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

Saltimbocca alla sorrentina

FrankCampania, secondi piatti22 Comments

Saltimbocca alla sorrentina

Chances are, if you know anything about Italian food, you’ve heard of saltimbocca alla romana, veal scallops sautéed in butter with prosciutto and sage, then simmered in white wine. It’s a simple dish, full of robust flavor like much Roman cookery. But not as many people know its southern cousin, saltimbocca … Read More

Spaghetti alle cipolle rosse e alici (Spaghetti with Red Onions and Anchovies)

Frankpasta, primi piatti38 Comments

Spaghetti alle cipolle rosse e alici (Spaghetti with Red Onions and Anchovies)

What would the world be without onions? Along with their close cousins garlic and shallots, they seem to make their way into just about every savory dish. That’s certainly true of Italian cooking, at least. And yet, except maybe for onion soup, it seems onions are always the proverbial bridesmaid, … Read More

Tagliatelle carciofi e funghi (Tagliatelle with Artichoke Hearts and Mushrooms)

Frankpasta, primi piatti37 Comments

tagliatelle carciofi e funghi

In many ways, we lovers of Italian food here in the US are lucky. The current popularity of Italian food means that you can find just about any kind of Italian pantry product you like, from everyday staples like imported pasta or canned tomatoes to relatively esoteric ingredients like colatura … Read More

Shrimp Scampi

Frankantipasti, Italian-American, secondi piatti48 Comments

Shrimp Scampi

This blog is dedicated to continental Italian food—the kind of food you’ll find in Italy. But as long time readers will know, around this time of year we feature an Italian-American recipe. This year’s feature is a popular dish with a funny name: Shrimp Scampi. Funny to those who know Italian, that … Read More

Barchette di sedano con gorgonzola e noci (Celery Boats with Gorgonzola and Walnuts)

Frankantipasti42 Comments

Barchette di sedano (Celery Boats)

I don’t know about you, but when I’m making a “major” meal in the Italian manner, I tend to focus on the primo and the secondo. More often than not, I pick up dessert at a local bakery. And the antipasto? Well, when I’m pressed for time—and that tends to be … Read More

Sugo finto (“Fake” Sauce)

Frankpasta, primi piatti, sauces, Toscana44 Comments

Sugo finto

Another of the many Italian dishes in the cucina povera tradition, sugo finto is “fake” because it is basically a meat sauce (sugo di carne) without the meat that was so unaffordable for most people not too far in the past. (It is also called sugo scappato, or ‘escaped’ sauce, for … Read More

Petti di pollo al burro (Butter-Braised Chicken Breasts)

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana64 Comments

Petti di pollo al burro

In Italian Food, the 1954 book that introduced the English to real Italian cookery, Elizabeth David includes a recipe for petti di pollo alla fiorentina, or Florentine-Style Chicken Breast. She says it is a “lovely way of cooking a good chicken, and has a nice, extravagant air”. And indeed it is. But the … 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

Pasta alla gricia: The Mother of Roman Pastas

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti30 Comments

Pasta alla gricia

What was Italian cuisine like before the tomato arrived from America? Pasta alla gricia gives us some idea. Widely considered the ancestor of the more famous bucatini all’amatriciana, it is a simple dish that, according to at least one  legend, originated among shepherds in the mountains around the town of … 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

Cipolline novelle con piselli (Spring Onions and Peas)

Frankcontorno33 Comments

While many recipes for peas call for a bit of onion as a flavor base, you don’t really taste the onion itself—it’s there to bring out the peas’ natural sweetness. In this recipe for Spring Onions and Peas, you get a completely new dish from essentially the same ingredients in different ratios. The onion steps up … Read More

Asparagi all’agro (Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil)

Frankantipasti, contorno19 Comments

Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil (Asparagi all'agro)

Asparagus with Lemon and Olive oil, or asparagi all’agro, is one of those dishes that is so quick and simple you might argue it hardly needs a recipe. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy or obvious. In fact, simple dishes can be quite tricky to pull off. The very simplicity leaves you … Read More

Vellutata di cavolfiore (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups27 Comments

Vellutata di cavolfiore

Here’s a dish that’s perfect for a spur of the moment meal, but is so beautiful and refined it could also serve as the starter for an elegant dinner: Vellutata di cavolfiore, or Cream of Cauliflower Soup. A vellutata—like its twin the crema, see the Notes below—can be roughly translated in English as a “Cream … Read More

Uova alla fiorentina, Bugialli’s Original Eggs Florentine

Franksecondi piatti, Toscana21 Comments

Eggs Florentine

Delicious as it may be, the dish known in most of the world as Eggs Florentine —eggs sitting on a bed of spinach braised in butter, topped with mornay sauce and shirred in a hot oven— is, in fact, not Italian but a French invention. Some say it was invented … Read More

Cicoria e fagioli (Chicory and Beans)

FrankCampania, contorno, piatti unici, primi piatti, Soups44 Comments

Chicory and beans (Cicoria e fagioli)

Chicory and Beans is one of those lean dishes that Angelina practically lived on weekdays. Like many good southern Italians, she was what we might call today a ‘flexitarian‘—living mostly on vegetables, saving meat for Sundays and other special occasions. Her lunch would often consist of chicory or escarole or some other … 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

Cacio e pepe, a Roman classic

FrankLazio, pasta, primi piatti49 Comments

Cacio e pepe

When you’re in a real hurry or just too tired to cook anything too elaborate, here’s a great solution: cacio e pepe, literally ‘cheese and pepper’, a pasta dish usually made with spaghetti, bucatini or—my personal favorite—tonnarelli, a kind of square spaghetti better known Stateside by its Abruzzese name, spaghetti … 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

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

Fichi al cioccolato (Chocolate Covered Figs)

FrankCalabria, dessert, Sicilia, snack27 Comments

Chocolate Covered Figs

Here’s a sweet that’s so simple you could almost describe it as a non-recipe: Chocolate Covered Figs—dried figs stuffed with almonds and dipped in dark chocolate. It’s a combination that was truly meant to be, in my opinion far more appealing than the ever-popular strawberries in chocolate. The intense, concentrated … Read More

Zuppa pavese (Pavia Style Soup)

FrankLombardia, primi piatti, Soups29 Comments

Zuppa pavese

A humble soup in the cucina povera tradition, zuppa pavese from the Lombardy city of Pavia has a regal history behind it. Legend has it that French king Francis I, fleeing from defeat in a nearby battle, found himself in a peasant farmhouse where the lady of the house improvised a meal for her … Read More