Piadina Romagnola authentic Italian recipe and history about this typical Italian flatbread

One of my all time favorite quick italian dish is Piada or Piadina Romagnola (pron. pee-uh-dee-nuh), one of the most characteristic italian flatbread, known and loved in Italy and all over the world both as a street food and a comfort food. I researched for you the best authentic recipe because how Piadina is made varies from town to town, village to village so I kinda put myself as a judge and choose the winner for you. :)


best authentic piadina romagnola italian flatbread

Piadina is no doubt a typical product of the Romagna, a portion of the Emilia-Romagna region (Ravenna, Faenza, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini), but it’s also widespread in the areas of Ferrara, Pesaro e Urbino province, Montefeltro and the Republic of San Marino.

It’s usually made with wheat flour, fats (extra virgin olive oil and/or lard=rendered pork fat), water and/or milk, salt and some optional leavening agents and traditionally cooked on a clay dish from Montetiffi, a village near the town of Forlì, although nowadays flat pans or electric griddles are commonly used but the flavour would be less aromatic (video of the making of Montetiffi pan here or international online shop here).

teglie montetiffi pan

Creation of the Montetiffi pan. Old traditions handed down from father to son.

“Prema u s’fa e’ pianèl, pu dop u s’fa l’arvel pu dop u s’fa l’avrecia… ech fat la tégia!”. (Romagna dialect)

(tr.: EN. “First you create the flat base, then you make the border and then the indentation… that’s the pan!” – IT. “Prima si fa il piano, dopo si fa il bordo e poi l’orecchia… ecco fatta la teglia!”).

Once cooked, these delicacies are usually stuffed with either sweet or salted and savoury ingredients such as cured meats (salumi), cheeses, greens, or Nutella cream, but one of the most popular and best-selling combination is Parma ham + Squacquerone (a fresh and soft spreadable cow’s milk cheese with a typical tart flavour) + arugula/rocket, mmmm yummy!

best italian piadina flatbread prosciutto

Wow it makes me hungry every time I think about it! Not to mention the classic “winterly” stuffing with sausage and roasted/caramelized onions… 8).

History

Up to 100 years ago, Piadina was a poor man’s food because was considered to be a bread substitute to which people resorted weekly between a batch of bread and the other (bread was usually cooked once a week) but during the 60s women from the countryside started to prepare and sell it on the roads of the town with a hand-cart and a beach umbrella, therefore Piadina became a real meal.

Nowadays you can find Piadina in food stands all along the Romagna coast or Romagna towns.

Casa-Piadina

Pay attention that those store-brought Piadinas that you can find in supermarkets are nothing like those you can make at home or find in Romagna!

So, have you ever had the fortune to bite into a rich, crispy but soft steaming piadina filled with every kind of delicacies??? If not, well, find some time to make that at home, it’s easy! or visit Romagna and let me know if you like it!

“Delicious with every filling,                 “La j’è bona in tot i mud,
delicious even served plain:                 la j’è bona énca scundida:
if you haven’t already understood,       sà n’avì ancora capì,
I’m talking about piadina.”                   a scor propri dla pida.”
                                          (Folk poetry)

Here I’m writing several Piadina recipes along with my favourite one because I always heard or read strong and intense discussions around the “real” or the “perfect” recipe for Piadina but the perfect recipe for Piadina does not exist.

As I’ve already explained you before, every family has their recipe so the real recipe is that one that you’ve eaten in your lifetime, the one that makes you connect to your relatives or friends.

So, in order to make you choose the right one for you, I want to explain better the differences to whom that less know the local traditions.

THE SHAPE

Starting from the south of Romagna coast Piadina is very thin (up to 3mm-1/8in) and with a large diameter (from 23cm-9in to 30cm-12in) while proceeding north along the coast and to the inside towards the hills, the flatbread become thicker (from 4mm-1/6in to 8mm-5/16in) and smaller (from 15cm-6in to 25cm-10in).

THE INGREDIENTS IN THE DOUGH

The fats: people use extra virgin olive oil for a lighter and crispier piadina or lard from rendered pork fat (called “strutto” in italian) for a more rich and soft piadina or they use a combinations of both.

The liquids: people use water or whole milk or a combination of both.

Other optional ingredients: some people use baking soda or baking powder to make the dough rise a bit or more while cooking.

If you want a crispier Piadina, choose the one without lard and no leavening agents.

I like the Piadina to be a bit thick, soft, easy to fold without cracking with a great buttery richness, so I use lard instead of olive oil, a mix between water and milk and baking powder to make it less heavy.

authentic soft piada piadina cold cuts arugula

Piadina Romagnola authentic italian recipe

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 40 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients for my favourite Piadina dough (a bit thick, soft, easy to fold without cracking with a great rich and buttery taste):

  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams / 2.70 ounces lard from rendered pork fat (called “strutto” in italian)
  • 8 grams / 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 grams / 1 full tsp salt
  • 150ml / 3/4 cup / 5.00 Us fluid ounces whole milk
  •  ≈ or a bit less than 100ml / 1/2 cup / 3.40 Us fluid ounces water
General ingredients to make every kind of Piadina dough:
  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams / 1.80 ounces / 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    OR
    75 grams / 2.70 ounces lard from rendered pork fat (called “strutto” in italian)
    OR
    a mix between them
  • 8 grams / 2 tsp baking powder
    OR
    1 tsp of baking soda
    OR
    no leavening agents
  • 8 grams / 1 full tsp salt
  • 250 ml / 1 1/4 cups / 8.5 Us fluid ounces of liquids (whole milk, water or both)
Instructions for all the Piadina recipes:

Combine lard (if used), flour and salt, then mix in water and/or milk, olive oil (if used), baking powder or baking soda (if used).

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until quite smooth, uniform, soft but no sticky (if it’s sticky add more flour).

Make a ball and cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature (if the dough is being prepared more than 1 hour in advance, you can keep it in the fridge and when needed remove 1 hour before using it).

Heat Montetiffi pan or a non-stick pan over medium-high heat if you’re eating piadina immediately.

testo teglia montetiffi pan piadina

My used Montetiffi pan. Brown spots after using it are normal and they don’t affect the cooking process.

Divide the ball into several pieces (I suggest 5 – about 140-150gr each ball).

piadina romagnola dough balls

Roll out the dough into a circle with a rolling pin on a floured surface to the desired thickness (I like it thicker, 4mm-1/6in).

piadina piada rolled out circle

If you want the circle to be perfect, use a round cutter large enough.
As you can see I don’t mind! (so people know that are home made)

If you’re making large quantities of this recipe or want to rolled out piadina few hours in advance, I suggest you to stack up the rolled out dough by putting a baking paper sheet between each piadina until you’re ready to cook.

Once the pan is hot, add raw piadina, prick it all over with a fork to avoid air bubbles and cook for about 1-2 minutes for a thin piadina, 2-3 minutes for a thicker one or however until forming brown spots onto the bottom.

piadina flatbread pan testo montetiffi

Then flip and cook for about the same time.

piadina cooked testo montetiffi pan

Remember that piadina should be served hot, so it’s recommended to have your fillings ready.

