Struffoli (Angelina’s Honey Balls)

FrankCampania, dessert77 Comments

Stuffoli

Struffoli, small balls of dough fried and then covered in honey, is the quintessential Christmas sweet of Naples and its region of Campania. Although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, it is very dear to my heart; it was one of nonna Angelina’s signature dishes, and it never … Read More

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

FrankCampania, pasta, primi piatti18 Comments

Spaghetti alla colatura di alici

If you’ve ever had occasion to read the 4th century Roman cookbook De Re Coquinaria, popularly known as Apicius, you will have noticed that an ingredient called garum seems to make it into just about every savory dish, and even some sweet ones. Garum—a condiment made from fermenting fish—was a common ingredient back … 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

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

A Neapolitan Christmas: Capitone fritto (Fried Eel)

Frankantipasti9 Comments

Fried Eel

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without fish, and capitone fritto, or fried eel is one of the most popular choices in Italy, where the tradition goes back for millennia. While eel is almost unheard of in the US outside sushi circles, there’s a good reason for its popularity: eel has a meaty … Read More

Memorie di Angelina in the news

Franknews20 Comments

Friends, Just a quick note as we dash off to visit family for Christmas. One of my favorite food writers, Domenica Marchetti, has written a lovely article about the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American tradition, in the exciting new online magazine American Food Roots. Well, guess who’s featured … Read More

Tortellini fatti in casa (Homemade Tortellini)

FrankEmilia-Romagna, pasta, primi piatti, Soups24 Comments

Homemade Tortellini in brodo

Among the dizzying variety of stuffed pastas in the Italian repertoire, perhaps none—with the exception of ravioli—is more famous than tortellini. These ring-shaped bits of bliss are ambassadors of Italian cuisine abroad and these days they (or aberrant facsimiles) can be found on the shelves of almost any supermarket. Within … Read More