Monday, 16 September 2013

Pasta & Zuccotto

Day Five and I'm already tired.

I think, I'm tired of the eating.. I feel like it's a 3rd Christmas Day.. we cook, we eat, we eat again and we eat again. The only good thing - there is definitely no time and energy to think about work or any other distraction from the "Reality".

Today I took the lazy morning and missed everyone going to a nearby (4km) medieval village Poppi, which is included in thr list of "The most beautifull villages and towns of the Italy". This is a view from the road to Villa:

I will go there the other day. Instead - I wondered to road to other village Pratovecchio and found a nice XI century Monastery & churche of San Giovanni Evangelista. And up the hill - the Castle where they say that Dante Alighieri lived for a short time during his exile from Florence. The last looked more like ruins, but acctually was rebuilt and quite visited by the tourists.

The afternoon was the Pasta Day. In Italy, as they say, there are as many pastas as paintings of the Virgin Mary. It's hard to comprehend just what pasta means. what other Food can be ethereal or earthy, plain or complex, saucy or dry, lusty or reserved, trendy or traditional, rugged or silky? 

...coming back, from Pasta I managed to make only dough.. as got an assignment to make a Zuccoto - a semi-frozen, chilled dessert made with brandy, cake and ice cream (we made with Ricotta)
. My real pasta day will be on Wednesday.

Basic Pasta
200g All purpose flour
2 Eggs
2 tbsp of Olive oil
pinch of salt

Mound the flour on a countertop and form a well in the middle. Add the eggs and beat them with a fork. Mix gradually adding the flour as you go, until most of it is incorporated. Then knead the dough until smooth, about 10min. Shape into a flattened disc, cover it and let it rest for at least 30min.

Making pasta by hand seems meditative..

As mentioned above, Zuccotto is a semi frozen dessert, usually made with ice cream. Today we made it with Ricotta cheese as had not so much time available for the chilling. 
This dessert is traditionally made in a special pumpkin-shaped mold (Zuccotto means "little pumpkin" in Italian) - see the picture below. It's also believed that the shape of dessert was inspired by the Florence Duomo Cupolo....
 It does not look any fancy, all the key stuff (ricotta filling) is inside.. 

With Rose and Paola (The chef) serving my Cake and Rosies Peach pie. I loved the pie - easy but sooo tasty!

Tomorrow is free from Cooking Day.
Will have a full-day Food Lovers Tour around the Tuscany!! So looking forward..

Kisses from Tuscany!

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