Dough

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Usually Livio prepares the pizza dough but this time I thought I’d give it a try and we were so impressed by the result. Perfect, it was just perfect. Well done girl!
There are a few things I learned while looking at him, such as:
– the dough needs a little bit of sugar and a little bit of salt
– you don’t need to overwork the dough because you want it to be elastic (so it’s easier to stretch out)
– fresh yeast is a must
– believe it or not, all you need is half of the yeast (about 12g) because you want your pizza to be digestible
– you need to use your hands in order to work the dough

So I followed his recipe and was able to prepare the dough in about 15 minutes.
Here it is, simple and lovely.

Pizza dough
for 2 pizzas and 1 calzone

600g flour (00 type)
2 glasses of warm water
12g fresh yeast
1 level tsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
plus extra warm water if needed

Ok so you have the 2 glasses of warm water in front of you. Crumble the yeast in one of the 2 glasses and mix it with 1 level teaspoonful of sugar. Now add the 2 tbsp of olive oil in the other glass and mix them with 1 tbsp of salt.
Pour a little bit of the warm water (the one with the yeast…) in a large bowl and add some flour. You have to add a little bit of the water and a little bit of the flour until you start feeling the dough.
When you have finished with the water-yeast-sugar you can start adding the water-oil-salt liquid to your dough. Work it with your hands inside the bowl and you shall stop when the dough is not too wet not too dry. Just moist.
Make a ball out of the dough and transfer it on a lightly floured surface. Use your hand to work the dough a little bit more, about 2-3 minutes and transfer it back into the bowl. With the help of a knife cut a cross on the top of the dough and sprinkle with some flour. Cover with a cloth and leave to rest in a warm room for about 3 hours or until the dough doubles its size.

Now, we usually work the dough a second time but if you are in a hurry you can start preparing the pizzas at this time. For those who are Not in a hurry all you need to do is take the dough out of the bowl, place it on a lightly floured surface and work it again for just 2-3 minutes. Put it back in the bowl, cover it and leave it to rest for another hour.
This will make your dough even lighter and delicious.

These were our choices for the pizzas: one Margherita, one Calzone and one white pizza with mozzarella and pachino tomatoes.

Happily ever after.

frittata with burnt tomatoes

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Winter is almost gone and spring is already in the air, the light is different today and for the first time this year I was able to keep the windows open and let the light come in.
Spring makes me think of pink and orange, of light dresses and a gentle wind, of weekends drinking punch by the lake and dinners with friends at 7pm, because you don’t want to miss the sweet evening light.
I like all seasons but this one fills my heart with joy: beginning of spring.

So while it’s almost time to say goodbye to winter I sat down for lunch and enjoyed a good frittata with burnt tomatoes (love them so much).
Perfect for a bright day like this one, when all you think about is summer.

listening to this song
falling in love with this instagram
reading this book
craving this sherbet
learning from this film

Frittata with burnt tomatoes
This is a very easy recipe and I just used the ingredients I had in my kitchen but feel free to add basil, onions or cheese if you like.

ingredients
2 fresh eggs
extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cherry tomatoes
pinch of salt

Heat 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes cut in half. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until almost burnt on one side, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and pour in the pan. Beautiful. Now cook both sides of the frittata and enjoy with a glass of red wine and a piece of white pizza.

February | Salmon

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I will never get tired of mountains.

For the salmon: place salmon on parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Cook at 200° for half an hour (can you believe it).

For the peas: place a pan over low heat, fry onions with olive oil, add the peas, cover all with water and add some salt. Cook until most of the water is absorbed (about 40/50 minutes).

*salmon is so incredibly easy to cook I couldn’t believe my eyes

Torta ricotta e limone

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On the day I baked this cake the weather was cold and windy and all I felt like doing included lemons and ricotta.
We often have fresh ricotta cheese at home and I believe that lemons and ricotta are a perfect match, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s summer or winter, a lemon and ricotta cake will always make you happy.
I didn’t have a good recipe or at least one that I was satisfied with, so I searched through my favorite food blogs and found it on eatinmykitchen, it was just perfect.
I like the english word ‘cake’, but my heart goes crazy when I hear the italian words ‘torta’ (cake) and ‘crostata’ (tart). Torta alle mele (apple cake), torta al cioccolato (chocolate cake), crostata di albicocche (apricot tart), these words are my childhood and I will always have a big smile on my face when I think of them.
Just like the feeling I got when I read this lovely recipe.

Serein (n.)
the fine, light rain that falls from a clear sky
at sunset or in the early hours of night; evening serenity

Torta ricotta e limone (Lemon and ricotta cake)
for a 20cm / 8″ cake pan

For the cake
200g plain flour
80g soft butter
150g sugar
80g fresh ricotta (or good quality)
3 organic eggs, separated
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C (fan-assisted oven) and butter the cake pan.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff. Combine the flour and baking powder.

Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy, add the ricotta and mix for a couple minutes. Add the egg yolks and continue mixing for 2 minutes. While still mixing, add the lemon juice and zest followed by the dry ingredients, mixing well for another minute. Stir 2 tablespoons of the stiff egg whites into the dough before you carefully fold in all of the egg whites.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool and dust with icing sugar.

