Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sta Serra, La Mia Cucina Italiana

Food-wise, a Mediterranean week is hard to beat. And tonight is no exception, considering we're hitting the shores of Sorrento and the hillsides of Siena. That's right, tonight my kitchen was transported to Italy (well, a few nights ago, but we'll just pretend).
My first concoction comes to us from Tuscany. This central region of Italy is situated on the west coast, housing not only some of the main tourist destinations, but also picturesque hill towns and productive agricultural lands. Known for its wine, olive oil, and bread, there is no better picnicking region! My dish, however, left out wine and bread. Ribollita soup is a classic wintery stew, stock-full of kale and crusty bread. 101 Cookbooks has an alternate version, but the principle is the same. Being kale-less, I used regular (and not "Tuscan") cabbage ... and being bread-less, I used purple potatoes. That said, it was so tasty (forgot to take photos of the finished soup)!
And then I baked! My plan was to make biscotti all'olio d'oliva, nociolle, e limoncello. Sorrento, a coastal town in the south of Italy, is the home of the lemon liqueur called limoncello. The Amalfi Coast is a favourite spot of those on beach holidays. It also has some claims to fame, on the footsteps of Pompeii, a train-ride from Napoli, and decked out in amazing cliff-side beaches. Sadly, I had neither hazelnut flour nor limoncello. So, here is my makeover:

Biscotti di Mandorle e Caffé

150 g All-Purpose Flour
100 g Almond Flour
40 mL olive oil
40 mL vegetable oil
70 mL espresso
30 mL Kahlua (chocolate liqueur or amaretto would also be lovely)
90 g sugar

1. Whisk together oils, espresso, liqueur, and sugar.
2. Fold in flour and almond flour.
3. Form spoonful balls of dough. Place on greased cookie sheet and pat down.
4. Bake at 325F, for 12-15 minutes until slightly brown.

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