Casatiello (Neapolitan Easter Bread)

Frankantipasti, Campania, Spring52 Comments


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, it’s very … Read More

Zucchine alla parmigiana (Zucchini Parmesan)

Frankantipasti, Campania, summer11 Comments

Zucchini Parmesan

Eggplant isn’t the only vegetable that you can make alla parmigiana, fried and baked in layers with a light tomato sauce, mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. Zucchine alla parmigiana, or Zucchini Parmesan, is almost as popular. It is a fine way to exalt the sometimes rather bland vegetable. While the delicate taste … Read More

Angelina’s Pizza Dolce (Italian Cheesecake)

FrankCampania, dessert36 Comments

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 ‘pizza’ really just means pie, and can refer also to Italian cheesecake, typically made with ricotta and eggs, flavored with sugar and other … Read More

Uova in purgatorio (Eggs in Purgatory)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti32 Comments

Eggs in Purgatory

A perfect light lunch or dinner for those times when you don’t feel like making anything too complicated, these Neapolitan ‘eggs in purgatory‘ take perhaps 25 minutes and practically make themselves. Ingredients For 2 people 4 eggs 1 small (14 oz.) can of tomatoes (or passata di pomodoro) 1/2 onion, … Read More

Chiacchiere (Fried “Ribbons”)

FrankCampania, dessert51 Comments

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 … Read More

Zeppole con le alici (Zeppole with Anchovies)

Frankantipasti, Campania, dessert, snack30 Comments

Zeppole with Anchovies

Zeppole are so easy to make—after all, they are basically just fried pizza dough balls—it is almost embarrassing to post about it, but since it was one of my favorite snack foods that Angelina made, it deserves pride of place on this blog. And, in any event, who doesn’t like … Read More

Purpetielli affogati (Braised Baby Octopus)

FrankCampania, primi piatti16 Comments

Braised Baby Octopus

Purpetielli affogati, or Braised Baby Octopus is one of Naples’ favorite dishes. 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 … Read More

La pizzaiola (“Pizza-Maker’s” Beef)

FrankCampania, primi piatti22 Comments

La pizzaiola

La pizzaiola is one of the pillars of everyday Neapolitan cuisine. This simple dish is a great solution for times when you want solid sustenance but don’t want to cook anything elaborate. A bit like slapping a piece of meat on the grill, only tastier. The name of the dish, carne … Read More

Parmigiana di melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)

Frankantipasti, Campania, piatti unici, summer53 Comments

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 in Italian—the way Angelina used to make it. This is a simple dish to make, but it … Read More

Baccalà alla napoletana (Neapolitan Baccala)

FrankCampania, secondi piatti27 Comments

Baccalà alla napoletana

Baccalà, or salted codfish, is bound to make an apparence on the Christmas Eve table of many Italians. And for those who observe Lent, it is a standby for meatless Friday meals. Baccalà marries especially well with tomatoes, and who does tomatoes better than the people of Campania, home to … Read More

La genovese (Neapolitan Beef and Onion Pasta Sauce)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti47 Comments

La genovese

Besides ragù alla napoletana, la genovese is probably the most iconic of all Neapolitan pasta sauces, and yet it is little known outside Italy or, for that matter, little seen outside Naples itself. And, for reasons I cannot quite figure out, it did not seem to survive the trans-Atlantic voyage; … Read More

Pasta con la cicoria (Pasta with Chicory)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti12 Comments

Pasta con la cicoria

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 … Read More

Angelina’s Green Beans with Onions and Mint

FrankCampania, contorno, Puglia13 Comments

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 … Read More

Spaghetti con le zucchine (Spaghetti with Zucchini)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, summer36 Comments

As we’ve seen before, pasta and vegetable dishes are a quick and easy solution for weeknight dinners, when you don’t have the time or the energy for anything fussy or fancy. This may be the easiest of them all: Spaghetti with Zucchini. Ingredients Serves 4-6 500g (1 lb) spaghetti 500g … Read More

Spaghetti con pomodoro crudo (Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes)

