Delizie del Piemonte

Delizie del Piemonte.

Delizie del Piemonte. The name of this dish sounds promising, don’t you think? Now,  I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure that Delizie means delicious. But I would be very surprised if it’s not. It’s one of those dishes that can be served both as a festive or everyday dish. Like so much else that comes from the Italian cuisine. Take lasagna for example. You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make a lasagna. Nevertheless, most of your guests will smile when you put it on the table. Delizie has the same effect. It’s impossible not to love it. And it takes less time to make it.

Before we continue, there is one thing I have to confess. I’m not sure if this dish is an authentic Italien dish. I suspect that if you walked into a restaurant in Italy and asked for Delizie del Piemonte, they would not have a clue what you were talking about. Not even in the Piemonte region. Why do I think that? Well, I always do some research before I write about a recipe. I google around a bit and see if I can find some different angles of inclination. I found a lot of recipes for Delizie del Piemonte (sometimes called Delizie del Romagna). But there was one problem. All of them was written in Swedish. The alarm bell started to yell in my head.

Was this dish invented in Sweden?

I found information that claimed that the dish was created during an Italian guest show at a restaurant in Stockholm. Shouldn’t that mean that it’s at least semi-Italian? But was that information reliable? I don’t know. So, I can’t claim that this is an authentic Italien dish. Does it matter? Well, yes and no. Yes, because you should never claim that something is authentic if it’s not. But it’s still a damn delicious dish, so I will give you the complete recipe anyhow. Everything else would be food snobbery, something we should all try to avoid. Let’s be food enthusiast instead, and as such, we must try to be open to all kinds of food, authentic or not.

Gratins are very handy when you are expecting guests. Prepare everything and when they arrive you can just shuffle into the oven. Then there will be time for some talk and maybe a drink before the food is ready.  Start with the pasta rolls. You can wrap them in cling film and place them in the fridge.

 

Preparing pasta rolls

 

Tomato sauce

I think the secret of this dish is the combination of a fairly simple tomato sauce and the bechamel sauce. You just cook onion in olive oil, adding canned tomatoes of good quality together with salt and sugar and let it simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. In combination with some tasty cheese, this is a gratin with simple but pure flavors. Served with a piece of sourdough ciabatta and a glass of good wine this gratin will make most food lovers happy. Authentic or not.

Delizie del Piemonte

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Delizie del Piemonte
Delizie del Piemonte. A delicious gratin with pasta, tomato and bechamel sauce, topped with parmesan cheese. It tastes very much of Italy.
Delizie del Piemonte
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tomato sauce
Béchamel sauce
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tomato sauce
Béchamel sauce
Delizie del Piemonte
Instructions
  1. Fry the grated zucchini in olive oil about a minute. Add salt and let it cool.
  2. Fry the minced onion in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Let the sauce simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Pass the sauce through a strainer or food mill. Or if you hate to waste food, mix it with a stick blender to a pure. You can also use it as it is.
  3. Distribute cheese, ham, and zucchini in that order on the lasagna plates. Roll the plate to a cannelloni shaped roll. Divide each roll in two.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a pan until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Let it cook over low heat for two minutes or until the mixture starts to turn lightly golden. Add the milk and whisk continuously until it starts to boil. Let it simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes. Stir regularly. Remove from heat and add salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.
  5. Heat the oven to 425ºF / 225ºC . Pour half of the bechamel sauce in a casserole. Put the rolls in the sauce, cut side down. Add the tomato sauce and the rest of the bechamel sauce over the rolls. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
  6. bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
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Grilled sandwiches with spinach and tapenade

Grilled sandwiches with spinach and tapenadeOne of the weekend bakers best friends is all those incredibly delicious grilled sandwiches that can be found on most recipe sites. Home baked bread has limited shelf life, and most of us have limited space in our freezer. That can lead to problems as there is a limit how much croutons and breadcrumbs you need. Most of us don’t like to waste bread. Especially not the bread we have done by ourselves.
Bruschettas and crostinis can be one solution. And grilled sandwiches. Most food blogs have at least one or two recipes, and on Pinterest, there’s tons of them. And here comes another one.

Grilled sandwiches with spinach and tapenade.

I found this recipe on DeLallo’s homepage a long time ago. They promise this sandwich to be a lunch that you will never forget. And I can only agree. It’s simply damn delicious.

To do this sandwich, you need sourdough bread, tapenade, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, your favorite cheese, butter, and olive oil. If you don’t happen to have any sourdough bread you can use any of your favorite sandwich bread. Start by heating up the oil over low or medium heat in a pan or skillet. Crush the garlic cloves and cook until it starts to become golden. Enjoy the lovely fragrances that only fried garlic can provide, but be careful, so you don’t burn it. The taste of burnt garlic is horrible. It’s one of those ingredients that can ruin a whole dish if you don’t treat it well.

Garlic

Stir in the spinach and saute´until it starts to wilt. I emphasize “starts to wilt”. The spinach should not turn into a green slimy string, so don’t overdo it. 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat should be enough. Take away from heat and remove the garlic.

Now it’s time to build the sandwich. Start by spreading generously with butter on two slices of bread. Heat up a skillet or griddle over medium heat, and place one bread slice in it, butter side down. Top with spinach, cheese, and tapenade. Finish with two tomato slices and the second slice of bread with butter side up. Fry the sandwich 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the cheese starts to melt.

This is the tastiest way to cook this sandwich. Almost all of the butter will be soaked up by the bread slices and make it taste like heaven. But, maybe not so healthy. If you don’t like all that butter, you can make it like this instead. Build the sandwich on a cutting board without spreading any butter on the bread slices. Then you just add a small amount of butter in the skillet when you fry the sandwiches. You can, of course, rule out the butter completely but I don’t recommend that. Just a small amount of butter will make the sandwich so much tastier.

Building Tapenade sandwich
Building the sandwich the healthy way.

I have tried both versions, and I vote for number one. But I’m of course notorious for my weak character when it comes to butter. And if for some strange reasons you think about using margarine instead. Just don’t.

 

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.

Joan Dye Gussow

 

Print Recipe
Grilled sandwiches with spinach and tapenade
Grilled sandwiches with spinach and tapenade. Make this sandwich to a lunch that you will never forget.
Grilled sandwich with spinach and tapenade
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Grilled sandwich with spinach and tapenade
Instructions
  1. Crush the garlic cloves and cook until it starts to become golden. Stir in the spinach and saute´until it starts to wilt about 2-3 minutes. Take away from heat and remove the garlic.
  2. Spread butter on two slices of bread. Heat up a skillet or griddle over medium heat, and place one bread slice in it, butter side down. Top with spinach, cheese, and tapenade. Finish with two tomato slices and the second slice of bread with butter side up.
  3. Fry the sandwich 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the cheese starts to melt. Serve immediately.
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