My “original” Italian Ragu Sauce (Bolognese Sauce)!

I have never been jealous about my family cooking experience, traditions, and recipes, and the first proof of it is this blog! Nevertheless I confess lately I’ve been feeling guilty because many friends keep asking me why I haven’t posted yet my original ITALIAN RAGU SAUCE recipe (otherwise known as “BOLOGNESE” sauce), since it is probably the most popular worldwide! Well, the recipe is not a secret, simply the true is that:

1) I cannot promise that the recipe I am sharing with you could be considered the “only and original Italian Ragu Sauce” because in every different Italian region they have different methods and main ingredients to make their “Ragu Sauce” (Bolognese Sauce). For instance, in Emilia Romagna (the Region of Bologna) to make Ragu Sauce they use minced loin of pork, beef, bacon and ham; in Campania (the Region of Naples) they use pork and beef as well, but not minced (and needs to be cooked for at least 6 hours!); in Veneto (Venezia Region, and the one I come from), they make Ragu Sauce either out of duck, turkey or pork with the particularity to make the sauce more creamy by using whipping cream….  I could go on for each of the 20 Italian Regions!!!

2) My mom never gave me an official lists of ingredients she uses to make her amazingly delicious Ragu’ Sauce, nor the quantities, but I have always watch her eyeballs the ingredients and use some of them (broth or wine for example) according to their availability at that moment.  So my Ragu Sauce (Bolognese Sauce), is cooked differently each time I make it, but I will try to sum the most important part here, so you will be able to make YOUR original Italian Style Ragu Sauce!

Since it takes many hours to make Ragu Sauce (and be aware: Italians don’t use the slow cooker, actually they absolutely don’t know it exists), I usually make a big pot of it (approximately 4 pounds), because I know that even if I’m not using it all immediately, I can freeze it without loosing any in taste or texture. My Ragu Sauce recipe is quiet quick (not more than three hours of cooking), easy about the ingredients (just ground beef and Italian sausage), and of course, according to my family, the best Ragu Sauce ever!!!

INGREDIENTS

2 lb. ground beef

1 lb. Italian sausage (ground pork, without fennel seeds)

1 medium sized white onion

1 big (or 2 medium sized) carrots

2-3 sticks of celery

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1 tbsp. dry rosemary

1 pinch nut meg

1 pinch dry thyme

1 pinch dry sage

2 can plain tomatoes sauce

1 cup water

about 4 tbs. olive oil (or 1/2 stick of unsalted butter)

 1/2 cup red wine or meat stock

optional: 1 meat bouillon

Direction

Peel the onion and wash carefully celery and carrots. Chop it all very finely. (You can use your food processor). With a fork, split the mince meat (beef and pork) as much as possible.

In a big nonstick pot,  pan fry at medium heat the onion,  celery, carrot in the olive oil (or butter if you prefer that option). When the vegetables look cooked, add the meat, turn up the heat and brown the meat until it changed color and its liquid is evaporated completely. Stir every now and then and  season with the spices (rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, sage), and salt and pepper to taste.

When the meat has changed color, add a glass of red wine (or meat stock) and allow it to evaporate in the mixture.  Then add the tomato sauce and a cup of water.  Reduce the heat so you don’t burn the meat but keep it high enough for the sauce to keep the boil, and simmer for at least two more hours.  After the first half hour, taste the sauce and if it seems too bland, adjust with sea salt and add a beef bouillon. Again, every now and then check your sauce and stir it.

The sauce is done when all the liquid of the tomatoes and water are evaporated and the meat have the color and consistency as shown in these pictures.

At this point you can spread a slice of fresh bread with Ragu Sauce and enjoy it on the spot (I am guilty of that). When the sauce is completely cooled off, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer. 

Remember to heat up well the sauce before dressing your noodles or tagliatelle.

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!!

 Tips and anecdotes:

– As with any Italian traditional recipe, every family has its own and generally the Ragu Sauce (or Bolognese Sauce) is lauded as the best family ever. When I lived in Italy I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the sentence “my mom’s Ragu sauce is the best” or “the ragu that I do it’s not like yours” 😉.  Obviously this depends on whether the family recipes are adapted to the tastes of their components, to meet the consensus of them all.

– Besides “tagliatelle”, Ragu Sauce is the best to dress home made lasagna (for my family home made fresh past recipe click here), or home made gnocchi. My daughters love Ragu Sauce on top of a slice of fresh bread (as I do, after all!)

– If you are wandering how to store the sauce, I use sandwich sized Ziplog bags, fill them with about 1 lb. of sauce and freeze it.  With 1 lb. sauce you can dress up to 1.5 lb. tagliatelle.

