Best Biscotti recipe [Nutella involved]

Even though almond biscotti are some of my favorite biscotti cookies ever, there is another biscotti recipe I’d like to talk to you about today.

Actually not only one Italian biscotti recipe but I’d like to share many (4 recipes)!

I love Italian biscotti, in fact I love all biscotti cookies, even though biscotti in Italian already means cookies so saying biscotti cookies, to me, it’s like saying cookies cookies 🙂

I will tell you my “philosophy” on Italian biscotti in this brief “auto-interview” which is to the point and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  • Italian biscotti “auto-interview”

Why do I consider biscotti recipe like Italian desserts?

<<Because I love to eat a couple of Italian biscotti after lunch or after dinner with my coffee, just like I would do for any other kind of desserts>>.

Why do I love biscotti cookies so much?

<<Because I love baking them with my Grandma, it’s fun and bonding, the whole house smells like cookies which I find so welcoming and heart warming>>.

When do I prefer to eat biscotti?

<<So, as I said, I consider Italian biscotti, or biscotti cookies however you’d like to call them, like Italian desserts to eat after a meal. But I mostly enjoy them with tea and coffee either as a morning or afternoon snack.

Grandma and I bake biscotti cookies when we have family gatherings, or friends and neighbors over at our house.

Believe it or not, just like you would imagine an Italian Grandma, my Italian Grandma, from Tuscany, eats biscotti with caffellatte (warm milk and coffee) at night before she goes to bed>>.

Which is my  favorite ingredient to make biscotti recipe?

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Italian sausage soup: a special version from Tuscany

Italian sausage soup is a real simple yet delicious meal to prepare for a winter evening and family gatherings.

As for any other kind of soup Italian sausage soup has different variations. You can try cooking Italian sausage following different recipes according to your taste or according to seasonal products.

One thing that my Italian Grandma always does is adding some Mediterranean herbs and spices to the soup to give it a more interesting taste. Some people like to eat their soup with vegetables chunks and pieces of sausage other people like to blend everything and make it a creamy soup and then add sausage afterwards.

I find that the best part of Italian sausage soup is the crispy and fragrant croutons. Traditionally, to make croutons, we use Tuscan bread which has less salt. We simply bake it in preheated oven at about 425°F. for 8/10 minutes then add salt and extra virgin olive oil drizzle to it.

Tuscan bread is perfect to make croutons for Italian sausage soup because the sausage is already very tasty so the fact that it has less salt makes it lighter.

The first Italian sausage soup I’d like to share with you here is:

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Italian meatball recipe [without the meat]

Italian meatball recipe is a real classic and delicious dish that you’ll find in each and every region of Italy. Of course depending on the area of the country you’ll find different versions according to the local traditions.

I recently spent a few days in what I consider one of the nicest regions of Italy: Veneto. Is such a wonderful place filled with art, typical Villas which are known as Ville Palladiane (from the architect Andrea Palladio who lived in the 16th century). Veneto is the region of nice cities like Venice, on the lagoon, Verona, known for the Arena where you would go if you wish to attend to an Italian Opera show.

Ville Palladiane are more concentrated around the area of Vicenza. These villas are really majestic in fact they were originally built for the aristocrats. Many architects around the world took inspiration from these villas to accomplish their projects. What I find charming about these villas is the concept upon which they were built. The architect Palladio considered these villas not only as a property but more of a cultural retreat, a place of relief and comfort where you could find peace after a busy day in the city.

Anyways if you ever come to northern Italy, besides Venice, I suggest you to visit some of these Villas.

But you might ask: what does all of this have to do with Italian meatball recipe?

Ok. So, as I mentioned I was in Veneto and I’ve tried a different recipe for meatballs which actually should be called eggplant-ball recipe because the main ingredient was eggplants.

This Italian meatball recipe was so good that I had to ask how it is made and I’ll share it with you right here.

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Easy appetizers recipes [Try these!]

Here is a short story about easy appetizers recipes…Once upon a time small savory appetizers were served right before each meal in order to arouse appetite (appetite–>appetizers). These were usually small canapĂ© and they could be hot or cold, fried or baked and generally served with a glass of delicious wine.

These easy appetizers recipes were a way to “break the ice” among guests during formal and glamorous dinner gatherings.

Just picture a huge dining room with Murano Glass Chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, beautiful silk rugs on the floor, paintings on the walls and marble surfaces everywhere in proper Italian Style…

Before serving the main courses usually easy appetizers recipes were served…and sometimes not so easy but surely tasty and savory.

