Archive for category: food philosophy

United States Food Culture, Food Reductionism, and the Evil Chris Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen

United States Food Culture, Food Reductionism, and the Evil Chris Kimball from America’s Test Kitchen

How I Learned to Cook Italian Food and Creative Cooking Like most Italians I learned to cook by watching my mother and grandmother prepare food in their home kitchens. And both woman cooked dishes that were driven by what their mothers cooked at home (and, if I had to guess, this tradition of learning how to cook at home goes [...]

Mario Batali Food Stamp Challenge and HBO’s ‘Weight of the Nation’

Mario Batali Food Stamp Challenge and HBO’s ‘Weight of the Nation’

Two news items caught our attention this week and we can’t help but offer our “two cents” on the following food related media events: Mario Batali’s food stamp challenge and HBO’s ‘Weight of the Nation’ Molto Forgets La Cucina Povera First, Mario Batali issued himself (and his family of four) a pragmatic food challenge; namely, “getting by” or feeding his family [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

Simple Italian Food: The Anatomy of a Dinner

  (photo: examples of simple Italian food: lentil soup, fennel and cucumber salad, and flounder with breadcrumb topping) We’re at a food crossroads in America and anyone who takes food seriously in the United States should consider themselves lucky to be living in today’s culinary world.  The food universe landscape in the United States is moving from the ultra bland [...]

The Scrumptious Pantry: Durum Wheat Rigatoni and Farfalle,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

The Scrumptious Pantry: Durum Wheat Rigatoni and Farfalle, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

(photo:Italian durum wheat pasta made by Carlo) When it comes to reviewing Italian products we’re pretty blunt and we’ve, unfortunately, offended a few Italian product manufacturers with not so positive feedback.  In fact, when companies approach us to review already prepared products we often turn them away for fear of writing yet another negative review.  In turn, many of our favorite [...]

Why Italian Food is Not Simple and a Pasta and Olive Oil Challenge Giveaway

Why Italian Food is Not Simple and a Pasta and Olive Oil Challenge Giveaway

  (photo: spaghetti chitarra with tomato sauce, ricotta, and peas; see below for recipe) The now immortalized copywriter turned French cook Julia Child remarked once that, “anyone can make a bowl of pasta but it takes a skilled chef to put out a fine French meal.”  You can imagine my reaction to the quote and my thinking on Child’s comment; namely, [...]

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, [...]

Restaurants Are Evil and Why Loving Food Means Cooking at Home

Restaurants Are Evil and Why Loving Food Means Cooking at Home

Cook More at Home, Duh Mark Bittman, the reductionist food critic and cookbook author, published an interesting op-ed in the New York Times recently (“Make Food Choices Simple: Cook”) where he argues, in a simplistic fashion, that you (viz., American consumer of food) should cook more so that you’re not overwhelmed with choices when it comes to what to put [...]

How to Have an Italian 4th of July and/or Labor Day

How to Have an Italian 4th of July and/or Labor Day

Let’s face it, without the many ethnic groups now a permanent part of the US fabric we’d all be living in a pretty bland and sterile environment.   Specifically, immigrants are at the heart of American life and they are what make our country so special.  If not, for example, the culinary traditions of recent immigrants to the United States we’d [...]