Mother’s Day (Festa della mamma) is quickly approaching in many parts of the world, including Italy on May 10th. This day is dedicated to the lady who survived many a sleepless night to care for you when sick, prioritised you before herself, always turned a sympathetic ear when life seemed bleak, cheered you on through every success no matter how small and thinks about you every moment of every day. Now it’s your turn to show your mamma how much you cherish her.
Everyone has their own way of saying, “I love you” whether it be gifts, spending time together, telling her how great she is, giving her a big hug or doing something for her. Having just become a mother for the third time a few weeks ago, my wish for this Mother’s Day is to be allowed to sleep in and have breakfast in bed. Now Italians in general are not big on breakfast but love sweet cakes, biscuits and tarts for breakfast. So instead, my inspiration comes from Bill Granger’s ricotta pancakes but with a Mediterranean twist. These pancakes are renowned for being pillowy and light as air. I top them with honey and figs with a dollop of creamy yoghurt.
To set the mood while you cook, here is one of Italy’s favourite songs about the Italian mamma which featured in Peter Pan the musical:
Now go show your mamma how much you understand and appreciate everything she has done for you!
Recipe (adapted from Bill Granger’s recipe):
Fluffy ricotta pancakes
Makes 16 pancakes
340 grams ricotta cheese
190 mls milk
4 eggs, separated
2 egg whites
125 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
50 grams clarified butter
4 figs, rinsed, tips removed and cut into quarters
almond slivers, toasted
Beat the ricotta until fluffy. Add the milk and egg yolks, stirring until smooth.
Separately sift together the flour and baking powder. Add this to the batter.
In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites together with the salt until it forms stiff peaks. Take a spoonful of whites and use a spatula to fold into the batter. Add the rest of the whites carefully to keep the air in the whites.
Heat a frying pan and add clarified butter. When the butter has melted and the pan is hot, use a spoon to add three spoonfuls to make one pancake. Repeat ensuring that the pancakes do not touch each other. When the edges of the pancake appear dry and the batter is bubbling, use a spatula to flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden. Poke the centre with your finger to ensure the centre is cooked. Remove from the pan and serve topped with the figs, drizzle the honey over the top and sprinkle the almonds over top. Repeat cooking the rest of the batter until finished.
Share this post with anyone who loves their mamma!