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, reference36 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