Archive for April, 2010

Why Food Experts Don’t Matter and the Philosophy of 30 Minute Meals

Why Food Experts Don’t Matter and the Philosophy of 30 Minute Meals

Recently, a heated food debate has surfaced between the dyed in the wool “food expert” Michael Ruhlman (he’s written some fine books on food, appeared on TV, and speaks at conferences) and the food philosophies espoused by celluloid FoodTV starts such as Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver.  In a Huffington Post article, Ruhlman argues that people should make the time [...]

How to Make Ricotta at Home: Ricotta Recipe

How to Make Ricotta at Home: Ricotta Recipe

Ricotta Recipe My first memory of ricotta wasn’t pleasant.  I remember thinking that the cheese was tasteless and had a consistency of something akin to white mud rather than some wonderful food concoction.  Fast forward about 20 years and I’m in love with ricotta (and the associated ricotta recipe) and value its subtle flavor profile and creamy texture (not to [...]

Chickpea and Brocolli Soup with Ditalini

Chickpea and Brocolli Soup with Ditalini

For many Italians, soup equals pasta; that is to say, a primo serving of soup in many Italian households includes some sort of pasta mixed in with Lentil, Peas, Chickpeas, etc. (or for example our Chickpea and Brocolli Soup with Ditalini recipe).  Adding a small amount of pasta to a soup increases the hardiness of any given soup dish and [...]

Recipe: Fried Egg Panino on Ciabatta with Rustic Chickpea Spread and Tomato

Recipe: Fried Egg Panino on Ciabatta with Rustic Chickpea Spread and Tomato

Ah, the humble sandwich or panino; two pieces of bread with some filling in between can be as vile as bologna on wonder bread or as elegant as prosciutto di Parma with extra virgin olive on slices of pane Pugliese.  My leanings, as you probably guessed, are toward the elegant side of the sandwich world.  I like pairing salty and [...]

National Arancini Day: May 1st 2010

National Arancini Day: May 1st 2010

  If you haven’t noticed I’ve been consuming a ton of pasta lately given the Scordo Pasta Challenge.  I’ve had everything from bucatani with olive oil and parsley to tripoloni with tomato sauce.   However, I’ve also been consuming another starch with equivalent joy, namely the almighty arancini or rice ball (click here for my recipe)!  And while my love [...]

On What Italian-Americans Can Teach You About Personal Finance: 10 Tips

On What Italian-Americans Can Teach You About Personal Finance: 10 Tips

Both of my parents were born in Southern Italy where unemployment is high and quality of life is superb. My mother, A., made it to the 7th grade and my father, T., recieved the equivalent of a technical high school diploma. Both of my parents immigrated to the US in 1975 and are currently debt free, own their own two-family [...]

Scordo Pasta Challenge – #23 Cencioni with Tomato Sauce

Scordo Pasta Challenge – #23 Cencioni with Tomato Sauce

With some spectacular weather here on the East Coast my mind turned to the outdoors the last week or so, hence the long stretch without a post (my apologies).   My latest pasta conquest centered on the Cencioni, a little known pasta from the Basilicata region of Italy.  Cencioni, or translated as “little rag”, is perfect for loose sauces.   Cencioni has [...]

Arancini Love or Rice Balls as Food Porn

Arancini Love or Rice Balls as Food Porn

Sometimes food photos are better than the actual food item.  I can wholeheartedly say, however, that when it comes to rice balls or Arancini the photos below look as good as they actually taste. You can find my recipe for Arancini here.  Enjoy a few photos of a recent rice ball extravaganza held in New Jersey and leave a comment [...]

How to Lead a Happy Life or Live Like an Italian

How to Lead a Happy Life or Live Like an Italian

At times, I think the political and cultural columnist David Brooks has a little bit of Mediterranean blood flowing through his body (regardless of his Anglo-Saxon appearance).  Time and time again Brooks puts together elegant arguments on the paradox of American living, why gun control is necessary, or, say, how most people struggle to find happiness.  While I don’t agree [...]

Scordo Pasta Challenge – #72 Linguine with Escarole, Garlic, Onion, Potato and Provola

Scordo Pasta Challenge – #72 Linguine with Escarole, Garlic, Onion, Potato and Provola

(photo: final product with a bit of extra provola and olive oil) When it comes to living life, I’m a sucker for both luxurious and practical things.  I’m equally comfortable driving a Honda or a Mercedes-Benz or living amongst nose-in-the-air snobs or dyed in the wool blue collar types.  I lean towards the practical and modest side of living, but who [...]