I so hope you will find this recipe interesting, appealing and easy enough to be followed.

I believe this is the perfect recipe to try during this period of mandatory social distancing!

 I would love to know how you are coping with this dark period of our history  and

which are the recipes you like to prepare the most in these days!

Much love

Silvia

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more! 

Venetian style Cod fish (Baccala’ alla Veneta)

Baccala' alla Veneta

Baccalà alla Veneta (Venetian style Cod fish) is salted cod: codfish that has been dried and preserved in salt.  In the past it was considered the food of the poor, because cheap and not fresh.  The truth, though, is that nowadays is quite an expensive kind of sea food and well cooked baccalà is a delight: firm, slightly chewy, and not at all fishy in flavor.  Baccala' alla Veneta

I made Baccala’ this past Christmas Eve because it’s a traditional Christmas Eve’s dish in the Northern Italy, but I found the courage to post it only today, not because it’s hard to prepare, but just because it was a  little tricky to me explaining in English the method!

As I told already, Venetian Style Cod fish (Baccala’ alla Veneta) is actually stock fish or dried cod. What the rest of Italy calls stoccafisso the “Vicentini” call baccalà, simmered in milk until it becomes libidinously creamy. However, my recipe is unique* because as a child I’ve lived at the border between two Italian “counties” (province): Vicenza and Treviso, so my mother’s styled Baccala’ it’s a mix of the traditional recipes of these two areas.

Before starting with ingredients and method, be aware that Baccalà requires soaking ahead of time,  since it is heavily salted for preservation. Many Italian delicatessens sell pre-soaked baccalà on Fridays, but I recall my mom preferring to buy it and soak it herself, because cheaper, and because she could select the piece she wanted and tailor the soaking to fit it.

Here in Mid West I could easily find a “salted codfish” stored in 1 lb. sized wooden box. To prepare it, I rinsed the salt off and soaked it in cold water for 12 or more hours, depending upon its thickness (remember to keep it refrigerated during soaking,) changing the water 2 to 3 times. Once it has soaked, this kind of cod fish is ready to be cooked.

DIRECTION for a very big pan of baccala’

2 lbs. sea salted cod – 1 kg. baccala’

1 clove garlic – 1 spicchio d’aglio

1 lb. white onion  – 500 gr. cipolle bianche

1 pinch nut meg  – 1 pizzico noce moscata

about 1/4 gal. whole milk – 1 litro di latte intero

1 tbs. Italian parsley to taste – prezzemolo quanto basta

14 oz. Extra Virgin olive oil – 1/2 lt. olio extravergine di oliva

flour for breading – farina per la panatura

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese – 100 gr. Parmigiano gratuggiato

7 anchovies – 7 acciughe

DIRECTION

First of all make sure to have all the ingredients ready to go: peel and finely chop the onions, peel the garlic, wash and finely chop the parsley, grate the parmesan and pat dry the anchovies. Bread the cod fillets, previously pat dried.

In a very large nonstick pan heat about  8 oz. (250 ml.) Extravergin olive oil and garlic and then cook the cod filets on all sides until brow, at high heat. It will take about five minutes.

Once browned, throw the garlic away, move the cod filets in a plate, add a little of Extravegin olive oil to the same pan and cook the mix of onions, parsley and anchovies for about 5 minutes at lower heat, stirring every now and then to avoid burning.

After about 5 minutes, add the browned cod filets to the onion and keep cooking until the onion becomes translucent and the cod starts breaking in smaller pieces. Add the parmesan and the nutmeg and keep stirring occasionally until the onion is completely cooked. It will take about 8-10 minutes.

Warm up half of the milk (a couple of minutes in the microwave), move the mix in a oven pan, cover the mix with the milk and bake at 360 F (180 C) for about one hour. If after 30 minutes the cod seems too dry, add the rest of milk (previously warmed up). When done, your cod fish will have a yummy crunchy crust on top.

Let the cod cool off a few minutes and serve still warm, possibly sided with polenta.

OMG, this dish is simply heaven! Your house will smell delicious and not “fishy” at all!

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS AND FACTS:

– Venetian style Cod Fish usually crumbles on the plate when served and I wasn’t able to get a decent picture to post. That is why I used the one from the cook book my mom’s has taken as inspiration*, as feature image (sorry about that!). The book I am talking about  is called “Cucina e Tradizione nel Veneto“, it’s very old and probably not on the market anymore. It’s a collection of Venetian recipes written by the “ISTITUTI ALBERGHIERI DEL VENETO” and this is the cover’s picture:

– Venetian style Cod Fish is a very rich food (think about the quantity of olive oil needed). That’s why it doesn’t require special side dishes but polenta (or maybe a simple salad).

