Asparagi in casseruola (Cavalcanti’s Sautéed Asparagus)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno, secondi piatti45 Comments

Asparagi in cassruola (Cavalcanti's Sautéed Asparagus)

Asparagus generally doesn’t spring to mind when we think about Neapolitan cookery, but here’s an example that challenges our preconceived notions. This recipe for asparagi in casseruola comes to us from Ippolito Cavalcanti, the famed 19th century gourmand whose 1839 masterwork, La cucina teorica-pratica, is one of the Ur-texts of … Read More

Pollo in fricassea (Chicken Fricassée)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana43 Comments

Pollo in fricassea (Chicken Fricassee)

The Italian cooking term fricassea is a bit of a false friend for English or French speakers. Like a fricassée, it usually involves a two-step cooking process of a sauté followed by a braise. But for Italians the thing that makes a fricassea a fricassea—and not, say, a spezzatino—is the … Read More

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

Frittata di pane (Bread Frittata)

Frankantipasti, secondi piatti32 Comments

Frittata di pane (Bread Frittata)

This is yet another recipe using leftover bread, as a frittata di pane or Bread Frittata. Here the bread is trimmed of its crust, then cubed and soaked in milk and water until soft. The softened bread is then mixed with eggs, cheese and parsley to make a surprisingly tasty … Read More

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

FrankBasilicata, Calabria, pasta, primi piatti, Puglia, Sicilia42 Comments

Pasta con la mollica (Pasta with Breadcrumbs)

All over southern Italy, breadcrumbs were considered the “poor man’s cheese”. Those who couldn’t afford the luxury of the usual grated pecorino—or throwing away stale bread—would sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over pasta and other dishes. Cucina povera in the literal sense. And yet, as it so often turns out, necessity gave … Read More

Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Frankantipasti, Campania, Liguria, Sicilia, Veneto31 Comments

Insalata di polpo (Octopus Salad)

Octopus seems to be enjoying something of a boomlet in popularity at the moment. Until very recently I could mostly find fresh octopus only at specialty Spanish or Italian fishmongers, but these days it seems to be everywhere, even making an occasional appearance at the fish counter in my local … Read More

Fritole alla veneziana (Venetian Carnival Fritters)

Frankdessert, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, snack, Veneto34 Comments

Fritole

In Italy, Carnival, that last blast of excess before the austerity of the Lenten season, is known for fried foods of all sorts, especially sweet ones. I grew up on Angelina’s chiacchiere, the fried dough ribbons typical of southern Italy and beyond, but in Venice and nearby Trieste, they make fritole, … 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