Time to announce the winner of my GIVEAWAY!

 …And the winner is:

MEG

from the blog Meg Travels .

Meg will receive a copy of the book “Masseria – The Italian Farmhouse of Puglia” published by Rizzoli.

Meg’s New Book!

I hope Meg will enjoy this book as much as I do!

I would like to thank everyone who entered. I also would like to send a big Thank you to Signora Cristina Rizzo, book’s project director for sponsoring this giveaway.

MY FAVORITE IMAGE…RED CARPET!

If you are not the lucky one to receive the free copy of the book, you can order your copy here.

Related posts:

My First Giveaway: Masseria the Italian Farmhouse of Puglia. A beautiful book waiting for you!

A Cultural Evening at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC

FTC Disclosure

I have not received any compensation for posting this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.  I have purchased my own copy of the book and reviewed it. Mrs. Cristina Rizzo – book’s project director – has donated the book for this giveaway. I will personally pay for the book’s shipment to the contest’s winner.  My opinions are 100% my own.

My First Giveaway! “Masseria the Italian Farmhouse of Puglia”… a Beautiful Book Waiting for You!!!

THIS COULD BE YOURS!!!

I am thrilled to announce my very first giveaway!!!

Last month, I posted “A cultural evening at the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC”, an event to celebrate the publication of  the book  “Masseria – The Italian Farmhouse of Puglia“, published by Rizzoli.

At the end of that evening, I purchased a copy of the book and I have enjoyed it very much since. Not to mention that it looks great on my Italian marble credenza!

The book is full of stunning pictures by Mark Roskam – Miami-based photographer who specializes in architecture and interior design – and it is introduced by Diane Lewis – professor of design at Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture – who also provides a short description of each Masseria.

The Italian region of Puglia, on the Southeast coast,  is known as the “tacco d’Italia” , the “heel of Italy”, and “the masseria building is one element among the roads, wells, towers, walls, courtyards, and gates that collectively, comprise a refined architectural landscape across Puglia” (excerpt from book).  As I mentioned in my previous post, the masseria is a sort of fortified farmhouse and they are are mostly located along the Via Appia (Appian Way) – the ancient Roman road.

This is indeed a beautiful coffee table book, but it is more than that; it transports you into beautiful landscapes of vineyards and olive groves, takes you back in time in the Magna Grecia and the Roman Empire, and mostly, makes you wish you were there!

I love the book so much that I thought it would be awesome if I could share it with one of my faithful followers and lovers of Italy.

During the evening at the Embassy of Italy I met signora Cristina Rizzo, book’s project director, she seemed charming and kind yet I was hesitant to contact her. Finally, few weeks ago, I plucked up my courage and contacted signora Rizzo, I shared my idea of a giveaway, and asked her to donate one copy of the book for that purpose. Signora Rizzo, without hesitation, kindly agreed to donate the book and I am excited to say that I have just received the precious copy, which is now sitting right here next to me, waiting for a new home . . . it could be yours!

Would you like to be the lucky winner?

Here’s how to enter the contest:

REQUIRED ENTRIES

  1. Follow Sharing My Italy . . . The Blog by clicking on the “Join Me” icon on the homepage of this blog and enter your e-mail address to receive regular updates
  2. Leave a comment to this post and share if you have ever been to the Italian region of Puglia and/or visited a Masseria.

BONUS ENTRIES:

  1. Follow Sharing My Italy  on TWITTER and tweet this giveaway  – comment saying you did or already follow.
  2. Follow ME on PINTEREST & comment saying you did or already follow.
  3. “Like” Sharing My Italy on FACEBOOK – comment saying you did or already follow.
  4. “Share” this giveaway on FACEBOOK
  5. Follow Rizzoli book on TWITTER and tweet this giveaway – comment saying you did or already follow

Remember to leave a comment below each time you’ve done one of the above (= up to 5 comments = up to 5 bonus entries)

DETAILS:

  • This giveaway will remain open until July 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • One  winner will be selected randomly and will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
  • This contest is open to US residents only, my apologies to my international friends!
  • I need to be able to contact you, should you be the lucky winner, so please be sure you provide your e-mail or I will need to choose another winner.

Good Luck to Everyone!!

Grazie Mille Signora Rizzo for donating the book!

If you are not the lucky one to receive the free copy of the book, you can order your copy here.

In a meanwhile enjoy few more pictures from the book.

FTC Disclosure

I have not received any compensation for posting this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.  I have purchased my own copy of the book and reviewed it. Mrs. Cristina Rizzo – book’s project director – has donated the book for this giveaway. I will personally pay for the book’s shipment to the contest’s winner.  My opinions are 100% my own.

