Scrumptious Italian Passover Recipes - The Jewish Voice
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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Scrumptious Italian Passover Recipes

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Passover Carrot CakeCourtesy of Alessandra Rovati and

The following recipes, which include items for th e seder, the main course, and even dessert, are sure to delight everyone at your Passover table. They come to us courtesy of our friends at Enjoy!

Italian Charoset  (Pareve)
“There are many different versions of Charoset in Italy,” says Alessandra. “This is the one I like to make, originally from Padova (near Venice).”
1 pound apple slices, peeled
3/4 pound boiled chestnuts, peeled
1/2 pound walnuts, shelled
1/2 pound pitted dates
1/2 pound dried apricots
1/2 pound raisins
2 small bananas
1 small seedless orange, only the zulp
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Put everything in the blender and process until combined, but it shouldn’t be too smooth.
Cook on a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring. Add some sweet wine or grape juice right before serving.

Matzah Gnocchi (Meat)

(serves 4)
8 matzahs, broken into small pieces
half a salami, coarsely chopped
3-4 spoonsfuls of matzah meal, plus more to dust the gnocchi
2 eggs
Freshly chopped parsley
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper


Soak the matzah in cold water or broth for about 4 hours till soft.
Drain it, squeeze it, and place it into a clean bowl; add the eggs, salt and pepper to taste, the parsley and nutmeg, the salami, and 3 or 4 tbsps. matzah meal. Mix all the ingredients together.
In a second bowl place some more matzah meal. With a wet tablespoon take some of the mixture and place it on top of the matzah meal; using your hands, or by shaking the bowl you should be able to cover this “gnocco” more or less evenly with matzah meal and to shape it into a ball (the size of a ping-pong ball).
Proceed with the rest of the mix and place the gnocchi on a piece of paper towel.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; drop in the gnocchi, and scoop them out as they raise to surface using a slotted skimmer.
Dress with a light tomato sauce or a meat sauce.

Pesach Frittata with Spinach, Raisins and Pine Nuts (Pareve)
1 lb fresh spinach
4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
½ an onion, finely chopped

½ a cup raisins, plumped in hot water and drained
 ½ a cup pine nuts

4 eggs

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp matzah meal

a dash of cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top
This Venetian dish reflects its Spanish-Turkish origins in the merging of sweet and savory flavors.  The combination of pine nuts and raisins appears in several Jewish Italian specialties, including a saffron risotto and several fish dishes.
Cook the spinach in a covered pot with 4-5 tablespoons of water and salt. Once it’s soft, drain, squeeze, throw the water out, and set aside. Heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion in a skillet.
After less than 5 minutes add the spinach, salt and pepper and a touch of cinnamon. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
In a bowl, mix the eggs with the raisins, the pine nuts, the matzah meal, the sugar, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. Add the cooked spinach (after letting it cool off) to the egg mixture.
Grease a frying pan with olive oil, and once it’s hot pour in the mixture. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat, then flip over and cook the other side you’re your pan is oven-proof you can also cook the second side under the broiler, avoiding the flip.
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve as a side – or dessert, or even breakfast!

Passover Carrot Cake (Pareve)
Did you think carrot cake was an American invention? Think again: in the Veneto region, Jews have had many versions of this dessert for centuries (and all without cheese frosting!).
1.5 cups of granulated sugar
2.5 cups of ground almonds
9 ounces carrots, grated (use small organic carrots for a rich flavor)
6 eggs
A pinch of salt
Amaretto liqueur or 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
butter, or parve margarine and matzah meal for greasing the pan
Beat the yolks with the sugar, add the grated carrots, the almonds, salt, cinnamon and almond extractIn a separate clean bowl beat the egg whites till foamy.
Gradually fold the whites into the rest.
Pour the mixture in a greased pan dusted with matzah meal and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Chocolate Salami - Salame CioccolatoChocolate Salami – Salame Cioccolato (Pareve)
Obviously, this is not only for Pesach! Ask any Italian child and they will probably name chocolate salami as their favorite dessert, anytime, anywhere.
4 tablespoons water (or oil, for a softer texture)
8 tablespoons sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate, grated (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
a few drops of vanilla or almond extract (you could also use a couple of tablespoons of a sweet liqueur such as Amaretto, but your kids will really want to eat this!)
1 cup shelled walnuts, or pistachios or hazelnuts
1 cup broken Passover cookies
2 tablespoons candied orange (optional)
Melt the chocolate with the sugar in your microwave or in a bain-marie. Add 4 tablespoons hot water and stir until smooth. Add the cookies, nuts, liqueur or extract, candied peel. Taste and add a couple of spoonfuls of honey if you would like it sweeter, and one or two more tablespoons hot water if it’s hard to stir. Allow to cool. When it’s lukewarm,  shape it into a salami and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Let it rest in the refrigerators for at least 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, unwrap and cut into slices. For a softer texture, replace the water with almond or seed oil.

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