Some of the simplest desserts in this chapter are those made with mascarpone and ricotta. If you are fortunate enough to have a source for these cheeses freshly made, you know how good they can be right out of the container. In Sicily, at Regaleali, a winery and working farm in Vallelunga, we ate sheep's milk ricotta so fresh it was still warm. Many Italians eat fresh ricotta sprinkled with sugar or honey for breakfast. Though both ricotta and mascarpone are used as ingredients in cheesecakes and pastry fillings, they can also make simple and delicious desserts with the addition of a few flavorings.
Panna cotta, a Piedmontese dessert made with thickened cream and sugar, may be replacing tiramisù as the most overdone dessert around the world, but there is a good reason for it's popularity--it's delicious! I have also included a variety of caramelized desserts, such as bunet, a Piedmontese baked chocolate custard, as well as my version of the Roman way with crème brûlée.
Zabaglione is probably the most classic of the spoon desserts. It is a foamy custard made by whipping eggs with sweet or dry Marsala and sugar. Zabaglione lovers will also enjoy the chocolate and chilled variations.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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