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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meatless Monday Sorbetto d'Uva and an Autumn Risotto- and a Thank you for Healing Thoughts


It's been some weekend here at Casa Bramasole. Many of you are Facebook friends and are aware that our Allie (your favorite teen blogger!) was taken by ambulance to the hospital Friday night.

She's a varsity cheerleader and was excited to be cheering at her school's first "away" game of the season.

Miss Allie has a LOT of enthusiasm!

and loves her school....

and her family.... (okay, her brothers are iffy sometimes..)

and loves being outdoors

and blogging!  :)

Hearing a doctor say that they suspected that our beautiful, healthy, 16 year old had suffered a heart attack brought us to our knees.

Fortunately, it turned out not to be what they thought, but she WILL have to see a cardiologist. We were blessed- this was only a warning that she has a bit of a glitch- the doctors will find and fix it- God will see us through it. She's feeling much better and will, in fact, be sitting in the bleachers at tonight's cheer practice- she insists on not missing any team time. That's our girl!

Many, MANY, MANY thanks to all of you who took the time to email and call and pray for Allie and our family. She is, and we are, very grateful.

Tonight for Meatless Monday we're going to have a risotto that we always enjoy around this time of year. September marks the beginning of Fall and the season for fresh walnuts and apples. We're also enjoying a wonderful, refreshing sorbet from sweet red grapes. Many years ago (oh, my- that does make me feel OLD!) I took a class with a chef who was a great admirer of Lorenza De Medici. Her Sorbetto D'Uva was on the menu and I've made it countless times through the years

Tutti A Tavola!!

Last week when I showed you all the basket of ironstone cups on my counter (see here ) , I got a few inquiries about how I use them to teach mis en place in classes

My mezzaluna is indispensable to me. Since I only needed a few walnuts, there's no sense in dirtying the food processor...

This is a wonderful, rustic, satisfying risotto with a slight sweetness from the apples, a bit of peppery bite, and the warm savory-ness of the walnuts.

Autumn Apple Walnut Risotto

1 3/4 cups (Arborio rice (or Carnaroli)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and grated with large hoes on grater
Zest and  juice of a lemon- add to grated apples and stir
1l onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
about 2 tblsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
5-6 tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups simmering broth (I use vegetable for this)
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 2 tblsp of butter and saute the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion becomes translucent, and then add the grated apples and sprinkle the lemon juice over them.
While you are doing this, heat another 2 tblsp of butter in a second large pot- add the rice, and cook, stirring, until the grains become translucent, Cook for a minute more. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Add the apple mixture, tarragon and the walnuts, then the first ladle of broth. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring gently and adding broth 1-2 ladles at a time as the rice absorbs it. When rice is cooked creamy and al dente, but tender, turn off the heat, stir in the remaining butter, 2 tblsp of Parmesan, and the cream, and cover the pot for 2-3 minutes.
Put risotto in bowls, top with more grated Parmesan (or even finely grated Cheddar) and more pepper. Serve and enjoy

When making the sorbetto, I use an old-fashioned crank food mill (it was actually my grandma's!). You want to get as much of the lovely flavored juice out as possible and leave behind the skins

Refreshing and SUCH a lovely color!

Sorbetto D'Uva 
adapted from a recipe by Lorenza De Medici

I forgot to do it for these pictures, but when I serve this at a dinner party, I usually garnish the top with a strip of candied lemon peel.

3 1/2 pounds red grapes, removed from stems
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1 egg white

Combine grapes, water, and sugar in a pot and simmer gentlyfor 15-20 minutes till grapes are soft. Pass mixture through a food mill, stir in lemon juice,  and refrigerate several hours till very cold. I use my ice cream maker, but the original recipe says to simply freeze the mixture. When frozen (about 30 minutes in my Cuisinart) place in food processor and add egg white. If you just froze the mixture, break it into chunks first. Pulse till creamy, put in a container, cover and freeze again for several hours- Buonissimo!!

Again, thank you all for all the good wishes, healing thoughts, and prayers. As her mom, I ask that you keep her in your hearts.

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh no... I hadn't read about Allie. I'm sooooo sorry!!!! With that said, I'm so thankful she's okay. Ugh, what a fright you must have had.... poor thing!


  2. Okay, not I've had a chance to finish reading your post... the color of that sorbetto - WOW (and a reason to pull out my food mill - whoohoo).


  3. Prayers answered. God bless you all.

  4. I am so thankful that the first diagnosis proved to be incorrect. How frightening for all of you. She will be in my thoughts and prayers. Does she have an activity to replace the time spent on cheering practice? Years ago I had a grounded gymnast and know how hard it can be for them just to sit. Blessings to you all...Mary

  5. Hi Pattie, I am so sorry and will say special prayers for Allie.I am not on facebook and unaware what happened. My husband attends Mass almost daily and will mention it to him. God Bless,Emelia.

  6. God bless Allie...she is such a beautiful girl! I hope it can all be fixed so she can be on her way! I have been gone for a few days with my family and hadn't heard about this.
    Your recipes look are an awesome cook for sure! :D

  7. Pattie, I am so happy to hear that Allie is doing better. Thank the Lord that she did not have a heart attack! I will continue to pray for her health, as I have her in my prayer journal. Keep us posted!!!
    Please give Allie a hug and kiss from me ( a big, big hug).
    Tonight's risotto is autumn translated into food. This recipe is spectacular!!! I am hosting a few gatherings this fall, and I'll certainly make this one!
    Please take care of yourself too!

  8. I'm so sorry to hear that Allie was ill, Pattie! Our hotel in Yosemite National Park had no wifi service and I am so behind on facebook and blogs since returning to NYC on Saturday evening.
    I hope and pray that her illness is not as serious as first feared and that she will recover fully!

    Both your risotto and sorbetto look exquisite!

    {{{Hugs}}} Pat

  9. Oh Pattie...I was so glad to read that it wasn't a heart attack. Our prayers will be with Allie and your family.

  10. Pattie -- you must have been in a terrible state. I am glad that it wasn't as bad as it sounded originally! Tell Allie hi from Tati and I and best wishes! The risotto and sorbet put me in the mood for fall. Joni

  11. That is so scary, Pattie. I hope you are able to find out exactly what's wrong soon. In the meantime, I will certainly keep you all in my prayers!

    PS - the risotto sounds heavenly!

  12. After I picked my chin up off the floor I was so happy to hear that Allie was OK.Nothing will keep your girl down and dampen her spirits and zest for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Hi...I will pray for her, she is is my thoughts and prayers. May God bless her and your family, he is aware and loves you all very much..hang in there and you pray too.

  14. Patti, I am so sorry I missed this and didnt get to send well wishes but I'll surely do it now. I hope Miss Allie is on the mend and everything goes well for her and all of you..
    She is in my prayers and meditations and I will send healing energy for that sweet girl..


  15. God Bless Allie..I am sending warm thoughts your way.And CHEERING for your darling cheerleader~

  16. I am so grateful thank they were wrong and that they will find what is happening and correct it! I love all you do and will be praying for Allie!!!!!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky


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