Italian breakfast

Buon Natale ~ Happy Christmas

Panettone
Panettone

Today, before delving into capons and puntarelle, I am observing my favorite Christmas tradition: brekfasting on panettone lefotver from last night. Put on the robe that someone is bound to have re-gifted you, place a slice of panettone in the toaster over and, while heady from the smell which will soon kidnap your home and senses, prepare your caffelatte.

Sit, while listening to Christmas music-I am loving Barenaked for the Holidays by the Barenaked Ladies this year-and lazily dunk your toasted panettone into your warm coffee and milk.

Repeat until the slice is gone, including the crumbs.

Repeat until you have enough strength to lift 8 pounds of capon out of the refrigerator.

And, no, you do not have to make your own panettone, and can definitely get your mate or children or roommate to prepare your caffelatte.

Buon Natale!

Yoga breakfast for friends: goat yogurt, brown sugar and almond loafcake

Sometime this week I heard the say that friends are the family you choose, but I don't agree. I would not choose any family over the delightfully dysfunctional one into which I had the blind and extraordinary luck of being born. I think of friends as yet another way to rejoice, to learn, to grow. Friends are another, no smaller, kind of affection, relationships that enrich and better us a little every day.

And because in my world love multiplies rather than divide, I am always finding more people I can call friends. A new friend does not claim space in your heart, they just help you find more space. Love always makes room for more love, and I LOVE that. I guess I could aptly, if somewhat cornily, say that my heart is like an Italian table, there is always space for one more seat.

A few of those friends, with whom I delight in a yoga class every Thursday morning, got a front row seat for this latest version of my favorite yogurt loaf cake.

Chiara, Jennifer, Lucia, Sophie: this is for you!

Tortino di yogurt di capra e zucchero grezzo alle mandorle Goat yogurt and brown sugar loaf cake with almonds

Note: use the yogurt container as a measuring unitTortino yogurt di capra e mandorle

for a 10" loaf pan: 1 6ozs container plain goat yogurt 1/2 container extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons almond extract 2 tablespoon peeled almonds 3 containers all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1.5 container brown sugar+1 tablespoon pinch of salt grated zest of a Meyer lemon 3 eggs

Line the loaf pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, blend the yogurt, olive oil and almond extract well. Chop the almonds finely.

In a larger bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, 1.5 container of sugar, salt and zest. Mix in the eggs and then the yogurt and olive oil mixture.

Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan. Dust with the remaining sugar and chopped almonds.

Bake at 375˚F for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Unmold and let cool on a rack.

 

Because you asked: breakfast treats and fresh pasta

About two weeks back I instagrammed some breakfast treats I had made for my child's class Walk to School party. I was asked for the recipes. Many also keep asking me to continue sharing the pasta knowledge I have accumulated, both through default of the family and country into which I was born and the professional experience I have accumulated through the years. I have listened, so here we go.

For your breakfast: the banana bread is the work of my dear friend and fairy godmother Tori Ritchie, food writer extraordinaire, you can find it here, on her delightful Tuesday Recipe blog. The other one is a simple yogurt cake, which I adapted from an Italian children's cookbook and I like to tailor to the whims of my food hankerings or the gifts of the season. On that day, it was plums, whose yearly appearance is coming to an end as I write. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

For pasta classes: this Sunday October 27 I am holding a handmade pasta workshop at Ramekins in Sonoma and on Saturday December 7 at 18 Reasons in the Mission I will teach about regional specialties pasta for the winter holiday table, the class will include casunziei ampezzani, an unusual beet and poppy seed combination hailing from Cortina d'Ampezzo, one of Italy's better known skiing towns.

casunziei ampezzani

kneading pasta last Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tortino di yogurt e susine Yogurt and plums loaf cake

banana bread (left) and tortino allo yogurt e susine (right)

Note: use the yogurt container as a measuring unit

for a 10" loaf pan: 5 plums 3 containers all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 container brown raw sugar pinch of salt grated zest of an orange 3 eggs 1 6 ounces container plain full fat yogurt 1/2 container extra-virgin olive oil powdered sugar

Line the loaf pan with parchment paper. Cut the plums in half, remove the stone and yield 4 to 5 slices from each half.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and zest. Work in the eggs, then the yogurt and, lastly, the olive oil.

Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan.

Bake at 375˚F for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Unmold and let cool on a rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

NOTES:

  • Choose a light, fruity olive oil for this recipe or a flavorless other vegetable oil
  • Use any fruit you might have languishing at the bottom of your refrigerator
  • Customize with chocolate and nuts or various spices
  • Substitute any citrus zest if you do not have oranges