Crostoli/ Angel Wings

Crostoli or Frappe or Chiacchiere or Bugie are a traditional sweet crisp pastry madeout of dough that has been shaped into rectangles with small cut in the middle! After cutting in the middle, you could make a knot, and deep fry them!

I was researching on the web for some history and I discovered that Crostoli are around since the Roman Empire. The women used to make them around Carnival and they used to serve them to anyone on the street! Back then Crostoli were considered a ” poor dessert”/ cucina povera, just because the ingredients were very simple and easy to have, also they last very long!

Every region in Italy has different name.In Naples for example they are called Chiacchiere/ Gossip and the legend say that the Queen of Savoia one day, while she was gossiping with her guests , she got hungry and called her Personal Chef asking him to make something that could make her and everyone else happy. The Chef then decided to call this pastry Chiacchiere!

Yesterday I made crostoli for the first time with my Mother in law! In Italy its tradition to make them at Carnevale, in February, My mother in law likes to make them around Christmas or any other festivities, her recipe is amazing, I love it because they come out very light! She doesn’t use butter or whipping cream in the dough! There are many recipes out there for Crostoli, hopefully you like mine.

Ingredients:

  • 500/600 grams flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoon oil Canola
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Orange zest
  • 1/4 cup Grappa or any other Liquor
  • Half teaspoon salt
  • Half teaspoon Baking powder
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

Put the flour on your board or counter, make a Vulcano in the middle and add the lemon juice, the Grappa and the orange zest randomly.

Add then the eggs, the sugar the oil, the salt and the baking powder and start to beat.And the rest of ingredients

Mix everything and start to knead like you are kneading the pasta! The dough is very easy to knead! Cut out a piece and start to roll out the pasta with a pasta machine!

You have to roll out the pasta nice and thin, when you are on number 1 of your machine you need to fold it few times so the sheet will became nice and smooth.

When you roll out the pasta with your machine, you can start to cut out the Chiacchiere. The cut has to be at list 2 inch wide and when you should try to cut them in a transversal way ( see the picture).

After that with a pasta cutter you can make a small cut in the middle and you could fry them like that. My mother in law instead like to make a knot, basically she takes the 2 edge and she tuck them in the cut and make the knot.

Now they are ready to be fried! She used Canola oil.

Its beautiful to see them fry, they pop a little bit! When they get a little bit of colour put them on a plate cover with Paper towel so the oil can dry out a little bit. When they are still hot sprinkle some icing sugar!

Delicious! Buon Appetito

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Heart shaped cookies

#TastyTuesday perfect recipe for Christmas baking! You can use different shape like stars or my favorite HEART!

Make them with your kids, cant wait to start my Christmas baking with my kids.

I think that there is nothing more sweet than a gift made with your hands with a sprinkle of love.

Ingredients:

• 350 grams flour

• 100 grams icing sugar

• 200 grams soft butter

• 2 yellow eggs

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• Icing sugar to sprinkle

• Heart shape cookies cutter one big and one smaller or star or whatever shape you like

• A sprinkle of love

Method:

• In a bowl mix the butter and the sugar until it’s nice and smooth {I like to use my hands, it’s easy}.

• Add the yellow eggs and mix for a minute, add the vanilla and the flour.

• Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

• Turn the oven on at 350, roll out your dough and with a heart cookie cutter, and cut the cookies. With the smaller cookies cutter, cut out the heart.

• Put the cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 12-15 minutes!

• When they are cold, spread the Nutella on the bigger heart and put the small heart on top.

• Sprinkle some icing sugar and a lot of love.

• Buon Appetito

Italian Mix Legumes Soup/ Zuppa del Contadino

My family is a Legumes lover, I try to use them weekly in my cooking just like my mom and my Grandmother used to do when I was a kid. Legumes are so good for your body, full of vitamins and protein.

Today I want to share with you this healthy Soup recipe that in Italy its called “zuppa del contadino”/ Farmer soup. I feel healthy already, please challenge yourself and make it for you and your family and let me know how goes, please. Homemade food is the best and this soup will nourish your soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup and half of dry mix of legumes 
  • 1 carrot 
  • 1 celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 potatoes 
  • Oil extra virgin 4 tablespoons 
  • Mix of herbs if you like
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • Parmigiano Crust
  • Vegetables broth
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

First thing to do is to soak your dry legumes in water over night or if you are making it for dinner you can do it early morning like I did. 

In a pan put the oil and add the celery, carrot and onion chopped finely (this is the soffritto) and stir fry for a minute or 2 and add the legumes drained and rinsed!

Mix everything and add the vegetables broth. Add the tomatoes diced, the herbs, and the Parmigiano Crust if you have it ( if you don’t have it’s ok). Cook everything for half an hour on a slow heat with lid adding a little bit of salt! Add the potatoes that you previously cut in dice and cook for 30 more minutes! Check the salt at the end and add a little bit of oil before to serve it. 

Delicious, healthy homemade food is the best! 

TIP: to make a vegetables broth just boil a carrot, onion, celery and salt for 30 minutes.

Buon appetito 

Tortano/Easter Bread

Ester is around the corner, its time to make this delicious savory bread a MUST of Italian Cuisine from Naples> You can start your own tradition today.

Bella Cibo Kitchen

Italian food is all about tradition and Tortano or Casatiello is a must for the Neapolitan at Easter. Every year, before Easter, the family get together to make this delicious, amazing savory bread…..lets say “its a family affair”. The day after Easter in Italy we go at the beach or at the park for a nice “scampagnata” with friends andwe bring the leftover Tortano with other food of course and we all eat together. Food brings people together.

Tortano or Casatiello is a savory bread stuffed with cheese, salami, mortadella, prosciutto and boiled eggs, you are suppose to eat it atEster but its great for any occasion in fact, 11 years ago,my auntmade this delicious savory bread for my husband when we were there in the summer and he fall in love.

Its not difficult to make this amazing bread if you follow this recipe, the only thing that I…

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Rainy Day Soup/Pasta and Potatoes soup

Pasta and Potatoes soup is a typical dish that comes from my parents hometown Naples. It’s a simple dish that uses basic ingredients and belong to a poor and humble tradition. It’s a very starchy soup and I considered a comfort food!

I was born in Naples but I grew up in North Italy, my mom used to make this dish a lot especially when it was rainy and cold outside! She used to say ” well today it’s raining so it’s a perfect day for pasta and potatoes”.

When I moved to Vancouver I started to cook by myself for my husband trying to offer him all the amazing dishes that my mom taught me. The weather was rainy every day so for a week, every day, we had Pasta and Potatoes soup. At the 6th day my husband asked me ” Can you please tell me why you make this soup everyday? It’s very delicious BUT every day? ” Well, I replied, my mom used to make this dish when it was raining so I would love to keep the same tradition”

He was laughing so hard, of course, because Vancouver it’s a rainy city and it  does rain a lot, all the time so it can be Pasta and Potatoes soup every day. Back then I didn’t know the weather situation here. Now my husband tells this story to everybody, to all my friends. Actually, when I did my audition for Master Chef Canada, he did suggest I bring Pasta and potatoes….. I should have done that.

Now here is the recipe that you can make today, that is a rainy day, or any other day that you need comfort food. It’s incredibly good, creamy and it will warm your heart.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 200 grams of pasta small cut like ditalini, small shells or broken spaghetti 
  • 500 grams potatoes cut in small pieces 
  • 50 grams pancetta or bacon ( if you don’t like it it’s ok)
  • Soffritto( carrots, onion and celery chopped fine)
  • 1 tomato cut in pieces 
  • 1 bouillon 
  • 5 tablespoons of oil
  • Parmesan Crust ( if you don’t have it it’s ok)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

Cut the celery, onion and carrot in small pieces.

  • Put them in a pan whit some oil and let them stir fry for few minutes.
  • Cut the potatoes in cubes, not too small, and add them to the vegetables.
  • Stir fry everything for a minute, now you can water! The water has to cover all the vegetables. Add the tomato and a bouillon. Cook everything on a medium high heat and when it does start to boil low the temperature down on a low heat and cover with a lid. The potatoes has to cook slowly for 30 minutes or more. Sometimes gently stir the potatoes. 
  • After that you can add the pasta and the Parmesan Crust, if you need you can add another glass of water and cook everything in low medium without lid! The water need to dry out and become a nice cream.
  • When it’s ready add a drizzle of oil and serve with Parmesan cheese! 
  • Buon appetito 


Tomato Sauce

 

Tomato sauce (sugo al pomodoro) is an Italian classic and there is nothing better than to prepare it yourself (the one that you buy at the supermarket is miles away from matching this homemade sauce). The recipe is easy, the ingredients are extremely easy to find and it is also very cheap to make.

Ingredients:

  • 800 ml Peeled Tomatoes
  • 40 grams Onion (finely chopped) or 2 gloves of garlic
  • 40 ml Extra virgin olive oil (plus splash to complete the sauce at the end)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Few basil leaves
  • Salt for seasoning
  • A sprinkle of love

Method:

  • Chop the onion; put the oil in a sauce pan. Heat the oil and then add the onions.
  • Sweat off the onion over medium heat, until it colors {2/3 minutes}
  • Add the tomatoes, stir well.
  • Cover the pan, lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes, after that add the sugar! Give it a good stir and let it cook for 20/30 minutes and the sauce is thick.
  • 10 minutes before to finish put the salt, amount that you like and at the end the basil.
  • Buon Appetito

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Orange Cake

I fall in love with this cake! I had a cooking class over Spring Break and I decided to make this delicious cake with the girls. The result was amazing, the house smelled  divine and the cake tasted really good even the day after. We had it for breakfast and it was very satisfactory.

Try to make it maybe with your kids or your friends, don’t forget to build some precious moments in the kitchen and most important don’t forget THE SPRINKLE OF LOVE.

Ingredients:

  • 80 grams butter room temperature
    270 grams flour
    3 eggs room temperature
    125 grams sugar
    180 grams orange juice
    10 grams baking power
    Orange zest of  2 orange
    A sprinkle of love

Method:

Mix the dry ingredients.
Take 2 orange and peel of the zest after that squeeze out the juice.
In a bowl put the butter and the sugar and with a mixer mix until is nice and smooth! Add one at the time the eggs and the orange zest and the flour! When the cake batter absorbed all the flour add the orange juice.
Mix, put it in a baking pan previously buttered and cook it at 340 for 30/35 minutes!
Buon Appetito

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