Pistachio, Lemon and Fennel infused Cake / Torta di pistacchi, limone e infuso di finocchio

Torta di pistacchi limone e infuso di finocchio 2

A recipe is a stratification, sweet or salty, bitter, spicy or sweet and sour, of the manifestations of one’s love. I do firmly believe in this statement. May it be a gesture of affection, a manifestation of esteem and friendship, or love expressed as an overwhelming passion if you proceed to remove layers of flavours and gestures to distill its essence what you will obtain is one of the deepest and most sincere of all human feelings. A thought waiting to take shape, the choice of ingredients and the process of turning them into something familiar, desired, which has the power of warming the heart, or an unusual pairing of flavours, a surprise, love at first sight. The long wait, that feeling so similar to the eager stare at the window when waiting for a lover who has been away for a long time. What will be next? A perfectly risen cake, eyes bursting with desire or a collapsed soufflé and a quick peek on the cheek, a glacial politeness falling heavy like a gravestone on a long time exhausted relationship? Food speaks, or allows us to speak to others when words fail or are simply useless. I have seen more manifestations of love on a rich and well prepared table that in readymade Valentine gifts and in badly chosen birthday gifts.

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Annunci

Gnocchi with tomato, thyme and fennel seeds / MTC o anche pararsi le terga in corner: Gnocchi freschi al pomodoro, timo e semi di finocchio

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Time flies so quickly it’s hard for me to believe that next month will mark my three years as a participant to the MTChallenge. The toughest, craziest and most instructive foodblogger challenge in the worldwide web. Some challenges I had to give up to, many ones I took part to were spent addressing not so nice thoughts to the challengers but all of the challenges have been an occasion to learn new techniques and recipes. I always tried to participate to the best of my means, were they economical, in terms of the time I had on my hands and my creative resources. But never a challenge had been so tough on me. Gnocchi. Apparently an easy one, but someone like me who has always eaten gnocchi straight from a bag and topped them with butter, sage and parmesan this challenge has been THE CHALLENGE. No wonder I do have the sentiment that I am participating as a loser from the start, except for one thing: finally I was able to make proper gnocchi for the first time in my life. So thank you so much Annarita for her thorough post in which she presents us with three different recipes, perfectly described in every detail.

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Stale Bread and Fennel Seeds Brittle Biscuits / Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio

Biscotti al croccante di pane raffermo e semi di finocchio 1

A couple of months ago I was interviewed by a young local journalist, Ivan Campari, for a series of articles he is publishing on the newspaper LaRegione featuring young people from the Mendrisiotto area. For this I have to thank my friend Alan Alpenfelt, the mind behind the independent Radio Gwen and the acting company V XX Zweetz who was interviewed too and gave my name amongst others. To greet both the photographer and the journalist I decided to bake a batch of biscuits, which proved providential as the only good picture of me is one I am transferring them from the baking tray to the rack! I am such a terrible photography subject as I always feel very embarrassed and pull faces and eventually end up throw evil glances at the camera.

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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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Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook: Multi grain, Fennel Seeds, Lemon Zest and Black Pepper Crunchy Donuts / Il Ricettario del Mulino di Maroggia: Ciambelline croccanti ai quattro cereali, semi di finocchio, scorza di limone e pepe nero

ciambelline finocchio, pepe, limone 2And here we are with the usual appointment with Maroggia’s Mill Cookbook. This time I delight you with a recipe for some very nice crunchy appetizers, to offer to your friends with a good cocktail or simply to munch in front of a good movie. I made them a few weeks ago, to thank a couple of friends who invited me over to theirs for fantastic persian dinner. Of course I indulged with various baked goods (I hate going over to friend empty handed!) including some toasted flour and black sesame seeds naan and my legendary chocolate and cinnamon cake which my friend Laura calls “the most delicious chocolate cake in the world”. The crunchy donuts were received with much enthusiasm and frantic chewing, an unmistakable signs of success! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Of favourite dishes and comfort food: Pasta ccu li brocculi / Piatto del cuore e comfort food: Pasta ccu li brocculi

Pasta avec choux-fleur copia

Forgotten in a dusty folder in the darkest recesses of my “limbo” folder, yet another recipe part of the project that never came to light of which I wrote about in my previous post. A saviouor to me, being this one a tough moment where I am finding it very hard to have control on both blogs, switching from macro to bread and non-macro recipes, feeling a bit drained and uninspired. This dish became a staple at my parents place in the past few years, and my father cooks it divinely. I worked on the basic recipe from the book Le migliori ricette della cucina regionale Italiana which I used as an inspiration for my sweet rice cakes, too. Sicilian traditional food never disappoints. A light salty note is given by sardines, counterbalanced by a slightly sweet touch confered by raisins and fennel seeds. The texture of blanched cauliflower and pine nuts add an irresistible crunchy touch to a dish which I never get bored with. Savour it bite after bite, chew religiously. The aromas and textures will blend, caressing your taste buds and you will inevitably fall in love. Simple ingredients, minimum time of preparation, the ultimare comfort food…you couldn’t ask for more! Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

#Twelve Loaves: Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutney / #Twelve Loaves: Girelle di segale e semi di finocchio al chutney di arance sanguinelle e cipolle

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this recipe, most of all because the need to create a savoury bread was stronger than ever. What triggered this flavour combination was the poll that Lora-Cake Duchess launched in Twelve Loaves to choose April’s theme. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Maria’s Spiced Cauliflower Flan / Lo sformato al cavolfiore e spezie di Maria

sformato 1

Since the 4th of December, when I started working part time at a goldsmith shop, my weeks have been quite hectic. Recipes and blog post scheduling, the weekly appointment with Wing Chun training, trying to be present on my usual social networks and fitting in multiple appointments hasn’t been easy. Let’s add my Panettone Obsession and the picture is quite clear. But chaos is my element, stress has always been my cup of tea (or loaf of bread) and even though feeling a bit tired I wouldn’t change a single thing. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…

Foolproof family recipes: My Aunt Luciana’s aniseed biscuits / Ricette infallibili: Le ciambelline all’anice della zia Luciana

ciambelline1

There are recipes that never turn out wrong. Fail safe, tested over many years by grandmothers, mothers, aunts and family friends, they never disappoint. These small wonders are the result of years of testing, a sense of balance and innate culinary mathematics learned through repetition of everyday tasks in the kitchen. Gestures coming from a time when there were no Barilla nor McVities (and therefore no concept of boycott) but mothers who would create recipes for everyday meals, holidays and special occasions. Continue reading / Continua a leggere…