Thursday, November 29, 2007

Torrone from Italy

Flipping through the latest Williams-Sonoma catalogue I noticed they are selling the delicious Torrone confection from Italy.

This simple nougat consists of just a few ingredients- crunchy nuts, spices, honey or sugar and egg whites.......the more honey, the softer the product.

A few years ago I would not have "batted an eye"
at the sight of this candy-I really had to aquire a taste for it. It is chewy, chockful of nuts and very expensive, what I purchased over there, thanks to our pitiful dollar! Frequent stops to local bakeries and confectioneries exposed me to the variety of distinctive flavors of the Torrone candy. The honey used from different regions truly affects the taste. This delightful treat also packs well, either for day trip snacks or treats for those you may have left beind........ how about a special gift for Christmas? Check out page 58 in the catalogue! Beats having to spend the money for a plane ticket!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pappa Al Pomodoro

The time has escaped~such a lengthy time between posts! I have been on the road and busy with my business. Hopefully I will be able to catch up reading all your wonderful entries during the upcoming holiday here in the States.
A quick trip to Italy since my last post.......and my number one favorite dish for the cool days October brought was this fabulous Tuscan soup~ Pappa Al Pomodoro. Clearly there are numerous recipes written about this "mushie" bread and tomato Italian dish, but this is the one I enjoyed the most. Don't forget that added drizzle of extra virgin oil into the bowl before serving!
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Crushed garlic cloves
3 Cups of chicken broth/stock, heated
10 or more fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 Pounds of fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed.
1/2 Loaf or approximately 12 oz. of "leftover" bread ~ left over from the night before! Use thick slices of country bread or ciabatta, discard the crusts.
1 Medium onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes and seasonings. Toss in the shredded bread pieces into the tomato mixture. Slowly add the stock . Cook and stir until the soup thickens and is heated throughout. Remove from heat and add the basil. Cover and let the soup rest. You can serve this soup at room temperature or reheat to your liking! Don't forget the Parmesan cheese! This really adds so much extra flavor.