Rigatoni Baked with Mozzarella Ricotta

 

Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta
 
 
and Mozzarella
 
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CHEF DON ALFONSO
 
of DON ALFONSO 1890
 
Goes to his Freinds Ristorante in NAPOLI
 
And Eats RIGATONI al FORNO
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RIGATONI al FORNO
 
 
 
 
 
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SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
SECRET ITALIAN RECIPES
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Muffuletta Sandwich on Muffoletta Bread

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A Muffoletta Loaf
 
 
Brief History of The Bread.
 
Muffoletta bread refers to a special kind of bread.  The bread originated in Sicily hundreds of years ago.  The bread has a unique shape, with a softer crust and denser interior than most Italian bread.  Its form and texture make it ideal for filling and for sandwiches.
 
Because it is unique, the muffoletta bread is often difficult to find, and many bakers use the muffoletta name for bread that is not made in accordance with the authentic recipe.

Sicilian Roots

 
Authentic muffoletta bread originated in Sicily hundreds of years ago.  Ingredients include the standard ones for making Italian bread:  flour, water, yeast, salt, shortening and sugar, plus fennel or sesame seeds for the top. 

Shape and form

The authentic muffoletta bread from Sicily is baked with a softer crust and a denser interioir than ‘normal’ Italian loaves.  Its shape is round (about 10″ diameter) and lower in height than ‘normal’ loaves.  Fennel or sesame seeds usually top the loaves.  (Fennel seeds often top the muffoletta loaf in Sicily, where the bread was invented, while sesame seeds usually top the muffoletta in the U.S.) 
The authentic muffoletta is a pure bread.  That is, the ingredients consist only of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, shortening and (for the top) fennel or sesame seeds.  The bread’s ingredients do not include hard wheat, brown flour, olives, rosemary or any of the other exotic additions often added by many artisan bakers.

Note: Traditional French and Italian breads are made with the identical ingredients in essentially the same way. The major difference between them is their shape: French bread tends to a long and round shape, like the baguette, while Italian tends to a round and thick shape, like the ciobatta.

Like all great breads, the muffoletta should be enjoyed and eaten on the same day it is baked.  The flavor peaks within a few hours if not minutes after being removed from the oven.  The texture of the bread reflects the warmth with a soft exterior which contrasts with the dense interior.
 

Shaped for Filling

 
The shape of the muffoletta bread makes it ideal for stuffing.  The bread is round, thin and dense. 
In Sicily, residents fill the bread with cheese, fish or meat.  In New Orleans, Sicilian immigrants in 1906 created the famous sandwich with the bread, filling it with olive salad, meats and cheeses.  Because the bread is so dense, it absorbs the oil in the olive salad.  As a result, the sandwich retains the liquid ingredients without leaking.  Most Italian loaves lack the density to absorb the olive salad.
 
 
 
 
MUFFULETTAmeANdMY2008
The Famous MUFFULETTA SANDWICH
 
of NEW ORLEANS
 
Filled with Salami, Cheese, Mortadella, and Olive Salad
 
This is 1/4 of a MUFFULETTA SANDWICH
 
at The CENTRAL GROCERY Where This Sandwich was Invented
 
By S. LUPO a SICILIAAN IMMIGRANT o NEW ORLEANS
 
Back around 1906
 
 
 

Unlike other Italian Bread

For customers in many parts of the world, including the U.S., the surface and texture of the original muffoletta bread are unusual.  The exterior is softer and its interior is denser than customers expect.  Therefore, bakers today often use a different recipe to make a loaf which they call a muffoletta but which does not have the characteristic exterior or interior.  Most so-called muffoletta recipes produce a harder crust and lighter interior than the softer, denser original.
 
 
 
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A LOAF of SICILIAN MUFFOLETTA
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GRANDMA BELLINO’S COOKBOOK
 
 
RECCIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA
 
DANIEL BELLINO “Z”
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The SANDWICH
 
 
The authentic muffoletta sandwich from New Orleans requires the original ingredient:  the authentic muffoletta bread (see above);  the authentic muffoletta olive salad (see above);  mortadella (the Italian sausage);  cappicola (the Italian ham);  salami (the hard Genoa salami);  provolone (the Italian hard cheese);  and emmanetaler (the hard Swiss cheese).
 
The original sandwich was constructed so that the bread retains all the fillings for several hours without leaking. 

Recall the history:  the Central Grocery made the sandwiches very early in the morning.  The Sicilian farmers in New Orleans purchased the sandwiches to eat at mid-day.  Because the muffoletta bread is dense, the bread absorbed the olive oil and did not leak.  In addition, because the sandwich was not eaten for several hours, the many flavors of the salad, meats and cheeses melded together and grew complex.

As for the salad, hundreds of recipes for the muffoletta sandwich can be found on the Internet.  However, a review of many of the recipes shows that few of them are authentic.  Many include non-traditional ingredients, like lettuce, tomatoes and mayonaisse.  The key to the muffoletta sandwich is simplicity of ingredients, whichi produce a complexity of textures and flavors.
 
