Monthly Archives: March 2012

Students’ Recipes: Winner #2 is…

from the 1LA class… the recipe winner is the typical Piemontese dish… BAGNA CAODA!

Ingredients: (for four people)
Preparation: about 50 minutes
Degree of difficulty: easy

  • 80 grams of butter
  • six cloves of minced garlic
  • 250 grams of olive oil
  • 200 grams of anchovies
  • wine if you want (red)
In a pan melt the butter and add the garlic.
Fry for about 15 minutes over a weak flame.
Add the oil and go on cooking for about ten minutes.
Chop the anchovies and add them to the sauce.
Cook for about 40 minutes. The sauce should never boil.
If you want, add a tub of cream ten minutes before the end of cooking time.
Serve the bagna caoda sauce with different kinds of vegetables like carrots, thistles, peppers, cauliflower.
Serve warm with a glass of red wine!


Filed under bagna cauda, recipes

Barolo Chinato

Sunday I was disappointed because I wanted to go to Vinitaly but it was just too hard to work out.  We tried to make the best of it by keeping with the theme and visiting the wine country. Because all the winemakers would surely be in Verona for the event, it wouldn’t even be wine to stake out a winery. Luckily I spotted an advertisement for both kite flying in Barolo and a seperate Barolo Chinato/chocolate tasting at the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo So we drifted over on over to Barolo!

Once we got to the enoteca, our senses were drawn immediately to the trays of dark chocolate ranging from 70% cocoa all the way to 99%! Then our eyes roamed over to the table of about 25 open bottles, each one available to try. How to choose out of so many!? I had never even tried Barolo Chinato.
The story of Barolo Chinato goes all the way back to the late 1800’s when Pharmacist G. Cappellano infused such a precious wine like Barolo with China Calisaya bark, to make a sort of elixir with medicinal properties. It eventually gained popularity as an aromatized wine with the addition of spices like rhubarb, cinnamon, cloves, and other alpine herbs. What is surprising to me is that very few wineries make this type of “digestivo” and it is rarely exported. 
Personally I am not a big fan of these kind of sweet digestifs. But I must admit that the marriage of dark chocolate with this velvety smooth wine is a hedonistic pleasure! 
Our first choice was Rivetto’s Barolo Chinato. Perfumes of cloves and cinnamon radiated from the glass and smoothed out as chocolate coated our mouths. 
Although each winery has their own “secret” recipe, they are all quite sweet. When asked which one was least sweet, we were nudged towards Schiavenza. This was definitely more our style. Not overly spiced, with more of a stewed fruit aroma. It was softer and tasted just as good with dark chocolate! 
It was no Vinitaly, but still a fun experience!
Enoteca Regionale Del Barolo
Castello Falletti
12060 Barolo, Cn


Filed under barolo, barolo chinato, piemonte wines

Student Recipes: Winner #1 Is….?

The perfect way to combine teaching with my own interest in food and wine was to ask the three Freshman classes (15 year-olds) to write me a typical Italian recipe in English. Drumroll please…..Winner #1 is Sara Giletta from 1LB with her jam pie dessert!

(written in her English) very cute
  • white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 hazelnuts
  • half bag (packet) of baking powder
  • half cup of vegetable oil
  • butter
  • breadcrumbs
  • sugar
  • jam
  • a baking tin
  • a bowl
  • a blender
  1. Butter a baking tin (30 cm diameter)
  2. spread breadcrumbs in the baking tin
  3. put 30 hazelnuts with a handful of sugar in a blender
  4. Mix in a bowl hazelnuts, 2 eggs, 100 grams of sugar, half a cup of vegetable oil, and half a bag of baking powder.
  5. Add white flour until you get a soft smooth dough.
  6. Divide the dough into two.
  7. Roll out the dough and spread with apricot jam.
  8. Roll out the other half of the dough.
  9. Cut it into stripes of 2 cm.
  10. Criss cross the stripes of dough on the jam
  11. Put the left over dough on the edges.
  12. Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes.

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Filed under crostata, crostata recipes, jam tart

How To Make A Pizza: Lino’s Recipe

After a rockin’ Saturday night St. Patty’s Day party, we crashed at our friend’s house in Mondovi. Roxy is a Texan expat who is married to an Italian, Lino. The next morning I could have sworn we woke up at a B&B when I came up to a breakfast of freshly bought croissants, hazelnuts, sicilian marmalade and coffee. We were treated like kings and queens not only for the breakfast set up but because Lino spent the day teaching us how to make the perfect pizza.

So here’s the recipe for 2 pizzas:

1. Measure 200 ml of water and make sure the temperature is at 32 °C (90°F) 2. Pour into a glass and add 3 spoons of raw sugar cane. 3. Mix well until dissolved

4. Use 1 packet of beer yeast (7g) and pour into the glass 5. Whisk until dissolved 6. set aside until it ferments for AT LEAST10 minutes.

6. Use 3 types of flour, “farro”(spelt), semolina flour, and white flour. 7. Pour 240 grams of spelt flour on the scale. 8. Then add another 120 grams of semolina and 40 grams of white flour.

 9. Don’t forget a teaspoon of salt!

10. Combine half the flour mixture and the glass of yeast sugar water and mix with a professional mixer slowly. 11. Gradually add spoonfuls of the flour mixture while the mixer is at work. 12. Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and mix. 13. Take off the batter mixing attachment and put on the dough hook. 14. Let it knead the dough for about 15 minutes until you get a consistency similar to that of your earlobe. 15. If too dry add water from the same yeast cup or if too sticky add flour.

16. Brush a spoonful of olive oil around the sides of a bowl 17. Place the dough ball in the bowl 18. Put a damp kitchen towel over it and let the dough rise for at least 3 hours. 19. If you don’t have at least 3 hours you can put a pot of bowling water in the oven which has been heated to about 250°C (480°F)

20. Cut oven paper to cover the baking tin just right and spread with oil on the top and bottom. 21. Spread out the pizza dough with your hands and let rest for about an hour. 22. In the meantime make a homemade tomato sauce to your liking.

24. Decorate with sauce and toppings! We chose mozzarella, goat cheese, olives and onions! 25. Bake for 10 minutes at 250° and then turn down to 200° for the remaining 15 minutes.

Easy as a pizza pie! This was a fun way to spend a day with friends and spoil ourselves. Thanks Lino!


Filed under homemade pizza recipe, how to make pizza, italian pizza

A New Addiction: Valeriana (Valerian)


Filed under salads, valeriana

Blast From The Past: NOV. 5 2004 First Disco Experience in Italy

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Filed under barolo, italian wines, Riesling, Vajra