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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pizza alla Campofranco and Anelli di Agrumi~ Foodie Friday and Nonna's Football Food

It's football season and living in this college town, that means we eat, breathe, sleep, and bleed Carolina Blue

Whether tailgating or cheering from our family rooms, football foods are on the minds of every cook I know.

As I've mentioned before, my Nonno was a well-known soccer player in Italy. My mom was the Italian National Roller Skating champion when she was 12. (How's that for a trivia fact?) I, personally,  have a history of working with bodybuilders and figure competitors (yes, I used to compete and NO, I will never post those pics!)

I am the mom of 6- 5 sports fanatic sons (a mixed Yankee/Mets household) and a cheerleader daughter.

But all that fades away when it comes to Carolina sports. My 13 year old has embraced the UNC teams 
and dragged us all into the fervor with him

Today, I'm going to share a very classic and traditional  Neopolitan stuffed pizza that my grandmother used to make. The texture is a bit different than you might expect- a cross between a bread and a cake. 
Traditionally made with lard to be light and fluffy, this version uses butter- lots of butter :)

Pizza alla Campofranco

1 package active dry yeast (I used fast-rise)
2 tsp sugar
scant 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 cups flour
1 generous tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened and cut in pieces
4 eggs

I used 6 large ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled (submerge in boiling water for 1 minute then in ice water- slip off skins), halved and seeded- drain on paper towels
2 TBLSP olive oil
about 8-10 ounces mozzarella, shredded or thinly sliced
salt and pepper
about 8-10 fresh basil leaves
4-5 thin slices prosciutto, torn into pieces or cut in slivers
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Put the yeast and sugar in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook. Add milk and let stand for 5 minutes. Add flour, salt, butter, and eggs. Start on low speed to incorporate liquids, then increase speed till a dough forms. This will be a very soft dough! 
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently till smooth, incorporating no more than an additional 1/2 cup of flour to prevent sticking. Place dough into greased bowl, turn to coat, and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours till doubled.
Meanwhile, Heat oil in a skillet till hot. Add tomatoes and cook, just shaking pan occasionally (don't stir- you don't want sauce) and flipping with a spatula. Do not overcook- tomatoes should stay somewhat firm.
Grease and flour (or spray with Pam) a 9" springform pan. When dough is risen, turn out onto lightly floured board and cut off 1/3 of dough- set aside. Place larger piece of dough in springform and, using your fingers, press and stretch to cover the bottom and a bit up the sides. Layer 1/2 the mozzarella on the bottom. Top with tomatoes, salt and pepper, basil, prosciutto, and remainder of mozzarella. Flour your hands lightly, pick up small piece of dough and stretch it slightly into a round to fit in pan. Lay on top of filling and press edges together to seal. Cover pan and allow to rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 25-30 minutes till golden. Release sides, slide onto serving plate, and serve hot. Buon Gusto!

As I've said before, all good Italian housewives were raised to believe that all food, and bread in particular, was a gift from God that should always be respected and should NEVER be wasted.

Both my grandmothers always had a stash of cookies or biscotti in the house- all the neighborhood kids knew that Grandma Josie kept the Vienna Fingers in her upstairs oven!

These little rings were often found in my Nonna's kitchen. Made with leftover bread crumbs, they have a softer texture that's a cross between a biscotti and a scone. Not too sweet, but absolutely perfect with an afternoon cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Nonna sometimes decorated hers with slivers of candied orange peel, but today I used some chopped crystallized ginger

Anelli di Agrumi (Citrus Rings)

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. allspice
11 TBLSP butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup ground almonds or almond meal
2 cups soft breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift flour and allspice together twice.
Beat butter and sugar together till light and creamy. Add egg and lemon rind till blended. On lower speed with paddle, add flour, bread crumbs, and almonds till dough is formed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put in fridge for about 1 hour.
I used a small cookie scoop to portion out the dough- recipe should make 28-30.
Roll a small ball of dough into a rope only about 4" long. Form a ring and press ends together. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes- bottoms will be golden. Cool on a wire rack. 
Make a light glaze of lemon juice and confectioner's sugar and drizzle on rings

We're linking up tonight to Foodie Friday, Michael's wonderful party at Designs by Gollum and also to Wendy and Tony's Cookie Exchange at Relatively Unique

And remember.....

God must be a Carolina fan. After all, He made the sky Tarheel Blue!!

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh, these look fabulous!

    That pizza is gorgeous ~ I've never seen anything like it and I would love to make it very soon. Your Anelli di Agrumi are perfection! Both of these are going on my "to make soon" list. I love when you share stories and the history of the recipes. Thank you for sharing. xo ~m

    P.S. You have some LUCKY sports fans in your house with fare like that during the games!