– Leftovers can be frozen and taste absolutely the same when thaw. I usually freeze it in small portions to have just enough for one meal.

– Some fancy Italian Bars serve Baccala’ as appetizer, scooped in small cups over a polenta serving. It warms the tummies and goes very well with “SPRITZ“.

– As I told you, while you soak the cod the previous day, you’ll have to keep it refrigerated. Well, if the baked cod smells delicious, the dried one smells terribly, so I would suggest to cover it with a plastic foil, and – if cold enough – to store it in the garage or in a second refrigerator away from kitchen and living room (LOL).

WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOU EVER EATEN BACCALA’?

WOULD YOU TRIED IT, AFTER READING MY POST?

I HOPE SO !!!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more! 

Bloggers Recognition Award nomination and 2019 wrap up.

blogger recognition award

Hello my dear friends!

It’s not very typical of me writing post not directly concerning food, but this year so many good things happened to me that I feel the duty to share it, not much for bragging (or maybe a little bit, LOL), but mostly to thank you all for your support, encouragement and appreciation.

blogger recognition award 1. I started my ITALIAN HOME BAKERY  and set a booth at my local FARMERS MARKET,  and even if it has been only for a few months, I’ve already started collecting quite a few personal gratifications. like being on a TV interview and starting a monthly column in the QUAD CITIES MOM’S BLOG.

2.  My second achievement will probably make laugh many of you (because you already have reached a decent popularity and tons of followers): my ITALIANGOODNESS FB page reached 1K followers  on DECEMBER FIRST which happens to be my BIRTH DAY. Such coincidence sounds to me more than a randomness, I would say a “sign” that I am working in the right direction.

3. LAST but absolutely not LEAST, after years of blogging I was finally nominated on Smorgasbord – by Sally Cronin – for the  Bloggers Recognition AWARD! And here I would love to thank Sally Cronin on WordPress for nominating me, but also for believing in myself and deciding to add me to her list of monthly guests writers.

So, here I am, finally having the chance to list my favorite bloggers, which will be welcome to accept this recognition, simply by following these guidelines, or either just accept this nomination and decide not to participate (no pressure and no hard feelings).

Rules:

1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created

SO, let’s start…

HOW DID MY BLOG BEGIN?

I moved to Iowa from Italy about eight years ago. I left a spot as associate in an Italian Law firm to follow my husband’s job necessities, and only after such a shocking change, my background came up (my family’s deep cooking tradition), and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food, and the feeling of fulfillment is even stronger when I have the chance to share my Italian cooking culture with others. And so, I started my blog about our family’s daily menu, rich of recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

MY ADVICES TO NEW BLOGGER

– Write for passion and not (only) for money;

– Don’t underestimate the bloggers’ community around you: there are a lot of amazing people out there, ready to help, support and encourage you.

– Be persistent.

– Never stop learning.

MY BLOGGERS SELECTION:

I’ve chosen these awesome bloggers for many reason, not only because for they fabulous contents, but  because either they have became friends, comment on my blog, gave me precious advices, host me in their own blog.

STEFAN GOURMET:   Stefan loves food and wine maybe more than anyone I know. His culinary knowledge is incredible (as much as  the number of languages he fluently speaks perfectly).

THE CHEF MIMI BLOG: Mimi is an amazing cook, she shares delicious recipes, easy to follow and never disappointing.

RUST BELT GIRL: Rebecca is a very talented writer, a wonderful blogger friend.

 JOHN RIEBER :John writes about food, travel, tv-shows, pop culture, books and more. His pieces are always a pleasure to read.

ESME SALON: Esme shares tons of recipes, but she also taught me the importance of being part of the Bloggers Community, and I will always be grateful to her for that.

VENETO FOR KIDS: I believe I can nominate in this Award also Italian bloggers, and this blog truly is the best for families that live (or travel) in the Northern East Italy.

BEWITHCHING KITCHEN: Sally is already listed in the top 100 food blogger in the world, so no need to say she is a huge inspiration to me.

SMORGASBORD BLOG MAGAZINE: Sally knows how to entertain readers as nobody else. Also she scouts the best guest bloggers :-).

That’s it! I apologize if I forgot someone, there are so many virtuous bloggers out there!

I wish you all an astonishing 2020, and Thank You so much for being part of my life!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

Roasted almonds Croccante: share with your friends the Christmas Italian tradition

single servings croccante

almonds croccanteGreetings everyone!

