The Italian apple cake – Torta di Mele – became the most popular recipe this year. Understandably because it is deliciously moist, spongy, tasty and incredibly easy to make.
My friend Elvira’s Puglian dumplings – polpette di uove – made exclusively from old bread, eggs and herbs became a deserved number two on the annual hit list. Goes to show that the south Italian virtues of husbandry and thrift combined with great taste may be back in vogue.
Third on the list is beef stew with oranges – Brasato agli agrumi – another one of my personal favourites because it is tangy, tasty and savoury in a sour-sweet kind of way.
I made the Sardinian prawn salad – Insalata di gamberi alla sarda – as one of the starters on New Year’s Eve, and it’s always a success. Though I still prefer dried tomatoes to fresh one, when they are out of season.
Apparently I’m not the only one with a highly productive apple tree, as another pan European kind of apple pie – torta di mela – entered the top10.
I’m glad to see there’s also some homemade pasta on the list like these three cheese ravioli – ravioli ai tre formaggi. Unlike more orthodox practitioners of Italian cooking, I always make pasta without eggs, as I find the minimalistic water and flour version less heavy. Still, it’s all a matter of habit – and taste.
Cake recipes are always popular and especially when they are a bit unusual like this orange and almon cake – torta all’arancia e mandorle – which contains no butter or other fats than almonds. The taste come from an orange that is blended with peel and all.
It is no secret I’m quite partial to seasonal salads, which can be a problem when you are spending much of the winter in dark, cold Scandinavia. Therefore I’m happy to share ideas on how to bring raw vegetables into a winter meal like this raw cauliflower salad – Insalata di cavolfiore – with apples, apricots and hazelnuts
The classic Italian dessert cannoli is usually made with deep fried pastry, a cooking method I try to avoid unless absolutely necessary. Therefore these very crunchy oven baked cannoli – Cannoli alla frutta secca – filled with a delicious mix of dried fruit and fresh ricotta.
The top10 of the most popular recipes from Italian Notes in 2011 ends with these salt cod meatballs – Polpette di baccalá – which are sooo gorgeous. And an all time great winter favourite.