The Digestivo: A Beginner’s Guide to Italian After Dinner Drinks

Frankbeverage, drink, reference49 Comments

Digestivo

This blog is mostly dedicated to food, but food and drink are inextricably linked. So, from time to time, we consider the wines and other beverages that typically accompany an Italian meal. We’ve taken a look at the apertivo, the before-dinner drinks intended to whet the appetite before dinner. Today let’s … Read More

Homemade Giardiniera

Frankantipasti, Preserves, reference25 Comments

There are many ways in Italian cookery to put up food, relics of the days before refrigeration and freezing and commercial processing. There is straight up canning, of course. I can remember Angelina’s yearly day-long ritual of putting up summer tomatoes for the winter. The mason jars nearly filled one … Read More

Jeanne Caròla Francesconi: La Cucina Napoletana

FrankCampania, reference33 Comments

Jeanne Carola Francesconi

As I’ve written many times, Jeanne Caròla Francesconi (b. 1903, d. 1995) is my muse for Neapolitan cookery—apart from my grandmother Angelina, of course. And I’m certainly not alone. Often called the doyenne of Neapolitan cuisine, her classic 1965 work, La Cucina Napoletana, is the most iconic cookbook on the subject, perhaps second … Read More

Homemade Passata di pomodoro: Step by step

Frankreference48 Comments

Passata di pomodoro (or passata for short) is the multi-purpose tomato purée that every aspiring Italian cook should learn how to make. Fortunately, it’s really quick and easy, but you do need one special piece of equipment: a food mill. The method is simplicity itself: You take ripe tomatoes, simmer them just long … Read More

How to Slice a Bell Pepper

Frankreference12 Comments

How to slice a bell pepper

If you’re like me, you probably slice peppers in half lengthwise through the core, and proceed to trim out the seed core from each half (which inevitably send seeds flying around) and then slice up the flesh, trimming off the bitter pith attached to the ridges along the way. Well, if you’re … Read More

The Art of the Aperitivo

Frankbeverage, reference25 Comments

The Art of the Aperitivo

Memorie di Angelina is a food blog, of course, but in Italian culinary tradition you cannot separate food from drink. While Italians are not heavy drinkers as a rule, it is also true that, traditionally speaking at least, a meal is not a meal without a glass or two of … Read More

Cool New Features, Courtesy of ZipList

Franknews, reference5 Comments

  Dear readers, A quick note to let you know that I’ve partnered with ZipList.com to bring you some neat new features: Print Recipe. This is a functionality that many of you have been clamoring for. While you can print recipes straight from the web, the print out will include … Read More

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Frankgnocchi, primi piatti, reference37 Comments

Potato gnocchi are one of the easier types of ‘pasta’ to make at home and are most definitely worth the effort. The mini-hockey pucks that are sold commercially are, to put it bluntly, hardly worth eating—especially after you’ve tried the real thing. The best homemade potato gnocchi are as light and … Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Authentic Italian Food

Frankreference17 Comments

Welcome to our three part beginner’s guide to authentic Italian food! Here’s what you’ll find here: Part I: The Varieties of Italian Cooking This post walks you through the principal types of Italian cooking you are likely to encounter from true Italian food, the kind they make in Italy, to … Read More

Homemade Mayonnaise, the Italian Way

Frankreference, sauces13 Comments

Homemade Mayonnaise, the Italian Way

Mayonnaise may have been invented by the Spanish and popularized by the French, but Italians make maionese, too. The Italian method for homemade mayonnaise is not very different from elsewhere, but, not surprisingly, it is made either partially or entirely with olive oil (as was the original Spanish version) and is kept … Read More

Tomato Sauce 101

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti, reference, sauces, Toscana54 Comments

Tomato Sauce 101

I’m all for convenience when it actually makes life simpler, but it’s always been a mystery to me why people buy those jars of wretched “spaghetti sauce” that line our supermarket shelves when you can make real tomato sauce with only a tiny bit more time and effort. I suspect … Read More

Pane casereccio (Homemade Bread)

Frankreference103 Comments

Pane casereccio (Homemade Bread)

I am not a baker. Never have been. I have always found stove-top cooking fun and easy but baking is a very different art. Cooking lets you stir and taste and adjust as you go along to get things to come out just right. But with baking—once you close that … Read More

How to Dress a Salad “all’italiana”

