Caponata Recipe – The Best Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer

Caponata is a Sicilian appetizer that is made from eggplant, and since eggplant season is almost over, I decided to share with you Nonna Sara’s recipe. Throughout Sicily, there are countless variations of Caponata, some with octopus, seafood or with pinenuts and raisins, but Nonna’s recipe adds potatoes and bell peppers, which is what I grew up on and is my standard for a delicious Caponata.

My favorite way to eat it is by toasting some ciabatta bread slices and piling some room temperature Caponata on top of each slice.

Let’s dive into the history of this delicious Sicilian Appetizer.

What is Caponata?

Greeks, Normans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Spaniards and the French have dominated Sicily over the centuries, influencing and gradually enriching the local cuisine.

If you add to this mix of cultures the products of the sea, you can easily guess the reason for its unique cuisine.

It is in this context that the Caponata and its sweet and sour dressing make it one of the most representative dishes of the Sicilian cuisine.

The main ingredient is, of course, the eggplant (Solanum melongena), a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family. It is often called “bad apple” because of the solanine which gives it the typical bitter and slightly acidic taste.

Its origins are not yet well known. It seems, however, that this vegetable comes from the hot areas of South Asia, perhaps from eastern India and China. The eggplant was not known either by the Greeks or by the Romans until it was brought to Sicily by the Arabs from North Africa. They introduced it gradually after their conquest of Sicily, starting in 827 with the landing at Mazara del Vallo and finishing in 1091 with the fall of Noto.

Another essential ingredient of the Caponata is the tomato, which arrived with Christopher Colombus on his return from the Americas a few centuries later. Onions, olives, capers, celery, vinegar and sugar complete the list of ingredients, (although the celery was initially used only for ornamental purposes).

The fundamental element that characterizes the caponata is the agro-sweet seasoning, and it is once again thanks to the Arabs.

In fact, this characteristic agro-sweet seasoning had been central to Arab cuisine since ancient times, and it arrived in Sicily always thanks to those who were accustomed to the contrast between spicy and sweet.

Yes, but how do we get to the caponata?

A Little Bit of History of This Eggplant Appetizer

Although there are no studies on the subject or theories demonstrated on the etymology of the word itself, some texts indicate that it could have relations with the Iberian terms of capirottata, capirotada or capironades.  It also has a close relationship to the Latin term “caupona”, which means tavern, meaning that it is basically the equivalent of “tavern food”.

Another school of thought claims that the sailors were the first to use this sweetish sauce to soften their hard pieces of bread called “capon of jail.”

Still others say that this agro-dessert was used to season the “capone” (lampuga), a white fish with fine dry meat that was served on the tables of the Sicilian nobles. But if it was normal for the nobles to have this dish, the same can not be said for the people who, not being able to afford the luxury of buying the fish,  adapted the dish to fit their economic situation, replacing it with eggplant.

The first official mention of the real eggplant caponata dates back to 1759, in a book printed in Messina where it is defined as “dish made of various things”.

Eggplant Caponata Recipe

Variations of the Dish

Throughout the island there are about 40 variations of caponata, and you just need to travel from one city to another to discover a different version. They all have a common treat: the sweet and sour dressing, which gives the vegetables a unique flavor.

Every city or town has its own particular interpretation. In Palermo, for example, the caponata does not include peppers, whose presence would be an inconceivable transgression.

In Sicily itself, in the same province, in the same country there are different versions and they all point out the same absolute certainty that their own is the correct one, the only truthful one.

Recipes are different from each other, but what is handed down from mother to daughter is always the same because the caponata remains a treasure of every family, a recipe that should be handed down from generation to generation to continue the tradition.

Today it is generally enjoyed as an appetizer or a side dish, and must be consumed cold at room temperature, but originally it was a unique dish to accompany with bread, an essential ingredient in caponata.

Sicilian Caponata Recipe – Italian Eggplant Appetizer

This version is all vegetables and the flavors are bursting with each bite. It is a great appetizer to have with a glass of Sicilian Corvo Rosso wine that your guests will thoroughly enjoy.

