David Rocco’s Limoncello Tiramisu

David Rocco’s Limoncello Tiramisu

David Rocco's recipe for Limoncello Tiramisu

This is a recipe from David Rocco, VILLA MARIA’S LEMON TIRAMISU.  I still had some of the limoncello that I made a while ago so I decided to try this one.  The ingredients are simple, eggs, cream, sugar, lemon, limoncello, white chocolate and ladyfingers.

Ingredients for Limoncello Tiramisu

I did find that the ladyfingers I bought must have been too soft and next time I think I’ll let them dry out some as when I barely dipped them in the limoncello, they pretty much sucked it up like a sponge and ended up wetter than they should have been.  It still tasted good but was a little watery, I think next time I won’t dilute the limoncello either.

First you whip up the egg whites, sugar and lemon juice:

Whipped Egg Whites

Then you whip the cream, limoncello and zest and fold together with the egg whites.  The you dip the ladyfingers in the limoncello/water mixture and layer with the cream mixture.

Layer the ladyfingers and cream

Top with lemon zest and white chocolate.

Limoncello Tiramisu

Limoncello Tiramisu

David Rocco’s LA SALSA DI 5 MINUTI (10 Minute Basic Pasta Sauce)

David Rocco’s LA SALSA DI 5 MINUTI (10 Minute Basic Pasta Sauce)

David Rocco's La Salsa di 5 Minuti: Five Minute Sauce


This one is for Mom, she asked if I’d tried it and said it was great.  She was right! Of course, I just couldn’t follow the recipe exactly because it didn’t have enough garlic so I added a little more but otherwise followed the plan. Here’s the recipe for La Salsa Di 5 Minuti.  I don’t speak Italian but based on the name it seems like it should take 5 minutes, but it’s 10.  What more can you ask for on a weeknight – a small number of ingredients, 10 minutes (well more like 20 counting prep and if you add the rolls) and hardly any dishes. You can start your pasta cooking while you make the sauce.  If you have more time, you could add some sausage or meatballs but it was fine without. 



Onions and Garlic


Sauce Cooking


Final Step


I served it with my quick version of garlic knots (minus the knot) – home-baked (sort of) garlic rolls.  You can use refrigerated, frozen or bake-N-serve dinner rolls, baked according to the package directions.  As soon as you take them out of the oven, you smother them with :      

1/4 cup butter or good olive oil     

1 head freshly chopped garlic      

1 Tbs Italian Spice Mix      

2 Tbs grated Parmesan Cheese 

Put all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl or cup, preferably with a pour spout.  Microwave for 1 minute just as you take the rolls out of the oven.  Put the rolls in a bowl, pour the butter/oil mixture over them and toss them around in the bowl to cover.     

Smother the rolls with butter


Quick Garlic Rolls

Cake Balls/Cake Pops for a Birthday

Cake Balls/Cake Pops for a Birthday

Cake Pops/Balls for Birthday Girl

Apparently I’ve been living in a cave for the last couple years when it comes to Cake Pops and Cake Balls and it seems that college daughter was well ahead of her time since she has made what she calls “cake soup” smashing her birthday cake together since she was small.  Recently someone asked me about making them and I had no clue what she was talking about.  I promised to give them a try and since there was a birthday coming up I decided to do them instead of a cake.  They are simple, but not quite!  The first part is easy, take your favorite cake crush it up in a bowl, add the frosting and smash it together until it is like a paste.  Then comes the time consuming part:  you roll it in balls, chill the balls, put in the sticks, chill the balls again and dip in chocolate, followed by whatever decorating you want to do (for my detailed instructions see here).  The best place to get the full recipe and even a book and video is from Bakerella, the Queen (and maybe inventor) of them.  She even appeared on Martha Stewart’s program and has dozens of really cute ideas for decorations.   I kept these pretty simple, but found a nice cup and tray to put them in.  The Birthday Girl has requested my Hot Fudge Sauce for a present in the past, so I made a batch of that too and put it in a matching but mini-sized cup.

David Rocco’s La Ribolita

David Rocco’s La Ribolita


La Ribolita


I have watched the new Cooking Channel lately and have noticed that although there are some new shows, there are an awful lot of reruns of old series that I watched as a child and too many Food Network shows to mention.  Not that I particularly mind, I actually get quite a kick out of Graham Kerr and a younger Julia Childs but this recipe is from one of the newer shows.  David Rocco’s show is great, not only does he make my favorite style dishes – Italian, it also shows a lot of the scenery and local establishments in Italy.    

Son does not particularly like cabbage, but came home after I had made this an announced that he was really hungry and wanted to eat whatever he was smelling and so without pointing out the ingredients, I dished him up a big bowl and he ate most of it.  Although David Rocco said it is usually served cooler, I did serve it hot, I couldn’t quite get to cold cabbage!  Considering also that cooking cabbage usually results in an unpleasant smell (which I had to admit was there when I opened the pot the next day), this dish smelled ok cooking and works pretty well, is relatively healthy and tastes good.  It is not a particularly photogenic dish though, and having no black cabbage available I used the purple which gave it sort of a purplish tinge.   It looked good on the show and actually tasted good but it has a few issues – overall I would maybe make it again but not on a regular basis.  

La Ribolita served


La Ribolita by David Rocco

Fourth of July Chocolate Fruit Tart

Fourth of July Chocolate Fruit Tart

Chocolate Fruit Tart

I know, two desserts on a holiday – what a shock but we all know dessert is better than the meal!  This was a recipe combined from two sources, Emeril Lagasse’s Chocolate Pastry Cream and David Lebovitz French Tart Dough.  I found both recipes were excellent.  I didn’t have a 9 inch tart pan, only a larger one so it was a little skimpy but still good and simple, no rolling, no flour cloud in the kitchen and a nice crisp crust.  I did coat the crust with some melted chocolate and let it harden to keep it from getting soggy when I added the pastry cream.  After that, it was just a matter of placing the fruit on top.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing – better than Peanut Butter cups!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing – better than Peanut Butter cups!

Still visiting college daughter who along with her roommates were having a Dungeons and Dragons event last night.  I admit to having pretty much no clue what the game entails, even after several explanations during the event preparations but there were a lot of enthusiastic college students involved.  I was asked to provide a dessert for the festivities.  Since time and daughter’s kitchen were somewhat limited, we decided on cupcakes, choosing The Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing   They were pretty simple to make although I did double the cupcake recipe and triple the icing.  (I was advised that in the event there was any leftover icing it wouldn’t be a problem.)  Using a pastry bag we filled the cupcakes with frosting using a long thin pastry tube.  If I had more time I would have cut small holes to make room for a little more filling, but this worked and it was quick.  Also, for those who don’t like peanut butter – I can’t imagine but there are some, a few of them were left unfilled and topped with a quick chocolate Ganache dip (4 oz of good quality chocolate melted by mixing with 4 oz of  not quite boiling heavy cream).