Monday, November 11, 2019

pumpkin galore

October and November in Turin are the months of the pumpkin but no matter when pumpkin season is where you live, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving Day or you just like its flavor, do it like us and make one of these amazing recipes of ours. You'll surprise and entice your family and friends and most definitely, you'll gratify yourselves 😋

Porta Palazzo market: the farmers' section

Pumpkin risotto

Pumpkin risotto is always an elegant and impressive idea in any given menu. Short or long grain rice won't really matter, even if in Italy we use the short grain variety for accessibility issues as these are our native variants.
in the first sautéing phase, beer, wine or your choice of liqueur, everything will do to twist a risotto, however, we recommend a delicate and fruity white wine or a blond beer to avoid overpowering the pumpkin flavor.
Gin, vermouth and vodka can be used too, as well as green tea for a different flavor. In the kitchen creativity is always your best friend.
Cheese can play a bigger or a smaller role too, depending on the final result you want to achieve. Cream cheese, goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano and any mild and fresh cheeses are always to be preferred; however, if you are thinking of making risotto patties the day after... well then, there's no limit to your fantasy.

For our 101 risotto post, click here.

Risotto usually comes al dente and for this reason it doesn't need any extra crunchiness but you can certainly add some pumpkin seeds to garnish as well as some turmeric or even saffron to enhance the yellow color.
You can also add some dried mushrooms, especially porcini will be particularly tasty or some Jerusalem artichokes for a more Fall and potassium and magnesium packed dish.

Pumpkin baked fries or chips

You can very easily roast pumpkin French fries or chips as an addition to you aperitif menu: you will just need some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), any herbs you love and fleur de sel or regular salt.
Cut your pumpkin into chips-like or French fries-like pieces, keep in mind they will shrink in the oven, so cut them twice as bigger as your final desired size.
Wash them, dry them and cover them in EVOO plus herbs, roast them in the over at 220F /105C for 25/30 minutes. 
Turn your oven off leaving your pumpkin chips inside for another 25/30 minutes to help dry any extra moisture and make them crunchy.
Sprinkle with fleur de sel or regular salt (and grounded cinnamon)

Is there an healthier and more seasonable snack?

Pumpkin gnocchi

To bring everyone to your table and make them all happy, just make pumpkin gnocchi!
This is a very therapeutic dish as it involves a lot of relaxing hand work that can be shared with one or more friends or family members - you won't believe how much you'll gossip and laugh till it happens 😄.
Needless to tell you, this prep also makes a great romantic activity with your date😇
As we are yogis, a note about the pumpkin orange color that reminds us of the sacral chakra located about 2 in/ 4cm below your navel. This orange chakra is associated with our emotions, creativity and sexuality 😜

If you already have a potato gnocchi recipe you like, you can simply make 50% potatoes and 50% pumpkin. We tried mixing 50% pumpkin and 50% lentils and the only pumpkin version.

Our recipe calls for only pumpkin and no egg to make it vegan friendly and lighter.

  • 600gr / 1.3lb of pumpkin pulp
  • about 300gr /2 cups regular white flour or rice flour if there are any gluten issues or a mix of white and farro flours to twist the flavor. Bear in mind you might need more according to the moisture of your dough 
  • some turmeric, pepper to enhance the color and the nutrient content
  • fresh ginger, nutmeg and herbs (optional)

Peel, cut, wash, dry and roast the pumpkin in the oven at 200C/390F for 15/20min or ventilated oven at 180C/350F 10/15min. Using parchment paper on your baking dish you won't need to add anything. When you see the edges of your pumpkin pieces getting slightly dry, it is time to get them out of the oven and cool down.
After cooling down, purée the pumpkin with turmeric, pepper and fresh ginger and other spices and herbs you like.

On a silicone mat pour some flour, add the pumpkin purée and start mixing and kneading. Slowly add as much flour as you need to get a nice, elastic dough ball that doesn't stick to your hands.
With a stainless steel scraper or a knife cut the dough into 6 or 8 small sections.
Roll them down one by one into a 1cm/0.5in thick sausage. Cut each sausage into dumplings. Remember that while boiling they will double their size. To add the ridges you can push and roll down each one of your gnocchi on the back of a fork or you can simply boil them without ridges.

As the gnocchi are ready, rest them on a floured surface and distance them so they won't stick up together into their original dough ball.
If you need to, you can freeze them for 2 hr on a silicon mat before placing them into a ziploc bag and have a bunch ready for a future occasion.
Otherwise, when it looks like your 4 portions are down, boil a huge pot of salty water, drop them all in and stir occasionally.
When ready, the gnocchi will float up to the surface for you to scoop them out - we love to use a Chinese skimmer.

Serving these pumpkin gnocchi is very easy as they are naturally good just with EVOO and balsamic, or if you added the fresh ginger, you might want to let some soy sauce get absorbed making them savory.
They also go extremely well with creamy goat cheese or any mild fresh cheese.
Otherwise, do it the traditional Italian way: melt some butter and add a couple of fresh sage leaves. When the leaves are lightly friend and you can smell their scent this aromatic butter is ready to be poured over each gnocchi portion making it the epitome of any mid-season specialty.

These are all delicate flavors calling for wines that respect these dishes without overpowering them.
Any delicate and aromatic white wine or blond beer will do.
In Piedmont we love to serve them with:
the Alta Langa bubbles are great with the pumpkin chips

and if you can get tour hands on a fruity Grignolino and young Barbera d'Alba, these two red wines will also pair perfectly with your gnocchi.

