Tag Archives: Nana

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 […]

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Minestra di riso e cicoria

Minestra di riso e cicoria (Chicory and Rice Soup)

Chicory (cicoria in Italian) is one of my very favorite greens. It brings back memories of Angelina for whom cicoria and escarole were almost daily staples. Maybe that’s why she lived well into her 90s… A great weeknight dinner option, the recipe for this soup is very fast, very simple and very healthy. (If you […]

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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 […]

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Angelina’s Carciofi Imbottiti (Stuffed Artichokes)

It seems like the artichoke was designed for stuffing. That huge cavity in the middle surrounded by all those layered leaves make it a perfect receptacle for all sort of savories. No wonder there is an  almost endless variety of stuffed artichoke recipes.  Here is the way that Angelina made her stuffed artichokes: as always, […]

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Braciole alla napoletana (Neapolitan Beef Rolls)

Braciole—beef slices rolled up with a savory garlic, parsley and cheese filling—is one of those dishes common to both Italian-American and ‘real’  Italian cooking—of the Neapolitan variety. Italian-Americans will often add them to the pot when making “Sunday sauce”, but they are equally good on their own, simmered in tomato sauce. Unlike the long simmering […]

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Angelina’s pollo al forno con patate (Chicken with Potatoes)

The weather this Labor Day weekend hasn’t been too congenial for a cookout. It seems Mother Nature has been in a changeable mood, sunny for a while, then cloudy, then stormy, and hot and muggy the whole while. So I took the chicken I was meaning to grill indoors and gave it an old-fashioned treatment […]

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Angelina’s Pizza Dolce (Italian Cheesecake)

For most of us, pizza means just one thing: a round disk of dough topped with tomato, mozzarella and other goodies and baked in a hot oven. But the word ‘pizza’ can also refer to a sweet pie, typically made with ricotta and eggs, flavored with sugar and other things, called pizza dolce di ricotta. Angelina […]

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Chiacchiere (Fried “Ribbons”)

I wasn’t much on sweets even as a kid, but these little sugar-dusted ribbons of fried dough—variously known as chiacchiere, nastrini, stracci, cenci, frappe and a myriad of other names—were my one weakness in the sweets department. They are a traditional treat for Carnival, a time for over-indulgence, culinary and otherwise, getting in your ‘last […]

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How to Make a Frittata

One of the wonders of Italian cuisine is its incredible variety, and much of that variety comes from the mix-and-match nature of so many of its dishes. You take a staple base ingredient like rice or pasta, and you pair that with all sorts of flavoring ingredients and come up with literally hundreds of variations […]

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Struffoli!

  Struffoli, small balls of dough fried and then covered in honey, is the quintessential Christmas sweet of Naples and its region of Campania. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, it is very dear to my heart; it was one of nonna Angelina’s signature dishes, and it never failed to make an […]

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«Polpetielli» affogati (Stewed Baby Octopus)

Octopus is a popular food all around the Mediterranean basin and yet elsewhere it is often, for some reason, ‘controversial’. Many people who will happily scarf down fried calamari will shudder at the thought of eating its close cousin, which is too bad, because octopus is one of the finest fruits of the sea. When […]

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Parmigiana di melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)

Being a lover of good food, I find it almost impossible to answer the question ‘what’s your favorite dish?’ But if I had to, my answer would probably be eggplant parmesan–parmigiana di melanzane–the way Angelina used to make it. This is a simple dish to make, but it involves several steps. Allow yourself a good […]

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Pasta con la cicoria (Pasta with Chicory)

  Cicoria, or chicory, also known in English as ‘curly endive’, is a staple of the central and southern Italian diet, or at least so it was traditionally. People from Campania like Angelina were said to be especially fond of leafy green vegetables, so much so that they were sometimes called mangiafoglie, or ‘leaf eaters’ […]

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Spinaci ripassati in padella (Sautéed Spinach)

Here’s a ‘master recipe’ for one of the most common techniques in Italian cookery for preparing vegetables, particularly green, leafy vegetables. The technique is called rispassato in padella or saltato in padella which literally means ‘tossed in the skillet’ and could be translated simply as ‘sautéed’.   As an example, spinach is a good place […]

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Angelina’s Green Beans with Onions and Mint

Although our favorite way of having green beans when we were kids, especially in the summer, was in umido, or stewed with tomatoes, Angelina had another nice way of making green beans with sautéed onions and mint. As it turns out, at least according to this article, the recipe is from Puglia and is called […]

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Angelina’s Lasagna di Carnevale (Lasagna for Carnival)

Among Angelina’s generation, each of the female family members had a special dish that she was known for. My great-aunt, Angelina’s sister, who we called zi’-zi’ (loosely translated, ‘auntie’), was the ravioli specialist. Another great-aunt, zi’ Annin’,  was known as “the little pie-maker” and yet another specialized in calzone pugliese, which we used to call […]

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Angelina’s Fried Vegetables

I was feeling sort of nostalgic today for the fried vegetables my grandmother used to make. They were almost always the start of our family’s six-hour Sunday dinners, laid out (along with a big wedge of provolone) on the table to pick on as we played cards and waited for the main event. Hmmm, they […]

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A Word of Thanks

  Dear readers,  Just a quick word to let you know that Memorie di Angelina now has well over 2000 followers via email, readers and various social networks, up from 1500 only about a month ago. I wanted to express my sincerest thanks for your readership. It’s what makes the time and effort worthwhile! Angelina […]

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