Cozze al gratin (Mussels Gratin)

Frankantipasti6 Comments

Mussel Gratin, Italian Style

Seafood tends to be expensive, but, for some reason, mussels remain very affordable. Plus, they’re delicious and very quick to make. In our house, we love the classic sautè di cozze (steamed mussels sautéed with garlic and hot pepper) but for a change, you can take steamed mussels in different directions. In this … Read More

Insalata di cozze (Mussels Salad)

Frankantipasti, summer8 Comments

Mussels Salad

It’s hard to think of an easier way to prepare mussels than this one. The mussels are steamed in white wine, shelled and then dressed with a lightly seasoned variation on the classic Italian oil and vinegar salad dressing. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, if you like a … Read More

Crema di ricotta (Ricotta Mousse)

Frankdessert20 Comments

Ricotta has got to be the most versatile of Italian cheeses: it makes its way into a variety of savory pasta dishes, from the popular pasta con la ricotta to the iconic ricotta-filled ravioli and—of course—southern-style lasagna, and any number of desserts, from the grand Neapolitan pastiera to the elegant budino di ricotta to … Read More

Costolette d’abbacchio fritte (Roman-Style Breaded Lamb Chops)

FrankLazio, secondi piatti, Spring5 Comments

Unlike fruits and vegetables, one doesn’t often think of meats as having seasons, but I’ve always associated game with the fall, pork with winter, and lamb with the spring. And as it turns out, there is something to this. Lamb is generally at its most tender in May and June when the animal is … Read More

Le virtù (Abruzzese “Seven Virtues” Minestrone)

FrankAbruzzo, piatti unici, Soups, Spring2 Comments

Abruzzese minestrone

Le virtù, literally meaning “the virtues”, is the signature Spring dish from the town of Teramo in the Abruzzo region of Italy. This version of minestrone takes it name from the  Seven Virtues of Catholic catechism. Custom has it that you need 7 different legumes and 7 different vegetables to make it, … Read More

Carciofi fritti alla romana (Roman-Style Fried Artichokes)

Frankcontorno, Lazio23 Comments

Carciofi fritti

Rome has produced two world famous artichoke dishes, carciofi alla romana (Roman-Style Braised Artichokes) and carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-Style Deep-Fried Artichokes) Both are fantastic but require rather elaborate preparations and deserve ‘star’ treatment as an antipasto or even a light vegetarian second course. Lesser known but every bit as delicious, … Read More

Babà al rum (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

FrankCampania, dessert33 Comments

Babà al rum (Neapolitan Rum Cake)

I remember this indulgently delicious rum-soaked Neapolitan dessert from my childhood, when it made frequent appearances on the Sunday dinner table along with other typical southern Italian sweets. The last time I had babà al rum, Neapolitan Rum Cake, was around 2003 in Naples, in a caffè in the Galleria Umberto … Read More

Lasagne agli asparagi (Asparagus Lasagna)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, pasta, primi piatti, Spring73 Comments

Asparagus Lasagna

A good dish of lasagna is one of the most satisfying meals I can imagine. But, to be honest, a dish of classic lasagna di Carnevale or lasagne alla bolognese can be a bit on the heavy side, especially as the weather gets warmer. That’s the beauty of vegetarian lasagne. If not … Read More