Boozy Summer Dessert:: Campari Sorbet

Campari Sorbet

As you all know by now, one of my favorite Italian aperitivo/digestivo is Campari. So, it should come as no surprise that I figured out a way to incorporate it into dessert.

This boozy summer dessert, better known as Campari Sorbet, is ideal for the long, hot days of summer. The color is fun, the taste is interesting, and the texture is divine. It’s the perfect compliment to any summer party or cookout you might be planning.

Since this sorbet is made with alcohol, it will remain soft. Plan to freeze it overnight and eat within minutes of serving. For the kids, skip the Campari and stick with just the orange juice. That way they can participate in the fun, too!

Campari Sorbet
Serves 8

You will need: 
– 1 cup water
– 1 cup sugar
– 3 Tbsp. orange zest 3 oranges, I use a microplane
– 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (squeeze it yourself; it’s worth it)
– 3/4 cup Campari

To prepare:

In a sauce pan combine water, sugar and zest, making a simple syrup

Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and cool

Add Campari and orange juice to the syrup. You need to chill in the refrigerator at this point, the colder the better before adding it to the ice cream maker

Place into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions, place into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, put into the freezer until ready to serve.

*Note: this will be a soft sorbet because of the alcohol in the Campari, so chill overnight for best texture.

xx Annette

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Tomato Week:: Tomato Tart

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This week, I’m covering one of my favorite summer ingredients: tomatoes. Tomato season is on the horizon and will be here before we know it. Since it’s almost here, I thought this week would be the perfect time to share a few of my favorite tomato recipes.

Today it’s my recipe for my tomato tart. When shopping for tomatoes for this recipe, look for the heirloom variety. Truthfully, they’re probably best from your local farmer’s markets, but I’ve beautiful ones at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. Get a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes for the perfect tart. The uglier the better when it comes to heirlooms!

Tomato Tart
Serves 6-8

For the Crust:

You will need:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon salt
– 1/4 cups ice water

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Make crust in a food processor. Put flour in the bowl and add oil and salt. Pulse until pebble-sized crumbs appear, and as you pulse, add water through the chute until dough comes together.

Note: You may need to add a little more water to the dough – it should form a soft ball of dough. Set the dough aside and make the filling.

Note: This is a very fragile crust; handle it with care.

For the Filling:

You will need:
– 1 lb heirloom tomatoes (8 cups sliced)
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
– 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

To prepare:

Roll out the crust and place into a 9″ pie tin. Place the Parmesan on the bottom of the crust.

Toss the tomatoes with the shallots, basil, salt and olive oil and place into the pie crust.

Bake at 375F for 1 hour.

This tart can be served warm of at room temperature.

xx, Annette

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Recipe:: Easy Pesto Pasta for a Crowd

This recipe for Ligurian pesto pasta with green beans and red potatoes is a fantastic dinner that’s perfectly suited for feeding a crowd. If you have leftovers, it also makes a great lunch the next day. Pesto is one of those easy sauces that people often forget about, but not this Italian girl! Basil grows freely in my garden, so you can be sure I’ll be whipping-up this easy pesto pasta this summer.
Easy Pesto Pasta for a Crowd
You will need: 
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
– 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
– 2 cups green beans cut into 2″ pieces
– 6 small red potatoes cut into quarters, skin on
– 1 box of dry mini penne pasta (or pen shaped pasta)
To prepare:
Cook pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes.
Add the beans and potatoes after pasta has cooked and cook for 5 minutes until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water to lighten the pesto sauce consistency. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
Toss pasta, beans, and potatoes in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add reserved water to the pesto in a separate bowl.
(Note: pesto should be fluid, but not runny). Add pesto to the pasta and toss until incorporated. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
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Delicious Cocktail Italiano Appetizer:: Eggplant Camponata

 

If you’ve received your copy of Cocktail Italiano, you now know that it’s not only filled with cocktails but also delicious appetizers. In the section on Imperia, an industrial town along the coast, you’ll find three classic cocktails and several nibble recipes. This eggplant camponata is one of them. Camponata is one of my favorite, stand by appetizers. It’s creamy, spicy, salty, and of course, eggplant-y. It’s divine.

I like to serve mine with thin crackers or crostini, along with arugula and grape tomatoes. Plate it all with a touch of grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of the best olive oil you have. Enjoy!

Eggplant Camponata

This has been my favorite tried-and-true apero recipe for many years. I make a lot, and I keep it in the fridge for unexpected guests. It’s also an amazing topping for pizza, another great aperitivo snack!

You will need:

– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 small red onion, finely chopped
– 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or coarsely chopped
– 4 cups of cubed eggplant, skin on (1″ cubes)
– 1 cup chopped tomatoes
– 1 cup chopped fresh basil
– 1/4 cup capers
– 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/2 cup tomato sauce (from a jar is fine, unless you have homemade hanging around)
– 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– salt and pepper to taste
– Parmesan cheese for garnish
– Crispy crackers or flat crostini (find this recipe in Cocktail Italiano, too!)

To prepare:

In a large pan, saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add all other ingredients, except Parmesan cheese. Cover and stir frequently, so camponata does not stick. Saute on low heat until combined and soft, about 30-40 minutes.

Serve as a warm appetizer on crisp crackers and plate with arugula and tomatoes. Enjoy alongside cold white or sparkling wine with friends.

xx Annette

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Great Barware Picks, for your Summer Aperitivo Parties from Cocktail Italiano

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I thought I would pull together my favorite bar supplies, so you can have everything you might need for your epic aperitivo parties this summer. When sourcing items for your home bar, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. I’ve found some of my favorite items on Amazon!

Beyond necessary barware and glassware, you’ll also need the ingredients. Pick up your favorite spirits for your bar, and make it a point to stock popular liquors that can be used in multiple drinks. A local bottle shop is one of my recommended places to look. They always have the best selection and the most unique bottles.

Of course by now you have my book, Cocktail Italiano. It’s full of authentic Italian aperitivo cocktails and snacks (in some cases snacks so filling you probably will skip dinner). Having a fully stocked bar is imperative for getting the perfect cocktail again and again. Here are some great barware picks for your bar cart:

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  1. Metallic Rimmed Cocktail Glasses: vintage inspired for a classic look
  2. Cocktail Sticks: pick-ture perfect for snacks or garnishes
  3. Cocktail Napkin Roll: these make great gifts, especially for summer!
  4. Italian Glassware Set: a set of 6 and such a steal
  5. Deco Tools: a must-have for DIY mixology
  6. 5050 Bar Set by Alessi: for shaking OR stirring
  7. Gilded Beer Glass: zhush-up your craft beer with a chic glass

What are your must-haves? Let me know in the comments!

xx Annette

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