 
 
 
 
Inside a CENTRAL GROCERY MUFFULETTA
Nobody makes a MUFULLETTA SANDWICH anywhere near as good as at the Origintor of this Awesome Sandwich. A word of  warning if you go there to get one, and you should. The Sandwich is Incrediable and its fun to sit in the old Italian Groceria where the sandwich was invented and beccame famous. However, the owner of the place is the Most Miserable Bastard you could ever want to come across, really miserabel. He has the personality of a DEAD FISH, I kid you not, just look on YELP and you’ll see all the bad reviews of his horrible demeanor. This being said, don’t let it bother you. Simply go in, wait on line, order a half or whole MUFFULETTA, pay for it, get your sanddwich and sit down and enjoy, you want have to deal with the A-HOLE again, and you will be eating one of the World’s Great Sandwiches. Hey therre’s a price to pay for everything.
 
 
 
 
 
 

BREAD RECIPE 

 
This classic recipe for Italian bread and produces a muffoletta with a crusty exterior and soft, airy interior.  This recipe complements modern taste for lighter bread.  To that extent, the muffoletta bread from this recipe differs from the heavier and denser original but succeeds with more contemporary tastes. 
This bread may be used for the muffoletta sandwich but should not be limited to that use.  The bread is excellent if served alone and is a fine accompaniment with antipasto, wine, cheese or dinner.
 

Ingredients :

  • 1 Cup warm water (110F)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3 Cup bread flour (approximately)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • Sesame Seeds

 

Directions :

 
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the water and sugar.  Then stir in yeast, and let the yeast mixture stand until foamy — about 5 to 10 minutes.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt and shortening.  Then add the yeast mixture.  Process until the dough forms a ball, about 5 seconds.  Stop the processor and check the consistency of the dough — it should be smooth and satiny.  If the dough is too dry, add more warm water, one tablespoon at a time, and process just until blended.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, one or two tablespoons at a time, and process just until blended.  When the dough’s consistency is correct, then process the dough 20 seconds to knead it.
Lightly oil a large bowl by swirling the oil to coat the bottom and sides.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn it to coat all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place, until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.  When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Form the dough into a round loaf, about 10 inches in diameter and place it on the greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds, and press the seeds gently into surface of loaf. 
Cover the dough very loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until it has almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. 
Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425F.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaf in the center of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 375F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Makes 1 muffoletta loaf.

 

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Lemons of The Amalfi Coast

 

DSC00857

Lemon Trees at VILLA MARIA

MINORI

 

Lemons on the Amalfi Coast? Yes Lemons. The Amalfi Coast of Italy besides being a major tourist destiantions of the 21s Century as a result of its unending natural beauty, wonderful climate and tasty local food, combined with charming hotels, boat rids o Capri and all sorts of wonderul things. All this and the coast may very well be The Lemon Capital of the World, with thousnads of Lemon Groves and farms dottedd all over the coast from Sorreento to Salerno and every town inbetween, this placce is a Lemon Lovers Paraddise with all   sorts of Lemon based products from the head honcho lemon liquor known as Limoncello, to Lemon Scented Soaps, Lemon Parfum, Lemon Pasta, Lemon Desserts, Lemon Granita, Lemonade, Lemon Tea, and all sorts of Lemon Motif Scarves, Ceramics, T-Shirts, this-that-and-everything, yes the Amalfi Coast is a Lemon Paraddis, so if you love lemons, this is the place to be.

The Lemons of the Amalfi Coast are known as Sfusato. They are big and knobby and prized for their parfume andd sweet flesh. You can eat the whole thing, even the skin. Lemons are grown all along the Amalfi Coast and on the islands of Capri and Ischia, but Minori has always been known as he center of Lemon ctivily on the coast. The Sienenese Jesuit Botantist G.B. Ferrari was the first person to make a reccord of the qualities of the Lemons of this coast. In 1646 he wrote, “the nipple is prominent, the rind is rough, pleasantly scented with a sweet taste, the flesh has 8 or 9 segments, the taste is pleasantly sour.”

Much of the land between Positano and Vietro Sul Mare had been unproductive up to the middle of the 18th Century, but by the early 1800s lemon farming andd trading had beccome quite productive with great cultivation of lemon groves in Minori, ALtrani, Amalfi, Conca dei Marini, Ravello,Cetara, Praiano, Maiori, Tramonti, and surround areas with Minori as the leading port for the transportation of Sfusato (Lemons).

 

LEMONferrarii.jpg

 

 

It is a wonderful feeling to be among Oranges and Lemon Groves, to see them and just to know they are there. I for one get excited everytime I see lemons ad come upon any and every Lemon Grove I see, and Oranges too for that matter. Lemons are King are, but you come upon Ornge Groves as well, especcially in and around Sorrento. And when dining out, it’s a good chance you will be eating all sorts of seafood, especcially Cozze (Mussels) Vongole (Clams), Alici (Anchovies), (Shrimp), and all kinds of  fish and shellfish in all sorts of asty preparations, your palate will be delighted. And besides the seafood of course you have to have thos Lemons in some of culinary adventures, including the two leading forms of Limoncello and Granita along with Delizia al Limone and the famed pastry of the area Sfogliatelle which are a Clam-looking crunchy pastry filled with lemon scented ricotta cream, thats’s devinely delicious and are not to be missedif you are in the great city of Napoli or on the Devine Coast of Amalfi, for this is where they were first invented, created by Nuns o the COnvent of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.

