Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrate Easter Sicilian-Style on Pasquetta

Author Giovanna with her finished scaccia.

This year, take a Sicilian approach to your spring or Easter celebrations with a recipe by Sicilian Feasts author, Giovanna Bellia La Marca. Her Sausage and Ricotta Roll is certain to satisfy appetites after a day filled with Easter egg hunting!

Pasquetta ("little Easter") is celebrated on the Monday after Easter which extends the Easter holiday in Italy. This Sausage and Ricotta Roll is a filled bread recipe made for Pasquetta,  a special day when families and friends gather in their summer houses or plan a picnic to share delicious food that everybody prepares and brings for the occasion. Slices of this scaccia are filling finger food, and equally delicious hot or cold.

This is admittedly a rich dish and is traditionally made with lard in the dough and filling, as a sort of reward after weeks of fasting during the Lenten period. Although Crisco is used here you can choose the more traditional method if you celebrated Lent, or if you just want to enjoy a very hearty meal! 

Sausage and Ricotta Roll
Scaccia cu' ricotta e sausizza 

Prepare the dough:

4 cups flour
1 tbsp SAF Instant Yeast
4 tsps KA Bread Improver
2 ozs Butter Flavored Crisco
1 cup warm water

Assemble the roll:

Risen dough (above)
1 1/2 lbs fresh Italian Deli ricotta
1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage
2 ozs lard at room temperature,
1 egg, beaten for glazing

Giovanna rolls out the dough.

Place a tsp of King Arthur bread improver in each measuring cup, fill with flour, even out the top and place in the food processor. Add the yeast, salt, and shortening, and process until the shortening breaks down and mixes into the flour. Add the water and process until the dough forms. Remove to a counter, shape into a ball, coat with a few drops of olive oil, cover with an inverted bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. Spread the lard on the surface, dot with ricotta and sausage in a checker board pattern along the center length of the rectangle.
Filled and ready to start folding!

Fold the two short ends over the filling, then fold one of the long sides towards the center, brush with beaten egg, and fold the second side over the first.

Cover the filling with one side, brush with egg, fold the other side over the first. Shape into a horse shoe, place in a baking pan seam side down. Then brush with beaten egg, prick the surface with a fork along the two sides, and bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 50 minutes, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cover with a towel and let cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Buona Pasqua!

For more recipes like this one, purchase Sicilian Feasts on our website, or your local bookstore. For updates on upcoming cookbook releases, as well as recipes and information on our current catalog connect with Hippocrene Books on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

Giovanna Bellia La Marca was born in Ragusa, Sicily. She came to the United States at the age of 10, and has since then kept alive her love of the island with frequent trips there. Retired after a career as an art and Italian teacher, she now teaches cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and leads culinary tours of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. La Marca is author of Language and Travel Guide to Sicily and The Cooking of Emilia-Romagna, both published by Hippocrene Books. She resides in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.  

For a Sicilian dessert for your Easter or spring celebrations, find Giovanna's recipe for a sweet and colorful Cassata Siciliana. 

Learn Sicilian!
Here are a few terms in the Sicilian dialect. 

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
formaggio cheese
pane bread
pasta ri pani bread dough
Pasquetta little Easter
primavera spring
sausizza sausage

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Giveaway with a Latin Twist!

Spring is finally in the air, and warm weather means cool drinks. We are very excited that Latin Twist, our first ever cocktail book, is available for pre-order! Latin Twist: Traditional & Modern Cocktails was written by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack (who co-authored our delicious Mexican cookbook Muy Bueno) and Vianney Rodriguez of the Sweet Life blog. It explores the national drinks of 18 Latin American countries and Spain, from beloved classics like the Mojito and Sangria to exotic specialties like Passion Fruit Caipirinha and Rosa de Jamaica Cooler.

As a thank you for preordering Latin Twist, you'll be entered to win a prize pack filled with goodies perfect for your next event! We'll also send you a special "sneak peek" including four recipes to keep your thirst quenched and your taste buds refreshed until your beautiful hard copy of Latin Twist arrives! The prize pack includes:
  • Le Creuset 8-Quart Stock Pot in your choice of color
  • Princess House Beverage Dispenser with Stand
    • Plus Matching Set of 8 Footed Glasses
Fill the infuser center with ice or colorful fresh fruit.

A Le Creuset stock pot can be used for hot punches and homemade infusions.

Preorder Latin Twist on Amazon.com before midnight March 22nd. If the price drops between now and publication, you'll receive the lowest price. Save your order number to enter the giveaway.

Already ordered? Enter the giveaway!