Mostaccioli (Neapolitan Molasses Biscotti)
If you search online for Mostaccioli, you are going to get recipes for homemade pasta.
But in Naples, we are also talking about molasses and black pepper biscotti. I promise, the black pepper just gives the biscotti a kick - it’s not overpowering, and the orange adds so much sweetness and brightness to balance out the spice.
This is my great-grandmother Lucia’s recipe, so you are getting a precious family secret here. Steward it well.
1 12oz. bottle molasses
1 grated orange rind
1/2 cup olive oil + a few tablespoons for the baking sheets
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 drops of Young Living Orange Vitality Essential Oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
1 cup chopped and roasted macadamia or hazelnuts.
Preheat the oven to 400F, and spread olive oil on two baking sheets.
In a stand mixer, combine molasses, orange rind, egg, olive oil, essential oil, and brown sugar. Set aside. In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, black pepper, and baking powder. Now, here is where you get your arm workout - pour the wet ingredients onto the dry, and fold the two together until combined. This will take some muscles because the dough is sticky. Once the wet and dry are well incorporated, add the nuts and fold to combine.
Onto just one of the two pans, pour the batter, and shape into an oblong rectangle. It will take up most of the pan lengthwise, and will be about 5-6 inches in width. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Then take a long knife (a butcher knife is perfect - something with a long and wide blade), and coat it with olive oil. Slice the loaf into slices that are about 1/2 inch wide. This is where you will need your second pan. Take each slice carefully, and lay it on its side so the cut side is up. The slices will take up two pans. Place the pans back into the oven and bake 10 minutes. Flip the slices to the other side, and bake another 10 minutes.
These biscotti do not need drizzle, because they hold a chewy consistency. They are best served with a hot chai latte or a cappuccino.
Mangia, mangia, mangia!