Final Moments In Italy - Blog Blog at - 286079


Final moments in Italy 
Oct. 11, 2012 3:52 am 
Updated: Oct. 12, 2012 4:29 am
During my last week in Italy (back in September) I was busier than ever.

In Venice I met with Gianni Bonaccorsi, chef-owner of my favorite restaurant in Venice, Il Ridotto, who generously agreed to give me the recipe for his pistachio "flan" cake. Rather than give me a written description, he had me come back the next morning so I could watch him prepare the dessert for that day's guests. The recipe should be posted to, and hopefully translated to the English site at some point, but it's actually pretty simple:

“Flan” di Pistacchio


Per circa 20-25 porzioni


500g burro morbido ma non sciolto!

500g zucchero a velo

8 uova

250g farina per dolci - fine

250g farina di pistacchio (pistacchi tritati finissimi)

5g lievito puro o 16g lievito per dolci


Amalgamare bene lo zucchero e il burro, mescolando per alcuni minuti.


Aggiungere le uova, 2 alla volta, amalgamando bene ogni volta


Aggiungere la farina e la farina di pistacchi, poco a poco e mescolando sempre


Aggiungere lo lievito, mescolare un po’ poi versare l’impasto in uno stampo di metallo per muffin e infornare a 170 gradi per 10-11 minuti. Si può servire con gelato al pistacchio.

Keep in mind this is the daily recipe for the whole restaurant, so using half or even a quarter of the ingredients might be a good idea. The pistachio flour can be ordered here in the US for a pretty reasonable price online.

In the middle of the week I took a train south to Rimini, to visit Marina, a former teacher of mine who gives vegetarian cooking lessons. She reminded me that the key to the best, simplest dishes in Italian cuisine is the freshness and quality of the ingredients. In her basic tomato sauce recipe she uses a mix of cherry and plum tomatoes and prefers to cook it quickly rather than let it simmer, for a brighter flavor. Marina also showed me around the old Borgo of Rimini, and the beachfront Grand Hotel, which was famously the setting for several scenes in the Fellini film Amarcord.

I returned to Venice only briefly, because the next day I put on my hiking boots and headed north for a weekend in the Italian Alps. It's shocking how quickly the landscape changes. I left Venice at sea level, but after only a couple hours of driving I found myself in an Alpine valley, hiking to a pass at a couple thousand meters of altitude. 

One of the most distinctive meals during my stay in Italy was the goulash, sausage and polenta I had at Rifugio Maria, at the summit of Piz Boè (3150m). The little chalet has its beer and non-perishables delivered biweekly by helicopter, while meats and bread are carried up the steep ascent daily.

This post marks the end of my time in Italy over the past few months. I'm actually in China now, and while I've been enjoying the local food in Shanghai all week, revisiting the last week of my summer internship is certainly making me crave some pasta.

A big thank you to everyone who has found my blog posts interesting and commented, and to Allrecipes for making this possible!

My favorite pasticceria in Venice, Pitteri. They make the best pizzette and pistachio cookies.
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Mixing in the pistachio flour with Gianni
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Borgo San Giuliano, Rimini
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The perfect simple pasta with tomatoes and basil
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The Grand Hotel Rimini
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An airlifted meal at 3150 m. The background: the Marmolada–Queen of the Dolomites–only 150m higher
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Deb C 
Oct. 12, 2012 4:29 am
You sure do get around! Thank you for sharing your adventures.
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About Me
I'm a recent graduate of Tufts University. I was born and raised in Italy by American parents (archaeologists). Living for many years in various other parts of the Mediterraneanas well, my family and I have become passionate fans of Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern food. I also have a younger sister adopted from Chengdu, China, so I have developed an interest in Sichuanese cuisine, which is fortunate because I love spicy food.
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Spanakopita Balsamic pork chops Hanger steak Moroccan food Red velvet cake (or cupcakes) All sorts of curries Ma po tofu Saltimbocca alla romana
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Risotto, tortellini, Christmas cookies, hams from Amish country in the fall.
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A huge Chinese banquet of a dozen dishes. I learned to make everything on the spot from my much more experienced Chinese friend.
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Burning a whole lot of Hazelnuts while trying to turn them into some kind of cookie dough/paste
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