Christmas Greetings from the lagoon!
Dear friends, here we are again at the end of another year. 2022 has been challenging and wonderful, a year full of joys and sorrows, highs and lows... an intense year and I am grateful for everything.
Here in the lagoon everything has gone back to normality (or kind of), and we have had some great art exhibitions and cultural events. As for myself, I have tried to see as much as I could and I have also tried to spend as much time as possible in nature, especially the islands in the north lagoon.
As some of you may remember, I have fallen completely in love with Torcello and I have been lucky enough to go there when it was practically empty, just me, the rooster and the magical light bouncing against the soft waves of the lagoon.
Not to mention the gorgeous clouds and the relaxing sounds of the singing of the birds and of the leaves and grass moved by the wind. I hope you too have been able to enjoy moments like this.
Unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to write on the blog, but after so many years I really wanted to send you my warmest Christmas wishes.
My small gift for you are three simple recipes ...
GREEN TORTELLI WITH SPINACH AND RICOTTA
Ingredients: -for the dough 250 gr flour + flour at hand 2 free range eggs 80 gr pre-boiled spinach
3 gr salt
- filling of your choice (I used the rest of the pre-boiled spinach and ricotta)
Pre-boil the spinach, drain, remove excess water. and blend until its nice and smooth. Let cool.
Create a well with the flour, break the two eggs in the middle, add the salt and with a fork start incorporating the eggs to the flour. Add the spinach, continue incorporating with the fingers of your right hand and start kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes, keep flouring your working surface and add flour to the dough if if needed. Shape a ball, cover with a piece of cloth and let rest for about half an hour.
When the time has passed, flour your working surface and start rolling out the dough. When it's nice and thin, use a pasta cutter and make the base of your tortelli. Add about a third teaspoon of filling in the middle, gently fold over, press the sides down to seal it well and with your thumb and index finger gently take the sides and bring them together. Press to close.
To cook it, bring a pot of water to the boil, add sea salt and the pasta. The pasta is ready after 2 minutes from when it comes to surface. Remove with a strainer and pass them in the pan with the sauce or condiment of your choice. I passed them in the pan with my lemon and olive oil emulsion, capers and breadcrumbs.
SHORTCRUST COOKIES WITH DRIED FRUIT*
The quantities vary depending from the size of your baking pan.
The base for the cookies is with shortcrust pastry, which should be baked at 180° for half of its required time (it should remain soft).
In a pot, combine in equal parts butter and honey and bring to the boil.
Add dried fruit of your choice (for example, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, raisins, candied orange zests or ginger, etc.) stir and pour over the shortcrust pastry, then bake at 220° until it caramelizes.
Cut into small squares as soon as you remove the baking tin from the oven.
*Recipe courtesy of Pastry Chef Stefano of the Emilio-Colussi bakery.
MASCARPONE AND SPICY MOSTARDA
The easiest and tastiest recipe for this Christmas period is mascarpone and mostarda. Typical in the Veneto region, you just scoop some mascarpone cheese into a cup and top it with some spicy Venetian mostarda. Normally served with baicoli cookies, but you can use any dry cookie of your choice of add some crumbles to make it soft and crunchy.
CHRISTMAS & HAPPY