Struggling to preserve the Italian culinary tradition oversea

Category: Bread & pizza



800 g all purpose flour / 600 g room temperature water / 18 g salt/ 15 g honey / 1.6 g (or 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast / 40 g extra virgin olive oil / toppings

In a bowl add honey to water and mix until dissolved, then add yeast and do the same. In a large bowl mix the flour and the salt and make a hole in the middle where you will pour the liquids. Stir with a spatula incorporating the flour with movement from bottom to top until the sides of the bowl are clean. Let it rest for 20 min covered with cling film.

Add the oil and using the same technique continue mixing until it’s fully incorporated in the dough. Now bring the edges of the dough into the center following an imaginary clock and continue going around the clock till the dough allows you to turn it over easily. Cover with cling film and let it rest 20 more minutes. After this time repeat the clock foldings again. Let it now rest until doubled in size. Once doubled in size you can either follow the next instructions straight away, or put it in the chiller over night (just remember to take it out and let it reach again room temperature before you continue with the recipe).

Oil a 30 x 40 cm pan and pour the dough in. Gently stretch the dough putting your hands underneath it until it fills the pan. Don’t force the dough to do so, better let it rest 20 min and then continue stretching it. Let the dough in the pan for 1.5/2 hours, then dimple it with your fingers and put your toppings on it. Let it rest for 30 more minute and in the meantime preheat the oven to 250 degrees celsius. Bake for 20- 25 min ( first 10 minutes in the lowest shelf, then in the middle) until the bottom crust is crisp and brown. Let the focaccia cool on a rack.


You can simply put some salt and rosemary on top of your focaccia. It will be perfect as a bread substitute to go with soups and hams/cheeses.

You can make onion and tomatoes focaccia (cut your cherry tomatoes ahead of time and let them soak in oil for 3 hrs and let some onion soak in 1/3 vinegar 2/3 water for the same time).

Another idea could be tomatoes and anchovies (use some juicy Roma tomatoes, sprinkle the juice on top of the focaccia and then garnish with some anchovies).


INGREDIENTS (2 persons)

10 cherry tomatoes / 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds / 1 tbsp red wine vinegar / salt and pepper / 2 tbsp coconut oil / 1 tsp ground cumin / half a tsp of chili powder / 1 aubergine / 2 large flatbreads / 6 tbsp of hummus / handful of rocket

Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes then scrape them into a bowl with the juice. Stir in the pomegranate seeds, red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl, stir in the ground cumin and chili powder along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Chuck in the aubergine thinly sliced and use your hands to coat all of the slices with the oil and spices mix. Lay the aubergines in a frying pan and cook them for 5 minutes on each side. Warm the flatbread and spread it with the hummus. Spoon over the tomato-pomegranate salsa, then pile the aubergine slices on top. Mix the rocket with vinegar and scatter in the flat bread. Roll it up.



2 rolls of puff pastry / 350 g feta cheese / 1 kg fresh spinach / 3 onions / 3 eggs / extravirgin olive oil / salt

Dice the onions and let them brown in a pan with olive oil. In a large pot add the spinach and a glass of water, cover with a lid and let them steam for few minutes. Then drain them and press them so as to lose the water. Add them to the onions in a bowl, together with the eggs and a pinch of salt. Dice the feta cheese and add the cubes to the bowl. Mix everything together. Roll the first puff pastry on a baking tin, with a fork make tiny holes in it, then pour the filling of feta and spinach.Level the filling and cover with the second puff pastry, pinching together the edges. Bake in the oven at 180 C for 50 minutes.


INGREDIENTS (4 servings)

250 g green beans / 250 g flour / 100 g Roquefort cheese / 100 mL milk / 50 g walnuts / 8 g of yeast / 3 eggs / 3 spoonfuls of extravirgin olive oil / salt

Clean the green beans and dice them, boil them in water for 5 minutes, then drain them. Mix flour and yeast in a bowl, add the whisked eggs, a pinch of salt, milk and oil, and work the dough with a whisk. Add the green beans, the crumbled walnuts and the crumbled Roquefort and mix well. Butter a plum cake tin and pur the mixture inside, cook at 200 C for 35 mites. Once ready let it cool for 5 minutes in the oven, then take it out and serve.



puff pastry / 400 g carrots / 200 g soft cheese (crescenza or burrata) / 50 g parmesan cheese / thyme / extravirgin olive oil / slat and pepper

Unroll the puff pastry in a baking tin. In a bowl mix together the soft cheese, the grated parmesan, pepper and thyme. Spread this cream on the bottom of the puff pastry with a spoon. Slice the carrots with the veggie peeler and cover with them the top of the cake. Add a sprinkle of oil and salt. Cook in the oven at 180 degree for 25 minutes.


