Zuppa di orzo (Italian Barley Soup)

FrankFall, primi piatti, Soups, Winter47 Comments

Zuppa di orzo (Italian Barley Soup)

Italian cuisine is known for pasta, gnocchi, risotto and polenta. More recently many people have come to know farro. But did you know that Italians also enjoy barley? Here is a simple, basic Italian Barley Soup—zuppa di orzo— that is both healthy, appetizing and, if made in a pressure cooker, quickly … Read More

Salsa di noci (Ligurian Walnut Sauce)

Frankgnocchi, Liguria, primi piatti28 Comments

Gnocchi salsa di noci (Gnocchi with Walnut Sauce)

 I would venture to say that, other than producing Christopher Columbus, Liguria is probably best known as the home of pesto genovese, or basil pesto. But the region produces another kind of pesto, known as salsa di noci or Walnut Sauce, that  deserves much more attention. The most typical use of salsa … 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

Tagliatelle carciofi e funghi (Tagliatelle with Artichoke Hearts and Mushrooms)

Frankpasta, primi piatti37 Comments

tagliatelle carciofi e funghi

In many ways, we lovers of Italian food here in the US are lucky. The current popularity of Italian food means that you can find just about any kind of Italian pantry product you like, from everyday staples like imported pasta or canned tomatoes to relatively esoteric ingredients like colatura … Read More

Spaghetti alla Nerano

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti50 Comments

Spaghetti alla Nerano

We’ve featured pasta and zucchini before, but this celebrated dish from the Sorrento peninsula is a bit more elaborate and intriguing. Spaghetti alla Nerano, named after the beach town where it originated, could be the child that your basic pasta and zucchini would have if it got married with a cacio e pepe. … Read More

Spaghetti con la bottarga

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Sardegna, Sicilia, summer26 Comments

Spaghetti con la bottarga

Bottarga—cured fish roe typical of Sardinian and Sicilian cookery—is an unusual but tasty treat. It has a unique flavor that reminds me of a cross between caviar and anchovy but more delicate than either. Like a good, aged Parmesan or pecorino cheese, bottarga lends itself beautifully to grating over pasta. There … Read More

Sugo finto (“Fake” Sauce)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, sauces, Toscana44 Comments

Sugo finto

Another of the many Italian dishes in the cucina povera tradition, sugo finto is “fake” because it is basically a meat sauce (sugo di carne) without the meat that was so unaffordable for most people not too far in the past. (It is also called sugo scappato, or ‘escaped’ sauce, for … 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