July 2020 Challenge - Italy

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Joined Aug 20, 2010
I was considering several possibilities, but then I looked and found out we haven't had Italy as monthly challenge yet. How's that even possible? So I am choosing this most beloved cuisine in the world. I think it needs no further explanations, so I'm looking forward to your entries. Enjoy! :)


As usual, here are the traditional rules:

  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
 
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Joined Jul 13, 2012
Thank you nicko nicko "Italy" in and of itself is a broad spectrum - maybe too broad for a short term challenge.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Good choice, definitely a wide range of possibilities. This might be the incentive I need to try my hand at making an egg yolk ravioli.

mjb.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Love the theme... very open to a breadth of options! Does the quiseen of the “Italian diaspora” count as part of this theme? That opens the door for even more variety!
 
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Joined May 1, 2019
Love the theme... very open to a breadth of options! Does the quiseen of it he “Italian diaspora” count as part of this theme? That opens the door for even more variety!
I am sure that follows under this category as long as the diaspora has traceable roots to I-talian cuisine.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Feast your eyes on this, have a cup of coffee... and I’ll tell you a story!

B0339586-BFDF-4C95-8B5D-87C483026C68.jpeg

this is a sfinge, or sfince (pronounced suh-fin-gee in American-Italian dialect). It hails from Italy, the land of 25% of my ancestors. Actually, it’s siciliano, I believe. My ancestors actually may not have been either since they came from islands 50 miles or more away from either.

The town I grew up in was full of people who came from the Aeolian Islands. There were only 4 or 5 surnames but many with the same name claimed to be unrelated. Unbelievable!

There was a baker in town that ran an Italian bakery. This was one of the treats we enjoyed on March 20, the feast of St Joseph. He only made then one day a year.

since moving away I never found a source so I started making them... one day a year.

puff pastry (either baked or fried, but I always bake) with a bit of lemon rind. Filled with Ricotta cannoli cream, spiked with a bit of chocolate and candied orange peel.

Made in March so might not be a qualified entry in this challenge
 
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Joined May 4, 2005
Feast your eyes on this, have a cup of coffee... and I’ll tell you a story!

View attachment 68100

this is a sfinge, or sfince (pronounced suh-fin-gee in American-Italian dialect). It hails from Italy, the land of 25% of my ancestors. Actually, it’s siciliano, I believe. My ancestors actually may not have been either since they came from islands 50 miles or more away from either.

The town I grew up in was full of people who came from the Aeolian Islands. There were only 4 or 5 surnames but many with the same name claimed to be unrelated. Unbelievable!

There was a baker in town that ran an Italian bakery. This was one of the treats we enjoyed on March 20, the feast of St Joseph. He only made then one day a year.

since moving away I never found a source so I started making them... one day a year.

puff pastry (either baked or fried, but I always bake) with a bit of lemon rind. Filled with Ricotta cannoli cream, spiked with a bit of chocolate and candied orange peel.

Made in March so might not be a qualified entry in this challenge
Yummmm!!!!
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,099
801
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Focaccia. This is pretty much from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld

Jerry Traunfeld recipe
HERBED FOCACCIA
Makes 1 large bread, 8 servings
When you pull this handsome bread from the oven, you can't help
but feel a sense of great accomplishment, yet it's quite simple to prepare. This
recipe makes an impressive large rustic bread, about 12 inches thick, topped
with loads of fragrant toasty herbs. Serve it with soup or salad-it needs no
butter at the table because it's baked with a coating of olive oil. Or slice it horizontally and make a giant sandwich that you can cut into wedges.
2 cups lukewarm water (105° to 110°F)
I package active dry yeast (2½ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
I tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme, winter savory, or oregano
1½ teaspoons salt
4½ cups unbleached bread flour (spoon and level; 20 ounces), plus
additional flour as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Dough and first rise. Pour the water into the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer or a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for several minutes to dissolve. Stir the herbs together in a small bowl. Add half the herb mixture to the yeasted water. Cover the remaining herbs and refrigerate. Stir the salt and flour into the yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Knead for 8 minutes with the dough hook or paddle at medium speed, or knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic and satiny, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be very soft and will stick to the bottom of the electric mixer bowl as it is kneaded, but if it is too sticky to pull away from the sides of the bowl after 5 minutes of kneading, add another 4 cup flour. If you are kneading by hand, add only as much flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Put the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and then a clean towel, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

2. Second rise. In another large mixing bowl, stir the olive oil and reserved herb together and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the bowl. Punch down the dough and scoop it into the second bowl on top of the herb mixture. Let the dough rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.

