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

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

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Frankcontorno7 Comments

While it’s true that we mostly eat Italian at home, there are some dishes that even I have to admit the French do better. (I hope Angelina isn’t listening….) One of them is potato puree, also known as mashed potatoes, and, more specifically, the incredibly buttery version made famous by … Read More

Fagiolini all’agro (Green Beans with Lemon and Oil)

Frankcontorno9 Comments

Fagiolini all'agro

This dish of green beans dressed with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, to my mind, typifies the simple elegance of Italian cuisine. Fagiolini all’agro, also known as fagiolini all’insalata, is austere in its simplicity but yet, when made with the freshest and best quality ingredients, is truly delectable. Trim … Read More

Patate in padella (Sautéed Potatoes)

Frankcontorno2 Comments

Patate in padella

These pan-fried potatoes make for a wonderful accompaniment to lamb and other meat dishes, and they are incredibly simple and easy to make: Peel and cut waxy, yellow-fleshed potatoes into wedges, put them in a non-stick frying pan with olive oil, a sprig of rosemary and a slightly crushed but … Read More