Ada Boni's recipe can be used for both granita or sorbet. There's not much messing around: You don't need any special equipment, and aside from waiting for it freeze (which can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, but I like the texture better when it's had overnight to freeze in peace, rather than be poked at every hour), it is quick to prepare.
A simple syrup is made. Ada Boni instructs to pass the washed strawberries through a sieve (the 1975 edition adds “or liquidizer”). I choose the latter; it seems less tiring. The juice of 2 lemons and an orange area added, along with the syrup and it's frozen. She calls for stirring after an hour “until it has the consistency of thick mush”—this to me, sounds like granita. If you eat it that day, it will be undoubtedly "slushier" and really ideal for granita. If you want to eat it as gelato, let it freeze overnight. The sugar syrup prevents it from freezing solid and the next day, you will have a wonderful, soft, creamy sorbet. —Emiko
Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
Remove the leaves off the strawberries and blend them in a blender or food processor with the lemon and orange juice. Add the cooled syrup—but note, I recommend tasting as you add it. If you have particularly sweet strawberries or not very sour lemons (like Meyer lemons) you probably will not need all of it. Even just half this amount can still be enough to make it set nicely.
If making granita, place the strawberry liquid in a shallow, flat baking dish (something like a glass or ceramic lasagne pan would be perfect) so that the liquid is no more than a couple inches deep. If this doesn't fit in your freezer (I recommend measuring first before you put the liquid in), you can use a loaf pan or similar shaped container, just note that it will take significantly longer to freeze this way (those containers are just fine for making sorbet). Place container in the freezer, and after an hour, “fluff” it with a fork, particularly around the edges, where it will freeze first. Keep doing this every 30 to 60 minutes, until it is an icy “mush,” as Ada Boni says. Serve in glasses with a spoon and a straw.
If making sorbet, simply let it freeze overnight (a deeper pan or container can be used). Let it rest about 10 minutes outside of the freezer and scoop into bowls.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.