Nowadays, and in certain occasions, appetizers can even substitute lunch. They are very popular to serve as caterings or as easy appetizers recipes for parties. They are actually informal and if you arrange the room properly people and guests will comfortably walk around, holding their glass of wine, choosing their appetizers while talking and socializing with the other guests at the party or social event.

If you want to get back to formal occasions you can then prepare some easy appetizers recipes for Christmas, or any other holiday. You can make easy appetizers for Thanksgiving or Easter. If this is the case then again our appetizers will take on the role of “ice breakers” or will be enjoyed by your guests and arouse their appetite!

Make sure you serve them with some delicious Italian wine, red or white, depending on the ingredients you choose to make your easy appetizers recipes.

I’ll share with you some of my favorites in just a little bit!

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Garlic bread: variations and alternatives

The first time I’ve tried garlic bread it wasn’t actually at my Grandma’s. In fact the person who introduced me to the tastiest garlic bread I’ve ever had is Mrs. Frances from Buffalo New York.

I don’t know if you’ve read a little about her story, so I’m going to shortly introduce Mrs. Frances to you.

[Mrs. Frances story and recipes are included in my new Book:
“Discovering Italy. Mediterranean cooking and lifestyle. Recipes and stories from Tuscany and more”
To See the Book>>> Click Here]

… It was in the late nineties when from my small town in Tuscany I flew to the USA and spent a year in Buffalo NY with Mrs. Frances and her family. We had an awesome time together and most of all we enjoyed trying different recipes from both our cultures so we would plan theme parties and dinners filled with delicious Italian or American recipes and sometimes both.

One night I was about to make my special chicken recipe (which I will tell you about in more details later on in this post) and she suggested that we made garlic bread to go with it.

When I went back to Tuscany I made garlic bread for my Grandma and she loved it although she still prefers her own version.

But let’s get back to party night…It was me, Mrs. Frances, her husband Leo, her son Anthony and various guests who were going to come over: friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Mrs. Frances and I went grocery shopping the night before the party, we started cooking in the morning just like my Italian Grandma would have done: “start cooking early so that everything is ready on time and…there’s time left to make a little extra”!

So the main course was going to be my special chicken recipe. As an appetizer we were going to make my special baked dried prunes with bacon (yes, don’t worry I’ll reveal the recipe to you before the end of this article!). Then she suggested garlic bread (different variation and alternatives) and as dessert all American chocolate chips cookies and peanut butter blossoms.

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Prosecco Sparkling Italian Wine

Prosecco is an Italian white wine typical of the region Veneto which is located on the northern east side of the country. Veneto is the region of charming places like Venice and Verona (the city of Romeo and Juliet). Actually the name Prosecco comes from a small town in that area.

Basically there are three types of Prosecco: tranquillo, spumante, frizzante, depending on the production process. Tranquillo means still, spumante means sparkling and frizzante means bubbly. While tranquillo is characterized by a fruity scent, spumante and frizzante are actually sparkling white wines.

If you are thinking Prosecco vs. Champagne just consider that Prosecco is the most exported Italian wine and in 2014 – for the first time – it overtook Champagne.

The color of Prosecco wine should be light yellow, the taste subtle and delicate. For these characteristics Prosecco can be consumed while dining.

Prosecco can also be a good choice for many other occasions. In Italy a glass (or two 🙂 ) of Prosecco is considered a perfect drink for an Happy Hour gathering and like many other white wines, Prosecco combines really well with typical sea food recipes.

Grandma and I really enjoy inviting friends over, especially on a late Saturday afternoon, to have appetizers together and very often she chooses to serve Prosecco.

These gatherings are particularly nice in the summer time when around 7.00 p.m. everybody comes from a day spent at the beach to Grandma’s garden.

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Basic Lasagna Rolls Rules

In today’s article I’d like to talk to you about lasagna rolls. Grandma and I love lasagna, we enjoy making lasagna usually on Sunday for our family gatherings.

Sometimes though we opt for lasagna rolls and what I love about them is that you can really satisfy everybody’s taste with lasagna rolls because you can choose to make different versions like lasagna rolls with zucchini, lasagna rolls spinach, classic lasagna with tomato sauce and minced meat.

According to the taste of your guests and family you can choose vegetarian or other lasagna rolls recipe.

Lasagna rolls is a typical Italian dish and even though its traditions are found in the two regions of Umbria and Tuscany is now widespread throughout the whole country from north to south.

