Monday, June 09, 2014

Pesche con Amaretti e Cioccolato (Peach wit Amaretti and Chocolate)

This is a classic dessert from the Piemonte region of Italy. It is easy, fast to make and decadent at the same time. It is the perfect ending for any Summer meal.
There are several variations on the recipes. Some people use egg yolks, others whole eggs. Sometimes chocolate is omitted, but I always believe that life is better with chocolate. Anyway, this is my version of this wonderful dessert.

Pesche alla Piedmontese

Serves 4

  • 4 large firm peaches
  • 4 0z Amaretti almond cookies (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon of candied orange peel, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped (optional)
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup sweet wine from Piemonte (I used Madeira)

To serve:
whipped cream, with vanilla and sugar, to taste

Wash the peaches, pat dry, halve and remove the stone.

Place on a oven dish, cut-size up.

Crush the cookies into fine crumbs.
Mix with zest,  candied peel, honey, chocolate, egg white and salt.

Divide the mixture between the peaches. Add the wine on top of the peaches and in the pan.

Bake in the middle of 180 C / 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, until the peaches are soft and the Amaretti topping is brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

How to make fresh pasta from scratch

You don't really need a recipe for making pasta. For each cup of flour add one egg, one tablespoon of olive oil and water as needed.  One cup of flour should make enough pasta for two people.

Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a well and add eggs and oil to flour, very slowly, mixing with a spoon. As mixture becomes lumpy, begin to press together and knead with your hands. If mixture seems too dry and grainy, add one  tablespoon of water at a time until mixture holds together into a ball.

Removing dough from the mixing bowl, begin to knead dough for 2 minutes on a lightly floured board or table top.

Cut dough in halves, cover bowl with a plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out on a floured surface to desired thickness or roll thru a pasta machine. Dry slightly before using.

I used a Chitarra to cut the pasta but you can also use a knife and cut the pasta to the desired shape.

Note: Very important. . . Allowing the dough to rest will improve the texture of the pasta when finished.