Dana Slatkin

Torta della Nonna, Farmgirl-style

torta giacomino drago

Photo credit: tastespotting. com

8-10 servings

Recently I taught a class with Giacomino Drago, the charismatic owner of several high-end Italian eateries here in Los Angeles. The youngest of eight siblings from a small village in Sicily, Giacomino and his brothers have earned their turf with some of the tastiest pasta dishes in town.

With his trademark Italian flair, Chef Drago demonstrated his famous Salsa di Pomodoro, Penne Arrabiata, and Melanzane alla Parmigiana to my eager students. You would think his recipes would be top secret, but Giacomino was kind enough to share some of his scrumptious intel with us.

So why am I giving you a recipe for dessert here? Because if I broadcasted such classified information, there could be a horse head on my doorstep tomorrow morning.

Joking aside, this is the dessert I concocted to finish our splendid Italian feast. Starting with Mario Batali’s recipe for Torta della Nonna I eliminated the white sugar and flour (who needs them anyway?), substituting a crust inspired by one of my favorite blogs that is simply pulverized dates and nuts. The honey complements the ricotta cheese beautifully, and the crust adds wholesome texture to the creamy, tangy filling. Incidentally, if you haven’t yet tried dandelion honey, you’re in for a sweet surprise.

It’s a year-round dessert you’ll want to keep in rotation, just in time to treat your Valentine. And in case you’re still wondering what to make for the rest of the meal, I’ve been cleared to share Giacomino’s recipes from the class….for a small price.

Looking for more ideas for your Valentine? Fall in love with these:

Barefoot Peach Bellinis (Sugar-free)

Spinach Salad with Beets, Avocado and Papaya Seed Vinaigrette

Chokes ‘n Cheese

Grilled Tofu with Luscious Red Wine Sauce

Chocolate Coconut Fondue

Vegan Almond Pancakes

The winner of the January Giveaway will be announced soon. Stay tuned for more contests and giveaways!

Disclaimer: This post contains totally benign and well-intentioned affiliate links, which contribute infinitesimally to bringing you the Farmgirl’s recipes free of charge. All content is unsponsored and uncensored.

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