Gina DePalma and Copulettas – Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Greetings to all. It’s been months since you have heard from me. Life and my home remodel have conspired to keep me out of the kitchen and away from my computer. This post, however is not about me. It is about Gina DePalma. Gina, for those of you unfamiliar with her, is one of the stars of the Italian pastry world. She was the pastry chef at Babbo and Enoteca restaurants in New York for many years, and she is the author of numerous articles and Dolce Italiano, one of my favorite collections of Italian desserts.


Gina DePalma


Gina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, and in the ensuing years she has waged a fierce battle with the disease. My return to blogging comes in the form of a paean to her – both her skill at the oven and stove, and her courage in the face of a terrible adversary. She summed it up this way.


…This second recurrence of my ovarian cancer began in February of 2012. I’ve been on continuous chemotherapy since then, which is a very, very long time. My situation has mostly gone downhill and it has taken a toll. Although I was doing well for most of last year, the bottom line is that the cancer isn’t going away and I’m not responding to the drugs anymore.

I have reunited with my doctor at Mount Sinai, where I was treated from 2007 to 2013, and he strongly believes that this surgery is the best course of action for me…



On September 28, 2015 Gina underwent her second cancer surgery. She will recuperate in Yonkers at the home of her mother, her beloved felines at her side.

To support Gina, please send her your best wishes by posting on her website, Facebook page, or Twitter. If you’ve got a bit of extra time, make this or another of her recipes and post a shot on Facebook or Twitter.


Gina’s book, Dolce Italiano, is available from Amazon.


Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Each of Italy’s twenty regions has its own specialty pastries, cookies, and treats. Sardegna (Sardinia) is no exception. Copulettas are mezzelune (half-moon shaped) pastry pockets of sweet dough filled with ground toasted almonds, almond paste, orange marmalade, honey, and saba. They are often served at special occasions such as baptisms and weddings. Here is Gina’s recipe, with a few added notes and some alternate techniques. I have also included excerpts from her headnote. Grazie, Gina, and I wish you the best!


Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia

Copulettas


makes 24


Sardinia is the second great Italian island of the Mediterranean, known as the “island of the sun.” Situated 100 miles off the coast of Italy, Sardinia posses a particular beauty. The island’s 1800 kilometers of coastline alternates between rugged, rocky cliffs and soft, sandy, white beaches; both met by the crystal clear blue waters of the sea.

Sardinians like their pastries sweet and flavorful, and the variations differ from region to region, and even from town to town. Many feature almonds, which are harvested in Sardinia, and candied orange peel or lemon zest, as well honey.

Copulettas are a specialty of the wine-making region of Gallura, and I think they are interesting and delicious. To make them, you will need a bottle of saba, which is cooked grape must. The acidity of the saba balances the sweetness of the almond paste, and is essential to the flavor of the filling. I also recommend using an orange marmalade that is not too sweet, but full of intense orange flavor; I hate to sound like a nag, but an Italian brand, such as Il Forteto, will best satisfy that criteria. The dough is very easy to work with and roll out, and making it by hand is an extremely satisfying endeavor. Do not roll it too thin or the filling will burst through. Sprinkles are a must to add that extra festive touch on these pastries, which burst with the special flavors of Sardenga.


For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, OR 00 flour, plus additional for rolling
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
½ cup blanched, sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
4 ounces almond paste
2 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Sardinian honey
2 tablespoons saba

To assemble:
1 large egg white
1 large egg

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 pasteurized egg white* – see food safety note below
Multicolored sprinkles

Alternate icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water

To make the dough by hand: combine the flour, sugar, and salt, and make a pile on your work surface. With your fingers, create a deep well; make sure the sides are high enough to support it. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork in a small bowl, add them to the well along with the olive oil and the melted butter. As with pasta dough, gradually incorporate the flour into eggs, using your fingers or a fork, forming a rough dough. Knead the dough until it is smooth and homogenous. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the dough in the food processor: place the flour, sugar, and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse twice to combine. Place the eggs, olive oil, and melted butter in a small measuring cup, and use a small whisk or fork to combine, breaking up the eggs well. With the processor running, add the wet ingredients and process until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead briefly. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the filling: to toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., and adjust the rack to the center level. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, until fragrant and just starting to color. Set the almonds aside to cool. Grind the cooled almonds in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Transfer them to a medium bowl. Break the almond paste into small pieces with your fingers, and add it to the bowl with the ground almonds. Add the marmalade, honey, and saba to the bowl, and with a fork, mash all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

Roll out the dough: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the egg white in a small bowl and beat it lightly with a fork. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured board. The dough should be slightly thinner than tart dough. Using a three-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles, re-rolling the scraps as necessary.


