In love with Italian food...
Yes we live in Austria within the Alps of East Tirol, but Italy and the Dolomites, is so close that sometimes we can actually smell the Italian oregano in the wind. We love cooking vegan variations of Austrian specialities, like mushroom schnitzel, but Ligita, our plant based chef at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat reflects on cooking Italian recipes in the Austrian Alps.
“I have been fascinated by Italy for many years now. The first time I visited the country, I was 16 years old and I fell in love straight away. The passionate culture, beautiful architecture, mesmerizing language, beautiful men and women, all are highlights of the Italian culture. But for me, the first reason for my instant love was the food"
Italian food is probably one of the most famous cuisines in the world. No matter where you are, Austria, Lithuania, Cambodia or USA, Italian restaurants can be found on most street corners. The simplicity of fresh ingredients and some old techniques make the food incredibly delicious. Yes, it’s full of gluten and perhaps not entirely vegan friendly. That is why here at MoaAlm I try to recreate some of the traditional Italian recipes and make them plant based.
One of my favourite Italian dishes, and inevitably, one of the hardest to make plant based, is creamy Italian panna cotta. So this summer I decided to have it on MoaAlm menu and find the best plant based variation that would make my heart sing. And I found it! I am so happy to share this recipe with you and I assure you, all your non vegan friends will love it. It’s creamy, rich in flavour, beautiful consistency and of course with some good strawberry compote will look beautifully presented too.”
Makes 12 small panna cottas (I use silicon moulds)
• 80 g granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp agar agar powder
• 100g dairy-free yoghurt ( I use soya yoghurt)
• 220 g dairy-free milk ( I use soya)
• 200g dairy free cream (I use soya, again)
• ½ tsp vanilla essence or powder
• 1 lemon zest
Mix half of the sugar with agar agar and other half with the yoghurt.
In a saucepan mix the milk, cream, the sugar/agar mix, vanilla, lemon zest and bring it to boil. Simmer for 5 min while stirring, then turn off the heat. Add the yoghurt/sugar mix into the pan and pour it into the moulds. Leave it to cool, then transfer to the fridge for minimum 1-2 hours. Easy peasy!
We love combining this with our Spinach and Cashew Ricotta Rolls, which is a really tasty Italian plant based main course that we have found to be a favourite with all our vegan and non vegan guests after a day snowshoe hiking in surrounding mountains.
Send us an email if you are interested in joining us in the Austrian Alps for a week of hiking and yoga.