Fettuccine al salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Fettuccine)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, Lazio, pasta, primi piatti23 Comments

Smoked Salmon Fettuccine

I love smoked salmon. It is so incredibly versatile, delicious and good for you, too. And it adds a touch of elegance to any dish in which it appears. Who could ask for more? One of our favorite weeknight dinners at home is this simple Smoked Salmon Fettuccine. If you’re … Read More

Pasta a risotto (Pasta Cooked in the Manner of Risotto)

Frankpasta, snack9 Comments

Pasta a risotto

One of the guilty pleasures that I have never, up to now, revealed to a living soul is my penchant for late-night pasta snacks. But not just any pasta, but pasta  a risotto, or pasta risottata: pastina of the kind usually used for soups, cooked like a risotto, in just enough … Read More

Lasagna di Carnevale (Angelina’s Lasagna)

FrankCampania, Italian-American, pasta, piatti unici58 Comments

Lasagna di carnevale

Among Angelina’s generation, each of the female family members had a special dish that she was known for. My great-aunt, Angelina’s sister, who we called zi’-zi’ (loosely translated, ‘auntie’), was the ravioli specialist. Another great-aunt, zi’ Annin’,  was known as “the little pie-maker” and yet another specialized in calzone pugliese, … Read More

Pizzoccheri alla valtellinese (Buckwheat Pasta from the Italian Alps)

FrankLombardia, pasta, piatti unici, primi piatti15 Comments


Nothing says ‘winter’ to me like pizzoccheri alla valtellinese, an Alpine buckwheat pasta dish oozing with melted cheese and winter vegetables, a typical dish of the Valtellina in the uppermost stretches of Lombardia, a fairly narrow valley region running northeast from the Lago di Como along the border with Switzerland. … Read More

Fazzoletti di crespelle (Stuffed Crepe “Handkerchiefs”)

Frankpasta, primi piatti21 Comments

Fazzoletti di crespelle

It may come as a surprise, but Italians make crepes. They’re called crespelle in Italian (even if many Italians just call them by their French name, as we do in English). The most common use for crepes in Italian cookery is not as dessert, but as stuffed pasta. They can … Read More

Mezzelune al brasato (Half-moon Ravioli Stuffed with Braised Beef)

FrankFall, pasta, Piemonte, primi piatti, Winter14 Comments

Mezzeluna al brasato

Here’s a wonderful way to ‘recycle’ leftover brasato or other pot roast—as a filling for a half-moon shaped stuffed pasta called mezzelune: Ingredients Leftover brasato  (pot roast) 1-2 eggs 100g (3-1/2 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper A scrape of nutmeg One batch of fresh egg pasta, or dumpling … Read More

Lasagne alla bolognese (Bolognese Lasagna)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, pasta, piatti unici, primi piatti28 Comments

Bolognese Lasagna

There are many types of lasagna dishes in Italian cookery, and in each is wonderful in its own way. But to my mind there are two “Ur-lasagne“, each typifying the northern and southern poles of Italian cuisine: Lasagna for Carnival, or lasagna di carnevale from Campania—the kind of lasagna that nonna Angelina … Read More

Ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, pasta, sauces21 Comments

Bolognese Sauce

One of the most famous sauces in all of Italian cookery, ragù alla bolognese—known in English as Bolognese Sauce—is one of those archetypical sauces simmering for hours and hours on the back of the stove that so many people associate with Italian cooking. It is the northern equivalent of that … Read More

Tubetti cacio e uova (Tubetti with Egg and Cheese)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti15 Comments

Tubetti cacio e uova

Tubetti cacio e uova is a great spur-of-the-moment Neapolitan pasta dish for a quick weeknight dinner or perhaps a midnight snack: Ingredients For each serving of pasta: 100g (3-1/2 oz) of tubetti (aka ditali or ditalini) A heaping spoonful of butter or lard 1 egg 1 spoonful each of Parmesan and … Read More

Spaghetti alle vongole (Spaghetti with Clam Sauce)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti33 Comments

Spaghetti with Clam Sauce

A Friday night favorite at our place—and traditional Christmas Eve primo piatto—is spaghetti with clam sauce, one of the signature dishes of Neapolitan cuisine. It is surprisingly easy to make, fun (if a bit messy) to eat and—if you have some good, fresh clams on hand—really, really tasty. Ingredients Serves … Read More

Pappardelle all’anatra (Pappardelle with Duck Ragu)

FrankFall, pasta, piatti unici, primi piatti, Toscana, Winter7 Comments

Pappardelle with Duck Ragu

When one thinks of Tuscan cooking, one of the first dishes that comes to mind—along with such icons as fagioli all’uccelleto and bistecca alla fiorentina—is pappardelle sulla lepre, a wide ribbon pasta with hare sauce. Its fame is perfectly justified; it is truly delicious. Finding hare is just about impossible … Read More

Fregola e salsiccia (Fregola with Sausage)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Sardegna2 Comments

Fregola with Sausage

A friend recently gave me a gift of fregola (also called fregula), a typical Sardinian pasta very similar to Israeli couscous. I had heard of fregola, but had never eaten it—nor did I know any recipes for preparing it, so I dove into my cookbooks and surfed the internet for more … Read More

