ZUPPA PAVESE

Ingredients

4 large (1/2-in. thick) slices crusty country bread
4 tbs. butter
8 eggs at room temperature
4 tbs. grated Parmigiano
1 qt. beef broth

How to make the ZUPPA PAVESE:

How to make the zuppa pavese: Fry the slices of bread in butter on both sides. Break one egg on top of each of the bread slice without breaking the yolk. Cover with plenty of Parmigiano. Bring the broth to a boil and pour it slowly over the eggs. The eggs will cook fast. Serve the zuppa pavese immediately.

Note:
You may also fry the eggs in butter before placing them on the slices of bread, and then cover with hot broth.

Serves 4

Regional recipe from Lombardy

ZUPPA D’ORZO E PISELLI

Ingredients

1 cup pearl barley
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 oz. Pancetta Piacentina (bacon)
3 oz. Grana Padano cheese
2-3 oz. butter
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups meat broth
1 small sliced onion
chopped parsley

How to make the Barley and Pea Soup:

Rinse the barley under cold water. Place in a bowl and soak in water for two hours. Chop the Pancetta Piacentina and cook in a casserole with the oil. When browned, add the sliced onion. Once translucent, stir in the peas, making sure that they don’t burn. You can always add a little white wine or water.

Add the drained barley, stir well, and then start adding the broth gradually, for about 40 minutes. The barley should be the consistency of a risotto, when cooked. Add the butter, the grated Grana Padano cheese and the parsley just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Italian Trade Commission.

Serves 4

ZUPPA INGLESE

Zuppa inglese can be round and flat, or egg-shaped. It may also be prepared in a bowl. Moreover, the cream may be divided into two flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate. Alchermes is a liquor essential to this dessert, but it may be substituted with curaao or Grand Marnier.

Ingredients

8 eggs, separated
1/2 vanilla stick
8 oz. confecyioner’ sugar
sponge cake
1 qt. milk
1 oz. alchermes
1 tbs. flour
1 oz. rum

How to make the Italian English Trifle:

Prepare a vanilla cream with 8 egg yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, milk, flour and vanilla. Warm the milk, add the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and flour. Keep mixing over a low heat until you get a smooth cream, but do not allow it to boil.

Cut the sponge cake into slices about 1/2-in. thick and 1-in. wide. Arrange a layer of sponge cake in a deep serving platter, sprinkle with alchermes to moisten, then pour a layer of cream. Cover with another layer of sponge cake. Sprinkle with rum, spread with cream, cover with a last layer of sponge cake and drizzle with alchermes.

Whip the egg whites. Combine them gently with the remaining sugar, and cover the cake. Brown the meringue with a burner or in the salamander.

Serves 4

ZUPPA DI VONGOLE

Ingredients

6 lbs. very fresh clams
4 slices bread, about 1/2-in. thick
2 tbs. parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
salt
pepper

How to make the Clam Soup:

Clean the clams, rinse thoroughly, and soak in cold, lightly salted water for 2-3 hours without touching them, so that they open, releasing any possible remaining sand.

Chop the parsley. Pound 1 clove garlic in a mortar. Toast the bread. Take the clams out of the water and let them drain through your fingers (do not drain with a colander, to avoid picking up the sand as well). Crush the rest of the garlic and brown it with the olive oil in a large pan. When the garlic is lightly brown, remove with a pierced spoon and discard.

Add the tomatoes and a pinch of peperoncino. Cook for about 5 min. and add the clams. Cover the pot and cook until all the clams are open. Add the chopped parsley and remove from fire. Place the bread into single bowls. Pour the broth with the clams over the bread and serve hot.

Note:
This zuppa can be prepared without tomatoes. Replace them with 1 cup of white wine; reduce for 2 min. and add the clams. Proceed as above.

Serves 4

ZUPPA DI CIPOLLE BIANCHE IN CROSTA

Ingredients

1 cup soft Pecorino Toscano cheese
1/4 cup hard Pecorino Toscano cheese
3 medium sliced white onions
8 slices of Tuscan bread toasted on one side only
1/2 cup Toscano extra virgin olive oil
3 oz. all-purpose flour, sifted
3-4 cups of hot water
1 bouillon cube

How to make the White Onion Soup with Tuscan Toast:

Peel the onions and slice them thinly. Cook them gently in a pan with the Toscano extra virgin olive oil over a low flame. When translucent, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until creamy. Five minutes later add the hot water, the bouillon cube, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another ten minutes.

Place the un-toasted side of the Tuscan bread on a cookie tray. Cover the toasted tops with the grated Pecorino Toscano cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Pour the hot onion soup into individual tureens, and cover with the slices of Tuscan bread, just out of the oven. Sprinkle some more Pecorino Toscano cheese on the top and serve.

