Nothing smells as good as morning coffee in a traditional steel moka pot. The Italian Alessi is known especially for its iconic espresso pots, and the design classics are a perfect match for many classic recipes – with a trendy twist, of course.
EVERYONE KNOWS AND LOVES pasta and pizza, but Italian food culture has so much more to offer. Who could forget sweet breakfast bites with cappuccino, or the spritz drinks of the Veneto region that are now beloved all over the world through their perhaps most iconic representative, Aperol Spritz?
The basic formula for a spritz cocktail is simple: two parts of bitter or liqueur, three parts sparkling or regular wine, and one part carbonated mineral water. If you are longing for something new this summer, try mixing Italian lemon liqueur, limoncello and prosecco in your drink. Dry Prosecco is a good match for limoncello, as the liqueur itself is very sweet. The trick is to use enough ice to keep the drink cold.
“For those who love different pastries and sweet breakfast items, Italy is a paradise.”
For those who love different pastries and sweet breakfast items, Italy is a paradise. A cappuccino is often accompanied by a crema pasticcera-filled croissant, or cornetto, as it is known in Italian. Crema pasticcera is a milk pudding that is so thick that it resembles butter cream. The pudding is often seasoned with lemon zest or vanilla. An easy solution is to serve this citrusy pudding with fresh berries, and it tastes simply divine with strawberries.
Almond croissants are currently very trendy. Add an Italian twist to this hip dessert by replacing the almonds with vibrant green pistachios. Ready-made pistachio paste, which is sold in specialty stores, is the quickest way to prepare these delicious croissants, but you can also easily grind the pistachios at home. The stuffed croissant is an ingenious invention, since it gives new life to day-old croissants that are slightly on the dry side – in fact, dried-up croissants are even better suited for this recipe than fresh ones. Enjoy a stuffed croissant with your morning coffee or as dessert with a strong espresso.
Try these Italian delicacies:
Ingredients (4 pcs):
150 g ground pistachio nuts
55 g powdered sugar (or to taste)
50 g butter
garnish with pistachios and powdered sugar
Do as follows:
Cut the croissants in half. Prepare the pistachio paste by finely grinding the pistachios in a blender, coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. The paste does not have to be completely smooth. Combine the ground pistachio nuts, sugar, egg and soft butter. Use half of the paste to fill the croissants and spread the rest on top of them. Sprinkle with pistachios. Roast the croissants at 180 °C until their color starts to change slightly, for approximately 15 minutes. After the croissants have cooled down slightly, dust them with powdered sugar and more pistachio nuts. Enjoy with your favorite coffee.
Lemon pudding with strawberries (crema pasticcera e fragole)
500 ml whole milk
1 lemon (zest)
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
127 g sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
strawberries or fresh fruit
Do as follows:
Pour 400 ml of milk into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half. Use a knife to pull out the seeds and drop them into the milk. Add the remaining halves of the bean and lemon zest. If you choose to use vanilla extract instead, add a teaspoon of the extract into the milk. Heat the milk until it steams. Add the sugar. Lower the heat to the lowest setting. Allow the flavors to seep into the milk for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the egg yolks with sifted cornstarch. Add 100 ml of milk and whisk until smooth. Remove the vanilla bean and lemon zest from the saucepan and gently whisk the hot milk into the yolk mix little by little. If you add the hot milk to the yolks all at once, they will coagulate, causing your dessert to resemble scrambled eggs.
Strain the milk and yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, continuously stirring it with a scraper. Make sure the it does not stick to the bottom. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles start to form. Take the saucepan off the plate and scrape the pudding into a bowl. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top of it. Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve the pudding cold with fresh strawberries or fruit. For a more even consistency, whisk the pudding before serving.
2 parts limoncello
3 parts Prosecco
1 part mineral water
ice cubes, lemon slices and/or canned cherries for serving
Do as follows:
Measure the limoncello and Prosecco into a glass. Fill the glass with ice and top the drink off with mineral water. Garnish with lemon slices and cherries if desired. Mix and enjoy right away.
Set the table with Alessi classics
Design Stories contributor Suvi Kesäläinen is a photographer, who loves to create dishes that are not only delicious but also fast and easy to make. She’s passionate about the best seasonal ingredients, local food and intriguing culinary trends.
Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen