Tag Archives: Milk

Besciamella Light (Light Bechamel Sauce)

16 Dec

Bechamel sauce, the queen of white sauces, is typical of the Italian and French cuisine. It was, in fact, the French Marquis Louis de Bechamel who began to use it in his recipes in the seventeenth century. According to other sources the sauce was created in Tuscany and was later introduced by Catherine de Medici in France. Whatever its origin, it is one of the most versatile and tasty sauces of our cuisine. It is used for the preparation of lasagne, cannelloni, crepes, pies and baked vegetables. The traditional recipe calls for the preparation of the known white roux with butter and flour, to which milk will be added  and then cooked to the desired consistency. My recipe uses small amounts of butter, thus making the sauce lighter and easier on the stomach. The flour is added directly to the milk with a whisk, and at the end of cooking the butter has melted into the mixture. This procedure allows the preparation of a delicate bechamel and reduces the formation of lumps which instead, with the traditional method is easier to obtain.

Preparation time: 15 minutes                                  Servings: 4

1 l milk (approx. 4 cups)
100 g (⅔ cup) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of salt
30 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste

1. In a medium saucepan mix the milk and the flour well with a whisk until smooth. This will prevent any lumps from forming. Add the salt
2. Cook 3-4 minutes (medium-high heat) stirring constantly
3. Lower the heat as soon as the mixture reaches a slow boil and then continue to cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly to the right thickness (smooth and creamy). Stir constantly to ensure that it doesn’t stick or burn
4. Add butter and stir until melted. Let it cool and then you for your favorite recipe. -Paola


Gelato alla Crema (Vanillia Ice Cream)

8 Jul

Craving ice cream, the freezing and formless – but tasty and delicious nectar? Here is the homemade Italian gelato recipe!  Summer has finally arrived and it is time to fully enjoy gelato, Italian ice cream, the king of the summer season, sweet and refreshing!  Everybody knows ice cream, but few probably know that long ago, ancient civilizations served ice for cold foods for thousands of years. The Arabs were the first to use milk as a major ingredient in the IX century. Ice cream, derived from iced-cream, is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products and sugar, and often with fruits or other flavorful  ingredients.  So why not prepare this tasty treat at home? Homemade ice cream is easier than you think; it is genuine and healthy, because it is chemical-free,  as well as nutritious – both adults and children love it.  Recent studies show that ice cream can affect  your mood, helping you relax and sleeping better (but I think we all already knew that it just makes us happy!).  Vanilla ice cream is perhaps the most versatile and easy one to make. Its preparation requires a few common ingredients such as milk, cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla. It can accompany fruit or cake, be used in a delicious affogato al caffé (meaning ice cream “drowned in coffee”), eaten with berries or plain delicious just by itself!

Preparation time: 15 min.     Chilling time: 6 hours       Servings: 4

Gelato alla crema_2
200 ml (scant cup) whole milk
200 ml (scant cup) fresh cream
80 g (scant ½ cup) sugar
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1. In a saucepan over low heat melt the sugar with the milk and cream. Add the vanilla bean. Measure the temperature with a cooking  thermometer. It should not exceed 85 °C (185 °F) otherwise when you add the egg yolks, they  will coagulate
2. When the mixture reaches the right temperature, add the egg yolks and mix well with a whisk. Cook in a bain marie for 5 minutes. Remove from heat
3. Pour the cream mixture into a bowl. To lower the temperature more quickly, put the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and stir continuously
4. If you have an ice cream maker pour the mixture into ice cream maker and follow the instructions
5. If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in a suitable container and store in the freezer for at least three hours. Remove from the freezer, stir and put back in the freezer for another three hours. At this point, the ice cream is ready. To give it a creamier texture blend for a few seconds and then put in the freezer for about 10 minutes. -Paola

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