3. Forming the loaf. Place a baking stone on the center rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet or the back side of a large baking sheet. This will serve as the peel that you will use to transfer the bread to the baking stone. Without punching down the dough, turn the dough out onto the paper, letting it fall out with the herbs and oil on top. Use your fingertips to poke the dough while at the same time gently pulling it into an oval about 12 inches long, The dough will deflate somewhat, but keep as much rise in it as you can. Use a paper towel to blot any oil that runs down the sides. Let the dough rise again for 10 to 15 minutes to restore its puffiness.

4. Baking. With a pair of scissors, trim the excess parchment paper extending beyond the edges of the dough so that the paper doesn't burn in the oven. Set the edge of your peel on the edge of the oven rack in front of the baking stone. Carefully grab one edge of the parchment and slide it with the loaf onto the stone. Bake the bread until golden brown on top and well browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes. It will puff a little more in the oven. Remove the loaf from the oven with a large spatula and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Slice it into rectangles with a serrated knife or break it at the table.

HERB SUBSTITUTIONS
Instead of the herb mixture, use a single herb, such as 4 cup coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano, or sage.
Deviations: I'm not mixing in herbs at the start. I mix in a food processor for speed and simplicity. My food processor lives on my counter, my stand mixer lives downstairs in my pantry storage.

Checking kneading in the food processor.
IMG_20200702_133319130.jpg

To rise in a 4L container.

IMG_20200702_133459564.jpg

More to come.
 
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phatch

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
As this dough rises, the top dries a bit and the bottom gets wetter. So flipping the dough wet side up becomes useful.


For the second rise and forming, I like a 12 inch non stick skillet. Add some olive oil, arrange herbs, dried in this case and take the deflated dough wet side up into the skillet. Add any surplus olive oil from the first rise container. Cover.

IMG_20200702_152819630.jpg
IMG_20200702_153036578.jpg

After about 2/3 of the second rise, invert onto the parchment prepped peel, being careful to not deflate. Cover let rise some more. I buy parchment in precut sheets. It tends to be a bit narrow so you'll notice I trimmed and widened the parchment layout to better fit the bread.
IMG_20200702_160631542.jpg

Uncover, lightly dimple with your finger tips, add olive oil, correct herb distribution, bake.
IMG_20200702_161625831.jpg
Timer dings, check it out.
IMG_20200702_163909196.jpg IMG_20200702_164022678.jpg
Looks good. Dinner will be some leftover minestra from a cool snap at the end of June. Pic to come.
 
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102
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Joined May 1, 2019
Feast your eyes on this, have a cup of coffee... and I’ll tell you a story!

View attachment 68100

this is a sfinge, or sfince (pronounced suh-fin-gee in American-Italian dialect). It hails from Italy, the land of 25% of my ancestors. Actually, it’s siciliano, I believe. My ancestors actually may not have been either since they came from islands 50 miles or more away from either.

The town I grew up in was full of people who came from the Aeolian Islands. There were only 4 or 5 surnames but many with the same name claimed to be unrelated. Unbelievable!

There was a baker in town that ran an Italian bakery. This was one of the treats we enjoyed on March 20, the feast of St Joseph. He only made then one day a year.

since moving away I never found a source so I started making them... one day a year.

puff pastry (either baked or fried, but I always bake) with a bit of lemon rind. Filled with Ricotta cannoli cream, spiked with a bit of chocolate and candied orange peel.

Made in March so might not be a qualified entry in this challenge
[
It was created after St. JOSEPH saved the island from a drought.
 
102
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Joined May 1, 2019
Feast your eyes on this, have a cup of coffee... and I’ll tell you a story!

View attachment 68100

this is a sfinge, or sfince (pronounced suh-fin-gee in American-Italian dialect). It hails from Italy, the land of 25% of my ancestors. Actually, it’s siciliano, I believe. My ancestors actually may not have been either since they came from islands 50 miles or more away from either.

The town I grew up in was full of people who came from the Aeolian Islands. There were only 4 or 5 surnames but many with the same name claimed to be unrelated. Unbelievable!

There was a baker in town that ran an Italian bakery. This was one of the treats we enjoyed on March 20, the feast of St Joseph. He only made then one day a year.

since moving away I never found a source so I started making them... one day a year.

puff pastry (either baked or fried, but I always bake) with a bit of lemon rind. Filled with Ricotta cannoli cream, spiked with a bit of chocolate and candied orange peel.

Made in March so might not be a qualified entry in this challenge
Its a zepolli with a story a damn delicious one.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Perhaps some clarification on what constitutes "Italian." Are Italian American dishes acceptable that are not from Italy such as spaghetti and meatballs or Chicken Parm etc? My $.02 is they should not be. :)
 
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