Related post : A cultural evening at the Embassy of Italy, Washington DC

A Cultural Evening at the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC

Ambasciata d’Italia, Washington, DC

This past Tuesday night I attended a cultural event at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC. I had found out about it through Piazza Italia, Washington, DC Italian Language Cultural Group. I had joined the group some times ago, however I had not participated to any of their events yet. I am glad I did this time!

First let me tell you that I LOVE the architecture of the Embassy of Italy, not to be partial, but I think it is the most beautiful Embassy in DC.

Rizzoli New York and the Embassy of Italy had organized a cocktail reception to celebrate the publication of  the book  ” Masseria – The Italian Farmhouse of Puglia.

My own copy of the book.

How appropriate that I am in the process of designing a trip to Southern Italy – specifically in the Regions of Campania, Basilicata, and  Puglia – for the Institute of Learning in Retirement (ILR) in Frederick, MD, where I teach few classes.

Now, you are probably looking at the book cover and asking yourself: what is a Masseria?  Let me tell you just few words about it.  The Masseria is a sort of fortified farmhouse typical of the Puglia region and mostly located along the Via Appia (Appian Way) – the ancient Roman road.

The Masserie originated during the feudal period. Each Masseria is almost like  a small self-sufficient world within the vast land. Although they all served the same purpose – house, farm, chapel, stable – the Masseria’s typologies vary with the historical period – from seventeenth century to late nineteenth century – the geographical location, and therefore the different agricultural activities: herding and durum wheat in North-West Murgia, wine and olive in the South-East and in the Salento.  Along with the Trulli – and often in conjunction to – the Masseria are the most distinctive architectural models of  Puglia. They range from rustic to luxurious and each is unique. Note that the Trulli, one of the best example of vernacular architecture,  in 1996 have been included in the UNESCO’s list of  World Heritage Centre.

Back to my evening; the event started with the book presentation that took place in the Embassy’s auditorium, which was furnished with comfortable Poltrona Frau seating – fancy! Good thing I sat comfortably, the presentation – in typical Italian style –  started fashionably late. Delivering the presentation was the book’s project director, Signora Cristina Rizzo, a charming woman that appeared to prefer to be away from the spotlight.

Signora Rizzo

Signora Rizzo explained that the idea of the book came from a short visit to her friend in Puglia. She said that once in the presence of this unique reality within that beautiful landscape, she immediately knew that she wanted to produce a book about it.

Signora Rizzo went on to explain that since not all the Masserie have been restored/maintained to their original conditions, selecting the Masserie to be featured in the book, had not been an easy task. The shooting of the pictures alone took  4 months.

The book is lovely. It is full of amazing photographs – by Mark Roskams – of a large number of Masserie and it also includes a well written introduction by Diane Lewis that also provides a short description of each depicted Masseria.  I would have probably liked to read a little more in-depth details about the history and the stories behind the Masserie; this is, however, a beautiful coffee-table book.

After the presentation the approximately 90 attendees gathered to the central hall to enjoy red and white  wine from the Puglia Region. I opted for the red and it was very pleasant; shame on me that I forgot to take note of the wine. . . too busy mingling and dispensing business cards to promote my lovely blog!

Although I was a little disappointed that Mrs. Diane Lewis was not there to present the book herself, I had a very enjoyable evening. I finally met some members of Piazza Italia,  I got myself a wonderful book, and something new to share with you.

NOTE: Some of the Masseria have recently been converted into agriturismo, boutique hotels, and luxury resorts.

 FTC Disclosure

I have not received any compensation for posting this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.  The books shown is my own. My opinions are 100% my own.

Recipe: Calzoni e Panzerotti. . . Yum-Yum!!!

This past Monday, after 4 weeks of winter break, my youngest son, Mattia, went back to school. I already miss him!

To ensure that he would not forget his mom, I went on a three-day cooking marathon: Baked rigatoni with tomatoes/béchamel sauce on Friday, baked Calzoni and fried Panzerotti on Saturday and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese on Sunday!

Oh. . . he will remember me!

Even if you are not trying to impress your son, you can still treat yourself to this bontà (delicacy).

I will share with you the recipes of the calzoni and panzerotti.

The Calzone al forno (baked calzone) is a specialty of the Neapolitan cuisine, yet widespread through Central, and Southern Italy.

The dough is the same as the pizza and the filling is traditionally composed of mozzarella or provola, grated cheese, ricotta and salame.

In Naples, you can taste delightful calzoni in every Pizzeria, where they are baked in traditional forni a legna (wood fire ovens).

The Panzerotto, typical of the Italian region of Puglia, is simply a variation of the calzone. The same pizza dough is used; however, the traditional filling is a mix of tomatoes and mozzarella. The Panzerotto can be baked or fried.

Although, a specialty of Puglia, the panzerotti, just like the calzoni, are found everywhere in Italy, and particularly in the Southern regions.

