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Neapolitan Pastiera, where to buy dessert in Naples? – Italian Cuisine


The homemade one remains unbeatable. But for those who do not have a grandmother, a mother or a Neapolitan doc relative, it might be useful to know where to buy the pastiera in Naples

In Naples there is no Easter without pastiera, the sweet pastry with a soft and intoxicating filling. His recipe was the most sought after on Google in 2018, so much so that it has now been cleared through customs and can be found all year round. But as the festival approaches, the aroma intensifies in the alleys of the city. Cooked wheat, ricotta, candied fruit and orange flower water, these are the main ingredients. Housewives usually set to work on Good Thursday or Friday, to give time to the flavors to blend and reach perfection, served as a slice (or several slices) on Easter Sunday. In time they were born different variations, some of which made the purists cry out, like the addition of custard in the filling or the use of buffalo ricotta. As with any traditional dessert, even the pastiera, each family has its own recipe, which is handed down from generation to generation and the home-made one usually remains unbeatable. But for those who do not have a grandmother, a mother or a Neapolitan doc relative, it might be useful to know where to buy the pastiera in Naples.

Scaturchio pastiera, an institution in Naples

Scaturchio is an institution. The reason is one: the sweets that come from the laboratory in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, in the heart of Spaccanapoli, manage to preserve that I don't know what home-made which makes them authentic, both in flavor and appearance. This obviously also applies to the pastiera. The traditional recipe is executed to the letter, except for ricotta. In fact, a small part of the vaccine is added to the sheep's one, «to balance consistency and flavor, they specify from the back. The short pastry is made with lard, the wheat is cooked with a pinch of salt. These ingredients are then added sugar, whole eggs, candied fruit (cubes of orange, cedar and pumpkin) and a very small quantity of neroli, the precious essential oil produced by the distillation of bitter orange flowers. The secret of Scaturchio pastiera is caramelization: the cake is left five minutes longer in the oven at low temperature, for "Make them shed tears", the drop of caramel, a master's touch. (Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 19 – Naples)

Gran Caffè Pasticceria Santoro, the best in Vomero

Still a historical pastry shop, this time at Vomero. To found it, in 1926, Ferdinando Santoro who, over the years, transmitted his secrets and his knowledge to his son-in-law, Massimo Giordano. It is he who today guards the precious cookbook written by Don Ferdinando and it is always he who, proof after trial, has perfected the doses and given form to the ancient traditional Neapolitan sweets, including of course the pastiera. Tall and golden. Little sugar. A mirror when it comes out of the oven. «The ricotta is more fat, the more the pastiera is good. This is the rule of Massimo, who from time to time chooses between vaccine or sheep's (never mix!) Only after a personal taste. The secret of its filling is the "maturation" of fresh cheese in sugar. Lard in pastry, wheat cooked in the laboratory and a mix of neroli and millefiori to perfume it. Each step is followed personally, from the selection of the raw materials to the realization. And the results are there for all to see. (Via Simone Martini, 113 – Naples)

With Bellavia's Neapolitan pastiera you can be on the safe side

Bellavia is another of the historic pastry shops of Naples. Founded in 1925 by the Sicilian Antonio, it was his son Vincenzo who made the family name great. Today at the helm is the third generation. With time, the Bellavia have imposed themselves for the goodness of their homemade desserts and today they count six locations, one of which at Capodichino airport and one in Rome. Pastiera is one of the leading products. Also in this case it is the tradition to command and the family recipe to guide the new generation. (Headquarters in Piazza Muzii, 27 – Naples)

Hearts of sfogliatella: classic, cold and … Vesuviella

The pastry is very close to the Central Station. Perfect for those who are leaving and want to take home a sweet memory of Naples. Tradition and innovation are the ingredients of the success of Antonio Ferrieri, creator, among other things, of the savory puffs. A project born in 1987 and which translates into a showcase where typical sweets coexist alongside their reinterpretations. Just like the pastiera. Here, in fact, in addition to the classic, there is also the Vesuviella, one puff pastry in the shape of Vesuvius stuffed with a filling to the taste of pastiera. Then there is the cold version, almost one cheesecake, with the pastry as a base and one mousse made with the ingredients of the pastiera. And finally, the typical sfogliatella always taste pastiera. The filling of the classic is made with wheat, cinnamon, ricotta campana, candied orange and natural aromas. (Corso Novara, 1E – Naples)