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil ((for each vegetable))
  • 1 1/2 pound eggplant (unpeeled, 1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ( for each batch of vegetables)
  • 1 green bell pepper (small. 1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 red bell pepper (small. 1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes (medium. diced)
  • 1/2 cup gaeta black olives ((or kalamata olives))
  • 3 celery stalks (1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  1. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and put in a colander over a bowl for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large clean towel and pat dry.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and potatoes and cook them until golden stirring occasionally.

  3. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Discard the oil and clean the pan.

  4. In the same skillet add another 5 tablespoons of olive oil and start frying the bell peppers until soft. Transfer to the bowl and set aside. Discard the oil and clean the pan.

  5. In the same skillet add another 5 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the eggplant. Watch them, as they may need more oil. When done transfer the bowl and set aside. Discard the oil and clean the pan.

  6. Return skillet to heat, add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring continuously to allow caramelization for 10 minutes.

  7. Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato sauce and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

  8. Stir in olives, vinegar, capers, sugar and all the fried vegetables and mix together.

  9. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Other appetizer recipes you may like:

 

The post Caponata Recipe – The Best Sicilian Eggplant Appetizer appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2qxPovW appeared first on Nonna Box

Advertisements

Roman Style Chicken Recipe | Pollo alla Romana con Peperoni

Pollo alla Romana, or Roman chicken, is a wonderful, savory dish made with braised chicken and roasted peppers. A spice rub mixture of rosemary, sage, and oregano add extra flavor to the chicken itself, while tomato sauce, garlic, and white wine make up a mouth-watering sauce.

This is a classic Roman dish that you will see in many trattorias. Roman chicken is fresh, colorful, and flavorful. The aroma of the roasting peppers is enough to make your guests come running to the kitchen to taste what is cooking in the oven.

This dish is so simple to prepare, and it will introduce you to the tastes of central Italian cuisine. In Sicily, they have a similar recipe, but they substitute vinegar for wine and add raisins to give it a distinct flavor. I know your family and guests will enjoy this delicious chicken and roasted peppers recipe.

For this roman chicken recipe, use bell peppers of all different colors for a bright, attractive presentation, and serve with rice pilaf or risotto and plenty of ciabatta bread to soak up the sauce. Or serve it with this Carciofi alla Romana side dish for a complete Roman meal.

Roman Chicken – Pollo alla Romana

If you’ve been to Rome you know already how famous is this chicken recipe. If not, well then try this recipe out and let us know what you think!

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 4 bell peppers (yellow, orange, red, green. Cut in thick strips)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (fresh)
  • 1 cup basil leaves (fresh)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 4 large garlic cloves (smashed)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like pinot grigio)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • to taste Salt
  • pepper pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the dry herbs with salt and pepper.

  4. Coat each piece of chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil.

  5. Sprinkle the spice rub over the chicken and massage well.

  6. Place the chicken skin-side down in the skillet and cook for 6 minutes or until browned. Turn the chicken over and cook for 1 additional minute. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

  7. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute, stiring continuously. Stir in the bell peppers, salt and pepper, and half of the basil.

  8. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

  9. Uncover, add the tomato sauce and wine, and cook until the alcohol evaporates.

  10. Transfer the peppers and sauce to a roasting pan, add the chicken, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

  11. Remove from the oven, add the rest of the basil, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Buon appetito!

Other meat recipes:

The post Roman Style Chicken Recipe | Pollo alla Romana con Peperoni appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2qrwrec appeared first on Nonna Box

Pizza al Taglio Recipe – Roman Style Pizza by the slice recipe

If you are a pizza lover (and who isn’t?), it’s time to try your hand at making something a little different from your usual traditional pizza dough. With fresh ingredients arranged in colorful stripes, this unique pizza is fun, flavorful, and easy to make. You don’t even need a special pizza pan!