Once cooked you can serve piadina immediately by placing your desired filling on a half and then close to a half moon or cutting it as is into triangles to use as a bread-substitute.

authentic italian piadina half moon

If you don’t serve piadinas right away, you can stack them up, put into a well-sealed plastic bag, and put in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for a couple of months and when you want a quick meal just put cold or frozen piadina onto a pan until it’s hot enough (do not over cook).

piadina squacquerone parma ham salumi

Here I give you some ideas of ingredients to put in your piadina:

piadina salame parma ham mortadella speck

The savoury:

  • Parma ham or other cured meats (salami), soft cheese (the original squacquerone or cream cheese, or ricotta) and arugula/rocket;
  • roasted/caramelized onions and sausage;
  • cooked ham, fontina or taleggio or asiago cheese and mushrooms mayonnaise;
  • porchetta with onions;
  • smoked cheese and ham;
  • bell peppers and sausage;
  • cooked ham, mozzarella, mushrooms;
  • Parma ham, mozzarella and tomatoes;
  • mortadella (not baloney of course);
  • wurst and mustard (hot dog style);
  • sausage, pepperoni, onion and hot sauce;
  • sausage, onion, bell peppers and beans;
  • bacon cooked with balsamic vinegar and radicchio;
  • squash/pumpkin, sausage and mozzarella;

(sorry for the amount of pork meat choices but I was born and live in Emilia-Romagna region and as for every real Emiliano, we cannot live without pork meat, we will be seriously ill! :D)

  • roast-beef, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato;
  • roast-beef, arugula/rocket and shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese;
  • roast-beef and roasted potatoes;
  • roasted potatoes and smoked cheese;
  • good quality canned tuna, mozzarella, tomatoes, oregano and mayonnaise;
  • mozzarella and grilled vegetables;
  • smoked salmon, dill and mayonaise or sour cream;
  • smoked salmon and cream cheese;
  • tomatoes, aurugula/rocket, mushrooms and shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese;
  • roasted/caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese (or blu cheese);
  • sliced turkey breast, fontina or taleggio or asiago cheese and mushrooms mayonnaise.

Or the sweets:

  • Nutella or Nutella and mascarpone or Nutella and banana;
  • fruit jam or ricotta and fruit jam;
  • honey and cheeses;
  • white chocholate and shredded coconut.

best italian flatbread piadina closeup

So what’s your favourite recipe for piadina? The crispy, the soft, the thin or the thick? And what stuffing would you like to put in there?

As you can see, Piadina is a very simple recipe, tastier than other flatbreads, and you can fill it with a lot of ingredients to make it as a real meal. So that’s why piadina has earned its place in the gastronomic hall of fame, becoming one of the most loved and enjoyable italian foods.

Piadina Romagnola authentic Italian recipe and history about this typical Italian flatbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Authentic Italian Flatbread recipe for Piadina Romagnola and his history.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 5
Ingredients
Ingredients for my favourite Piadina dough (a bit thick, soft, easy to fold without cracking with a great rich and buttery taste):
  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams / 2.70 ounces lard from rendered pork fat (called "strutto" in italian)
  • 8 grams / 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 grams / 1 full tsp salt
  • 150ml / ¾ cup / 5.00 Us fluid ounces whole milk
  • ≈ or a bit less than 100ml / ½ cup / 3.40 Us fluid ounces water
General ingredients to make every kind of Piadina dough:
  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams / 1.80 ounces / 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • OR
  • 75 grams / 2.70 ounces lard from rendered pork fat (called "strutto" in italian)
  • OR
  • a mix between them
  • 8 grams / 2 tsp baking powder
  • OR
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • OR
  • no leavening agents
  • 8 grams / 1 full tsp salt
  • 250 ml / 1¼ cups / 8.5 Us fluid ounces of liquids (whole milk, water or both)
Instructions
  1. Combine lard (if used), flour and salt, then mix in water and/or milk, olive oil (if used), baking powder or baking soda (if used).
  2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until quite smooth, uniform, soft but no sticky (if it's sticky add more flour).
  3. Make a ball and cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature (if the dough is being prepared more than 1 hour in advance, you can keep it in the fridge and when needed remove 1 hour before using it).
  4. Heat Montetiffi pan or a non-stick pan over medium-high heat if you're eating piadina immediately.
  5. Divide the ball into several pieces (I suggest 5 - about 140-150gr each ball).
  6. Roll out the dough into a circle with a rolling pin on a floured surface to the desired thickness (I like it thicker, 4mm-1/6in).
  7. If you want the circle to be perfect, use a round cutter large enough.
  8. Once the pan is hot, add raw piadina, prick it all over with a fork to avoid air bubbles and cook for about 1-2 minutes for a thin piadina, 2-3 minutes for a thicker one or however until forming brown spots onto the bottom.
  9. Then flip and cook for about the same time.
  10. Remember that piadina should be served hot, so it's recommended to have your fillings ready.
  11. Once cooked you can serve piadina immediately by placing your desired filling on a half and then close to a half moon or cutting it as is into triangles to use as a bread-substitute.

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)

This is a family favourite recipe, very simple to make but amazingly good! The meat, pork or veal, comes out very tender and, although it takes quite some time to cook (but your constant attendance is not required), the milk, along with sage rosemary and garlic, reduces down to create a delicious brown sauce…. and has low calories!!!


milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale best italian herbs

Cooking meat in milk is common throughout north Italy because it results in moist meat and a flavorful sauce.
Here it’s called Arrosto al Latte (milk roast – pron. Rr-os-toh) even if it’s not cooked in the oven, in fact here we call something roast (especially meat) when it’s cooked over high heat and browned.

roasted pork veal loin milk italian herbs

In Tuscan the name for roast pork loin with ribs attached seasoned with rosemary, sage, garlic and pepper is Arista (R-east-uh). This derives, as Artusi said, from an ecumenical council held in Florence in 1430 to attempt to settle the differences between the Greek and Roman Churches, during which the Florentines served their guests this dish. The Greeks all began to exclaim, “Aristos!” (“the best” in greek) and the name stuck.
Arista in Tuscany is usually cooked with white wine instead of milk, but you can find both versions.

If you’re using Veal loin for this recipe, when it’s cold, you can cut it in very thin slices and cover them with the appropriate sauce to make a delicious “Vitello Tonnato” (Veal with Tuna Sauce – recipe in a next post)….. but if you don’t mind, you can use pork loin too to do this. 😀

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking Time: ~2 hours
Yield: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs / 1,3 kg boneless pork or veal loin, tied
  • ~10 sage leaves
  • 1 medium sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ~1 1/2 cup whole milk (for more info read the instructions)
  • salt and pepper to taste

pork loin italian herbs milk

Instructions:

Ask your butcher to tie the meat correctly before cooking or you can do this, it’s simpler as it seems (look at this accurate video for instructions).
This will ensure that the meat remains constant throughout the cooking process so that it cooks evenly and when you’ll cut the slices they’ll be uniform.

pork loin tied italian herbs milk

Season the loin well with salt and pepper (if you have Salamoia Bolognese or Seasonello Bologna salt use that).