Pasticceria Di Costanzo, the inspiration brought back to its origins

Mario Di Costanzo is a whimsical pastry chef from Naples, who became famous throughout Italy after taking part in the Best Bakery TV program. His creations are a mix of Neapolitan flavors and French aesthetics. For the pastiera it takes inspiration from tradition, in an almost radical manner. No artificial flavors, is his golden rule. Which translated means to perfume the filling starting from the prolonged cooking of the wheat together with the lemon and orange peel and with the addition of cinnamon and vanilla bean. No neroli, just a memory of millefiori water. The better the raw material, the better the pastiera. This is the second precept. Great attention is given to the selection of ricotta cheese. He is for the vaccine and sheep blend, with the delicate taste of the first that goes to dampen the aroma of the second, more fat instead. The result is one light filling as a mousse, with a delicate flavor. (Piazza Cavour, 133 – Naples)

Ancient pastry Fiore, a classic of the Spanish Quarter

If you are in the Spanish Quarter and ask where you can buy a good Neapolitan pastiera, the answer, 90% of the time, is at Antica Pasticceria Fiore: the showcase, at No. 164 of Vico Speranzella, is not very conspicuous, the place not very bright, the Fiore are not given air. To make it welcoming, the aroma of caramelized sugar and melted butter. Indeed, the laboratory is adjacent to the shop. Today, at the wheel, there is the third generation. Behind the counter Susy, concentrated with a smile. He is preparing a tray of Via col vento, typical Neapolitan sweets made with choux pastry and stuffed with nutella or white chocolate. The showcase also shows the pastiere, made according to tradition, following the recipe of grandfather Gaetano. The style is felt, is the homemade style, in the positive sense of the term. Excellent value for money. "Better to order it," suggests Susy, especially at Easter. (Vico Speranzella, 164 – Naples)

At Mennella's the angel hair pasta

The Mennella pastry, renowned for the goodness of its 100% natural ice cream, also has a vast repertoire of typical Neapolitan desserts. Among these there is obviously also the pastiera. In addition to classic version, the Torre del Greco family proposes the Angel Hair Pasteera, a typical product of the Vesuvian countries: the recipe foresees, instead of the more common grain, the use of the "angel hair" pasta format, a name that evokes lightness, a paste with a delicate texture to the touch and the palate. It is to this main ingredient that fresh cream, sugar, candied citron worked locally and the natural aromas of the Amalfi Coast are added. The scent is given by the neroli bigarade and the Ceylon cinnamon. (Via Carducci, 50 – Naples)

The Moccia recipe with buffalo ricotta

In Naples, Moccia's pizzas are an institution. But the pasta maker is no less so. Here it has been produced since 1936, along with a whole series of other typical Neapolitan sweets. That of Moccia, however, is one "particular" pastiera, why instead of sheep ricotta, the buffalo one is used here. A variant that has made people scream in scandal for a long time, but that lately is starting to be accepted, even by the most skeptical. According to the maître pâtissier of Moccia that of buffalo is a type of richer and more creamy ricotta than sheep's or cow's ricotta, and mixed with wheat, lets the perfume of neroli leak out better. Sooner or later it must be tried to believe. During Easter, it is best to book it four or five days before to be sure of finding it. (Via Posillipo, 20 – Naples)

5 shops where to buy cheeses – Italian Cuisine


You never get up from the table if your mouth does not taste like cheese. This ancient Emilia-Romagna proverb contains in itself a good slice (passateci the pun) of truth: in Bologna, cheese at table is obligatory. Whether it is the grated Parmigiano Reggiano on pasta, the squacquerone spread on tigelle or ricotta sweetened by caramelized figs, the mouth must know of cheese – that is good, though.

Dla tevla en s'elza never if the boca la n'ha de furmaj.

