Pesce all’acqua pazza (Fish Poached in “Crazy Water”)

FrankCampania19 Comments

Acqua pazza

Acqua pazza, or ‘crazy water’ is the humorous term for a really easy but very tasty Neapolitan method for poaching fish. Make a garlic and oil base, throw in a few cherry tomatoes and other flavorings if you like, lay down your fish fillets, simmer for a few minutes and you’re done. … Read More

Bucatini alla pizzaiola

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia21 Comments

Bucatini alla pizzaiola

Most of us don’t much like to use the oven in the dog days of summer, but you might want to make an exception for bucatini alla pizzaiola, a delicious baked pasta dish that sings all the favorite flavor notes of southern Italy. It’s styled alla pizzaiola, literally “pizza style”, for … Read More

Peperoni in padella (Angelina’s Fried Peppers)

FrankCampania, contorno10 Comments

Angelina's Fried Peppers

Everyone knows about fried peppers—they’re a summertime standby. They make an appearance at just about every Italian cookout or street festival. But while the dish has become something of a cliché, Angelina had her own, special way of preparing them. Her recipe is simplicity itself, with just a few ‘tricks’ that give this … Read More

Zucchine «a scapece» (Piquant Fried Zucchini)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno, summer33 Comments

There are four quintessential Italian summer vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Of these, zucchini seems to get the least respect, maybe because zucchini plants are so incredibly prolific. New zucchini can literally sprout from one day to another, and the production can really get out of hand. I remember that … Read More

Babà al rum (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

FrankCampania, dessert33 Comments

Babà al rum (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

I remember this indulgently delicious rum-soaked Neapolitan dessert from my childhood, when it made frequent appearances on the Sunday dinner table along with other typical southern Italian sweets. The last time I had babà al rum, Neapolitan Rum Cake, was around 2003 in Naples, in a caffè in the Galleria Umberto … Read More

Pasta con la ricotta (Pasta and Ricotta Cheese)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia56 Comments

Pasta con la ricotta (Pasta and ricotta)

Pasta and ricotta make for a perfect impromptu meal or weekend dinner. The mellow flavor combination of tomato, ricotta and a bit of parmesan cheese is vaguely reminiscent of southern-style lasagna. But unlike lasagna, it’ll be done in less than 30 minutes—the time it takes to bring the water to … Read More

Pasta con la zucca alla napoletana (Pasta with Winter Squash, Naples-Style)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti32 Comments

Pasta with Winter squash

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 … Read More

Gattò di patate (Neapolitan Potato “Cake”)

franfajrantipasti, Campania, piatti unici, Sicilia, snack58 Comments

Gattò di patate (Neapolitan Potato Cake)

Another example of the French Bourbon legacy in Neapolitan cooking, this gattò—from the French gateau—is a savory potato ‘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 … Read More

Melanzane a funghetto (“Mushroom-Style” Eggplant)

FrankCampania, contorno, summer16 Comments

Melanzane a funghetto

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 … Read More

Pollo all’ischitana (Ischia-Style Chicken)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti, summer36 Comments

Ischia Style Chicken

After last week’s look at gnocchi alla sorrentina, Sorrento’s classic gnocchi dish, let’s travel across the Bay of Naples to the lovely island of Ischia. During our years in Rome, Ischia was one of our favorite spots for a getaway from the city. A bit less touristy and more rustic than … Read More

Gnocchi alla sorrentina (Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella)

FrankCampania, gnocchi, primi piatti, summer40 Comments

Potato gnocchi are pretty filling, the kind of food you may associate with the cooler weather. But, in fact, you can enjoy gnocchi all year ’round. They are delicious with pesto, for example, or with a simple tomato sauce. In fact, one of the classic Campanian summer dishes is gnocchi … Read More

Taralli dolci, or “Nana’s Cookies”

FrankCampania, dessert, snack22 Comments

Taralli dolci

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 … Read More

Crocchette di patate (Potato Croquettes)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno, primi piatti, snack32 Comments

Croquette di patate (Potato Croquettes)

