Riso alla pilota (Pilot’s Rice)

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes49 Comments

Riso alla pilota

A rustic rice dish from Mantova in the cucina povera tradition, riso alla pilota is named after the piloti or laborers who operating the pila, the mill where rice would be hulled and polished back in the day. (There are still some old pile you can visit today, like this one.) The Po … Read More

Italian Tomato Salad: The Essential Guide

Frankcontorno42 Comments

Italian Tomato Salad

Nothing says summer like and insalata di pomodori, or Italian Tomato Salad. It’s a simple dish. So simple, in fact, you might not think it needs a recipe at all. But in fact—as so often happens in Italian cookery— the simplicity is deceptive. An artfully-made Italian Tomato Salad can be a … Read More

Frittata al basilico (Fresh Basil Frittata)

FrankAbruzzo, secondi piatti33 Comments

Frittata al basilico (Fresh Basil Frittata)

Here’s my nomination for the easiest frittata ever: Frittata al basilico, or Fresh Basil Frittata. It is literally simply beaten eggs mixed with a fistful of grated cheese and lots of fresh basil leaves. It’s perhaps my favorite summer frittata, whipped up in 15 minutes or less, full of aromatic … Read More

Fragole al vino rosso (Strawberries in Red Wine)

Frankdessert37 Comments

Fragole al vino rosso (Strawberries in Red Wine)

We’re in the midst of strawberry season, that blessed time of year when you can buy strawberries from local farmers that actually taste like strawberries. Imagine that! Those berries are so sweet and juicy, you can enjoy them just as they are. But if you want to dress them up … Read More

Cocktail di gamberetti (Shrimp Cocktail in the Italian Manner)

Frankantipasti36 Comments

New Year’s Eve in Italy, as for so many other special occasions, means a special meal, the cenone di Capodanno, or ‘big supper’. Like Christmas Eve, this meal is often “lean” or fish based—at least before midnight, when it’s time to break out the cotechino sausage and lentils for good fortune. (In modern times, however, … Read More

Insalata di patate e tonno (Potato Tuna Salad)

Frankantipasti, contorno, summer23 Comments

Potato Tuna Salad

Potato salad is a summer staple on American tables, but if you’re interested in a different take, here’s an idea for you: Potato Tuna Salad. At its most basic, Potato Tuna Salad is a close cousin to that staple of Italian buffet tables, fagioli e tonno. You take slices or cubes … Read More

Impepata di cozze (Peppered Mussels)

Frankantipasti, Campania, secondi piatti20 Comments

Impepata di cozze (Peppered Mussels)

Here’s a recipe that’s so simple you could call it a non-recipe: impepata di cozze, or Peppered Mussels. To make this  Neapolitan classic, you simply steam mussels in their own juices with nothing but generous amounts of freshly ground black pepper. Garnish them, if you like, with some chopped parsley and lemon … 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

Salsicce all’uva (Sausages and Grapes)

FrankFall, secondi piatti, Toscana, Umbria44 Comments

Sausages and Grapes

The use of fruits in savory dishes was once common place in Italian cooking, as it was in European cooking generally.  Giuliano Bugialli, for example, tells us that the original duck à l’orange was a Tuscan dish. But with some notable exceptions like mostarda for boiled meats and strawberry risotto, it’s become a … 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

Caponata napoletana

Frankantipasti, Campania, summer33 Comments

Caponata napoletana

Italian cookery can be confusing. As we’ve talked about before, it’s highly regional and even local, so much so that some people say that there is no such thing as Italian cuisine. I don’t agree, but it is true that there are amazing differences between regions, especially as you travel … Read More

Panna cotta

Frankdessert, Piemonte19 Comments

Panna cotta

It may come as a surprise that this famous, elegant dessert from the Piemonte region of Italy is so very easy to make. Panna cotta, or “cooked cream”, is nothing but warmed (not actually cooked) cream sweetened with sugar and infused with vanilla, then thickened with gelatin and chilled. Traditionally served unmolded, you … Read More