As part of Gemma Halliday Publishing’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway, my short Franki Amato Christmas mystery ROSOLIO RED is FREE TODAY, December 20!
In ROSOLIO RED, Franki returns home to Houston to investigate the disappearance of her meddlesome Sicilian nonna. And Franki’s banker boyfriend, Bradley, finds himself in an awkward situation when a decadent dessert called le minne di Sant’Agata, Italian for “Saint Agatha’s boobs,” is served at the Amato family dinner table.
Italians eat baked boobs to honor Saint Agatha (231 AD – 251 AD, Catania, Sicily), whose breasts were severed for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Not surprisingly, Agatha is the patron saint of martyrs, breast cancer, and wet nurses. But she’s also the patron saint of fire, bakers, bell founders, and eruptions of Mount Vesuvius (I can kind of see the last two).
Italians typically eat these provocative pastries on Saint Agatha’s feast day, which is February 5, but you can find them in Sicilian bakeries year around.
If you want to find out what happens between Bradley and the bosoms, be sure to download your free copy of ROSOLIO RED. And, just in case you want to whip up a batch of these nosh-worthy knockers for your next holiday party, here’s the recipe:
LE MINNE DI SANT’AGATA
3 cups ricotta
2 ounces candied orange peel, cubed
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange
3 cups powdered sugar
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons lemon juice
10 maraschino cherries
Mix the flour and cold butter in a food processor. Place the mixture onto a flour-dusted board, and add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Knead lightly until ingredients are mixed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Meanwhile, for the filling, sift the ricotta through a sieve. Next, add the powdered sugar, orange zest, candied orange, and chocolate chips.
Roll the chilled pastry dough into a 1/5-inch thick sheet. Then cut 3-inch diameter circles from the sheet. Line spherical molds with the circles of dough, then fill the lined molds with about 2 1/2 ounces of the ricotta mixture. Seal the stuffed molds with another circle of pastry, pressing the edges down.
Next, bake in a preheated oven at 400° for 20 minutes. When the cakes are golden brown, remove from the oven and cool in the molds. After they have cooled completely, remove from the molds and place on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on a low speed until smooth. The consistency of the glaze should be that of thick batter.
Pour the glaze over the cakes while they’re still on the cooling rack. Top each cake with a candied cherry. Let the glaze has dry and then serve.