I set myself to make the Sofficini today.
I have had the tomato sauce prepared a while ago. I am against buying what you can easily prepare yourself. I also had some very ripe tomatoes.
Not to mention a basic tomato sauce could always come in handy in a wide range of recipes.
Here is how I make it: I brown diced onions and crushed garlic then when they get a golden color, I add the cored and peeled tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Some add some sugar but I prefer the acidity of tomatoes, so it is a matter of taste. Then I let it simmer till it becomes a little less thick than a paste and blend when cold.
Depending on your need you can also add some dried oregano or basil or even both (this would be great for pizza).
I decided I wanted to fill my Sofficini with mushrooms and spinach, just like the ones I tasted in Italy and liked.
So I started with the dough and I set it aside to cool down, in the meantime I made the béchamel. Again I prefer home made to store bought. I got a perfect thick béchamel, creamy and tasted just the way I wished.
Again this is a basic sauce that can be used in many recipes, although its life is way shorter than the tomato sauce, due to the milk and butter in it.
Here is how I make my béchamel: I melt the butter then add the flour with the rate of a Tbsp of flour for each Tbsp of butter. Then I mix the flour with the butter till there are no lumps left and wait till the mixture gets a golden color (this is what is called roux). At this point I slowly add the heated milk while whisking to prevent the lumps from forming. Don’t be scared if the sauce takes a doughy texture at first, keep adding the milk till you get the desired thickness. A cup is enough for a thick one. Then I season with salt, white pepper and grated nutmeg.
At this point I started rolling the dough and cutting it in disks in order to fill it. It was not totally cold but cool and turned out great.
I defrosted the spinach and squeezed it dry, then mixed it with the béchamel and the grated mozzarella.
I did not use fresh mushrooms for the Sofficini for these can get ridiculously expensive here, I used canned ones that I mixed with both the sauces, the mozzarella and some parmesan.
I filled my dough, lost one as a martyr and ended up having 6 (including the messed up one) not 8 as the recipe said. I covered with eggs and breadcrumbs and fried till brown as Sofficini should be.
Basically it was enough for everyone to taste, definitely none was left to freeze. What I had left is the mushroom mixture which I am planning to use as a pasta sauce.
Also the preparation time is surely longer than mentioned in the recipe, they do take time. I can safely say I spent around 2 hours making around 6 pieces. So this is not what I would call an after work meal to make unless you have them prepared and frozen ahead already.
Next time I would probably make more dough and freeze them.
The taste was perfect, as good as I remember. This recipe is no doubt a winner: not expensive and pretty filling, without being heavy.