Place the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the mint in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and set aside until the milk is strongly perfumed with mint, about 30 minutes or up to an hour. Check occasionally until the mint presence is strong but not overpowering. Remember that when frozen, the flavor will lose some of its intensity
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until the mixture thickens and turns pale yellow.
Strain the milk mixture into a medium bowl to remove the mint leaves, letting as much milk as possible drain from the leaves. Measure the milk and add more if needed to make 2 cups.
Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk half the milk into the egg and sugar mixture. Whisk in the remaining milk.
Pour the milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Pour into a bowl and keep stirring until the mixture cols.
Freeze in an ice-cream machine following the manufacturer's directions.
To serve, scoop the gelato into chilled metal or glass goblets. Shave the chocolate over the top.
Yield: 1 pint
Reprinted with permission from © Viana La Place, My Italian Garden, published by Broadway Books. click for book review
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