Dessert Italian Cooking 101

Tiramisu 101

What isn’t to love about tiramisù?  Coffee, Cookies, Mascarpone and Sugar… che buono! It is without a doubt one of the top comfort foods from Italy and a dessert that is seen on menus and tables from the north to the south and everywhere in between.  This recipe is said to come from the regions of Veneto, Piedmont, and Tuscany who have the most traditional and classic version of the beloved dolce.  For many of you who are an espresso lover, this dessert is for you! And you can be certain that serving this will always leave guests impressed!  What they may not know is just how easy tiramisu preparation is, and you’ll be wanting to keep it your secret to impress the next group alla Italiana!

Note: You may not have an Italian moka – espresso maker for stove tops – but as an alternative you can buy Illy or Lavazza ground coffee and make it in your coffee maker just ristretto with less water than usual. Tiramisu Collage

First Course

Zuppa di Pancotto

Pancotto may look fancy but it’s anything but fancy.  This is the Italian mom’s secret recipe for using yesterday’s bread and being resourceful when there may be nothing left in the refrigerator.  Also, this is a true no brainer Italian recipe that can be whipped up in no time for any level of cooking.

Difficulty: low                      Prep Time:  15 minutes                         Cooking Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients    |    4 Servings

1/2 loaf of white bread or 8 slices of bread(left over bread rolls)

12 slices of prosciutto

2 shallots

1 celery stick

1 carrot stick

2 bay leaves

2 large onions

1/4 cup of butter

1 tablespoon of vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 cup of vegetable broth




  1. Cut and dice into very small pieces: celery, carrot, and shallots.  Heat olive oil on stove top on a low flame, place diced carrot, celery, and shallot in pan with olive oil and sautee.  img_0931
  2. Cut bread into large pieces.  Add bread to vegetables once cooked down and cover the bread on stove top with vegetable broth.  Let everything cook down together for about 15 minutes until it turns into a cream.
  3. Place prosciutto slices on a baking sheet and put in oven at 220 degrees for 6-8 minutes for the prosciutto to become nice and crispy. img_0929
  4.  Cut onions into rings, place on the stove top a pan with butter on a low flame, add onions to butter with salt and pepper, let onions carmellize, then add vinegar to onions wait for vinegar to evaporate, and then add honey taking onions off the heat.
  5. Put the pancotto in an individual serving bowl, place prosciutto on top of pancotto and carmelized onions, top it off with a touch of olive oil. Serve and Buon appetito!