Tag Archives: Campania

Zucchine «a scapece» (Piquant Fried Zucchini)

There are four quintessential Italian summer vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Of these, zucchini seems to get the least respect, maybe because zucchini plants are so incredibly prolific. New zucchini can literally sprout from one day to another, and the production—especially around now, in high summer—can really get out of hand. I remember that one year […]

Continue Reading

Babà (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

I remember this indulgently delicious rum-soaked Neapolitan dessert from my childhood, when it made frequent appearances on the Sunday dinner table along with other typical southern Italian sweets. The last time I had babà, kind of rum cake, was around 2003 in Naples, in a caffè in the Galleria Umberto I. It was, needless to […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Gattò di patate (Potato “Cake”)

Another example of the French Bourbon legacy in Neapolitan cooking, this gattò—from the French gateau—is a savory ‘cake’ made of mashed potatoes enriched with eggs, butter and grated cheese, a mixture you may remember from our recipe for crocchè di patate (Potato Croquettes). The filling for this cake is a combination of cheeses and cured […]

Continue Reading

Melanzane a funghetto (“Mushroom-Style” Eggplant)

Don’t let the name of this dish fool you, there are no mushrooms in melanzane a funghetto, also known by its Neapolitan dialect name, melanzane «a fungetiello» The name refers to the way in which the eggplant is cooked, reminiscent of the classic sautéed mushrooms. Like so many of the summer dishes from Campania we’ve […]

Continue Reading

Pollo all’ischitana (Ischia-Style Chicken)

After last week’s look at gnocchi alla sorrentina, Sorrento’s classic gnocchi dish, let’s travel across the Bay of Naples to the lovely island of Ischia. During our years in Rome, Ischia was one of our favorite spots for a getaway from the city. A bit less touristy and more rustic than its more famous “sister” island […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Taralli dolci, or “Nana’s Cookies”

This is a recipe near and dear to my heart. It was one of Angelina’s signature dishes. When I was a kid, our family called these “Nana’s Cookies”, and I really thought that only my nana made them. Well, just as I found out that the honey balls Angelina made for Christmas were  actually called […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

Mozzarella in carrozza (Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches)

Don’t know about you, but I love cheese. Just about any kind. In our house we tend to eat more cheese during the cool winter months, but the arrival of warm weather doesn’t mean we give up cheese altogether. Far from it. Rather, aged cheese tends to give way to fresh cheeses like ricotta and—especially—mozzarella. […]

Continue Reading
Pizza rustica

Pizza rustica (Easter Cheese and Salumi Pie)

Today is Pasquetta, or ‘Little Easter’, known in English as Easter Monday. A holiday in Italy and much of Europe, folks traditionally take to the roads to drive out to the countryside and enjoy a fresh air picnic. In Campania and elsewhere, one favorite item in the Pasquetta picnic basket is the pizza rustica, literally […]

Continue Reading

Minestra maritata (The Original “Wedding Soup”)

“Wedding soup” is a popular Italian-American dish made with escarole and tiny meatballs simmered in chicken broth and adorned with small pasta, typically of the tiny acini di pepe (or “peppercorn”) type. It is so popular, in fact, that it has been marketed as a canned soup by Progresso under the funny name “Chickarina Soup“. Italian-Americans […]

Continue Reading

Sartù di riso (Neapolitan Rice Timbale)

When we think of Neapolitan cooking—and southern Italian cooking in general—we think of pasta and pizza. So it may come as a surprise that one of the most emblematic dishes of Neapolitan cooking is actually a rice timbale, the sartù di riso. The word sartù, the story goes, is an Italianized version of the French phrase […]

Continue Reading
Pasta e fagioli

Pasta e fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

Pasta e fagioli, or pasta and beans, which goes by the amusing nickname ‘pasta fazool‘ in Italian-American slang, is one of the most internationally famous dishes in the entire Italian repertoire.  It is, however, a victim of its own success, and is too often made badly, very badly, which is why I would never order […]

Continue Reading

Pizza di scarola (Escarole Pie)

The word pizza in Italian has a broader meaning than it does in English. Besides the savory disk we all know and love, it also refers to both savory and sweet confections that we would likely call ‘pies’ in English, including Angelina’s pizza dolce, which doesn’t even have a crust. Then there’s the classic pizza rustica, […]

Continue Reading

Scarola aglio e olio (Sautéed Escarole)

One of the oldest nicknames for the people of Campania was mangiafoglie, or ‘leaf eaters’, because they were known for their prodigious consumption of leafy green vegetables. It was probably a matter of necessity as much as preference back in the day. Wander around just about any open piece of land in Italy and you’ll […]

Continue Reading

Pizzette fritte (Little Fried Pizzas)

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: is there anything more primally satisfying than fried dough? If there is, I haven’t come across it yet. The Neapolitans have come up with all sorts of tidbits made from fried dough, of which we’ve already seen two examples, zeppole and calzoncini, where the dough acts as […]

Continue Reading

Calzoncini napoletani (Neapolitan Fried Turnovers)

It probably won’t come as a surprise that Neapolitan cooks have come up with a vast variety of ways to fry and bake dough. Pizza is, by far, the most famous internationally, but there is much more to the Neapolitan repertoire. In fact, in her masterwork, La cucina napoletana, Jeanne Caròla Francesconi devotes a whole […]

Continue Reading
Ping