Posts Tagged ‘crostata’

While we are in the midst of trying to sell the apartment, I’ve been falling back on old favorites. Last night, I made a version of this Puglian specialty, orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage and every time I make it, it brings me back to a night in southern Puglia. The meatiness of the sausage is comforting and warm on a cold fall night.

Fall always means lasagna time for me…I love making it for company too, because I can put it in the oven when they come over and spend time with people, rather than in the kitchen. My favorites for fall are mushroom and roasted carrot and butternut squash.

My favorite fall fruits are definitely pears, and I love to make crostatas with pears and gorgonzola this time of year. I make big batches of dough and freeze them for later, so I can just defrost and put together the filling when I’m running low on time.

Cold weather makes me really crave a good Sunday breakfast, and there’s no better breakfast than egg and pancetta sandwiches on homemade sage biscuits. I still have a couple of these tucked away in the freezer, and I can’t wait to have one this Sunday.


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Crostatas are great because you don’t have to worry about a pie shell. You bake them on a cookie sheet and they are wonderfully rustic and delicious. It’s still pretty chilly here, so the fall/winter desserts are still what I’m craving. I love pears with blue cheese, and when it’s still warm, this is a perfect ending to a meal. How can you go wrong combining dessert and cheese course?

Pear and Gorgonzola Crostata

2 pears, sliced

2 tablespooons thyme, minced

juice of half a lemon

1 cup crumbled gorgonzola (the better the cheese, the better the final product)

1/4 cup honey

1 pastry crust (homemade is better but you can use a defrosted frozen one as well)

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons raw sugar or large crystalled sugar

Roll out the pastry dough into a round about 1/4 inch thick or as thinly as you can and still be able to move it around without it falling apart. Transfer to a silpat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Combine the pears, thyme and lemon and allow the lemon to coat the pears so that they don’t brown. Gently add the gorgonzola and the honey, reserving a couple pieces of gorgonzola for the top. Stir just to combine, you don’t want to break up the pieces of cheese. Pour the mixture into the center of the dough and place the extra pieces of cheese on top. Fold up the edges of the dough making sure you don’t break holes in the sides.

Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle the sugar on top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes at 375 degrees until it gets golden brown and delicious-looking! Let it cool a bit before cutting.


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It was a great first year for my latest project, Meatballs and Milkshakes. I had a chance to make both namesakes for my blog, spaghetti and meatballs and affogato milkshakes.

My recipe for shaved asparagus salad won on Food52 and I got all sorts of prizes. (And my recipe will be in print in October 2012!)

I had a great guest blog from Gareth with some music to go along with it, a favorite song around the apartment which reminds me that I still have not blogged about the trip to Ravello and Positano. Well, at least I’ve still got things to do in 2012.

There were a lot of favorites that came out of the kitchen this year, including prosciutto and goat cheese stuffed dates, scallop crudo, burrata and tomato crostini, seared scallops with spinach and pine nuts, chicken with porcini mushrooms, veal saltimbocca, and beef stew.

Of course, I can’t forget all the great pasta– linguine with bacon, peas and mint, pappardelle with duck ragurisotto with spinach, lemon and bay scallops, gorgonzola and mushroom tajarin, linguine carbonara, pesto, spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, gnocchi, and carrot and butternut squash lasagna.

I learned that I loved burrata, Di Palo, and Eataly, and surprisingly, I don’t actually hate all ricotta. I made a surprising amount of pasta by hand and got a ricer for gnocchi.

It wasn’t all Italian all the time, however. There were a lot of cookies, including nutella chocolate chip, chewy chocolate chip, double chocolate, chocolate chip hazelnut, jam thumbprints, and spice cookies.

We celebrated Gareth’s birthday with a delicious chocolate layer cake. We had peach and raspberry crisps and crostatas. I brought zucchini bread on vacation and we had a beautiful and delicious berry pie.

The fall meant apple picking and with it, the bounty of apple-inspired recipes such as apple oat muffins, pork chops with apple chutney, apple pie, butternut squash soup, and apple butter.

Thanksgiving was quickly followed by Christmas and then the whirlwind into New Years.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes was a great success, and my favorites were the marinated sardines, shrimp bisque, and baccala alla vicentina. The chocolate pudding will also be made regularly.

A lot of great friends came over for some really delicious meals and I’m looking forward to more in 2012. Up on the docket are braciole, lasagna, and maybe some healthy dinners like salmon and brown rice in the next couple of weeks….have to balance out the pasta somehow…

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I’m usually disappointed by NJ peaches, but the last two weeks we’ve gotten some really good batches. I’ve been watching last week’s ripen on the counter all week, and finally got around to making both a crostata and a crisp with some fresh raspberries thrown in. This crostata was so good, I was snacking on it all evening while watching Top Chef (I just recently got into the show, and now I’m a little hooked…).

Peach and Raspberry Crostata

~11″ round of pie dough

3 peaches, sliced

1 cup raspberries

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon honey

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg and 1 tablespoon sugar for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put dough on buttered parchment or silpat. Mix fruit, flour, sugar, honey, lemon, and vanilla in large bowl.

Spoon mixture into center of dough and fold up the sides. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the edges get browned. Let cool before serving.

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