Making Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Assemble the copulettas: lightly brush the dough circles with the beaten egg white. With slightly dampened hands place a scant teaspoon of filling slightly off center of each circle, and flatten it slightly.


Making Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Fold one side of the dough over the filling to make a crescent shape.


Making Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Press the dough around the filling and seal the edges of the dough. Use a fluted cutter to trim the dough and give it a scalloped edge. Repeat with the other half of the dough.


Making Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


Arrange the copulettas on a parchment-lined sheet tray, evenly spaced. Lightly beat the whole egg in a bowl and use a pastry brush to glaze the pastries. Using a toothpick, prick each copuletta at the base of the mound of filling, to release any air and prevent them from bursting. Bake them for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they are firm and lightly golden brown. Remove the copulettas from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Finish the copulettas: make the icing by placing the confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl. Add the egg white (or water if using the alternate recipe) and stir until the icing is smooth, but very stiff. Add a few drops of water as needed.


Making Copulettas - Half-moon pastries from Sardinia


To decorate the copulettas, spread the icing generously over the entire surface of each pastry, and decorate with a few sprinkles. Let the copulettas dry for 1 hour.


* Food Safety:
The CDC recommends that consumption of raw eggs be avoided by the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems. If you make the first version of the icing, use a pasteurized egg white to eliminate the risk of salmonellosis. The bacteria that causes the illness, salmonella, can be present on both the outside and inside of eggs that appear to be normal, and if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked, illness can ensue. I suggest Safest Choice pasteurized eggs from Davidson’s.

To market, to market…
Saba is an ancient condiment made from grape must that is slowly cooked and reduced to about a third of its original volume, resulting in a luxuriously thick syrup with multiple layers of rich flavor. It is available at Amazon and many Italian delis. If you can not find saba, you can substitute Vino Cotto, available at most Italian delis and Amazon.

I urge you to try Sardinian honey from Luigi Manias. These organic honeys are luxuriously rich and uniquely flavorful. The Millefiori or Asphodel honeys would be perfect in these little pastries, but I used Manias’ Corbezzolo honey. This stellar honey is a combination of bitter and sweet with what I can only describe as notes of tobacco. It offered an intriguing counterpoint to the almonds, sweet orange marmalade, and saba in the filling. Luigi Manias honeys are available at Amazon, Olio2go, and Gustiamo. Try any of these honeys once, and you’ll be hooked.

Gina suggests using an Italian orange marmalade such as Il Forteto. Il Forteto can be difficult to find, and so I suggest substituting the extraordinarily rich and flavorful marmalades from Marchesi San Giuliano, available at Amazon and Olio2go or those from Caffe Sicilia, available at Amazon and Gustiamo. These fine marmalades made from fruit nurtured by the bright Sicilian sun infuse the pastries with intense citrus flavor and a heady richness born of the age-old craft of preserving.

For the olive oil in the dough feel free to use a fine Sardinian oil, but I have found that California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a delight for many baking needs, especially here where a small amount is called for. I have used their oils in cakes, cookies, and pastry doughs with great success. California Olive Ranch oils are sold in supermarkets and are quite affordable.

To Gina I say, “Rock on, amica. We’re all pulling for you. You are the Queen of Italian desserts.”


Note: You can click on any picture for a slide show!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.

Gina DePalma photograph, W. W. Norton & Company

96 Comments

  1. Comment by Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen:

    This one looks amazing!!! Like the perfect snack!

  2. Comment by Emilie@TheCleverCarrot:

    I’m so happy that you are back. The New Year is going to be your year, Adri. I just know it. And look a all this love! What a fantastic community you have built.

    Now, this post- its message and recipe is both beautiful and sincere. Thoughts and prayers for Gina, with sprinkles on top. xo

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Emilie,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I have been away for too long. Sadly, Gina lost her battle with cancer two days ago, and she passed away, her mother at her side. Gone too soon, she has left us a bountiful ouevre through which she will live on. Un bacione a te.

