Pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan Tomato and Bread “Soup”)

Frankprimi piatti, Toscana4 Comments

Pappa al pomodoro

In the days when freshly baked bread was a staple of everyday life, a plethora of recipes grew up for using leftover stale bread. This classic Tuscan recipe is, to my mind, the very best of the lot—pappa al pomodoro, literally “mush with tomatoes”. (Sounds better in Italian, doesn’t it?) … Read More

Tagliatelle alle zucchini (Tagliatelle with Zucchini)

Frankpasta, primi piattiLeave a Comment

Vegetables and pasta were meant for each other. And no vegetable says summer like zucchini. Ergo, there’s no more iconic summer pasta than tagliatelle with zucchini! Start by sauteing some sliced baby zucchine in olive oil with a chopped up shallot over moderate heat, seasoning with salt and pepper as it … Read More

Risotto: The Basic Recipe

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, reference, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes, Veneto8 Comments

Risotto: The Basic Recipe

Risotto is Italy’s unique contribution to rice cookery. At its most basic, the rice is toasted with a flavor base of sautéed onion, then simmered in broth that is added ladleful by ladleful. When the rice is nearly cooked, it is vigorously stirred with grated cheese (and sometimes a knob of … Read More

Aglio, olio e peperoncino (Pasta with Garlic, Oil and Hot Pepper)

FrankCampania, Lazio, pasta, primi piatti19 Comments

Here’s another super simple pasta that I call the “mother of all pasta dishes” since its garlic and oil base forms the foundation for countless other pasta sauces. It’s also the quintessential impromptu snack the Italians call una spaghettata. I’m sure all the Italians and Italo-Americans out there have grown up … Read More

Fettuccine alla papalina (Fettuccine for the Pope)

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti25 Comments

Fettuccine alla papalina

Fettuccine alla papalina, or “Fettuccine for the Pope”, is an upscale reinterpretation of the earthy spaghetti alla carbonara. The story goes that the dish was prepared for a certain Cardinal Pacelli, soon to become Pope Pius XII, who had asked the owner of a restaurant in the Borgo (the area … Read More

Angelina’s pasta e lenticchie (Pasta and Lentils)

Frankpasta, primi piatti8 Comments

Pasta and Lentils

Of all the wonderful dishes my grandmother Angelina would make when I was growing up, this was my very favorite. And that’s saying a lot, since she made incredible lasagna di carnevale. Angelina’s pasta e lenticche (pasta and lentils) was very simple to make but involved three more or less simultaneous … Read More