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Sbrisolona with Marsala Zabaglione

Courtesy Massimo Bottura
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

At Casa Maria Luigia, our 12-room guest house in the Emilian countryside, we host people from all over the world. To make them feel at home, we serve a full Emilian breakfast with classic recipes from my childhood. One of these treats is a sweet and savory almond cookie called sbrisolona, originally from Mantova, that my mother made often. We top it with a creamy zabaglione, made the old-fashioned way by hand whipping sugar, egg yolks and a splash of marsala wine. The combination of sweet and savory dates back to the Renaissance and yet is still one of the flavor profiles of the Emilian table. I add a drop of Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar from Modena on top. This is the perfect expression of the rich and unforgettable flavors of the Emilian countryside.

Swap option: if you want to make a kid version, you can substitute the Marsala wine with a splash of lemon juice.


  • 10 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • cups "00" flour
  • 2/3 cups corn flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
Marsala Zabaglione
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar


For the sbrisolona:


Mix all dry ingredients in a standing mixer and add cold butter cubes. Mix until the mixture resembles sand and is well blended.


Add the egg and egg yolks and continue mixing for a few seconds.


Let batter rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 325 F.


Bake in a 8-inch round or square tin for 15-20 minutes.

For the Marsala zabaglione:


Mix together all three ingredients in a bowl set over a double boiler set at low heat.


Whisk until the zabaglione ribbons and becomes opaque, about five minutes.


Remove from heat and continue to whisk for about a minute to cool the zabaglione down slightly.