Brutti ma buoni

Frankdessert, Lombardia, Piemonte, Toscana24 Comments

brutti ma buoni

Brutti ma buoni, meaning “ugly but good”, is the jocular name Italians give to these nut and meringue cookies originally from north-central Italy (their precise origin is disputed) but now popular all over the country. The recipe is simple enough, though you need to take some care so they come … Read More

Pesto di cavolo nero (Tuscan Kale Pesto)

Frankprimi piatti, Toscana27 Comments

Pesto di cavolo nero

Generally speaking I’m not a picky eater. Just the opposite in fact. There are very few things I won’t eat or at least try. I’ve had alligator in Florida, live lobster sashimi and rattlesnake in New York, fried lamb’s brains and pasta with calf’s intestines in Rome, fermented cassava balls … Read More

Cacciucco (Tuscan Fish Soup)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana31 Comments


One of the most iconic dishes in Tuscan cookery, cacciucco is a fish soup made in the costal areas of Tuscany, most famously in and around the port city of Livorno. Like many Italian fish “soups”, cacciucco is really more of a stew, made from a large variety of fish, … Read More


Frankdessert, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Toscana, Umbria, Veneto32 Comments


Carnival time was traditionally the last chance to have meat before Lent. The very word carnevale comes from the Latin expression carne levare, loosely meaning to “say goodbye to meat”. Indeed, martedì grasso or Fat Tuesday is still celebrated with a large meal featuring meat-laden dishes like the Neapolitan lasagne di Carnevale. And yet, perhaps the most iconic Italian dishes for Carnival actually come … Read More

Pici all’aglione

Frankpasta, primi piatti, Toscana48 Comments

Pici all'aglione

As I’ve pointed out many times over the years, one of the hallmarks of “fake” Italian cookery is its in-your-face use of garlic. Now of course garlic is a common ingredient in Italian cooking. But Italians generally use it with great discretion. A common technique, featured in this blog for … Read More