Serves 4

ZUPPA DI CARDONI

Ingredients

4 large cardoons
1/2 lb. lean veal, chopped
l/4 lb. chicken livers, chopped
2 eggs
6 slices of country bread
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
2 tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 qts. chicken broth

How to make the Soup of Cardoons:

Clean, remove the outer leaves and chop the cardoons. Cook in 2 qts. water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. When done, remove from water and set aside. Combine the veal, chicken livers, eggs, and Parmigiano, mix well and prepare small dumplings the size of a nutmeg. Saute them in oil and sprinkle with the white wine. When they have cooked through, set aside.

Next, combine the cardoons with the dumplings and pour over the boiling broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Arrange slices of country bread into 6 rimmed plates and pour over the boiling soup. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

ZUPPA DI AGNELLO

Ingredients

1 lb. lamb innards (including liver and heart)
1 small onion
5 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbs. parsley, chopped
1 1/4 qts. beef broth
1 celery stalk
4 slices of bread, about l/2-in. thick
2 cloves garlic
salt

How to make the Lamb Innards Soup:

Rinse the meat and slice them thinly. Make a battuto with parsley, carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Put the battuto in a saucepan (preferably a ceramic one) with oil and saute lightly for a few minutes.

Add the meats (except the liver) and brown over a low heat stirring frequently. Add the broth, stir and cook over a low heat for about 40 min.

About 5 min. before everything is ready, add the liver. Add salt to taste. Toast the slices of bread and place them into single bowls. Ladle zuppa over the slices of bread and serve.

Serves 4

Zuccotto Delicato

Ingredients

1 small or 1/2 of a large Panettone
1/2 cup coffee liqueur
5 lbsp. water
2 cups pastry cream
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate bits

How to make the Zuccotto Delicato:

Line a deep, square or rectangular quart bowl with waxed paper. Cut the Panettone in thin slices and line the mold with some of the slices. Mix 2/3 of the liqueur and the water and brush the slices in the mold with the liquid. Add the remaining liqueur to the pastry cream along with half the whipped cream. Blend well and cover the Panettone in the mold with some of the cream.

Remove the crust from the remaining Panettone slices and put a layer of slices atop the cream. Brush with the liqueur/water mixture, add more cream and repeat the process until all the cream and slices have been used. The top layer of Panettone should not be moistened.

Cover with a lid or dish and chill the Zuccotto in the refrigerator for several hours. To serve, blend the sugar with the remaining whipped cream. Turn out the Zuccotto onto a serving dish, spread the cream over the surface and decorate with chocolate bits.

Serves 6

ZUCCOTTO

Ingredients

a large piece of sponge cake
4 oz. chocolate
1 qt. whipped cream
3 oz. confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla
3 oz. almonds and hazelnuts, roasted and minced
1 oz. curacao
cocoa

How to make the ZUCCOTTO:

A specialty from Florence.

Cut the sponge cake into strips and use it to line a spherical mold. Finely mince the chocolate and melt half of it in a double boiler over a medium heat. Pour the whipped cream in a bowl. Add 3 oz. confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, curacao and minced nuts. Lightly moisten the sponge cake with liqueur in the mold and spoon in half of the whipped cream.

Mix the remaining whipped cream with the chocolate. Scoop this into the mold, filling it to the top. Seal with more sponge cake strips and moisten with the liqueur. Put the zuccotto in the freezer for about 4 hours. Make a funnel of wax paper and fill it with melted chocolate.

Make small disks of chocolate on another piece of wax paper and let harden. Remove the zuccotto from the freezer one hour before serving. Unmold the zuccotto onto a serving dish, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with chocolate disks and cocoa powder if desired. Slice the zuccotto and serve.

Regional recipe from Tuscany

ZUCCHINE RIPIENE CON FORMAGGIO

Ingredients

1 lb. zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
6 slices white bread
3 oz. breadcrumbs
3 oz. milk
1 1/2 oz. butter
1 cup ricotta
4 tbs. grated Parmigiano
salt

How to make the Zucchini Stuffed with Cheese:

Boil zucchini in salted water for about 5 min. (it should still be firm). Let cool and cut lengthwise. Scoop out some of the pulp with a spoon, being careful not to cut into the shell, and set aside. Remove the inside of the bread, soak it in milk, then squeeze out the moisture.

In a bowl mix ricotta, Parmigiano, the pulp of zucchini, eggs, and the bread and adjust seasoning with salt. Stuff the zucchini shells with this mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and thin pats of butter. Place the zucchini side by side in a greased baking pan. Bake at 325°F for about 30 min. or until they brown on top.

You may replace ricotta with a different type of cheese.

Serves 4