Naples is the home of pizza, but Rome has its slightly different version. This “pizza al taglio” – which translates to “pizza by the slice” – is usually rectangular and showcases the delicious, typical Roman toppings.

With this recipe, I found some fresh heirloom tomatoes to top the pizza al taglio, which is my springtime twist to the Roman tradition. Ingredients like marinated artichoke hearts, arugula, mozzarella, ham, and fontina are toppings you will see in the pizzerias while walking through the historic piazzas in Rome.

Pizza al Taglio – Pizza by the slice recipe

Creating pizza al taglio is a wonderful way to try new combinations that create a fun and delicious Roman pizza party.

  • 4 heirloom tomatoes (medium)
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 package arugula
  • 1 mozzarella (fresh)
  • 8 oz fontina (sliced)
  • 8 oz ham (sliced)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper (to taste)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)

FOR THE PIZZA DOUGH

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon sea salt)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (110 degrees F)

FOR THE PIZZA DOUGH

  1. Combine the salt and 1/4 cup of the water in a large bowl.

  2. In a small bowl, combine yeast and another 1/4 cup of the water. Stir to dissolve the yeast completely and set aside.

  3. Add 1/2 cup of flour to the salted water and stir to incorporate.

  4. Add the rest of the flour, stir, and then add the yeast mixture.

  5. While stirring, add the rest of the water until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add some more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

  6. Knead into a smooth, firm ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 24 hours in a very warm place (inside the oven works fine).

  7. Preheat oven to 350º F.

  8. Place a cooling rack in a large cookie sheet and brush with olive oil.

  9. Arrange tomato slices on the rack, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil.

  10. Bake until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

  11. Coat a 22×16-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the dough to the sheet. Using your fingertips, press out the dough to fit the baking sheet. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

BAKING

  1. Preheat oven to 450º F.

  2. Top the left part of the dough with the cooled roasted tomatoes, the center with the artichokes, and the right side with fontina and ham. Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are bubbling and melted.

  3. Scatter the arugula and chunks of fresh mozzarella over the center part. Slice into rectangular pieces and serve hot.

Other delicious Italian bread recipes:

The post Pizza al Taglio Recipe – Roman Style Pizza by the slice recipe appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2SeJBIn appeared first on Nonna Box

The Top 10 Best Pizzelle Makers in the market for Traditional Pizzelle

Crisp, buttery pizzelle (pronounced with the “ts” sound; singular “pizzella”) is a traditional Italian dessert with many variations. They can be thin and crisp, or thick and soft, and they can have an anise flavor, or more of a lemony zest. It all depends on your recipe (and taste preferences). If you are making pizzella for a heritage treat, you may have a family recipe to work off— if not, the internet is full of different versions to try!

Lovers of baked delights around the globe have come together to help the every day baker create traditional delights with a modern flare. One of these aids is the creation of Pizzelle Makers: handy kitchen tools that shape and cook your pizzelle all at once. Thanks to these inventions and the ease of spreading recipes through social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook, more and more products are becoming available for your kitchen.

When it comes to a growing market, you’re bound to find differences. This one is cast iron, that one is coated. These have temperature controls and handy indicator lights, while those offer a more traditional appeal. A myriad of options pepper different models— it can feel overwhelming when you first start searching.

So, how do you know which to choose? Dozens of pizzelle makers are available from various retailers, and they all have pros and cons. To help you make the best decision for your kitchen and baking style, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best pizzelle maker available on Amazon.


 

CPP-200 International Chef Crepe/Pizzelle/Pancake Plus

  • Made by: Cuisinart
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.1 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.23 pounds
  • Pros: dishwasher safe plates, multi-use, temperature and timing controls
  • Cons: must roll out tortillas, a bit slow with pancakes

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This little beast offers more than just a three-per pizzelle plate: it can also cook pancakes, crepes, and pizzelle. Indicator lights help you track the readiness of the iron heat and baking time, while dual controls let you adjust the temperature and timer to fit your project.

