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Showing posts from February, 2014

Panzerotti / Tortelli di Ceci (Chickpeas)

As mentioned in my previous post, Found Treasure- La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, I came across a few recipes that have remained in our family for several generations.  Panzerotti is a sweet that was traditionally prepared around Lent.  A puree of chickpeas (ceci) is used as a filling, flavoured with vino cotto (wine must), sugar, liquor of choice and chocolate.  You would not know that the base ingredient was chickpeas due to the added flavours.  The pastry casing is sweet and made in the same manner as you would pasta sheets.  My mother would sometimes substitute the chickpeas with chestnuts, but as this is another favourite dish of my father, it appears at every festive season using chickpeas all year round.  
When we lived in Domodossola, in the north of Italy we would go chestnut picking during autumn in Val Vigezzo - Santa Maria Maggiore.  The chestnut season was a family favourite. My childhood memories comprise of family picnics and days spent gathering chest…

Found Treasure - La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene by Pellegrino Artusi

I had the pleasure of viewing 'Italy Unpacked',the BBC Series which was broadcast last night for the first time.  It is a series about Italian art and cooking - what two better visual delights can you have coming together than this!
Andrew Graham - Dixon a historian and chef Giorgio Locatelli both from the UK explore the country's history, culture, food and of course the beautiful landscape.  In this episode they visited the regions of Emilia - Romagna, Lombardy and Piedmont - where I was born.
This post is by no means a review of the program, but I must say I was delighted to have watched it for its visual beauty and the nostalgic link to my birth country.
What made it even more exciting was hearing about the very first cook book written in Italy around the 1800's - La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, written by Pellegrino Artusi. Which translates as The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well.

Artusi was an Italian banker and businessman, but his pa…