Archive for March, 2011

Kitchen Essential: The Food Mill or Passatutto

Kitchen Essential: The Food Mill or Passatutto

(photo: various food mills; ours is the top left above) How many of you own a food mill?  Uh-oh, I only see a few hands and I’m getting some quizzical looks!   OK, let’s jump out of the role play and get down to why I think everyone should own a food mill; after all, like a chef’s knife and a cutting board, the [...]

Italian Tuna Salad

Italian Tuna Salad

(photo: an Italian tuna sandwich with tomato salad prepared with Pace da Poggio Etrusco extra virgin olive oil) As many of you know we keep plenty of high quality tuna in olive oil in our Italian pantryat all times!  And we usually prepare our tuna in two ways: 1. as a stand alone salad to be consumed with olives, cheese, [...]

How to Make the Perfect Italian Salad Dressing

How to Make the Perfect Italian Salad Dressing

I always wanted to conduct research on the people of Calabria and get to the bottom of what makes people living in places like France, Spain, Greece, and Italy so healthy with long, healthy, lives.  There’s lots of anecdotal evidence pointing to stress level, diet, universal pensions, environment and climate, etc. and being the food obsessed we like to think diet [...]

Grilled Italian Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

Grilled Italian Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

  (photo: grilled Italian sausage in a spicy tomato sauce) Although my favorite way to prepare sausage is grilled on an outdoor barbecue with wood briquettes, simmering already grilled sausage in a spicy tomato sauce is a close second! The recipe is more than easy, it’s almost a non recipe; that is to say, something you can intuit very easily.  Here’s the [...]

Tomato Sauce Made from Pomodori Pelati, Homemade Ravioli, and La Castellina Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce Made from Pomodori Pelati, Homemade Ravioli, and La Castellina Olive Oil

  (photo: La Castellina extra virgin olive oil used to make handmade ravioli with tomato sauce) Every once in a while a particular recipe I’ve made hundreds of times tastes like something completely different.  For example, my wife Erin (who secretly does much of the cooking behind Scordo.com!) made a batch of tomato sauce and I quickly proclaimed it “the best sauce [...]

Homemade Nutella or Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Recipe

Homemade Nutella or Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Recipe

(photo: from left to right: processing the ingredients, toasting hazelnuts, final product) Nutella was invented in Italy in the 1940′s and was a response to the shortage of cocoa (given World War II) and a way to extend the chocolate supply in Italy.  The company, founded by Pietro Ferrero, used hazelnuts as the extender given the abundance of the nut in northwestern Italy.   [...]

Pasta with Ricotta, Tomato Sauce, and Parmigiano Reggiano

Pasta with Ricotta, Tomato Sauce, and Parmigiano Reggiano

One of our standard pasta dishes here at Scordo is Pasta with Ricotta, Tomato Sauce, and Parmigiano Reggiano.  Our  ricotta is often homemade (see our recipe) and the tomato sauce comes by way of our canned tomatoes.  The pasta condiment produced here is the ideal representation of tomato, rich cream, and hearty flavors (think of it as lasagna or pasta al [...]

Tagliolini e Tartufo with Butter, Olive Oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano: Scordo Pasta Challenge Pasta Shape #142A

Tagliolini e Tartufo with Butter, Olive Oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano: Scordo Pasta Challenge Pasta Shape #142A

(photo: Calugi tagliolini, about 1/2 pound) Tagliolini is another variety of tagliatelle that is long and cylindrical in shape.  Tagliolini are generally thinner in shape and more delicate than tagliatelle.   Recently, I was fortunate enough to try Calugi’s dry tagliolini from Cambiano Castelfiorentino situated between Livorno and Firenze in northwestern Italy.  Calugi makes their tagliolini with eggs and flour but adds [...]

Clara’s Kitchen – Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression Review

Clara’s Kitchen – Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression Review

A while back I wrote about my definition of the la cucina povera or the kitchen of the poor.  I view la cucina povera as a style of cooking centered on cooking with whatever, non bourgeois, ingredients are in the house.  My family in Calabria once cooked in the above manner (mostly due to economic reasons but also because what was “in [...]

String (Green) Beans Stewed in Tomato Sauce (Fagiolini in umido)

String (Green) Beans Stewed in Tomato Sauce (Fagiolini in umido)

(photo: green beans with tomatoes.) One of the most popular side dishes in Calabria is Fagiolini in umido or green beans stewed in tomato sauce.  The key to this very simple recipe is a good basic tomato sauce and fresh green beans (broad beans work as well).  This dish is a variation of our fried potato and broad bean recipe. Ingredients: [...]