INGREDIENTS (8 servings)

1 roll of brisee dough / 550 g of sausage / 6 slices of emmental / 1 spoon of pesto / extravirgin olive oil

Unroll the dough and spread the sausage over it, then cover with the slices of cheese. Cut 8 slices and roll each slice on itself starting from the base. Form in this way 8 croissant and transfer them on and oven tray.

Dilute the pesto with a spoon of olive oil and brush it over the croissants. Cook in the oven at 180 degree for 15 minutes.



INGREDIENTS (4 pizzas)

17 oz warm water / 1 yeast / 1 oz sea slat  / 32.5 oz flour / canned crushed tomatoes / buffalo mozzarella / fresh basil /your choice of toppings

Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with the warm water. Add the sea salt. Add the flour and start kneading the dough with your fingers for 5 minutes. Cover it with a kitchen towel fro 10 minutes, then take it out of the bowl, knead it into a ball and cut it in 4 smaller balls. Cover the ball and let them rise for 8 hours. Then sprinkle them with a pinch of flour, and knead them into a flat, circular pizza with your finger, with a circular movement. Keep some inches off the edge, in order to create a border. Pour the tomatoes and spread them with the back of a spoon, then cut the buffalo and add it to the pizza over the tomatoes. Add 3-4 basil leaves, then a drop of oil. Cook in the oven ad 485 F for 8-10 minutes. When the pizza is ready, take out of the oven and add the toppings (prosciutto, salame, shaved parmesan or salted ricotta, etc). If you want, put back in the oven for an additional minute.


INGREDIENTS (4-6 servings)

Nachos / 0.2 lb of white caciotta / 2 green peppers / 4 cherry tomatoes

Arrange the nachos on a plate that can go in the oven. Grate the cheese on top (using the grater with the big holes, the one for the carrots). Open the green peppers, clean the white fibers and the seeds, cut them in slices and put them over the cheese. Heat in the oven for some minutes at 390 F. Cut the tomatoes in small cubes. Take the nachos out of the oven as soon as the cheese is melt, pour the tomatoes on top and serve.


INGREDIENTS (6 servings)

0.7 lb of flour / half a dose of yeast / 3 spoonful of extravirgin olive oil / 1 plain yogurt / 0.5 lb of cream cheese / salt

Mix the flour with salt and yeast, add the oil, the yogurt, and drop by drop some warm water. Knead with your hands and keep adding water till it has a soft and homogeneous texture. When it has the desired consistency, keep kneading for 10 minutes so that the yeast may start working. Keep covered with a  towel at least for one hour. When it has risen, divide the dough in 5 parts. With the help of some flour flat each piece with the rolling pin into a thin disc. Put a big spoonful of cream cheese in the center of each disc, fold the borders towards the center to cover the cheese and obtain a smaller disc. Flour each disc and slightly flatten it with the pin to make it larger and thinner (be careful not to break it or have the cheese come out). Put some oil in a pan, cook each naan 2 minutes per side covered with the lid.



0.5 lb of flour 00 / 0.325 lb warm water / yeast / a spoonful of sugar / a spoonful of salt / a spoonful of olive oil

Melt the yeast and the sugar in a bowl of warm water. Mix the flour with salt and oil in a bowl, then pour the water and yeast always mixing. You have to obtain a ball, not too homogeneous and a bit sticky. Cover a pizza tray with baking paper and spread the dough on it with your hands. Cover with tomato sauce, oregano, and whatever ingredients you prefer (ham, salami, parmesan, artichokes, etc). Put the tray in the oven turned off for at least an hour. After that, take the pizza out of the oven, turn the oven on to 435 F, season the pizza with salt ant put back in the hot oven.  Cut a mozzarella to cubes. After 15 minutes add the mozzarella to the pizza and cook for 5 additional minutes.