Tiella di patate e funghi (Potato and Mushroom Casserole)

FrankBasilicata, Calabria, contorno, Puglia41 Comments

Patate e funghi al forno (Potato and Mushroom Casserole)

Southern Italian cookery, in particular the cooking of Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria, is rife with baked vegetable casseroles . They are often called tielle after baking dish in which they are cooked and then served, much like the word “casserole” in English. We’ve featured the iconic tiella pugliese, a veritable one-dish … 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

Italian Tomato Salad: The Essential Guide

Frankcontorno42 Comments

Italian Tomato Salad

Nothing says summer like and insalata di pomodori, or Italian Tomato Salad. It’s a simple dish. So simple, in fact, you might not think it needs a recipe at all. But in fact—as so often happens in Italian cookery— the simplicity is deceptive. An artfully-made Italian Tomato Salad can be a … Read More

Coste di bieta gratinate (Gratinéed Swiss Chard Stems)

Frankantipasti, contorno34 Comments

Gratinéed Swiss Chard Stems (Coste di bieta al forno)

There are few things that bother me more than throwing out food, so I’m often looking for ways to recycle leftovers, use up stray bits of veg and other stuff in the fridge or, as in today’s recipe, make good use of trimmings. I often use trimmings as a flavor … Read More

Cavolini di Bruxelles fritti (Fried Brussels Sprouts)

Frankantipasti, contorno, secondi piatti37 Comments

Cavolini di Bruxelles fritti (Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts)

As the holidays draw to a close, we all want to eat a bit lighter. But with temperatures reaching record lows and snow falling, let’s not make it too light, shall we? Enter Ada Boni, the doyenne of traditional Italian home cooking and author of the iconic Talismano della felicità, … Read More

Patate dolci alla griglia (Grilled Sweet Potatoes)

Frankantipasti, contorno25 Comments

We said goodbye to our outdoor grill back in late October. Covering it for the winter is always a bittersweet affair. But the end of the warm weather doesn’t have to mean the end of grilling. I get good use out of my trusty stovetop grill—a bistecchiera in Italian—throughout the … Read More

Peperoni al gratin (Peppers au gratin)

Frankantipasti, contorno32 Comments

Peperoni al gratin

Here is one of the simplest ways to make peppers and, to my mind, one of the most delicious: peperoni al gratin, or peppers au gratin. Oven roasting intensifies and sweetens the natural flavors of the peppers, while garlic, olives and capers add piquancy, and a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs savor … 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

Patate alla lucana (Basilicata Potato Casserole)

FrankBasilicata, contorno36 Comments

Patate alla lucana

Italian cuisine is not generally known for potato gratin dishes. But here’s one from the little-known cuisine of Basilicata that is sure to be a crowd pleaser: patate alla lucana, potatoes layered with onions and tomatoes, scented with oregano and pecorino cheese. Considered a side dish or contorno, I sometimes like … Read More

Insalata di patate e tonno (Potato Tuna Salad)

Frankantipasti, contorno, summer23 Comments

Potato Tuna Salad

Potato salad is a summer staple on American tables, but if you’re interested in a different take, here’s an idea for you: Potato Tuna Salad. At its most basic, Potato Tuna Salad is a close cousin to that staple of Italian buffet tables, fagioli e tonno. You take slices or cubes … Read More

Cipolline novelle con piselli (Spring Onions and Peas)

Frankcontorno33 Comments

While many recipes for peas call for a bit of onion as a flavor base, you don’t really taste the onion itself—it’s there to bring out the peas’ natural sweetness. In this recipe for Spring Onions and Peas, you get a completely new dish from essentially the same ingredients in different ratios. The onion steps up … Read More

Asparagi all’agro (Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil)

Frankantipasti, contorno19 Comments

Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil (Asparagi all'agro)

Asparagus with Lemon and Olive oil, or asparagi all’agro, is one of those dishes that is so quick and simple you might argue it hardly needs a recipe. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy or obvious. In fact, simple dishes can be quite tricky to pull off. The very simplicity leaves you … 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

Insalata di arance e finocchi (Orange and Fennel Salad)

Frankantipasti, contorno, Fall, Sicilia, Winter43 Comments

Orange and Fennel Salad

It might be the season, but coming right on the heels of our recent post on Sausages and Grapes, today’s post once again features a mixture of sweet and savory ingredients. Whereas that post combined fruit and meat, today we’ll take a look at a fruit and vegetable combination from Sicily: … 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

Cotolette di melanzane (Eggplant Cutlets)

Frankantipasti, contorno, secondi piatti, summer14 Comments

Eggplant Cutlets (Cotolette di melanzane)

We all know that breaded cutlets and chops, whether veal, pork, lamb or—that all American favorite—chicken, make for awesome eating. But did you know that vegetables can prepared as cutlets, too? And if you ask me, eggplants are the perfect veg for the purpose; they turn out round perfectly round cutlets, … Read More

Carciofi coi piselli (Braised Artichokes and Peas)

Frankcontorno, Lazio, Spring12 Comments

Braised Artichokes and Peas

Two iconic spring vegetables, artichokes and peas, are braised together with an onion flavor base to make this simple but tasty side dish. Often made with a bit of pancetta and broth, you can omit the pancetta and substitute water for broth to make a vegan version which, to my mind, … Read More

Patate al forno (Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes)

Frankcontorno35 Comments

Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes (Patate al forno)

It’s often the most obvious things that we overlook. And so I just realized that I’ve never blogged about patate al forno, Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes —without a doubt the most classic Italian contorno of them all. There’s no mystery about its popularity. It literally goes with any meat or fish … Read More

Verza stufata (Braised Savoy Cabbage)

Frankcontorno49 Comments

Braised Savoy Cabbage

With all the focus today on trendy vegetables like kale and Brussels sprouts, we tend to forget about good old fashioned cabbage. It’s cheap and tasty and—just like its more fashionable cousins—good for you. And while most people associate cabbage with northern European cooking, Italians enjoy cabbage, too. Braised Savoy … Read More

Carciofi e patate in padella (Braised Artichokes and Potatoes)

Frankcontorno17 Comments

Braised Artichokes and Potatoes

Artichokes are usually thought of a spring vegetables, but in many countries, including here in the US, they have a second season in the Autumn.  It’s a great time to try Braised Artichokes and Potatoes. The tubers bring the kind of heft you want when the weather turns chilly, and they absorb … 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

Tiella di patate, cipolle e pomodori (Potato, Onion and Tomato Casserole)

Frankcontorno, Puglia17 Comments

I really like baked casserole dishes. You can assemble them at your leisure, then pop them in the oven and serve them when you’re ready to eat. It’s cooking at its most relaxing. The people of Puglia, the region at the heel of the Italian boot, are particularly casserole dishes … Read More

Carciofi fritti alla romana (Roman-Style Fried Artichokes)

Frankcontorno, Lazio23 Comments

Carciofi fritti

Rome has produced two world famous artichoke dishes, carciofi alla romana (Roman-Style Braised Artichokes) and carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-Style Deep-Fried Artichokes) Both are fantastic but require rather elaborate preparations and deserve ‘star’ treatment as an antipasto or even a light vegetarian second course. Lesser known but every bit as delicious, … Read More

Cavolfiore in salsa di acciughe (Cauliflower in Anchovy Sauce)

Frankantipasti, contorno, secondi piatti7 Comments

Cauliflower in Anchovy Sauce

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 … Read More