Today we’re introducing a new feature article called “A Bit About.” This article will appear regularly on the Amintro site and will highlight fun information about the countries of origin of many of our members. Amintro is a friend-making app whose members come from around the globe but now live right around the corner! If you’ve recently experienced a change in lifestyle, lost a spouse or are just looking for new and unique ways to make new friends, Amintro offers a safe place to connect with other like-minded individuals who share the same background as you. We will feature a new country each month and today we’re talking a bit about Italy.
Ahhhh Italy, the land of beautiful food and even more beautiful people; the birthplace of Sofia Loren, Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini and home to Michelangelo and Leonardo di Vinci. It’s “home” to the centre of Catholicism, fabulous architecture, significant ruins and has a rich history in politics, art and religion. There is so much to see and do in Italy it’s hard even to know where to start! Do we talk first of the canals of Venice or about the magnificence of St. Peter’s Square? Dream about the hills of Sorrento and Positano or the archeological wonder of the ruins of Pompeii? A walking tour through significant areas of the capital city of Rome will leave you awestruck while simply gazing upon the humble olive tree (and the nets strung beneath to catch the olives as they fall) is just as pretty a sight when you consider the substantial impact the olive has had on the world. The villages are quaint, with ancient architecture magnificently preserved and the weather temperate for much of the year. Stunning vistas, gorgeous beaches, wine that has no comparison – Italy is full of delights for all of our five senses.
What Italy also offers is a “Canadian connection.” In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, many Italians made the bold decision to emigrate to a new country. Arriving in Canada these immigrants helped to shape our landscape both literally, through hard labour and figuratively as they rose through the ranks of politics, law, government administration and more. Now retired, maybe you are looking for a new opportunity to make a friend, someone who shares the same cultural background and experiences you do. That’s where Amintro comes in. We help connect like-minded people, providing a platform for you to make new friends. So, whether you come from the southern climes of Sicily or the northern reaches of Milan or Verona, use Amintro to find out if there is someone from your hometown in Italy who now lives just around the corner and is waiting to make a new friend like you!
On a final note – the “A Bit About” article will also regularly feature recipes from the country of the month. Again, Italy has an abundance of choices but of them all, who can resist the temptations of – the Cannoli!
Cannoli * from The Food Network and Anna Olsen
3 cup all purpose flour
½ Tbsp sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, cool but not cold
½ cup Marsala wine
vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup dry ricotta
⅔ cup icing sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup whipping cream
5 Tbsp semisweet chocolate, grated
Shells Filling To Assemble
- Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until evenly blended. Whisk together egg and wine and blend into flour mixture until it forms dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to bring together. Wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Roll out dough as thinly as possible, about 1/8–inch thick. Dock with a fork and cut into 3-inch circles. Scrap dough can be re-rolled to cut more discs. Keep discs covered when not using.
- Heat oil to 350° F (it should spit when a drop of water is added). Wrap disc around cannoli tube, and press where edges overlap. Immerse in oil and fry until golden brown. Place on a paper towel or cooling rack to drain for a moment, and before completely cooled, remove tube. Repeat with remaining discs, frying a few at a time. Cool completely before filling.
- For filling, pulse ricotta with icing sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest in food processor until smooth. Whip cream to medium peak and fold into ricotta. Fold in 5 Tbsp of grated chocolate.
- To assemble, fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with cannoli filling. Pipe into shells, started at middle and working out to each end. Cannoli can be topped with a little cream for garnish.
- Yield: 16 to 18 servings.
By Sheralyn Roman