• How to Make Great Coffee at Home: 5 Tips

    How to Make Great Coffee at Home: 5 Tips

    How to Make Great Coffee at Home: 5 Tips Writing about Italian food we get plenty of questions on topics such as “my favorite Italian food or recipe” (answer: too many to choose just one) or my favorite Italian restaurant (answer: cook Italian food at home).   On occasion, we also recieve questions having to do with coffee, in general, and [...]

  • Homemade Ravioli

    Homemade Ravioli

    Homemade Ravioli  Stuffed pasta, like almost every food type found in Italy, is defined by region.  As my childhood neighbor from Genoa would always proclaim, homemade ravioli (meaning to wrap) are quintessentially Ligurian.  Moreover, tortellini and cappelletti are understood as Emilian while Italians recognize agnelotti as derived from Piemonte.  Stuffed pastas come in many shapes and sizes and their stuffings vary [...]

  • What Is Italian Food?

    What Is Italian Food?

    Italian Food – What is It? Ask the question, “What is Italian food” and you’re bound to illicit numerous responses.   A provincial Italian from southern Italy who hasn’t left his or her region would probably argue it’s regional food that is cooked at home with minimal yet high quality ingredients.   Ask the same question to a savvy New York restaurant [...]

  • Piattini: 12 Small Plate Italian Menu Ideas

    Piattini: 12 Small Plate Italian Menu Ideas

    (photo: at the heart of making great small plates for an Italian themed dinner party is good bread) Piattini: 12 Small Plate Italian Menu Ideas Preparing multi course meals can be a fulfilling endeavor, especially when you’re cooking for family and friends who appreciate food.  However, spending hours in the kitchen to prepare L’antipasto, Il primo, Il secondo,  Il contorno, [...]

  • Italian Pot Roast Recipe

    Italian Pot Roast Recipe

    One of the most widely successful ways to cook meat on the planet is via the braising method.  The Chinese, French, Moroccons, Italians, and Swiss, for example, all have “pot roasting” traditions (Italian Pot Roast Recipe).  Braising typically involves first searing a cut of meat (usually one containing lots of tough connective and fibrous tissue like collagen) and then using liquid and [...]

  • The Italian Pantry – 12 Ingredients To Keep In Your Kitchen at All Times

    The Italian Pantry – 12 Ingredients To Keep In Your Kitchen at All Times

    I’ve always equated good cooking with being prepared, just like a fine carpenter has the necessary tools to build a bookcase or a deck on hand at all times, a home cook should always have a well stocked pantry to prepare meals.  The following is a list of items that I always keep in my kitchen, in addition to the [...]

  • On What it Means to Be and Live As An Italian American Today

    On What it Means to Be and Live As An Italian American Today

    The year was 1997 and I was a college junior applying for a prestigious fellowship for first generation college students.  The fellowship provided funds and a mentor to guide and prepare students for graduate work in the humanities and sciences.  The fellowship had strict academic and social-economic requirements.  On the socio-economic side, students were expected to be first generation college [...]

  • Recipe: Homemade Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, and Dried Oregano

    Recipe: Homemade Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, and Dried Oregano

    I view homemade roasted peppers as the ultimate condiment; that is to say, you can include roasted peppers in your antipasto, sandwich, as a side with grilled meats, or even include them in your favorite grilled cheese sandwich or omelet.  Sound tasty; then stop buying the jarred stuff and make them at home!  Here’s the full ingredients list, including the items [...]

 

Recent Articles

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

Our linguine with shrimp scampi recipe is a slight variation on pasta with clam sauce.  The dish starts with the best shrimp you can find (avoid farm raised shrimp if you can), lots of sliced garlic, tomato paste, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil.  We also like to dice the uncooked shrimp into [...]

Tripe Di Calabria or Trippa con patate (Tripe and potatoes)

Tripe Di Calabria or Trippa con patate (Tripe and potatoes)

Mention the dish tripe or trippa and you’ll get the inevitable, “oh, I don’t like tripe” or “I don’t like the texture.”  However, like many Italian delicacies tripe is misunderstood and when cooked appropriately has a wonderful flavor that is mild and subtle.  In our house, tripe is a special occasion type of dish and made in the style of [...]

Penne With Peas, Onions, and Percorino Romano

Penne With Peas, Onions, and Percorino Romano

March 20th marked the first day of Spring in the US (the 21st in Italy) and with the passing of the winter season comes renewed food ambitions.  Our Penne with Peas, Onions, and Pecorino Romano is an ode to Spring and your waiting taste-buds. In our view, peas have two food soul-mates; that is, fish and pasta.  On the pasta pairing [...]

Cenci or Chiacchiere – Fried Ribbons

Cenci or Chiacchiere – Fried Ribbons

If there’s a single, universal, fried dessert treat in Italy it would have to be cenci or chiacchiere – fried ribbons (sometimes called nastrini, stracci, cenci, or frappe).  Cenci are crispy sugared strips of scented dough, fried and then coated in confectioner’s sugar. During Carnivale in Tuscany this sweet treat is made in most homes and are consumed before the Lenten [...]

Blood Sausage (Sanguinaccio)

Blood Sausage (Sanguinaccio)

Leave the beautiful region of Calabria and travel north to the much beloved Tuscany or Toscana and you’ll find biroldo or sanguinaccio – a traditional blood-based salumi.  Biroldo is a pork blood sausage and you’ll often find it infused with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon or flavored with fennel (blood sausage is also referred to sanguinaccio in many part of [...]

Ricotta and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini

Ricotta and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini

Our Ricotta and Sun Dried Tomato Crostini combines creamy homemade ricotta with sweet and tangy sun dried tomatoes (specifically, cherry tomatoes cured in extra virgin olive oil with salt, garlic, and herbs).   Crostini are perfect pre-dinner snacks and are wonderful accompanied by a delicate aperitif and/or glass of prosecco.  You’ll find various crostini offered at Italian cafes and bars and [...]

Stove Top Baked Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Sausage

Stove Top Baked Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Sausage

We are great fans of the baked pasta concept and whether it’s lasagna, pasta al forno, or cannelloni we can’t imagine a better way to prepare pasta.  However, baked pasta requires two steps; namely, cooking the pasta and thereafter  baking the pasta along with cheese, ricotta, tomato sauce, etc.  If a two step pasta dish isn’t in your playbook or [...]

Italian Tartar Sauce

Italian Tartar Sauce

Our Italian tartar sauce is a great compliment to baccala fritters or most any fried dish.  Moreover, you could use the sauce alongside eggplant, potato croquettes, zucchini flower fritters, etc. Italian tartar sauce is comprised of traditional ingredients with the addition of anchovy, capers, etc. We like to make a large batch of Italian tartar sauce and keep in the fridge [...]

Frascatula

Frascatula

Frascatula is a southern Italian classic especially revered in Calabria.   Frascatula can be best described as a porridge made with corn meal and closely resembling pollenta.   Our version features broccoli, Pecorino Romano, and extra virgin olive oil. We enjoy the velvety consistency of Frascatula as a main dish; accompanies by a rustic glass of red wine and perhaps a [...]

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Preparing and eating mushrooms can be either and an easy or difficult affair.  My Italian born parents, for example, are fans of wild mushrooms and go to great lengths to forage for exotic species and then pickle and preserve the delicacies.  On the other hand, I enjoy garden variety Shiitake mushrooms sauteed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil and plenty [...]