Angelina and me


Dear Readers,

I would like to think of Memorie di Angelina as more of an online cookbook than a blog, a resource you can use really use as a reference as you would any other cookbook. The trouble is, the chronological structure of a blogging site is not really up to the task.

Although you will find here all the usual ways to access recipe posts just like any other food blog (see How to Use This Site) if this site is going to be as useful as I want it to be, I knew I needed to provide my readers, most especially those of you who may have only recently discovered Memorie di Angelina, with an easy way to browse through these recipes in the same way you might browse through a cookbook and, at the same time, get an overview of all the culinary ground we’ve covered so far. This Recipes tabs will hopefully fit that bill.

If you hover over the Recipes tab above, a drop down menu of pages will appear. Each page represents a category of recipes, listed in alphabetical order by main ingredient. The main categories follow the structure of a traditional Italian meal:

Antipasti: Literally meaning ‘before the meal’, these are small dishes that form the first course of a formal Italian meal. This type of dish is sometimes translated as hors d’oeuvre or appetizer, but antipasti are eaten at the table and, when included, are (despite the name) considered an integral part of the meal. Antipasti are usually reserved for special occasions, although many can double as primi, secondi contorni or snacks.

Primi piatti: Pasta, rice, soup, gnocchi and other farinaceous dishes that are the usual first course in a full Italian meal. This category is divided into sub-categories according to type, starting, of course, with the ne plus ultra of Italian cuisine, pasta.

Secondi piatti: The dishes that make up the second course of a full Italian meal, and can feature meat, fish or (less usually) vegetables. In English, we might be tempted to call this the ‘main’ course of the meal, but that concept does not apply in Italian food culture. The primo and secondo have equal standing in an Italian meal that includes both. This category is also divided into sub-categories according to the main ingredient, starting with beef.

Contorni and Salads: Vegetable side dishes and salads, usually served to accompany the secondo, salads are sometimes served as a separate course.

Desserts: You won’t find too many dessert recipes on this blog yet. Dessert, in our house, more often than not, is a piece or two of fresh fruit. But some of the more common home-style desserts are featured here, as well as some of my favorite frozen desserts.

Below these main categories, you will find pages for miscellaneous items that don’t fit well within any particular course (including sauces, baked goods, beverages and snack foods) as well as non-Italian dishes. As these categories grow, they may need to be sub-divided.

Some of the categories begin with one or more ‘master’ recipes that explain basic techniques that you will use in countless other recipes. The pasta sub-category, for example, begins with “Fresh Egg Pasta, How to Make”. These recipes (and a few others of particular importance) are in bold type. After the master recipes, you will find an alphabetical list of all the other recipes in that category or sub-category. You may notice recipes appearing more than once in the index, because a number of recipes (especially the vegetables) can do double or even triple duty. For example, insalata caprese is typically an antipasto, but it can also make for a light vegetarian secondo, so it is listed twice.

The names of recipes are listed in the original Italian, followed by a short English translation, sometimes a literal translation or, where that would only confuse things, a short description. The Italian name is hyperlinked [NB: coming soon!], so that clicking on the name of a recipe will open up the recipe post.

You will find a permanent link to this recipe index in the left-hand sidebar so that, in the future, you can easily get back here whenever you like. And, of course, from now on this index will be updated as new posts are added.

So, gentle Reader, you are cordially invited to dig in, look around, and perhaps discover some dishes that you may have missed. Hope you enjoy the visit!

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