I toted La Cucina around with me for a few days while finished gluten-free girl. It is apropose, I believe, to say that I devoured this book, three days I think. Reading about the rich foods and culture of Sicily made me ache for the culture of my own Italian family, very little of which has survived to be passed down to me.
I keenly felt the story of Rosa's awakening to love through her cooking. It mirrors my own revitalization after going gluten free and finding the SCD and having the love and support of my like minded Trainer.
Every food discribed in loving detail made me pause, leaving little bookmarks to revisit sections. I really shouldn't read books like this at the gym. Pasticcio di Sostanza (I have a chicken heart and liver waiting in the fridge), 'strattu, caponata (which I've filled away for eggplant season) and the "little oranges", but the description of one treat in particular sounded like perfection.
Had I been too hasty in offering to give l'Inglese lessons? I asked myself, as I ground green almonds with my pestle. The power of my wrist uickly turned the almonds to powder. If only I could grind my worries away so easily.
I beat the ricotta, egg yolks, honey, sugar, lemon juice, and rind into the almonds...I whisked the egg whites into peaks in a matter of seconds... When the torta had baked to a golden, angels-scented crust, and after waiting impatiently for it to cool, I helped myself to a large slice with a thick dollop of cream. Ooh it was good.
And so I made a torta de ricotta. For my first batch I made five little tortas for two. The Trainer and the family loved them. This evening I made one large torta and the Trainer was on pins and needles until I told him it was cool enough to eat. Perfect with, or without lemon and topped with pomegranate molasses, raspberry preserves or cream. The Trainer's mother says I should open a bakery to sell these and some of my other recipes
8oz ricotta or "mock ricotta"★
5oz light honey
2 eggs seperated
Zest of 1 lemon
6 oz almond flour✲
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda✵
butter and flour for pan
Preheat oven to 325° F
Butter and flour an 8 inch round pan or five 8oz ramekins
Sift almond flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl
Beat ricotta and honey until smooth, continue beating and add yolks one at a time, add lemon zest
Mix the dry ingredients into the ricotta
Whisk the egg whites and carefully fold into the batter
Turn out into prepared pan, or pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until set and golden brown
Turn onto a wire rack to cool
★following the advice of S I made my own SCD "mock ricotta" by mixing 5oz farmer cheese with 3oz slightly strained yogurt. I have found that both 0% and 1% fat yogurt works for this
✲ for this recipe I used finely ground, blanched almond flour from Digestive Wellness
✵ if you are using real ricotta use baking powder. The combination of the baking soda and the yogurt in the "mock ricotta" acts as a substitute for the baking powder