Nine recipes for eight evenings

In the kitchen, when culture matters

Each religious holiday has its own ritual that is expressed in customs and ceremonies.

The preparation of ethnic food enhances its culture and emits symbols, flavors, perfumes, and, of course, the memories that recall its pleasures. It creates permanent emotional responses, thanks to the creativity and individual taste of the chef, just as an artist does in his domain.

An ingredient always present in Hanukkah food is olive oil.

9 recipes have been selected: 8 for each day of the holiday, and one, the -cake-, an homage to the Shamash. In every home, grandma has a cake ready for her grandchildren on the holidays.
(Please note: when quantities are not indicated, use your judgement. Grandma’s recipes can be somewhat empirical, but very good).

The recipes “book” of Rosina Leblis Donati, born at Casale Monferrato in 1849.
Four hand-written pages, stitched together by a poor string, a paper cover heavily stained by time and use, casual scratches and traces of everyday work.
Here you can see how material tradition was transmitted in a typical Piedmontese Jewish middle-class home. “Jewish” (where everybody, men and women, had to learn how to read and write, in order to be part of the community) and “middle-class” (the social and political class that led Italy to unification and flourishing).
A legacy left by a housewife who, in an age when writing was still a privilege of a few, felt a need to leave a trace of herself.

Filetti di merluzzo
con pomodoro by Nella Levi Carmi

Olio vergine di oliva, 400 gr. di filetti di merluzzo, 400 gr. di pomodori pelati in scatola, oppure polpa di pomodoro fresca, origano, sale, pepe, scalogno.

Far soffriggere leggermente lo scalogno tritato finemente, in olio di oliva, aggiungere i pomodori e far cuocere la salsa fermandola a metà cottura, lasciandola liquida. In una pirofila opportunamente oleata sistemare i filetti di merluzzo, coprire con la salsa di pomodoro, un poco di origano, sale, pepe e, far cuocere in forno coprendo la pirofila con un foglio di alluminio. Controllare la cottura in modo che il pesce cuocia ma che rimanga abbondante sugo.