Here five shops where to buy cheese in Bologna, five unmissable addresses for your dairy purchases:

The Corner of Freshness

The Bologna's most famous cheese shop, well … it's not in Bologna, but in Granarolo. Where in 1991 Valerio Guermandi opened a gastronomic shop, now managed by his son Roberto, who became famous for a selection of cheeses of absolute excellence. Over 150 types available, from Bitto DOP to burrata, from gorgonzola to French goats, from buffalo mozzarella to Piedmontese Slow Food Presidia, passing through the inevitable Parmigiano Reggiano. For sale also balsamic vinegar, compotes and sottoli with which to combine them, as well as pasta, salami and other gastronomic specialties. When you have finished shopping, take advantage of it for a stop at the adjacent bakery of Gino Fabbri, La Caramella.

Ancient Formería Zaratini

We are in the historic center, near the Basilica of Santo Stefano. The selection of cheeses, Italian and foreign, has few equals in the city: we are on the 200-300 references, with daily arrivals 'fresh' from Campania, primarily buffalo mozzarella and fiordilatte. Among the other products available for purchase are cured meats, tuna fillets, jams, honey and mustards to pair with cheeses, and (in season) fresh truffles.

Barber Cheese

It was 1968 when the brothers Bruno and Paola decided to open this shop inside the Bologna Herb Market. From Barbieri there is something for all tastes, from the South to the North, from the creaminess of the squacquerone to the piquancy of the pecorino di fossa, with foreign encroachments between Greece, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and of course France. However, the protagonist remains the Parmigiano Reggiano, in all its nuances of aroma and flavor. They often organize workshops and ad hoc tastings.

La Baita Vecchia Malga

You say 'Buy cheese in Bologna' and think of the Vecchia Malga – and its six stores, one of which, at the Guglielmo Marconi airport, with an adjoining restaurant. In addition to cheeses they sell cured meats, sauces, oil and other local specialties. To be tasted the award-winning Her Majesty Il Nero, a mountain cheese created by Rino Chiari – whose descendants still run the shop – in Pieve di Roffeno, according to an ancient tradition of Capuchin friars: maturing for 24 months, cover of charcoal vegetable and beeswax, thin crust and intense fragrance.

To the Kingdom of Form

This shop set in the central Via Oberdan is famous … for its smell: the forms of Parmigiano Reggiano, from which it has rightly got its name, emanate an irresistible aroma that attracts its gluttonous windows from all corners of the city. Opened in 1923 and still managed by the same family, the Fornari, the shop offers not only Parmesan in every maturing (even 5 years) but also an extraordinary choice of cheeses from all over Italy, typical products and fresh pasta, tortellini inprimis.

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Pesto: how to do it, where to eat it, which to buy – Italian Cuisine


Divino pesto, green blood of basil, etymologically regal – because it means "plant worthy of King". Scent of simple, healthy and delicious cuisine. Perfume of Liguria, first of all, because the now international pesto comes from there, and only there grows the basil that makes the real pesto.

Of course the traditional recipe is the one in the mortar, and then there is the version for common human contemporary, the one that replaces the blades of the mixer with the pestle.

Here it is, the recipe:

169920For 3 people

2 bunches of strictly Genoese basil

1 clove of garlic (remove heart)

30 grams pine nuts

20/30 gr Sardinian pecorino (less if strong)

40/50 gr Parmesan cheese

EVO oil q.b.

Salt to taste.

Wash quickly and dry the basil (you can centrifuge it in the salad bowl), so that it does not lose the fragrance. Remove the core (the internal shoot) from garlic and break it into 4 or 5 pieces. Put in the blender or in the kitchen mixer garlic, basil, half pine nuts, a little 'mix of cheeses and a little' oil. Continue adding the ingredients by chopping at low speed to the right consistency, leaving last a little pine nuts so that it remains track to the palate of some micro piece: so you will get creamy consistency with something rustic.

