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

Italian Charoset for Passover

Frankdessert, Piemonte28 Comments

Charoset

It may come as a surprise, but Italy has a long tradition of Jewish cookery. Jews have been living in Rome since ancient times. Jewish communities have long existed in other cities, perhaps most famously Venice, and even in small towns like Pitigliano in Tuscany, known as “the Little Jerusalem”. These communities produced 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

Panna cotta

Frankdessert, Piemonte19 Comments

Panna cotta

It may come as a surprise that this famous, elegant dessert from the Piemonte region of Italy is so very easy to make. Panna cotta, or “cooked cream”, is nothing but warmed (not actually cooked) cream sweetened with sugar and infused with vanilla, then thickened with gelatin and chilled. Traditionally served unmolded, you … Read More

Risotto ai funghi (Mushroom Risotto)

FrankLombardia, Piemonte, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes, Veneto6 Comments

Mushroom Risotto

Well, Autumn is well and truly upon us. We’re waking up to cool mornings and going to bed to downright chilly nights. And while our local farmers market is still full of peaches and tomatoes, a mushroom stand made its first appearance last week. Mushroom Risotto came immediately to mind. I love risotto … Read More

Il Gran Bollito Misto (Mixed Boiled Meat)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, Piemonte, secondi piatti, Winter21 Comments

Mixed Boiled Meat

We usually think of boiled meat as a by-product of making broth, a humble if comforting dish for parsimonious souls. But in northern Italy, particularly in the Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna, they’ve transformed the dish into a regal spread. Traditionally, a true Gran Bollito Misto includes seven different cuts (tagli) of beef … Read More

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

Zuppa dei valdesi (Piedmontese Bread Soup)

FrankPiemonte, primi piatti, Soups20 Comments

Piedmontese Bread Soup

A reader who I’ll call “Nancy T.” wrote me recently to tell me about a bread soup dish called zuppa that her Piedmontese grandmother used to make. The word is one of several in Italian that mean ‘soup’ (see our Glossary for details). A zuppa is rustic soup, typically the kind that … Read More