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and brown loin on all sides. This is important for the flavor and for the tenderness of the meat (it will take about 10 minutes to ensure all the edges are golden).

pork loin roast italian herbs

Stir in rosemary, sage and garlic and pour the milk in with the meat until it reaches about half the loin.

pork loin roast italian herbs milk

When the milk comes to boil lower the heat to low and partially cover the pan with a lid.

pork loin roast italian herbs milk lid

Cook the loin for at least 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. If you have an instant thermometer, insert it into the center of the meat and it should read 65°-70°C / 150°-160°F for a slightly pink center, while if you want the loin to be well done it should read 165°-175°F / 75°-80°C.
Remember to turn the meat once or twice during the cooking time.

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale

I like the meat to be well done, as you can see from the photos below, so I cook it for 3 hours (before cooking, the meat was at fridge temperature).

Remove the meat and put over a cutting board to rest, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.

At this point, the milk sauce should be thick, curdled and in a nutty brown colour. If it’s not so thick or you like a more dense sauce you can add 1/2+ teaspoon of flour (paying attention to dissolve it very well) and boil the sauce for 2 minutes.

arrosto milk juice

Remove and discard garlic, rosemary and sage from the milk sauce.

Now the sauce is ready, but if you don’t like serving the roast with some chunks of coagulated milk in it (it’s not pretty but they will melt in your mouth), you can whisk the sauce with a hand mixer to obtain a smooth sauce.

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale sliced

Slice the loin (tip: the meat is easier to cut when it’s fridge cold!), pour over the milk sauce and serve (if you find, upon slicing the meat, that you’ve undercooked it, slip the slices and sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer until cooked through).

milk braised roast arrosto maiale italian best

Usually the roast is better the next day, so that the loin has time to absorb the flavours from the sauce.

If you’re using this recipe to make Vitello Tonnato (Veal with Tuna Sauce), just arrange the “dried” slices of roast on a serving plate and cover with the Tuna Sauce (in which you have whisked some milk sauce in – recipe in a next post).

When I cook this recipe I usually put the meat covered with foil in the fridge to chill, because this helps the cutting process, especially if you cut it in thin slices.

This recipe is very easy to follow, healthy and delicious, so it’s a keeper!

What’s you favourite recipe for Pork or Veal Loin?

milk braised pork veal loin roast arrosto maiale best italian

Milk-Braised Pork or Veal Loin with Fresh Herbs, Italian Style (Arrosto al Latte)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pork or Veal Loin cooked in a milky sauce, authentic Italian style.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs / 1,3 kg boneless pork or veal loin, tied
  • ~10 sage leaves
  • 1 medium sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ~1½ cup whole milk (for more info read the instructions)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Tie the meat correctly before cooking.
  2. Season the loin well with salt and pepper (if you have Salamoia Bolognese or Seasonello Bologna salt use that).
  3. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and brown loin on all sides.
  4. Stir in rosemary, sage and garlic and pour the milk in with the meat until it reaches about half the loin.
  5. When the milk comes to boil lower the heat to low and partially cover the pan with a lid.
  6. Cook the loin for at least 2 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. If you have an instant thermometer, insert it into the center of the meat and it should read 65°-70°C / 150°-160°F for a slightly pink center, while if you want the loin to be well done it should read 165°-175°F / 75°-80°C.
  7. Remember to turn the meat once or twice during the cooking time.
  8. Remove the meat and put over a cutting board to rest, loosely covered with foil to keep warm.
  9. At this point, the milk sauce should be thick, curdled and in a nutty brown colour. If it's not so thick or you like a more dense sauce you can add ½+ teaspoon of flour (paying attention to dissolve it very well) and boil the sauce for 2 minutes.
  10. Remove and discard garlic, rosemary and sage from the milk sauce.
  11. Now the sauce is ready, but if you don't like serving the roast with some chunks of coagulated milk in it (it's not pretty but they will melt in your mouth), you can whisk the sauce with a hand mixer to obtain a smooth sauce.
  12. Slice the loin (tip: the meat is easier to cut when it's fridge cold!), pour over the milk sauce and serve (if you find, upon slicing the meat, that you’ve undercooked it, slip the slices and sauce in a pan and bring to a simmer until cooked through).

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini

Chicken Liver Crostini, in Italian Crostini di Fegatini (pron. cross-T-knee D fay-guh-T-knee) or Crostini Toscani (slices of toasted bread with a rich and flavourful chichen liver patè), is the most classic and traditional dish you can find in Tuscany, usually served as appetizer. Every family or Trattoria has its own recipe but I had this one from a dear Tuscan friend of my parents in law and I think it’s the best I have ever eaten, so it’s a keeper!


tuscan chicken liver crostini fegatini pate

Well, all the recipes I write here in this blog are what I consider the best version of traditional recipes, but this is a recipe you REALLY have to make because it’s ABSOLUTELY delicious, especially if you’ve been to Tuscany and have fallen in love with this Crostini.

As I’ve already told you in a recent post, I don’t like eating any kind of liver except these two recipes in which liver is treated in a way that the bitter and “strange” taste goes away, so this recipe can be delicious for everyone and you could consider to put this patè into some mason jars (sterilized and vacuum sealed) as an original gift for anyone you care about.

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 70 minutes
Yield: ≈20-40 crostini (it depends on the size of the toasted bread)

Ingredients:

  • 350 gr / 12 oz / 3/4 lbs chicken liver (make sure the bitter gall is removed)
  • 1/2 north italian sausage grounded (pork meat with black pepper, garlic and wine, not fennel, nor chili pepper nor anise) about 50-60 grams / 0.11-0.13 lbs
  • 75 gr / 3 oz ground quality beef or veal (94% lean if possible)
  • 15 gr / 0.50 oz anchovies paste (1/4 tube) or 4 filets
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 big sage leaves (or 4 little)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cup soffritto vegetables (50%onion, 25%celery, 25%carrot), finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vinegar-brined capers, well-drained (if you have salt-packed capers soak them in cool water for about 15 minutes rinsing them in several changes of water or they will be too salty)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp parsley
  • lemon zest of 1/2 lemon (just the yellow part) or few drops of lemon essential oil (organic)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • thin slices of bread

Instructions:

Clean chicken livers and make sure the bitter gall is removed.

chicken livers

In a skillet over medium heat add butter and sage. Add chicken livers, salt to taste and sauté until brown. Remove from heat.

chicken livers sage butter tuscan crostini

In a large and heavy skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add soffritto vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) and sauté for a minute or two (pay attention not to brown them).
Add ground meat and let it brown few minutes, stirring when necessary. Add white wine, stir a little bit and when it’s reduced add anchovies paste or anchovies filets (in that case mash them with a fork) and capers.

soffritto capers anchovies paste tuscan crostini

At this point you may think that there are too much capers in there, but don’t worry because when everything is cooked and mashed you won’t feel any.

Add lemon zest, parsley and the cooked chicken livers (along with their juices and sage).

soffritto capers anchovies paste parsley tuscan crostini

soffritto capers anchovies paste parsley chicken livers tuscan crostini

Turn down to a simmer and leave to cook, half-covered with a lid, for about 1 hour (if the meat dry too much add some water).

chicken liver tuscan crostini cooking

Turn down to a simmer adding water if necessary.

Adjust with salt if necessary.

Now you have two choices: put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth or, according to tradition, cut everything with a knife or use a meat grinder helping you with vinegar (add vinegar even if you use a food processor).

(As you can see from the pictures below I used a food processor because you know I don’t have so much time…. and above all my husband couldn’t wait to eat it!)

