A classic cake – Mantovana

The Mantovana cake is a classic! Very good for breakfast, it is also a lovely dessert that goes very well with Tuscan Vin Santo. Either way I am sure you’ll love it.

Stella chef at Misenplace has kindly shared this recipe with me last year and I’ve tried immediately. As i really don’t like almonds, I’ve tried to use pine-nuts instead and the result was very good. Decide according to your taste or use both almonds and pine-nuts.


  • 200g sugar (I always use the brown sugar)
  • 150g flour “00”
  • 50g potato flour
  • 100g melted butter
  • 50g of pine-nuts or chopped almonds
  • 5 eggs
  • 16g baking powder
  • grated lemon rind (half lemon)

Preheat the oven at 180°. Grease/flour a cake tin 25 cm.

Set the yolks and whites apart. Melt the butter in a saucepan

Beat the yolks well with sugar, add flour and potato flour, then add the melted butter, the baking powder and the lemon rind. Continue to stir and mix well.

In another bowl, beat the eggs whites until firm peaks form. Add the whites slowly to the mixture.

Slowly pour in the mixture into the cake tin, add the pine-nuts or chopped almonds on the surface and cook for approximately 40 minutes at 180°.

Buon appetito!

Mantovana di Misenplace


Apple and yogurt cake

This is a delicious cake ideal for breakfast or “merenda”.

It is very easy to prepare and it’s soft and creamy inside and crispy outside. I also serve this cake as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream.

Every moment is a good one for this cake and kids love it!

Ingredients: (Baking pan 24 to 28 cm)

  • 200 gr of flour “00”
  • 200 gr of sugar (I use brown sugar)
  • 3 Spoons of brown sugar
  • 8 gr vanillin
  • 16 gr of raising powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 100 gr melted butter
  • 200 ml of yogurt (I use the Muller vanilla yogurt)
  • 3 apples (as my kids love raisins sometimes I add 3 spoons of raisins to the sliced apples)
  • 1 lemon (only the juice)
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 180° C (356°F)

Peel the apples and slice them in a bowl, add some lemon juice.

In a different bowl beat the eggs with the sugar (200 gr) until they are frothy. Add the melted butter, the yogurt and a pinch of salt. Mix well then add the raising powder, the vanillin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Drain the apples and add them to the mixture. Mix carefully with a spoon.

At the end add the flour and mix well.

Grease and flour a baking pan and pour in the mixture. Then cover with a mix of 3 spoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Bake in preheated oven for about an hour (do the “toothpick test” for the cooking).

Make sure that apples don’t burn and if after 30/40 minutes they start to burn cover the cake with an aluminum foil. Don’t open the oven during the first 30 minutes or the raising f the cake will be compromised.

Buon Appetito! 



Grilled Pecorino with red chicory and lard

Chef Angela OlmiToday I would like to share with you the last recipe from the  “Pecorino che Passione” cooking class held by Angela Olmi chef at Osteria da Gagliano in collaboration with Stella Severini of Misenplace.

This is a very easy and quick recipe, it can be served as a starter or as a main course.

Now that you have all the recipes try to prepare the whole meal  of “Pecorino che Passione”, your family and friends will be amazed!

Grilled Pecorino with red chicory and lard


Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 4 slices of Semi-seasoned Pecorino cheese (2 cm thick with the skin on). We used the Red from Pienza bought at Il Granaio di Gabriello.
  • 1 red chicory (radicchio rosso)
  • 8 slices of Lard (Lardo di Colonnata o Cinta are our favorites)
  • a pinch of salt
  • black pepper
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil

Cut the red chicory and season with salt and extra virgin olive oil, place some chicory on each plate.

Meanwhile, oil a non-stick pan or grill and heat it over high heat. Place the Pecorino in the grill and cook until browned and crunchy on both sides. Place the Pecorino over the red chicory and then add two slices of lard on the pecorino, season with black pepper and serve.

Buon Appetito!

Pecorino grigliato

Handmade ravioli stuffed with pecorino and mint

Angela Olmi - Chef at Osteria da Gagliano - Sarteano (SI)

Angela Olmi – Chef at Osteria da Gagliano – Sarteano (SI)

Here we are with another delicious recipe from the  “Pecorino che Passione” cooking class held by Angela Olmi chef at Osteria da Gagliano in collaboration with Stella Severini of Misenplace.

The first time you try ravioli divide the ingredients and make half portions. Then when you’ve learned make more ravioli and freeze them. It is easy and very useful: boil the ravioli just for 1 minute, drain and pass under very cold water. Drain again and grease them with some olive oil. They are now ready to be frozen and used anytime you want. Just take them out of the freezer and boil them in salty water as the fresh ones.

Handmade ravioli stuffed with pecorino and mint in a sage, butter and pine-nuts sauce.

Ingredients (for 60 ravioli)

  • 400 gr of Flour “0”
  • 150 gr of Semolina flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 spoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

Mix the two flours and pour them in a heap onto the rolling board, add a pinch of salt and make a hollow on top into which you pour the oil and the eggs. Start mixing the eggs inside with a fork then slowly add the flour. When the dough starts to stick at the fork use your hands to work the dough and form a ball. Add some flour to the surface; knead until becomes smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking to the surface. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests prepare the stuffing.

For the stuffing:

  • 300 gr of chopped pecorino cheese (not seasoned) 
  • 400 gr of ricotta di pecora (cottage cheese)
  • chopped fresh mints + a teaspoon of dried mint
  • salt and pepper

Start by mixing the chopped pecorino cheese with the ricotta (cottage cheese), add a pinch of salt and mix well with a fork and then with a mixer. Add the fresh and dried mint and some pepper (according to your taste).

If the stuffing is too liquid add some grated Parmigiano or bread crumbs.

Now take the pasta dough and divided into fourths; roll one portion at time onto a lightly floured work surface to a 1mm thickness, dusting the dough with a light coating of flour if it starts to stick. Keep the dough that you’re not using covered.



With a teaspoon take the stuffing and make a row on one side of the dough. When you have finished the row, fold the empty side of the dough over the side with stuffing. Press well on the sides and around the stuffing. With a sharp knife cut the ravioli (square shape). Press each raviolo to let all the air out, using the fork to seal the sides of the raviolo by pressing well the dough into the floured work surface.

Cook the ravioli in salt water, cover the pot and let the ravioli cook usually 5 to 7 minutes but as with all the hand made pasta cooking time depends on the thickness of the dough, so try to pinch a corner of the raviolo to check if it is ready or not.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce:

  • 40 gr of butter per person
  • 1 spoon of grated Parmigiano cheese per person
  • sage (according to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pine-nuts per person

Toast the pine-nuts in a pan or in the oven. Meanwhile put the butter in a pan and let it melt, add the chopped sage, a pinch of salt and fry for 10-15 seconds, add some cooking water  and the Parmigiano cheese to form a smooth sauce.

Carefully drain the ravioli in a colander and put them in the saucepan. Add the pine-nuts before serving.

ravioli pecorino e mentaBuon Appetito!