From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Why We Love Gelato!

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Why We Love Gelato!

Our Favorite Reasons You Should Eat Gelato

If you follow Peter Salerno Inc. on Facebook, you know that the staff loves to cool down on a hot summer day by eating delicious gelato! From its roots with the famed Medici family in Renaissance Italy to its growing popularity around the world today, gelato is a delicious, creamy alternative to ice cream that (believe it or not) is healthier for you in many ways!

The Peter Salerno Inc. staff (and Harper the puppy!) enjoy delicious gelato.
The Peter Salerno Inc. staff (and Harper the puppy!) enjoy delicious gelato.

Every gelato lover has his or her favorite gelato “spot” – for Peter Salerno and his team, a local Sicilian gelato maker always hits the spot! But whether it’s from a gelato maker, dessert shop or your local grocer, gelato is a wonderful treat – especially during these hot summer months.

So why exactly do we love gelato so much? Here a few great reasons to love this classic Italian dessert delicacy.

Reasons Why We Love Gelato

1. It’s based in all-natural, fresh ingredients. Classic gelato made by hand features milk and water, and generally hazelnuts or pistachios in its base. These natural ingredients, rather than artificial sweeteners, chemicals and preservatives, make gelato a more naturally delicious treat.

2. It’s lower in fat and calories than ice cream. On average, gelato contains 5-6% butterfat, compared to 10-12% in most traditional American ice creams (source: As a result, it’s naturally lower in both fat and calories than its ice cream counterparts!

3. Options, options, options! Gelato comes in several varieties, including cream and fruit-based gelatos. As a result, the tastes you can experience by eating gelato range from sweet to savory, and will satisfy lovers of ice cream, sorbet, sherbet and flavored ices alike!

To many, gelato is a new dessert discovery. But it’s been around since the Renaissance (and in America since the late 1700s) – so why not try it for yourself? It’s about time you discovered why so many people, including Peter Salerno Inc., love gelato!

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Ricotta and Coffee Mousse

Our New Favorite Mousse: Spuma di Ricotta al Caffe

The amazing people at Saveur have done it again! At Peter Salerno Inc., we’re just crazy about this recipe. It’s a bold new take on a classic Italian dessert. You’ve probably had ricotta mousse (spuma di ricotta) if you love Italian desserts – but have you ever tried adding the flavor of coffee?

The result is a stunning ricotta and coffee mousse (spuma di ricotta al caffe) that will leave your taste buds at a loss for words. Equal parts light and rich, sweet and savory, it’s the perfect compliment to a great meal or an amazing cup of coffee.

(Just think: now you can have the world’s best cup of coffee brewed right from your smartphone or tablet by ordering TopBrewer from us, and pair it with this amazing mousse!)

Scroll down for this fantastic recipe, courtesy of Saveur!

Try this stunning ricotta and coffee mousse. (Photo credit: Saveur)
Try this stunning ricotta and coffee mousse. (Photo credit: Saveur)

Recipe: Ricotta and Coffee Mousse (courtesy of Saveur)

Serves 6


2 cups store-bought ricotta
1 cup cold heavy cream
⅓ cup sugar
2 tbsp. instant espresso
1 tbsp. powdered gelatin
Shaved chocolate


1. Purée ricotta in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

2. Whip together heavy cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.

3. Bring ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk 2 tbsp. of the water with espresso in a small bowl. Whisk remaining water with gelatin in another small bowl until dissolved.

4. Stir espresso mixture into ricotta, then gelatin mixture; fold in cream in 3 stages. Chill mixture for 1 hour, then transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe mixture into 6 sundae glasses; refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Torta di Ricotta (Ricotta Cheesecake)

Our Favorite Recipe for Torta di Ricotta

If you’re like us at Peter Salerno Inc., there’s nothing better on a cold winter’s night than a hot espresso or cappucino, a fantastic dessert wine, and a traditional Italian dessert.

Even though it’s a bit early in the season for Torta di Ricotta (Ricotta Cheesecake) – it’s traditionally served in Abruzzi during Easter season as a pastime – it’s such a delicious, outside-the-box Italian dessert recipe that we just can’t wait to share it with you.

Our favorite recipe for Torta di Ricotta, from DeLallo. (Credit DeLallo)
Our favorite recipe for Torta di Ricotta, from DeLallo. (Credit DeLallo)

The tastes of ricotta, lemon and light confectioner’s sugar come together in this dessert, which is much lighter than you would expect! Done correctly, the sweetness of the ricotta and sugar blend with the zesty tang of lemon to create a one-of-a-kind, uniquely Italian flavor.

Pair your torta di ricotta with a delicious limoncello for a lemon-fresh dessert experience, or enjoy with your espresso of choice for a savory blend of flavors that will beautifully complete any meal.

Thank you to the wonderful people at DeLallo for their torta di ricotta recipe (ricotta cheesecake), which is quickly becoming one of our very favorites at Peter Salerno Inc. Enjoy!

Sweet Ricotta Cheesecake – Torta di Ricotta (from DeLallo)



1 cup sugar
3 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 sticks butter, cold
1 tablespoon lemon zest

5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds DeLallo Whole Milk Ricotta, well drained
Zest of 3 lemons
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

For the pastry dough: in a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with a whisk until light in color. In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups flour, lemon zest and butter. Work ingredients together with a fork, allow butter to remain in small chunks. Add flour mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar. Gently work the dough and slowly add the remaining flour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough is too sticky, add more flour—a little at a time.) Gently form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the filling: beat egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until light in color. Slowly fold in ricotta until the mixture is smooth. Mix in lemon zest, flour and cornstarch. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they form peaks, and then gently fold into the filling mixture.

Once ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 300˚F. Grease and flour mini bundt pans. Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator. Cut into 6 equal pieces (for mini bundt cakes).

Gently roll out dough with a rolling pin or pasta machine to create thin sheets. Arrange each sheet carefully inside bundt pans to line, allowing some of the dough to hang over the edges.

Fill each pan with ricotta filling and gently fold the excess dough over top to form a top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden. Allow cakes to cool completely before removing from pans, and then refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 6 hours.

Top with sifted confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 6 mini bundt cakes, or 1 full size bundt pan.