Tag Archives: fish

A Neapolitan Christmas: Capitone fritto (Fried Eel)

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without fish, and capitone, or eel is one of the most popular choices in Italy, where the tradition goes back for millennia. While eel is almost unheard of in the US outside sushi circles, there’s a good reason for its popularity: eel has a meaty flavor and firm texture that even […]

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Sformato di tonno

Sformato di tonno (Baked Tuna Mold)

A sformato, which literally means ‘unmolded’ is something like a soufflé without the puff: the main ingredient is mixed with a very stiff béchamel sauce and eggs, then baked in a mold until set. But since the eggs are left whole rather than separated and the whites whipped, a sformato only rises ever so slightly […]

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Astice alla griglia (Grilled Lobster)

  It seems I can’t get enough of grilled seafood! We’ve already featured grilled fish, grilled mollusk and grilled cephalopod, so let’s complete the series with grilled crustacean, which may be the most delicious of them all. Here in the US, we are blessed with an abundance of lobster and, much to the chagrin of […]

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Quick Note: Vongole alla brace (Grilled Clams)

I don’t know about you, but even for an inveterate cooking enthusiast like myself, the dog days of summer take their toll. I like to keep time spent over a hot stove to a minimum, so I turn to lots of quick and easy dishes that need little or no application of heat. Last night, […]

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Pasta al pesce spada (Pasta with Swordfish)

This is the kind of carefree pasta dish that, for me, typifies summer eating. The recipe is quick –you can make the condimento (sauce) in the time it takes for you to bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta–and precise measurements hardly matter at all. (The ones indicated here are really just […]

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Spaghettini al caviale di salmone (Thin Spaghetti with Salmon Roe)

Elegant cooking doesn’t need to mean complicated. Here’s a pasta dish that you can whip up in the time it takes for the water to come to a boil and the pasta to cook—yet it is fancy enough for the most important or better yet, intimate of dinners: thin spaghetti dressed with a creamy shallot […]

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Pesce al forno con patate e carciofi (Roasted Fish with Potatoes and Artichokes)

Fish and vegetables are a fabulous combination. We’ve already posted about fish and potatoes—a classic–as well as the less well-known fish and fennel. Now that spring is here, let’s take a look at another great pairing: fish and artichokes. Like the other combinations we’ve seen, the method is very simple: braise the vegetables on top […]

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Sautè di cozze (Steamed Mussels)

When we were living in Rome, there was a great little roadside restaurant close by called “Il Cantuccio”. They made a number of dishes well, but one of our standbys was sautè di cozze, literally “mussel sauté”. They are, in fact, an Italian version of that near universal dish: steamed mussels. I like the conviviality […]

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Pesce spada al salmoriglio (Swordfish with Salmorigio Sauce)

Salmoriglio is a typically Sicilian sauce that adds great flavor to fish, particularly that most typical of Sicilian fishes, swordfish. The fish is grilled or otherwise simply prepared and napped with sauce before serving. Salmoriglio looks like and plays a culinary role similar to the salsa verde that goes so well with bollito (boiled meats), adding […]

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Filetti di pesce al finocchio (Fish Fillets with Braised Fennel)

Where would Italian food in the US be without Marcella Hazan? As much as I treasure my Campanian and Puglian food roots, I am forever thankful for the horizons that Marcella’s 1973 Classic Italian Cooking opened up for me. And even almost 40 years later, she continues to inspire. Here is my take on a […]

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Cioppino, an Italian-American Classic

 As regular readers will know, this blog is focused on authentic Italian home cooking, the kind that you might eat in Italy itself. But it is also, in some sense, about the Italian diaspora, so it is only fitting that, from time to time—at least once a year—we feature an Italian-American dish, and Columbus Day […]

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Fregola con arselle (Sardinian Couscous with Baby Clams)

Fregola (also called fregula) is a kind of pasta, typical of Sardinia, that looks and tastes much like Israeli couscous. Arselle are tiny clams that live under the sand right on the shore line. Although you might be surprised by the pairing, this odd couple makes for some delicious eating. Ingredients (to serve 4-6 people) […]

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Pesce al forno con patate (Oven Roasted Whole Fish with Potatoes)

Just a few weeks ago we looked at my grandmother’s pollo e patate (chicken and potatoes) and last year it was agnello e patate (lamb and potatoes). Well, fish is also exquisite oven-roasted with potatoes as well, and while the chicken and lamb were ‘down home’ dishes pesce al forno con patate is elegant enough to serve for a […]

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Pane Burro e Acciughe (Bread Butter and Anchovies)

I don’t know about you, but when temperatures rise into triple-digits (on the Fahrenheit scale) as they have lately in much of the Northern Hemisphere, even my enthusiasm for cooking begins to lag. That, and our impeding house move, has meant that any cooking that I do indulge in these days is as quick as […]

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Baccalà mantecato (Baccalà Purée)

A not-so-distant cousin of Provençale brandade de morue, baccalà mantecato is one of the signature dishes of Venetian cuisine and a staple of those wonderful hidden-away Venetian bacari, or wine bars. The name of the dish comes from the verb mantecare, which is a culinary term meaning to ‘beat’ or ‘whip’ or simply to ‘stir vigorously’ […]

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Branzino al sale (Branzino Baked in Salt)

This will be a short post as I’ve come down with a nasty cold. No matter, since this is a short and simple recipe anyway, another example of the sublime simplicity of Italian cookery, sea bass roasted in salt. Yes, that’s what I said. Not to worry, the end result is not too salty at […]

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Quick Note: Brandade Pancakes

The new year brought a rush of activity that had made it hard to keep up with my blogging ‘duties’, but here is quick note on a nice idea for ‘recycling’ leftover brandade: just mix it up with an egg or two, give it a grind or two of black pepper and perhaps a bit […]

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Bagna cauda

Bagna cauda or, more properly, bagna caôda, means ‘hot sauce’ in English. It refers to a typical Piedmontese dish for communal eating that is popular in cold weather months, a kind of cross between fondue and pinzimonio, if I can put it that way. It is, quite simply, a collection of raw and steamed vegetables, […]

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