FrankCampania, Lazio, pasta, primi piatti, summer18 Comments

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

Summertime is fast approaching, the temperature is climbing, and my culinary imagination is starting to turn to dishes that quick but tasty and require minimal cooking. Here’s one of the ‘go to’ summer pasta dishes in our house: Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes. Ingredients Serves 4-6 500g (1 lb) spaghetti 500-750g … Read More

Zuppa di pesce alla napoletana (Neapolitan Fish Stew)

FrankCampania, piatti unici, Soups27 Comments

Zuppa di pesce

Italy, being a rather slender peninsula, is a country where the sea is rarely too far away. And, of course, the products of the sea play a major role in its cuisine. And so it is not surprising that zuppa di pesce, or fish soup, is a dish that you … Read More

Linguine con alici (Linguini with Anchovies)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, snack15 Comments

Linguine con alici (Linguini with Anchovies)

Linguine con alici, or Linguini with Anchovies, is another quick and easy dish for those days when you don’t really feel like cooking but you want to eat something tasty. It’s a riff off of the classic ajo e ojo with anchovies. Ingredients Serves 4-6 persons 400g (16 oz) linguini … Read More

Lasagna di Carnevale (Angelina’s Lasagna)

FrankCampania, Italian-American, pasta, piatti unici58 Comments

Lasagna di carnevale

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, … Read More

Frittura di verdure miste (Italian Fried Vegetables)

Frankantipasti, Campania, piatti unici15 Comments

Nana's Italian Fried Vegetables

I was feeling sort of nostalgic today for the Italian 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 … Read More

Cavolfiore alla napoletana (Neapolitan-Style Cauliflower)

FrankCampania, contorno13 Comments

Neapolitan style cauliflower

Here’s another quick and easy vegetable side dish or light supper: Neapolitan style cauliflower, known in Naples itself as cavolfiore con passi e pinoli. It may come as a shock, but this dish contains no tomato, giving lie to the notion that all Neapolitan dishes rely on that ubiquitous vegetable. Ingredients … Read More

How to Make Homemade Polenta

FrankCampania, Lazio, Lombardia, piatti unici, Piemonte, polenta, reference, Veneto44 Comments

How to Make Homemade Polenta

Homemade polenta is one of the most emblematic dishes of the northern Italian cuisines from the Veneto to Lombardia to Piemonte. It is also one of the oldest foods eaten in Italy, dating back at least to 990 BCE. In its original form, polenta—known to the ancient Romans as pulmentum—was … Read More

Agnello e patate al forno (Oven-Roasted Lamb and Potatoes)

FrankCampania, piatti unici, Puglia6 Comments

Oven-Roasted Lamb and Potatoes

Lamb and potatoes have a natural affinity, as we saw in the elegant côtes d’agneau Champvallon. Here is a more rustic dish, made with seasoned chunks of lamb and potatoes baked in the oven until nicely browned on top. Simple, hearty and satisfying. Ingredients Serve 4-6 1 kilo (2 lbs) … Read More

Tubetti cacio e uova (Tubetti with Egg and Cheese)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti15 Comments

Tubetti cacio e uova

Tubetti cacio e uova is a great spur-of-the-moment Neapolitan pasta dish for a quick weeknight dinner or perhaps a midnight snack: Ingredients For each serving of pasta: 100g (3-1/2 oz) of tubetti (aka ditali or ditalini) A heaping spoonful of butter or lard 1 egg 1 spoonful each of Parmesan and … Read More

Spaghetti alle vongole (Spaghetti with Clam Sauce)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti33 Comments

Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

A Friday night favorite at our place—and traditional Christmas Eve primo piatto—is spaghetti with clam sauce, one of the signature dishes of Neapolitan cuisine. It is surprisingly easy to make, fun (if a bit messy) to eat and—if you have some good, fresh clams on hand—really, really tasty. Ingredients Serves … Read More

Fagiolini in umido (Green Beans in Tomato Sauce)

FrankCampania, contorno, Toscana21 Comments

Fagiolini in umido (Green Beans in Tomato Sauce)

While Sundays dinners at Angelina’s house were once-a-week, belly-busting, meaty affairs, she practically lived on vegetables during the week. This was long before vegetarianism went mainstream and she would not have thought of herself as a ‘weekday vegetarian’ or anything of that sort. It was just the way that she … Read More