Flowers around the house make such a difference when we find time to have Fun in the Kitchen! The bright Italian sunlight and music to fit our moods..do the rest. These all come together to create a magical mood!
Whether we make a basic pasta filled and dressed with what we have on hand (ricotta, spinach from our vegetable garden, meat – pecorino, taleggio, asiago, etc.)
or make a pasta sauce, an omelette or brushette with just-picked wild asparagus from around Genius Loci
or whip up some amazing almond tozzetti, we love to surround ourselves by beauty: flowers, Marta’s hand-loomed Brozzetti runners or drapes, hand-painted Deruta (or other) ceramics
Tozzetti / Cantucci Umbria
125 g. soften butter
275 gr. sugar
75 gr. powdered sugar
3 medium eggs
pinch of salt
zest of a small untreated lemon
two drops of vanilla extract
200 gr. of almonds with or without the skins on
500 gr. of 00 flour
15 gr. of baking powder
Pre-heat the oven to C. 180. Mix (don’t beat) together the butter, sugars, salt, vanilla extract and zest. Add an egg, one at a time, and mix in well. Add the almonds and mix together. On a wooden bread- board, form a well in the mound of flour. All around the edge, add the baking powder. Pour the liquid mixture in the well, working the flour into the liquid mixture until it is well mixed and the flour is completely absorbed. Roll the dough by hand into a snake form of an approximate 2 inch diameter, place it on oven-use parchment paper on a baking sheet. Brush the top with an egg mixture. Bake for ca. 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool until just warm. Cut the snake into rather thick slices. Bake again, the cut edges facing up, in the hot oven for another 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely before dipping the tozzetti into a glass of Port, VinSanto or Sagrantino Passito. The tozzetti keep well for up to 15 days.
or gaze outside at the beauty of flowering shrubs and wild flowers.
…and everything seems to taste better and seem more special with a natural centerpiece.