Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cannoli Siciliani!

Thursday May 26, 2011

Last night we went to Trattoria Anita for dinner.  Shep and I split a delicious appetizer made up of mozzarella, truffle, and prosciutto and slices of bread.  Truffle is usually too strong for my liking, but the amount in this appetizer was very light!  For dinner I ordered a fresh pasta bake with mushrooms and zucchini.  The waiters were so generous and gave us a small discount for being friendly and fun!

A Cappuccino is a perfect way to start the day!  Shep and I headed out a little early to our usual spot to grab one before class!  Today’s class was one we were all looking forward too.  It was cannoli day!!  Before cooking Chef Tammaso discussed the region of Sicily, the largest island of the Mediterranean.  Sicily is known for street food, sorbet, cannoli’s, pastries, and candied fruits.  A majority of Sicily’s food was from the Arab influence.  Sicily is also known as “the garden of Europe” because of its abundance of fruits such as grapes, mandarin, tangerine, orange, and many dried fruits.  Sicily food is also very “heavy” and fattening.  I guess we won’t be using the Mediterranean diet guidelines today!

Today’s recipes were Pasta Alla Norma and Connoli Siciliani.  The pasta Alla Norma uses dried rigatoni pasta.  Chef Tammaso taught us how to cook Al dente.  I always cook pasta to al dente at home and I usually taste the pasta to see if it is ready.  But Chef Tammaso taught us what to look for when cooking the pasta.  If there is a very very thing line of white in the middle of the rigatona, penne, or even spaghetti, that means it has been cooked to al dente!! (Erika did a fabulous job of cooking the pasta perfectly today!)

The sauce of the Pasta Alla Norma included eggplant, garlic, olive oil,  and tomato sauce.  After the sauce and pasta were finished cooking the pasta and sauce are mixed together and topped with salted ricotta cheese and sliced basil.

I worked on the cannoli shell today.  It was the same concept of making fresh pasta, but with a few different ingredients.  Lard and Marsala wine acted as the liquid instead of using egg and oil.  After making fresh pasta a few times this week the dough of the cannoli came together very quickly!  Metal tubes were used to wrap the dough around and put in the oil to fry!! 

The filling was made up of ricotta, cinnamon, confection sugar, candied orange peel, chocolate, and pistachio. After we filled the connoli shell we dipped each side into shaved chocolate and topped with confection sugar!  This was yet another wonderful and delicious recipe!! 

I couldn’t help but to think of my brother Kevin all the way over in Azerbaijan, wondering if the cannolis I made today were better than Carbo’s cannolis in Cleveland’s Little Italy!  I think it may be a close call!!

After class I washed a load of laundry.  Without a dryer the picture below shows my best ability to try and dry my clothes.  Hopefully they will dry by tomorrow before I leave for Cinque Terre!!

Clothes everywhere!

I am meeting my friend Genvieve tonight for dinner.  I can’t wait to catch up!


Molly Jean

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