Transfer again the patè to the skillet and cook for more 5 minutes, then it’s done!

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C, then switch it to the broil setting (switch on the grill). Bake bread slices until crisp and golden (few minutes) turning them once halfway.
You can use stale bread instead of toasting it, the important is that it has to be dry.

Spread a generous amount of cold or warm patè onto each bread slice, arrange them on a platter and serve immediately.

chicken liver pate bread

Some people like to soak the bread with hot broth and then spread with patè (I’ve never found that in a Trattoria), but I prefer hot toasted Crostini with warm patè.
Mmmmmmm yummy!!!!

Your chicken liver patè can be stored:
– into sterilized and vacuum sealed mason jars at room temperature for several months (avoid sunlight);
– into glass jars and in the freezer for a couple of months;
– into glass jars and in the fridge for a couple of days (a few more if the surface is covered with extra virgin olive oil).

tuscan chicken liver crostini fegatini pate

Did I tell you I absolutely love this perfect Chicken Liver Crostini recipe??? Did I tell you to try it??? Nooooo? Then HAVE a try!!!! It’s awesome!

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Authentic Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini, like Nonna would make. Better than those you eat in Trattoria!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 350 gr / 12 oz / ¾ lbs chicken liver (make sure the bitter gall is removed)
  • ½ north italian sausage grounded (pork meat with black pepper, garlic and wine, not fennel, nor chili pepper nor anise) about 50-60 grams / 0.11-0.13 lbs
  • 75 gr / 3 oz ground quality beef or veal (94% lean if possible)
  • 15 gr / 0.50 oz anchovies paste (1/4 tube) or 4 filets
  • 1½ tbsp butter
  • 2 big sage leaves (or 4 little)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2½ cup soffritto vegetables (50%onion, 25%celery, 25%carrot), finely chopped
  • 2½ tbsp vinegar-brined capers, well-drained (if you have salt-packed capers soak them in cool water for about 15 minutes rinsing them in several changes of water or they will be too salty)
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp parsley
  • lemon zest of ½ lemon (just the yellow part) or few drops of lemon essential oil (organic)
  • 2½ tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • thin slices of bread
Instructions
  1. Clean chicken livers and make sure the bitter gall is removed.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat add butter and sage.
  3. Add chicken livers, salt to taste and sauté until brown.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. In a large and heavy skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Add soffritto vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) and sauté for a minute or two (pay attention not to brown them).
  7. Add ground meat and let it brown few minutes, stirring when necessary.
  8. Add white wine, stir a little bit and when it's reduced add anchovies paste or anchovies filets (in that case mash them with a fork) and capers.
  9. Add lemon zest, parsley and the cooked chicken livers (along with their juices and sage).
  10. Turn down to a simmer and leave to cook, half-covered with a lid, for about 1 hour (if the meat dry too much add some water).
  11. Adjust with salt if necessary.
Now you have two choices:
  1. put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth (add vinegar in the meanwhile)
OR
  1. according to tradition, cut everything with a knife or use a meat grinder helping you with vinegar.
-
  1. Transfer again the patè to the skillet and cook for more 5 minutes, then it's done!
  2. Spread a generous amount of cold or warm patè onto each bread slice, arrange them on a platter and serve immediately.
Notes
Your chicken liver patè can be stored:
- into sterilized and vacuum sealed mason jars at room temperature for several months (avoid sunlight);
- into glass jars and in the freezer for a couple of months;
- into glass jars and in the fridge for a couple of days (a few more if the surface is covered with extra virgin olive oil).

Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce): classic and my mom’s version

Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce)

Ragù (as Italians call it) or Bolognese is the top italian sauce for pasta.
It has simple ingredients, it’s easy even if you’re not very good in the kitchen, but people still think that it’s hard to make.
You just need 5-6 hours of your free time, and in these hours you can do whatever you want, just have a look and stir ragù every 2 hours, that’s it!


ragu bolognese best italian sauce meat

Italian Academy of Cuisine documented a recipe for “Ragù classico Bolognese” (classic Bolognese sauce), and subsequently recorded and deposited it with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.

What I’m writing here is not this version, that you can find googling, but is a recipe that a real Bolognese housewife tought me and I think it’s better (there are slightest differences).
The other one is my mom’s version (that obviously I think it’s the best but… you tell me!), anyway every family has their own version, so wherever you eat it’s always different in some ways.
I prefer using the classic version over crostini toast or crispy polenta squares, while my mom’s ragù (I think) is better for pasta.

Ragù alla Bolognese is traditionally served with tagliatelle pasta (medium noodles made with eggs) and although the saying goes “serving spaghetti with Bolognese sauce is a sign of mediocrity in the understanding of Italian cuisine” I have to tell you that I usually put ragú over spaghetti and every kind of pasta (and I’m not the only one) because are really good too and I don’t always eat egg-pasta because it’s too caloric, so I think that it’s not a sign of mediocrity at all!
Anyway… eat spaghetti with ragù and call them “spaghetti al ragù” (spaghetti with ragù sauce) instead of “spaghetti Bolognese” (this term is pure invention and really shudder italians) 😀 .

The secret for a special ragù is the long cooking time.
It can be ready after 2 hours but it will be very bland, I suggest you to cook longer than 4 hours to have all the ingredients’ flavors mixed together and thus forming a delicious ragù (I always cook it for 6 hours, the best), trust me!

NEW UPDATE: click here for my Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce – the Great Italian Sauce!

So let’s begin!

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 8 servings

ragu bolognese sauce ingredients

Classic Ragù Recipe – Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1 1/2 cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 little north-italian sausages grounded (with garlic, no fennel no anise no pepper flakes) – if you cannot find them just add 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)

Classic Ragù Recipe – Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. add the wine and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol; ragu brown white bolognese sauce
  4. add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours).

Done! just 4 points to follow. It’s not complicated at all, so have a try and let me know what recipe do you prefer! (Below there’s my mum’s recipe).

authentic best bolognese sauce italian

My mom’s Ragù Recipe – Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1 1/2 cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

My mom’s Ragù Recipe – Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. add skinned garlic cloves and bay leaf (remember to remove one clove after 2 hours of cooking time);
  4. add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours).

authentic italian sauce ragu bolognese

Note: you can put Bolognese sauce in jars and freeze, so you can do a big batch that will last longer.

Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce): classic and my mom's version
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
My mom's Bolognese sauce. Easy to make, just 4 steps!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1½ cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or ¾ cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or ¾ cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus ½ cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. Add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it's browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. Add skinned garlic cloves and bay leaf (remember to remove one clove after 2 hours of cooking time);
  4. Add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1½ hours).

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey

roast turkey – moist, tender and juicy

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so, why not planning to cook a delicious roast turkey the Italian way with my brine method and secret for a moist, tender and juicy turkey?

Yes, delicious, turkey and tender in the same sentence could sound a little bit strange, but anything is possible at Thanksgiving, right?


roast turkey moist tender secret italian

Oh and I promise you’ll love this recipe! It’s so hearty! My friends loved it and they begged me to give them all the leftovers… well, how couldn’t I?

I know that turkey is a bland meat and it has to be treated perfectly to become good so I read a lot about brine turkey with water, salt and apple cider but I was a bit afraid of putting too much salt in it so I came up with an age-old Italian trick that was used by our grandmothers to tenderize game meat…. baking soda!!!

