Pollo al mattone (Chicken under a Brick)

Franksecondi piatti, summer, Toscana37 Comments

Pollo al mattone (Chicken under a Brick)

Pollo al mattone, which I would translate roughly as “chicken under a brick”, is an ingenuous way of grilling chicken. The bird is butterflied, flattened and weighed down so it cooks quickly and evenly over hot embers. It sounds astonishingly simple—and it is—but by some sort of sorcery I can’t … 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

Gelo di melone (Sicilian Watermelon Pudding)

Frankdessert, Sicilia, summer25 Comments

Watermelon Pudding (Gelo di melone)

Sicilian Watermelon Pudding, or gelo di melone, is made from watermelon juice, perfumed with cinnamon and jasmine blossoms, thickened and mixed with bits of chocolate—cut into little bits so they resemble watermelon seeds—and chilled until set. Served in dessert bowls or unmolded on to a plate, the pudding is then topped with ground … Read More

Eggplant Cordon Bleu (Cordon bleu di melanzane)

Franksecondi piatti, Sicilia, summer26 Comments

Eggplant Cordon Bleu

Eggplants may be my favorite summer vegetable. Perhaps that’s because I have such fond food memories of my grandmother’s parmigiana di melanzane, or Eggplant Parmesan. The parmigiana is a lot of work, though, a dish for special occasions, so I’m always looking for different ways to prepare eggplant. One of the … Read More

Insalata di patate e tonno (Potato Tuna Salad)

Frankantipasti, contorno, summer23 Comments

Potato Tuna Salad

Potato salad is a summer staple on American tables, but if you’re interested in a different take, here’s an idea for you: Potato Tuna Salad. At its most basic, Potato Tuna Salad is a close cousin to that staple of Italian buffet tables, fagioli e tonno. You take slices or cubes … Read More

Sorbetto di limone (Lemon Sorbet)

Frankdessert, summer27 Comments

Sorbetto di limone

Along with gelato, sorbetto is *the* classic Italian frozen dessert. And perhaps the most basic. Sorbetto di limone is essentially frozen lemonade: Simple syrup is made by simmering sugar and water together, to which lemon zest is added and allowed to infuse its flavor. When this flavored syrup cools completely, it … Read More

Caponata napoletana

Frankantipasti, Campania, summer33 Comments

Caponata napoletana

Italian cookery can be confusing. As we’ve talked about before, it’s highly regional and even local, so much so that some people say that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine. I don’t agree, but it is true that there are amazing differences between regions, especially as you travel … Read More

Homemade Limoncello

Frankbeverage, Campania, summer28 Comments

Homemade Limoncello

Everyone likes limoncello. For me, just a sip brings back memories of summer and sand and seafood by the shore. The best limoncello exquisitely balances the pungency of lemon zest and the sweetness of sugar, with just an intriguing hint of bitterness. The quality of commercial limoncello can vary wildly. (I know … Read More