Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Desert to Celebrate!

This week in Titina's kitchen at Capri Flavors--a desert with ancient roots. Pastiera Napoletana- a ricotta filled tart associated with Easter because it celebrates Spring and renewal.

Neapolitans love it. They've been eating it forever.

Many of the ingredients are symbolic--cooked wheat grain (spelt) and eggs for new life, plus the perfume of flowers.

The pastry is critical. It must be flaky, thin and have a lattice top. Lemon peel and candied citron flavor the filling. And there's also a touch of cinnamon--traditional in many Italian celebration deserts, it is one of the spices that made Venice richest city of it's day.

But Pastiera Napoletana is Southern Italian to the core.

Titina's husband Costanzo, who often joins the class for family-style dinner, believes it is the star of the Napoli menu. And that's saying a lot. Naples is a great food city--the birthplace of many Italian classics--pizza, pasta, Sophia Loren.

Here's the rest of this week's Napoli menu from Let's Cook With Titina.

Gnocchi di Patate (potato dumplings)

Braciole al Ragu’(Beef Rolls in Heavy Sauce)

Piselli al Prosciutto (Peas and Prosciutto)

Pastiera Napoletana (Italian Easter Cake)

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