December 24, 2007

'Tis the Season .... of Tortellini!


Bolognese truly love their tortellini and while some eat it all year round, like my in-laws, others prefer to eat it only during the cold months. One thing all Bolognese agree on is serving them on Christmas day in a cappon broth and a sprinkle of the best Parmigiano Reggiano you can get your hands on (36 months is a great choice).
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On most occasions, a broth made with half a chicken and a piece of beef (with a carrot and celery stick) is prepared to serve the tortellini in. However, for Christmas (or on any special dinner during the holiday season) a special broth is made with half a cappon, a small piece of veal, a carrot and celery stick. The cappon broth is more delicate and thus the perfect setting for a great tortellini.
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The Bolognese would never "cover" good tortellini with a cream sauce, let alone serve it in a meat or tomato sauce. It would not make any sense to spend all that money on top quality ingredients for the tortellini and then not be able to taste the difference because of a sauce that covers its delicate flavors.
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In fact, there are restaurants in Bologna which will refuse to serve tortellini in anything but a homemade broth, no matter who you are!
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Well, Christmas is only a few hours away and I've already prepared the cappon broth. The tortellini are ready and tomorrow it will all come together.
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Have a great tortellini holiday season!

May 25, 2007

The Cucina Bolognese class was great!

A good time was had by all in yesterday's class, there were explanations, demonstrations by our wonderful Chef Anna Gennari, lots of lively conversation among the participants, tasting and above all preparation and cooking!

Chef Anna Gennari was amazing in her ability to coordinate the preparation of so many dishes typically Bolognese. She shared many tips and tricks and certainly made things look easy! In the photo below, Chef Anna demonstrates how to remove stem and pistil from a zucchini flower in one step.

Chef Anna demonstrates how to clean zucchini flowersVoila', stem and pistil removed!


Afterwards we all sat down for a delicious lunch and some wine. Here is photo of the lasagne bolognese and the fritto misto we devoured!

lasagne Bolognesefritto misto

Chef Anna Gennari is the author of a cookbook called La cucina di Anna Gennari. Cibo e passione di una donna chef. that you can find at local book stores or buy online at libroco.