Semifreddo con saba (recipe)

June 2, 2016 — 5 Comments
























Is it ice-cream? Is it gelato? No, it’s semifreddo, a deliciously simple dessert made from freezing whipped cream. It has quite a light consistency, caused by the air in the cream and all you need is a whisk and a freezer, so what’s stopping you?

I recently made this dessert for a dinner party in order to showcase one of my new favourite ingredients: saba. From Emilia-Romagna, saba is a sweet sauce made from boiling the musts of the grapes after the wine-making process. The musts are all the pieces of grape skin that remain after the juice has been squeezed out.





The name saba is thought to derive from the latin sapor meaning flavour showing its ancient origins. Tradtionally it was a product made at home by country folk. People used to call it miele d’uva (grape honey) because its so sweet, but its not allowed to be sold under that name because there is no honey involved.





Saba is a caramel colour and tastes like fruit sauce but with a really tart note that leaves you wanting more. It goes really well with creamy desserts but also cheese.

If you can’t find saba this dessert would work equally well with red fruit or caramel sauce.

Buon appetito!



Semifreddo con saba

Serves: 8-10
Preparation time: 15 mins
Freezing time: overnight


4 egg yolks
75g (1/3 cup) sugar
vanilla extract
500ml (2 cups) whipping cream



1.Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until they turn pale.

2. Add two or three drops of vanilla extract.

3. Whip the cream to stiff peaks.

4. Gently fold the cream together with the egg and sugar mixture.

5. Line a loaf tin with cling film.

6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top with a spatula.

7. Place in the freezer overnight.

8. Remove the semifreddo from the tin and clingfilm. Cut it into slices with a sharp knife.

9. Place each slice on a plate, sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle saba over the top.

10. Serve immediately.

5 responses to Semifreddo con saba (recipe)


    Loving the sound of the Saba, and I am mesmerised by the wonderful photography on this post – lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

      Luca Marchiori June 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Maybe you’ll find some when you come to Italy in the autumn. It’s an incredible taste and thoroughly delicious. Why, thank you!



    ooh, i will have to find some saba. there must be some around here easily available (i’m in trieste).


      Luca Marchiori June 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Let me know if you do; I had to go all the way to Modena to find it. (I’m based in Tuscany). I’m a big fan of Friulian wine and so have to make it up your way at some point. I actually have a cousin who lives in Trieste so no excuse not to!



    Delectable! I wonder if you could make semifreddo with other flavors, such as lavender?


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