#ITALIAN MEALS

In Italy we tend to arrange our foods in categories, according to the role they have within a meal:

#Antipasti: small bits of pickled vegetables, fried vegetables cold cuts, marinated fish, toasted slices of bread with some kind of spread on (bruschetta), sometimes cheese. Antipasti are served only in very special meals like Christmas Lunch, New Year’s Eve, Easter Lunch. All these foods are often used for babysitting as well.

#Primi: soups, pasta, gnocchi, risotto, lasagna.

#Secondi: meat or fish, poultry, cheese, eggs.

#Contorni: that is a vegetable side like lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes.

#Piatti unici: single dishes, when you get a meat or fish main combined with pasta or bread or polenta and vegetables. What’s called ‘salad’ in English, it’s ‘insalatona’ in Italian: lettuce and other vegetables with cheese or tunafish or grilled chicken. The best example of a single dish is a rice salad. Most of the time the single dish is served cold and it’s a quick meal for working days.

#Frutta: at the end of an Italian home meal you always eat some fruit: apples, bananas, oranges.

#Dolce: desserts. It’s mostly a Sunday or special days treat. A typical summer one is the combination of a fruit salad with gelato (ice-cream).

– How many meals a day do the Italians have? Lunch and Dinner; breakfast isn’t considered a main meal.

– Do the Italians eat one serving of each category at every meal? No, they don’t. As already specified, appetizers and desserts are for special events. Contorni and frutta are usually in every italian meal while most of the people eat or 1 primo serving or 1 secondo serving.

– Do not they eat pasta every day, then? Actually they don’t, even if pasta and all the other ‘primo’ servings ( lasagna, gnocchi, …) are often served as they are easy to cook and pretty filling as well.

Have you any questions? Feel free to ask!

RAVIOLI

Ravioli are a type of pasta comprising a filling enveloped in thin pasta dough. Usually served with a sauce, Ravioli are commonly square, though other forms are also used, including circular and semi-circular. 

Even if RAVIOLI is the most common name, this filled Italian first serving can be called Agnolotti, Cappellacci, Ravioloni, Tortelli and more, according to the area of Italy you are

RAVIOLI filling options offered by Chef Teresa Colors


1rav. Spinach and Ricotta Cheese
2rav. Ground Beef and Ricotta Cheese
3rav. Ground Beef and Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
4rav. Sausage and Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
5rav. Montasio Cheese
6rav. Montasio Cheese and Pears
7rav. Ricotta Cheese & Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
8rav. Ham and Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
9rav. Basil Pesto and Besciamella Sauce
10rav. Ricotta Cheese with Basil Pesto Favor
11rav. Pumpkin ( served with Smoked Ricotta Cheese and Butter)
12rav. Zucchini with Garlic and Ricotta Cheese
13rav. Zucchini and Shredded Asiago Cheese
14rav. Eggplants and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese ( served with chopped tomatoes)
16rav. Gorgonzola and walnuts
17rav. Goat Cheese
18rav. Asiago Cheese


NOTES

  1. Eggs are part of the fillings pretty often.
  2. The perfect sauces for most of the Ravioli are BUTTER & SAGE SAUCE or TOMATO SAUCE (Al Pomodoro or Al Sugo)
  3. The Italian word RAVIOLI is plural, the singular is RAVIOLO. It doesn’t exist RAVIOLIS.
  4. The pasta for making Ravioli is usually made with eggs, but it could be also made with the Southern pasta recipe as well, where the ingredients are water, salt and semolina.
  5. Kitchen tools: a rolling pin or a pasta making machine to flatten the pasta dough is needed and then a pizza cutter or a rolling cutter to make the Ravioli.
    ENJOY!

GNOCCHI

My Cooking Classes are only virtual, at the moment, as we are still in Covid-19 emergency time.

Yesterday, Sunday, I had an online Cooking Class: Potato Gnocchi from scratch.•

Do you know Gnocchi can be made with different ingredients? The one you see in the pic are made with Potatoes, cooked almost everywhere in Italy. Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi are from Tuscany, Pumpkin Gnocchi are well known in the north of Italy and then we have the Gnocchi made with Spinach, Bread Gnocchi and also Gnocchi alla Parigina ( Paris style ), Canederli which are a compromise among gnocchi and meatballs and more type. Even if the ingredients used are usually only four or five, it’s very important to balance them very well.