Strozzapreti ai funghi (Strozzapreti with Mushrooms)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Winter7 Comments

Strozzapreti with Mushrooms

There are all sorts of mushroom sauces, some of which have made their appearance on this blog. The mushroom and tomato sauce, for example, that goes so well with dried pasta, or the mushroom cream sauce for gnocchi or even ox tongue. None of these are very hard to make, … Read More

Tagliatelle al tonno e panna (Tagliatelle with Tunafish and Cream)

Frankpasta, primi piatti2 Comments

Here’s a dish for iconoclasts: tagliatelle with tunafish simmered in butter, cream and parmesan cheese—a dish that violates one of the cardinal rules of Italian cooking: never mix fish and aged cheese. But this may be one of those exceptions that prove the rule, as the result is really very … Read More

Taglierini al sugo d’arrosto (Taglierini with Roast Drippings)

Frankpasta, PiemonteLeave a Comment


Here’s a neat idea for a really quick and savory pasta whenever you happen to roast  veal, chicken, beef or pork. Save the drippings and use them as a sauce for taglierini pasta—a sugo d’arrosto. It’s that simple. If your roasting pan is flameproof, you can even throw your pasta … Read More

Spaghetti alla puttanesca (“Streetwalker” Spaghetti)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti7 Comments

Spaghetti alla puttanesca is another weeknight stand-by in our house. So quick and—for lack of a better word—lusty. Ingredients Makes 4-6 servings 500g (1 lb) spaghetti 2-3 cloves of garlic (or more to taste), peeled and slightly crushed 1-2 dried hot red peppers (peperoncino) Olive oil 250g (8 oz) canned … Read More

Pasta e piselli (Pasta and Peas)

Frankpasta, primi piatti27 Comments

Pasta e piselli

Here’s a when-you-really-don’t-feel-like-cooking dish. It’s a quick and easy combination of pasta and peas, but really satisfying. Pasta e piselli and pasta e lenticchie were my favorite everyday pastas Angelina would make when I was a kid. Here’s the way she made it: Ingredients 1 small onion, finely chopped A sprig or … Read More

Zitoni al forno con le polpettine (Baked Ziti with Tiny Meatballs)

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti15 Comments

 If baked pappardelle with radicchio is a good example of a northern Italian baked pasta dish, baked ziti, as this dish is known in English, typifies the southern Italian approach, and more specifically the Neapolitan approach, so much so, in fact, that this dish is sometimes called pasta al forno … Read More

Pasticcio di pappardelle al radicchio rosso di Treviso (Baked Pappardelle with Treviso Radicchio)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Veneto26 Comments

Pappardelle, those extra-wide egg noodles typical of Tuscany, are perhaps my favorite pasta. There’s something about wide noodles—I love Chinese ho fun noodles, too—that are especially enticing. Perhaps the most well-known pappardelle dishes are ‘sulla lepre‘ (with braised hare) and al cinghiale (wild boar)—but pappardelle are quite versatile and, I … Read More

Il ragù della domenica (Sunday Sauce)

FrankCampania, Italian-American, pasta, primi piatti, sauces39 Comments

Ragù della domenica (Sunday Sauce)

The subject of Sunday Sauce always brings me back to my childhood. My passion for food began early, and most of my culinary Ur-memories lead me back to Sunday dinners at nonna Angelina’s place. About noontime, after Sunday Mass, the family would congregate around the enormous table (or so it … Read More

Pasta al tonno (Pasta with Tuna Sauce)

Frankpasta, primi piatti20 Comments

Here’s a quick note on another staple weeknight dinner: pasta al tonno. Very fast and almost as easy as opening a can. Ingredients Serves 2-3 200g (7 oz) spaghetti, linguine, penne or other pasta of your choice For the soffritto: 1 or 2 garlic cloves, slightly crushed and peeled 1 … Read More

Penne ai peperoni e alici (Penne with Peppers and Anchovies)

Frankpasta, primi piatti5 Comments

A quick note on a quick dish: penne with peppers and anchovies, something I made up, on the spur of the moment, to use some of the red bell peppers in the fridge before they went off. I decided to riff off the classic roasted peppers and anchovy antipasto and pair it … Read More

Quadrucci in brodo (Pasta Squares in Broth)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Soups2 Comments

Quadrucci in brodo

The simplest, and perhaps the best, way to use your skills for making fresh pasta and broth at home is to serve a warming bowl of pastina in brodo. It makes a wonderfully light but savory primo piatto, especially apt when you plan on a substantial (but not too assertive) … Read More

Ravioli al sugo di pomodoro (Homemade Ravioli with Tomato Sauce)

Frankpasta, primi piatti25 Comments


Once you know how to make fresh pasta, there are myriad ways you can put your knowledge to delicious use. One of the most lovely types of fresh pasta are the ever-popular ravioli, which, as you probably know, are a kind of stuffed pasta, typically square with fluted edges. The fillings … Read More

Pasta e ceci (Pasta and Chickpeas)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Soups14 Comments

There’s nothing so satisfying yet so quick and simple than the combination of pasta and some sort of legume–beans, peas or, in this case, ceci (chickpeas). And, as you probably know, the combination makes for a complete protein with plenty of fiber and no cholesterol. This kind of thing is … Read More