Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

FrankLazio, Marche, primi piatti, Puglia, Soups, Toscana, Umbria38 Comments

Zuppa di cicerchie (Grass Pea Soup)

Yes, autumn is well and truly here. There’s a definitely chill in the air, the leaves are turning color, pumpkins have been placed on doorsteps, and logs are piled high on back porches, ready for the fire. I don’t know about you, but when the temperatures drop, I start to … Read More

Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

Frankantipasti, Sicilia, snack43 Comments

Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

These Sicilian chickpea fritters, known as panelle in Italian, are often associated with Sicily’s capital city Palermo, where you can buy them sandwiched inside a sesame seed bun at street-side snack bars. But if you can’t get to Palermo any time soon, no worries. Panelle are pretty easy to make at … Read More

Melanzane a scapece (Marinated Eggplant)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno58 Comments

Melanzane a spapece (Marinated Eggplant)

In Neapolitan cookery, the term scapece generally refers to an ancient method for preserving fish or vegetables. The main ingredient is generally fried in olive oil and marinated with garlic, mint and vinegar. We’ve already featured zucchini a scapece, perhaps the best known of this class of dishes. Today’s scapece recipe from Francesconi’s … Read More

Pesche grigliate (Grilled Peaches)

Frankdessert30 Comments

Pesche alla griglia (Grilled Peaches)

Regular readers will know that a typical dessert in our house is often nothing more than a piece of fresh fruit. That’s especially true in the summer, when we have such luscious peaches and cherries and melons in the market to enjoy. Still, once in a while, perhaps for Sunday … 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

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

Zuppa di orzo (Italian Barley Soup)

FrankFall, primi piatti, Soups, Winter47 Comments

Zuppa di orzo (Italian Barley Soup)

Italian cuisine is known for pasta, gnocchi, risotto and polenta. More recently many people have come to know farro. But did you know that Italians also enjoy barley? Here is a simple, basic Italian Barley Soup—zuppa di orzo— that is both healthy, appetizing and, if made in a pressure cooker, quickly … Read More

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

Patate dolci alla griglia (Grilled Sweet Potatoes)

Frankantipasti, contorno25 Comments

We said goodbye to our outdoor grill back in late October. Covering it for the winter is always a bittersweet affair. But the end of the warm weather doesn’t have to mean the end of grilling. I get good use out of my trusty stovetop grill—a bistecchiera in Italian—throughout the … Read More

Fave e cicoria (Fava Bean Purée with Chicory)

FrankBasilicata, Puglia33 Comments

Fave e cicoria (Fava Bean Puree with hicory)

La cucina povera, or the cuisine of the poor, has become quite fashionable in recent years. Based on ‘humble’ ingredients (some of which have ironically become quite expensive) and simple cooking techniques, these traditional peasant dishes were born out of necessity. And yet they still appeal to us today, partly out … Read More

Homemade Giardiniera

Frankantipasti, Preserves, reference25 Comments

There are many ways in Italian cookery to put up food, relics of the days before refrigeration and freezing and commercial processing. There is straight up canning, of course. I can remember Angelina’s yearly day-long ritual of putting up summer tomatoes for the winter. The mason jars nearly filled one … Read More

Sorbetto di limone (Lemon Sorbet)

Frankdessert, summer27 Comments

Sorbetto di limone

Along with gelato, sorbetto is *the* classic Italian frozen dessert. And perhaps the most basic. Sorbetto di limone is essentially frozen lemonade: Simple syrup is made by simmering sugar and water together, to which lemon zest is added and allowed to infuse its flavor. When this flavored syrup cools completely, it … 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

Fragole all’aceto balsamico (Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar)

Frankdessert, Emilia-Romagna40 Comments

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

As I’ve written about before, dessert in our house tends to be nothing but a piece of fruit. But once in a while, I like to jazz things up a bit. And, truth be told, even if they usually look appetizing, most fruit in these times of industrial agriculture needs help in the … 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

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

Carciofi coi piselli (Braised Artichokes and Peas)

Frankcontorno, Lazio, Spring12 Comments

Braised Artichokes and Peas

Two iconic spring vegetables, artichokes and peas, are braised together with an onion flavor base to make this simple but tasty side dish. Often made with a bit of pancetta and broth, you can omit the pancetta and substitute water for broth to make a vegan version which, to my mind, … Read More

Taralli pugliesi

Frankantipasti, Puglia, snack32 Comments

Taralli pugliesi

It is said that the three pillars of Puglia’s agriculture are wheat, wine and olives, and all three make their way into this simple but tasty Puglian snack. Flour, white wine and olive oil are mixed to make a simple dough, formed into rings and, much like bagels, briefly simmered and … 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

Patate al forno (Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes)

Frankcontorno35 Comments

Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes (Patate al forno)

It’s often the most obvious things that we overlook. And so I just realized that I’ve never blogged about patate al forno, Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes —without a doubt the most classic Italian contorno of them all. There’s no mystery about its popularity. It literally goes with any meat or fish … Read More

Riso e lenticchie (Rice and Lentils)

Frankprimi piatti, Risotto and Other Rice Dishes, Soups37 Comments

Rice and Lentils (Riso e lenticchie)

I love lentils. My favorite pasta when I was growing up was the pasta e lenticchie (Pasta and Lentils) Angelina made. Rice goes as well with lentils as pasta does, and it’s even easier to make. A one-pot dish that makes a perfect first course before a wintery stew or roast, Rice and … Read More

Verza stufata (Braised Savoy Cabbage)

Frankcontorno49 Comments

Braised Savoy Cabbage

With all the focus today on trendy vegetables like kale and Brussels sprouts, we tend to forget about good old fashioned cabbage. It’s cheap and tasty and—just like its more fashionable cousins—good for you. And while most people associate cabbage with northern European cooking, Italians enjoy cabbage, too. Braised Savoy … Read More

Carciofi e patate in padella (Braised Artichokes and Potatoes)

Frankcontorno17 Comments

Braised Artichokes and Potatoes

Artichokes are usually thought of a spring vegetables, but in many countries, including here in the US, they have a second season in the Autumn.  It’s a great time to try Braised Artichokes and Potatoes. The tubers bring the kind of heft you want when the weather turns chilly, and they absorb … Read More

Confettura di ciliegie (Cherry Preserves)

Frankdessert, sauces16 Comments

Cherry Preserves

Cherry preserves are so easy to make at home it’s a wonder more folks don’t do it. Not only are you saving money, you know exactly what’s going into the product. The Italian take on fruit preserves begins like so many other fruit preparations, by coating the fruit with sugar and lemon. … Read More

Homemade Passata di pomodoro: Step by step

Frankreference48 Comments

Passata di pomodoro (or passata for short) is the multi-purpose tomato purée that every aspiring Italian cook should learn how to make. Fortunately, it’s really quick and easy, but you do need one special piece of equipment: a food mill. The method is simplicity itself: You take ripe tomatoes, simmer them just long … Read More