Savoury Cheesecake with ham, pears and figs

For a 20 cm diameter tray

INGREDIENTS
For the base
• 125 g crackers (of any type you want)
• 80 g butter
• 30 g grated cheese

For the cheese paste
• 300 g fresh spreadable cheese
• 250 g ricotta cheese (made from sheep’s milk if you want a strong flavour, or mascarpone if you prefer a full sweet flavour)
• 100 g robiola cheese (or gorgonzola if you prefer a stronger flavour)
• 70 g grated cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, Provolone, Emmenthal, as you wish)
• 4 eggs
• Salt
• Pepper
• Nutmeg

For the topping
• 150 g Parma ham
• HAPPYMAMA Pear and Fig jam
• Fresh pears and figs
• thyme

METHOD


Pre-heat your static oven to 180°C. Line a mold with baking paper, find a disc for the base and stripes for the sides inside, making it all stick well with a little oil.
In a mixer, crush your crackers until they are finely crumbled, and add the melted butter and grated cheese. Carefully mix until you have a smooth paste similar to wet sand. Place the mix in your tray and spread it out uniformly, pressing down gently to compact it. Bake for 15 minutes, while you prepare the cheese paste.
Mix your cheeses, eggs, a pinch of salt, pepper and grated nutmeg until you have a fine paste. You can use a mixer or a classic electric whisk, but either way, do not work it for too long otherwise the more delicate cheeses will separate. When the base is nicely golden, remove from the oven and pour your cheese paste on top, leveling it out well. Bake again for 45-50 minutes – cover the cheesecake with baking foil if it starts to brown too much. Once cooked, remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely, firstly at room temperature and then in the fridge. Shortly before serving, top with some spoonfuls of Happymama Pear and Fig jam, some fresh figs and pears cut into pieces, thinly-sliced Parma ham, and some fresh thyme.

 

by Valentina Masullo

Filled focaccine with Soppressa and Happy Mama Gardener’s Mix

Ingredients

500 gr type-1 flour
8 gr fresh beer yeast
300 ml water
20 gr fine salt
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin oil, plus a little for the pan
sliced Venetian Soppressa or salame
radicchio leaves
Happymama Gardeners’ Mix

Method


Step 1 - Start the day before you need your focaccine. Work your flour, water, oil and crumbled yeast together, either by hand or in your mixer bowl. When it is all nicely worked together, add the salt, and work for another 10 minutes. Place in a lightly-oiled container and leave overnight in the fridge.
Step 2 – remove from the fridge, and leave to rest for a couple of hours, allowing it to reach room temperature. Place on a floured work surface and cut into 80g pieces. Grease the base of your crostatine baking mold (I used a 10-cm diameter tray) then place a ball of dough in the centre of each: squeeze slightly with your finger to make sure they occupy all the space. Lightly oil the surface and allow to rise until they are nice and round, and swollen.
Step 3 – Pre-heat your static oven to 220°C, and bake your focaccine; reduce the temperature to 200°C for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire-rack.
Step 4 – Cut the cold focaccine in half, and fill with sliced strips of the radicchio, a slice of the Venetian Soppressa and a spoonful of the Gardeners’ Mix. Your filled focaccine are now ready to eat, or keep for a nice picnic.

Gardeners’ barley with aromatic gelatine

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Total time – 40 minutes

Portions – 4
Ingredients

FOR THE BARLEY
180 gr – organic pearl barley
2 sprigs – rosemary
1 tablespoon– extra-virgin olive oil
– Happy Mama Fine Gardeners’ Mix

FOR THE GELATINE
180 gr – round courgettes
30 – leaves of lemon basil
3 cubes - ice
½ teaspoon– salt
380 gr – water
7 gr – agar agar

FOR THE CRUNCHY TOPPING
30 gr – thin layered almonds
30 gr – pine-nuts
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
10 leaves of lemon basil

METHOD
Rinse the barley under running water, then cook in boiling (with some rosemary) water for 30 minutes. Drain the barley, and rinse under cold water. Place in a pot, dress with some oil and the Fine Gardeners’ mix. In a non-stick pan, toast the dry fruit with the chia seeds, until your almonds and pine-nuts are nicely browned. Remove from the heat and add the basil (lightly oiled). Place this pot to one side. To make the courgette gelatine: place the cubed courgette, ice, basil and 30gr of water in the mixing bowl of your food-mixer. Work until you have a smooth and consistent mixture, then pour it into a pot, add the water and the agar agar and work together by hand. Place on a low flame, and bring to the boil, making sure that you stir it constantly, to avoid the formation of any lump. Leave to simmer for 3 minutes, stirring continually. Remove from the flame, leave to rest for 5 minutes, and then spread your gelatine out into the serving jars that you have chosen. Leave to cool completely, and then complete your jars: pour a portion of the barley onto the gelatine layer, and complete with a thick layer of the crunchy topping.

by Federica Gianelli

Scones with buche de chèvre and Prune and Onion jam

Scones are small basic “sandwiches” classically produced in Anglo-Saxon cultures, usually eaten in the traditional ceremony of “afternoon tea” with jam and cream. Today we will revisit them in a delicious savoury form, in the company of Happy Mama!