  3. Comment by Bam's Kitchen:

    Sending Gina positive thoughts and prayers to give her strength during this difficult time. You did a beautiful job sharing her recipe and I love this cookie so much. Wishing your family a safe and happy 2016.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Bam,

      Thank you for your comment It’s great to see you again. Sadly, Gina lost her battle with cancer just yesterday. She fought long and hard, but she was unable to overcome this adversary. She will be missed. I guess this is a lesson that we ought to live very day to the fullest. I hope that 2016 brings all good things to you. Buon anno!

  4. Comment by Barbara @ Barbara Bakes:

    I’ve never had a pastry like this. It looks amazing. So sweet of you to share the recipe and Gina’s struggle.Wishing both of you a wonderful new year.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Barbara,

      Thanks. These little treats are really good, a classic Italian treat. We’re all hoping for Gina to get well. Thanks for the good wishes, and happy new year to you!

  5. Comment by Tania | My Kitchen Stories:

    Such a sad story. Such a talent unable to create. You have done a wonderful job on her lovely pastries. It is interesting to see this use of Saba.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Tania,

      It really is a sad story. I hope Gina recuperates and returns to the kitchen. The saba really does give these a special flavor. It is so unique. Thank you for stopping and for leaving a comment.

  6. Comment by Daniela:

    Thank you for sharing Ginas touching story with us so we can send her a message of support.
    The sweets look wonderful. Great to have you back, Adri.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Daniela,

      I am hoping that everyone’s good vibes give Gina a lift. She has had a very difficult time. Thank you for stopping by. It’s great to be back. I have been away too long!

  7. Comment by Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness:

    Wowza, these pastries look amazing!

  8. Comment by annie@ciaochowbambina:

    Such lovely cookies and a beautiful tribute to Gina. I have her book and now can’t wait to make and share one of my favorites from her expansive collection… My prayers and thoughts are with her.

  9. Comment by Carl Wright:

    Adri, this is a very touching post to tribute your dear friend Gina. Was over on her Twitter to leave a word of encouragement, and by reading her infrequent tweets, she has had a very difficult battle. Thank you for introducing me.
    I am really intrigued how each of Italy’s 12 regions has their own specialties. These pastries from the island of Sardina look AMAZING. Your descriptions of the honey and marmalade made my moth water…haha.
    Thank you for sharing! 🙂
    ~Carl~

  10. Comment by Phyllis@Oracibo:

    I totally agree with other comments…a lovely tribute to a wonderful pastry chef. You always make it look so easy and delicious….perfect for this time of the year….thank you Adri!

  11. Comment by Pam Green:

    These are so pretty and the recipe sounds fantastic. I love the photos of you making them.

  12. Comment by Cathy at Wives with Knives:

    Good thoughts and prayers are being sent Gina’s way for a speedy and successful recovery. I think these lovely cookies will be on my Christmas cookie tray. The filling looks delicious and you have decorated them in such a festive way.

  13. Comment by Sandra:

    I will keep Gina in my prayers and I would love to try these cookies.

  14. Comment by Maria Stark:

    Such beautiful food you show! Love you guys!

  15. Comment by Mir:

    This is a lovely tribute. They look amazing! That filling is incredible. I’ve never tried these before, but now it’s on the list!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Mir,

      I am so glad that you enjoyed this. Gina has been a big influence on me, and I wanted to show some support. Thank you for joining the chorus! I bet you will enjoy the copulettas!

  16. Comment by Liz:

    Ugh, I hate to hear that Gina now has another hurdle. Hope her surgery recovery goes well and that it gives her more time with her family and friends. P.S. Your cookies look both beautiful and yummy!!!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Liz,

      I know. It is such a shame. Gina returned home today, and she will begin another course of chemotherapy. So let’s all send good vibes her way. These copulettas are a sweet treat indeed! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  17. Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal):

    Very sorry to hear of the ongoing problems for Gina, she will be in everyones prayers. Your cookies with the almond paste and orange marmalade sound wonderfully tasty. It is so very nice to hear from you again, you have been missed.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Karen,

      It is really a shame about Gina. She is being released from the hospital today, and will soon start chemo again, so she needs lots of good wishes. Her cookies are really terrific, and I hope you give them a go! Thanks for the kind words about my return. It is good to be back. All the best to you and yours.

  18. Comment by Hannah:

    I’m so happy to hear from you again, and with such an incredibly delicious sweet recipe, no less! These look like fantastic options to add to the holiday cookie platter. It’s never too early to start planning….