The baking plates are reversible. One side offers the pizzelle irons while the other handles the pancakes, crepes, and tortillas. These plates can be run through the dishwasher, making cleaning a breeze. It is a little slow when it comes to cooking pancakes, and only does one of the solid items at a time— though it cooks three pizzelle.


 

WM-PZ10 Pizzelle Press

  • Made by: Cuisinart
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 9 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Pros: indicator lights, 5-setting heat dial, 3-year warranty
  • Cons: can be hot to the touch

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This press from Cuisinart is a beast. It’s super popular, with hardly any reviews lower than 4 stars— across multiple sites, no less! The WM-PZ10 bakes two four-inch pizzelle at a time. Indicators alert you when the irons are hot enough to cook and when the pizzelle have baked long enough.

The five-setting dial allows you to adjust the browning on the surface of the cookie; it’s basically a heat control knob. The one complaint that tended to crop up through reviews was that the machine could get hot to the touch, so it’s best to keep a potholder around for safe handling.

 


 

Non-Stick Pizzelle Maker

  • Made by: CucinaPro
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 4.65 pounds
  • Pros: non-stick, two at a time, recipes included
  • Cons: no heat control, poor latching mechanism

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This non-stick double Pizzelle maker from Cucina boasts a 4.7/5 rating with over 700 reviews! Many of the five stars mentioned how easy it was to use and clean, noting that their pizzelle came out crisp and perfect. Note: the included recipes create thin and crispy pizzella. If you want thick and soft, you will need to experiment with other versions.

The downside to this maker is the poor latching mechanism. It consists of a large, thin metal U that swivels down and hooks around the bottom of the closing handle. The latch doesn’t always fit around the hook on the bottom handle well, and the metal can dig into your fingers.


 

Mini Pizzelle Maker 

  • Made by: CucinaPro
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 4.25 pounds
  • Pros: non-stick, four at a time, smaller cookies
  • Cons: can cook unevenly, no recipes

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

CucinaPro’s second installment in our list creates miniature versions of the beloved treat. It’s great for cookie exchanges, bake sales, ice cream toppers, or small dessert tables when you need a small munchie. The non-stick surface helps with easy clean-up. You will need to experiment a bit with recipes to find one that works well in the smaller form.

The biggest complaint with this model tends to be the uneven surface of the finished pizzelle. Lovers of the product recommend using confectioner’s sugar if you need to cover the uneven look. It has a closing mechanism similar to the other Cucina model, but this model doesn’t have the stubbornness issue.


 

International PizzellePro Toscano Model

  • Made by: Chef’s Choice
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 10.5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Pros: non-stick, two at a time, indicator light
  • Cons: no temp control, weak latch

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

The Toscano Model from Chef’s choice takes a lot of the guesswork out of cooking the pizzelle. Average cooking time is 30 seconds, and an indicator light helps you time what is happening inside. Some users complain that the heat can’t be controlled, so you need to get the right recipe and right timing for the perfect waffle cookie.

This size also makes excellent waffle cones for the perfect summer treat. You will need to watch the plastic latch that keeps it closed; it has snapped on a few customers— though, only a few. Proper care and maintenance should eliminate any risk.


 

International PizzellePro Express Bake

  • Made by: Chef’s Choice
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 10.7 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Pros: three at a time, indicator lights, heat dial
  • Cons: weak latch, smaller cookies don’t work well for all uses

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

The Express Bake from Chef’s Choice can crank out three pizzelle in as little as 45 seconds. A handy dial on the side let’s you control the intensity of the heat, leading to golden brown or deeper brown pizzelle pending preference. Indicators on the top help you know when the irons are ready, and the included recipes, batter spoons, and cannoli dowel make the process a breeze.

This maker also has an overflow channel for batter, in case a bit much gets dolloped on for cooking. It does share the weakness with Chef Choice’s other included model, the Toscano: both are reported with weak plastic latches.


