My favourite Christmas dish is the Panettone Genovese, from Genoa, my hometown. It is the most popular Christmas pastry around there, and it’s totally different to the usual Italian Panettone. In the last days I realized that the preparation is not very difficult, and decided to try and make one. Here’s the recipe.

What you need:

500 gr pastry flour
200 gr sugar
150 gr butter
50 gr pine nuts
100 gr raisins
50 gr candid citron
6 teaspoon of baking powder
1 egg
1 lemon
Marsala wine (8 spoons)
pinch of salt
warm milk (8 spoons)

How to prepare:

Put rhe raisins in warm water and let it soak for 15 minutes. While waiting, pour the flour in a large bowl and add the sugar, the baking powder, salt, the grated lemon peel, the pine nuts, the small pieces of candied citrus fruit and mix all the ingredients together. Be careful to squeeze off the excess liquid from the soaked raisins and add them to the bowl.
Then, beat the egg with the Marsala wine and two teaspoons of lemon juice.
Now make a small hole in the centre of the mixture in the bowl and add the melted butter, the egg with Marsala wine, the warm milk and mix all the ingredients together for some minutes to form a dough.
At this point shape the dough into a large ball and place it in a cake tin previously buttered. Make a deep cross cut on the top of the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Turn on the oven and wait.
Finally, put the panettone in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes at 200C degrees. When it is cooked, let it cool down, take a picture of it, then slice it and enjoy your homemade Christmas dessert!





What you need:

1 kg chestnuts



How to prepare:

This is a very easy recipe, perfect for kitchen dummies who like natural flavours and the fragrance of simplicity in a cold day. You just need to wash well the chestnuts, make a small horizontal cut in the skin. Then turn on the oven at the maximum heat, put the chestnuts in a casserole and put everything in the oven. Let it cook for about half an hour, turning them sometimes, and then check until you think they are ready. When the cuts become bigger and you start to see some black and yellow colors, you can take them from the oven and turn it off. Be careful not to burn your hands, let them cool down, call your friends and start to peel them with your fingers. If you’re in a good mood and you want a suggestion, try to drink some milk with it. Delicious.



What you need:

parboiled rice (2 glasses per person + 1 for the greedy one)
a generous wisp of sage
1/2 yellow onion
parmesan cheese
butter, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper

How to prepare:

The recipe is very easy, and it’s the same process you must do for any kind of risotto – good to know – you need to stay actively in the kitchen for half an hour, but you won’t regret it. It all starts with the onion: clean it and cut it into small pieces, then wash it and put it in a large pan, where you’ve previously poured two or three spoons of extra virgin olive oil. At one side, prepare the broth: wash well the leaves of sage and put them in a pot with water until it boils, keeping the fire low and leaving it there. Put the rice you think you need, and maybe some more, in a bowl. Now turn the fire on and put the pan on it,  mix your onion and oil with a wooden spoon and when you hear it’s crackling (it means it’s starting to fry), add the rice and two glasses of broth. Blend it carefully and always in the same sense (I don’t know why, but they say it’s better).

Now most of the work is done, you just have to mix the rice sometimes and add other broth when it’s too dry – don’t add too much of it, you just need to cover the rice each time (a couple of glasses is enough). Taste it to check the consistence of the grains and stop adding broth when you think it’s almost ready. When it’s dry, turn the fire off and add parmesan cheese and butter as you like (you can do the light version without butter or the fat version with any cheese you want). Adjust with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy your well-deserved risotto.


What you need (two people)

1 chicken breast
2 spoons extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare

Turn on the oven at the maximum level, with heat under and over and no ventilation. Separe the two half of the chicken breast with a knife and remove the little bones. Put it in an oven dish, add extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with marjoram and thymus – you can also add some pepper if you like it spicy, or try with some other herbs, as the recipe is so simple.

The only thing you have to do now, incredible but true, is to put the dish in the oven and wait. After 15 minutes, check the colour of your chicken, and if it’s white, turn it to the opposite side and add some more herbs. Let it cook for some more 15 minutes and check it again.

You should leave it in the oven until you see the external part becoming a little yellow-orange: this means that the meat is soft in the middle and crispy outside. Don’t wait too much or it will burn, turn the oven off and, being careful not to burn your hands, transfer your chicken breasts in two dishes. Now you can add more pepper, salt and salad or other vegetables you like: call your friend, dinner is ready!



Today I want to introduce to you a small but very useful tool that totally changed my life as a goofy cook into a smart one. It’s the egg timer.
How long does it take to boil eggs at the right point? And what if I want the red part to stay a little soft, perfect to eat with a spoon?
I don’t know, really. I’ve asked my mom, my friends and housemates, but everyone gave me a different answer. Someone said 8 minutes, someone said 5, someone simply didn’t care.
Now that I have the egg timer, I don’t care as well: my little plastic egg tells me. I just have to put it in the boiling water together with the eggs and check it sometimes. A red circle gets smaller as it cooks, progressively reaching three steps: soft, medium and hard. Easy.