Friday, August 30, 2013

WHAT IS THE ITALIAN STYLE IN CUISINE?


This is a dish of Manicotti with Zucchini, Zucchini Blossoms and Summer Truffles.
Let's examinate the ingredients.
Main ingredient: 
Pasta.
The Pasta is a protected food in Italy, meaning that , according to a National law, it must be made exclusively with Hard Wheat Flour. that is Semolina and water. Not even salt. That's is why you would never find the list of the ingredients on a package of Italian Pasta. That is why, as well, the Italian Pasta had that particular texture, as cooked, commonly known as "al dente".
What matters, in a refined dish, is the choice of the shape. Not every shape goes with any sauce. The sauce can be enclosed in a "open envelope", kept on by ridges when it is smooth and velvety, spread around in little chunks. Thus, the texture of the sauce is fundamental in the choice of the pasta shape. 
Italians have been trained about this, that is why they can "improvvise in a professional way".
Other Ingredients ( I am listing them in the same order I put them in the skillet)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
The one I used is home-made. The varieties of olives are Moraiolo, Pendolino, Frantoio in a nicely balanced blend. It is not necessary to produce olive oil at home, of course, as there are many very good on comerce. My raccomandation is: buy always Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Garlic:
Just  a hint of it, pressed down with a pich of salt with the blade of a knife, in order to obrain a cream.
Zucchini:
I grate them to get short filaments. In this way they cook in one minute and they go anywhere, spreading their sweetness:  when you toss your pasta in the sauce, they coat it well.
Zucchini Blossoms:


Nice, open, bright yellow, looking at you in the first light of the day, when you go to the orchard to pick them. I know: not everybody has this opportunity.... but... have you read about vegetable gardens on the balcony? it is worthy to try.
Salt and a little white pepper:
The salt helps the cooking as it takes out the water. Pepper does... what it does.
Tartufo Nero Scorzone:


I bough it in the morning and cooked it at lunch. The truffle was super-fresh as I went to buy it in the country side from a friend who goes to pick truffles and he went just that morning. The truffle I used was 70 cm ( 2 feet) deep under ground a few hours before I cooked it.
It is the summer truffle that is still found in this season. It is not as strong as the "King White Truffle", but it has its own delicate and appealing aroma. I grate some into the sauce and cook for 30 sec, then I slice some more on the finished dish.
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano:
The snowfall of Parmigiano Reggiano is always appreciated.

At this point, the questions are two:
- Is this dish difficult to cook?
- What is Italian Style?

-This dsh is not difficult: it is easy in the execution and simple as it contains a few ingredients. What is difficult is to find the right ingredients. I have to admit that Italians are lucky for that.

- Italian Style in Cuisine is: the capability of combining ingredients in simple way. 
It is not necessary the ingredients are rare or expensive: all the foods have the same "dignity". It is the market that makes them expensive or cheap. Think about the truffle: would you ever have tought that an ugly and dirty "something" buried in the ground would have been so delicious?
In this recipes poor ingredients like pasta and zucchini are mixed with an expensive one: they enhance each other. Without either one  of them the dish is not the same.
Then: details, care, attention: these are the ingredients which are never mentioned. Pay attention to not burn the garlic; do not put tooooo much garlic; do not cook the zucchini toooo long; keep the pasta al dente; measure the right quantity of olive oil, do not make to sauce dry or greasy...... and so on.

Create  your own recipe and make it "special" with your passion.
This is my Philosophy of teaching.

IL DOLCE, LE LENTICCHIE....NONCHE' IL FORMAGGIO, DI CASTELLUCCIO


Il formaggio di Castelluccio va fatto con il latte delle pecore che pascolano nella stupenda Piana. 


Il latte viene portato a 34°, viene aggiunto il caglio. Dopo una ventina di minuti si rompe la "cagliata" con un grosso mestolo. Si scalda di nuovo il latte a 41°.


Il formaggio viene colato e messo nelle fascelle di legno, dopo di chè, salato. Tempi e temperature dipendono sempre dalla stagione, dalla temperatura esterna, dal tipo di erba con cui le pecore si sono nutrite che dà consistenza diversa e diversa quantità di grassi al latte.


Questo "Pecorino", a dispetto della manifattura "tecnica" e sofisticata,  ha un sapore "primordiale"; è molto diverso dai Pecorini prodotti in Toscana, che sono fatti con altre procedure e, ovviamente, con il latte di pecore che si sono nutrite in un ambiente diverso. 

Che Bella la Nosta Italia, così diversa e così... buona!

MINCHIATELLI OR TURCINIEDDI OR.....

To make those you need to be either a sheperd or Max, alias Pellegrino Lombardi. This is the procedure:


Let a lamb grow until he is 20 - 25 kg ( 40 to 50 Lb). Then slaughter him, cut and save all the organs. Clean very well the tripe and boil it for about 1 hour. Clean very well the bowels, as well. Cut them lenghtwise to wash tem inside, then marinate them with hot chilli pepper, garlic and parlsey.


