Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Italy! Amaretti-Stuffed Peaches ~ Pesche Ripiene Agli Amaretti

Now that my around-the-world cooking journey has ended I get to country hop to my heart's delight, and I can't think of a country I'd like to explore more than Italy. Sitting on my kitchen counter is Italy The Beautiful Cookbook, by Lorenza De Medici. My Dad and his wife gave it to me in 2002 after I'd spent two hours at their house leafing through it, inspired and amazed by the recipes, but until now, hadn't had the time to delve deeply into the book's glossy pages and fascinating text. Divided up by region, as Italy's cuisine differs vastly depending on location, the book offers 250 full color pages of Italian meat, fish, salad, vegetable, rice, pasta and desserts recipes. Most striking is how every recipe is both simple and uses only the freshest, whole foods: olive oil, vegetables, lemons, parsley, garlic, seafood, meat, wine and pasta - everything made from scratch, yet easy and uncomplicated. The result is spectacularly beautiful, delicious food that takes no time at all to prepare and tastes as good as it looks. Nothing fussy, nothing pretentious. My favorite kind of eating.

So, over the next month, maybe longer, I'm going to pick my favorite recipes from the different regions in this book.  Needless to say, my family is totally stoked that they won't be eating peanut stews in the foreseeable future. I've already found a new Italian market in my area that carries some of the harder to source ingredients like real amaretti biscuits, homemade ricotta and dried chestnuts - I'm like a junkie who's just found a flush new street pharmacist.

Hereto-with, the first recipe - perfect for summer: Amaretti Stuffed Peaches from the Piedmont region (#1 on the map) of Italy. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate desserts and pastry, almost more than I love my children, but fresh summer fruit and whipped cream is untoppable  - I don't think that's a word, but you get what I mean. Ciao!

Amaretti bicuits are delicious alone, with coffee, ice cream or added to whipped cream
Beautiful summer peaches are in season now and make an easy, elegant dessert - Slice and add to the simple syrup to poach, then cool before filling
mmmm....whipped cream - I could never say no to you fat (said in a Homer Simpson voice)
Crush up the cookies - a rolling pin works too
One egg yolk is added to the whipped cream with the crushed cookies
Fill with whipped cream mixture, pour syrup around peaches and serve

Pesche Ripiene Agli Amaraetti - Recipe Adapted from Italy The Beautiful Cookook, by Lorenza De Medici
(Amaretti Stuffed Peaches)

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup sugar
6 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
12 amaretti biscuists, crushed
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped

Boil the wine and sugar on a low-medium flame for 5 minutes to form a simple syrup.
Poach the peach halves in the syrup for 5 more minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon and let cool.
Fold the amaretti crumbs and egg yolk into the cream.
Fill the peach halves with the cream mixture.
Arrange on a serving platter and pour the remaining wine syrup around the peaches.
Serves 6

© 2010-2012 What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved


Anna said...

Good God-you wasted no time!!! This looks sublime....bonaduocolligamilado!!!!

sadie said...

What the Devil?! You gotta make this, Squann! Takes about 15 minutes and dag, yo, it's wicked delish. xoxoxo Love you

Nancy said...

Ok now I'm really excited! I have that same coffee table book. I remember Costco used to sell them years ago and I got Italy, France, and a few others. They have such gorgeous, glossy photographs. Being of half Italian descent myself and having been to Italy 3 times and adoring the food I am really going to be loving this new phase of your culinary exploration. Most Italian food is quite different than many people imagine (pasta drenched in soupy red sauce). Yay!

sadie said...

YAY, Nancy! You're right, the food is completely different from what we typically think of as Italian cooking. Same with what we know as Chinese food. So glad you're excited! And, I'm not sure you're the Nancy I think you are, but IF you are, do you recognize the bowl the amaretti are in??! If you're NOT, I'm thrilled you're along for the ride anyway!!

DCNancy said...

I'm not the Nancy that would recognize your bowl but it's beautiful and the pattern looks like something you'd see in Italy. I know exactly what you mean about Chinese. I'm in the DC area we have some fantastic regional Chinese cuisine here. It's not your typical greasy strip mall Americanized stuff. I don't think I could ever live in a city that doesn't have an extremely diverse population because...THE FOOD!

sadie said...

Hi There, DC Nancy! You're so lucky to live in a place where there's so much variety to choose from. We used to live in Boston, where we could get anything. Now, we live outside of the city and the pickin' are a lot slimmer, which is one of the reasons I started this project. Just picked up some beautiful Italian flat beans at the farmer's market - can't wait to cook them!!

Karen said...

I have that very same cookbook, along with America, Southwest, France, and China. Love them, and this recipe looks great ! I've made a very similar dish with mascarpone which was a huge hit...

sadie said...

Of course you have the ALL, Karen!! I just bought some mascarpone! Don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but I figured it's always good to have "on hand" - hugs to all of you!

Karen said...

I love it so much I'll eat it right out of the container , but there are much better uses :) Not just dessert, either. It's killer in mashed potatoes !

sadie said...

Ohhhhhh! In mashed potatoes?! I'll try it! xoxo