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Showing posts from June, 2016

Sicilian Pumpkin Soup (Pizzuliati)

Having married into a Sicilian family, I have indulged in some gastronomic delights that have tantalized my taste buds but none have intrigued me more than this soup my mother in law introduced me to.  This peasant hearty pumpkin soup has become a favourite in our family and I would love to know if anyone else outside our family has made one similar.  It uses four main ingredients and there really isn't a strict recipe to follow in terms of quantities as it can be adjusted to suit your own taste and needs. 
Our mothers cooked using informal measuring units, so this recipe has been re created in the same manner.  Over time I have increased or decreased the individual ingredients depending on what I had on hand, but always kept to at least the three main ingredients - pumpkin, ricotta and sun dried tomatoes. I have also made it without the hand formed semolina pasta of which this recipe takes its name from - pizzuliati.  You can use risoni pasta.  More about this hand made pasta late…

Apricot & Almond Tea Cake (torta di albicocche e mandorle)

Apricots are one of my favourite stone fruits during summer and although here in Australia they are not in season at the moment,  there are a few bottled and tucked away in my pantry waiting to be eaten. Mamma usually bottles a few at the end of the season when we have had a good haul and always gives us a few jars and does the same with their peaches.
This cold weather in Melbourne has called for some baking. I made this apricot and flaked almond tea cake, which is as thin as a flan base allowing the halved apricots to just pop their little heads through.  This means you can have a larger slice and enjoy more apricots and not feel guilty.  I often use this cake recipe when I want to bake a light tea cake with either cinnamon or in this case with preserved fruits.  
I posted this image on Instagram and have had a few asking for the recipe of both the cake or wanting to know the process of preserving or bottling the apricots.  I am not the expert on bottling fruit as Mamma has always don…

Panzerotti /Tortelli di Castagne & Cioccolato (Chestnut & chocolate filled morsels)

When I think of chestnuts, I reminisce about my birth town - Domodossola, where I was first introduced to this distinctive flavoured nut.  We were fortunate to live close to Sacro Monte Calvario, a mountain lined with chestnut trees. My mother cooked many dishes which used this flavorsome nut, especially sweets such as these panzerotti di castagne & cioccolato.  Withthis sweet mamma has more recently substituted the chestnut filling with chickpeas as they are readily available all year round and knowing that my papa`enjoys this sweetmade frequently.

Chestnut season is a favourite for our whole family and we are of the belief that if you've never had a freshly roasted chestnut you haven't lived. We often visit Daylesford in country Victoria around autumn to purchase them fresh and enjoy them roasted at the farmers markets.

This recipe is a variation of panzerotti / tortelli di ceci which I have shared previously with you.  The filling is more delicate in texture and lighter t…