How much do we like cheeses, the quality cheeses that can be combined with jams, compotes and fruit sauces? If the basic ingredients are of good quality, then you cannot fail to produce something truly special, and that is absolutely the case with these scones with chèvre, an excellent French cheese made of goat’s milk, and the HappyMama Prune and Onion compote, sweet and intense.

But back to scones. They are a half-way house between bread and biscuits, which expand during cooking thanks to the instant yeast, and which can be cut in half and filled as you want.

To make sure that you get high and well-developed scones, you need to work the dough as little as possible, so that the inside remains soft and light. Roll the highest dough, at least 1cm, so that you can get the correct volume. Your oven needs to be very hot, 200–220°C, in order to make sure that they rise swiftly and completely.

Usually, scones are made from flour, milk, butter and sugar; some versions also include eggs. But I have chosen a butter-free version, using olive oil instead, and I have only used eggs to brush the surface before cooking.

Scones are easy and quick to prepare, and in the savoury version that I have offered you today, they are an excellent and suggestive aperitif.

 

Ingredients for 8 – 10 scones:

 

250 g spelt flour (or whichever you prefer) + a little more for your work surface

50 g extra-virgin oil

140 ml whole milk

1/2 sachet of instant savoury yeast

one full tablespoon of Parmigiano cheese

three sprigs of fresh thyme

a pinch of salt

one beaten egg

 

For the filling:

One portion of buche de chèvre cheese

Happy Mama Prune and Onion jam

 

Sift your flour and yeast together in a pot, add the thyme leaves, oil, Parmigiano and the milk, and work together with a wooden spoon. Place on a floured work-surface and quickly form it all into a soft and uniform dough. Roll it out to a disc of at least 1cm thick, and using a 5-6cm round pastry cutter, cut discs out of the dough. Brush the surface with the beaten egg, and bake in a hot oven at 220°C for 10 minutes. Once nicely browned and risen, remove from the oven. Leave to cool, then split in half, and fill the middle with the buche de chèvre and the HappyMama Prune and Onion jam.

by Letizia Cicalese

Fake sushi with peppers and strawberries

A different way to eat peppers and strawberries, a perfect sushi-type dish for your summer.
Maybe you are not aware that eating seasonal fruits and vegetables aids your mood, maybe it's the natural colours, the beauty of the best season of the year, the blue skies, or simply because fresh fruit and vegetables can be easily employed to make unusual and special dishes, with little or no effort.
Peppers, strawberries, rice and robiola cheese are the classically-Italian ingredients that I have chosen to create my form of sushi, perfect for an aperitif or as a starter - it reminds me of genuine Japanese sushi, the foreign cuisine most loved by the Italians, and now widely available and popular across the whole West.

Fake sushi with peppers and strawberries
A fake sushi which will give you the full measure of mineral salts and vitamins that you need to protect yourself after the heat waves of the Italian summer; this sushi features a special sauce based on peppers and strawberries.

Ingredients

    300 g sushi rice
    100 g fresh robiola cheese 
    450 g water
    2 peppers
    100 g strawberries
    fresh thyme
    Italian extra-virgin olive oil
    100 g HappyMama Pepper and Strawberry compote 

Method
Wash the sushi rice more than once in running cold water, until the water that drains off the rice is completely clear. Place the rice in a pot with a lid, add enough water to cook, and cook on a low flame, without stirring or removing the lid, for 18-20 minutes. All the water should be absorbed and the rice should now be nicely cooked. 
Once cooled, add the robiola cheese, a little salt and pepper and the thyme leaves to the rice, and mix well together. Cover a sushi mat with clingfilm, and place the rice and cheese mix in the middle. Roll it together well until you have a nicely-compact cylinder; close the clingfilm around it, sealing it properly, and leave in the fridge.
Lightly grease your whole peppers and place them on your pre-heated oven grill (200°C) for 10/15 minutes. turning regularly. Once cooked, transfer the still-hot peppers into a paper or plastic food bag. Leave to cool and then remove the stem, seeds, peel and internal membranes, cut the peppers into pieces 3/4cm wide and 6cm long. 
Quickly wash the strawberries and cut into pieces.
Cut your rice roll into 5cm pieces: place a piece of pepper and another of strawberry onto each, and ta ta, your fake sushi are ready (the precise name for this would be "nigiri").
Spread out on a serving plate - to finish, place a teaspoon of HappyMama Pepper and Strawberry compote on each.

by Monica Bergomi

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