Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Frankantipasti, Campania, Liguria, Sicilia, Veneto24 Comments

Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Octopus seems to be enjoying something of a boomlet in popularity at the moment. Until very recently I could mostly find fresh octopus only at specialty Spanish or Italian fishmongers, but these days it seems to be everywhere, even making an occasional appearance at the fish counter in my local … Read More

Melanzane a scapece (Marinated Eggplant)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno58 Comments

Melanzane a spapece (Marinated Eggplant)

In Neapolitan cookery, the term scapece generally refers to an ancient method for preserving fish or vegetables. The main ingredient is generally fried in olive oil and marinated with garlic, mint and vinegar. We’ve already featured zucchini a scapece, perhaps the best known of this class of dishes. Today’s scapece recipe from Francesconi’s … Read More

Frittelle di pasta cresciuta con zucchine (Zucchini Fritters)

Frankantipasti, Campania, snack42 Comments

Pasta cresciuta con le zucchine (Zucchini Fritters)

Who doesn’t like fried dough? Certainly no Neapolitan I know. Neapolitan cookery is replete with all sorts of frittelle, or fritters, made from dough. World-renowned zeppole are a favorite treat at street fairs, and for good reason. And the lesser known fried pizzelle fritte and calzoncini are just as delicious. Today we’ll look at … Read More

Bucatini alla Caruso

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti51 Comments

Bucatini alla Caruso

They say that tenor Enrico Caruso came up with this dish. Caruso, a native of Naples, had a love-hate relationship with his home town. After he was booed at a performance early in his career, he never appeared on stage again in his native city, saying he would return only … Read More

Saltimbocca alla sorrentina

FrankCampania, secondi piatti22 Comments

Saltimbocca alla sorrentina

Chances are, if you know anything about Italian food, you’ve heard of saltimbocca alla romana, veal scallops sautéed in butter with prosciutto and sage, then simmered in white wine. It’s a simple dish, full of robust flavor like much Roman cookery. But not as many people know its southern cousin, saltimbocca … Read More

Fusilli primavera

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti37 Comments

Fusilli primavera

I had always thought of “Pasta Primavera” as a modern American invention, probably a product of the rage for “northern Italian” food in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember reading about it years ago in some gourmet magazine and asked Angelina to make me it for me. “What’s that?” she replied … Read More

Pastiera Napoletana

FrankCampania, dessert30 Comments

Pastiera

It wouldn’t be a proper Easter dinner in Naples without a pastiera napoletana for dessert, as essential to the Neapolitan Easter as struffoli are to Christmas. This wheatberry and ricotta pie is wonderfully perfumed with orange blossom water, cinnamon and candied fruits, a kind of ne plus ultra version of the … Read More

Migliaccio di semolino (Semolina Cake)

FrankCampania, dessert38 Comments

Migliaccio (Semolina Pie)

Migliaccio, a crustless Neapolitan Semolina Cake, is a traditional sweet dish for Carnevale, may be less well known than the more iconic Neapolitan Carnival treats like those fried dough ribbons called chiacchiere or the lasagna di Carnevale so dear to the hearts of so many Italian-Americans, but it’s well worth discovering. … Read More

Struffoli (Angelina’s Honey Balls)

FrankCampania, dessert77 Comments

Stuffoli

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 … Read More

Spaghetti alla Nerano

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti48 Comments

Spaghetti alla Nerano

We’ve featured pasta and zucchini before, but this celebrated dish from the Sorrento peninsula is a bit more elaborate and intriguing. Spaghetti alla Nerano, named after the beach town where it originated, could be the child that your basic pasta and zucchini would have if it got married with a cacio e pepe. … Read More

Melanzane al cioccolato (Chocolate Eggplant)

FrankCampania, dessert36 Comments

Melanzane al cioccolato (Chocolate Eggplant)

Chocolate Eggplant? It sounds like a culinary joke or some newfangled fusion dish. In reality, melanzane al cioccolato is a perfectly orthodox if unusual dish from Campania, more specifically the Amalfi coast, traditionally made for the Ferragosto holiday on August 15. I have to admit, although I had heard of this … Read More

Zucchine cacio e uova (Zucchini with Egg and Cheese)

FrankCampania, contorno, secondi piatti32 Comments

Zucchine cacio e uova

Zucchini and eggs were meant for each other. They are found together in a whole assortment of Italian dishes, perhaps most notably as a frittata. Zucchini cacio e uova is another example of this pairing, where the zucchini rather than the eggs star.  Zucchini is sautéed with onion and perhaps a … Read More

Angelina’s Polpettone (Angelina’s Meatloaf)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti41 Comments

Angelina's Polpettone

Yes, Italians make meatloaf. They call it polpettone, or a ‘big meatball’, which is, in fact, what it is if you think about it. It’s made from essentially the same mixture of minced beef and pork (and optionally veal), lightened with bread and flavored with garlic, cheese and parsley that you would use to make … Read More