I’m italian and I’ve never cooked a whole turkey in my life. It was a big tricky for me due to its big size…. and you know how italian kitchens are… small oven, small fridge…. it was 8 kg / 18 lbs and I was thinking to cut it in pieces, but finally I cooked it wholly, it was just the length of the oven… wow!

I put it breast side down and the worst part for me was turning the bird over to brown the breast as well…. it was tooo tender that I thought it would broke, but luckily my mother in law helped me and we were able to turned it over with no harm.
I really think that americans have an appropriate kitchen tool to do this, don’t they???

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey

Difficulty: difficult
Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 3 hours
Yield: 10 servings or more

BRINE INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey):

  • 3 big rosemary sprigs
  • 8-10 sage leafs
  • few peppercorns to taste
  • 8 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 1/2 tbsp pure baking soda for each litres water / 2 tbsp pure baking soda for each gallon water

BRINE INSTRUCTIONS:

Put the bird in a large food box, cover with water and add all the ingredients. Close with a lid and leave the turkey with the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours.


SEASONING INGREDIENTS:

  • a handful of lard from rendered pork fat (called “strutto” in Italian) – you can use butter instead
  • 10 grams / 2 tsp for every kilo of meat (or 4 grams / 1 tsp for every pound of meat) of fine sea salt
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, 5 sage leaves and 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 north Italian sausages (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine) – about 200 grams – 1/2 pound
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1/4 onion

SEASONING INSTRUCTIONS:

After about 24 hours, remove the turkey from the fridge and drain it well. Leave it at room temperature for at least 1 hour (2 is better).
Spread lard or butter all over the turkey. Season with salt and fresh herbs finely ground.

Stuff the turkey with two sausages, 3 garlic cloves cut in half, rosemary, sage, onion and one tbsp salt (these will flavour the turkey from the inside as it cooks).

Cover the cavity with aluminium foil so that the aromatics won’t fall out while you’re roasting the turkey and if you want to keep the wings and legs close to the body while cooking, truss the turkey with a food string.

Place the turkey breast down on a rack over a roasting pan. That way the breast will be more juicy.

Cook the turkey at 200°C for the first 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C for the next 2 hours and then reduce to 100°C until it’s done. Consider 40 minutes for every kilo of meat or 15 minutes for every pound of meat.

When the turkey is almost done, turn the turkey over and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the breast (not to much though! or you’ll have a dry turkey breast).

The turkey is ready when clear juices (not pink) come out when you spear the breast with a fork or a knife or when the meat thermometer reaches 75°C.

For the cooking time I followed the post on Simply Recipes Blog, where you can find useful pictures and information on how to tie and close up the turkey cavity.

turkey_moist_tender_best


STUFFING INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)

  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 800 grams / 1.8 pounds north Italian sausages chopped and case removed (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces chestnuts
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces cranberries
  • 100 grams / 3 cups stale bread cubes (about 3/4 inch)
  • 5-8 fresh sage leaves finely chopped

STUFFING INSTRUCTIONS:

(I like to cook the stuffing into a pan and not into the turkey because the latter takes less time to cook)

Put in a large pan 3 tbsp of butter, a stalk of celery, one onion finely chopped and cook until soft.

Add north-italian sausages and cook until little brown.

Pour white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, then add chestnuts, cranberries, stale bread cubes, sage leaves finely chopped and water as needed to cover all the ingredients and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Adjust with salt if needed.


 

GRAVY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup onion, carrot and celery mix chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter mixed with 2-3 tbsp flour (roux)
  • turkey stock/drippings as needed
GRAVY INSTRUCTIONS:
 

You can make this gravy during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time of the turkey.

In a sauce pan add 3 tbsp butter and sauté vegetables until soft. After about 3 minutes add white wine and let alcohol evaporate.
Cook vegetables until done (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and blend them with a mixer.

Add the roux (a mixture of equal part of flour and butter) and return the sauce pan to the stove on medium heat. Add some turkey stock/drippings as needed (not too much though because it’s salty) and some water to adjust the thickness as you prefer. If it’s too liquid, add more roux.

Cook for at least 5 minutes and it’s done!

I have to tell you that this gravy was soo good and it made the turkey meat really tasty, so it’s definitely a must for me!Serve the turkey on a serving plate with the chestnut stuffing, gravy and some good old fashioned mashed potatoes and it will be love at first bite!

roast turkey moist tender secret italian brine

Hope my tips could help you preparing a moist, tender and juicy turkey and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Roast Turkey: Italian tips for a moist tender and flavourful turkey
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian, American, English
Serves: 10
Ingredients
BRINE INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)
  • 3 big rosemary sprigs
  • 8-10 sage leafs
  • few peppercorns to taste
  • 8 garlic cloves cut in half
  • ½ tbsp pure baking soda for each litres water / 2 tbsp pure baking soda for each gallon water
SEASONING INGREDIENTS:
  • a handful of lard from rendered pork fat (called "strutto" in Italian) - you can use butter instead
  • 10 grams / 2 tsp for every kilo of meat (or 4 grams / 1 tsp for every pound of meat) of fine sea salt
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, 5 sage leaves and 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 2 north Italian sausages (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine) - about 200 grams - ½ pound
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 sage leaves
  • ¼ onion
STUFFING INGREDIENTS (for about 8 Kg / 18 lbs turkey)
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 800 grams / 1.8 pounds north Italian sausages chopped and case removed (pork meat seasoned just with salt, pepper, garlic and white wine)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces chestnuts
  • 200 grams / 7.0 ounces cranberries
  • 100 grams / 3 cups stale bread cubes (about ¾ inch)
  • 5-8 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
GRAVY INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup onion, carrot and celery mix chopped fine
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter mixed with 2-3 tbsp flour (roux)
  • turkey stock/drippings as needed
Instructions
BRINE INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Put the bird in a large food box, cover with water and add all the ingredients. Close with a lid and leave the turkey with the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours.
SEASONING INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. After about 24 hours, remove the turkey from the fridge and drain it well. Leave it at room temperature for at least 1 hour (2 is better).
  2. Spread lard or butter all over the turkey. Season with salt and fresh herbs finely ground.
  3. Stuff the turkey with two sausages, 3 garlic cloves cut in half, rosemary, sage, onion and one tbsp salt (these will flavour the turkey from the inside as it cooks).
  4. Cover the cavity with aluminium foil so that the aromatics won't fall out while you're roasting the turkey and if you want to keep the wings and legs close to the body while cooking, truss the turkey with a food string.
  5. Place the turkey breast down on a rack over a roasting pan. That way the breast will be more juicy.
  6. Cook the turkey at 200°C for the first 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160°C for the next 2 hours and then reduce to 100°C until it's done. Consider 40 minutes for every kilo of meat or 15 minutes for every pound of meat.
  7. When the turkey is almost done, turn the turkey over and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the breast (not to much though! or you'll have a dry turkey breast).
  8. The turkey is ready when clear juices (not pink) come out when you spear the breast with a fork or a knife or when the meat thermometer reaches 75°C.
STUFFING INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Put in a large pan 3 tbsp of butter, a stalk of celery, one onion finely chopped and cook until soft.
  2. Add north-italian sausages and cook until little brown.
  3. Pour white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, then add chestnuts, cranberries, stale bread cubes, sage leaves finely chopped and water as needed to cover all the ingredients and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Adjust with salt if needed.
GRAVY INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. You can make this gravy during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time of the turkey.
  2. In a sauce pan add 3 tbsp butter and sauté vegetables until soft. After about 3 minutes add white wine and let alcohol evaporate.
  3. Cook vegetables until done (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and blend them with a mixer.
  4. Add the roux (a mixture of equal part of flour and butter) and return the sauce pan to the stove on medium heat. Add some turkey stock/drippings as needed (not too much though because it's salty) and some water to adjust the thickness as you prefer. If it's too liquid, add more roux.
  5. Cook for at least 5 minutes and it's done!
  6. Serve the turkey on a serving plate with the chestnut stuffing, gravy and some good old fashioned mashed potatoes and it will be love at first bite!