Traditionally it’s made for special occasions like holydays and family gatherings.

If you’d like to prepare lasagna rolls recipe easy all you need is lasagna pasta, bĂ©chamel sauce and then you can vary among different ingredients. My Grandma says that lasagna rolls with bĂ©chamel sauce is a real family traditional comforting food.

We prefer to make homemade bĂ©chamel sauce here is Grandma’s special recipe for you to make a delicious bĂ©chamel sauce to use for your lasagna and lasagna rolls recipe.

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Pasta sauce recipe: choose your favorite

To keep things interesting in the kitchen you need to use your imagination and choose a different pasta sauce recipe each time according to the taste and the needs of your guests and family, to the ingredients you have available or just to try and make something new.

Some people may require a vegetarian pasta sauce recipe while others may not like tomatoes or prefer a pasta sauce recipe white like some that are made with Ricotta cheese or with cream for instance.

Pasta sauce recipe from scratch: what I like about it?

Of course it tastes better but it comes with a bonus…Yes, because when you use fresh ingredients to cook from scratch the scent or genuine vegetables, aromatic herbs and spices will spread throughout your whole kitchen. An inviting fragrance that will attract your loved ones to the dining table.

It is really easy and simple to prepare your own pasta sauce recipe from scratch if you follow Grandma’s tip: grab some fresh tomatoes and use the wider blades of a grater to grate the pulp. Simply sautĂ© some garlic and thin sliced onion in a skillet with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and add grated tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and let cook thoroughly, just make sure to add some vegetable broth if it gets too thick.

You can even make your own version of this pasta sauce recipe by adding one of your favorite ingredient like black olives for instance or cooked and round sliced sausage and so on.

Here I’ll share with you some of my delicious pasta sauce recipe so that you can try one or more of them.

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7 Pizza Topping Ideas: choose your favorite!

In the previous article of this category we’ve talked about how easily you can make original Italian Pizza dough but once you’ve made your dough you need to have some Pizza topping ideas to prepare delicious fragrant pizza recipes.

In addition to the most traditional Italian pizzas like Margherita, Marinara and Calzone there are literally tons of pizza topping ideas that will help you make a pizza, one for each taste. You can choose to season your pizza with veggies, sea food, salami, ham, sausage. It’s nice to have different pizza topping combinations to keep things interesting.

You can even make what here in Italy we call “white pizzas” which is pizza without tomato sauce but with lots of different cheeses to make it “white”.

My Italian Grandma, who loves more traditional pizza recipes, simply can’t accept the idea of a pizza without tomato sauce but I told her some people like to eat their pizza without the sauce and that’s OK. There is no way she’ll get over Hawaiian pizza (the one with pineapple on top) or pizza without the sauce.

Besides having good pizza topping ideas please keep in mind that the quality of the ingredients, the kneading and the rising of the dough, as well as the baking, will make the difference between a so-so and a delicious, mouth-watering homemade Italian pizza.

Here in Italy each region has its own typical ingredients consequently there are different traditional pizza topping combinations according to the local products.

Here are some of my favorite traditional pizza topping ideas for you to choose from.

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Mozzarella cheese [mouth-watering recipes]

What is actually the first thing that comes up to your mind when you think of Mozzarella cheese?

To me it’s Pizza. Even though there are limitless Mozzarella cheese recipes the first thing I think of is Pizza. Probably because I love Pizza and just the thought of a warm and fragrant Italian Pizza with stringy Mozzarella cheese on top makes my mouth water.

First there is a difference we have to consider when we talk about Italian cheese.

Some cheeses are aged, or need to age like Parmesan Cheese for example. Other cheeses are half aged like some kind of Pecorino cheese. And then there are cheeses like Mozzarella cheese that are fresh and they don’t last long. Other fresh cheeses are: Stracchino cheese, Ricotta cheese, Burrata cheese just to mention a few.

The Mozzarella cheese production is a very interesting thing: to make fresh Mozzarella cheese the curd needs to be kneaded with the hands.

But you have to know that not all Mozzarella cheese is created equal. In fact one of the most appreciated type is the Buffalo Mozzarella cheese which is made from a different quality of milk and it is actually juicer that the most common Mozzarella cheese made of cow’s milk.

There are also different shapes: you can find the classic shape of Mozzarella Cheese which is rounded and medium sized, or you can find one that is twisted or even fresh Mozzarella balls.

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