 

WM-PZ2 Pizzelle Press

  • Made by: Cuisinart
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.45 pounds
  • Pros: locking lid, indicator lights, 5-option browning
  • Cons: weak latch, hot to touch

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This little number makes 2 pizzelle at a time and comes with a locking mechanism for even browning. A five-setting slider allows you to control just how brown your pizzelle will be, and a handy indicator light helps you know when the irons are ready for cooking. The set temperature works well with many recipes, so it takes less trial and error to get the perfect pizzelle.

Something to watch, especially if you bake with children, is that the outside of the iron can get quite hot. Keep pot holders handy as a safety measure. Try not to force the latch, as the plastic can snap.


 

Pizzelle and Cookie Maker

  • Made by: Toastmaster
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.4 x 5.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Pros: overflow trough, cool-touch exterior
  • Cons: no temperature control

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This little addition offers something not readily available for pizzelle makers: a cool-touch exterior. Great for kitchens with little cookers or the more accident-prone baking enthusiasts. The overflow trough and oversized griddle make cleanup a breeze, and a latching mechanism helps even out browning.

This model doesn’t offer temperature control, so it takes a little trial and error to find the perfect timing for your recipe. Be careful with the interior plates, as no indicator lights will let you know when the irons are hot.


 

Pizzelle Maker Classic 

  • Made by: Palmer
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 10.4 x 3.9 inches
  • Weight: 5.45 pounds
  • Pros: USA made, two-per, 5-year warranty
  • Cons: Pizzelle can stick

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

For those who are looking for a more traditional approach, the aluminum cast Classic from Palmer is the way to go. It still uses electricity to heat up on its own, but it offers the original feel of cast metal— no flipping required.

The nice, deep lines make beautiful pizzelle and heats them perfectly even. There’s no school like old school, and this maker proves it.

The product is not coated with non-stick material, so you will need to prep the griddle to keep the batter from sticking.


 

1000T Electric Pizzelle Iron

  • Made by: Palmer
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.7 x 14.9 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Pros: USA made, 10-yr warranty
  • Cons: Pizzelle can stick

Click to Check Price or Read Reviews

This Electric Pizzelle iron from Palmer brings a touch of tradition to the modern era. It heats up quicker and does not require flipping, but it still needs that special touch. You must season the grills and develop the feel for timing your pizzelle readiness. Traditional cooks will appreciate the iron cast and even browning without the hassle of keeping up old kitchen equipment.

The long handles help protect you from the steam when cooking, but the iron can heat. Keep pot holders on hand as a safety precaution. The item is also extremely sturdy, so only let children operate under adult supervision.


 

Final Thoughts

There’s a perfect pizzelle maker out there for everyone— whether you’re looking for a traditional touch with Palmer, or the modern magic of Cuisinart. This list wades through a field of availabilities and helps bring up some of the best, but don’t feel like you must limit yourself. Research away until you find the best maker for your kitchen!

If you have a brand or model of pizzelle maker that you absolutely adore or if you’d like to share your favorite recipe (here’s our recipe for pizzelle), let us know! We’re always happy to hear from our readers (and try new sweets)!

The post The Top 10 Best Pizzelle Makers in the market for Traditional Pizzelle appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2QZX8Cd appeared first on Nonna Box

Calamarata Pasta with Zucchini, Calamari and Tuna Bottarda Recipe

The calamarata pasta with bottarga, zucchini and calamari is an inviting and delicious pasta dish. Easy and quick recipe to prepare, the result is very tasty and suitable for any occasion. The delicate flavors of zucchini and calamari are enlivened by the presence of tuna bottarga, a perfect dish for a late summer dinner with friends!

The calamarata pasta with tuna bottarga, zucchini and calamari is a tasty primo, in which an already particular and inviting dry pasta format, the calamarata, is further enhanced by a tasty condiment.

The delicate flavor of zucchini and calamari, freshly sautéed in oil and garlic, is enlivened by lemon zest and the presence of a decidedly character ingredient: the tuna bottarga. Less expensive than mullet, but just as flavorful and tasty. This type of bottarga is traditional in particular in Sicily and in the south of Sardinia, famous among others is the bottarga of Carloforte.