Christmas is almost here and my kitchen is so busy and messy with me preparing all small edible gifts for family and friends (and having all the baking done to make my home bakery’s customers happy)!  As you probably already know in this season I like baking plenty of Italian Cantucci Biscotti and Baci di Dama, but those require quite a bit of time in the oven. The treat I am writing about today is traditional during Christmas period in the South of Italy (Calabria), it’s very fast to prepare and with just three ingredients: oven baked almonds, honey (good quality one) and granulated sugar.  The result is a super crunchy caramel bar, sweet but not too much, and absolutely addictive: once you start eating it you can’t help but keep eating until you’ve eaten whole thing!

I have to tell you that I brought these “Croccante” mini bars to my local Freight House Farmers Market in the past weeks and they sold very very good! One of the reason, besides the fact that it’s delicious, it’s probably  because this treat is EGGS FREE, LACTOSE FREE and GLUTEN FREE. single servings croccante

This recipe requires 10 minutes max, plus the time to bake the almonds if they are not already baked. With these quantities you will obtain about 12 pieces about 3oz. (or 100) big.

Be aware that to prepare the Croccante you will need a food thermometer.

INGREDIENTS

1.10 lb. (500 gr.) oven baked peeled almond

7 oz. (200 gr.) granulated sugar

5 oz. (150 gr.) best quality honey (I used organic clover honey)

DIRECTIONS

If your almonds are not already baked, bake it at 360 F. for about 10 minutes and let it cooling off.

Cover your working surface with parchment.

In a big non-stick pan bring honey and sugar to boil and keep stirring until the mix reaches 338 F. (170 C.). Keeping the temperature controlled will avoid the caramel to burn and taste bitter.

At this point, take away the caramel from the heat, add the almonds, mix quickly the ingredients and  pour the mix on the parchment paper (or on a marble surface). With a wet rolling pin flat the mix as thin as possible. Let it cool off and cut in bars as big as you wish.

The cutting phase will be easier if you’ll use a sharp knife, slightly wet with water.

LEARN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!!!!!

TIPS: – When still hot the mixture can be shaped in different shapes, like a star, or a Christmas Tree, or whatever you may like.

– Be very careful while you are handling the hot mixture because it will be very hot and the chances to get burned are very high (especially if you are not an expert). The first time I prepared Croccante I burned all my left fingertips plus my lips because I was so an anxious to eat the Croccante that I put the hot ladle in my mouth! Vey bad idea! But it was soo good!!!

– Cutting the Croccante is not necessary unless you wish to make single servings.single servings croccante

– Best way to store the Croccante is inside a tin, in a cool and dry room. It will last for days.

– As cute edible Christmas gift, you can cut the Croccante, wrap it in parchment and tie it with kitchen wire.

I really hope you enjoyed my recipe this week, I promise, you will fall in love with this easy treat!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

MUCH LOVE,

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

A Thanksgiving Meal with an Italian Flair

Hello my dear friends!An Italian pie for Thanksgiving

I’ve been so busy with my new adventure (selling Home made Italian desserts at the local Farmers Market) that I’ve skipped a couple of weeks of recipes posting… MY APOLOGIES! But  if by the way  you would like to learn more about my booth at the Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport, take a look to this brief interview on WHBF-TV . I was so nervous, but I had the chance to talk about my beloved Italy, and our amazing food tradition! With the Winter Holidays approaching I’ve enriched my menu with more  “wintery and Christmassy” desserts, you should definitely check those out!

Now that you know why I’ve been “absent” (and maybe why It may happen again LOL), I would like to share with you and another article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last we (the previous one was a “fall themed one“). All recipes are mine, and it’s   about adding an Italian touch to the Traditional Thanksgiving menu!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading and maybe find some fun recipe to experiment!

“Even though “giving thanks” should be a moment of reflection that everyone should try to do at least once a year, this celebration is not observed in many other countries and is probably mostly seen as an American holiday. (Forgot about the origin of Thanksgiving? Click here to refresh your memory).

Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but in approximately eight years that we’ve lived in Iowa, we’ve often been invited to Thanksgiving celebrations at dear friends’ houses, and to be honest, I’ve loved the atmosphere and preparation!  I have noticed though, that most of the hosts and guests at some point have admitted that turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies weren’t exactly their favorite foods.    I am a huge supporter of traditions and celebrations, but why keep self-inflicting a Thanksgiving meal that nobody likes?

To find a solution, when we have celebrated Thanksgiving at home here in the Quad Cities, I’ve tried to follow the custom of turkey and mashed potatoes for the sake of my children, but I have also enriched this menu with an Italian touch. I was thinking that you may be interested in doing the same by adding a few easy Italian dishes to the traditional menu.

