Step by Step to a Savory Crostata

By Adri | Filed in Recipes

Zucchini Crostata with Ricotta-Lemon Filling


Zucchini Crostata with Ricotta-Lemon Filling


When most of us hear “crostata” we think of dessert, and a sweet crust topped with sugary fruit, caramelized and bubbling from its time in the oven. Rustic and free form, these open face tarts are good for main dishes too. Savory crusts topped with cheese, meats, and vegetables make simple, unfussy lunches, portable picnics, and satisfying light suppers.

Start with the crust. Lose the sugar, and you are on your way. Switch out some of the all-purpose flour for something with more character and bite, a little whole wheat flour, or perhaps rye flour or semolina. Add a hint of nutmeg, and seal the deal by substituting olive oil for butter. You are home free and dining savory. This olive oil pastry is the ultimate no-hassle crust. Quick to make, sturdy and easy to roll out, you’ll be glad to have this one in your repertoire.


Zucchini Crostata with Ricotta-Lemon Filling


Here I have used fresh ricotta atop the pastry base. The ricotta, flecked with lemon zest and delightfully fragrant lemon thyme, is dotted with sautéed pancetta and green onions, making a delightful medium for thinly sliced zucchini coins and a generous sprinkling of one of Abruzzo’s finest olive oils, Agrumato Lemon. The lemon scented oil adds bright notes of citrus while keeping Read more of this article »

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Roasted Red Onions with Basil, Fennel, Balsamic Glaze


These members of the Allium genus are covered with a red parchment-like skin, and their deep purple and white variegated interior is a glory to behold. Read more of this article »

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Citrus Salad with Hazelnuts and Basil

By Adri | Filed in Recipes


Citrus Salad


The big feast is over. The last head has been bitten from the last chocolate bunny, and it’s time to pack away the rabbit collection for another year. Almost. Tomorrow is La Pasquetta, Easter Monday, a national holiday in Italy, a day that stretches Easter out long enough to enjoy una scampagnata, a languorous country picnic in the sunshine of early Spring.

Pack up your leftover torta, stow some glasses and a bottle of nice wine in your picnic basket and bring this simple salad along. The salad’s vibrant color and bright flavor come from Read more of this article »

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Quaresimali Cookie

 

Nobody does Easter like the Italians. From chocolate fantasy eggs and wonderful cookies to the famous Pastiera, celebration foods abound. Lent, or Quaresima as it is known in Italy, is the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter, a time of self-enforced culinary deprivation during which cucina magra, or the consumption of lean food, is the order of the day. This extends all the way to dessert. However, Italians have found plenty of ways to enjoy their treats during the Lenten season, and Quaresimali, a traditional cookie, is but one. Each region, each town, every bakery and every nonna has a unique rendition of this cookie. From tooth-breakingly hard and desperately in need of a dunk, to the delicate cocoa meringue alphabet cookies of Florence, these cookies are found throughout the country. Read more of this article »

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Win a Cavatelli Maker


Ricotta Cavatelli with Sausage and Swiss Chard



We have a winner!

The winner is SippitySup of the website SippitySup.com!

Congratulazioni, Greg, your Cavatelli Maker is on its way!



I wrote about handmade cavatelli a few months ago, and I was surprised and touched by how many readers commented that it reminded them of childhood memories dished up by moms, aunts and grandmothers. In particular, a number of you mentioned ricotta cavatelli. So here is another childhood favorite, this time with some ricotta in the cavatelli and a sauce made of sweet Italian sausage and Swiss chard. Read more of this article »

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Blood Orange-Campari Sorbetto in a Negroni splashed with Prosecco


Negroni Float

The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.

- Orson Welles on the Negroni



The Negroni (nay-GROW-nee) is perhaps the quintessential aperitivo – one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, one part Campari, all of it over ice, with an orange round. Classic cocktail lore tells us the Negroni is a direct descendant of the Milano-Torino, a drink now known as the Americano. It happened like this: in 1919 at Florence’s Caffe Casoni Count Camillo Negroni asked barman Fosco Scarselli to add a bit of fortification, un ‘po piu robusto, to his Milano-Torino. Sig. Scarselli acquiesced to his patron’s wish, adding gin in place of seltzer. The deed done, Sig. Scarselli realized the two drinks looked quite alike. With a barman’s panache he substituted an orange garnish for the Milano-Torino’s lemon… Read more of this article »

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