Monday, September 14, 2015

How to make Zanzarelli

From Martino of Cuomo's Art of Cooking, p.64 in the 2005 Jeremy Parzen translation:
To make ten servings: take eight eggs and a half libra of grated cheese, and a grated loaf of bread, and mix together. Then take a pot of meat broth made yellow with saffron and place over heat; and when it begins to boil, pour the mixture into the pot and stir with a spoon. When the dish has begun to thicken, remove from heat and serve in bowls, topped with spices.

My redaction: 

8 large eggs
2 oz grated parmesan
2 oz grated cheddar
5 oz fresh ciabatta, torn into fine crumbs
3-4 cups beef broth
Pinch of saffron (optional)
Salt and pepper

Beat the eggs, and stir into them the bread and cheese. Bring 3 cups of the broth (with saffron if you please) to the verge of boiling and add the egg mixture, stirring vigorously. It will begin to thicken; if you find it too thick, add broth to make it the texture of a thickish soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes ten modest servings.


Martino's portions are fairly clear in this instance. Although he calls for a half libra of cheese, there is some variation in the size of a libra, and the mixture seemed as though it would be rather cheese heavy at a modern half-pound, so I used a total of a quarter pound. Since the cheese is unspecified, I used a mixture of younger and older cheese. Although his direction for spices is broad, I found that the dish was flavorful enough that it worked well with simple salt and pepper; additions like nutmeg and ginger would not be out of place if you prefer.

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