If some types of Gnocchi don’t need particular kitchen tools besides what usual in a kitchen, for making Potato Gnocchi is necessary to have a potato ricer with small holes and a wide wooden cutting board or table to work the Gnocchi on, to absorb the humidity and for having fluffy pillows•

Strawberry Jam

Sometimes we forget how easy are to make some recipes.

When I got married, my husband and I went to live in a little village called Polcenigo. It’s an old rural little town with a two beautiful springs, with a lot of old buildings and with a very fascinating view.

I’ve never made a jam before I moved to live in Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Yes, my grandma Teresa used to make her own jam when she had a lot of fruit, but I’ve never been interested in it and I really never helped her in the process.

One day one of my new neighbors gifted me some plums. Well, she gifted me tons of plums, so I decided to make jam for the first time. It was about 30 years ago.

The first thing I did was calling my grandma for asking her the ingredients. Her replies was very easy: for 1 kilo of fruit without seeds, you need 1/2 kilo of white sugar. Let it cook for a couple of hours, stirring once in while. That’s it.

Well, from that first experience, few things changed.

Asking around and checking the ingredients written on the jars in the grocery stores, I found out that many people add artificial pectine to make their jam thicker in a short time. But I really don’t like to use chemicals, so, after researching on the web, I realized that adding the juice of one lemon or one peeled apple cut in pieces to the fruit I’m making the jam with, they both develop a natural pectine.

Another thing I realized, after trying multiple times, is that we can reduce the amount of sugar up to 30% and that we can also use the brown sugar instead of the white one.

I still don’t make it very often, but my favorites are Raspberry Jam and Strawberry Jam. Here is the recipe:

STRAWBERRY JAM

Ingredients : 1 kilogram fresh red strawberries, cut in pieces; 300 grams sugar, one lemon juice.

Method: Put everything in a tall pot, possibly a stainless steel one, put on the stove at low heat until the sugar starts melting, then the heat can be at medium-high. Let everything boil for about 15 minutes, stirring once in while. Take the pot out of the burner and blend the fruit with an immersion blender. Put the pot back on the stove and let the jam boil for other 15 minutes. Pour the jam in a glass jar, close the lead and let it cool down. When it’s cold, put in the fridge. If you like a thick jam, mix all the ingredients in the pot, and let it sit in the fridge for 12 hours, then start cooking the mix.

How old are eggs we buy in the stores?

European and American laws about eggs are very different.

But, how old are store bought

eggs in the States?

I found this very interesting blog article, surfing the web, so I’m sharing it with you.

How Old is the Average Supermarket Egg? | Fresh Eggs Daily®

https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2016/01/how-old-is-average-supermarket-egg.html

In this article you can read:

Q: How old are the eggs being sold in the grocery store?

A: It’s just about impossible to tell, but they could be up to 2 months old. Yup, really.

By law, an egg can be sold for up to 30 days after the date it was put in the carton. Yes, that says ‘put in the carton’, not laid or collected, but packaged. And I’m told (although I can’t find anything official in writing to confirm this) that a farmer has up to 30 days to package an egg after it’s laid. So that means a commercially sold egg can be two months old by the time you buy it.

What about Italy?

I couldn’t find a specific blog article so I checked the Carabinieri website

Le Uova http://www.carabinieri.it/cittadino/consigli/tematici/giorno-per-giorno/andiamo-al-supermercato/le-uova

An interesting section says:

. la data di scadenza, obbligatoria, non può essere posteriore al 28° giorno successivo alla data di deposizione per il consumatore, non può essere posteriore al periodo massimo di 21 giorni dalla data di deposizione per il venditore );

. Expiration day, which is mandatory for eggs, can’t be later than 28 days from the egg being laid. Actually eggs can be sold in the stores only within 21 days from the egg being laid down but the client, that bought the eggs before they were retired by the store, can eat them up to the 28th day.

What a big difference!

“La Strada Del Prosecco”

Travel from Venice to one of the region’s best-kept secrets, “La Strada del Prosecco” or Prosecco Road. Three dozen vineyards that churn out delicious, affordable versions of the Veneto region’s best-known wine, and the basis for Italy’s national cocktail, the Aperol Spritz. Most of the cantina (vineyards) along the Prosecco Road remain family-owned and run. Many of the tasting rooms are simple operations where visitors rap on a wooden door to call the winemaker from his work for a quick pouring. A truly authentic and enjoyable way to spend the day.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

A visit to the Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) countryside is a chance to experience a mostly undiscovered corner of Northern Italy. This large agricultural haven spreads across the plains reaching the foot of the Dolomite Mountains. The soil delivers a unique table of local products such as Montasio cheese which pairs beautifully with the wine from the Prosecco vintages grown in this region. Join me in my home kitchen to prepare and enjoy dishes made with local ingredients. The FVG region is less than an hour by train from Venice. I offer transfer from the train to my home which is about a ten-minute drive.