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Hannah,

      I have been away for so long, and your kind words of welcome are most appreciated. These little cookies will certainly be making an appearance on my holiday platter – no doubt about it! I hope you are enjoying the fall weather, and I send best wishes to you and yours. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Comment by nancy at good food matters:

    HI Adri, We have ALL missed your flavorful and informative posts. Beautiful cookies, of course. But I didn’t know about Chef Gina’s years-long battle with ovarian cancer. Ugh. I wish her success with the surgery and a swift recovery. So good of you to post this. It will send lots of love and good will her way. Nancy

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Nancy,

      I really appreciate your kind words. I missed writing and cooking, and it is good to return. Gina has fought a long battle with ovarian cancer, and I know that your good wishes will reach her and lift her spirits, giving her renewed strength. I hope all is well with you and yours, and thanks so much for stopping by!

  20. Comment by Norma Chang:

    Hope Gina’s surgery is successful. Wishing her a speedy recovery. Copulettas is new to me thanks for the tutorial.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Norma,

      We’re all pulling for Gina, so thanks for adding to our chain of good wishes. Thank you for stopping by, and it’s my pleasure to introduce you to copulettas!

  21. Comment by Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti:

    What sad news about Gina! I will add her to my prayers that this surgery will be successful and that she will have a complete remission. I have often checked out her dessert cookbook form my library, just to dream about her creations. It seems every region every town in Italy has their own speciallty dessert, one more delicious than the other. This cookie sounds so good–I am a fan of almond paste and orange marmalade. so I know I would love them, Adri. It’s good to see you posting again! I hope all your renovations are completed–I know they always take longer than anticipated. ((hugs))

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pat,

      It is terrific to hear from you, and a great pleasure to be back. I was prompted to once again pick up my pen by Gina’s recent surgery, so the return is somewhat bittersweet. She has waged a valiant battle against this disease, and I am so glad you are joining us all in wishing her well. I hope that our positive vibes are getting through to her and imbuing her with strength. As to our renovation – it is still going on. As you said, these things always take linger than anticipated!

  22. Comment by domenicacooks:

    A lovely tribute to this incredibly talented pastry chef. I have Gina’s book and love it. Thanks for sharing her story here. I’ve missed your posts, my friend. Un abbraccio!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Domenica,

      Thank you for your kind words. Gina has been so generous with her immense knowledge. She has, I think it is fair to say, both inspired and delighted all of us, nourishing body and soul along the way. I hope that our good vibes and warm wishes help her now. And as for me, it is good to be back! Un bacione a te, amica.

  23. Comment by Mette:

    These look absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never seen them with an orange marmalade filling, but it sounds enticing and something I must try now we are entering the cookie season.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Mette,

      Fall cookie season is here! I hope you enjoy these. The combination of the orange marmalade, almond, and saba makes such a tasty filling. They were new to me too, so once again I owe a debt of gratitude to Gina DePalma. Have fun in the kitchen!

  24. Comment by Amy @ Fearless Homemaker:

    We are so happy to see you back, Adri! I have missed your beautiful writing, pictures, and posts, so I’m thrilled to see them again. These copulettas look wonderful, and you taught me about some new-to-me ingredients, which I always love. I’ll be sending my best vibes to Gina, thank you for bringing awareness to what she is going through.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Amy,

      Thank you so much for the kind words of welcome. It is terrific to be back, and when I went to your site I could not believe how The Fearless Baby has grown! Could I possibly have been away for that long? Thanks also for sending good vibes to Gina. She needs all the positivity she can get. It is great to hear from you!

  25. Comment by janie:

    It’s great to see you back again. I am so sorry to hear about Gina-I knew she had struggled with cancer in the past but was unaware that she is continuing to fight it. I have her book and absolutely love everything I’ve made from it. I will get in the kitchen and bake something this weekend. I hope you are well and that we’ll hear from you again soon.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Janie,

      It’s good to be back and great to hear from you. Yes, Gina continues her valiant battle. It is such a pity. I am so pleased that you have enjoyed her book, and through writing this post I have discovered that many people enjoy her work as much as I. That pleases me immensely. Thanks for stopping by, and continue sending good thoughts to Gina!

  26. Comment by Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary:

    Fabulous post! Thank you so much for sharing these pastries and Gina’s story! All I have to say is she is a trouper and SO inspiring! As for these copulettas, they look delicious! LOVE the almond/marmalade filling… and the sprinkles on top of course! Cheers!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Cheyanne,

      Gina’s courage in the face of this cruel adversary really is inspiring. I’m so glad the copulettas aught your eye, and I hope you make some! Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking a moment to comment.

