Sciusceddu alla messinese

Frankprimi piatti, Sicilia, Soups53 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

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

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

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

Minestra di broccoli e arzilla (Skate and Romanesco Broccoli Soup)

FrankLazio, primi piatti, Soups44 Comments

Minestra di broccoli e arzilla

I lived in Rome for over ten years, but in all that time, minestra di broccoli e arzilla, or Skate and Romanesco Broccoli Soup, somehow passed me by. I belatedly discovered this homey soup only recently, while perusing some old cookery books I picked up there years ago. Better late than never… … Read More

Minestra dei morti (Soup of the Dead)

FrankLombardia, piatti unici, primi piatti, secondi piatti, Soups35 Comments

Minestra dei morti (Soup of the Dead)

Modern Milan, political capital of Lombardy and financial capital of Italy, conjures up images of sharply dressed business people, trendy fashion shows and elegant shops. Lombardy is one of the riches areas of Italy and, indeed, the world. So it may come as a surprise that the region’s traditional cuisine is actually fairly rustic, with … Read More

Farinata di cavolo nero (Tuscan Kale and Polenta Soup)

Frankpolenta, primi piatti, Soups, Toscana58 Comments

Farinata di cavolo nero

When I think of Tuscan cuisine, first and foremost, even before the classic bistecca alla fiorentina as wonderful as that is, I think of its hearty vegetable soups. The best known of these soups is probably  the ribollita, of course. But the most memorable Tuscan soup I’ve ever had was in a small … Read More

Vellutata di cavolfiore (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups27 Comments

Vellutata di cavolfiore

Here’s a dish that’s perfect for a spur of the moment meal, but is so beautiful and refined it could also serve as the starter for an elegant dinner: Vellutata di cavolfiore, or Cream of Cauliflower Soup. A vellutata—like its twin the crema, see the Notes below—can be roughly translated in English as a “Cream … Read More