Crocchette di palate, or potato croquettes, are wonderfully versatile. They are probably most often served as an antipasto, but they can also do fine service as a lovely contorno, especially with fried meat or fish dish, or as part of a fritto misto, or as a first course instead of pasta, … Read More

Mozzarella in carrozza (Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches)

Frankantipasti, Campania, piatti unici, snack26 Comments

Mozzarella in carrozza

Don’t know about you, but I love cheese. Just about any kind. In our house we tend to eat more cheese during the cool winter months, but the arrival of warm weather doesn’t mean we give up cheese altogether. Far from it. Rather, aged cheese tends to give way to … Read More

Pizza rustica (Easter Cheese and Salumi Pie)

Frankantipasti, Campania, snack60 Comments

Pizza rustica

Pasquetta, or ‘Little Easter’, known in English as Easter Monday, is a holiday in Italy and much of Europe. Folks traditionally take to the roads to drive out to the countryside and enjoy a fresh air picnic. In Campania and elsewhere, one favorite item in the Pasquetta picnic basket is the … Read More

Minestra maritata (The Original Italian “Wedding Soup”)

FrankCampania, piatti unici24 Comments

The Original Italian Wedding Soup

“Wedding soup” is a popular Italian-American dish made with escarole and tiny meatballs simmered in chicken broth and adorned with small pasta, typically of the tiny acini di pepe (or “peppercorn”) type. It is so popular, in fact, that it has been marketed as a canned soup by Progresso under the … Read More

Sartù di riso (Neapolitan Rice Timbale)

FrankCampania, piatti unici, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes43 Comments

Sartù di riso (Neapolitan Rice Timbale)

When we think of Neapolitan cooking—and southern Italian cooking in general—we think of pasta and pizza. So it may come as a surprise that one of the most emblematic dishes of Neapolitan cooking is actually a rice timbale, the sartù di riso. The word sartù, the story goes, is an Italianized … Read More

Pasta e fagioli: The Authentic Recipe

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, Soups79 Comments

Pasta e fagioli

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 a victim of its own success, however, too often made badly—very badly—which is why I would never … Read More

Pizza di scarola (Escarole Pie)

Frankantipasti, Campania, snack27 Comments

Pizza di scarola (Escarole Pie)

The word pizza in Italian has a broader meaning than it does in English. Besides the savory disk we all know and love, it also refers to both savory and sweet confections that we would likely call ‘pies’ in English, including Angelina’s pizza dolce, which doesn’t even have a crust. Then … Read More

Scarola aglio e olio (Sauteed Escarole)

FrankCampania, contorno14 Comments

Sauteed Escarole

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 … Read More

Pizzette fritte (Fried Pizza Rounds)

Frankantipasti, Campania, snack42 Comments

Pizzette fritte (Fried Pizza Rounds)

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: is there anything more primally satisfying than fried pizza dough? If there is, I haven’t come across it yet. The Neapolitans have come up with all sorts of tidbits made from fried dough, of which we’ve already seen two examples, zeppole and … Read More

Calzoncini napoletani (Neapolitan Miniature Calzones)

Frankantipasti, Campania, snack18 Comments

Calzoncini (Miniature Calzones)

 It probably won’t come as a surprise that Neapolitan cooks have come up with a vast variety of ways to fry and bake dough. Pizza is, by far, the most famous internationally and most people will have heard of calzones, and zeppoles, but there is much more to the Neapolitan … Read More

Carciofi Imbottiti (Angelina’s Stuffed Artichokes)

Frankantipasti, Campania, Spring24 Comments

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 … Read More

Tomato Sauce 101

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, reference, sauces, Toscana54 Comments

Tomato Sauce 101

I’m all for convenience when it actually makes life simpler, but it’s always been a mystery to me why people buy those jars of wretched “spaghetti sauce” that line our supermarket shelves when you can make real tomato sauce with only a tiny bit more time and effort. I suspect … Read More

Braciole alla napoletana (Neapolitan Beef Rolls)

FrankCampania, primi piatti19 Comments

Braciole

Braciole—beef slices rolled up with a savory garlic, parsley and cheese filling—is one of those dishes common to both Italian-American and ‘Old World’  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 … Read More