ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meatless Monday- Dessert for Dinner! Torta di Capelli D’Angelo con Melagrana

Happy Monday Friends!

As our regular readers know, we've been promoting Meatless Monday every week with a meat free entree of some kind. 

Well, this week rather got away from me and here it is, time to post, and what to do?

Well, as it happens, I did make something. It just happens to be a dessert, but since I'm a firm proponent of an occasional "Dessert for Dinner" night, and since it happens to have pasta in it- we're good!

Yesterday while shopping our local co-op market, I ran across some pomegranite seeds. Since I have 2 children that would actually clean their rooms for pomegranites (hey, we do what we have to!), I bought a bunch. 

While driving home I started thinking of Mrs. R. This was a rather random thought, but I tend to do these things.

Mr and Mrs R. were our landlords many years ago when I was expecting my third child and we were house hunting on Long Island. We lived in a 3 bedroom apartment on the second floor of their house and already had 2 adorable, but definitely active little boys. Mr R was a rather gruff, very round little man who spoke almost no English, but made himself CLEARLY understood. Mrs. R was a very sturdy (read strong as a bull!) taller woman who seemed to never be still. They kept a meticulous home and their garden was beyond belief. Mrs. R's pride and joy was her patch of Cock's Combs which were almost as tall as I was and an amazing velvety crimson. They grew figs, tomatoes, peppers, persimmons, and countless other vegetables. Everything was frozen, canned, preserved, and turned into amazing meals. 

Mr R would regularly head up the stairs to inform me of some mischief my boys were getting into and she would be right behind him saying "Basta! Later, later..deve mangiare!" ("Enough! she has to eat!") She would be carrying a shot of strong, creamy espresso to "settle my stomach" and a plate of some wonderful concoction. 
One that she made frequently was a "cake" made with angel hair pasta and dried or candied fruits. Sweets made with pastas are common in many areas of Italy and many are traditionally served during the holidays.

This is my homage to Mrs R who took such good care of me and baby Christopher

Torta di Capelli D’Angelo con Melagrana
(Angel Hair Cake with Pomegranite)

1 cup pomegranite seeds
1 TBLSP Chambord
1 1/4 cup ricotta
4 eggs separated
4 ounces mascarpone
scant 1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 large orange
scant 1/2 lb cappellini- more like 7 ounces
1/2 cup almond meal, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place the pomegranite seeds in a bowl and stir in the Chambord. Set aside to macerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
With a hand mixer, beat the ricotta, egg yolks, mascarpone, sugar, and zest till smooth and blended.
Break the angel hair pasta into 2 or 3 pieces and drop into a pot of salted water which is at a rolling boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes- pasta should be pretty al dente. Drain and quickly rinse lightly to cool a bit. 
Stir into ricotta mixture. 
Stir in reserved pomegranite mixture and 1/4 cup almond meal.
Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into ricotta/pasta mixture.
Butter springform pan and shake reserved 1/4 cup of almond meal into pan to coat
Bake for 50-60 minutes till set and golden. Cool 5 minutes on rack, run a thin knife around edge and remove sides of pan. Allow to cool till warm. 
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with Creme Anglaise flavored with Chambord (BELOW) and sprinkle with more pomegranite seeds
Crema D’Anglaise Chambord

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1/3 cup sugar
5 large or extra-large egg yolks
1 tblsp of Chambord or more to taste
Heat cream, milk, vanilla beans and seeds in a small saucepan. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Reheat cream to barely simmering. While whisking quickly dribble just a bit of the hot cream into the yolks. Put yolk mixture back into saucepan of cream and stir constantly over medium low heat till custard reaches 175 degrees- do not boil. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in 1 tblsp of Chambord. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate till cold

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Hi ladies, checking your great blog before I serve dinner. Beautiful dessert-entree and table setting. Thank you again for your great stories and meals...take care ~Emelia~

  2. Would you adopt me and be my Mommy. I know I am older than you but we can work out the legistics later. Yumalicious!!! Happy Monday sweet friend, Kathysue

  3. I always enjoy reading your stories. Isn't it wonderful when these sweet memories pop back into our minds! This looks delicious and sounds so interesting...the kids would enjoy :)

  4. What a gorgeous dessert, Pattie. Enjoyed your story too. Have a good week!
    Blessings and hugs, Beth

  5. Loved reading the story and your memories of Mr and Mrs R! What wonderful memories and what a fabulous cake! I wonder if I could get Todd to eat pasta disguised as cake?? hmmm . . . great idea!!

  6. This obviously brings back such wonderful memories for you it has to be good!!!

  7. I have never tried anything like this, but I am a firm believer in eating dessert first and if you recommend it, I am sure it is delicious. What a fun landlady. I would want to be like that if I were one.

  8. OOo, that looks delicious! I've never made a torta before, so your recipe is really interesting.

  9. Loved this post and I love your whole blog. What a great job the two of you have done. I will be back often.

  10. What fun memories. What amazing food. I didn't even know you could make a cake out of pasta. t sounds wonderful.

  11. Dessert is meatless so it counts ;) I've never had a sweet made with pasta before and it sounds absolutely wonderful!

  12. This is such a unique recipe, Pattie. The only way I have had sweet pasta before was noodle kugel so I'd love to try making this one day. Since it is filled with cheese and pasta and egg whites it's a wonderful "dessert as a meal"!

    I loved your story about Mr, & Mrs R. My first landlady taught me how to make pesto many years ago.

  13. Oooh I must make this . We are having a luncheon next week it will be perfect!!

    New Giveaway is on my site!!

    Art by Karena

  14. Well, I suspect you already know that I'm going to have to make this. I've never heard of it before and you've teased my curiousity. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. Never tried melagrana in the cake. Thanks for the idea! Un grande saluto, Anna

  16. Magnificent torta. Wonderfully executed. Awesome photos as well.

  17. Pattie,
    This sounds so unusual and delicious.I wish you could make it for me! LOL

    I love the two quotes at the top of your blog. They're both so true!


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