Tony Mitolo runs McLaren Vale’s Pizzateca restaurant, where he serves a traditional, creamy tiramisu made with savoiardi (ladyfinger) biscuits. Mitolo’s Nonna, Anna, makes the restaurant’s tiramisu every week – in fact, she insists it’s made her way or not at all, says Annarita Mitolo, Tony’s aunt.

“This no-bake Italian classic is our favourite and reminds us of our family Sundays together. When you make tiramisu with Nonna, she’s the boss and she reminds you every week to ‘put more; the people have to taste the coffee and Marsala’,” says Annarita.

The Mitolo family say their Sundays together included more than enough food to feed everyone. “Nonna’s and Nonno’s culinary skills were mystical and we all thought they were the best home cooks around,” says Annarita. “The ingredients they used came from their orto (vegetable garden).”

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Though there are no veggies in this no-cook dessert, it’s filled with flavour and perfected with time. Annarita says 90-year-old Nonna doesn’t really have a recipe for her tiramisu – it’s something she makes by eye – however, the family have recorded her moves over the years to share this quick and easy recipe with Broadsheet readers.

“E basta, mangia e divertiti! (And that’s it, eat and enjoy!)”, say the Mitolos.

Nonna Mitolo’s traditional tiramisu
Serves 4–6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours

300ml espresso coffee, brewed
2 tbsp Marsala wine
4 eggs
100g sugar
500g mascarpone
300g ladyfinger (savoiardi) biscuits
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Brew coffee using a macchinetta. In a saucepan or other heatproof container, combine coffee and Marsala wine then set aside to cool.

In a bowl, separate egg whites from yolks and whip egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and smooth. This should take 3 to 5 minutes.

Add mascarpone to the yolks and whisk slowly with an electric mixer. Add the stiffened egg whites and mix through with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Dip ladyfingers into the coffee and wine. Spread a layer of the biscuits in a serving dish and spread a layer of mascarpone mixture on top. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Repeat layers once more.

Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

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