Frankcontorno, reference22 Comments

How to Dress a Salad, the Italian way

The proper dressing of a salad has got to be one of the most overlooked techniques in all of cookery. For many people, a salad is something so common that it hardly merits thinking about. But there is actually a kind of art to this everyday task that can really transform … Read More

Part III: How to Cook Authentic Italian Food At Home

Frankreference17 Comments

Authentic Italian Food

Well, now that you know all about the varieties of Italian cooking and how to tell real Italian cooking from the fake, you may want to take your knowledge to the next level: making authentic Italian food at home. The good news is, it is really very easy to do. … Read More

Part II: Learning to Tell Real Italian Food from Fake

Frankreference31 Comments

Signs of fake Italian food

In Part I of this series, we explored the varieties of cooking styles that call themselves Italian, some rightly, some wrongly. As you will have realized from reading that post, there is a lot of fake Italian food out there, nowhere more so than right here on the internet. Since so … Read More

Part I: Varieties of Italian Cooking

Frankreference20 Comments

I sometimes feel sorry for Italians. While they are not generally a nationalistic people—Mussolini cured most of them of that affliction—they can be downright chauvinistic when it comes to their food. That’s perfectly understandable as far as I’m concerned, as Italians have given the world one of its great cuisines. And yet there may … Read More

How to Make a Frittata

Frankantipasti, reference, snack12 Comments

How to Make a Frittata

One of the wonders of Italian cuisine is its incredible variety, and much of that variety comes from the mix-and-match nature of so many of its dishes. You take a staple base ingredient like rice or pasta, and you pair that with all sorts of flavoring ingredients and come up … Read More

Rouxbe Online Cooking School

Franknews, reference3 Comments

Rouxbe Online Cooking School

Dear readers, Recipes are great things, but without the right cooking skills you won’t get the most out of even the best recipes. That’s why I try to spend time in the posts here on Memorie di Angelina describing technique to you in some considerable detail—to try to recreate for … Read More

The Italian Pantry

Frankreference31 Comments

Every cuisine has a collection of dry, canned, preserved and fresh staple ingredients that form the backbone of its repertoire. These staples show up time and again in countless dishes and define the characteristic tastes and textures of the cuisine. Italian cuisine is no different, and enormous regional variations in … Read More

Brodo vegetale (Vegetable Broth)

Frankreference13 Comments

Vegetable Broth

With the increased interest in vegetarian and vegan diets in recent times, you will find more and more recipes calling for vegetable broth instead of, or as alternative to, the more traditional meat broths. Ingredients When I make vegetable broth, I always begin with the usual aromatic vegetables that go … Read More

How to make béchamel sauce

Frankreference12 Comments

Béchamel sauce, How to Make

Béchamel sauce, which is essentially nothing more than milk thickened with a roux, is widely used in northern Italian cooking. It is not usually used as a ‘sauce’ per se but rather as a component in baked primi like lasagne alla bolognese, cannelloni, polenta pasticciata or crespelle al forno, as well as … Read More

How to Make Homemade Polenta

FrankCampania, Lazio, Lombardia, piatti unici, Piemonte, polenta, reference, Veneto44 Comments

How to Make Homemade Polenta

Homemade polenta is one of the most emblematic dishes of the northern Italian cuisines from the Veneto to Lombardia to Piemonte. It is also one of the oldest foods eaten in Italy, dating back at least to 990 BCE. In its original form, polenta—known to the ancient Romans as pulmentum—was … Read More

How to Make Homemade Broth

Frankprimi piatti, reference, Soups34 Comments

How to Make Homemade Broth

Making homemade broth is so easy to do, and the results are so wonderful and so almost infinitely useful, I really don’t understand why it’s almost disappeared from home cooking. Well, actually, I can guess: fewer and fewer people cook anything at all, let along things like homemade broth, which … Read More

Buying canned tomatoes

Frankreference39 Comments

Here’s a special note for readers in the US, where buying canned tomatoes can be tricky thing. When I first moved back from Italy, I ran into all sorts of trouble trying to find a brand of canned tomatoes that ‘behaved’ properly. The main problem being that, for some reason … Read More

Minestrone: A Primer

Frankprimi piatti, reference, Soups21 Comments

Many people think of minestrone as the kind of hearty fare best eaten in the cold weather months. Minestrone is wonderful in fall and winter, of course, but it can actually be enjoyed year-round, its component ingredients changing with the seasons, served hot in the winter, warm in the spring … Read More