  27. Comment by Trisha Thomas:

    Those copulettas are so festive they seem perfect for the holiday season and probably so delicious we would be happy to eat them any time. I am thrilled to see you back blogging again– and I wish Gina De Palma a rapid recovery. My heart goes out to her, it cannot be easy.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Trisha,

      So how goes it for the globe-trotting Mozzarella Mamma? That was one whirlwind tour with the Pope. Have you recovered yet? You are right about the copulettas. They really are wonderful, and so representative of Italian treats in general. Thanks for the good wishes for Gina, and for your kind words upon my return. This was, as you can imagine, a bittersweet post for me to write. Un abbraccio forte!

  28. Comment by Maureen | Orgasmic Chef:

    I didn’t know Gina before my visit but I’ve left her a tweet for a speedy recovery. I love these half moon pastries and can’t wait to give them a try. I’ll think of Gina (and you) with every step.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Maureen,

      I bet she will love getting your Tweet. Every bit of support helps at a time like this. You’ll love Gina’s pastries, cookies, tarts, gelati, and cakes once you get a taste. Thank you so much for stopping by and for reaching out to Gina.

  29. Comment by Saskia Ericson:

    Thanks for introducing us to Gina. She sounds like an incredible lady and your post is a lovely tribute to her. Your copulettas look absolutely beautiful, especially with the sprinkles! Very pleased to learn a new word today, saba! I cook with verjuice a lot, which sounds like it is similar to saba although perhaps more acidic.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Saskia,

      It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Gina, and thank you for the kind words about my post. I hope you try saba. I bet you can find some at an Italian market near you. It is thick and really quite luxurious. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking a moment to comment.

  30. Comment by cheri:

    What a wonderful post Adri, you are a great friend. My mother-in-law makes cookies similar to these. They are wonderful.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Cheri,

      I am so glad you enjoyed this one. These cookies are so good, and I am glad they brought back some “food memories” of your own. I hope things are going well for you. I am looking forward to lots of terrific fall food from you!

  31. Comment by Beth:

    A lovely post Adri. Sending strength and good thoughts to your friend. She’s lucky to have you in her corner.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Beth,

      Thank you. Gina has been such an inspiration to me. She and I have never met, but I have learned so much from her over the years. It is heartwarming to read all the good wishes. Un abbraccio forte!

  32. Comment by David:

    My heart goes out to Gina, and I will head over to her website to give my best wishes. These copulettas look wonderful, and I will start my search for saba now. I can’t wait to try these! Glad you are back, Adri!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for reaching out to gina. I know your wishes will warm her heart. She has been through quite an odyssey. Thanks also for the kind words on my return. I have been away for too long now. You’ll find the saba, and I know you will love it. Un abbraccio forte!

  33. Comment by bellini:

    I have a favourite zucchini loaf recipe from Gina that has now become my staple. I am sure she has worked her magic with these little gems as well.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Val,

      There are so many wonderful recipes that have come from Gina, and I have loved hearing about everyone’s favorite. She has indeed worked her magic on these copulettas. Thanks for stopping by!

  34. Comment by Frank:

    How wonderful to see you blogging again, Adri! You were missed.

  35. Comment by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella:

    Welcome back Adri! What a wonderful way to send her some good wishes. I hope she is ok!

  36. Comment by Hotly Spiced:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Gina’s battle with ovarian cancer. It’s such a dreadful cancer. I have a friend who battled with the cruel disease for five years but then tragically lost the battle. I do wish Gina well and I do hope the surgery is a success. She is certainly a very talented chef who has had a fantastic career. I do love the look of your sparkly copulettas xx

    • Comment by Adri:

      Benvenuta,

      Thank you for your kind words and for your good wishes for Gina. As you said, ovarian cancer is such a cruel disease. Let’s keep the good thoughts out there for this talented and innovative chef.

  37. Comment by Jean | DelightfulRepast.com:

    Adri, welcome back! Finally! So sorry to hear of Gina’s plight. If this recipe is any indication, she is as you said “The Queen of Italian Desserts!” Well, co-queen with you!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Jean,

      Thanks for the welcome, and for the exalted status. Gina certainly has been an inspiration, and I hope this post lifts her spirits. I hope you are well and are enjoying the fall weather!

