Monday, April 13, 2009


On this Easter Monday the winds [which rattled the shutters to the extent that I dreamed I was in an episode of the Adams Family last night] are still blowing but we have had less rain and I was invited to another holiday feast at Irma's.

Irma had decided to try a new recipe for a pasta sauce consisting of fresh fava beans, chopped artichokes and wild asparagus sautéed with lemon juice and grated zest plus, at the last minute, a little grated pecorino and parmesan. It was a very refined dish and, I must say, delicious:

Then there was tender lamb, served with oven-cooked potatoes in oil and rosemary:

Next there was grilled sausage and pancetta

and the traditional char-grilled artichokes. [You just tear the leaves off and suck the sublime juices.]

Irma's sister had made this fabulous pear cake. [Keep reading and you'll get to the recipe!]

Then there was fresh fruit salad:

I had made the semifreddo di marrons glacés again. [This time it turned out a little darker. I think I got a bit ingredient-happy adding the cocoa but it was all the better for that]:

A niece of Irma's had made her own scorzette [whole candied peel]:

And finally out came the traditional colomba [dove-shaped cake]. It was, as you see, beautifully wrapped but I wasn't quick enough to photograph the cake before it was scoffed!

Now here's the cake recipe:

Ortensia's Pear Cake

2 or 3 pears, peeled, sliced and left to marinate with 2 teasp sugar while you get the ingredients below ready:

2 eggs
125 gr sugar
grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
75 gr 00 flour
75 gr coconut flour [outside Italy, from a health store, I should think]
a pinch of salt
2 dessertsp softened butter
1 medium glass milk
1 envelope yeast [Here we can get special yeast for cakes. In the UK I should think an envelope of easy-blend yeast would do.]

Mix everything together and add the pears. Pour it all onto dampened baking parchment in a fairly shallow, oblong or square tin. Bake for 40 mins at 180 C. Sprinkle with powdered cinnamon.

Grazie, Ortensia!


Gledwood said...

That lot looks very bellissima indeed. The wine doesn't look bad either. Hope you've been having a great Eggster ;->...

sally in norfolk said...

feeling very full once again after just reading your blog...... you have such wonderful friends I envy you :-)

CherryPie said...

What I wonderful spread. I hope the storms calm down for you soon. We have had such unusual good weather for the past couple of days.

jams o donnell said...

SO much deliciousness! I must try chagrilled artichokes

Whispering Walls said...

What a feast!

Lucia said...

Everything looks delicious. I was so busy on Sunday I didn't get to take any pictures! My nephew took pictures of us after we ate everything up and did dishes! Yesterday I took my daughter shopping and ate left overs!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Gleds. Hope you had a good one, too. Hi, Sally. Yes, I am very lucky in my friends here - but you have so many friends, too!
We had our sun back today, Cherie. Glad it's been fine for Easter over there. Hi, jams. You must! You brush olive oil and onto the leaves and sprinkle with coarse seasalt before grilling. It was, WW. Ciao, Lucia. Sounds as if you all had a wonderful time!

Rowena said...

These last 2 days I dreaded reading up on Easter meals because I was just so tired of food. Enough already! But you here, with your fantastic sicilian meals that are so unlike everyone else's, has made me wish I could get my hands on wild asparagus in order to come up with a pasta dish like Irma's. Just the description of it....divine!

kizzie said...

I miss this blog a lot! I can't believe myself, I haven't looked at your amazing recipes and pics in such a long time. yummy yummy! I'm finally leaving my big dream, I'm coming to Italy this June!:)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Rowena. I want to make that dish, too! Hi, Kizzie. Lovely to see you again here. Where in Italy will you be visiting?

jmb said...

Another wonderful feast Welshcakes. How on earth does one brown a continuous roll of sausage like that?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. The men did it on the barbecue this time. Me, I want the bowl that the saussage is served in!


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