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croquettes with turkey leftovers

My family is so keen on this recipe that I sometimes cook too much meat on purpose, just to have leftovers – and an excuse to make Crocchette. With the bounty of Thanksgiving leftovers just around the corner, this is a perfect, mouthwatering way to use those turkey scraps. But any leftover meat will definitely […]

crostini ai funghi

Dull day? All you need is a fireplace, a glass of medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and… These crostini. Still redolent of the fragrances of woods and fall season, these crispy bites are aromatic, indulgent, with just a touch of tanginess. My friend Cinzia gave me this recipe (grazie Cinzia!), which she […]

Ossa dei morti cookies

November first is a catholic holiday in Italy. We celebrate All Saints’ Day. Schools and businesses are closed, and usually an excuse to spend a long weekend home (not this year – it’s falling on a Sunday). Since the following day, November second, is All Souls’ Day, the weekend usually include a visit to the […]

Hawaiian Pizza is not Italian!

Have you ever glimpsed a perplexed expression on your waiter’s face after you tried to order Fettuccine Alfredo in a restaurant in Italy? Or have you ever ordered pasta marinara, expecting a tomato sauce, and instead received a shellfish pasta? And how about trying to get an… Hawaiian Pizza??? The food served in many Italian restaurants in the United […]

dandelion caper salad

Dandelion Salad Recipe This will hopefully give an answer to my neighbors on what did I do with those wild greens (what is this bizarre woman picking on the sides of the paths???). Dandelions have a great assertive flavor and a strong detoxifying effects: they should not be neglected. Here is a very simple salad […]

Pasta with Sweet Peas and Ham

Pasta piselli e prosciutto – A kid’s favorite Play dates, sleepovers and such my friends? Need to get food into a group of hungry, rambunctious kids when you have no idea what they will and will not eat? Being a mom of 3, I have been there — multiple times! For this worst case-scenario situation […]

Asparagus Risotto

Risotto con gli Asparagi I have tasted hundreds of risottos in the US, and far too many of them are not authentic. So here is the recipe for the real, delicious Italian risotto. This is a great seasonal recipe, one of my favorites, and a terrific Mother’s Day brunch idea. This is – hands down […]

Pasta with Walnut Pesto

Pasta al Sugo di Noci This recipe is unusual, sophisticated and soul satisfying. The sauce originates from the Liguria region, where is often used on pansoti, a local fresh pasta similar to ravioli with a herby, vegetarian filling – but works great on any semolina pasta. Pasta with Walnut Pesto is ready in minutes and […]

Torta Pasqualina

  Easter Savory Pie When I used to live in Italy il lunedì dell’Angelo, or Easter Monday, a group of us would gather and decide on a daytrip somewhere. This is actually how many Italians spend that day: out on a picnic or sightseeing. Where I grew up, in humid Pianura Padana, we would head […]

asparagus frittata

  Frittata con asparagi This is the best asparagus frittata recipe ever! It’s a killer dish, one I was craving this week. This frittata captures in a bite the subtle changes in the air, the essence of the season. Its taste is delicate and smooth — but vibrant, and vital at the same time: exactly […]

Sausages with Rapini

  Salsicce con le cime di rapa I love this sausages recipe, with its unusual and assertive flavors. My grandma was from the Apulia region, and she introduced me really early to the unique taste of rapini. I find that their strong, almost bitter taste wonderfully balances the buttery, rich sausages to create a hearty, […]

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What is extra-virgin olive oil? Very simply: mechanically squeezed olive juice. Choosing a great product should be, at least in theory, a no-brainer: as in any other fruit juice, we would go for the freshest juice, made with the perfectly ripened – in this case, mostly still green – great quality olives…. But many aspects […]

castagnole

Castagnole di Carnevale   Ahhh… Carnevale! It breaks winter grays into an explosion of color and amusement. Who doesn’t love wearing costumes, going to parades with festooned floats and… eating special treats? These traditional deep-fried sweets are usually not available during the rest of the year so they must be enjoyed while they last. Here […]

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I have to confess: Sunday morning I chocked on my morning espresso while looking at my fresh copy of the New York Times. Are Italians a nation of impostors? This is what at least I got from reading the page from Nicholas Blechman and Tom Mueller. The information the New York Times provided really didn’t […]

balsamic viniger

Have you ever tried to choose balsamic vinegar and being overwhelmed by the variety of choices and lack of information? Well, it happened to me far too many times. I have been looking at reasonable priced products versus very expensive ones without knowing if the cost was worth it or not; fancy bottles and more […]

Fetichini Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo – the Recipe on-the-ground research – here it is for you – the real, authentic fettuccine with Alfredo sauce recipe! Grazia’s recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo Total Time: 20 minutes Yields 4

bowl of fresh chestnuts

Fall means chestnuts to me – and all the great memories that come with it. In Italy, as Christmas approaches, chestnuts can be bought on the street, grilled over hot coals, wrapped in paper to eat right away. Nothing is more enjoyable than a bunch of hot roasted chestnuts to cheer up your cold hands […]

cheese head

Coppa di testa Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While you are enjoying your turkey, this time of year Italians traditionally would celebrate… pork! I come from a farming area in the North, where every family used to raise its own pig to slaughter in winter. This tradition, although still alive in few families today, used to happen […]

I just finished reading – and watching – Mark Bittman’s tribute to the late Italian cookbook writer Marcella Hazan, and something popped out from the article: Julia Child’s comment on Italian cooking. “I don’t get the whole thing with Italian cooking,” Child told Bittman. “They put some herbs on things, they put them in the […]

  I just love receiving my weekly box with fresh, organic, gorgeous goodies… I feel like a child unwrapping presents at Christmas! Wow — this time around I got so many pears!!!  Not a difficult dilemma: I will just make… Classic pear jam. There is nothing like homemade jam – with its fragrant, intense,

Since I moved to the U.S. in 2001, I have been mystified about this strange, nearly ubiquitous phenomenon known as the Alfredo sauce. I mean: how could I, a food journalist and recent transplant from Italy, not know about it? Yet it was everywhere I turned in the U.S. — on Italian menus, on supermarket […]