• 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

    The Italian Pantry – 12 Ingredients To Keep In Your Kitchen

    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 Italian Pantry, in addition to [...]

  • 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

What We’re Reading: Comfort Food Doesn’t Exist, Interactive Seafood Guide, Why Science Improves Your Coffee, and It’s All GMO Anyway

What We’re Reading: Comfort Food Doesn’t Exist, Interactive Seafood Guide, Why Science Improves Your Coffee, and It’s All GMO Anyway

What We’re Reading – The Best of the Food Web Interactive seafood sustainability and guide – National Geographic has put together a great tool for sorting through varying types of fish in relation to health factors, sustainability, etc. Overview of the wonderful qualities of bitterness – Italians have embraced bitter foods and drink for hundreds of years, listen to this [...]

Marinated Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Marinated Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Marinated Stuffed Cherry Peppers Spicy and tangy, marinated stuffed cherry peppers with breadcrumbs are a marvelous, and versatile, side dish that elevates an ordinary sandwich or lunch of various small plates such as good cheese, salumi, bread, eggs, or a piece of simple fish.  You can find these peppers at most Italian delis but why overpay for a small container [...]

Lillet Negroni

Lillet Negroni

As of late it seems the Negroni has caught fire as the cocktail / aperitif of choice amongst discerning drinkers and eaters.  Mike Colameco, who hosts a popular NYC restaurant review show on PBS, raves about having a classic Negroni before each of his meals, for example.  The appeal of the Negroni (made traditionally with Campari, red vermouth, and gin) [...]

Sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed mushrooms

There are many elegant, yet simple, recipes that every home cook should master; for example, frittata, pasta with olive oil, garlic, and parsley, tomato salad, etc.  Sauteed mushrooms is another home cook essential that is easy to master after a few attempts and will make consistent appearances on your dinner table. Our sauteed mushrooms utilize any mushroom variety but we [...]

Rome: An Overview of the Ancient City

Rome: An Overview of the Ancient City

Rome: An Overview of the Ancient City Many experienced travelers who head to Italy strategically avoid Rome and the associated tourist herds and ancient ruins.  The logic goes that the ancient city is crowded, expensive, and not worth the hassle.  The truth is, however, that while one won’t find the tranquility of the Tuscan country side nor the exquisite beaches [...]

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Review

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Review

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (referred to under the brand name Nutella) has exploded in popularity as of late and if you walk into any grocery store you’re bound to find unlimited chocolate hazelnut spread options.  You see mentions of Nutella on social channels on an everyday basis and it seems as though some folks have adopted chocolate hazelnut spread as a [...]

Guide To Wood Burning Pizza Ovens And Fornos

Guide To Wood Burning Pizza Ovens And Fornos

Wood burning ovens are superb at many things including roasting meats, pizzas, breads, vegetables, etc. In fact, some of the very best food I’ve tasted has come out of our Aunt Giovanna’s olive wood fired oven in southern Italy (via her Panificio), including a wide variety of durum wheat breads. In fact, the very best breads in all of Italy [...]

How to Make Calzones

How to Make Calzones

Calzones originated in Naples and are essentially folded, individual, pizzas.   Calzones are made from pizza dough and are usually stuffed with ricotta and spinach, ham, mozzarella, salame, etc.  In many parts of Italy, calzones are made smaller and deep fried and often sold as street food (sometimes called, Panzerotti). Growing up in northern NJ, our local pizzeria offered two types [...]

Grilled Veal Chops

Grilled Veal Chops

Our grilled veal chops do not require any magic methods or fancy rubs.  We start with the best veal we can find and leave the meat at room temperature for 20-40 minutes and thereafter apply plenty of Kosher salt and coarse freshly crack black pepper to all sides of the veal chop.  We always aim to grill outdoors for that [...]

Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing

As I’ve stated in the past, much of what we cook at home is what I like to call “ad hoc” cooking; that is to say, I usually go the market and buy what looks fresh and is moderately priced. I, of course, have a standard list of items I purchase on a weekly basis but when it comes to [...]