Riso alla pilota (Pilot’s Rice)

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes49 Comments

Riso alla pilota

A rustic rice dish from Mantova in the cucina povera tradition, riso alla pilota is named after the piloti or laborers who operating the pila, the mill where rice would be hulled and polished back in the day. (There are still some old pile you can visit today, like this one.) The Po … Read More

Brasato ai funghi (Italian Pot Roast with Mushrooms)

FrankFall, Lombardia, Piemonte, secondi piatti, Winter35 Comments

Brasato ai funghi

While I’m not a vegetarian, meat doesn’t play a very central role in my diet. Usually at least. There’s something about the late autumn and winter that brings out the inner carnivore.  When the colder weather sets in, there’s nothing better than a good pot roast. We’ve featured brasato, the northern … Read More

Risotto allo champagne (Champagne Risotto)

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes38 Comments

Risotto allo champagne (Champagne Risotto)

Risotto allo champagne, or Champagne Risotto, is a simple but elegant first course. It is very much follows the basic recipe for a risotto in bianco but gets its particular charm from the use of Champagne instead of wine. You might think it extravagant to cook with Champagne, but you only use a … Read More

Riso in cagnone (Rice with Butter and Cheese)

FrankLombardia, Piemonte, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes38 Comments

Riso in cagnone

I was an atypical child. The other kids would come home from school and happily eat their milk and cookies, but I hated milk and didn’t care much for sweets. My idea of an after-school snack was a bowl of rice mixed with lots of butter and cheese. I would make … Read More

Minestra dei morti (Soup of the Dead)

FrankLombardia, piatti unici, primi piatti, secondi piatti, Soups35 Comments

Minestra dei morti (Soup of the Dead)

Modern Milan, political capital of Lombardy and financial capital of Italy, conjures up images of sharply dressed business people, trendy fashion shows and elegant shops. Lombardy is one of the riches areas of Italy and, indeed, the world. So it may come as a surprise that the region’s traditional cuisine is actually fairly rustic, with … Read More

Ravioli nudi (Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings)

Frankgnocchi, Lombardia, primi piatti, Toscana32 Comments

Ravioli nudi

Ravioli nudi, or “nude ravioli”, also known as gnudi, malfatti, gnocchi verdi, or the more literal gnocchi di ricotta e spinaci—are dumplings made with the usual spinach and ricotta filling for regular ravioli without their usual pasta “clothing”. Often thought of as a speciality of Tuscany—they are also sometimes called strozzapreti toscani—they … Read More

Sciatt (Buckwheat Cheese Fritters)

Frankantipasti, Lombardia, snack12 Comments

Sciatt (Buckwheat Cheese Fritters)

Sciatt are cheese-filled buckwheat fritters from the Valtellina, the same region where the buckwheat pasta pizzocheri come from. The cheese used for sciatt, Valtellina Casera, is also typical for dressing pizzocheri. Although they share the same basic ingredients, the two dishes could hardly be more different, a wonderful example of how method can create incredible … Read More

Zuppa pavese (Pavia Style Soup)

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, Soups29 Comments

Zuppa pavese

A humble soup in the cucina povera tradition, zuppa pavese from the Lombardy city of Pavia has a regal history behind it. Legend has it that French king Francis I, fleeing from defeat in a nearby battle, found himself in a peasant farmhouse where the lady of the house improvised a meal for her … Read More