Archive for December, 2011

Pane in Cassetta (Grilled or Toasted Panino) with Prosciutto di Parma, Cheese, and Pane Pugliese

Pane in Cassetta (Grilled or Toasted Panino) with Prosciutto di Parma, Cheese, and Pane Pugliese

One of the most ubiquitous panini (plural for sandwich) in all of the Italy is prosciutto and cheese.  In fact, I made so many of the aforementioned panini in Italy one summer (helping Zia Teresa in her small shop) I thought all Italians survived on prosciutto (or prosciutto cotto <steam cooked Parma ham>) and cheese alone. Italian’s fascination with panini are easily understand and well placed when [...]

Italian Olives: Taggiasca and Castelvetrano

Italian Olives: Taggiasca and Castelvetrano

(photo:  The lovely Taggiasca olive from Liguria in northwestern Italy)  We often talk about the importance of the Italian pantry and how critical it is to have certain staple ingredients in your kitchen at all times.  Keeping a well stocked pantry means you’ll never starve, order out, and be relegated to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.  Among the universal items we keep [...]

Italian Christmas Food Photos

Italian Christmas Food Photos

(photo: fish salad made with octopus, shrimp, squid, scungilli, and scallops; choose just a few fish for a good fish salad) We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and spent quality time with their friends and family!  We cooked a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner and wanted to share our photos with you, including pictures of our dinner antipasto [...]

Italian Christmas Foods

Italian Christmas Foods

Italian Christmas Foods - An Food Guide to an Italian Christmas At this point in the holiday frenzy, you’re either preparing to host a holiday party or you’ve been invited to a Christmas Eve / Day dinner or lunch.  If you’ve been invited to dinner then get down on your knees and pray the host can cook!  If you’re hosting Christmas [...]

Zucchini & Squash Risotto with Roasted Pork Chops (Risotto alla Zucchine / Cucuzza con Braciola di Maiale)

Whenever I meet folks and I tell them I’m interested in food and cooking the inevitable question follows: “so, what do you cook?”  Before I answer I often pause and aim to think of luxurious ingredients and extraordinary dishes, but I always end up describing some variation of a pasta, soup, and/or risotto dish.  I qualify my answer by blurting [...]

What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading

  (photo: salt cod in Spain.  thanks to thekitchn.com for the photo)   NY Times Dining and Wine – What a concept: bring your mother to America so she can make pasta at your restaurant (slave labor or love?). Saveur – Pictures of Italy during Christmas from a magazine that adores Italian food and life. Food and Wine – How [...]

Memories of Saffron (Zafferano): Risotto Milanese

Memories of Saffron (Zafferano): Risotto Milanese

(photo: our saffron “threads” just prior to adding to the cooking broth for Risotto Milanese) Saffron (or Zafferano) has always had a special place in my heart; more specifically, it’s had a special place in my memory.  I associate saffron with my childhood and the yellow arborio rice my mother prepared for me on special occasions (viz., any time I asked for it [...]

Italian Truffles (Tartufi)

Italian Truffles (Tartufi)

  (photo: the highly prized white truffle – courtesy of Alma Gourmet) Truffle Primer  One of my favorite aspects of visiting Italy in the Summer and Fall months is the abundance of festivals scattered throughout the country.  In Calabria alone, for example, the summer months include food festivals focused on bread, salt cod, wild boar, eggplant, red chiles, potato, etc. [...]