The panzerotto is sometime also called calzone fritto (fried calzone).

Fried panzerotti were one of my favorite treats during my college’s years in Napoli. Friggitorie (local shop selling fried food) selling hot panzerotti, crocchè di papate (potatoes croquettes) and pastacresciuta (fried dough) are still in many corner of Naples; My favorite friggitoria was the Friggitoria Vomero, outside the stop of the Funicolare Centrale (funicular railway).

The recipes below are the typical version of calzoni and panzerotti however, you can create your own filling, based on your own likes. Get creative!

Ricetta Calzoni e Panzerotti

(NOTE: The pictures below show two batches of dough and fillings and double the amount of  calzoni and panzerotti)

Ingredients for the dough:

2 cups flour type 00 (you can substitute with all-purpose flour – see next line)

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (if you don’t have type 00 flour, increase the quantity of all-purpose flour to a total of 3 -1/2 cups)

1-1/2 cups of lukewarm filtered water (100 degree)

1 teaspoon yeast

¼ teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in a 1/4 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Let the yeast foam (5-10 minutes).

In a separate small bowl dissolve the sea salt into a 1/4 cup of water and set aside.

Sift the two types of flour and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer with the hook attachment.

Add the yeast and start mixing at low-speed.

Once the yeast has blended into the flour, increase the speed and slowly start adding the water.

Once you have added approximately 3/4 cups of water, you can add the salted water. If it appears that the dough is still not coming together, add the remaining ¼ cup of water.

Continue to mix until the dough forms a ball and the sides of the bowl are completely clean.

Transfer the dough on a slightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Form a ball and transfer to a bowl that you had previously brushed with a little bit of oil. Brush also the dough with oil to prevent it from drying, and cover with plastic film and with a kitchen towel. Keep the bowl in a dry place and let raise for 2 hours (during winter, sometime I keep the dough in the oven with the lights on, the warmth of the lights helps the raising process).

You can now start to assemble your filling.

I personally like to use both types of ripieno (filling) for both the calzoni and the panzerotti. I then bake, and fry some of each.

Ripieno di Ricotta 

Ingredients:

1 cup of good quality ricotta cheese (hand dipped is the best)

1 extra-large egg

4 oz. mozzarella cheese

3 oz. sopressata salami  or  Genova salami cut 1/4 inches thick

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup tomato purée

2-3 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Peanut Oil (Peanut oil has a high smoke point and neutral taste which makes it perfect for frying foods. Extra virgin olive oil also has a high smoke point however, you will definitely taste its flavor).

Directions:

Chop the mozzarella and the salame into pieces (I use a food processor. Using the pulse option I easily obtain small pieces).

In a bowl combine the ricotta with the egg, the Parmigiano, the pecorino, salt and pepper.

Add the mozzarella and the salame and mix well to combine.

Ripieno di Pomodoro e Mozzarella 

Ingredients:

4 oz mozzarella cheese, chopped

2 cups of canned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped

¼ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil to fry

Directions:

Pour the chopped pomodori (tomatoes) into a strainer sitting over a bowl and let drain the water until ready to use.

When you are ready to stuff the calzone and panzerotti, transfer the tomatoes into a dry bowl, add the mozzarella, the oil, the salt and, the oregano and mix together.

How to assemble and cook the calzoni and panzerotti

Transfer the dough on a surface dusted with flour and knead for 1 minute. Roll out the dough, and with a cookie cutter or a glass, form 5 inches diameter disks; Placed the disks on a floured surface. Cover with plastic film and a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven at 450 degree.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with corn meal.

With your hand and the aid of a rolling-pin, roll out each disk until very thin (less than ¼ inch thick). Put some of the filling in the center of each disk.

Brush the edge of each disk with water and close each one by folding the dough over and pressing down along the edges with your finger first and then with the tines of a fork.

Place half of the calzoni and panzerotti in the baking sheet and brush the top with tomato puree.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes then enjoy!

Buonissimi!!!

The other batch of canzoni and panzerotti will be fried.

In a large pan, heat 2-3 inches of olive oil or peanut oil to 170 degree. If you don’t have a thermometer you can drop a piece of bread without crust into the oil, if the bread reach the bottom of the pan and quickly return to surface, the oil is ready.

When the oil is ready, fry the panzerotti and calzoni, few at the time, turning them on both sides until golden.

Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve hot.

Sitting on top of the fried calzoni and panzerotti is something that my mom used to make. It’s the pizzetta fritta (fried little piazza), simply a thicker disk of dough with a slight well in the center. First you fry the side with the well then, flip over, and while it is frying, fill the well with a spoonful of tomatoes purée and a sprinkle of Parmigiano cheese. I loved it then, and I love it now!

I hope you will enjoy these recipes. Let me know how creative you will be with your fillings!