You love Italian dishes? So does everyone in my family. My wife’s family is of Italian origin and they certainly love Italian food. On the other hand, I run an average sized restaurant where most of our customers are middle aged Americans. I would say they are loyal patrons. However, my customers have also been good friends, including my wife who taught me how to speak a little Italian. With time, I have also perfected the art of preparing their dishes. You ask, what are my favorites? Stick with me in the next few minutes and I will teach you how to prepare 3 of our most popular Italian dishes at the restaurant.
Torta del Nonna
The Torta del nonna is an Italian specialty you can’t miss at our restaurant. People love the dish, especially when you give it a twist by adding chocolate color to the usually sweet pastry. Again, you could have this dish at any time of the day, but especially when you want to try something sweet and something Italian. But without further ado, here is how to prepare it.
- Plain Flour ( 280g will serve 6-8)
- 2 slightly beaten egg yolks
- Icing sugar, about 75g
- Cold, unsalted butter (Works well when already chopped into cubes)
- 1 liter full-fat milk
To act as fillings
- 1l full fat milk
- Pipe nuts (75g)
- 2 oranges (optional)
- 250g golden caster sugar
- Vanilla pod
- Several egg yolks
- Using a food processor, pulse the flour together with butter and icing sugar until it forms a breadcrumbs like appearance. Add your egg yolks carefully, pulse a few seconds more and then place the mixture onto your working area. Knead the mixed dough and then flatten it to appear like a disc. Wrap it into a cling film and let it chill for about 20 minutes.
- While the dough chills; make your filling. It takes a few minutes. Basically, pour the milk into the sauce pan. Add the scraped vanilla seeds and heat the milk. On the other hand, whisk the remaining egg yolks as you wait for the milk to heat. Once heated, let it cool.
- After twenty minutes, remove the custard dough and place it onto the sauce pan. Meanwhile, the milk should add the beaten egg yolks into the cold milk. On the other hand, continue whisking the custard dough as it heats gently. After a few minutes, push it onto a dish and cover it.
- You can make your pastry taste better by rolling it between baking parchments. Cover it with a cling film and let it chill. After wards, line it with baking beans and place it into an oven. Once golden brown, remove it and place the custard dough at a reduce heat. You can then add the orange zest, chocolate and ricotta. Finally, remove it, add the wobbly fillings on top and chill it for at least three hours. Finally, add sugar icing and serve.
Fig and Prosciutto Pizettas
This meal takes less time to prepare, but it is very delicious. The preparation method starts with making dough. Once done, you heat the oven to about 200C. After that, knead the dough into ball shapes. Dust the kneading surface with some flours and then roll out the balls into thin sheets. Add some crème fraiche, shallots and parmesan. Add the mozzarella, salt to add flavor and don’t forget to include pepper. Dip the dough into your oven for 15 minutes before sprinkling the pizzettas and prosciutto. Finally, you can add vinegar, mix with oil and serve.
If you love wine, white meat and pasta, here is an Italian meal you may want to taste. It takes about 2 hours to prepare, but you could do it for one hour in the case of a small family. The basic ingredients we use are the rabbit, onions, and garlic, white or rose wine, mustard, pappardelle pasta, chopped bacon and double cream. Cooking the meal is also easy. Simply, brown the jointed rabbit into heated oil until it looks brown on all sides. Remove it and add the following: onions, carrots, garlic clove and tomato puree.
After 15 minutes, remove these items and return the rabbit to cook fully. It should take one hour. Once done, shred the fully rabbit to remove every bone. Once again, return the shredded meat but this time with half less the liquid. Meanwhile, cook pasta as guided by the pack instructions. Drain water from the pasta, and add the mustard cream and parsley. Remove the sauce and place it on a heated pan for a couple of minutes together with the now cooked meat. Serve the food with parsley leaves and grated Parmesan if you wish
You can certainly replace some ingredients from Italian dishes, especially the citrus fruits that tend to affect the original flavors.