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Pesto genovese (Genoese Basil Sauce)

In pasta, primi piatti by Frank Fariello10 Comments

I’m old enough to remember when pesto genovese, the Genoese basil sauce, was a novelty in the US. These days everyone knows about pesto, to the point where it’s become a stand-by, especially in the summer when fresh basil is everywhere. Truth be told, though, as common as it is, …

Frank FarielloPesto genovese (Genoese Basil Sauce)
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Le virtù (Abruzzese “Seven Virtues” Minestrone)

In piatti unici, Soups by Frank Fariello2 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloLe virtù (Abruzzese “Seven Virtues” Minestrone)
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Lasagne agli asparagi (Asparagus Lasagna)

In pasta, primi piatti by Frank Fariello44 Comments

  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 …

Frank FarielloLasagne agli asparagi (Asparagus Lasagna)
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Cavolfiore in salsa di acciughe (Cauliflower in Anchovy Sauce)

In antipasti, contorno, secondi piatti by Frank Fariello6 Comments

A quick note with a recipe for what is probably the most versatile of winter vegetables: cauliflower. It lends itself to practically every cooking technique you can think of: steaming, braising, boiling, frying, baking, roasting… And its mild flavor lends itself to pairing with all sorts of other foods and …

Frank FarielloCavolfiore in salsa di acciughe (Cauliflower in Anchovy Sauce)
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Pasta con la zucca alla napoletana (Pasta with Winter Squash, Naples-Style)

In pasta, primi piatti by Frank Fariello26 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloPasta con la zucca alla napoletana (Pasta with Winter Squash, Naples-Style)
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Fagiolini in salsa di acciughe (Green beans in Anchovy Sauce)

In contorno by Frank Fariello7 Comments

Some people, I’m told, have an aversion to anchovies. That’s too bad, because it’s hard to think of a more savory “condiment” for your dishes. The ancient Romans used garum, a sauce derived from anchovies that still lives on today in the form of colatura, they way we use salt, …

Frank FarielloFagiolini in salsa di acciughe (Green beans in Anchovy Sauce)
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Gattò di patate (Potato “Cake”)

In antipasti, piatti unici, snack by franfajr39 Comments

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 …

franfajrGattò di patate (Potato “Cake”)
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Melanzane a funghetto (“Mushroom-Style” Eggplant)

In contorno by Frank Fariello15 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloMelanzane a funghetto (“Mushroom-Style” Eggplant)
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Cipolline in umido (Baby Onions Braised in Tomato Sauce)

In contorno by Frank Fariello31 Comments

Onions are everywhere in Italian cooking. They form part of the flavor base for just about every savory dish you can think of but, besides that, they make for a perfect contorno because they go with just about anything. The most common onion side dish is no doubt cipolline in agrodolce, …

Frank FarielloCipolline in umido (Baby Onions Braised in Tomato Sauce)
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Calzone di cipolla alla pugliese (Puglian Onion Pie)

In antipasti by Frank Fariello43 Comments

This dish brings back some of my fondest childhood food memories. Calzone di cipolla, or Puglian onion pie, is one of the signature dishes of the cuisine of Puglia. My grandfather Lorenzo hailed from a small town outside of Bari, the capital of Puglia, called Grumo Appula. His sister, whom …

Frank FarielloCalzone di cipolla alla pugliese (Puglian Onion Pie)
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Minestra di riso e cicoria (Chicory and Rice Soup)

In primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes, Soups by Frank Fariello11 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloMinestra di riso e cicoria (Chicory and Rice Soup)
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Risotto all’indivia belga (Risotto with Belgian Endive)

In primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes by Frank Fariello18 Comments

Risotto is one of my ‘go to’ dishes when I don’t feel like cooking anything elaborate. That may sound odd: risotto has a reputation for being a lot of work and easy to get wrong. And yes, when done badly, risotto can be a rather goopy mess. But it is …

Frank FarielloRisotto all’indivia belga (Risotto with Belgian Endive)
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Cipolle al forno (Baked Onions)

In contorno by Frank Fariello9 Comments

Where would we be without onions, I ask you? The onion and other members of the allium family provide the flavor base for practically every savory dish in the Italian repertoire. Countless dishes begin with the preparation of a soffritto which, almost always, includes onion. In fact, although it might …

Frank FarielloCipolle al forno (Baked Onions)
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Pasta e fagioli (Pasta and Beans)

In pasta, primi piatti, Soups by Frank Fariello24 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloPasta e fagioli (Pasta and Beans)
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Sformato di tonno (Baked Tuna Mold)

In antipasti by Frank Fariello10 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloSformato di tonno (Baked Tuna Mold)
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Carote al latte (Carrots Braised in Milk)

In contorno by Frank Fariello21 Comments

A fine side dish for roasted or braised meats, these carrots are a snap to make. Just combine baby carrots, milk, butter and seasonings and let them simmer together until the carrots are tender and the milk is fully absorbed. The milk brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots. …

Frank FarielloCarote al latte (Carrots Braised in Milk)
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Broccoli strascinati (Dry-Sautéed Broccoli)

In contorno by Frank Fariello11 Comments

One of things that most fascinates me about cooking is how a very slight change in technique, even using the same ingredients, will produce a very different end result. We’ve already explored on this blog the ripassare technique, perhaps the most common in central and southern Italian vegetable cookery, in …

Frank FarielloBroccoli strascinati (Dry-Sautéed Broccoli)
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Scarola aglio e olio (Sautéed Escarole)

In contorno by Frank Fariello14 Comments

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 …

Frank FarielloScarola aglio e olio (Sautéed Escarole)