Tag Archives: Umbria

Attorta

attorta

Attorta is an Umbrian dessert. Think pastry roll, fille dwith apples, chocolate, walnuts and raisins to get a good idea on what this entails.

This was my first attempt at making this and it came out…eh. Not bad, but it could have been better. Words of advice? Use flour liberally when rolling out dough to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to the counter.Roll the pastry dough out 1/8″ thick. Keep the filling thin on the dough.

Other than that, eat with a side of ice cream and you’ve a kickin’ dessert.

Pastry

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Ameretto

Filling

  • 2 lbs. Yellow delicious apples, peeled and sliced
  • 4 oz. Ameretto
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup diced walnuts

Mix together the flour, eggs, sugar and Amerettoe until it is well blended and soft. Roll it out so that you have 1 long sheet of pastry dough.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a sauce large sauce pan over medium low heat. Cook the apples, Ameretto, lemon juice and sugar. Fold carefully and bring to a boil. Add powdered cocoa and combine well. The chocolate/apple sauce should start to thicken well. Add the walnuts and raisins and mix ijnto an almost thickened paste.

Spoon filling on the dough so it’s evenly distributed. Then roll the dough lengthwise like a jelly roll, being careful not to rip the dough. Place the rolled and twisted “attorta” on a buttered baking sheet. Bake the roll in the oven until the pastry becomes a nice golden colour (10 – 12 minutes).

Slice and serve.

Serves 12-16


Pollo Trifolata

Pollo Trifolata
This is an Umbrian recipe using the a fair amount of mushrooms, giving the sauce a deep earthy sauce. The truffles are expensive, and I could only locate 1 oz of them, and they were probably of dubious quality. Oh they still had a nice taste, but my suspicion is that the fresher the truffle the better.

Even with the lower quality truffles, the sauce was amazing.

  • 1 chicken, cut up into serving pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, etc, etc)
  • Flour
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Portobello mushrooms, caps cut into 1/4inch strips
  • 1 cup Pinot Grigio
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 ounces black truffles, shaved
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup

Using a towel, pat chicken dry. Set aside for a moment.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and pour in olive oil. Heat oil until it just begins to smoke.

In a medium size mixing bowl combine flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and place into hot skillet . Brown pieces of chicken until golden, 3 or 4 at a time. Place on paper towel and allow to drain off oil. Repeat this process until all chicken pieces have been browned.

Leave oil and chicken fat in skillet and add garlic. Cook until light brown. Add Portobello mushrooms saute until soft (approximately 4-5 minutes). Add Pinot Grigio and tomato paste and combine well. Add broth and chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Place 1-2 pieces on a plate. Shave pieces of truffle on chicken. Top with parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6


Umbria: Hidden Italy

One of the many problems with being a virtual tourist is trying to find that one thread of connection between what I’ve experienced versus what I imagine. As I read site after site, book after book about Italy, I can usually get a good idea of what the writer is talking about,even if only roughly.

Not so with Umbria.

Part of that is due to the fact that Umbria is the only landlocked region on the Italian peninsula. There are no coastlines for me to imagine. Instead, it’s full of peaks and valleys, meadows and pastures, woods and streams. With all of these different environments, I can imagine many different foods.

Olive oil is plentiful here, as well as wheat (which means plenty of pasta, cakes and cookies). The farms in the region mean beef, pork and lamb.

But really, when it comes to Umbria, think mushrooms. More specifically, think truffles. Black truffles (as the white ones are found in the Piedmont area, which I’ll get to later). Also available in Umbria are porcini, sanguinacci, ovoli and many others. Fungus is definitely dominant in the area.

There are many dishes that can be talked about as almost explicitly Umbrian; Porchetta for one, which I won’t be making as a spit-roasted suckling pig is hard to pull off in a studio apartment. I will be looking for Sausages done in an Umbrian style norcino, which means that the pigs used in the sausages were fattened almost exclusively on acorns. This will lead to a simple dish called Rigatoni alla Norcino, which I think I will make.

Wait a second…Hills and valleys, wheat, pork and beef, crayfish and trout, and mushrooms? This almost sounds like…Western Pennsylvania!

Okay, maybe not.

Expect several recipes in the next few weeks based on Umbrian cuisine. If you have any recommendations, feel free to let me know. I think I’m gonna enjoy this.