(Italiano) Torta Pasqualina

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Cherry Tomato Marinara Sauce

At Santa Caterina we have always prepared canned tomatoes for the winter, from peeled tomatoes to marinara sauce. Until a few years ago I was not doing these preparations, there was always someone else to do them, my mother or a neighbor. They spent time together, peeling tomatoes on sunny summer afternoons telling stories of the past and updates on the events in the country.

This year, thanks to an abundant production of tomatoes I’ve already filled a forty jars. The recipe given here is made with a mixture of tomatoes, cooked in their skins and passed through a food mill. The quantities are approximate because everyone can try their hand even with a small amount of tomatoes and the extra flavors should be added in proportion to the amount of tomatoes you use.

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Spring Gnocchi

In this recipe I have tried to bring together the elements of spring – white and green asparagus, peas, spring onions, and fresh ricotta. This dish is a bit laborious, suitable for an important meal or when you want to pamper your family.

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Leek Pie

Leeks are a vegetable that is often used in place of onions, it is very delicate and aromatic, and more easily digestible. Although leeks are found throughout the year in the grocery store, I associate this vegetable with the autumn-winter period in which the vegetable tastes best. Before the leeks arrived in the spring I decided to make this recipe. It is very simple and tasty and perfect for a light dinner.

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Zucchini with the Taste of the Sea

A few years ago while on vacation in Argentina, home of my Aunt Giuseppina, I noticed that the zucchini they sold in the market were mostly round and green, a variety that I’d never seen my usual grocery store. This year I found the round type that I had seen in Argentina and I bought two plants to test the new variety. Since the end of June I’ve begun harvesting them. The variety has a very soft heart that can easily be extracted so it becomes a small round container suitable for a succulent filling.

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Quick Pizza with Asparagus

This recipe is very fast and makes a quick dinner.

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Asparagus Sformatino

Because my husband is a huge fanatic of asparagus, the month of May is always dedicated to searching out places where it was fresh picked. The quantities we generally buy are pretty large so I have to organize myself to cook it in various ways. One night when I came back from work and I found two beautiful bunches of asparagus, one green and one white, on the kitchen table. I thought I would make a savory pie for dinner but then I realized that I was missing an ingredient that is commonly used for this type of preparation: ricotta. After rummaging in the fridge, I realized that I had just a little bit of parmesan cheese and some eggs, so I created this recipe that my family found very tasty and digestible. This preparation may be accompanied by a salad for a light dinner or it can be a as a starter suitable for an “asparagus themed” dinner to offer to friends.

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Raw Artichoke Salad with Flakes of Parmesan

In the 70s, the San Lorenzo market in Florence was a real triumph of colors and scents. In the spring, it was characterized in a blaze of strawberries, beans pods, and violet and spiny artichokes. At that time I was a college student and lived not far from the San Lorenzo market with a friend. It seemed like the ideal place to do your shopping at a good price early in the morning before school.

I was fascinated by how fast the vendors served in the goods, as well as the heterogeneity of buyers. At that time of day it was always filled with people from the buildings of the old town seeking fresh products and penniless students and artists who took inspiration for their art from the vital, colorful, and fragrant products. Today the market is different, but when I find myself in Florence I always end up going back, my feet are in fact carried out by nostalgia. During the period of artichokes or strawberries those shopping days at dawn that I recall.

The dish that I propose is a fast and healthy way to prepare artichokes. If you can buy the purple spiny type of artichokes typical of the market of San Lorenzo they are very tender and suitable for this raw preparation. It’s a great appetizer and can also be the main dish for a light dinner, in this case double the doses.

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