A sunny dish for this rainy day: Zucchini alla scapece

Oh my . . . how long has it been! So long that I almost feel as intimidated as I was when I wrote my first post. In fact, one of the reason why I haven't been writing is because I did not know how to come back. I kept thinking: "Am I supposed to …

Continue reading A sunny dish for this rainy day: Zucchini alla scapece

La Pastiera Napoletana

Sharing MY Italy

Pastiera - Easter DesertThis is the last day of My Easter baking marathon, time for the sweet things.

La Pastiera is another traditional dish of the Neapolitan cuisine.

The nuns of the ancient convent of San Gregorio Armeno were considered to be master in the preparation of the Pastiera. They used to prepare great quantities for the rich families during Easter time.

Today, there are two different ways of preparing the Pastiera: the traditional one mixes the ricotta cheese to the eggs; the most recent one, adds to the mix thick pastry cream.

I follow the traditional recipe, I do however, purée half of the wheat/milk mixture to favor a creamier texture.

The Acqua di Millefiori (Literally “ Thousand Flower Water”) is the one ingredient in the Pastiera that gives it its very distinct aroma . . . It truly reminds you that it’s Primavera (Spring)!

The Pastiera has to be…

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Easter Baking. Pizza Piena

Sharing MY Italy

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The Pizza Piena is a traditional Neapolitan recipe very typical during Easter time. In Naples they call it “Pizza Chiena” and it is a must on the Easter Sunday table.

It’s a traditional country pie and, as I mentioned in my previous post, it is called Chiena or Piena (full) because it’s very much stuffed with salami, sheep cheese and eggs.

All the ingredients have a symbolic value: sopressata (type of salami) as symbol of wealth for the farmer’s tables, pecorino (sheep cheese) as symbol of innocence (sheep milk = food of the lamb), ouva (eggs) as symbol of birth and therefore symbol of resurrection. And of course the farina (flour), as bread, prince of the table.

One of the most important ingredient is the fresh sheep cheese, called primo sale (literally “first salt”). The name is used to describe the early stage of its aging. The primo…

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Easter Baking. Pizza co’ l’erba

Sharing MY Italy

easter bunniesSince Easter is only three days away, this post is probably overdue. Nevertheless, I am sure some of you out there are still looking for traditional Italian Easter recipes.

In the next three days I will share with you one recipe a day: the pizza co’ l’erba, the pizza piena and the pastiera. So, don’t forget to come back to my blog everyday!

Easter baking is not just about the food, it is also about rituals, traditions and timing.

My childhood memories of Pasqua (Easter) are really happy ones. During the weeks heading into this Holiday, my mom would take me shopping for a my new Easter Sunday dress. This was also the first new dress of Spring. With the dress, of course, came new shoes. . . that’s where all started!

It was also time for Spring cleaning, but I have to admit that I was never…

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Zeppole Di San Giuseppe for Father’s Day

Sharing MY Italy

Auguri a tutti i papa` (Best wishes to all of the fathers). Today, March 19th, in Italy we celebrate La Festa del Papa` (Father’s day).

When I was a child, on the afternoon before Father’s Day, my mom and I would go to a nearby field to pick-up the fragrant mammole (violets). The next morning, I would set up a breakfast tray for my dad with the violets nicely gathered in a small glass. A small handcrafted gift and a short letter was usually on the tray as well. This past winter I received, from my brother in Italy, some boxes full of mementos from our mom’s home. In one of the boxes, to my surprise, I found a little red velvet sketch book with a small round cutout window through which you could glimpse a picture of my dad and myself. It was a gift I had made…

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