Passatelli Pasta (comfort Italian pasta)

AUTHENTIC PASSATELLI RECIPE – ITALIAN DUMPLINGS

Passatelli (puh-ssuh-tell-e) are a real comfort pasta typical of Emilia-Romagna, Italian region.
Usually eaten in cold evenings and accompanied by a genuine home-made meat and vegetable stock can be a really cure for a bad cold.


My mum made these every time I got a fever and now I make Passatelli for my young son, even if he’s not ill, and he likes them very much (he wolfs them down! 😀 ).

passatelli brodo broth romagna italian best perfect pasta comfort food

You can do Passatelli using a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (originally it was used a special Passatelli utensil, shown below, but it’s not easy to find it nowadays).

Due to the high amount of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese I suggest you to not use fake parmesan, or the result may differ a lot from the original recipe. You may use Grana Padano instead (another italian cheese like Parmigiano).

parmigiano reggiano discount

Passatelli in brodo (Passatelli in broth)

Difficulty: medium
Preparation: 40-50 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams / 5.30 ounces / 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, extra finely grated
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 2 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, extra finely grated
  • 3 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (grated directly from the seed is better)
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

(Some recipes calls for lemon zest to be added in the dough, like it’s used in Romagna, but I think that lemon zest is not appropriate if Passatelli are served in broth. You can add lemon zest and reduce the amount of nutmeg if you’re serving Passatelli with a seafood based sauce.)

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients to form a smooth dough. It has to be quiet tough, not like a pizza dough, but it doesn’t have to crumble away (if it’s too sticky add some bread crumbs, if it crumbles add few drops of water).
Let rest 15 minutes covered with a plastic wrap.
Put the dough into a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (0,5 cm / 0.2 inches diameter) and form Passatelli at about 5 cm / 2” length.

Put Passatelli in a plate and try to leave space between them to avoid sticking together.

Cook in a rolling boil stock (salted to taste) until they float (about 5 minutes). Put in a soup plate and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
They’re even better after 2 hours, just leave them in the stock and heat up before serving.
You can refrigerate both fresh and cooked Passatelli for a month.

Passatelli Pasta (comfort Italian pasta)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 150 grams / 5.30 ounces / 1½ cups bread crumbs, extra finely grated
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 2½ cups Parmigiano Reggiano, extra finely grated
  • 3 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (grated directly from the seed is better)
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a smooth dough. It has to be quiet tough, not like a pizza dough, but it doesn't have to crumble away (if it's too sticky add some bread crumbs, if it crumbles add few drops of water).
  2. Let rest 15 minutes covered with a plastic wrap.
  3. Put the dough into a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (0,5 cm / 0.2 inches diameter) and form Passatelli at about 5 cm / 2'' length.
  4. Put Passatelli in a plate and try to leave space between them to avoid sticking together.
  5. Cook in a rolling boil stock (salted to taste) until they float (about 5 minutes).
  6. Put in a soup plate and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  7. They're even better after 2 hours, just leave them in the stock and heat up before serving.

Italian Little Pizzas (Pizzette)

These little pizzas are children’s favourites. They are perfect for parties as a finger food, but you have to be sure to make a big batch because they run out quickly!
Trust me, these little pizzas will be really a success.


best pizzette little pizza fingerfood parties feast

So, as promised, here is the 3rd pizza recipe I’d like to share with you, the last one (for now).

Italian Little Pizzas (Pizzette)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 2h and 30 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yield: ≈25 little pizzas (8 cm / 3″ Ø)

Ingredients:

  • 270 grams / 9.5 ounces / 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 10 grams / 0.35 ounces / 1 tbsp granulated dry yeast or 25 grams / 1/2 tbsp fresh yeast or 240 grams / 8.40 ounces mother yeast
  • 41 grams / 1.45 ounces / 8 tsp sugar
  • 72 grams / 2.5 ounces / 6 tbsp sunflower or corn oil
  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces / 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces / 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 18 grams / 0.63 ounces / 3 tsp salt

Instructions:

Dissolve dry yeast in warm water with sugar.
Mix all the ingredients and knead for about 20 minutes to form a soft, smooth and no sticky dough (add flour or water to adjust).
Let rise for 2 hours (3-4 hours if using mother yeast) covered with plastic wrap.
Roll out the dough to 0,3 cm / 0.12″ thick, with a round pastry cutter form the little pizzas and put them in a pan covered with baking paper.

Dress with plain tomato sauce and cover with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent a dry crust.

little italian pizza tomato Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas mark 7.
In the meantime, let rise pizzas a bit (about 30 minutes).

Bake pizzas for 5 minutes or until you can see tomato “cracks” as you can see below.

Little Pizza Baking

Add a mozzarella cube over each pizza and bake again 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and light brown.

little pizza mozzarella

Aren’t they making you hungry???

best pizzette little pizza fingerfood perfect

IMPORTANT tips to know:

If you are using fresh or dry yeast (not mother yeast), I suggest you to greatly reduce the amount of yeast in recipes and, as a consequence, to extend the rising time.
A slow fermentation allow a better maturation of the dough with more digestible, more flavorful and tastier pizzas.
So here are the times I suggest you for about 500 grams/18 ounces/4 cups of flour (that usually require 10 grams/1 tbsp granulated dry yeast or 25 grams / 1/2 tbsp fresh yeast for 2 hours of rising time):

  • 4 h of rising time -> use 1/2 amount of yeast;
  • 6 h of rising time -> use 1/4 amount of yeast;
  • 8 h of rising time -> use 1/8 amount of yeast;
  • 10 h of rising time -> use 1/16 amount of yeast;
  • ……

Here’s an example: if you want your dough to rise in 6 hours use 2,5 grams / 1/4 tbsp of granulated dry yeast or 6,25 grams / 1/8 tbsp of fresh yeast. 