Agnello e piselli (Lamb and Peas)

FrankCampania, Puglia, secondi piatti26 Comments

Lamb and Peas

I love second courses that pair meat and vegetable in a single dish. Not only is the combination invariably delicious, but it saves the cook from making an extra dish. In this speciality from Puglia and Campania, lamb—the ne plus ultra of spring meats—is paired with peas—one of the classic … Read More

Alici indorate e fritte (Fried Fresh Anchovies)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti16 Comments

Batter Fried Fresh Anchovies

When they think of anchovies, most people, at least here in the US, think of salt-cured anchovy fillets packed in oil. If you’re a bit more au fait with Italian cookery, you may even know about anchovies sotto sale, or packed in salt. You may also know cured anchovies are a fantastic way to … Read More

Baccalà lesso (Boiled Salt Cod)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti22 Comments

Baccalà lesso

Lent—la Quaresima in Italian—is the roughly six week period on the Catholic calendar between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Traditionally a period of self-sacrifice and fasting, in the old days the faithful were expected to abstain from eating meat and rich foods, and live on simple vegetable, fish and grain dishes. A whole range … Read More

Cicoria e fagioli (Chicory and Beans)

FrankCampania, contorno, piatti unici, primi piatti, Soups44 Comments

Chicory and beans (Cicoria e fagioli)

Chicory and Beans is one of those lean dishes that Angelina practically lived on weekdays. Like many good southern Italians, she was what we might call today a ‘flexitarian‘—living mostly on vegetables, saving meat for Sundays and other special occasions. Her lunch would often consist of chicory or escarole or some other … Read More

Jeanne Caròla Francesconi: La Cucina Napoletana

FrankCampania, reference33 Comments

Jeanne Carola Francesconi

As I’ve written many times, Jeanne Caròla Francesconi (b. 1903, d. 1995) is my muse for Neapolitan cookery—apart from my grandmother Angelina, of course. And I’m certainly not alone. Often called the doyenne of Neapolitan cuisine, her classic 1965 work, La Cucina Napoletana, is the most iconic cookbook on the subject, perhaps second … Read More

Impepata di cozze (Peppered Mussels)

Frankantipasti, Campania, secondi piatti20 Comments

Impepata di cozze (Peppered Mussels)

Here’s a recipe that’s so simple you could call it a non-recipe: impepata di cozze, or Peppered Mussels. To make this  Neapolitan classic, you simply steam mussels in their own juices with nothing but generous amounts of freshly ground black pepper. Garnish them, if you like, with some chopped parsley and lemon … Read More

Peas and Eggs (Piselli cacio e uova)

FrankCampania, contorno, Italian-American, piatti unici, primi piatti, secondi piatti, Soups27 Comments

Peas and Eggs

Columbus Day is right around the corner, and as regular readers know, that’s the occasion each year for us to feature a classic Italian-American dish. This year we’re sharing an old family recipe, one that I’m sure will be familiar to many readers “of a certain age”: Peas and Eggs. … Read More

Fritto misto di mare

FrankCampania, secondi piatti33 Comments

Fritto misto di mare

There’s a saying in Italian: fritte son bone anche le scarpe, meaning “even a shoe tastes good when it’s fried”. Well, I’ve never actually tried fried shoe, but I couldn’t agree more when it comes to seafood. It tastes especially delicious when it’s fried—good enough to convince even the piscatorially … Read More

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti18 Comments

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

If you’ve ever had occasion to read the 4th century Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, popularly known as Apicius, you will have noticed that an ingredient called garum seems to make it into just about every savory dish, and even some sweet ones. Garum—a condiment made from fermenting fish—was a common ingredient back … Read More

Caponata napoletana

Frankantipasti, Campania, summer33 Comments

Caponata napoletana

Italian cookery can be confusing. As we’ve talked about before, it’s highly regional and even local, so much so that some people say that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine. I don’t agree, but it is true that there are amazing differences between regions, especially as you travel … Read More

Homemade Limoncello

Frankbeverage, Campania, summer28 Comments

Homemade Limoncello

Everyone likes limoncello. For me, just a sip brings back memories of summer and sand and seafood by the shore. The best limoncello exquisitely balances the pungency of lemon zest and the sweetness of sugar, with just an intriguing hint of bitterness. The quality of commercial limoncello can vary wildly. (I know … Read More

Pasta e patate (Pasta and Potatoes)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti20 Comments

Pasta and potatoes

To many people the idea of pairing pasta and potatoes comes as a shock. Carbs with carbs? And in these carb-phobic times, it’s not only unheard of, it sounds down right unhealthy. Well, healthy or not, this iconic Neapolitan dish in true cucina povera tradition was born out of the … Read More