Archive for category: appetizer

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 [...]

Bellini

Bellini

For us, nothing beats the elegance and sensation of starting a meal with a glass of lovely prosecco from the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy.  Prosecco is a sparkling wine and made from the “prosecco” grape; production is made possible via the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks (this process makes prosecco [...]

Eggplant Fritters (Polpette di Melanzane)

Eggplant Fritters (Polpette di Melanzane)

The silver dollar sized eggplant fritters or Polpette di Melanzane pictured above are, at times, referred to as eggplant meatballs or patties and are made with a few basic ingredients, including fresh breadcrumbs, roasted or boiled eggplant, and good grated cheese (viz., Parmigiano-Reggiano).  Our mother Annunziata is an expert Eggplant Fritter maker which requires the ability to pan fry foods with [...]

Focaccia Pizza

Focaccia Pizza

My sweet grandmother (or Nonna Rosa) taught me some invaluable lessons about cooking at home and at the top of her list of practical cooking advice is the seminal claim: learn to love your toaster oven.  Yes, the often misunderstood kitchen appliance confined to summer cabins and the senior citizen set was the kitchen tool of choice for Nonna.  Why [...]

Pickled Eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio)

Pickled Eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio)

Pickled eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio) has been a staple of our Italian pantry ever since I can remember.  Along with giardiniera (a mix of pickled vegetables including carrots, cauliflower, celery, etc.) sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, and pickled mushrooms, our family keeps large quantities of pickled eggplant in our cool, basement, pantry.  We use both melanzane sott’olio and giardiniera (and all [...]

Salt Cod Fritters Frittelle di Baccala

Salt Cod Fritters Frittelle di Baccala

You can make fish fritters out of most any fish (including the leftover kind), but our favorite is Salt Cod Fritters or Frittelle di Baccala  We like salt cod because it shreds or flakes easily and has a wonderful salty flavor profile that lends itself well to the frying method. Dried and salted “salt cod” is sold in whole pieces [...]

Olive Tomato Tapenade

Olive Tomato Tapenade

Olive Tomato Tapenade Tapenade has its origins in the south of France and usually consists of finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies, and extra virgin olive oil.  In Provence, tapenade is spread on thin toast or bread and is consumed as a light snack or hors d’œuvre. Our black olive and tomato tapenade recipe is a variation of our standard tomato [...]

Antipasto Ideas and Why We Cook and Blog: Eggplant and Ricotta Bruschetta, Olives, Salumi, Cheese, and Pickled Mushrooms

Antipasto Ideas and Why We Cook and Blog: Eggplant and Ricotta Bruschetta, Olives, Salumi, Cheese, and Pickled Mushrooms

Cook to Blog or Cook to Live and Enjoy Life? When we cook and have friends and family over the last thing we want to do is document the process (and take photos).   This may sound sacrilegious coming from a food blogger, but it’s the truth.  For us, preparing and consuming food is not about pictures and words but rather about eating [...]

Negroni

Negroni

Have you ever dreamed of being an Italian Count? You know, a fancy aristocrat with an ocean-side villa, a butler, and a few exotic Maserati’s and Ferrari’s in the “stable?” I have to admit I’ve had a few of these Italophile inspired dreams, but I’m quite happy living the Italian life in the US. There is one particular Italian Count [...]

Best Canned Sardines

Best Canned Sardines

Best Canned Sardines We love, high quality, canned fish and we think they are one of the culinary world’s secret weapons, especially when a home cook doesn’t have access to a wide variety of fresh fish.  In fact, in our book we’d rather consume superb salt/olive oil cured sardines, anchovies, tuna, etc. than a fresh fish like Talapia any day [...]