50% pumpkin and 50% lentil gnocchi with goat cheese

Just remember: by midnight the pumpkin will transform, so your plates must be empty or the spell will take place 😂

To add a gnocchi-making class with lunch in Turin with us, e-mail Lucia:

Thursday, October 24, 2019

galleria Lux

One of Milan's symbols is their one and only galleria near the Duomo, Turin on her hand can brag about her beautiful 3 super gallerias: Galleria Umberto I near the Porta Palazzo market, in the Roman Quadrilatero area, Galleria Subalpina in Piazza Castello between Caffé Mulassano and Caffé Baratti Milano, two royal coffee shops and Galleria San Federico in Via Roma!

Lucia Hannau, photo by Alberto Bonis

Galleria San Federico

Commonly called 'galleria del cinema Lux' by the Turinese, Galleria San Federico is the most recent galleria, being renovated in 1931. Besides its many shops, it still hosts the Cinema Lux movie theater  a classic meeting point in Turin.
Originally, there was already a smaller galleria, so what we see today is actually the renovation of a smaller and older one in the same area to complete the other 2 gallerias: Umberto I and Subalpina. The renovation project was part of a bigger one that included the whole Via Roma aka Turin's Fifth Ave. In fact strolling along Via Roma, you'll feel like inside a Vogue Italia issue 😎: arches,  many designer's stores and marble floors.

walking in Via Roma, Clown Idà makes his magic

The renovation project was actually very modern because it included underground workshops and large storage spaces for the shops and offices in the building itself.
The works were very quick and ended in 1933, making of this new galleria a very prestigious location for many companies and businesses. The first company to set its headquarter here was La Stampa or  THE national newspaper from Turin, then national insurances companies and renown jewelry shops, firms and even Juventus moved over here (up to 1985). The Cinema Lux movie theater has been renovated many times since 1931 but its beautiful Art Nouveau sign is still there!

The structure of Galleria San Federico is like a T, it has 3 entrances; coming in from Via Roma you can see the Cinema Lux sign and from November to January also the light installations of the Turin's  winter lights. There's a total of 6 floors, 2 underground plus 4 above: you can visit at least 3 when you enter the grocery store next to the movie theater.
Once inside, keep your nose up and eyes wide open to admire its oval barrel vaults topped by glass domes near its 3 entrances that naturally light it up. This whole galleria has marble columns and floor, the wall are richly decorated, there is even a small balcony!!

can you spot the balcony?

The acoustic of this galleria is really impressive and while doing window shopping in Via Roma, you will often be captured by free concerts, some performed by the Turin's conservatory students and graduates, others by international musicians.

Despite the city's administration minimalist approach to the local promotion, local artists love to celebrate Torino's traditions and arts, organizing events that revolve around the city's major point. In 2014, to celebrate the Italian fashion born right here in Turin, the history of fashion deeply interwoven with Turin, the local fashion craftmanship and the contemporary fashion productions, a group of Turin designers organized Sar.TO presenting a beautiful art installation in Galleria San Federico! 

Sar.TO in 2014

Turinepi14 guest Walter Dang explained how Sar.TO referred to the professional sartorial skills of the fashion industry as in Italian 'sarto' is the tailor and TO is for Torino or Turin on many other languages.
Turinepi17 guest Adriana Delfino organized a fashion show spanning 3 centuries of fashion in a contemporary way. Turinepi16 guest, shoe and accessory designer Manuela GomezTurinepi15 guest Alberto Lusona as well as other 8 fashion designers based in Turin, exhibited in the galleria's temporary shops and provided a sample of their work to be hang on the galleria ceiling inside an everlasting plexiglas bubble.
This is also when we got to meet Ulderica Masoni aka Turin's fashion guru, jewelry collector and Turinepi19 guest 🙆

Don't wait too long, come enjoy a cappuccino, a vermouth or do yoga in Galleria San Federico in Turin before or after your shopping sesh and a museum visit 😉 

To experience Turin like a local, e-mail Lucia:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

ginger carrot gnocchi

Fall is the best time to get back to the kitchen and cook, and what's more therapeutic than working with your hands? What gives you more satisfaction than something you can share with your family and friends and that you can make into a large batch and freeze to keep handy for any occasion and impromptu feast?
Our answer is gnocchi!! 🙆

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Turin outside downtown

Abroad, it is always easy to wander in the city center, but what about daring to explore outside where the locals live? Here are 5 places in Turin where tourists don't dare to thread 😁

Casa La Fleur in the Cit Turin hood

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

August dolce vita

As summer 2019 officially called its end with a sudden storm that plummeted the temperatures and plunged Turin straight down into the Fall, we would like to take a moment to tell you the secret of the Italian dolce vita 😉

Thursday, July 18, 2019

T is for torrone

The 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital owes a big GRAZIE to Christina Conte author of Christina's Cucina and a TurinEpi friend and supporter for many years now. In fact, the idea of organizing a wine tour started from her and Kelly Leonardini of Italian At Heart, another TurinEpi supporter and guest.
Not only was TurinEpi19 the most successful edition but we all also got the chance to enjoy Christmas in July!! 
Why? Because Christina expressed the wish to visit a torrone maker while here in Piedmont!!

organic, soft nougat with Piedmont IGP hazelnuts by Giovanni Scalenghe