Latest Recipes and Articles

Philips Saeco Syntia Automatic Espresso Machine

Philips Saeco Syntia Automatic Espresso Machine

We have a love-hate relationship with super automatic espresso machines such as the Philips Saeco Syntia Automatic Espresso Machine (Type HD8833).  On the one hand, we love the idea of a big black box grinding, tamping, and brewing a true shot of espresso (something like a ristretto), yet in our heart of hearts we know there are no short cuts to […]

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Canned Pears (Pere Sciroppate)

Canned Pears (Pere Sciroppate)

Canned pears or pere sciroppate used to be a mainstay in most rural villages in Calabria (one of the southern most provinces in Italy) as were canned and preserved peaches and other fruits.  These days, you’re more likely to find supermarket canned fruit in the cupboards of most southern Italian kitchens, especially during the winter months when there is a lack of […]

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Friselle Bread

Friselle Bread

Friselle bread, at times referred to as freselle, frisedde, fresedde, frise, are made from durum wheat.  Friselle are baked twice and usually have a rough side and smooth side.  Friselle are found throughout all of Italy but especially popular in southern Italy (Apulia, Calabria, Campania, etc.).  Friselle have a very long shelf life and were especially popular during difficult, economic, […]

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Strozzapreti Pasta

Strozzapreti Pasta

Strozzapreti pasta is translated as “priest choker” and is an elongated form of cavatelli.  The legend has it that the priests of  Emilia-Romagna and the surrounding regions enjoyed the long pasta so much that they choked while eating it.  I can certainly understand eating strozzapreti quickly as it is, indeed, a delicious pasta. Strozzapreti is a fairly straight-forward pasta shape to make at […]

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Ciabatta Role with Tomato, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Fillets of Anchovies

Ciabatta Role with Tomato, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Fillets of Anchovies

We have a love-hate relationship with our local Trader Joe’s.  That is to say, we love some of their value based products such as organic milk, eggs, Greek yogurt, cereals, peanut butter, nuts, select breads, etc., but don’t care much for their fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, and meats/fish.  And by value based, I mean product quality is good enough given […]

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Hot Peppers: Pickling and Drying

Hot Peppers: Pickling and Drying

The Best Food Season of the Year and Hot Peppers: Pickling and Drying We can assert, without much doubt, that late August through early September is the best time of the year for fresh fruit and vegetables here in the United States.  Backyard gardens, local markets and farms (including ones participating in CSAs), and even large, chain, supermarkets, for example, carry […]

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Pickled Eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio)

Pickled Eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio)

Pickled eggplant (Melanzane Sott’Olio) has been a staple of our Italian American pantry for 40+ years.  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 of […]

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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 […]

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Family Style Eating: Hanger Steak Nicoise and Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Family Style Eating: Hanger Steak Nicoise and Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Family Style Eating: Hanger Steak Nicoise and Tomatoes and Mozzarella  I was giving some thought to formal dining at home the other day and specifically whether American families still sit down for formal, multi-course, meals?  During my childhood, our family often started  meals with a pasta or soup course followed by a family style meal including 3-4 dishes consisting of a […]

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Carpano Punt-E-Mes Red Vermouth

Carpano Punt-E-Mes Red Vermouth

Punt e Mes is an amaro-red (sweet) vermouth hybrid made by Carpano and the name means “point and a half” in the dialect from Turin.  The legend goes that a man ordered a glass of red vermouth and half dose of bitters and Antonio Carpano’s bar.   Punt e Mes is made with a variation of herbs and spices and […]

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