It’s well known that those turkeys take hours to roast.  So, as an easy start (since we probably won’t be eating until late afternoon) why don’t we treat ourselves with some “Italian appetizers“? Here are some of my favorites:

AN ITALIAN COCKTAILSpritz the most popular Italian appetazier cocktail

SPRITZ:  This is one of the most popular cocktails in Italy.  Only three liquid ingredients to warm up the atmosphere and possibly make your mother-in-law sound more pleasant . A Spritz is a perfectly seasonable orange cocktail.  It is enjoyable and fairly light, even for those who are not much into booze. It will make the beginning of your Thanksgiving meal very fancy!

ITALIAN  STARTERS  White Onion, bacon and blue cheese savory Italian pie

WHITE ONION, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE SAVORY PIE: Such a long name for an extra easy appetizer. Everybody will love it (just remember not to tell the kids that there are onions in there!). This tart takes 10 minutes for preparation and 20 in the oven. You can prepare it a few hours in advance and pop it into the oven whenever your guests start walking around the kitchen to ask how long until dinner will be served! I understand that to prepare this tart you may need a second oven (since the first one will be busy with the big bird), but if you don’t own one, don’t worry, there is another appetizer you may want to try…. Asiago cheese cubes appetizer

ASIAGO CHEESE CUBES: Your guests will just die for this finger food. Small Asiago cheese cubes, crunchy on the outside and melted inside-so delicious! This Italian classic  for your Thanksgiving meal may require a little more work in the kitchen, but believe me, it’s totally worth it.  As a bonus, it will fill those impatient bellies for a decent amount of time!

THE MAIN MEAL HAS TO BE TURKEY, AND IT WILL BE TURKEY!

I’ll skip offering options for the main course but I want to suggest a light soup that you may want to serve while the turkey rests on the kitchen counter: Orange creamy butternut squash soup

ORANGE CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: Many fancy restaurants, before their important dinner parties serve light soups or “consomme“.  Especially in those years that Thanksgiving Day is deadly cold, I am sure your family would be delighted by a warm, orange, velvety soup to enjoy before the classic Thanksgiving meal. This soup is even better if prepared a little ahead of time and kept refrigerated, so you will have it ready to go on the busy day.

After the legendary turkey with gravy, let’s jump straight to my favorite course and my area of expertise…

DESSERTS

Here are a couple of options that you may want to consider to break up the monotony of the classic Thanksgiving pies.ricotta, almonds and amaretti cookies tart

RICOTTA, ALMOND and AMARETTI COOKIE TART: A not too sweet and slightly aromatic tart that could perfectly suit a Thanksgiving buffet.  You may want to consider this pie because it’s absolutely easy to prepare with very little “hands-on” time, and, if prepared a day ahead it tastes even better. chocolate chips and ricotta tart

CHOCOLATE AND RICOTTA TART:  If you are afraid your guests may dislike an almond-based dessert, who doesn’t like chocolate chips? This chocolate and ricotta tart is creamy, velvety and absolutely loved by children. It can be prepared a few days in advance and it’s really super easy to make.

Maybe preparing ALL of these alternative dishes for your Thanksgiving meal in such a busy-and many times stressful-holiday season sounds a little overwhelming. But if you like the idea of spicing up your planned menu even with just one new dish, I am sure it will be beneficial for the mood, the atmosphere and everyone’s appetites!

ricotta, amonds and amaretti tart

I am curious to know if you already have a dish that stands out from the classic ones on Thanksgiving? I am always excited to try new recipes and ideas!”.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

What do you think of this article?

Do you like the idea of me as a writer rather than just a food blogger?

I don’t know…. but it sure is fun, and I truly believe I’ll do it again 😉

I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

 

SPRITZ: the most popular Italian cocktail, so Orange that’s perfect for fall!

Italian Spritz Cocktail made with AperolI am very surprised I haven’t shared we you yet the recipe of this absolutely terribly popular Italian cocktail that Italians enjoy not only during the weekends but very likely often during the week after work, as “appetizer” before dinner.

Spritz is a cocktail that found its origin between the end of 1700 and the beginning of 1800 when Austrian soldier (that dominated part of the northern east Italy in those years) diluted Italian wine (to them too strong) with sparkly water. As a matter of fact, the name “spritz” comes from “spritzen” that in German means “sprinkle”.   With the passing of the years, the sparkly water have been substitute with “seltzer” and at the beginning of 1900 (precisely around the ’20) they have started to add a bit of “bitter” to the cocktail (given from other booze like Aperol and Campari) and so has born the actual “SPRITZ”.