A couple of the best places to enjoy the local lemon Sfusato are two of Italy’s’ premier Pastry Shops that are on the coast. One is called Sal di Riso. Salvaore Riso is one of Italy’s premier Pastry Chefs and his Pasticerria Sal di Riso is World famous for Sal’s exquite pastries, gelato, Lemon Cakes and all sorts of sweets. There is the most famous pastry of all in the area as we have already mentioned the Sfogliatelle of which made theirs is made to absolute perfection. Sal di Riso makes several different Lemon types of Lemon Cakes and Tortas made with Lemons from Minori, as well as Lemon Gelato and Delizia di Limone (Lemon Delight) which is a cake that is soaked in Limoncello and covered with a lemon based cream. This delightful pastry as its name implies was created in Sorrento by Pastry Chef Carmine Marzuillo in 1978, and it’s served at Andrea di Riso and at most pastry shops in Naples, Sorrento, and on the Amalfi Coast, Italy. 

Now the other great place enjoy the local Lemons of Amalfi in their sweetest forms is a most wonderful pastry shop in town of Amalfi. The place is at the very center of Amalfi, right in the Piazza del Duomo just feet from the beautiful Cathedral di Sant’Andrea. The place is Pasicceria Andrea Pansa and it is an absolute em of pastry shop / caffe. They have been there since 1830 and the place is absolutely gorgeous, and yes, they make many wonderful pastries, cakes, and cookies that are scented with, yes you guessed it, Lemons from The Amalfi Coast. You can have a Limonello here, Granita, Gelato, a Lemon Delight (Delizia di Limone), and of course the greatest pastry of them all, the Sfogliatelle Santa Rosa in several different forms. Grab yourself a seat at a table inside or out. Order as I might, a nice steamy Cappuccino accompanied by a crunchy Sfogliatelle and you shall be in 7th Heaven, “I guarantee.”

Now, when on the places to enjoy local lemons in food products and dish all around he Amalfi Coast, including Naples and the hugely popular destinaion of Sorrento. If you are in Sorrento, you absolutely have to go to the grand caffe in the heart of the town at the Piazza Tasso to the Bar Fuano, which if you were forced to pick a spot that was the epicenter and Heart Beat of Sorrento, it would have to be this place, Bar Fuano. Bar Fauno is a large grande caffe where you can everything tha your heart may desire, from simpy just an Espresso or Cappuccino, a Pizza or Panino, an Apertivo such as a Negroni or Aperol Spritz, you can have an Italian American or English Breakfast, Lunch, or dinner, it’s all here at Bar Fauno, including, yes; Limoncello, Sfoliatelle, Gelato, Lemon Delights, and Lemon Granita, whatever you like, they’ve got it at Bar Fauno, including a exensive wine list if you so desire more than a standard one, they have it here.

At our rec.ent stay in Sorrento with our apartment direcly across the street, my cousin Tony and I found ourselves at Bar Fauno about 7 times in three days. We absolutely loved the place, and what’s not to love? As I’ve already stated, “they have everything.” When we first got into own, driving in a car from Salerno, there’s a parking garage just down the street from the caffe. So we parked the car and headed towards Faouno. We sat down with a friend Alan who had joined us for a few days. Our waiter brought over the menu and wine list, and as we had been drinking Ferrari “Perle” the day befor and Tony loved it, he wanted to get a bottle, and we did. We ordered a Pizza and a Octopus Salad, “as I’ve said, they have everyhing.” We had a nice little lunch and then we checcked into our suite. With the suite, came vochers for us to have breakfast at Bar Fauno and we did for 3 days straight. We had a wonderful little brekfast that included; Cappuccino, fresh OJ, and a Cornetto. A wonderful little breakfast with very good service that you’ll always get at Bar Fauno. 

You are in Sorrento, and this is a place they really go wild for Lemons and anything related to them as in a couple hundred different souveniers you can buy, with a Lemon Motif upon them. You can get an apron, Spoon Holder, Citrus Juicer, a Key Chain, T-Shirt, Polo Shirt, and so many things with a Lemon on them. This is Sorrento, a place that gets millions of tourist from all around the world every year, and many of the businesses derrive income from lemons in one way or the other, whether it’s from products made with lemons in them, such as Limoncello, Parfum, Pasta, Jams, Soap, or what-not, to items that simply have images of Lemons upon them, that’s Sorrento and a little story of Lemons on The Amalfi Coast. Basta!

 

 

Daniel Bellino Zwicke

 

 

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MANGIA ITALIANO

MEMOIRES of ITALIAN FOOD

POSITANO AMALFI CAPRI

ROME VERONA NAPOLI

VENICE

and More ..

 

 

 

 

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