Pesto à porter

And regarding i pest in jar? First of all, forget those of the big brands. The Genoese now eat mainly that of Pastificio Novella – which since 1903 produces in Sori, the second village overlooking the sea, continuing on the Aurelia to the east after the end of the urban territory. It is good in taste and is conveniently located in large retailers, throughout Liguria and partly on Piedmont, Lombardy and Tuscany. The basil is Genoese PDO but the olive oil, and not extra virgin. Then Grana Padano DOP, pine nuts, salt, garlic. Among the small artisanal producers, which ship all over Italy, stands out that of the Bottega del Pesto, really good. Small production in the eastern city, pioneer of the online selling (since 2001), each jar is closed by hand, complete with a stamp from the two hearts that declares: "FRESH BASIL – Collected & worked within 24 hours". The only flaw: it shows only Parmesan and not pecorino (like Novella, on the other hand). On the pecorino cheese the pesto Sacco is strong, which even uses the Fiore Sardo DOP. A little 'less well on other fronts, despite the basil of Prà …

Basil and pine nuts, something to know …

169923The basil it's that of Prà, the now well known delegation of the Genoese Ponente, where it is said that the best basil for the preparation of pesto is growing. Not always. Without taking anything away from the basilica of Prà, we would miss (in the neighborhood there is also a Park dedicated to the perfumed seedling), we report a conversation between a customer and a merchant who took place recently in a market of artisanal producers has been reported. She: "But is the basil of Prà?" – He: "Madam, we hope not!". In other areas of Genoa and in the eastern Levante, cleaner air and sweet sun can nourish a perfect and fragrant basil. The imported one is that to small leaves, without an olfactory trace of mind. The Genoese onein short, that only grows in the shadow of the Lantern … And that it's fresh: discounted? Not at all!!! "Most producers they use the so-called 'pastone', explains Laura Rondini, owner with his brother Andrea de La Bottega del Pesto – The basil is a very delicate plant, needs light and heat, so it comes harvest in summer, when the yield is so great and the prices are lowered. Then the mince and with oil and salt – or just salt – freeze it between -9 ° and -18 °: this is the 'pastone'. Do not freeze, it is a semi-finished product also of DOP brand (because the PDO is due to the production area), but eat a product with the leaf collected even the year before. To get an idea of ​​the price: the 'pastone' costs 5 euro / kg, the fresh leaf 22 euro / kg ". The Bottega pesto is delicious, Genoese basil and EVO. Cashew nuts, which are used together with pine nuts to lower production costs a little, do not like purists but do not distort the taste. The practice of replacing – at least partially – by now luxurious pine nuts with other nuts is increasingly common, even at home, from the early 2000s. Reason? The bug of the pines, commonly called cimicione or American cudicione, "Immigrated" to Italy in 1999. Since then this parasite caused damage to no end, brutally affecting the Italian domestic pine, in the fruits of which the pine cones contain seeds and pine nuts. In the last dozen years, production has fallen by 80% and quadrupled prices. The Italian pine nuts are rare and expensive, indeed very dear compared to their main competitor, the Chinese pine nut (Beijing holds over 60% of world production). The cashew it is dried fruit with a more neutral taste, more like pine nuts – although many use them instead the walnuts which, although varying a bit 'more flavor than the original sauce, amalgamate that bit of sweetness more that can be in fact delicious.

Where to eat it in Genoa

169926Gesino, historical and typical trattoria Sant'Eusebio, ancient micro-village that rises to 222 m s.l.m, today Genoese district part of the central Val Bisagno. The pesto of Gesino, like all his cooking – from soup to meatballs – is genuine, all done at home by the elderly of the family, from Signora Agostina to Livio, master of the pie. In the center, very close to the Brignole station, very popular The Genoese. In the extraordinary historical city center, you can try the testaroli with pesto Cabotina, behind Via Garibaldi, where the UNESCO World Heritage palaces stand out. Or in the stoto trattoria from Ugo, where the trenette are "avantagiäe", or pesto served with its potatoes & green beans. As tradition wants. By default, now a rarity. Monsù, just as historic as the western town, Sampierdarena district, once frequented by the camalli, the workers of the port, we serve a pure and traditional pesto – to try lasagnette – as well as other typical Genoese dishes on the menu, from tripe up ( despite being once owned by Piedmontese). Further to the West, under the Sestri Ponente shipyards, Le Toe Drue (which also prepares "Ferrari" by Cappon Magro). Finally, in the delightful Boccadasse, a former fishing village near the city center, towards Levante, you can try the one of Osvaldo.

Carola Traverso Saibante

January 2019