Smoked Mozzarella and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Not the smoking kind but the kind made with phyllo pastry filled and rolled with an Italian inspired savory or sweet filling. So versatile. You can literally add almost any filling. Begin by preheating oven to 325 degrees F and lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a clean dry work surface. Use a pastry brush to brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Fold the phyllo sheet in half lengthwise, resulting in a 12 by 8-inch rectangle. Brush the top of the phyllo with melted butter. Fill as desired and carefully roll up the phyllo dough into a cigar shape. About half way through the rolling, tuck in the 1-inch ends of the phyllo dough, and continue rolling. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, seam side down, and brush the top with butter. Bake until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- slices of smoked mozzarella with a few pieces of sun-dried tomatoes
- Italian sweet sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled; mixed with whipping cream, dijon mustard and nutmeg
- a paste made with ground pistachios, ricotta cheese and honey
- combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and amaretti cookie crumbs to make this phyllo strudel recipe than re-purpose as cigars
- sautéed selection of finely chopped mushrooms in a little butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper with splash of creme fraiche at the end to give it richness
- slather with chocolate hazelnut gianduja and roll
- spread dough with La Bella Angiolina Ligurian Basil Pesto
For the savory versions of this dish you can vary the flavors of the brush of melted butter using garlic and or fennel seeds before adding your fillings.
From ancient Roman springtime fertility rites to Christian celebrations of resurrection and renewal, the egg has always been a symbol of Easter in Italy. The biggest Easter displays in Italian pastry shops, restaurants, bars and markets center on brightly wrapped, elaborately decorated chocolate Easter eggs, Uove di Pasqua. Many of these eggs are made by artisan chocolate makers like Perugina and Caffarel and are highly sought after. When I visited the Perugina chocolate factory with my Umbrian friends I saw a chocolate Easter Egg that was 3 feet tall! Often filled with a rich chocolate hazelnut cream (gianduja) encased in delicate, bittersweet chocolate they are ostentatiously indulgent. The Faberge equivalent of chocolate.
Designers like RobertoCavalli and Armani elevate the egg into a chic seasonal statement with fashionable chocolate Easter eggs. Armani displays his eggs embossed with the unmistakable branded “A”. Chocolatier’s like Torino’s Guido Gubino create sensual experiences with creative and innovative designs.
Easter Eggs by Guido Gubino
During different times in Italian history, extravagance has found its way into Italian design (think of the Italian Rocco) and the exuberant and energetic style of Italian Easter eggs is a joyful celebration of the season.
The purpose behind the blog ITALY IN 30 SECONDS is to offer a written shot of espresso to inform, excite and encourage you to experience Italy, the most recognizable geographic shape on the globe and what we think is the most perfectly constructed place on the planet. Combine that with one of the most perfectly constructed foods on the planet, chocolate, and you’ve got a the makings of a magical mystery tour through Tuscany’s Chocolate Valley, the geletarie of Milan and the chocolate factories of Turin and Perugia.
So little time so much chocolate and a business class seat on Alitalia nowhere in sight. Warm up this winter with a melted Italian chocolate fondue or molten chocolate cake made with Cuor di Cacao Chocolate Hazelnut Cream from the “heart of the chocolate” by Venchi, a name known throughout Italy for exceptional chocolate. This extra dark Cuor di Cacao combines the intense flavors of 75% Ecuadorian chocolate with hazelnuts to make a gianduja, a rich creamy hazelnut spread that is beloved by all Italians. Think Nutella all grown up. The small size is perfect for a 30 second chocolate break or a portable pocket picnic at the ski chalet.