Zabaione (Zabaglione)

Frankdessert, drink, Piemonte, sauces, snack36 Comments

Zabaglione

Zabaione, spelled Zabaglione by some Italians and all English speakers, is  a classic sweet that you don’t encounter much any more on restaurant menus, let alone on home tables. That’s a shame, because it’s truly delicious and supremely versatile, equally suited to serve on its own as a sweet ending to an … Read More

Taralli dolci, or “Nana’s Cookies”

FrankCampania, dessert, snack22 Comments

Taralli dolci

This is a recipe near and dear to my heart. It was one of Angelina’s signature dishes. When I was a kid, our family called these “Nana’s Cookies”, and I really thought that only my nana made them. Well, just as I found out that the honey balls Angelina made … Read More

Budino di ricotta (Ricotta Pudding)

Frankdessert38 Comments

Budino di Ricotta (Ricotta Pudding)

This elegant but easy dessert is a kind of dressed up version of Angelina’s humble pizza dolce. The basic recipe for this ricotta ‘pudding’ calls for just ricotta, eggs and sugar, and it’s perfectly delicious at its simplest. But, if you like,  you can add various the fillings and toppings … Read More

Torta di mele (Apple Torte)

Frankdessert, Fall, snack, Winter22 Comments

Torta di mele (Apple Torte)

 Torta di mele a homely version of an apple torte that could hardly be easier. And believe me, if a non-baker like myself can make this with no trouble at all, you will, too. You just make a simple batter in your trusty mixer, fold in apple slices, pour everything … Read More

Zuppa inglese (Italian Trifle)

Frankdessert, Emilia-Romagna, Toscana40 Comments

Zuppa inglese (Italian Trifle)

Zuppa inglese, literally “English soup”, is actually neither English nor a soup. It is a classic Italian dessert, but the name is apt nevertheless. Its texture is very reminiscent of the bread-thickened soups so typical of the cookery of central Italy, only sweet and cool rather than savory and hot—a … Read More

Ciliegie su ghiaccio (Cherries on Ice)

Frankdessert9 Comments

Cherries on ice

A quick note on a fine and fun way to enjoy cherries and lots of other summer fruits—su ghiaccio or ‘cherries on ice‘. Fill a bowl a third or half full of ice, place your fruit—however much you’re having—over the ice and add water to come, say, halfway up the fruit. … 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

Ananas alla sambuca (Pineapple Laced with Sambuca)

Frankdessert15 Comments

Ananas alla sambuca

Here’s a really quick note on a combination that may surprise you but was simply meant to be: ananas alla sambuca, or pineapple and the Italian anise liquor called sambuca. Sprinkle a few drops of sambuca over freshly sliced pineapple, just enough to exalt the flavor of the fruit without drawing … Read More

Bignè di san Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day Cream Puffs)

Frankdessert, Lazio, snack33 Comments

Bignè di san Giuseppe

Being a Catholic country, Father’s Day is Italy is celebrated on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. The feast is associated with a number sweet and savory dishes, but none more so perhaps than the  fancy, sweet version of zeppole usually called, appropriately enough, zeppole di san Giuseppe. Romans  … 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

How to Roast Chestnuts

Frankdessert, snack, Winter23 Comments

How to Roast Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose… Roast chestnuts evoke wistful holidays images of days gone by. But how many of us have actually roasted chestnuts on an open fire? Too few, I imagine. And a shame, too, since anyone with a fireplace can do it … Read More

Tiramisù: The Classic Recipe

Frankdessert26 Comments

Tiramisu

Tiramisu is an elegant dessert ‘cake’ that even non-bakers like myself can make easily. The truth is, the ‘cake’ part of this dessert consists of those elegant elongated cookies called ‘ladyfingers’ in English and savoiardi in Italian. The ladyfingers are lightly dipped in espresso, then layered with mascarpone creamed with egg, sugar … Read More

Crostata di mele (Italian Apple Tart)

Frankdessert18 Comments

Crostata di mele

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am not much of a baker. Nor do I have much of a sweet tooth. But, for some reason, I felt inspired the other day to make a baked dessert for some dinner guests. Foolish, perhaps, to start my baking career … Read More

Granita di caffè (Coffee Granita)

Frankdessert, Sicilia, snack, summer20 Comments

Coffee Granita

As the summer draws to a close, it’s time to finish our trilogy of Italian frozen desserts. We have already explored the delights of gelato and sorbetto, and now it’s time to finish our trilogy with a post on granita, a kind of country cousin to the first two. Most commonly … Read More

Gelato: The Basic Recipe

Frankdessert, summer65 Comments

Gelato Basic Recipe

Today we’ll take a look at the basic recipe for everyone’s favorite summer dessert: ice cream! The Italian version of ice cream, called gelato, meaning simply ‘frozen’, is typified by the density of its texture and intensity of flavor. It achieves these qualities by avoiding any fillers or fluffers like … Read More

Sorbetto di mango (Mango Sorbet)

Frankdessert21 Comments

Mango Sorbet

As regular readers of this blog have probably figured out by now, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Even as a kid, I was not into sweets—much to the delight of my dentists. Dessert at our house, such as it is, usually consists of a piece of fresh … Read More

Pere al vino rosso (Pears Poached in Red Wine)

Frankdessert, Fall, Winter4 Comments

Pears Poached in Red Wine

Dessert is our house is normally a piece of fruit, perhaps with some cheese, and, in winter, some mixed nuts in their shells. This is why you will not find very many desserts featured on this blog. But there is at least one prepared dessert that makes its way on … Read More

Al contadino non far sapere…

Frankdessert12 Comments

In our house dessert is usually a piece of fruit. But now that the weather is turning cooler, cheese, especially aged cheese, is making a reappearance on the dinner table. It’s a great way to end off a meal and, of course, fruit and cheese are a divinely inspired combination. … Read More