Torta Pasqualina – Easter Pizza

Chef Fritz BlankChef de Cuisine Frederick Carl (Fritz) Blank Jr
Easter, April 2010

For the first time in about almost 16 years, this spring I have not made “Easter Pitz” (as my Sicilian mentor “Old Man Tony Amato” back in the late-1950’s/early-1960’s called these wonderful seasonal Italian culinary hallmarks). The recipe I use today (when I do make them) is the same one that he taught me way back then. I have never forgotten his instructions and techniques, and it stands as one of the very best renditions I’ve ever sampled (of course I am prejudiced).

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Zenker Creative Adjustable Baking Pan


Zenker Creative Adjustable Baking Pan

A creative trio of options: Biscotti, Quiches, Tarts and more… This German-made adjustable baking pan by Zenker provides a range of possibilities, so why settle for just one option, when you can serve up a trio!

I came across this pan last year, and knew it was an item that we needed to add to our bakeware selection here at Fante’s. Always looking for interesting desserts and entrees to make for family gatherings and weekday meals, this pan provides an uncomplicated, yet create way to bake. My kitchen is by no means large, so an item that offers multiple uses is essential for me.

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PiZZa Ball – The Round Rolling Pin

The PiZZa Ball is a strikingly beautiful stainless steel ball that works like a rolling pin.

PiZZa Ball - The Round Rolling Pin

PiZZa Ball Base Roller

You simply place it on your dough and roll it around in a circular motion with the palm of your hand, adjusting pressure accordingly. It will leave you with a perfect circular base, at the thickness you require.

Serafina using the PiZZa Ball

It’s so easy that even my 7½ year-old daughter could roll out the dough without any trouble at all

You can use the PiZZa Ball with the dough already on the pan or oven stone. And it’s also suitable for pastry and other doughs.

The PiZZa Ball dough roller was invented by Dan Bailey-Taylor, a young UK entrepreneur, and we are proud to introduce it you in the USA.

NadiaI found rolling the dough with the PiZZa Ball to be efficient and remarkably easy to use. It’s much lighter than a traditional rolling pin, and takes up so little storage space in my kitchen.

To go along with the PiZZa Ball experience, here is an easy way I like to make delicious pizza, using my Old Stone Oven baking stone.

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4th of ‘Cue-ly

The 4th of July is the quintessential American holiday.  Rightly so, no food is more emblematic of that holiday than good ol’ American barbecue.  The arguments about everything from it’s history to sauce vs. rub can get as hot as a hickory-fueled Texas barbecue pit.  Even the word has inspired etymological stories, which we thought was neat, actually.  How do you define BBQ? Where do you start? To be sure, you can safely assume that each source will give a history that looks upon their region or specialty favorably.

For example, the South Carolina Barbecue Association (yep, they’re real!) paints a pork-centric, South Carolina-heavy history of ‘cue, claiming that South Carolina is the home to all four types of major BBQ sauces (Vinegar and Pepper, Mustard, Light Tomato and Heavy Tomato), while other states and regions focus on just one or two.  For BBQ in general, types of overall preparation and cooking are normally divided into four distinct regions: Memphis, Carolinas, Texas and Kansas City. Each region employs its own prep, methods and history, and the debate over which is best is one we would be happy to have every week. Just give us unlimited access to the food and some loose fitting clothes, and we’ll be okay!

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