Greetings to our reader in NAPLES, ITALY!
Naples is the birthplace of the pizza, or more specifically, Pizza Margherita, which traditionally is made with mozzarella cheese, pomodoro (tomato) and basil - each representing the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. The pizza was created as homage to Queen Margherita when she visited the city.
Naples is also famous for its pasta dishes, where spaghetti is often served with sugo di pomodoro, (witness the problem of "web translations" of an authentic italian based website!) a tomato sauce which gets its full flavour from sun-ripe Campanian tomatoes.
In about 1889, Queen Margherita, accompanied by her husband, Umberto I, took an inspection tour of her Italian Kingdom. During her travels around Italy she saw many people, especially the peasants, eating this large, flat bread. Curious, the queen ordered her guards to bring her one of these Pizza breads. The Queen loved the bread and would eat it every time she was out amongst the people, which caused some consternation in Court circles. It was not seemly for a Queen to dine on peasant's food.
Never the less, the queen loved the bread and decided to take matters into her own hands. Summoning Chef Rafaelle Esposito from his pizzeria to the royal palace, the queen ordered him to bake a selection of pizzas for her pleasure.
To honor the queen who was so beloved by her subjects, Rafaelle decided to make a very special pizza just for her. He baked a Pizza topped with tomatoes, Mozarella Cheese, and fresh Basil (to represent the colors of the Italian flag: Red, white, and green).
This became Queen Margherita's favorite pizza and when word got out that this was one of the queen's favorite foods, she became even more popular with the Italian people. She also started a culinary tradition, the Pizza Margherita, which lasts to this very day in Naples and has now spread throughout the world. - In Mamas Kitchen
Naples offers several kinds of unique pastry, the most famous of which is perhaps the babà, and the Pastiera, a cake prepared for Easter. The babà (also known as savarin) is a mushroom-shaped piece of leavend sweet paste, soaked with an orange flavoured mixture of ronruhm and water. The Pastiera is a cake with a complicated recipe, varying by the county in which it is prepared. The ingrediants are typically annealed grain, eggs, and sometimes cream. It is always combined with boiled rice.
Naples is also known for its gelato.
I'm wondering when I can come visit! ;-)
Chocolate Cookie Pizza
"A favorite with children of all ages. Use your imagination with the toppings!"
Original recipe yield: 12 to 16 slices.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
1/4 cup flaked coconut
2 ounces white chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and egg until well combined. Stir in the flour and the baking soda (dough will be stiff). Pat dough onto an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan or on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookie from oven and let it cool.
In a saucepan heat the chocolate chips, remaining butter or margarine, and milk over very low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar. Beat until smooth, glossy, and of spreading consistency. If frosting is not glossy, stir in a few drops of hot water. Spread over the top of the baked and cooled cookie.
Immediately sprinkle with pecan halves, M&M candies, and coconut. Press lightly into frosting. Drizzle top with the melted white chocolate. Let stand until set. Remove from pan if desired. Cut into wedges.
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