Also known as dolce Varese, this cake is in every pastry shop in Lombardia. Corn is a staple food in this region, so it’s no surprise that we’ll be using very fine corn flour. This cake is instantly recognizable in the shop windows of the producers, mainly because of the uniquely shaped pans used for Amorpolenta.
Pinza is a soft pasta frolla roll typical from Bologna in Emilia Romagna filled with mostarda bolognese. Mostarda bolognese is a tart jam, very different from the more well-known spicy fruit mostarda from Mantova. This is a rustic pastry often enjoyed with wine but also perfect to go along a coffee or a cup of tea. Mostarda bolognese it’s hard to find outside Bologna but Pinza can be made with a tart plum jam.
These cookies are traditionally from Catania in Sicily, prepared especially for the Day of the Dead, on November 2nd. Though the exact origins of these cookies are mixed, the likely origin of the name comes when Sicily joined the Kingdom of Naples. The Sicilian king used copper coin alloys to replace the gold and silver. These cookies were given to the children of the town, as gift from their deceased relative.
Mantovana is a town in Lombardia but surprisingly this cake is a specialty in Toscana. With a buttery, tight crumb this pairs perfectly with coffee or tea. Mantovana is usually topped with an arrangement of nuts (pine nuts and slivered almonds are a favorite) to add a satisfying crunch. This recipe is one I am particularly proud of as I have perfected it over the years to create a traditional and light cake.