Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Pistachio and Candied Orange Peel Ciabatta / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciabatte al pistacchio e scorza d’arancia candita

ciabattine-pistacchi-e-scorza-darancia-candita-1

Ciabatta mon amour. As you well know, I have tried out and made several ciabatta recipes as its such a versatile dough that I never get tired of experimenting. This time around I wanted to make a version for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook that lends itself beautifully to whip up a quick and delicious bread and chocolate, strictly extra dark, snack. Don’t you agree that pistachios and orange peel are the perfect match to enrich this simple dough? What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves!

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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Cream, Almond and Pistachio Grissini / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Grissini alla panna, mandorle e pistacchi

grissini panna mandorle pistacchi 2

Sometimes the best recipes for Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook are born this way…recovering ingredients that have been languishing in the fridge for too long and next to their expiration date. Full cream, I can’t ever recall for which recipe I had bought it. Was it to make a batch of fleur sel caramel or rather to bake some cookies to nibble on at tea time? No clue at all! Then I came up with this bizarre idea. What about trying to bake sweet full cream infused grissini, would they taste any good? The answer came with the verdict from my faithful guinea pigs, these grissini are simply AMAZING. And highly addictive to…Flavia knows something about it, having said at least three times “This is the last one, I swear” before sealing the bag and leaving the few survivors on her studiomate Micha’s desk. These grissini can be underbaked, maintaining an internal softness which makes them very pleasant and accentuates the creamy quality of its dough. Alternatively, you can bake a little longer and let them dry in the oven to make them crispy. However you decide to bake them they are perfect as a snack for tea time or to munch on in front of a good movie. The sugar and pistachio breading can be replaced with other kinds of chopped nuts. What are you waiting for, roll up your sleeves and knead!
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Cuochi d’artificio: “Messy Spring Frisella” / Cuochi d’artificio: “Frisella primaverile pasticciata”

Frisella primaverile pasticciata

It was a long wait…the first weeks of April showering with rain and confusing us with it’s sudden meteorological moods switching from cold autumnal temperatures to sunny days, but finally Spring is here to delight us with it’s sunny and mild climate. To greet the coming of Spring I thought up this simple recipe which I presented on my last recording at “Cuochi d’artificio”. The theme of the episode was “Mess”.

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“Cuochi d’artificio”: Turmeric Bread Casket and it’s jewels / “Cuochi d’artificio”: Scrigno di pane alla curcuma e i suoi gioielli

Scrigno di pane alla curcuma 1

“All that glitters is not gold” has been the theme of the last episode of “Cuochi d’artificio” I took part to. My main inspiration came from Iran, a place I’ve never visited but whose cuisine I know enough to declare my love for. I imagined a chests, made of breadand filled with “precious jewels”. What about these precious jewels?
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A piadina that believed itself to be ravioli, sweet version / La piadina che si credeva raviolo, versione dolce

la piadina che si credeva raviolo 1

In this post I propose the original recipe for the piadina that believed itself to be ravioli. Oh yes, the recipe was originally conceived as a sweet and only later I was asked to change it into a savoury version. In fact, the first recipe’s name should have been “Piadina that believed itself to be ravioli… but also a bit cannoli”because of its sweet filling made with goat cheese and candied fruit, like the traditional cannolo. Since no recipe goes to waste and blog posting optimization has become vital to me I propose the recipe with a slight modification in the dough too, with a mix of fine semolina and AP white flour which is reminiscent of fresh pasta. I recommend using goat cheese because it is much more delicate on the palate and less creamy (too much creaminess is likely to cover the flavours of the other ingredients). I added lemon zest and fennel powder to give some freshness to the filling which would be otherwise a little too bland. Sometimes it takes very little to make a recipe special and I am very happy to say this one passed the guinea pigs test with no problem, despite the presence of candied peel which are not always to the taste of everyone. If you are among those who do not like candied peel you can always replace this ingredient with chocolate chips or other ingredients you like the most.

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“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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Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini / Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

Pistachios, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella Arancini - Arancini ai pistacchi, acciughe e mozzarella di bufala

Summer is over. Fortunately the days of sweltering heat wave are only a distant memory. I do not know about you but this summer’s heat was reall unbearable to me. I stopped counting on the sleepless nights spent gasping for fresh air. Oh what a relief when the first rains came, finally, in late August. Finally the right climate to bake and experiment with doughs. July and August were particularly intense, with a lot of hard work to come up with a good recipe for croissants and different projects and works that popped out of the blue to both my surprise and delight. This year is ending definitely better than it started and I hope that 2016 will see a new chapter of my life unfold, hopefully one of many stimulating collaborations.

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A Spring Menu nr 4 / Un menù primavera nr 4

gnocchi ortiche primavera

This is the last appointment with my spring menus (you can check the first, the second and the third menu by clicking directly on them). Here are the four courses of my forth spring menu:

Kidney Bruschetta on Rocket and Hazelnut Spread
Gnocchi with nettles, butter and mint
Fried Lamb Chops with Mustard and Apple Compote
Frothy Custard with Saffron, Cardamom and Rose Water

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