Cut the boiled tripe in tripe and wrap a few with the bowels, in this way:

 


Display them in a baking pan, drizzle with eztra virgin olive oil, season with salt. 


 After 20 minutes, here it is a succulent, tasty dish, full of proteins, belonging to the healthy tradition of the Italian Poor (but great) Cuisine of   "No Waste and respect the Animal in all its parts".







Thursday, August 29, 2013

JUMPING TOMATOES CREATE A COCOON

There is a variety of cherry tomato in Puglia, that grows only nearby Alberobello.
This tomato has a hard skin and hard pulp as well. As hard as if you trow it - even with a certain stenght - on the table, it sprimgs up, it jump up to your face.






These tomatoes are picked in august and saved in garlands hanging from beams at the ceiling.

After a couple of months, they start to create a cocoon, a sort of thin mold that covers them, giving protections. 


Nicola says that they last until Easter. He calls these tomatoes:
Pomodori Piennici.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WEEKLY COURSE STARTING ON SEPTEMBER 2ND

Weekly Course TUSCANS AT TABLE STARTING ON MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd 

TUSCANS AT TABLE
( The tradition in the plate in modern Tuscany)
5 lessons – 15 hours total
The course is starting on Monday, September 2nd  through Friday the 6th
Program: 5 cooking lessons at Il Giglio School in Florence
Monday – Thursday, 02,30 – 05:30 pm
Friday : 10:00 am - 01:00 pm
Price is 500 euros.
Description:
Every day of the week is voted to a meal course, spacing from ancient to new ones: Primi Piatti on Monday; Meat and poultry on Tuesday; Fish on Wednesday; Desserts on Thursday. The last day, Friday,  a complete meal is performed, chosen by the students between the ones offered by the school.
At the end of every lesson, all the participants will enjoy the dishes at a nicely set up table.
The students attending the full course will receive apron and the course book.
Syllabus :
Monday :  Fresh pasta: Noodles of the Lucumon; Testaroli with pesto; Crepes of Caterina de’ Medici; Pici with sausage sauce
Tuesday: Meat and poultry: Thrush (or other available bird, depending on season) with juniper berries; Chicken Etruscan style; Rabbit with apples; Pork loin in sea crust
Wednesday: Fish and seafood: Drawned baby octopus; Calamars stuffed with Pecorino Romano; Red mullets Livornese style; Cacciucco (fish soup)
Thursday: Dessert day (the desserts vary depending on season): Cremè brulee of Tuscan Pecorino (January); Fresh fruit tart ( in summer); Roasted Chestnuts – Boiled Chestnuts - Candy chestnuts with sweet wine  ( in fall); Ricciarelli ( December)-Cantuccini alle mandorle-
Friday: a complete Italian Menu ( The participants would agree on the choice between two menus)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

......E LE LENTICCHIE DI CASTELLUCCIO


VENGONO COLTIVATE NELLA STUPENDA PIANA SOTTO IL MONTE VETTORE, IN UN PAESAGGIO CHE TOGLIE IL RESPIRO


QUESTE SONO PIANTE DI LENTICCHIE. SONO CORTE, RAGION PER CUI IL MACCHINARIO USATO PER IL RACCOLTO, PRENDE ANCHE I SASSOLINI. RICORDO MIA NONNA CHE "VAGLIAVA" LE LENTICCHIE SPARGENDOLE SUL TAVOLO, PER DISTINGUERE BENE I SASSOLINI.


LENTICCHIE NEL LORO INVOLUCRO, GEMME PREZIOSE, ANCORA GREZZE, DI CASTELLUCCIO DI NORCIA.


LENTICCHIE FRESCHE SPARSE AD ASCIUGARE.


QUESTO E' NUNZIO TESTA, CHE CI HA SETACCIATO LE LENTICCHIE PRIMA DI FARCI DONO DI UN SACCHETTO. CI HA ANCHE SUGGERITO LA RICETTA DI UNA MINESTRA DELICATA. CURIOSAMENTE LA RICETTA E' ESATTAMENTE LA STESSA CHE MI DIEDE UNA SIGNORA DEL CASTELLO DI ISOLA DEL GIGLIO, LA MIA ISOLETTA NATIA, QUANDO RACCOGLIEVO LE RICETTE TIPICHE DEL MIO PAESE. EPPURE IL GIGLIO E CASTELLUCCIO SONO LONTANI.....
QUESTE SIMILITUDINI NON MI STUPISCONO PIU': PENSATE CHE IN HIMALAYA FANNO LA PASTA COME IN ITALIA  (VEDI : http://gigliocooking.blogspot.it/2013/05/a-story-from-himalaya.html)  E CHE IN KYRGYSTAN GLI STROFOLI SONO UN DOLCE NAZIONALE (VEDI: http://gigliocooking.blogspot.it/2013/06/gli-struffoli-del-kyrgystan.html ).

