Cacciucco di ceci (Tuscan Chickpea and Swiss Chard Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups, Toscana33 Comments

Cacciucco di ceci

Those of you who know a bit about Italian cooking may recognize the name cacciucco. A speciality of Livorno in the region of Tuscany, cacciucco is one of the many fish soups that you’ll find up and down the Italian peninsula, and one of the most famous. I’ve been meaning … Read More

Polpette di sedano (Tuscan Celery Balls)

Frankantipasti, Toscana34 Comments

Polpette di sedano (Celery Balls)

One of my favorite pastimes in the kitchen is finding ways to make underappreciated and undervalued ingredients shine. I love an underdog. Take celery for example. It shows up in any number of recipes, but almost always in a minor supporting role, either as part of the classic soffritto that … Read More

Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Frankcontorno22 Comments

Taccole con pancetta e pomodoro

Snap peas, called taccole or piselli mangiatutto in Italian, are one of spring’s most delightful vegetables. Sweet, crisp and toothsome, they are very easy to cook. And, best of all, they don’t need that tedious shelling needed that fresh peas do. The specimens you’re likely to find in Italy (at … Read More

Carciofi in fricassea (Artichokes in egg and lemon sauce)

Frankcontorno34 Comments

Carciofi in fricassea

Artichokes and eggs get along very nicely, don’t they? Artichokes are a classic filling for frittata and if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know why. They’re delicious baked with egg or fried in egg batter. Or what about an egg, sunny side up, as a topping for braised artichokes? There … Read More

Gratin di cavolini di Bruxelles e funghi (Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Gratin)

Frankcontorno36 Comments

Gratin di cavolini di Bruxelles e funghi (Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Gratin)

Properly prepared, Brussels sprouts are a lovely vegetable. Called cavolini di Bruxelles or ‘little cabbages of Brussels’ in Italian, these most elegant of all the cruciferous family of vegetables lend themselves to all sorts of treatments, from a simple sauté to deep frying to this rich and creamy gratin, complemented … Read More

Fiori di zucca alla ligure (Ligurian-Style Zucchini Blossoms)

Frankantipasti, contorno, Liguria39 Comments

Fiori di zucca alla ligure (Ligurian Style Zucchini Blossoms)

Lucky me! I found some zucchini blossoms at our local market this week, for the first time in at least two years. Why they waited until the very end of the summer to start selling them, I can’t imagine. But I’m not one to look the proverbial gift horse in … Read More

Asparagi in casseruola (Cavalcanti’s Sautéed Asparagus)

Frankantipasti, Campania, contorno, secondi piatti45 Comments

Asparagi in cassruola (Cavalcanti's Sautéed Asparagus)

Asparagus generally doesn’t spring to mind when we think about Neapolitan cookery, but here’s an example that challenges our preconceived notions. This recipe for asparagi in casseruola comes to us from Ippolito Cavalcanti, the famed 19th century gourmand whose 1839 masterwork, La cucina teorica-pratica, is one of the Ur-texts of … Read More

Zuppa di cardi (Cardoon Soup)

Frankprimi piatti, Soups22 Comments

Zuppa di cardi (Cardoon Soup)

Cardoons are one of my favorite vegetables, but they’re frustratingly hard to find here in the US. So whenever I spy a bunch in the market, I grab them, no questions asked. I find their subtle flavor, reminiscent of artichokes, delightful. If you’ve never tasted a cardoon, you’ve been missing … Read More