Brasato ai funghi (Italian Pot Roast with Mushrooms)

FrankFall, Lombardia, Piemonte, secondi piatti, Winter35 Comments

Brasato ai funghi

While I’m not a vegetarian, meat doesn’t play a very central role in my diet. Usually at least. There’s something about the late autumn and winter that brings out the inner carnivore.  When the colder weather sets in, there’s nothing better than a good pot roast. We’ve featured brasato, the northern … 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

Salsicce e fagioli (Sausage and Beans)

FrankFall, secondi piatti, Winter28 Comments

Sausage and Beans

Pork and beans were meant for each other—think franks and beans from the States or cassoulet from France, to take just two examples. Italians enjoy the combination, too, of course, as in the festive Cotechino with Lentils, or the rustic fagioli con le cotiche, or in this simple, everyday dish … Read More

Stinco di maiale al forno con patate (Oven-Roasted Pork Hock and Potatoes)

FrankAlto Adige, Fall, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, secondi piatti, Winter36 Comments

Stinco di maiale al forno (Roasted Pork Hock)

I am taking some poetic license with today’s recipe. You see, stinco di maiale is actually the shank of the animal. It is a fairly easy to find cut in Italy, sold in many supermarkets already skinned and trimmed and ready for the oven. Here is the US, I’ve never been able to … Read More

Insalata di arance e finocchi (Orange and Fennel Salad)

Frankantipasti, contorno, Fall, Sicilia, Winter43 Comments

Orange and Fennel Salad

It might be the season, but coming right on the heels of our recent post on Sausages and Grapes, today’s post once again features a mixture of sweet and savory ingredients. Whereas that post combined fruit and meat, today we’ll take a look at a fruit and vegetable combination from Sicily: … Read More

Carbonade valdostana

FrankFall, piatti unici, secondi piatti, Val d'Aosta, Winter26 Comments

Carbonade valdostana

Val d’Aosta is a tiny region nestled among the Italian Alps in the northwest corner of Italy, at the intersection of France, Switzerland and Italy. It is the smallest and least populous region of Italy, and French is one of its official languages, along with the Italian. The region is known … Read More

Cinghiale in agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Wild Boar)

FrankFall, Lazio, secondi piatti, Winter30 Comments

Sweet and Sour Wild Boar

Genuine Italian cookery generally has straight-forward taste profiles. As I’ve said before, one of the best ways to tell if a recipe is really Italian is to count the ingredient list: you should have your doubts about any recipe with over, say, seven ingredients; more than ten, and you should turn the page. Well, here’s … Read More

Il Gran Bollito Misto (Mixed Boiled Meat)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, Piemonte, secondi piatti, Winter21 Comments

Mixed Boiled Meat

We usually think of boiled meat as a by-product of making broth, a humble if comforting dish for parsimonious souls. But in northern Italy, particularly in the Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna, they’ve transformed the dish into a regal spread. Traditionally, a true Gran Bollito Misto includes seven different cuts (tagli) of beef … Read More

Carabaccia (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups, Toscana, Winter31 Comments

Carabaccia

Carabaccia is an ancient Tuscan onion soup, going back to the Renaissance. They say it was a favorite of Leonardo da Vinci—and that, as for so many other classic dishes,  the recipe was brought by Catarina de’  Medici to France, where it evolved into the soupe à l’oignon we all know and love today. You … Read More

Montebianco (Mont-blanc)

Frankdessert, Fall, Winter19 Comments

Montebianco (Mont-blanc)

Montebianco—which most English speakers know by its French name Mont-blanc even if the dish originated in Italy—is an elegant dessert often served for Christmas, but, to my mind, it is a perfect conclusion to any festive occasion in the late autumn or winter. Named after the highest peak of the Alps straddling the … Read More

A Neapolitan Christmas: Insalata di rinforzo (Cauliflower and Pickled Vegetable Salad)

Frankantipasti, Winter31 Comments

Insalata di rinforzo

This zesty cauliflower salad is a fixture on family tables in Naples during the Christmas season.  The salad is called insalata di rinforzo—’reinforcement salad’—is because it was customary in the old days to make a first batch as an antipasto on Christmas Eve and to keep on ‘reinforcing’ it with more cauliflower … Read More

Polpettone in umido con funghi (Meatloaf in Tomato and Mushroom Sauce)

FrankFall, secondi piatti, Winter22 Comments

Meatloaf in Tomato and Mushroom Sauce

As the temperatures dip, I find myself seeking out comfort foods. And what says ‘comfort’ more than a good meatloaf? And, yes, Italians make meatloaf too. They call it a  polpettone or big meatball. Makes sense if you think about, doesn’t it? We’ve already seen Angelina’s southern Italian style meatloaf, stuffed … Read More

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe (Orecchiette ai broccoletti)

FrankFall, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia, Winter39 Comments