  2. Pattie, I just love the history of the dishes you present as much as the recipes themselves! And today's are 2 huge winners!
    I think I'll try my hand at the pizza. WOW! Now I'll have to have some company over to enjoy it with us!
    I'm putting Pizza alla Campofranco on the menu next week. YUMMY!
    Give Allie a hug from me!

  3. I don't which to try first, the pizza or the cookies! They both sounds fantastic, Pattie, and I love the story behind both of them.

    I'd love to watch a game at your home! Go Badgers!

  4. Pattie, I always enjoy reading the stories behind the dishes you present. Always so much fun. And of course, the dishes are simply gorgeous. I had to laugh when you commented about your grandmother's use of lard when cooking. My mom and I were talking about that last night. My grandma loves to put lard on anything that calls for a oil of some sort; it is crazy! We have had to work with her on "substitution" of ingredients. :)

  5. The pizza could have it's own movie! Remember Big Night?
    Oy I miss pizza.

  6. Oh my, can I have some of both. The pizza looks and sounds fantastic. I really do have to try that and the cookies, out of this world. I have saved both recipes. Yes, we love football too,but I think this would be wonderful any time. Thanks for the fabulous recipes. Hugs, Marty

  7. Looks like 2 WINNERS!! YUMM-O!!


  8. Love your family stories and especially because they are entwined with food memories and recipes to pass down. What a rich heritage that will continue with the next generation of your family. Take care~Emelia~

  9. I love both recipes Pattie! That pizza would be perfect for a tailgating party and your Anelli di Agrumi sound similar to ones my mother-in-law made except she used orange juice in her recipe. Go Tarheels!

  10. Pattie -- this is so yummy looking a stuffed pizza and the cookies looked wonderful. Pattie, I was hankering for some Italian pasta this week and remembered some pasta you had made and searched your blog and coudln't find it! Darn, that's what I get for not copying it down! Joni

  11. I have bookmarked this and am definitely going to give it a shot. We adore pizza, but is magnificent!!!

  12. The pizza looks FABULOUS! I can't wait to try it. Great photos.

  13. Oh my Pattie, that stuffed pizza and those biscuit rings look fabulous! I wonder if I could tempt my pizza hating husband into eating that? It looks enough like a pie that I just might get away with it! xxoo

  14. Pattie, I love your family stories. I come from a large southern family and there is always a story about every recipe. This stuffed pizza looks like just the delicious treat to enjoy while cheering those Tarheels to victory!!


  15. I would love a big slice of your Nonna's stuffed pizza even without a football game to watch. I always enjoy your wonderful stories, Pattie.

  16. Always such lovely memories and delicious food. I love to visit with you. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  17. Pattie you make the most beautiful dishes! Looks so good!

    Happy Weekend!

  18. la pizza est fantastique cela me semble délicieux bravo
    bonne journée

  19. Lucky football fans you have there! What delicious treats. I am sure your Irish dh has become used to the Italian specialties!
    Potatoes no more!

  20. Pattie
    that pizza looks amazing! I can see where it comes close to cake, I am going to have to make one of those incredible pizza'a...and those citrus rings would be great with my morning coffee...sigh....better than the granola bars I eat! I am so glad your Nonna taught you so well, Italian food will always be my favorite, and I am certainly getting some wonderful authentic recipes from you!
    Hope all is well in your world.

  21. Oh my goodness that all looks fabulous!
    Those cookies are really calling my name. Heavenly... lemony. Mmmm....

    We could make a beautiful friendship together: you cook, and I'll drag you off into the hill country where we could get into all kinds of trouble.

    Just bring cookies in case we REALLY get lost and need nourishment. :-)

  22. Pattie, I wish I could eat at your house every night! I so miss having my kids home to cook for, I loved cooking big meals. But if I ate like this every night, I would weigh twice what I do! I do love stuffed pizza and these little rings looks so good! In our family we had wrestlers and my youngest daughter (Sophia's mom) was on a championship soccer team for years, they took 2nd in the nation. Happy Fall to you! :D

  23. Looks great! By the way, I have a recipe blog (along with my personal blog) and most of the recipes I post on there are pretty simple and take 30 minutes or less. I've been venturing out a little bit lately, but I still keep most of the recipes pretty simple. Check it out if you want: Already planning my post for Thankful Thursday tomorrow! So glad to have found your blog via SUYL Fridays :) Pizza Rollers

  24. I have often felt many similarities between southern Italy and the


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