Cucinare è arte

Cooking is art! That's what the tab says above and there are centinaia di people making a living at sharing their passion for Italian culture and yes...cooking! 

I love the caldezza of the southern Italian people...and my dear friend Maria Luisa Manca is an extraordinary cook, culinary instructor and all around amazing person.
For more on her recipes, classes and information about culinary tours in Sicily, please visit: My Italian Home Cooking

Here is one of her latest recipes:

Crocchette di Cavolfiore – Baked Cauliflower Croquettes

My oldest boy will eat anything, the youngest, not so much, it forced me to be more creative in my cooking. This appetizer is tasty and healthy too. I served with a spicy homemade tomato sauce and he loved it.

Ingredients:
½ of a medium-sized cauliflower
2 tablespoons of grated pecorino cheese
5 black olives
2 anchovies filets in oil (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fontina cheese
extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 tablespoons of bread crumb for the mix + 1 cup of breadcrumbs to coat the croquettes
1 egg

Clean the cauliflower, cut in small pieces and steam until tender. It is better steam the vegetable so they will not absorb water and they will take less bread crumbs to make the mix, they will be crispy on the out side and soft on the inside .
In a large bowl, break up the cauliflower with a fork, till fine. Mix in the chopped olives, anchovies and pecorino. Season with salt and pepper and mix well with your hands: at this point, add the breadcrumbs starting with two tablespoons. You have to decide you if the quantity is enough,the croquettes should not be dry but soft.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Form a small ball of cauliflower and put a cube of fontina cheese in the middle.
Dip them in the beaten egg, then transfer the ball into the breadcrumbs to coat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, then arrange over the croquettes, sprinkle with more oil and bake for 20 minutes turning them gently halfway through cooking. Will be ready when they are golden.Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving, they will fall apart if you try to remove them while super hot.
I served with homemade spicy Tomato Sauce.


 




I love the caldezza of the southern Italian people and Rosetta, as in Cooking with Rosetta,coming from Calabrian origins, living here in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the epitome of caldezza. Walnuts are in season and what better a way to get your kids to eat those delicious nuts but in a cookie!
Rosetta shares with us a regional specialty recipe for Dolci di noci , a sneak peak from her new book, "Southern Italian Desserts".
I am going to post the ricetta here until they send me a cease and desist! Eccoloa qua!
Dolci di Noci (walnut cookies)
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups (285 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Combine the walnuts and sugar in a food processor and process to make a fine meal the texture of sand. Transfer to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Use a fork to briefly whisk the egg, then begin incorporating the nuts until everything is thoroughly combined, finishing the mixing with your hands. The dough will be quite moist and a little sticky.
Divide the dough into quarters. On a flat surface, shape one piece of the dough into a 6-inch log about 1 inch high, flattening the sides to make a bar about 1 inch on each side. Cut the bar into 3/4-inch segments to make eight pieces.
Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheet, standing upright (not on a cut side) with 1 inch of space all around for spreading. Repeat with the remaining bars to make thirty-two cookies.
Bake the cookies on the upper oven rack for about 15 minutes, until they are golden all over. Let cool on the pan.
Makes 32 cookies
“Reprinted with permission from my cookbook “Southern Italian Desserts: Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily, (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). This recipe can be found on page 151



And talking about cookies, yet more caldezza and delizia coming from those southern Italians, La Biscotteria in Redwood City, CA is owned and operated by Neapolitan-American Agostino Buonocore and Calabrian-American Angela Festa. Not to worry if you don't live nearby, they SHIP--see online store!!!! These are the best cookies, beautiful packaging and if you are in the vicinity, the SEASONAL pumpkin cannoli are divini!


Yes indeed, cucinare è arte ©!   (I'm in the back 2nd from the right)
Here are the Forchette Tricolori, the Italian women's cooking club to which I belong.
I love cooking and learning new techniques, which in reality are usually age old. I make it a point to cook fresh and I use local and seasonal  ingredients.

Le Forchette Tricolori. Photo Credit: Nickolas Marinelli
Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker

Read all about us and what we cooked and for whom on  Food-Revolution-Day

And after dinner or in the middle of the day..... Mi offri un caffè?   

  Will you offer me a cup of coffee? Intends your friendship over coffee and a wonderful way to be Italian!
Bialetti Espresso Maker for 6









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