Latest Recipes and Articles

Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce)

Sweet and Sour Eggplant (Melanzane in Agrodolce)

Our standard pickled eggplant recipe, or  Melanzane Sott’Olio, is a staple in our household, but when we crave a slightly more refined version, with a bit less work, we turn to sweet and sour eggplant or melanzane in agrodolce. Most melanzane in agrodolce begin by frying the eggplant but our version includes a quick boil and steeping technique that yields wonderfully delicate […]

Read more ›
Chicken Broth (Brodo di Pollo)

Chicken Broth (Brodo di Pollo)

The best broths usually contain chickens that have been butchered with fully attached heads and feet; this little known fact was made abundantly clear to me when I asked my grandmother when she would be removing these parts after slaughtering chickens for a large family meal (I won’t elaborate on her response but you can take a guess).   The simple idea […]

Read more ›
What We’re Reading: Merits of Home Cooking, Pasta alla Norma, Pizza, CVap, Master Pasta Class, Why Food Matters

What We’re Reading: Merits of Home Cooking, Pasta alla Norma, Pizza, CVap, Master Pasta Class, Why Food Matters

For cheap, healthy diet, know how to cook – sent to us via our friend Dr. K. this is a great article from Philly.com that is research based and firmly concludes that, “Those who know how to cook are at a distinct advantage when it comes to nutrition on the cheap.” Pasta alla Norma – a link sent to us […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›
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, […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›
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 […]

Read more ›