Most people still associate Italian food with the image of a large guy devouring spaghetti topped with meatball sauce. In reality, spaghetti with meatball sauce is hardly ever eaten in Italy. While the Italian cooking does have a few meat sauce recipes that usually require laborious and long preparation, but they also have a vast variety of pasta dishes made with seafood and vegetables.
And as for the pasta itself, it is not restricted to just spaghetti. Again, there is an incredible range of sizes, shapes, and forms of pasta, most of which are distinctive to particular regions. The variety in Italian cooking, the reliance on ingredients that are fresh which are cooked immediately, plus the extensive use of olive oil, vegetables, and fruit contribute to making Italian food both delicious and healthy.
And as for Italian desserts, they have an endless array of chocolates, cookies, and various other enticing ambrosial offerings, the flavor of which ranges from slightly bitter to fairly sweet. In general, Italian desserts are not overly sweet and are usually best served with an Italian wine. Given here is a small sample of Italian dessert recipes for people who love to indulge in gastronomic delights:
Cream Cheese Layer Cake
- 2 cups, all-purpose flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup, buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon, baking soda
- 2 cups, white sugar
- 1/2 cup, butter
- 1/2 cup, vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup, shortening
- 1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
- 1 cup, chopped pecans
- 1 packet, flaked coconut, (3.5 ounce)
- 1 packet, cream cheese (softened)
- 1/2 cup, butter or margarine (softened)
- 4 cups, confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
- 1 cup, pecans (chopped)
Begin by preheating the oven to 165 ºC. Grease 3 round cake pans, 9 inches in diameter. Combine the buttermilk and soda and put it aside for a few minutes. Put the butter, shortening, oil, and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk them. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating the mixture well. Then, mix the buttermilk mix and flour, alternatively, into the creamed mixture. Add one teaspoon of vanilla. Take a large bowl and beat the egg whites in it until stiff peaks begin forming. Fold in 1/3 of the beaten whites into the batter, then, add the rest of it, mixing well so that no white streaks remain. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Pour this batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the cake and allow it to cool.
To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese, margarine or butter, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar. Mix in one cup of the chopped pecans, frost, and fill the cake with this frosting.
- 3 cups, flour
- 1/2 cup, brown sugar
- 1/2 cup, granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup, butter
- 2 teaspoons, orange peel (grated)
- 3 teaspoons, baking powder
- 3/4 cup, dried cranberries (chopped coarsely)
- 1/4 cup, almonds (chopped)
First, preheat the oven to 350 ºF, and then grease one large or two smaller sized baking sheets. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and sugar in a large bowl, and beat them until they are blended well. Add the eggs and orange peel, beating in order to combine well. Then, add the baking powder and flour, continuing to mix well. Gently, fold in the almonds and cranberries. Lightly flour a surface and place this dough on it and divide it into three equal portions. Flour your hands lightly and shape each portion of the dough into about 3x8'' slightly flattened logs, and place them, keeping a three-inch distance between each, on the baking sheets, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Do not turn off the oven. Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack in order to cool, for about 15 minutes. Bring down the temperature of the oven to 300 ºF. Transfer the logs, one at a time, on to a cutting board, and use a serrated knife to cut diagonally into ½-inch slices, and place them, the cut side facing down, on the baking sheets, and bake for another 12-15 minutes, turning each biscotti over once during the baking. Remove and cool on a wire.
- 2 cups, heavy cream
- 2 cups, whole milk
- 2/3 cup, sugar
- 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
- 2 teaspoons, lemon zest (grated)
- 2/3 cup, pine nuts (toasted)
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup, heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup, white sugar
- 1 cup, mascarpone cheese
- 2 packages ladyfingers (12 ounce)
- 1/3 cup, coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon, unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)
- 1 square semisweet chocolate (1 ounce)
Split into half the ladyfingers, line the sides and bottom of a large glass bowl with them, and then brush them with the coffee liqueur. Put half of the cream filling over the ladyfingers, then put another layer of ladyfingers on it, and repeat the process of brushing coffee liqueur and layers of filling. Finally, garnish with chocolate curls and cocoa, and refrigerate overnight or at least for several hours.