Sciusceddu alla messinese

Frankprimi piatti, Sicilia, Soups51 Comments

Scisceddu alla messinese

Sciusceddu alla messinese comes to us from Sicily, and specifically from Messina, where this unusual primo piatto is a fixture on Easter dinner tables. It has all the hallmarks of an Italian Easter dish. It’s rich, meat centric—although the meat is usually veal rather than the more typical lamb—and enriched … Read More

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

FrankBasilicata, Calabria, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia, Sicilia42 Comments

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

All over southern Italy, breadcrumbs were considered the “poor man’s cheese”. Those who couldn’t afford the luxury of the usual grated pecorino—or throwing away stale bread—would sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over pasta and other dishes. Cucina povera in the literal sense. And yet, as it so often turns out, necessity gave … Read More

Zuppa di cardi (Cardoon Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups22 Comments

Zuppa di cardi (Cardoon Soup)

Cardoons are one of my favorite vegetables, but they’re frustratingly hard to find here in the US. So whenever I spy a bunch in the market, I grab them, no questions asked. I find their subtle flavor, reminiscent of artichokes, delightful. If you’ve never tasted a cardoon, you’ve been missing … Read More

Spaghetti al nero di seppia (Spaghetti with Squid Ink)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Sicilia, Veneto26 Comments

Spaghetti al nero di seppia (Spaghetti with Squid Ink)

Have you ever tried squid ink? I’d venture that many of our readers, Italian food lovers that you are, haven’t, but it’s really getting to know. Squid ink has a unique “earthy” flavor, silky mouth feel and alluring jet black color that couples perfectly with pasta. I find it irresistible. … Read More

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

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

FrankLazio, Marche, primi piatti, Puglia, Soups, Toscana, Umbria38 Comments

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

Yes, autumn is well and truly here. There’s a definitely chill in the air, the leaves are turning color, pumpkins have been placed on doorsteps, and logs are piled high on back porches, ready for the fire. I don’t know about you, but when the temperatures drop, I start to … Read More

Bucatini alla Caruso

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti51 Comments

Bucatini alla Caruso

They say that tenor Enrico Caruso came up with this dish. Caruso, a native of Naples, had a love-hate relationship with his home town. After he was booed at a performance early in his career, he never appeared on stage again in his native city, saying he would return only … Read More

Fusilli primavera

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti39 Comments

Fusilli primavera

I had always thought of “Pasta Primavera” as a modern American invention, probably a product of the rage for “northern Italian” food in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember reading about it years ago in some gourmet magazine and asked Angelina to make me it for me. “What’s that?” she replied … Read More