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Pesto genovese (Genoese Basil Sauce)

I’m old enough to remember when pesto genovese, the Genoese basil sauce, was a novelty in the US. These days everyone knows about pesto, to the point where it’s become a stand-by, especially in the summer when fresh basil is everywhere. Truth be told, though, as common as it is, pesto is rarely well made in […]

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Carbonara vegetariana (Vegetarian Carbonara)

As a longtime resident of Rome, carbonara is one of my very favorite pastas, but in the warmer weather it can be a bit heavy. One way to lighten things up is to make a vegetarian carbonara: substitute the pancetta (Italian bacon) with a vegetable, typically zucchini, which has a natural affinity for eggs, as we’ve […]

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Le virtù (Abruzzese “Seven Virtues” Minestrone)

Le virtù, literally meaning “the virtues”, is the signature Spring dish from the town of Teramo in the Abruzzo region of Italy. This thick soup takes it name from the  Seven Virtues of Catholic catechism. Custom has it that you need 7 different legumes and 7 different vegetables to make it, plus, for the really […]

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Lasagne agli asparagi (Asparagus Lasagna)

  A good dish of lasagna is one of the most satisfying meals I can imagine. But, to be honest, a dish of classic lasagne alla bolognese can be a bit on the heavy side, especially as the weather gets warmer. That’s the beauty of vegetarian lasagne; if not exactly dietetic, they are lighter than […]

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Spaghetti alla carbonara

My grandmother Angelina never made it, as far as I can recall, but as a long-time resident of Rome I have a great fondness for la carbonara, one of the iconic dishes of Roman cooking. Together with bucatini all’amatriciana, you’ll find it on just about every menu in town. And it’s a popular dish to […]

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Bucatini all’amatriciana

It could be said that bucatini all’amatricana and spaghetti alla carbonara are the ‘Romulus and Remus‘ of Roman cooking. No two dishes typify the local cuisine better than these two yet, like the two founding brothers of the Eternal City, neither actually comes from the city of Rome itself. L’amatriciana, as the name suggests, comes […]

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Pasta con la ricotta (Pasta with Ricotta Cheese)

Pasta and ricotta make for a perfect impromptu meal or weekend dinner. The mellow flavor combination of tomato, ricotta and a bit of parmesan cheese is vaguely reminiscent of southern-style lasagna. But, like many simple pasta dishes, it’ll be done in less than 30 minutes—the time it takes to bring the water to the boil […]

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Carabaccia (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Carabaccia is an ancient soup, going back to the Renaissance. They say it was a favorite of Leonardo da Vinci—and that, as for so many other classic dishes,  the recipe was brought by Catarina de’  Medici to France, where it evolved into the soupe à l’oignon we all know and love today. You may be surprised at the […]

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Turkey Tetrazzini

The Tetrazzini family of dishes is hard to classify. Despite being a kind of baked pasta dish with an Italian name, it is most definitely not Italian. In fact, it’s not really even Italian-American, if you define that term as meaning the cooking of the Italian diaspora in America. At the end of the day, […]

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Pasta con la zucca alla napoletana (Pasta with Winter Squash, Naples-Style)

Pairing pasta and vegetables is common throughout Italy, but it is probably fair to say that no region puts so much emphasis on this classic combination as Campania, the southern Italian region from which Angelina hailed. Campanians are so associated with their love of vegetables that they used to jokingly be called mangiafoglie, or ‘leaf […]

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Orecchiette ai broccoletti (Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe)

A quick pasta dish with vegetables that you can whip up in less an 30 minutes, this (and a piece of fruit) make a fine supper—pretty typical of the kind of thing we like to eat in our house on a weeknight when there’s not much time to make dinner. The pasta is orecchiette or […]

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Lobster «Fra Diavolo»

As regular readers will know, it’s become a traditional here at Memorie di Angelina to feature an Italian-American dish every Columbus Day weekend. This year’s entry is Lobster Fra Diavolo, or “Brother Devil’s Lobster”. A distant cousin to Southern Italian seafood and pasta dishes like spaghetti allo scoglio, its pairing of what would be, in […]

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Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

Potato gnocchi are pretty filling, the kind of food you may associate with the cooler weather. But, in fact, you can enjoy gnocchi all year ’round. They are delicious with pesto, for example, or with a simple tomato sauce. In fact, one of the classic Campanian summer dishes is gnocchi alla sorrentina, or potato gnocchi […]

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How to Make Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Potato gnocchi are one of the easier types of ‘pasta’ to make at home and are most definitely worth the effort. The mini-hockey pucks that are sold commercially are, to put it bluntly, hardly worth eating—especially after you’ve tried the real thing. The best homemade potato gnocchi are as light and airy as a down pillow […]

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Crocchette di patate (Potato Croquettes)

Crocchette di patate are wonderfully versatile. They are probably most often served as an antipasto, but they can also do fine service as a lovely contorno, especially with fried meat or fish dish, or as part of a fritto misto, or as a first course instead of pasta, which is how we enjoyed them today, […]

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Calamarata con Salsiccia, Ricotta e Piselli (Calamarata Pasta with Sausage, Ricotta and Peas)

This was a dish I made up on the spot one day, finding a few stray links of  sausage and some leftover ricotta in my fridge, and some frozen peas at the bottom of the freezer, to serve as a condimento for pasta. The result was very good indeed–I thought I had stumbled on a […]

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Fettuccine «Alfredo»: The Original Recipe

Fettuccine «Alfredo» has a unique place in the multifaceted world of Italian cookery. The dish is famous in America and hardly known in Italy, but it is actually Italian, not Italian-American, at least originally. It was invented by Roman restauranteur Alfredo di Lelio, who—the story goes—invented it to suit his pregnant wife who had lost […]

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Tagliatelle agli asparagi

Tagliatelle alla crema di asparagi (Tagliatelle with Asparagus Purée)

Spring is a special time of year. There’s nothing that lifts a body’s spirits quite like the green shoots and gentle sun of spring. And then there’s the wonderful produce that starts to appear in our markets—tiny peas, artichokes, slender green asparagus, fava beans in their hefty pods, plump strawberries… Even in this age when […]

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