Summerly zabaione with moscato wine

Zabaione, known also as zabaglione or zabajone, is an extremely simple italian dessert made of egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine. Marsala or vin santo are the most common wines used in the preparation, but moscato wine is also a delightful ingredient choice, and gives this fantastic dessert a “summerly” air. Topping it with fruit in summer is popular, in winter you could dust some cocoa powder over it for extra comforting richness in taste. The classical lady finger biscuits (savoiardi), or other hard biscotti are always a delicious way to spoon up this tempting egg nog pudding, that N.B. inspired the creation of the historical egg liquor Vov in the 19th century.


photo: Áslaug Snorradóttir

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Ricotta filled fried zucchini flowers

Fried zucchini flowers are one of Italy’s most elegant and graceful street foods. Like so often in Italian cuisine, the variants are numerous, and every region has its traditional recipe. Then you can make your own variations to the theme of course. When its delicately crunchy surface gives in to the soft filling, is a magical moment for the senses. It’s an authentic sensation, unique. Normally sparkling water is used in the batter, but I made a sparkling wine variant to the theme, that I thing is matching perfectly with the mild flavor of the flower dumplings. The chopped chive is also giving a mild contrast to the cheese in the filling. A romantic tête-à-tête dinner or an elegant appetizer. This is your dish.

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Very very easy pasta

Simple things are often the best things. Let’s think of the omelette, a freshly made bread with simple butter….. and a simple pasta with sugo, a heartwarming tomato pasta sauce. In this case meatless, just canned tomatoes, oil, garlic, onion, carrot and some aromas. All ingredients that you very probably have in your kitchen cupboard and that will save your day. Freshly grated parmigiano cheese on top would then make it just perfect. Buon appetito!

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Tagliolini with clams

This dish is definitely on my list of things worth living for. Isaac Davis (Woody Allen’s character in his film Manhattan), makes his list including amongst other things Louis Armstrongs’ recording of “Potato Head Blues”, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, the incredible pears by Cézanne and the Crabs at Sam Wo’s. These creamy tagliolini are highly quoted on a similar list of mine. The dish is Napoli originated and has conquered the tastebuds of Italy and the world. Like so many Italian dishes, it’s so simple, but as always it is the quality of the ingredients and the attentive cooking that rule the outcome. You can of course make this pasta dish with normal spaghetti, but fresh egg tagliolini are exalting in the most delicious way the creaminess of the clams and delivering the salty lightly spicy taste of the sauce.

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Apple fritters from Tyrol

There’s something about fried food that is so comforting and satisfying for the tastebuds. The aroma of the fried ingredients, the crunchiness of the dough that surrounds it…. Heavenly indulgent.
I particularly love fried apple slices in batter, and they are the main reason why sometimes I go skiing. It’s really worth while (independently from the breathtaking view), to take the funivia up to a couple of thousands of meters altitude, and savor these Tyrol Apple Fritters in their perfect surroundings.
The dessert is originally from the Trentino Alto Adige region, which is by the way Italy’s most important apple cultivation area. Then the ski ride down the mountain serves to burn the calories and admire the spectacular view.
When I make them, the sweet, fresh and comforting smell brings out the the imagine of a sunny skiing day in the Alps.

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Barley ricotta bread with smoked trout


Icelandic-Italian fusion. Tastes that remind of late summer and autumn. Birch smoked Icelandic trout, barley bread with freshly milled organic barley from Móðir Jörð, Vallanes, Iceland, pomegranate seeds from the amazing autumn fruit, pomegranate, freshly picked in Puglia, sheep ricotta cheese from Staffolo, Marche, a dash of orange Sicilian orange blossom honey and a couple of free range eggs. These fabulous ingredients come together in this “smörrebröd” open sandwich suggestion. The scrambled eggs match heavenly with the trout and the pomegranate gives a great acidity contrast to its slight fattiness. Autumn really tastes good, and this toast is in theme with its beautiful colors as well.

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Tiramisù with buffalo ricotta

The soft, fluffy inviting Italian dessert “par excellence”, tiramisù, offers variation possibilities in the creamy consistency part as for the topping. I love to make the dessert with ricotta and mix in with the heavy cream and without eggs. You still will have an extremely fluffy and rich dessert, beautifully white and tasty, but a little “lighter” in calories. I adore buffalo ricotta in the recipe, but you can of course use sheep-, cow or mixed ricotta depending on your taste preferences.

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Zesty ciambella with extra virgin olive oil inside & out

Ciambella is such a beautiful word and comforting in a way. The second part of the word “bella” means “beautiful” in Italian, so there’s one reason for the word’s expression for something good. Pronouncing “Ciam“, adds gladness and saliva to your palate in advance. It reminds of the sound of “yum“, meaning something that tastes or looks delicious. This bundt cake, ciambella, or better ciambellone, because of the size of it, is very light (despite the size of it), and extremely fragrant and zesty. An important factor for its lightness is given to the presence of extra virgin olive oil and zest in the dough. Then we exalt the zestiness, almonds as well as the mild olive oil in the dough with a second oil, a fruity Sicilian one.

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Simply fried egg in mild extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil will enhance the taste of almost any dish, and make your ordinary, simplest meals  surprisingly fragrant, plus you will get all the health benefits from this precious golden liquid.
Staying in simple theme, fried eggs are a beloved breakfast of mine…… and I’m sure there are a lot of you sharing the fried-egg passion.
Extra virgin olive oil is especially suitable for that cooking operation, because it heats up very fast, cooking the egg white rapidly and leaving the precious yolk thickened but yet soft. Important of course choosing an appropriate olive oil type.

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Poetry on the plate

Poetry is to be found everywhere, you only have to be curious, open minded and look. I see a lot of poetry in food, both when I prepare it, as when enjoying it prepared by others. What brings a very special poetry and joy to the senses, is when your dish is including local food and you can savor it in its natural surroundings.
I always look for these moments, and especially when traveling I already start from breakfast, and take my coffee or tea in a special place at the location that reflects its spirit, and with local specialities when possible.
Here are a some food poems from the beautiful Camogli, on the Ligurian Levante Riviera.

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