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

A quick pasta dish with vegetables that you can whip up in less an 30 minutes, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe makes for a fine meatless dinner, with cheese and fruit for dessert. It’s pretty typical of the kind of thing we like to eat in our house on a weeknight when there’s … Read More

Torta di mele (Apple Torte)

Frankdessert, Fall, snack, Winter22 Comments

Torta di mele (Apple Torte)

 Torta di mele a homely version of an apple torte that could hardly be easier. And believe me, if a non-baker like myself can make this with no trouble at all, you will, too. You just make a simple batter in your trusty mixer, fold in apple slices, pour everything … Read More

Jota triestina (Beans and Sauerkraut Soup from Trieste)

FrankFriuli-Venezia Giulia, primi piatti, Winter31 Comments

Jota Triestina (Sauerkraut Soup from Trieste)

One of the things that make Italian cuisine so fascinating is its vast variety of flavors and cooking styles.  Going from one region of Italy to another, in culinary terms (and not only) is something like going from one country to another—not surprising, I suppose, if you consider that the … Read More

Finocchi gratinati (Fennel Gratin)

Frankcontorno, Winter30 Comments

Fennel gratin

I love fennel. It may, in fact, be my favorite winter vegetable. Personally, I mostly like fennel eaten raw, either dipped in bagna cauda or in some seasoned olive oil as part of a pinzimonio, or—best of all—just as is, as ‘dessert’. Its refreshing anise taste and crisp texture seems … Read More

Hamburger alla panna (Hamburger with Cream Sauce)

FrankFall, secondi piatti, Winter17 Comments

Hamburger in cream sauce

Hamburger in cream sauce is an Italian dish? Yes! Not everyone associates hamburgers with Italian cooking, but Italians have a long tradition of using ground beef in imaginative ways, for meatballs (polpette) and meatloaf (polpettone), as well as as a basis for the classic ragù alla bolognese. So it should … Read More

Fondue au fromage (Cheese Fondue)

Frankpiatti unici, Winter14 Comments

Cheese Fondue

When you want something filling and warming but don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, cheese fondue is your ticket. Fondue simply means ‘melted’ in French and, indeed, cheese fondue is basically melted cheese, flavored with just a hint of garlic and thinned out a bit with … Read More

Spezzatino di manzo (Italian Beef Stew)

FrankFall, piatti unici, Winter18 Comments

Italian Beef Stew

It’s hard to believe, but in all the years that I’ve been writing this blog, somehow I’ve managed to avoid writing a post about Italian beef stew. I suppose that’s a tribute to the vast variety of Italian cooking or perhaps a reflection of the somewhat secondary role that beef … Read More

Frank’s Hot Chocolate

Frankbeverage, Fall, Winter27 Comments

Frank's Hot Chocolate

Is there anything quite so comforting, after a chilly day’s outing, as a cup of hot chocolate? It almost makes me look forward to the cold weather. But, if you ask me, most kinds you can find commercially, either entirely pre-made or from a mix, is either too thin or … Read More

Costolette di maiale ai funghi (Pork Chops with Mushrooms)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, Fall, secondi piatti, Winter23 Comments

Pork Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce

You could probably devote a small cookbook just to Italian veal chop recipes, but with the price of veal being what it is, I usually do what many Italians do and turn to pork. The taste of pork is different, of course, but most veal recipes translate quite well into … Read More

How to Roast Chestnuts

Frankdessert, snack, Winter23 Comments

How to Roast Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose… Roast chestnuts evoke wistful holidays images of days gone by. But how many of us have actually roasted chestnuts on an open fire? Too few, I imagine. And a shame, too, since anyone with a fireplace can do it … Read More

Viennese Goulash

FrankNon-Italian, piatti unici, Winter18 Comments

Viennese Goulash

For some reason, I must be feeling nostalgic for my Vienna days as I keep coming back to the dishes I made during those years. Perhaps it’s the cold weather that calls out for the hearty cooking of Mitteleuropa. In any event, here’s another favorite from that time and place: … Read More

Canederli (Tyrolean Bread Dumplings)

FrankAlto Adige, Fall, gnocchi, Non-Italian, primi piatti, Winter21 Comments

Tyrollean Bread Dumplings

Canederli is the Italian name given to the bread dumplings so popular in Austria and other parts of central Europe, known in German as Semmelknödl or just knödel. During my years in Vienna it was one of my favorite things to eat, so when I re-discovered them in Italy, on … Read More

Zuppa di porri (Tuscan Leek Soup)

FrankFall, primi piatti, Soups, Toscana, Winter21 Comments

Tuscan Leek Soup

‘Tis the season for soups! When the temperatures dive, there is simply nothing that takes the chill off like soup. The wonderful thing about soups is their enormous variety: they can be thick and stick-to-the-ribs, whole meals in themselves, or they can be light, even austere, just enough to whet … Read More