If you’ll ever visit Italy (especially in the Northern part), you have to experience a Spritz at some random bar. They are usually served combined with various food appetizer and very pleasant to enjoy in a beautiful historical Italian piazza (square).

About the taste, this cocktail tastes very light, not too bitter, very delicate on the palate if as the “bitter” part you pick the “Aperol”. If instead you prefer a more tasty and sharp flavor, you should opt for a “spritz Campari” which, indeed, would make it taste a bit more strong.

I thought – since Spritz is very ORANGE – that this cocktail could sound very appropriate for a Fall Sunday Brunch, and why not, a perfect original, fascinating and delicious Thanksgiving pre-meal cocktail.

One last info, as it often happens, there are different ways to prepare this cocktail.  The Venetian recipe suggests to use 1/3 sparkly water (or seltzer), 1/3 sparkly white wine, 1/3 Bitter. The International Bartender Associations instead, suggests to use 6 cl. Prosecco wine, 4 cl. Aperol and a sprinkle of seltzer.

The following is my own recipe. I admit, most of the time I eyeball the ingredients, but I’ve tried to measure them for you, and I came up with my own recipe, that tastes delicious! Aperol is quite a popular kind of booze and can be easily be found in the most common groceries store. I really hope you will give this a try!

2 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS

2 oz. Aperol

3 oz. Prosecco wine

4 oz. Sparkly water

ice cubes

2 slices of oranges to decorate

DIRECTIONS

Fill two nice white wine glasses with 1 oz. Aperol, 1.5 oz. Prosecco and 2 oz. sparkly water each.

Add a couple of ice cubes to each one and a thin slice of orange. DONE.

Enjoy right away to not miss the bubbling effect, and with some appetizers as green olives, potatoes chips or any salty crackers and charcuterie.

LEARTN IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – for the cocktail to be delicious, all the three liquids must be ice cold.

– If you are planning to prepare this cocktail for more than two people, just use a pincher and fill it up with proportional quantities of Aperol, wine and sparkly water. Ice the cocktail only at the last minute, you don’t want it to be too light or too diluted.

– I am not earning a penny by recommending you to by Aperol, even though I am very prod to say this delicious orange booze is Italian “native” since 1919.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A SPRITZ? And if so, DID YOU LIKE IT?

I really hope you enjoyed my recipe this week, and If so, please don’t forget to like it, share it or leave a comment! And if you’ll decide to subscribe, you will be informed weekly and for free about any new recipes I will post!

MUCH LOVE,

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

5 Favorite comforting but light Italian wintery soups

Fall is such an hard season for me: on one side, I love it, with all the colors, the mild temperatures and Halloween, but at the same time I loathe it, because the end of summer makes me sad, I  would say it kind of depress me, and (it may be good or bad) it makes me crave for food, and inevitably makes me gain weight! However, I have a strategy to “contain” the food cravings (and the number of extra pounds, LOL) which  is warming myself up and satisfying my appetite with delicious but healthy homemade soups. top five most popular italian soups

Here is my favorite top 5 Italian soups list that I prepare every week, alternating one to another weekly to not get bored, and that all my family members appreciate and enjoy with me (well, not all of them, precisely 😉 ):

Italian light vegetable soup 1) VEGETABLE SOUP: this is the easiest to make, few and cheap ingredients are required, if you skip the potatoes (and minimize the olive oil) it’s like zero point on the weight watchers, and can be enjoyed all week long (if refrigerated). It can also be frozen, so you can prepare a big pot of it and storage in one serving containers if necessary.

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Orange buttenut squash soup2) ORANGE CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: besides the pain of cutting the squash in pieces,  this soup is super easy, absolutely creamy and delicious and if you cook in it small pasta’s kinds (like farro) it looks like macaroni and cheese, without cheese! Not to mention all the benefits of orange food: abundance of antioxidant, vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients, good for your skin, eyes and heart.

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Leeks, potaotes and broccoli velvety soup3) LEEKS, POTATOES and BROCCOLI VELVETY SOUP: This one is really fast to make, the broccoli taste blends perfectly with the potatoes and leeks and somehow you can barely recognize their taste, it’s delicious and my favorite one when I feel like I have to detox after the holiday’s binges.

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butternut squash and porcini mushrooms soup4) BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PORCINI IN DISGUISE SOUP: add a pack of dried porcini mushrooms, some nutmeg, and a mushrooms bouillon to your butternut squash soup, and you will obtain a scrumptious porcini mushrooms soup “in disguise”.