A tip for your purchase: a fresh squid must have a lively eye and a rather visible reddish color. If they are not fresh they tend to turn yellow and should, therefore, be avoided. The calamari is not only a Mediterranean mollusk, but also very tasty and versatile. We find the squid as an ingredient in many recipes: stuffed calamari, squid ziti or calamari with potatoes and chard are just a few examples.

Calamarata pasta with tuna bottarga, zucchini and calamari

This pasta recipe is a delight. Fresh and tasty.

  • 400 gr calamarata pasta
  • 500 gr calamari
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons tuna bottarga
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Clean the calamari by rinsing them under running water, separate the tentacles from the head, remove them from the gladius (the cartilage slug inside the mantle), remove the innards and remove the skin by making a small incision. Remove the central tooth of the tentacles and rinse everything very well.
  2. Dry the calamari, cut the ring bags and let them brown for a few minutes in a pan with oil and garlic. Keep aside in the heat.
  3. Cut the zucchini into cubes. Sauté them in the pan where you have cooked the calamari until they are well browned.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium pot put water to boil, cook the pasta and drain it al dente.
  5. Transfer the pasta to the pan with the zucchini. Add the calamari and sauté for a couple of minutes on a high flame, combining the lemon peel and a ground pepper.
  6. Transfer the pasta to serving plates and finish the dish by sprinkling a generous spoonful of tuna bottarga on top. Serve hot.

The post Calamarata Pasta with Zucchini, Calamari and Tuna Bottarda Recipe appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2P2zjMz appeared first on Nonna Box

Authentic Italian Pizzelle Recipe – Ferratelle Abruzzesi

The Ferratelle, or Pizzelle how everybody knows them in the US, are one of the most famous Christmas desserts still made today according to the ancient tradition of sweets from Abruzzo.

What is Pizzelle?

Mostly known as ferratelle in Italy, they are delicious waffles with an original shape cooked with an iron tool. They are typical of the cuisine of Abruzzo but also of Lazio and Molise and are also known as neole, pizzelle, nuvole, cancelle or cancellate. In Roman times they were even called crustule.

The different names change depending on the Italian region in which they are made. A genuine biscuit dough is prepared with a dough based of natural ingredients: flour, milk, eggs, sugar and aromas are mixed to create a batter then cooked on a particular double iron or cast iron plate, made hot by the fire.

This hot tool, crossed by grooves, gives the characteristic rhombus weave a rectangular shape, the most widespread variant in Abruzzo. But in the US, everybody knows pizzelle as a rounded shaped waffle with snowflakes design. Depending on the type of iron used, the “ferratelle” may turn out to be cooked soft and soft or crunchy and slightly high, a characteristic due to the different ribs of the plate, called “lu ferre” or “jo fèrro” in Abruzzese dialect.

History of ferratelle: where did the pizzelle cookie come from?

An Italian historian who lived in the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Tassini, cites Ferratelle in his masterpiece “Curiosità Veneziane – Ovvero: Origini delle denominazioni stradali di Venezia“, also calling them inferriate or scalette for the similarity of these treats to the windows or stairs.

It seems that the origin of this specialty is to be traced back to a distant era, when the ancient Romans used to prepare a dessert called crustulum, practically with the same ingredients.

The plates used to cook the ferratelle, however, began to appear only around the 1700, a historical period in which these iron tools with the double plate and the handles were forged by the blacksmiths on commission of the brides of the rich families of Abruzzo, who would engrave on the plates the coat of arms of the family or their initials.

“Lu ferre”, was in fact the dowry that young girls brought to her husband. Ferratelle today stand out in the windows of many patisseries in Abruzzo but in the past they were considered the “party sweets”, to be prepared during the Easter week or during the celebrations of the patron saint, as a tribute as a sign of respect and devotion.

