Bigoli in Salsa

For this dish, the pasta is all important. Originally made with duck eggs and buckwheat flour (these days, wholewheat flour and chicken eggs), Why is the pasta so important? Every pasta in Italy is shaped to serve a purpose, and in this case the pasta has a spaghetti-like length Final Touches Are Put  To Boats And Costumes A...and shape, but with a coarse rather than smooth exterior. The texture of this pasta allows more sauce to ‘stick’ to the pasta, so the pasta is generally used when you have a pasta sauce with a gravy-like consistency. The following recipe come from Vini da Gigio ....but this is another story....

Ingredients (serves 2) 250g Bigoli pasta 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 8 anchovy fillets or Sarde 1 medium red onion, chopped finely 1 good bunch of Italian parsley, chopped finely Salt and pepper

Directions 1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta. Add a tablespoon of good salt. 2. In a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, add the olive oil, the anchovies and the onion. 3. Stir the mix, helping to break down the anchovies. This should take around 10 minutes. 4. When you have a thick gravy, the sauce is ready, so put your pasta on. 5. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix through most of the parsley and serve. Add a little parsley on top to make it pretty. Season and add more olive oil if you wish and enjoy with a medium to full bodied white wine.

Venetian Fritole Recipe

These Frittole, Fritole or fritters are a speciality of the Veneto during Carnevale. Be warned, they are addictive! An alternative to cooking them at home...if you are in Venice is here!

Between Candlemas (2nd of February) and Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday) the Venetians celebrate Carnevale. The festivities are not the drunken bashes associated with Mardi Gras. The focus is on the beautiful costumes that recall the history of Venice. There are many costumes that would be considered performance art.

This is one of my favourite dolci recipes. The fritole are much more than a donut or a simple fritter.

Venetian Frittole Recipe
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups + 2/3 cup milk
  • l tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 ounce yeast (1-1/2 cakes)
  • 1 tsp + 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup grappa (substitute rum if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • cooking oil for deep frying
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Soak the raisins in the grappa.
  2. Break up the yeast in the 1/4 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and set aside. If the yeast is fresh, bubbles should begin to form immediately.
  3. Put the sifted flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix in 1 1/4 cups milk.
  4. Add the egg and mix well.
  5. While stirring, add the yeast-water mixture and an additional 2/3 cup milk.
  6. Continue stirring until smooth. This should be a very thick, doughy batter.
  7. Bubbles will start to form within the batter.
  8. Add the raisins, pine seeds, and remaining grappa and mix well.
  9. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place it in a warm, draft free spot.
  10. Allow the batter to rise for about 3 hours.
  11. Fill a deep fryer or a saucepan half full of good cooking oil. Heat the oil to 375F.
  12. Wet a tablespoon with cold water. Scoop up the batter, and with a moistened a thumb, push the batter off the spoon into the hot oil (Be careful of the oil. By dropping the batter in close to the surface you will prevent splashing.)
  13. Repeat with 4 or 5 more spoonfuls of batter. Cook the fritter until it has an even deep golden brown color, turning it once or twice during cooking. The fritters should not be too big.
  14. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Cut open this test fritter to make sure that it is cooked through. If so, proceed as described above for the remaining batter, cooking 4 or 5 fritters at a time.
  15. When the fritters have cooled, roll them in powdered sugar and place on a platter.

Saffron Buns

Saffron BunsThis blog is about Venice and Photography not Scandinavia....but I think that due to the connection between St Lucy and Venice this recipe is a must!

The secret to making these mildly sweet pastries—based on a recipe given to us by Gunilla von Heland, a food editor in Stockholm—is to steep the saffron in hot milk before incorporating it.
 

 

MAKES 32 BUNS

INGREDIENTS

2 1?4-oz. packages active dry yeast 2 cups milk, heated to 115° 2 tsp. saffron, lightly crushed 3?4 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar 6 1?2 cups flour 3?4 tsp. kosher salt 3 eggs 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1?2" cubes, softened Canola oil, for greasing 64 raisins, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together yeast, milk, saffron, and 1 tsp. sugar; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining sugar, along with the flour, salt, and 2 eggs. Mix on low speed until dough forms and gathers around the paddle. Replace paddle with dough hook and add butter; knead on medium-high speed until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, 8 minutes. Transfer dough to a large bowl greased with oil and cover with plastic wrap; let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 32 pieces and roll each piece into an 8"-long rope. Form each rope into an S shape and then roll each end into a tight spiral.  Place shaped dough pieces 2" apart on parchment paper–lined baking sheets; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 400°. Uncover the dough pieces and place a raisin at the center of each of the spirals. Lightly beat remaining egg with 1 tbsp. water and brush each bun with egg mixture. Bake until buns are golden brown and cooked through, 16 minutes. Transfer buns to a wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.