Tag Archives: Spring

Costolette d’abbacchio fritte (Roman-Style Breaded Lamb Chops)

Unlike fruits and vegetables, one doesn’t often think of meats as having seasons, but I’ve always associated game with the fall, pork with winter, and lamb with the spring. And as it turns out, there is something to this. Lamb is generally at its most tender in May and June when the animal is still young. Italians generally don’t […]

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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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Spezzatino di vitello con piselli (Veal Stew with Peas)

You might not know it from the weather around here, but spring is finally here. And one of the great delights of this time of year in Italy is the appearance of tiny young vegetables the Italians call primizie. While in this era of year-round asparagus the seasons are not quite so discernible in our supermarkets, a few vegetables […]

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Quaglie coi piselli (Quail Braised with Peas)

I love chicken, but I find it a shame that so many people overlook all the other edible birds out there: duck, goose, turkey, pigeon, guinea fowl, Cornish hens and—last but not least—quail, just to name a few. Most of these can be hard to find these days, as supermarkets have, for the most part, […]

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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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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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Casatiello (Neapolitan Easter Bread)

One of my fondest taste memories from my childhood was a bread we used to call “Anzogna bread” (the name, I am told, is a dialect word for lard). My grandparents would buy it at a local bakery in the Italian neighborhood they lived in. These days, sadly, you can’t buy it any more. Italian […]

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Involtini di asparagi e pancetta (Asparagus and Pancetta Rolls)

 For a quick and easy, but elegant, starter or even a light main course, these little roll-ups of asparagus and pancetta (Italian bacon) are hard to beat. And it’s tasty, too!  Cured pork and asparagus is one of those taste combinations that were just meant to be. This is just one of any number of […]

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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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Risotto primavera (Springtime Risotto)

Well, Spring is finally here! All those lovely seasonal vegetables that are just beginning to arrive in the markets, the kind that Italians call primizie—asparagus, baby artichokes, fresh peas in their pods—are beginning to make their appearance in the local markets. There are so many ways to enjoy these vegetables, but one of the loveliest […]

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Asparagi alla milanese (Milanese-Style Asparagus)

Asparagi alla milanese, or Milanese-style asparagus, might just be the best known asparagus dish in the Italian repertoire. True to its Northern roots, it features butter and cheese, whose sweetness is the perfect offset to the somewhat astringent, slightly grassy taste of asparagus. A ‘sunny side up’ fried egg completes the dish. When eating, I […]

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Crocchette d’agnello e bieta (Lamb and Swiss Chard Croquettes)

About this time of year we often find ourselves facing the same culinary conundrum: what to do with leftover lamb? I have always thought that throwing food away was almost criminal, but, truth be told, it is hard to know what to do with leftover lamb. It tends to develop a strong and, to my […]

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Carciofi trifolati (Sautéed Artichokes)

The trifolati technique is one we’ve seen before on this blog. And although it is probably most often associated with mushrooms, you can make many different non-leafy vegetables using the same basic technique: slice it and sauté it in garlic and oil, and season with salt, pepper and finely chopped parsley. That’s all there is […]

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Co(s)tolette alla milanese (Milanese-Style Veal Chops)

  One of the pillars of Milanese cuisine, costoletta alla milanese (locally called cotoletta alla milanese) is nothing more than a breaded veal chop browned in butter. It’s so typical, in fact, of the cooking of Milan that if you just ask for ‘una milanese’ in a restaurant in Italy, this is what you’ll be […]

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Pinzimonio

  When things are really hectic at work, as they are now, even a hardcore food fanatic like myself doesn’t always feel like cooking. Or perhaps you’ve had a heavy lunch or midday dinner and feel like a light dinner. Or you’re looking for something to serve an easy and convivial antipasto to start a […]

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Pollo alla diavola (“Devil-Style” Chicken)

  Pollo alla diavola, or Devil’s Chicken, is a simple and delicious way to grill chicken.    Begin by butterflying a young chicken: cut away the chicken’s back bone with kitchen shears and spread the chicken flat, skin side up. Cover the chicken with a sheet of waxed paper and, with the bottom of a […]

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Risi e bisi (Venetian-Style Rice and Peas)

Sweet, fresh peas in their pods can be hard to find, but when I spotted some in a local market I grabbed them up to make a delicious Springtime dish from the Veneto: risi e bisi, or rice and peas in Venetian dialect. Although it resembles a risotto, the technique is quite different. Ingredients Base ingredients, […]

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