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Dried porcini mushrooms soup5) VELVETY PORCINI SOUP: This one is the one my kids have refused to try (I hate when they decide they don’t like a food without even giving it a try!), maybe because of the its brownish color, but to be honest, it’s so delicious that my husband and I are quite happy to keep it all for ourselves! This last soup it’s not that light, it’s not fast to be made, has not cheap ingredients (make the butternut squash “in disguise soup” instead if you want). But believe me, once you’ve tried it, you will place it in your top soups list!!!!

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Now that I’ve refreshed your memory with my favorite winter soups, I wanted to apologize for not posting new recipes lately (yes, it’s always my new home bakery business’ fault), but I promise I will try my best to share new contents soon, but in the meanwhile I’d like to hear from you:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FALL-WINTERY SOUP?

WUOLD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE WITH ME?

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I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

TV INTERVIEW and 5 Traditional Italian desserts recipes with apples

Hello folks!

I’ve been so busy with my new adventure (selling Home made Italian desserts at the local Farmers Market) that I’ve skipped a couple of weeks of recipes posting… MY APOLOGIES! But  if by the way  you would like to learn more about my booth at the Freight House Farmers Market in Davenport, take a look to this brief interview on WHBF-TV . I was so nervous, but I had the chance to talk about my beloved Italy, and our amazing food tradition!

Now that you know why I’ve been “absent” (and maybe why It may happen again LOL), I would like to share with you and article I wrote for the Quadcities Mom’s blog last week. All recipes are mine, and it fits perfectly the season!!!! I hope you’ll enjoy the reading!

“We have all waited for Fall all year long: best season of the year, beautiful color, perfect weather, Halloween, pumpkins everywhere (even in your latte 😉 and, last but not least, THE YEARLY FALL TRIP TO THE APPLE ORCHARD.

And, as every year, you have planned everything: a) studied the weather forecast for the whole month of October; b) picked the perfect day and time for taking the kids; c) psychologically prepared your husband that is going to be fun (even for him 😉 ); d) and last, you’ve sworn to yourself to not get distracted by the excitement of the day and BUY TOO MANY APPLES!!!!!  Who would have imagined or thought that such a small bag could contain twenty pounds of apples? And how could you have said no when the kids asked to pick their own apples in their own bags? Simply IMPOSSIBLE!!!

NOW you are thinking to yourself “What the heck am I going to do with all these apples“?

Ha, I got you!  Sharing with family and friends is really a good idea but for once, why not keep the Apple Orchard experience lasting more than one day, maybe an whole month, by preparing (alone or with the help of your family members) a new Italian recipe a week which includes apples?

Today, I would like to share 5 Traditional Italian recipes for you: easy, most of them fast, with simple ingredients and especially perfect to use up all those overflowing bags of apples!

APPLE CRUMBLE PIE1) Italian Style Apple crumble pie, a classic! If you like the combo “apples and raisins” you cannot miss this treat. It’s one of my favorite because almost any kind of apples could be used (but not the green ones please!). It’s very easy to make and the kids will enjoy the kneading part, mom will have to take care of the peeling and cutting, but in 60-75 minutes you’ll be done! Let it cool off for a few hours (or even refrigerate it) and enjoy… Wow! I may be biased, but I think Italian Style is the best apple crumble ever.

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2) Golden Apple Muffins: the kid’s favorite! This recipe has belonged to my Italian family for generations and I am so happy I can share it with you! The exciting part is that nowadays we can prepare the muffins batter in the food processor, and it takes in bake only 20 minutes: you will never buy baked muffin mix ever again! Before starting, though, make sure to have some Golden Delicious at hand.

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3) fluffy Italian apple coffee cake: like a cuddle for the palate! If you feel the urge to use 2 lbs. of apples in just one cake, this is the recipe you were looking for! Jonathan and Jonagold are the kind of apples that will give the cake the perfect touch. Super soft, not too sweet, absolutely appealing, this apple coffee cake won’t let you down. If you decide to side it by a warm custard and sprinkle it with sliced almond, OMG, it will be like heaven!

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4) Apple, raisins and pine nuts pastry pie: unconventional! If you like the popular “strudel loaf”(typical dessert in the South Tirol) and looking for a recipe that will require a couple of pound of sweets apples (Gala apples, JonathanL, Golden Delicious), you can’t go wrong with this pastry pie. This recipe is another of my mom’s classics: a buttery dough filled with a mix of apples, raisins and pine-nuts. Peeling and cutting the apples, soaking the raisins in advance may sounds a little tiring but I am totally sure it won’t disappoint you!

