Local Favorite :
You need :
24 mozzarella ciliegine, 2 eggs, 1 manciata di farina, breadcrumbs, and frying oil
Take the Ciliegine Mozzarellas and wipe dry with absorbing kitchen paper roll, then roll them in the flour and then roll in the egg yolk, then roll in the bread crumbs, then once again in the egg yolk and then another time in the bread crumbs, so you will have a really nice wrapping layer around it, once ready drop it in a high temperature frying oil for few minutes .
Dry with absorbent paper roll and that is it.
To be served very hot and enjoy the melted creamy filling.
Melanzane alla Parmigiana
You need :
1kg aubergine, sliced thinly lengthways
5 tablespoons olive oil
400g freshly grated mozzarella cheese
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of gralic, peeled
fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional: 1⁄2 a wine glass of red or white wine
2 x 400g tins good-quality chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 organic vegetable stock cube
Place a layer of aubergine slices on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and cover with kitchen paper. Continue with another layer on top until you have used up all the aubergine slices, finishing with kitchen paper. Weigh the aubergines down using something heavy, like a saucepan filled with water, and leave for 30 minutes so that the aubergine can release its bitter juices.
While the aubergines are realeasing their bitter juices make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion for about 4 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for 30 seconds; be careful not to let it burn. Pour in the wine, if using, and keep stirring for 2 minutes. The aim is to burn off the alcohol, leaving just a hint of the lovely wine flavour.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, cayenne pepper and stock cube. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas 4.
Brush each aubergine slice with a little oil and heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the aubergine, a few slices at a time, until cooked through and golden on both sides. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed. Place the aubergine on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
Cover the bottom of a 30cm x 20cm baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Top with a layer of aubergine and lightly spread with 4 tablespoons of sauce. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat these layers (aubergine, sauce, mozaralla, and Parmesan) until you have used all the aubergine, finishing with a layer of sauce and Parmesan (no mozzarella).
Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
TIP: To make this dish quicker to assemble, we like to prepare our aubergines and fry them the day before as well as the tomato sauce, so that when it comes to cook the dish, all you have to do is layer it up.
You need :
2 pounds fresh, whole milk ricotta
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup candied fruit with citron and angelica if possible
1 (10-inch) pre-baked sponge cake (homemade or store bought, pound cake may be used)
Optional: green marzipan for covering the finished cassata
Place the ricotta into a fine mesh sieve and nestle this over a bowl, place into the refrigerator overnight to allow the excess moisture to drain out before proceeding with the cassata recipe.
Place the ricotta into the bowl of a mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until the curds smooth out. Mix the drained and beaten ricotta with 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, chocolate chips and half the candied fruit. Set aside.
Lightly oil a 10-inch springform pan with canola oil. Slice the sponge cake very thinly so that the springform may be lined with it in an even layer. Line the sides and bottom of the pan with the sponge cake. Pour the ricotta filling into the cake-lined pan. Place a final layer of cake over the ricotta filling; this now creates the bottom to the cassata. Before serving, the cassata will be inverted onto this cake bottom. Refrigerate the cassata overnight to firm the filling.
Invert the springform pan on a wide platter. Open the hinge and remove the springform sides and bottom.
The cassata may now be finished by either covering with a heavy coating of the remaining powdered sugar or may be coated with a thin layer of green marzipan. Either way, the remaining candied fruits should be used to decorate the finished cassata. Slice thinly and serve.