Italian Little Pizzas (Pizzette)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Italian Little Pizzas, perfect for a brunch, children birthdays or any other party.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 270 grams / 9.5 ounces / 1¼ cups warm water
  • 10 grams / 0.35 ounces / 1 tbsp granulated dry yeast or 25 grams / ½ tbsp fresh yeast or 240 grams / 8.40 ounces mother yeast
  • 41 grams / 1.45 ounces / 8 tsp sugar
  • 72 grams / 2.5 ounces / 6 tbsp sunflower or corn oil
  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces / 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces / 2½ cups bread flour
  • 18 grams / 0.63 ounces / 3 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Dissolve dry yeast in warm water with sugar.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and knead for about 20 minutes to form a soft, smooth and no sticky dough (add flour or water to adjust).
  3. Let rise for 2 hours (3-4 hours if using mother yeast) covered with plastic wrap.
  4. Roll out the dough to 0,3 cm / 0.12" thick, with a round pastry cutter form the little pizzas and put them in a pan covered with baking paper.
  5. Dress with plain tomato sauce and cover with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent a dry crust.
  6. Preheat oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas mark 7.
  7. In the meantime, let rise pizzas a bit (about 30 minutes).
  8. Bake pizzas for 5 minutes or until you can see tomato "cracks".
  9. Add a mozzarella cube over each pizza and bake again 10 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and light brown.

Soft and Doughy Pizza By The Slice (Italian Pizza al Taglio)

My son doesn’t like flat pizza, so I had to learn how to make a really soft and doughy pizza like those you can find in an italian bakery (…or anywhere else).


pizza al taglio soft doughy italian best chicago style

I’ve already told you that I’m a very pizza addict, so here is a second recipe… while waiting for the 3rd! 😉

At home it’s mostly impossible to achieve because you would need professional ovens, so after months and months of kneading and baking I figured out how to do it (the secret for a very soft dough is just a potato)… and now my son is really happy (and I keep on baking…).

If you want to save time, like I often do, you can use instant mashed potato flour instead of steaming just one potato. So keep in mind that if you use a steamed potato you need to reduce the amount of water stated in the ingredients.

Pizza al taglio

Soft and Doughy Pizza (Italian Pizza al taglio)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3/4 servings – 40cm x 30cm / 15″ x 12″ pizza pan

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 130 grams / 4.6 ounces / 1/2 cup milk (or water if you want a lighter version)
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 1 cup water* (less if using a steamed potato read below)
  • 10 grams / 1 tbsp granulated active dry yeast or 25 grams / 1/2 tbsp fresh yeast or 140 grams / 5 ounces mother yeast
  • 20 grams / 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 20 grams / 1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes flour or 1 steamed and peeled potato (in this case use less water*)
  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour (or pizza/bread flour)
  • 10 grams / 1 full tsp sugar
  • 10 grams / 1 1/2 tsp salt

For the topping:

  • 1 cup plain chopped tomatoes sauce, plus a little pinch of sugar, salt to taste
  • other ingredients to your taste
  • fresh mozzarella, cut into 1.5 cm / 0.59 inches square pieces (making big pieces is important to prevent mozzarella from burning during the cooking time)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 230°C / 450°F / gas mark 8.
Dissolve yeast in warm water and/or milk, sugar and butter, then mix all the ingredients (add the remain water and salt at last) to form a smooth, soft and no sticky dough (If it’s too sticky add a little flour otherwise add more water). Knead for about 20 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes, cover your pizza pan with baking paper and roll out the dough.

Pizza al taglio dough

Cover with a lid or a plastic wrap to avoid the dough from drying and let rise for at least 2 hours (4 if using mother yeast).

Pizza al taglio dressing

Dress pizza with tomato sauce, other ingredients and mozzarella.

Pizza al taglio ready

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Pizza al taglio soft doughy

Pizza al Taglio, done!

IMPORTANT tips to know:

If you are using fresh or dry yeast (not mother yeast), I suggest you to greatly reduce the amount of yeast in recipes and, as a consequence, to extend the rising time.
A slow fermentation allow a better maturation of the dough with more digestible, more flavorful and tastier pizzas.
So here are the times I suggest you for 500 grams/18 ounces/4 cups of flour (that usually require 10 grams/1 tbsp granulated dry yeast or 25 grams / 1/2 tbsp fresh yeast for 2 hours of rising time):

  • 4 h of rising time -> use 1/2 amount of yeast;
  • 6 h of rising time -> use 1/4 amount of yeast;
  • 8 h of rising time -> use 1/8 amount of yeast;
  • 10 h of rising time -> use 1/16 amount of yeast;
  • ……

Here’s an example: if you want your dough to rise in 6 hours use 2,5 grams / 1/4 tbsp of granulated dry yeast or 6,25 grams / 1/8 tbsp of fresh yeast.

Soft and Doughy Pizza By The Slice (Italian Pizza al Taglio)
 
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Soft and Doughy Pizza By The Slice like those you can find in an Italian bakery.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 130 grams / 4.6 ounces / ½ cup milk (or water if you want a lighter version)
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 1 cup water* (less if using a steamed potato read below)
  • 10 grams / 1 tbsp granulated active dry yeast or 25 grams / ½ tbsp fresh yeast or 140 grams / 5 ounces mother yeast
  • 20 grams / 1½ tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 20 grams / ¼ cup instant mashed potatoes flour or 1 steamed and peeled potato (in this case use less water*)
  • 500 grams / 18 ounces / 4 cups all-purpose flour (or pizza/bread flour)
  • 10 grams / 1 full tsp sugar
  • 10 grams / 1½ tsp salt
For the topping
  • 1 cup plain chopped tomatoes sauce, plus a little pinch of sugar, salt to taste
  • other ingredients to your taste
  • fresh mozzarella, cut into 1.5 cm / 0.59 inches square pieces (making big pieces is important to prevent mozzarella from burning during the cooking time)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 230°C / 450°F / gas mark 8.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and/or milk, sugar and butter, then mix all the ingredients (add the remain water and salt at last) to form a smooth, soft and no sticky dough (If it’s too sticky add a little flour otherwise add more water).
  3. Knead for about 20 minutes.
  4. Let rest for 5 minutes, cover your pizza pan with baking paper and roll out the dough.
  5. Cover with a lid or a plastic wrap to avoid the dough from drying and let rise for at least 2 hours (4 if using mother yeast).
  6. Dress pizza with tomato sauce, other ingredients to your taste and mozzarella.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes.

 

Tuscan Onion Soup (Zuppa di Cipolle alla Toscana)

Have you ever been to Tuscany? I’ve been several times and this soup was given to me by a Tuscan Nonna that worked in a Trattoria and was love at first taste! It’s so simple but yet full of flavour and so hearthy, a perfect soup to warm you up in cold evenings.


tuscan onion soup zuppa cipolle toscana best italian easy

Tuscan Onion Soup (Zuppa di Cipolle alla Toscana)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium white onions sliced fine (250 gr / 9 oz)
  • 30 gr / 1 oz / 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium potato finely grated (this help soup thickening)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 500 gr / 1 lbs / 2 full cups hot stock or hot water + 1 stock/bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 4 slices toasted bread
  • 4 slices of Parmigiano Reggiano or Swiss cheese

Instructions:

Sauté onions with butter for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced.
Add stock or water-plus bouillon cube, potato, sugar and simmer for about an hour.
Sprinkle with pepper.
Pour the soup into 2 soup-bowl, add 2 crispy slices of bread for each bowl and cover with cheese.
Melt with blowtorch or put in the oven and set to broil until cheese is browned a little.

Don’t forget to add a comment if you liked the Nonna-authentic Tuscan soup as much as I do!

