- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- the zest and juice from 1 lemon
- the zest and juice from 1 orange
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
We’ve been talking about Carnevale for the past week. By now you may be wishing you were there, but missed your window to book the trip this year.
Well, if you can’t make it to one of the many spectacular events throughout Italy, celebrate your own Carnevale at home.
Warm up with an extra special cup of Italian hot chocolate this winter. This isn’t your typical instant hot chocolate, but instead a rich and thick drinking chocolate that is everything hot chocolate should be. In Italy, drinking chocolate is commonly known as cioccolata calda or cioccolata densa for its dense pudding like texture that can be enjoyed with a spoon. Add an extra Italian flair by serving in a handmade ceramic mug from Modigliani. Available in a variety of colors, styles, and patterns, one is sure to fit your style.
DECADENTLY THICK ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE
Cook Time - 15 mins
Time to Make It - 15 mins
This hot chocolate isn't for the faint of heart. It is rich, thick, and full of real chocolate. This is the kind of hot chocolate you make when you want to truly indulge!
Yield: Serves 2 to 4
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Whisk in cornstarch until combined and melty. If you want the hot chocolate thicker, use the maximum amount of cornstarch.
- Add in milk and sugar. Increase the heat gradually to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Mixture will start to thicken.
- Once the mixture begins to thicken, turn the heat down to low and add in the chocolate chips. Stir constantly until well melted.
- Serve hot. Keep the leftovers because it is also amazing, if not better cold!
For this recipe, you can adjust the darkness of the chocolate by what kind of chocolate you put in. I like to do a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate, but you can go lighter with all milk chocolate, or darker with a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet.
This recipe is in courtesy of: The Stay at Home Chef
YIELD: Makes 8 main-course servings
ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 3 cups), fronds chopped
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
- 1 8-ounce package sliced fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 16-ounce package dried tortellini with pesto filling or fresh tortellini with 3-cheese filling
- 1 5-ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)
**Test-kitchen tip:**To crush the fennel seeds, enclose the seeds in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, then pound them with a meat mallet or a small heavy skillet.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage, and mushrooms; sauté until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute. Stir in cream, then 1 cup broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.
- Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.
This recipe is shared from Epicurious.com. You can find it here.
- 2 sugar pumpkins (~2 1/4 cups (450 g) pumpkin puree)
- 2 shallots, diced (~1/4 cup or 40 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)
- 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (240 ml) light coconut milk (or sub other non-dairy milk with varied results)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
- 1 cup (67 g) roughly chopped kale
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp (18 g) raw sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the tops of two sugar pumpkins and then halve them. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings (see notes for a link to roasting seeds).
- Brush the flesh with oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away skin and set pumpkin aside.
- To a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 Tbsp olive oil, shallot and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down heat if cooking too quickly.
- Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer soup mixture to a blender or use an emulsion blender to puree the soup. If using a blender, place a towel over the top of the lid before mixing to avoid any accidents. Pour mixture back into pot.
- Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is or with Kale-Sesame topping.
- For the Kale-Sesame topping: In a small skillet over medium heat, dry toast sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until slightly golden brown. Be careful as they can burn quickly. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To the still hot pan, add olive oil and garlic and sauté until golden brown - about 2 minutes. Add kale and toss, then add a pinch of salt and cover to steam. Cook for another few minutes until kale is wilted and then add sesame seeds back in. Toss to coat and set aside for topping soup.
- Recipe serves 3-4. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days, and in the freezer for up to a month or more.