Munari well says in his book “Fantasia” it is both. A reading I much enjoyed during my university study and which I’ve picked up lately to help me coming out with new ideas for the theme of the second episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I have been cooking for. Obstacles are often an instrument for the development of new projects so I started from the assumption that the recipe should be prepared in a limited time and shouldn’t pose too many practical problems as long proofing times or handling a messy dough. The simplicity of a flat bread, modest, versatile, provides with a thousand possibilities of interpretation. And what if this piadina wanted to be something else? Maybe it would like to be turned into cannoli…or ravioli! To be able to come up with new ideas we need to subvert all preconceptions we have. Piadina is a staple of Rimini’s street food, stuffed with sweet or savoury filling. Is this recipe untouchable or can play with it to transform it to our liking? I decided to play with it, transforming it in a bite sized treat. One bite and the hand is already reaching out to the next “ravioli piadina”. Soft ricotta whipped with just the right amount of grana padano hits the tastebuds. Enough to salt and not cover the flavour of pistachios, which now creak under the teeth, and the one of chives, refreshed by a touch of lemon zest, an ingredient which is always able to bring back the dead. Blessed zest, blessed citrus flavours that make our palate sing! The hand is reaches out, but the plate is now empty.

This is the recipe told in words. Here you can find the video where it is explained step by step, and here you will find all the ingredients and quantities needed to make your taste buds dance. If you not so much into some of ingredients just be creative, customize the recipe, play with it, have fun. Use your imagination!

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Macro dumplings for MTC Challenge / Canederli macro per l’MTC Challenge

canederli 1

New year, new challenges. It seems only yesterday that Francesca challenged us with a her literary inspired muffin, but it has been two months now. Enough to relax and forget how the MTC Challenge can put my brain and creativity under enormous pressure. Couple this with my macro lifestyle adventure and you can just imagine how difficult it will be for me from now on…but stubborn as I am the goal this year will be to be able to participate to all of MTC’s challenges by inventing all sorts of macro alternatives to the recipes and ingredients we will be given. Honestly these dumplings were a walk in the park if I consider the risk of running into a dessert recipe, or worse a brioche dough rich in eggs, butter and sugar. But challenges are vital in my life and for my blog(s) too and I am ready to face any recipe, even though I fear many tears will be shed being failure and disappointment just around the corner with macro cooking!
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