Tuscan Onion Soup (Zuppa di Cipolle alla Toscana)
 
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Authentic Italian Onion soup. Directly from a Tuscan Nonna, so it's a keeper!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 medium white onions sliced fine (250 gr / 9 oz)
  • 30 gr / 1 oz / 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium potato finely grated (this help soup thickening)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 500 gr / 1 lbs / 2 full cups hot stock or hot water + 1 stock/bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 4 slices toasted bread
  • 4 slices of Parmigiano Reggiano or Swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Sauté onions with butter for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced.
  2. Add stock or water-plus bouillon cube, potato, sugar and simmer for about an hour.
  3. Sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Pour the soup into 2 soup-bowl, add 2 crispy slices of bread for each bowl and cover with cheese.
  5. Melt with blowtorch or put in the oven and set to broil until cheese is browned a little.

Tuna Sauce for Pasta with Capers

EASY, QUICK PASTA SAUCE ITALIAN STYLE

This Tuna sauce recipe is one of my favourite authentic Italian sauces and it’s a time saver too! Just 30 minutes and you’re eating a dish of delicious pasta like you do at restaurants.


tuna sauce pasta italian best easy capers onion

If you have friends for dinner be prepared to give them the recipe, because they will surely ask you for it!

You can use every kind of pasta put I prefer using spaghetti, my favourites.

Tuna sauce for pasta

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 5 minutes  Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 medium onion finely chopped (≈ 8 cm / 3′ Ø)
  • 2 full tsp vinegar-brined capers finely chopped, well-drained (if you have salt-packed capers soak them in cool water for about 15 minutes rinsing them in several changes of water or they will be too salty)
  • 150 gr / 5 oz good quality tuna canned in olive oil, drained
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste or tomato purè
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

Put olive oil in a saucepan, add onion and capers and sauté for 1 minute.
Dissolve tomato paste in the water then add to the saucepan.
Add tuna, salt to your taste and cook for about 30 minutes, until water has evaporated.

Before the sauce is finished, cook your favourite pasta “al dente”. If you don’t know how to cook pasta read my instructions here.

In a warm bowl mix cooked pasta with 1/2 tuna sauce. Serve pasta on a serving plate and put the remain sauce over.

Done! As simple as is!

So, enjoy your favourite shape of pasta with this awesome authentic Italian Tuna Sauce and a good glass of white wine! What shape of pasta would you like to use with this recipe?

Tuna Sauce for Pasta with Capers
 
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Authentic Italian Tuna sauce with Capers, a time saver and delicious recipe like those you eat in fine restaurants.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ medium onion finely chopped (≈ 8 cm / 3' Ø)
  • 2 full tsp vinegar-brined capers finely chopped, well-drained (if you have salt-packed capers soak them in cool water for about 15 minutes rinsing them in several changes of water or they will be too salty)
  • 150 gr / 5 oz good quality tuna canned in olive oil, drained
  • 1½ tbsp tomato paste or tomato purè
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Put olive oil in a saucepan, add onion and capers and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Dissolve tomato paste in the water then add to the saucepan.
  3. Add tuna, salt to your taste and cook for about 30 minutes, until water has evaporated.
  4. Before the sauce is finished, cook your favourite pasta "al dente".
  5. In a warm bowl mix cooked pasta with ½ tuna sauce.
  6. Serve pasta on a serving plate and put the remain sauce over.

Roasted Potatoes Secrets – Soft Inside but Crunchy Outside (Patate Arroste)

HOW TO COOK ROASTED POTATOES WITH ITALIAN HERBS

Roasted potatoes can be very delicious if cooked perfectly, but sometimes it’s really a mess with soggy potatoes.
This is due to the high amount of starch contained in them, so you have to remove most of it.


roasted potatoes rosemary garlic italian best patate arroste soggy

Roasted Potatoes (patate arroste pronunciation: puh-tuh-teh urrost-a)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 15 min./1 hour Cooking Time: 65 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
garlic rosemary

  • 1 kg / 2 lbs potatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
Rinse well and peel potatoes.
Cut them in about 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces.
potatoes cubes

Now choose one of the following procedures.

1° (the best)

Put water into a pot, large enough to contain the potatoes, then bring it to a boil.
Add 2 pinch of salt and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
Add potatoes in the pot and cook them just for 3-5 minutes then drain thoroughly in a colander. Let them cool.

OR

Put potatoes in a bowl, cover with cold water and 2 tbsp of white wine for at least an hour. They will release all the starch in excess.

HOW TO COOK

Grease a pan with extra virgin olive oil, add the potatoes, sprinkle with rosemary and garlic cloves.
Sprinkle again with some extra virgin olive oil, mix and DO NOT add salt at this point.
rosemary garlic pan roasted potatoes crunchy soft italian

Put the pan in the oven and cook for at least an hour. Halfway in the cooking process give a stir.
10 minutes before cooking point, adjust with salt and/or pepper to taste.

You can cook potatoes on the stove, just halve the cooking time.

roasted potatoes best italian rosemary garlic

Roasted Potatoes (Patate Arroste) - soft inside but crunchy outside
 
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Secrets to make authentic Italian roasted potatoes, soft inside and crunchy outside.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 kg / 2 lbs potatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves cut in half
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
  2. Rinse well and peel potatoes.
  3. Cut them in about 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces.
Choose one of the following procedures.
  1. Put water into a pot, large enough to contain the potatoes, then bring it to a boil.
  2. Add 2 pinch of salt and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar.
  3. Add potatoes into the pot and cook them for just 3-5 minutes then drain thoroughly in a colander. Let them cool.
OR
  1. Put potatoes in a bowl, cover with cold water and 2 tbsp of white wine for at least an hour. They will release all the starch in excess.
How to cook
  1. Grease a pan with extra virgin olive oil, add the potatoes, sprinkle with rosemary and garlic cloves.
  2. Sprinkle again with some extra virgin olive oil, mix and DO NOT add salt at this point.
  3. Put the pan in the oven and cook for at least an hour. Halfway in the cooking process give a stir.
  4. minutes before cooking point, adjust with salt and/or pepper to taste.
  5. You can cook potatoes on the stove, just halve the cooking time.

How to cook pasta


Everybody should know how to cook pasta, but there is always someone who doesn’t.

I’ve seen that in many websites are explained wrong instructions about cooking pasta so, here are mine:




  • fill a large cooking pot with water and bring it to a boil;
  • add salt only when water is boiling because salt lengthen boiling time, so try to avoid putting it at the beginning or you will have to wait more for the water to reach the boiling point;
  • do not add oil because pasta will become slippery and the sauce will not stick to it (exception: a little drop can be used to make Potato Gnocchi – super easy and delicious recipe here);
  • wait until water is in a running boil to add you pasta or it will turn out rubbery;
  • stir pasta for half a minute or it will stick together;
  • keep water to a little boiling point;
  • cook pasta (uncovered) for the cooking time written in the package to have it “al dente” (now I tell you a secret but please don’t tell anyone especially if is Italian because they will get mad at me…. I always add 1-2 minutes at the cooking time because I don’t like it too tough, anyway… cook pasta as you like but “for God sake” remind to cook it “al dente” if you invite an Italian for dinner 😀 );
  • at the end drain your pasta very well and toss it with your favourite sauce.

So these are the right instructions to cook pasta for perfect results! Super easy, right?