How to make Praline Semifreddo



Semifreddo – which translates to “half cold/frozen” – is a classic Italian dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse and the flavor of ice cream. At Toscana we make it with the very best of Irish dairy cream, our farm fresh organic eggs and a little love from chef Raffaele to make this a wonderful easy summer dessert to impress any guest.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

150g (5 1/2oz) croccante (praline)

625ml (2 1/2 cups) thick (double/heavy) cream

2 Eggs, separated

90g (3 1/2cups) Icing (confectioners) sugar

2 Tablespoons Mandorla (almond flavoured Marsala) or brandy

Garnish (optional)

Milk chocolate squares

Amaretti biscuit

Fresh mint


Finely crush the praline (croccante) in a food processor or in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Beat the egg yolks with a quarter of the icing sugar until it has a pale appearance. Whisk the egg whites in a clean dry glass bowl until stiff peaks form (be sure not to have any yolk or egg shells inside), then gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and whisk until glossy stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg yolks into the cream, then fold the egg whites. Fold in the croccante and Mandorla.

Line six 250ml metal dome moulds with two long strips of foil each. Or you can use a Martini glass. Spoon in the mixture, level the surface and tap each mould on the table a few times to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover the surface with more foil and freeze for a minimum of 24 hours. To serve leave a room temperature for 5 minutes, then use the foil as handles to remove from the mould or serve straight from the Martini glass, dressed with grated chocolate and amaretti biscuit with fresh sprig of garden mint to garnish.

Buon Appetito!

Spaghetti Vongole recipe





  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 12 oz. Spaghetti



  • Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Add clams and increase heat to medium-high; cover pot. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until clams have opened, 5–8 minutes (discard any that do not open). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  • Add pasta and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to clams and toss to coat. Add fresh flat leaf parsley. Cook, tossing and adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve spaghetti and clams topped with fresh flat leaf herbs. Toss again.
    Plate up and buon appetito!

Toscana Restaurant Dublin


Dubin’s  iconic Toscana restaurants has always belonged to the Bitici family. Voted top 10 Italian restaurant by Lovin Dublin. Chefs Vetoni and his Irish wife Dee own Toscana Dame Street and brother Agi and his wife Anthea are proprietors of Toscana Seafront Dun laoghaire.  Both brothers are chefs who began their careers travelling Europe and have worked in many countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and London for more than 30 years. Now stationed firmly in Dublin for the past 20 years, today one may say a great chef staying in one place that long is a rarity, but the Bitici’s have chosen to grow the perfect business here in Dublin and opened one of the first Farm to Table restaurants in Dublin in the late 90’s. In a city where a decade is usually the maximum survival rate for any given restaurant, the Bitici’s  created a spot that has remained timeless.

Toscana’s  kitchen has cooked for an array of celebrities such as Hollywood’s Brian Dennehy, Timothy Dalton, Bono, the Dubliners, Sinead O’Connor, George Michael, Rene Ruzzo, Olivia Newton John, Chris O’Dowd, Brendan Gleeson and many prestigious Irish politicians . Both Toscana restaurants are pioneers when it comes to Fresh Home-grown produce which they grow by the seasons from their own Wicklow farm-house gardens. At the heart of Toscana cooking lies a celebration of food that is fresh, home-grown by the seasons and unpretentious, elevating simple traditions and modern cooking into flavours customers enjoy. Toscana Restaurant was the proud winner of the Good Food Ireland best Grow It Yourself Restaurant in Ireland award. This award presented by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has become the most coveted honour in the world of food and tourism in recognition of Irish food excellence.

“We have travelled the world to learn our craft but every chef knows the secret to the best ingredients are grown right here in Ireland. We rely on just the exacting ingredient to create our dishes from our own farm-house which allows our freshness and flavours to speak for themselves”.  Says Agi. The use of polytunnels helps Toscana extend the seasons.

The farm-house gardens are in integral part of Toscana’s philosophy towards cooking and healthy lifestyle, and we believe that our customers should eat as well as we do at home. Avoiding nasty sprays, using organic farm eggs, we grow our own seasonal organic fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs. We pride ourselves on honest seasonal vegetables packed with nutrients. “Our aim is to bring the spirit of the Mediterranean lifestyle into our kitchens, having grown up ourselves on a Mediterranean diet and picking our breakfast from our fathers gardens my brother and I feel great pleasure combining the fertile Irish soil with the rich heritage of classic and modern Italian cuisine”.  Says Vetoni.

Toscana menu specials changes nightly so there’s endless variety, but expect crisp, fresh vegetables in spring/summer and early Autumn and winter-cellar produce such as marinated homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chillis and varieties of pestos, chutneys in cooler months: in short, food perfectly suited to the seasonal palate.

Opposite Dublin Castle

3 Cork Hill, Dame Street

Dublin 2

Open 7 days, 12 Noon till Late.