Fagioli all’uccelletto (Beans Braised in Tomato and Sage Sauce)

Frankcontorno, summer, Toscana10 Comments

Fagioli all'uccelletto

Tuscans love beans. They eat them as part of many of the famous Tuscan soups like ribollita, they eat them in a salad with tuna as an antipasto, and, of course, they eat them as a contorno, or side dish, especially with grilled meats like the mythical bistecca alla fiorentina. … Read More

La vignarola (Roman Spring Vegetable Medley)

Frankantipasti, contorno, Lazio, Spring14 Comments

La vignarola

A Springtime Roman treat, la vignarola is a vegetable ‘medley’ made from spring onions, fava beans, artichokes, peas and tender lettuce. It comes in an entirely vegan/vegetarian version and one that uses a bit of guanciale or pancetta to lend flavor. Ingredients Serves 4-6 1 kilo (2 lbs) mixture of artichokes, … Read More

Funghi trifolati (Sautéed Mushrooms)

Frankcontorno, Fall, Winter14 Comments

Funghi trifolati

This is one of the easiest and most versatile vegetable dishes in the Italian repertoire: funghi trifolati, or ‘truffled’ mushooms, so called because the thinly sliced and sautéed mushrooms are said to resemble that other, more highly prized tuber. I use two methods to make funghi trifolati, and both are … 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

Cipolline in agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Baby Onions)

Frankcontorno6 Comments

Cipolline in agrodolce

If there were an ‘all purpose’ side dish, this might be it. Cipolline in agrodolce, in English ‘sweet and sour baby onions’, go with just about any meat dish, although it is particularly lovely with roasts. And, the best part is, it is quite simple to make and is even … Read More

Fagiolini in fricassea (Green Beans with Egg and Lemon Sauce)

Frankcontorno10 Comments

Fagiolini in fricassea

So far on this blog we have seen many of the most common techniques in Italian cuisine for cooking vegetables, including in padella (lightly boiled and then sautéed in garlic and olive oil), fritti (deep-fried in a flour and egg batter), gratinati (baked in the oven with a topping of … Read More

Mock «puntarelle» alla romana

Frankantipasti, contorno, Lazio8 Comments


One of the dishes I miss most from my Roman days is the winter salad known as puntarelle,  a kind of chicory native to the countryside around Rome. In fact, the vegetable is sometimes called “Roman chicory” in English. The shoots are rather thick but tender, white at the base and green … Read More

Cardi gratinati (Gratinéed Cardoons)

Frankcontorno9 Comments


Cardoons are one of my favorite winter vegetables but they can be hard to find. So when I spied some in the market the other day I did a double-take and smiled. I hadn’t had them quite literally for years. The bunch I found was a bit bruised but would … Read More