Celebrating Jewish cuisine from Italy

Benedetta cookbook author Jasmine Guetta joined the show to share some recipes from her cookbook “Cooking all Giudia.” #newdaynw

Italian cuisine is as varied as the regions of Italy. There is also an age-old but little-known tradition of Jewish cuisine in Italy.

In her new book, “Cooking alla Giudia”, Benedetta Jasmine Guetta pays homage to the culinary heritage of Jews in Italy.

She joined the show to share some recipes from the book!

Concia di zucchini / Fried courgettes in a garlic and herb marinade

From spring, and then until the end of summer, fried zucchini is a staple recipe on the Shabbat menu of all Roman Jewish families. Any type of zucchini will work, but in Rome concia is made with the special Italian zucchini called romaine zucchinie; they are small and light green with thin pale stripes and have beautiful flowers. If you can’t find them, try Persian zucchini or Mexican squash.

This dish of marinated fried zucchini is usually made ahead, to ensure the flavors blend well, and is served as an appetizer or side dish, but it’s also the best snack on a crispy pizza bianca, or sandwiched between two slices of crusty bread. as ossi.

For 4 to 6 people as a starter or side dish

  • 2¼ pounds (1 kg) zucchini
  • Sunflower or peanut oil for frying
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A handful of parsley or basil leaves, or both, finely chopped (see variations)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick (6 mm) strips. People debate the best way to slice zucchini for this dish; some like to cut the slices at an angle to get wide ovals instead of strips. Any shape will do as long as your slices are of equal thickness.
  2. If you’re not in a hurry, let the zucchini slices dry on a paper towel-lined baking sheet for a few hours to lose some of their moisture. If you’re in a hurry, skip straight to frying.
  3. Pour about 2 inches (5 cm) of sunflower or peanut oil into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until a frying thermometer reads 350°F (180°C). (You can use a deep pan for frying if you prefer, but I find a pan helps contain the oil if it boils too much.) You can test the oil by dropping a small piece of zucchini in it: if it sizzles well but does not bubble too wildly, the oil is ready.
  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding, carefully place a few slices of zucchini in the pan, making sure they all lie flat and don’t overlap. Fry, turning once, for about 5 minutes, until deep golden, almost brown. Transfer the slices to a paper towel lined tray to drain and continue to fry the zucchini in batches.
  5. Place one-third of the fried zucchini in a single layer in a deep rectangular dish. Sprinkle with a little minced garlic, herbs and salt and season with pepper to taste. Repeat with two more layers, finishing with a final sprinkle of minced garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the courgettes with the vinegar, cover with olive oil and refrigerate for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature to serve.
  7. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, or in an airtight container, for a few days.


You can swap eggplant for zucchini to make concia di melanzane.

Some concia recipes contain parsley, basil, parsley and basil and mint. Find your favorite combination!

Montini / Marzipan mounds

The shape of these little almond cookies is supposed to remind you of Mount Sinai. They are usually given to family and friends in the Purim gift basket because they travel well and last a long time.

The traditional montini recipe is quite tricky to make, as it requires boiled sugar at the thread stage, which not everyone can master, so I opted for a much easier egg-based version which m was taught by Anna Levi Cogoi. years ago. I promise you that no one will be able to tell the difference between the difficult classic recipe – which you will find in the box – and the modern one.

  • 5¼ cups (600 g) almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100g)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40 ml) liqueur, such as cognac or other brandy
  • Chopped candied or dried fruit for decoration (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional; see Variations)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the almond flour into a large bowl. Add sugar, eggs and liqueur. Mix and knead the ingredients with your hands in the bowl until they come together into a soft dough.
  3. Scoop out walnut-sized portions of dough and shape them into small mountain-shaped mounds or slightly flattened balls, if you prefer. Place the small mounds on the prepared molds and decorate them with candied or dried fruit, if desired.
  4. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden on the bottom and dry on the outside. Take out of the oven and let cool down.
  5. Montini keep well in an airtight container or cookie jar for up to a week.


Montini can be white or colored. For brown montini, add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter. For a pink version, add 1 teaspoon of maraschino liqueur and a little red food coloring. If you want to make a multicolored cookie, divide the dough into two or three portions, color each one, then sandwich the dough portions.

You can use this recipe to make nut paste. Replace almond flour with walnut flour and replace liqueur with brewed coffee.

Almond paste, which is basically marzipan, can also be used for stuffed dried fruits. Dates, dried apricots and dried prunes (prunes), filled with marzipan are served, especially in Venice, at Passover and at Tu B’Shvat; nuts can also be sandwiched with marzipan and served as well.

Traditional Montini made with boiled sugar

  • 1¾ cups (200 g) almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (100 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • Candied or dried fruit for decoration (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional; see Variations)
  1. Pour the ground almonds into a bowl.
  2. In a small nonstick saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and cook until the sugar syrup reaches 230° F (110°C), wire step. Pour the sugar syrup over the almond flour and mix with a heatproof spoon, then knead with your hands until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Sprinkle the icing sugar on the work surface, turn the almond paste over on the work surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 12 hours before using it.

Excerpt from “Cooking alla Giudia” by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2022.

“Cooking alla Giudia” is the ultimate tribute to the wonderfully rich, yet still largely unrecognized, culinary heritage of the Jews of Italy. From fried Roman artichokes (carciofi alla giudia) to Venetian sardes in saor (sweet and sour sardines), orecchiettes from Puglia and Sicilian caponata, some of Italy’s best-known dishes are of Jewish origin. But little is known about the Jewish people of Italy and their culinary traditions. It was the Jews, for example, who taught Italians to eat eggplant, and thus helped inspire the classic eggplant parmigiana and many other local specialties. With a collection of kosher recipes from all regions of Italy, including many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, author Benedetta Jasmine Guetta is on a mission to tell the story of how Jews changed the kitchen Italian cuisine, to preserve these recipes, and to share with home cooks the extraordinary dishes prepared in the Jewish communities of Italy. Throughout the book, menus with regional Italian specialties are highlighted, along with short and helpful guides to Italian cities with Jewish history. The book will show how to incorporate the recipes into your daily meals and holiday traditions.

Segment Producer Suzie Wiley. Watch New Day Northwest at 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and live stream on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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