Pigneto Food Market

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On sunday we went to Rome because of the Pigneto Food Market.
A lovely place with food to eat, buy and try.
There was an ‘Ape’ (italian for ‘bee’, the iconic three-wheeled vehicle) that served only fried food or as we italian call it Fritto al cartoccio, a greesy brown paper filled with fried things.
So that’s what we had as a starter, then we moved inside and lined up for pasta, handmade fettuccine with ragù sauce.
These two lovely ladies were the ones making the pasta, so adorable.

Pasta and a red glass of Montepulciano to end a beautiful day, in Rome.

Food to remember:
Pizza & Mortazza
Apefritto
Fonderia

North California pt.2 – San Francisco

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Listening to Shelter from the storm, Bob Dylan and thinking about beautiful San Francisco. I couldn’t believe my eyes, such a unique city and full of life.
We walked for hours along the never ending hills and fell in love with every little house, blue ones, yellow ones, pink ones.

Drove from San Diego to San Francisco and watched a magical sunrise

Held the map so tight, because of all the excitement

Arrived in San Fran and walked from the house to Haight Street, first stop: Wasteland and didn’t want to leave the shoes section

Had a burger at Sparrow Bar and Kitchen and it was a good one with lots of cute little chips

Woke up with flowers in my hair and a huge craving for breakfast

So we sat down at Boulangerie in Pine Street and woke up to a good cup of tea and french sweets

Seriously, can’t stop thinking about all the beautiful houses

Dinner was booked at Flour + Water and it was so romantic. Pasta, red wine and my man with his beautiful blue eyes

Our last day in San Fran was all about bookstores, Aesop, record stores (Rooky Ricardo’s Records) and a walk around the Marina District

Our last dinner was pizza at Pizzeria Delfina and icecream at Bi Rite Creamery, can’t even remember the icecream flavours we had because we were so busy being happy

South California pt. 1 – The sky is blue

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Over Christmas me and Livio went for a one month holiday to California and visited my family. We arrived in San Diego, then went for a couple of days to Las Vegas (what a crazy place by the way) and then had our little on the road trip to San Francisco. Magical, magical city.
We got what we wanted from this holiday – adventure, waves and peace. Plus barbecues that made us totally forget about winter.
Speaking of food, we are so bad every time we travel we go looking for good italian places to eat. But that’s us, we love our cucina and we were able to find some nice spots.

For pasta and dessert, Parma Cucina Italiana
For pizza, Buona Forchetta
For ice cream, Bobboi

We shopped all around but the one store that stole my heart was Anthropologie and I would suggest just walking around La Jolla and PB if you’re looking for cute surf stores.

favorite place in san diego: Pacific Beach
nothing but the ocean and some crazy kids with salty hair

A molten chocolate cake and a plane ticket

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So it seems like we’ll be leaving for a one month holiday tomorrow.
Destination: California, baby.
Isn’t Christmas the best time of the year? We just love it. All of the lights and family moments and Christmas trees and food and sweets everywhere. And talking about sweets, when dessert is made out of chocolate who isn’t happy? And here’s the molten chocolate cake recipe by Martha Stewart, it’s so simple, seriously it took us a half an hour all together to bake these sweethearts. And they’re irresistible, when you put them in the oven the house immediately gets filled up with The Chocolate Scent and nothing can stop you from trying them.

Molten Chocolate Cakes
makes 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
220g bittersweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 200°. Butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside. Now cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. These babies are very rich in chocolate, we just ate them without adding anything but you can serve them with whipped cream or ice cream if you like.

And now, America.

Chocolate Victoria Sponge Cake

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Our special friend Giorgio turned 39 a few days ago and asked for a cake, I remember the only thing he said was ‘as long as it has chocolate’. So we searched through our recipes but no cake felt right for the occasion, except for the perfect birthday cake we found on the beautiful Hugo & Elsa. It’s a Chocolate Victoria Sponge with chocolate ganache. So did we answer to the chocolate request? I think so.

We followed this ganache recipe and used bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao) but feel free to use the type of chocolate you like.
The cake was just the perfect ending to the birthday dinner and even better for breakfast the day after. Milk and chocolate cake is still our favorite sweet breakfast.

Again, happy birthday Giorgio.

Chocolate Victoria Sponge Cake

For the cake
75g butter, softened
275g castor sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
240g all purpose flour + 3 tsp baking powder
40g dark cocoa powder
3 teaspoons of milk

For the ganache
250ml cream
250g bittersweet chocolate, chopped  into fine pieces

Preheat oven to 180°C

Grease and line two 20 cm sandwich cake tins (or one 25cm tin).
Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure they are well combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift flour and cocoa together.
Reduce mixer speed and add 1/3 of the flour mix and combine, add the reminder of the flour then the milk.  Mix until just combined, but don’t over work the mixture.
Divide mixture between the two tins (or pour in the 25cm tin) and bake for about 30 minutes.
Leave to cool in the cake tin for a while, before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely then ice however you fancy.

The ganache
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream, it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot.
Turn off the flame and remove the cream from the stove. Scoop the chocolate into the cream. Stir gently to distribute the chocolate through the cream and then let it sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to soften and melt.
With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the ganache. At first it might look spotty and broken but keep stirring until it comes together in a creamy mass.

Cool the ganache until it is thick, but still soft, and then beat in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer, until the ganache is fluffy and has lightened in color, about 1 or 2 minutes.