“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gelato al pistacchio (pistachio ice-cream)

Why have vanilla or chocolate, when you can have exotic pistachio gelato? What's even better is that you can make it at home. Admittedly, it is a rather labour intensive process. But the fruits of your labour will reward you with an ice-cream unlike no other. I made my own pistachio paste but apparently you can buy it. It is really expensive, as manual labour is needed to produce it. Hence, I suggest making your own. I loved piling the colourful green dense paste on a plate.
This ice-cream is so heavenly refreshing. It is creamy, delicate yet rich, semi-sweet, and the maraschino from the pistachio paste leaves a unique flavour in your mouth.
On my first visit to Sicily during the Easter period, the 'gelateria' stores were filled with locals asking for a brioche style bread filled with pistachio ice-cream. Of course, I had to try one. I have been in love with pistachio ice-cream ever since. The pistachio was introduced into Italy via Syria during the rein of the Roman Empire. It is prevalent in Sicilian cooking, however pistachio ice-cream is sold vastly across the county. Always keep your eye open for the pistachio di Bronte!!!
Pistachio- pronounced pis-tark-ee-o.
pistachio paste
To make pistachio paste (makes 250g paste):

150g pistachio nuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cherry liquor
To make ice-cream:
250g pistachio paste
three cups whole  organic milk
two egg yolks
one fresh vanilla bean
How to make paste:
1: To make the paste, first de-shell then soak the pistachio nuts in boiling hot water for ten minutes to loosen the skin. Drain, then rub the nuts between a clean tea-towel to remove the skins to reveal the vibrant green colour of the nuts.
2: Place the skinless nuts on baking paper on a baking tray and place in a pre-heated 150 degree oven for 7-10 minuets. This will give the nuts a nice roasted flavour.
3: Place the nuts in a blender and mix the sugar and nuts together to form a fine powder. Add one tablespoon of liquor and blend, it will start to form a thick paste.  Add another half tablespoon if need be, to loosen paste.
How to make ice-cream:
1: In a large pan place milk, whisked egg yolks (acts as a thickening agent) and a split open vanilla bean pod. Heat on a low heat making sure not to bring the milk to the boil.
2: Once the milk reaches 90 degrees, add the pistachio paste. Whisk in, making sure the mixture is lump free. Heat through.
3: Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
4: Once cooled, add to a pre-frozen ice-cream maker.

note: ice-cream pottery bowl made by me

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