Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

FrankBasilicata, Calabria, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia, Sicilia27 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

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

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 piatti37 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

Spaghetti alle cipolle rosse e alici (Spaghetti with Red Onions and Anchovies)

Frankpasta, primi piatti38 Comments

Spaghetti alle cipolle rosse e alici (Spaghetti with Red Onions and Anchovies)

What would the world be without onions? Along with their close cousins garlic and shallots, they seem to make their way into just about every savory dish. That’s certainly true of Italian cooking, at least. And yet, except maybe for onion soup, it seems onions are always the proverbial bridesmaid, … 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 piatti48 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

Pasta alla gricia: The Mother of Roman Pastas

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti30 Comments

Pasta alla gricia

What was Italian cuisine like before the tomato arrived from America? Pasta alla gricia gives us some idea. Widely considered the ancestor of the more famous bucatini all’amatriciana, it is a simple dish that, according to at least one  legend, originated among shepherds in the mountains around the town of … Read More

Ragù d’agnello e peperoni (Lamb and Red Pepper Ragù)

FrankAbruzzo, pasta, primi piatti39 Comments

Lamb and Red Pepper Ragù

One of my regrets from my years in Italy is that I didn’t get over the Abruzzo more often. Just opposite from Lazio on the Adriatic side of the Italian peninsula, it was so close, but somehow the siren songs of Florence to the north and Naples to the south … Read More

Cacio e pepe, a Roman classic

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti49 Comments

Cacio e pepe

When you’re in a real hurry or just too tired to cook anything too elaborate, here’s a great solution: cacio e pepe, literally ‘cheese and pepper’, a pasta dish usually made with spaghetti, bucatini or—my personal favorite—tonnarelli, a kind of square spaghetti better known Stateside by its Abruzzese name, spaghetti … Read More

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti18 Comments

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

If you’ve ever had occasion to read the 4th century Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, popularly known as Apicius, you will have noticed that an ingredient called garum seems to make it into just about every savory dish, and even some sweet ones. Garum—a condiment made from fermenting fish—was a common ingredient back … Read More

Cannelloni ricotta e spinaci (Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni)

Frankpasta, primi piatti22 Comments

Cannelloni

Incredible as it may seem, after nearly six years of blogging on Italian cooking—my blogiversary is coming up later this month—I realize I’ve never written a post about cannelloni. That’s an incredible omission, since cannelloni are probably the easiest stuffed pasta you can make. You simply roll square sheets of fresh … Read More

Pasta e patate (Pasta and Potatoes)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti20 Comments

Pasta and potatoes

To many people the idea of pairing pasta and potatoes comes as a shock. Carbs with carbs? And in these carb-phobic times, it’s not only unheard of, it sounds down right unhealthy. Well, healthy or not, this iconic Neapolitan dish in true cucina povera tradition was born out of the … Read More

Columbus Day Special: Spaghetti and Meatballs

FrankItalian-American, pasta, piatti unici, primi piatti23 Comments

Spaghetti and Meatballs

 Memorie di Angelina is dedicated to continental Italian cookery, but as long time readers will know, every Columbus Day we feature an Italian-American dish. This year’s feature: Spaghetti and Meatballs, which might be the most famous Italian-American dish of all time, a staple of ‘red sauce joints’ all over the … Read More

Bucatini alla pizzaiola

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia21 Comments

Bucatini alla pizzaiola

Most of us don’t much like to use the oven in the dog days of summer, but you might want to make an exception for bucatini alla pizzaiola, a delicious baked pasta dish that sings all the favorite flavor notes of southern Italy. It’s styled alla pizzaiola, literally “pizza style”, for … Read More

Pesto genovese (Genoese Basil Sauce)

FrankLiguria, pasta, primi piatti15 Comments

Pesto genovese

I’m old enough to remember when pesto genovese, the Genoese basil sauce, was a novelty in the US. These days everyone knows about pesto, to the point where it’s become a stand-by, especially in the summer when fresh basil is everywhere. Truth be told, though, as common as it is, … Read More

Carbonara vegetariana (Vegetarian Carbonara)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, summer40 Comments

As a longtime resident of Rome, carbonara is one of my very favorite pastas, but in the warmer weather it can be a bit heavy. One way to lighten things up is to make a vegetarian carbonara: substitute the pancetta (Italian bacon) with a vegetable, typically zucchini, which has a natural … Read More

Lasagne agli asparagi (Asparagus Lasagna)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, pasta, primi piatti, Spring73 Comments

Asparagus Lasagna

A good dish of lasagna is one of the most satisfying meals I can imagine. But, to be honest, a dish of classic lasagna di Carnevale or lasagne alla bolognese can be a bit on the heavy side, especially as the weather gets warmer. That’s the beauty of vegetarian lasagne. If not … Read More

Spaghetti alla carbonara

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti35 Comments

My grandmother Angelina never made it, as far as I can recall, but as a long-time resident of Rome I have a great fondness for la carbonara, one of the iconic dishes of Roman cooking. Together with bucatini all’amatriciana, you’ll find it on just about every menu in town. And … Read More

Bucatini all’amatriciana

FrankAbruzzo, Lazio, pasta, primi piatti36 Comments

Bucatini all'amatriciana

It could be said that bucatini all’amatriciana and spaghetti alla carbonara are the ‘Romulus and Remus‘ of Roman cooking. No two dishes typify the local cuisine better than these two yet, like the two founding brothers of the Eternal City, neither actually comes from the city of Rome itself. L’amatriciana, … Read More

Pasta con la ricotta (Pasta and Ricotta Cheese)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia56 Comments

Pasta con la ricotta (Pasta and ricotta)

Pasta and ricotta make for a perfect impromptu meal or weekend dinner. The mellow flavor combination of tomato, ricotta and a bit of parmesan cheese is vaguely reminiscent of southern-style lasagna. But unlike lasagna, it’ll be done in less than 30 minutes—the time it takes to bring the water to … Read More

Turkey Tetrazzini

Frankpasta18 Comments

Tetrazzini

The Tetrazzini family of dishes is hard to classify. Despite being a kind of baked pasta dish with an Italian name, it is most definitely not Italian. In fact, it’s not really even Italian-American, if you define that term as meaning the cooking of the Italian diaspora in America. In … Read More

Pasta con la zucca alla napoletana (Pasta with Winter Squash, Naples-Style)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti32 Comments

Pasta with Winter squash

Pairing pasta and vegetables is common throughout Italy, but it is probably fair to say that no region puts so much emphasis on this classic combination as Campania, the southern Italian region from which Angelina hailed. Campanians are so associated with their love of vegetables that they used to jokingly … Read More