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5) Steamed apples and vanilla ice-cream: so classy! This recipe looks like a super sophisticated show stopping dessert super sophisticated, but is basically just steamed apples, served still hot with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a dust of cinnamon…. maybe too simple to appeal the children, but absolutely phenomenal for adults! Trust me! Keep it as a secret recipe for a fancy dinner or for a warm treat on a fall rainy day… you’ll love it! Golden delicious would be my first choice for this recipe, but I would say that any kind of apples would do a nice job here :-)”.

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There is more……

 

…. Out of the original article, I would like to add that, my list of Italian “apples themed” desserts is not completed yet…. in case you’ve missed it, indeed,  check out also the recipe I posted a few weeks ago for these scenic and scrumptious “puff pastry apple cinnamon roses“:  super easy, for a yummy and cute fall breakfast!

 

 

 

And more…….

 

What do you think of this article?

Do you like the idea of me as a writer rather than just a food blogger?

I don’t know…. but it sure is fun, and I truly believe I’ll do it again 😉

I really hope you liked my post this week, and if you did,

please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!   

Middle age aperitif: a fruity cocktail that brings you back in the past

Ciao a tutti! This week I would like, for once, to change my focus from “food recipes” to “drink recipes”.  Yes, you are right, some of you surely remember that last winter I did the same by sharing with you my personal version of Irish Coffee,   but today instead I would like to give a tribute to a nice place I visited during my last Italian vacation, a nice mountain town called Fiera di Primiero where I stopped by with my family during a day trip to San Martino di Castrozza, one of the Dolomite’s pearls.

We entered in a random “BAR” very clean and neat,  with flowers anywhere and a breathtaking view, and they served us this

“Aperitivo Medievale” (Middle Age aperitif) that was absolutely the cherry on top of the cake of that beautiful trip.   I have no idea why this cocktail is called “Middle age aperitif”, and the waitress was not able to answer to this question when we asked, but we could steal from her the recipe to find out that this deliciousness is simply made by mixing Prosecco (or another sparkly white wine), Sambuco Syrup (not the medicine one!!! LOL), blueberries in heavy syrup, and served “on the rock” with a few mint leaves. A cocktail simple but sophisticated, delicate but tasty, and so delicious that we made it several time even at home.   As for the availability of the ingredients, Sambuco Syrup is very popular in Italy and can easily be found in any grocery store there. The blueberries in heavy syrup is instead a specialty of the area we were visiting (Fiera di Primiero), and consists in blueberries cooked with sugar, so hypothetically you should be able to prepare it yourself at home*.

ONE SERVING INGREDIENT

1 tbs. Elderflower (Sambuco) Syrup

1 glass or 1 cup (about 250 ml.) Sparkling White Wine

1 tbs. blueberries in heavy syrup

2/3 mint leaves

ice cubes to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a nice glass combine: few ice cubes, one cup (250 ml.) sparkly white wine and 1 tbs. Elderflower Syrup. This last one is not alcoholic at all, it just gives the right touch of sweetness.

Add then 1 tbs. blueberries in heavy syrup and few mint leaves.

Serve the drink super cold, right before dinner and accompanied by some quick finger food.

YUMM!! So colorful,  refreshing AND SO GOOD!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

TIPS: – *Blueberries in heavy syrup are hard to find even online. I usually prepare them myself anytime I make my blueberries tiramisu and save some in a glass jar with the only purpose to prepare this cocktail. The method is very easy and consist  in bringing a small pot of fresh blueberries and sugar to boil for a few minutes. Let it cool off and it’s ready to be used!

– This cocktail has a very delicate (but particular) taste, so I guess anyone would like it but don’t serve it to children! Ah ah ah!

– Remember, if you ever decide to buy the Elderflower (Sambuco) Syrup, that it is not alcoholic and that is actually very good for you (because of the healthy effects of Sambuco plant) don’t forget that can be used also to dress home made slushies (kids will love it!)!!!

– I was very surprise to find out that here in the USA Elderflower Syrup is only commercialized as a “medicine” and not as a sweet syrup. Be carful not to use the medicine one for this cocktail!

What do you think about this cocktail? Have you ever heard about a “Middle Age Aperitif”?

Would you ever consider giving it a try?  

I really hope you liked my recipe this week, and if you did, please  share it, like it, and support my blog!

And if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe: it’s completely free and you will receive my

(almost) weekly recipe directly at your email address!

MUCH LOVE

SILVIA

 

YOU CAN ALSO FIND ME HERE:

on FB: Italiangoodness – A taste of Italy on your table every day

on INSTAGRAM: Silvia Italiangoodness

on PINTEREST: Italiangoodness, Italian recipes and more!

       

 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW,

my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.

Check out my HOME BAKERY PAGE to learn more!