Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Novel Food ~ Beyond the Pasta

Simona at Briciole is hosting our Summer edition of Novel Food. You can see All of my Novel Food Posts since 2007. . . that's a lot of reading (and a lot of eating)

I have found the perfect book for my lazy summer reading this year. 'Beyond the Pasta' by Mark Leslie.
Mark Leslie is a self proclaimed foodie. Every year he travels to Italy and 'lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato'. He shares these experiences in his novel 'Beyond the Pasta'. He is from Alabama and even has a blog . . . (I think we might be soul sisters of a sort) Buonissima!

He does a beautiful job of filling this book with the flavors and scents of Italy . . . the Italy I love. The story of his time in Italy is told through trips to the market, adventures in the kitchen, meals and evenings with friends and limoncello. This a novel and a recipe book all rolled into one delicious read.

This Blog Post where Mark talks about gelato in Italy, is a perfect example of 'our' favorite gelateria in Rome. But ~ I think I loved it first! They have the most unique gelatos, I can remember going once 3 times in one day. This is SOO funny, because this gelateria is less than a block from 'my' hotel in Rome.

Which inspires my recipe for this edition of Novel Food. Basil Gelato
1/3 cup sugar (+1/3 cup divided)
3 tsp lemon juice
1cup fresh basil
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
6 egg yolks
Place 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water in saucepan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Set side to cool. When cool, pour into a blender, add the lemon juice and basil. Blend until smooth.
In a small saucepan heat milk, cream, and extra sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Cook for a few minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the milk is just about to boil.
Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate the eggs into the warmed milk mixture, and stir constantly over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and pour through a colander. Stir the basil syrup into the custard. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze.
Serve with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of excellent Balsamic Vinegar.Mark's novel has gotten great reviews.
My favorite review of all . . . "Alabama and Italy- What a delightful and delicious combination ~Fannie Flagg"
You know Fannie has been a friend of the family for years! I couldn't agree more. If we never get the chance to meet in Alabama, maybe we will run into each other over a gelato in Rome.
Ciao y'all~


pam said...

The book sounds great and the gelato even better!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Your gelato sounds amazing as well as a trip to Italy specifically for gelato!!

Mark Leslie said...

Grazie mille for the wonderful feature and review! Italy truly is a magical place. It makes me smile to know we like the same gelato haunt a Roma.
You might want to check out my "Beyond the Pasta" app for the iPhone/iPad. Besides having several recipes from the book, it also features new recipes I learned from Nonna ~ one of them being Mascarpone Gelato!
Love your basil recipe in this posting and I look forward to stopping by the Whistlestop Cafe to "hug your neck" as they say.
Buona Giornata e a presto~

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Mark~ I'm so glad you found us. WiFi is an amazing thing
~of course that is pornounced Wee-Fee like my friend Mario in Florence does.
You are welcome to drop in at the WhistleStop Cafe any ole time :-)

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

Italy and Pasta...throw in a little Gelato,
book me a flight, let's go!
I swear I start to bloat when I come here....
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Simona said...

Very nice post, Sandi and how nice that the author of the book that inspired you read and appreciated it. I know from experience that Italian gelato has special powers. I have never made basil gelato: it looks delicious. Thank you so much for contributing again to Novel Food.

Travel With Lulu said...

Sounds like a lot of great finds and must reads!

Tricia Buice said...

Just found your blog! I am a huge fan of the book, movie and food. We ate at the whistle stop many years ago and loved it! How fun!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! The first thing my family had to do when we traveled all over Italy is try the towns best gelato! I never had basil flavored and will have to try this!

Cara@DueSpaghetti said...

This book has been added to my summer reading list, and I just may have to give Basil Gelato a try, too! Our favorite gelateria in Rome is Giolitti, however. We'll have to stop by Gelateria al Teatro the next time we are there.

Anonymous said...

I love books about Italy (and food, of course). I love gelato! Your basil gelato sounds like a real treat. ;-)

Palma said...

Sounds amazing and refreshing!

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