the appetizer:

Though there are many individual regional cuisines in Italy, northern and southern Italian cuisines are primarily differentiated by the cooking fat and style of pasta commonly used. Northern Italian cuisine (other than on the coast) favors butter, cream, polenta, Mascarpone, Grana Padano, and Parmigiano cheeses, risotto and fresh egg pasta. Southern Italian cuisine tends toward Mozzarella, Caciocavallo and Pecorino cheeses, olive oil and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also makes greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.



Pizza Crust (Focaccia)

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 cup bread flour, or combination whole wheat flour
and all-purpose flour
Garlic Oil made from olive oil and fresh garlic
Fresh rosemary leaves

Place the water in a large, warmed bowl. Add the yeast and sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and olive oil. Gradually add the flour(s); dough should be firm.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth, adding flour as necessary. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let sit in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. Knead for a minute, then let sit for 10 minutes. Grease cookie sheet.

Spread dough onto cookie sheet, forming a rectangle. Brush on the garlic oil. With the tips of your fingers, make dents in the surface of the dough, about one inch apart. Sprinkle on the rosemary leaves. Allow focaccia to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.


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This page modified January 2007

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