  38. Comment by Laney (Ortensia Blu):

    Welcome back Adri-we missed you! I’m a huge fan of Gina’s and her incredible recipes and writing. Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe of hers in your own special way and for allowing us to all show our support for Gina.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Laney,

      It’s good to be back. I hope everyone’s good wishes lift Gina’s spirits. She really has taught all of us so much. Let’s raise a glass of the prosecco you wrote about and toast Gina. Cheers!

  39. Comment by Liz (Good Things):

    Welcome back Adri! And thanks so much for this delicious introduction to Gina and her cookery. xxx

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Liz,

      It is good to be back, and I hope that this little tribute helps to lift Gina’s spirits. Take a look at her website. It is a treasure trove of information and great recipes. I know you will like what you see. And thank you for stopping by.

  40. Comment by The Surprised Gourmet:

    Sending prayers and get-well wishes to Gina. This pastry looks delicious and the photos are amazing. I’ll have to give it a try. Nice to meet you Adri.

  41. Comment by Anthony Fama:

    Adri these cookies look delicious and festive. Welcome back!!

  42. Comment by Rosetta Costantino:

    Adri, it is so nice to see you back on your blog and baking again. I never had a chance to meet Gina, only knew about her from my editor that did her dessert book, so kind of you to dedicate this post to her. I think she is an inspiration to all of us to live each day to the fullest. I wish her best.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Rosetta,

      It has been so long since I have written even one word, the events of this last year having sapped both my strength and spirit. When I saw Gina’s message, I was moved to write this tribute. She has been such an inspiration to me and to so many others through her cooking. Now, in her valiant and protracted fight against cancer she is an inspiration once again. Let’s all have a treat in her honor!

  43. Comment by Abbe @ This is How I Cook:

    Thank you for introducing me to Gina. I certainly hope for the best in the battle she must face. These cookies seem so filled with sunshine; as all the ingredients seem to grow in sunny places. May you and Gina also have some sunshine in your life.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Abbe,

      It is my pleasure to introduce you to Gina. She really is a master, an iconic figure in the world of contemporary and classic Italian pastries and treats. Check out her book. I bet you will love it. Thanks for stopping in, and I hope things are going well for you!

  44. Comment by John / Kitchen Riffs:

    Great to see you post again! And for such a worthy reason, too. Gina DePalma is a wonderful talent. And you’re pretty darn good yourself! Lovely pastries — thanks so much.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi John,

      It’s good to be back, albeit with a bittersweet post. I am enjoying hearing from people what an impact Gina has had on them, and if she sees this, I bet she will get a kick out of it. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

  45. Comment by Marie:

    Yay, you’re back! I’ve missed you and your informative posts and all your drool worthy photos Adri and as always, I’ve learned something new. I never heard of saba, so thank you, and thanks to Gina. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, I still always make her ricotta pound cake from the book, my family loves it. I certainly will wish her well, ovarian cancer has been extremely close within my family throughout the years, Gina’s strength and endurance is an inspiration to us all. So glad you’re back, btw, these would be nice for the “cookie exchange” this year, hint, hint!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marie,

      Thanks for the kind words. It is good to be back. It was really Gina’s note that prompted my return. She has been such an inspiration to all of us, and certainly has fought a valiant battle for so many years. I am sorry to hear that ovarian cancer is in your family too. We enjoy Gina’s ricotta pound cake also. I’d say it is time for you to make one. Can you believe it is time to think about the cookie exchange? Tempus fugit.

  46. Comment by Chiara:

    thanks for introducing me to Gina, my best wishes to her !

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Chiara,

      It is my pleasure to introduce you to GIna. She is a real master, and her book is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy her work, and thanks so much for stopping by.

  47. Comment by Ciaochowlinda:

    Oh Adri, you have no idea how happy I am to see you back blogging again and sharing your talents with us. And to do so in a post dedicated to Gina is just wonderful. I love these cookies and have eaten them in Sardinia, but never made them myself. Your photos make it simple to follow and I will try them once I get back home. Keep on cooking and blogging. I will also send Gina a get well message, as you suggested.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Linda,

      As you know this has been a tough year to say the least, but when I read Gina’s message, things were quickly put into perspective. I just had to do something, so I started blogging again. She has been a true inspiration to me. Thanks for the kind words, and also for sending a message to Gina. Un abbraccio forte!

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