LA RICETTA E' SEMPLICE:
LENTICCHIE (QUELLE DI CASTELLUCCIO NON HANNO BISOGNO DI ESSERE MESSE IN AMMOLLO), ACQUA, SEDANO ED AGLIO TRITATI, POCO SALE. L'OLIO SI PUO' AGGIUNGERE IN ULTIMO, INSIEME ALLA PASTA, OPPURE A CRUDO DIRETTAMENTE NEL PIATTO.

IL DOLCE DI CASTELLUCCIO


- Oh, ma che bel dolce che c'è in vetrina! come è fatto?

- E' una specie di crostata: pasta frolla, marmellata di more, meringa, lamelle di mandorle...

- mmmhhhh.... vorrei fotografarlo, me lo mette sul banco?

- ecco.

- ops! aspetti: ancora un'altra, la prima non è venuta bene


- Come si chiama?

- Paolo.

- Ok, io Marcella. Piacere. Però io non volevo sapere il suo nome, ma quello del dolce.

- Paolo.

- Paolo?

- Sì, il dolce si chiama Paolo, Dolce Paolo.

- oh! ah ah ! devo subito dirlo a mio fratello!!!! quello mangerebbe solo dolci e .. si chiama Paolo!

VYAS IS NOW RUNNING A POP UP CATERING!


This is Vyas, my Philosopher student from Haway...

......and these are his creations.


CONGRATULATIONS VYAS!!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekly Course TUSCANS AT TABLE STARTING ON MONDAY AUGUST 26

TUSCANS AT TABLE
( The tradition in the plate in modern Tuscany)
5 lessons – 15 hours total
The course is starting on Monday, August the 26th  through Friday the 30th
Program: 5 cooking lessons at Il Giglio School in Florence
Monday – Friday, 02,30 – 05:30 pm
Price is 500 euros.
Description:
Every day of the week is voted to a meal course, spacing from ancient to new ones: Primi Piatti on Monday; Meat and poultry on Tuesday; Fish on Wednesday; Desserts on Thursday. The last day, Friday,  a complete meal is performed, chosen by the students between the ones offered by the school.
At the end of every lesson, all the participants will enjoy the dishes at a nicely set up table.
The students attending the full course will receive apron and the course book.
Syllabus :
Monday :  Fresh pasta: Noodles of the Lucumon; Testaroli with pesto; Crepes of Caterina de’ Medici; Pici with sausage sauce
Tuesday: Meat and poultry: Thrush (or other available bird, depending on season) with juniper berries; Chicken Etruscan style; Rabbit with apples; Pork loin in sea crust
Wednesday: Fish and seafood: Drawned baby octopus; Calamars stuffed with Pecorino Romano; Red mullets Livornese style; Cacciucco (fish soup)
Thursday: Dessert day (the desserts vary depending on season): Cremè brulee of Tuscan Pecorino (January); Fresh fruit tart ( in summer); Roasted Chestnuts – Boiled Chestnuts - Candy chestnuts with sweet wine  ( in fall); Ricciarelli ( December)-Cantuccini alle mandorle-
Friday: a complete Italian Menu ( The participants would agree on the choice between two menus)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WEEKLY COURSE: TUSCANS AT TABLE



TUSCANS AT TABLE
( The tradition in the plate in modern Tuscany)
5 lessons – 15 hours total

The course is starting on Monday, October 7th , through Friday the 11th 

Program: 5 cooking lessons at Il Giglio School in Florence
Monday – Friday, 02,30 – 05:30 pm

Price is 500 euros.

Description:
Every day of the week is voted to a meal course, spacing from ancient to new ones: Primi Piatti on Monday; Meat and poultry on Tuesday; Fish on Wednesday; Desserts on Thursday. The last day, Friday,  a complete meal is performed, chosen by the students between the ones offered by the school.
At the end of every lesson, all the participants will enjoy the dishes at a nicely set up table.

The students attending the full course will receive apron and the course book.

Syllabus :
Monday :  Fresh pasta: Noodles of the Lucumon; Testaroli with pesto; Crepes of Caterina de’ Medici; Pici with sausage sauce
Tuesday: Meat and poultry: Thrush (or other available bird, depending on season) with juniper berries; Chicken Etruscan style; Rabbit with apples; Pork loin in sea crust
Wednesday: Fish and seafood: Drawned baby octopus; Calamars stuffed with Pecorino Romano; Red mullets Livornese style; Cacciucco (fish soup)
Thursday: Dessert day (the desserts vary depending on season): Cremè brulee of Tuscan Pecorino (January); Fresh fruit tart ( in summer); Roasted Chestnuts – Boiled Chestnuts - Candy chestnuts with sweet wine  ( in fall); Ricciarelli ( December)-Cantuccini alle mandorle-
Friday: a complete Italian Menu ( The participants would agree on the choice between two menus)

Thursday, August 1, 2013