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.

Torta al Cioccolato by Nonna Nella con Daria, Daniele e Diletta

Ingredienti: 180 ml. di Olio di oliva, 220 gr. di farina, 200 gr. di zucchero, 2 cucchiai di cacao amaro, 1 etto di cioccolato fondente, 3 uova intere, 1 bustina di lievito vanigliato, zucchero a velo, latte, un pizzico di sale. Sbattere a lungo le uova con lo zucchero e il sale, sciogliere in poco latte tiepido il cacao, aggiungere alle uova sbattute l'olio, la farina, il cacao sciolto e per ultimo il lievito. In una tortiera oleata, e spruzzata di farina appoggiare l'impasto e cuocere in forno precedentemente scaldato mantenendo 160/180 gradi. Controllare la cottura con il solito sistema del coltello introdotto nel dolce e ritirato asciutto. Quando la torta sarà ben raffreddata tagliarla a metà orizzontalmente e farcirla con la seguente crema al cioccolato: sciogliere in poco latte caldo un etto di cioccolato fondente tagliato a piccoli pezzi. Tenerlo sul fuoco basso e rimestare fino a che non diventi cremoso, togliere dal fuoco e farcire la torta. Lasciare raffreddare e spolverizzare abbondantemente di zucchero a velo.