Well it’s that time of year again and this week I thought I would share a little bit of Italian Easter with you. Easter Eggs are not an Italian tradition, but giving cakes is… great news eh and we have been putting some great recipe’s to the test in my cookery school. The Easter recipes across Italy are diverse, reflection regional differences and often originating from religious and even pagan influences. Each family in every region puts their spin on recipes, and of course the local produce often dictates the variation. There will be cenci with friends at a festival, casatiello bread, roast lamb, fresh fish and crisp new spring vegtables like beans, asparagus and fried artichokes. For the children there are chocolate and the family dinner is often finished with sweet bread studded with pretty coloured eggs.
In Italy, Easter is a major celebration full of colour, pageants excitement and food, you might not see the Easter Bunny but it is all about colourful parades in every town and village. In Italy for many celebrations begin on ‘fat thursday’ Giovedi Grasso.
I have shared below a wonderful recipe for Curly Easter Biscuits made famous by the novel The Leopard by Giuseepe Tomas Di Lampedusa, it is so simple and tasty and will really bring the spirit of Easter into your home this weekend.
In other news I was delighted to feature in the Irish Times Supplement on cooking for crowds, putting the ‘happy’ into the family ocassion on and those key ingredients for special meals and I yes it is true that the best house parties have relaxed hosts. If you would like the recipes please see the links attached and do enjoy the articles..many thanks to Sheila Wayman and The Irish Times.
http://bit.ly/1FkvLYD Crowd pleasing recipe’s
Key Ingredients for Special Meals http://bit.ly/1Gj3GlM
Putting the ‘Happy’ into Family Parties http://bit.ly/19K2V8M
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter !!!
Curly Easter Biscuits
BISCOTTI PASQUALI ARRICCIATI / MAKES 24
These curly biscuits were made famous by the novel The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
They are mainly found during the Easter holiday in the Agrigento area of Sicily, so now there are two great reasons to visit this breathtaking area: to see the Valley of the Seven Temples and to enjoy these delicious curly biscuits.
250g whole skinned almonds
2 egg whites
100g golden caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
2 Place the almonds into a food processor or blender. Process until they still have some texture, yet are small enough to be piped. They must not be too fine.
3 Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and then add the sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon.
Carefully fold the almonds into the egg whites with a metal spoon.
4 Insert a large, wide star nozzle into a piping bag and spoon in the biscuit mixture. Pipe S-shaped biscuits onto the lined trays.
5 Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Leave on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.