Newsletter – Dec. & Jan. Cooking Class Schedule

Happy Holidays!! I have planned a lot of delicious events over the course of the next month, and I hope that you will be able to join in on the fun!

I’ve found that these cooking classes are really popular with families that are in town visiting those who are stationed nearby. Classes are open to all ages, so bring the family and let’s have some fun!

Holiday Gift Card Promotion
(Gift one and get one!)

Cooking Class Gift Cards Are you stumped on what to buy for teachers’ gifts this holiday season? Want to gift your spouse a private cooking class to use at their leisure?

 Whomever you are shopping for, if they like to have a good time and enjoy delicious Italian food, then a Teresa Colors Cooking Class Gift Card is the perfect choice this Holiday Season! 

 Whenever you buy over 50€ in gift cards for Teresa Colors Cooking Classes this Holiday Season, you’ll get one to enjoy for yourself! 

50€-75€ worth of gift cards purchased = 15€ gift card for you;
76€-150€ worth of gift cards purchased = 25€ gift card for you;
151€-250€ worth of gift cards purchased = 35€ gift card for you.**To order, simply email teresacolors.chef@gmail.com today!

Cooking Class Schedule Dec. & Jan.
To reserve for any of the classes or events below, please email: teresacolors.chef@gmail.com
Dec. 9th –  5:30pm – Risotto with Radicchio Cooking Class – 25€/ per person
Dec. 10th – 5:30pm – 3 Sauces Ready in 15 Minutes: Carbonara, Panna e Prosciutto, Leek w/ Sausage – 20€/ per person
Dec. 11th – 11:00am – Brunch in Cordenons at GUSTI Mediterranei – Free Event. Guests will pay for what they order.
Dec. 12th – 5:30pm – Pizza Making Class – 20€/ per person
Dec. 16th – 10:00am – Traditional Christmas Meal: Christmas Broth, Cheese Bread & Tiny Meatballs – 30€/ per person
Dec. 17th – 10:30am – Cheese tasting & Pairing with Fruit – 15€/ per person
Dec. 17th – 5:30pm – Winter Lentil Soup & Chocolate Salami – 20€/ per person
Dec. 19th – 5:30pm – 2 Quick Seafood Sauces Over Pasta: Tunafish Sauce & Shrimp Sauce – 20€/ per person
Dec. 27th – 5:30pm – 50% OFF Class – Healthy & Low Calorie Cooking Class: Minestrone and a Zucchini Side Dish – 10€/ per person.
Jan. 2nd – 5:30pm – Let’s cook Eggs 6 Different Ways Cooking Class – 20€/ per person
Jan. 4th – 11:00am – Risotto w/ Montasio Cheese & Pears Cooking Class – 25€/ per person
Jan. 4th – 5:00pm – Lasagna w/Smoked Cheese & Smoked Ham Cooking Class – 25€/ per person
Jan. 7th – 9:30am – Hot Chocolate Meet Up at Viavai Coffee Bar in Aviano – Free event, but guests will pay for whatever they order. (Address: Via Selva 1 Giais)

Event Details:
(For even more details on these events, please reference my Facebook Events Page)
(All of my classes have a set price and additionally, the cost of groceries for that class is split between all participants.)

Reserve your spot today by emailing teresacolors.chef@gmail.com as classes are filling up quickly! Have We Cooked Together Before?I am always working hard to improve my services and your feedback is invaluable!
I would be incredibly grateful if you wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to leave me a review on FacebookTripAdvisor, or Google.

Additionally, filling out this quick, 2-minute survey would be very helpful.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to cooking with you again soon!

Montasio DOP

MONTASIO DOP cheese is made daily, with fresh milk, in little cheese farms in the North East of Italy.

Montasio has 4 different denominations according to how long it has been aged for.

Montasio Fresco, aged at least for 60 days/2 months.
Montasio Mezzano, aged at least 120 days, so it can’t be sold with the name MEZZANO before 4 months from the cheese making.
Montasio Stagionato is the official name for a Montasio aged at least 10 months. It’s also sold as Montasio Vecchio in the cheese farms.
Montasio Stravecchio, aged for at least 18 months.