Caponata di sedano – celery caponata

Caponata di sedano

Celery is one of the main ingredients in the classic summer aubergine caponata.  Few days ago, I thought of making it the protagonist, foregoing the aubergines (not in season now, of course) and the result was excellent

Please read my post on caponata first. This is just a note to myself, not to forget this dish

First I made the sauce from my caponata recipe.
Meanwhile I stringed a large bunch of celery (whichI  had placed in cold water for few hrs).  I then cut it up in thickish slices.

When the sauce had simmered for about twenty minutes, I added the celery and let it cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

The caponata di sedano was rested for 24 hrs and eaten the following days. Delicious.

 

 

Torta di grano saraceno trentina – buckwheat cake from Trentino Alto Adige

Torta di grano saraceno - buckwheat cake

Trentino Alto Adige is a strange corner of Italy: more Heidi’s playground than your typical sea & sun postcard from Italy. On the north-east border with Austria, its gorgeous Alpine scenery, flower-festooned wooden houses and German street signs give its past away: Trentino was part of the the Austrian-Empire, from the early 19th century to just after the first world war.  This is reflected in its food: gulasch suppe,  sauerkraut, apple strudel are common  dishes.
Torta di grano saraceno is one of the most famous cakes from the area, a buckwheat and nut sponge cake, generally filled with a sharp berry jam (blueberry, black currant or raspberry jam). Continue reading

My Castagnaccio ricco – chestnut pudding

castagnaccio

 

Castagnaccio is one of the oldest sweet dishes in the Italian repertoire: chestnut flour whisked with water and a little olive oil, a few needles of rosemary for perfume, then baked until it turns into a sort of cake, a true poor people’s dessert in this most basic version. Chestnut flour is sweet and this makes adding sugar to the batter unnecessary. For greater extravagance, you could add pinenuts, walnuts and sultanas.
In Italy, well until the second world war, chestnuts were regarded as an important, cheap but nutritious food for a large section of the population – if you were poor,  meat was an occasional luxury and  beans and chestnuts were more likely to be part of your diet.

Truth be told, the castagnaccio you see in most bakeries now can be the stuff of nightmares: stodgy, to say the least, Continue reading