The 'G's' of Italian Cooking

This happens to be one of my special letters for two reasons. One can never go wrong with a traditional flavored gelato like a citrusy lemon, lime or orange. If you are like me and a real espresso lover, try coffee gelato for a refreshing change. It is delightful and so refreshing too.

Then of course there is a caffe' corretto which uses one shot of espresso with a shot of grappa. This is something to enjoy for a special occasion, maybe even when the mood strikes. Once in a while, I add a little anisette too. So now, let's delve into the

'G'

gelato (jay.lah.toe) ~ 'frozen.' Ice cream or sherbert.

gnocchi (nyok.kee) ~ dumplings made of wheat or potato flour.

Gorgonzola (gor.gun.dzo.lah) ~ this is the name of a town in Northern Italy where this veined Italian blue cheese was originally produced.

granita (gra.nee.tah) ~ 'granite.' the name for Italian ice.

grappa (grah.pah) ~ from the same root that gives us the "grape." This is a distilled highly alcoholic beverage produced from wine lees. Are you wondering what a wine lees is? You are........ Well, here it goes ~ it's the deposits of residual yeast and other particles that end up at the bottom of a wine vat after fermentation.

gratella (grah.tel.lah) ~ grate or griddle for broiling.

grissini (gree.see.nee) means 'bread sticks.' Interestingly enough this term comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. It is separate from standard Italian and distinct enough to be a romance language in and of itself.

Have you ever tried:

SPINACH GNOCCHI

What You Will Need:

1 pound boiled spinach, squeezed dry

2 1/2 pounds mashed potatoes

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons grated cheese for mixture

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons flour

5 quarts boiling water

3 tablespoons salt

1/4 pound butter

3 cups tomato sauce

Grated cheese for sprinkling

What To Do:

Mix together the spinach, potatoes, egg yolks, cheese, salt and flour. Roll the mix on a floured area in a long, thin roll and cut into pieces two inches long. Cook fifteen to twenty at a time in boiling, salted water. When the pieces rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon. Keep the water boiling and repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked. Place the gnocchi in a serving dish, add sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.

This is slightly time consuming yet easy to make. The best part is, it's homemade. Have a beautiful day!!!

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