Walnut Chocolate Cake

I wanted to end my Piemonte-themed wine and food evenings with a nice dessert. The first thing I thought of was bounet, but I had already made that before for a similar evening so I asked my friend Resi (who is from Piemonte and helps me with my blog in Italian) for suggestions. She suggested a walnut cake with chocolate pastry cream as typical dessert from Piemonte. That sounded great and like a good combination for the barolo chinato I had made.

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The resulting cake was absolutely delicious. It has a very full walnut flavor and it’s not surprise that the chocolate pastry cream was nice as well. If you like dark chocolate, you can add cocoa powder to the chocolate cream to give it a more hefty chocolate flavor. The resulting cake will pair better with the barolo chinato.  Continue reading “Walnut Chocolate Cake”

Fennel Gratin (Finocchi Gratinati)

As a main course for the serata piemontese I prepared Brasato al Barolo, beef braised in Barolo wine. I used a wagyu brisket for this that was cooked sous-vide with 2 bottles of Barolo and aromatics for 48 hours at 57ºC/135ºF. The meat was tender and juicy and the sauce was amazing. I asked my friend Resi, who was born and raised in Piemonte, still lives there, and helps me out with my blog in Italian, for suggestions for a side dish for the brasato. She suggested a gratin of cauliflower, fennel, or cardoons. I chose fennel and it was indeed a great combination. Continue reading “Fennel Gratin (Finocchi Gratinati)”

Bagna Càuda

As an appetizer for my Piemonte-themed evening I decided to make bagna càuda. This is a hot dip sauce made with olive oil, anchovies, and garlic and served with raw or cooked vegetables to dip. There are many varieties, with a lot of them including butter besides olive oil or even milk or cream. Also the vegetables used are endless. Continue reading “Bagna Càuda”

Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia

Today it is exactly two years ago that I started this blog. This is the 486th post, there have been almost 150,000 views, and more than 5,000 comments. It has been a great ride so far and I never could have imagined I would have learned so much from it. The fun and learning is thanks to the interaction with my readers and the blogs I follow myself — so keep it coming please!

This is an appropriate moment to try something new: at the bottom of each post I will feature a ‘flashback’ to a post from two years ago, as there are some very nice recipes there that you may have missed because I didn’t have many readers in the beginning.

And now for today’s recipe. Yesterday evening was the first serata piemontese, and it was a great success. Tonight is the next installment, with the same food but mostly different wines. I will do a full report in a later post. I included two primi piatti in my Piemontese menu: agnolotti and risotto al barolo con salsiccia. Risotto is usually made with just a bit of white wine, but Piemonte has the speciality of using red wine and quite a lot of it so the main flavor of the risotto is that of the wine. The end result will thus depend on the quality of the wine used, and though it may seem like a waste of a good barolo, I strongly urge you not to use a cheap red wine for this as that would ruin the dish. Last night everyone agreed that this risotto was different, but delicious. Continue reading “Risotto al Barolo con Salsiccia”

Agnolotti

Stuffed pasta such as ravioli can probably be classified as my signature dish. I love to prepare them and I love to eat them. Twice a year I organize a wine & food extravaganza for my friends — two evenings with a multi-course dinner with two different paired wines with each course to compare them and find out which one is the best match. After the Burgundy theme earlier this year, it is now time for the Italian region of Piemonte. Piemonte is the home of great wines such as Barolo and the home of great Italian food. After the Barolo Chinato (which I will serve with the dessert) I wrote about yesterday, today’s post is about the one of the primi piatti (pasta dishes) I will serve during my serata piemontese: Agnolotti.

Continue reading “Agnolotti”

Homemade Barolo Chinato

Barolo Chinato is a spiced wine from the Italian region of Piemonte that was invented as a medicine in the late 19th century by pharmacist Giuseppe Cappellano in Turin. Commercial versions of Barolo Chinato are matured for over a year in oak barrels, but it is possible to make a very acceptable version at home. That is great, because Barolo Chinato is very good with chocolate and chocolate-based desserts, and it is quite hard to find outside of Italy. After maturation in the bottle only it is not the same as the commercial product, but a very acceptable substitute. It is very easy to make and only requires some patience (about a month). Continue reading “Homemade Barolo Chinato”

Fresh Pasta with Rabbit (Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio)

I really liked the fresh tagliatelle with rabbit at Bussia, and so I decided to make a similar dish. Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio is a dish from the Piemonte region, where narrow tagliatelle (taglierini) are called tajarin in the local dialect. It really brings out the delicate flavor of the rabbit, which pairs very well with the delicate pasta. I decided to enhance the rabbit flavor by using rabbit stock rather than chicken stock. Ingredients For 4 servings 1 kg (2.2 lbs) rabbit legs 1 small onion, minced 1 carrot, minced 1 celery stalk, minced 1 glass (100 ml) … Continue reading Fresh Pasta with Rabbit (Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio)

Beef braised in red wine (Brasato al Barolo)

A famous dish from the Piemonte region in Italy is Brasato al Barolo, beef braised in Barolo, king of the red wines. Since a bottle of good Barolo does not come cheap, it is good to realize that you can achieve an almost identical result using another wine from Piemonte made from the Nebbiolo grape that is not as expensive. And if you marinate the meat in a ziploc bag rather than in a bowl, you only need half the bottle and can drink the other half with the meat. For this dish I used a piece of chuck roast. Unfortunately … Continue reading Beef braised in red wine (Brasato al Barolo)