Pizzelle: The territory of origin

Ferratelle have a paternity of Abruzzo but are particularly widespread in other Italian regions: in Molise these sweets were served at least until the 60s during weddings and have always been known as “cancelle”, a name that alludes to the grooves of the gates impressed from the reliefs of the classic iron plate.

Even in a delimited area of Lazio, the district of Cittaducale, former territory of Abruzzo, is tradition to prepare these confectionery specialties, which in this region have obtained the recognition of PAT, traditional agro-food product.

The recipe for authentic Italian pizzelle

Authentic Italian Pizzelle Recipe

Delicious and very good also natural, the ferratelle can also be enriched with jam, raganta, or grape jam, honey, hazelnut cream or chocolate or any other sweet sauce. The traditional recipe for making crispy and thin Ferratelli includes the following ingredients.

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower oil)
  • 185 gr flour 00 (sifted)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 1 lemon (rind, grated)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • cinnamon (optional choice)
  1. In a bowl, add the eggs, the sifted flour with a pinch of salt, the sugar and the aromas
  2. By hand with a whisk or an electric mixer, mix the ingredients and add the oil a little at a time. The mixture must appear thick and homogeneous, not too liquid.
  3. Let the batter rest for half an hour and then proceed to cooking.
  4. Grease the pizzelle iron with a little oil.
  5. Heat the iron on the stove and when it is hot, fill it in the center with a spoonful of the dough.
  6. Close the dish well and cook the ferratelle for a few minutes, until each side is golden.
  7. Remove the desserts thus obtained, which can be tasted as lukewarm natural or enriched with sweet creams or jams.

 

A little note about Pizzelle

According to the tradition of Abruzzo, it is said that the right cooking time of the wafers should be calculated by reciting a prayer on each side of the ferratelle: the time of a “Hail Mary” on one side and of “Our Father” on the other to ensure that the desserts are perfectly ready.

 

Other Italian dessert recipes:

The post Authentic Italian Pizzelle Recipe – Ferratelle Abruzzesi appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2RLTYmR appeared first on Nonna Box

Peach Crostata Recipe [Crostata alla marmellata di pesche]

The crostata is the most classic of desserts, a simple and genuine cake made with pasta frolla (shortcrust pastry) and jam. This peach crostata is simple and is made in a few steps: it takes 20 minutes of preparation and a 40-minute baking in the oven to taste all its disarming goodness!

The peach crostata tart is a classic cake, ideal for breakfast, for a snack or to accompany a tea.

Simple and genuine, it is achieved in a few simple steps. It starts from a base of excellent pasta frolla, which can also be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer; once spread and put into shape in the mold, it will only have to be filled with peach jam or other to taste.

The short pastry can be freely flavored according to your taste. Some examples? Lemon, vanilla or, to evoke Middle Eastern flavors, cardamom or tonka bean.

Crostata di pesche | Peach Crostata tart

This quick and delicious tart will make you want more and more!

  • 1 base pasta frolla ((according to our website))
  • 500 gr peach jam
  1. Prepare the pasta frolla according to the basic recipe, flavoring it with the rind of 1 grated lemon and let it rest for at least an hour.
  2. After this time roll out the dough on a floured surface, bringing it to a thickness of 3/16 inches. Use it to coat the bottom and edges of a non-stick tart pie measuring 9 inches in diameter.
  3. Remove the excess shortcrust pastry with a rolling pin, mix it again with the other dough, rewind it in the food film and place it back in the fridge.
  4. With the prongs of a fork puncture the dough inside the mold.
  5. Fill the mold with jam, leveling to obtain a uniform layer.
  6. Roll out the remaining short pastry to a thickness of 3/16 inches and with a serrated wheel made of strips of ⅜ inches.
  7. Form a grid with strips of pastry, spaced out regularly.
  8. Preheat the oven at 350 F
  9. Cook the peach jam crostata in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven, let it cool on a cake rack and serve.

The post Peach Crostata Recipe [Crostata alla marmellata di pesche] appeared first on Authentic Italian Recipes.

This article https://ift.tt/2yl3ncR appeared first on Nonna Box