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Food, wine and wanderings from our beloved Italy

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Fabulous Fennel: Baked Red Snapper with Fennel, Potatoes, and Lemon

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes | 0 comments

Fabulous Fennel: Baked Red Snapper with Fennel, Potatoes, and Lemon

  Finally, spring is in the air! After a long and arduous winter for so many of us, you can feel moods and spirits lighten. There is a spring in our step as the weather begins to warm and the morning light begins to brighten. Here in the east it remains just a bit too cold to turn the garden soil although only perhaps for a few more days.  I wait  - not very patiently – sketching out my garden plots, reading and re-reading my seed packets, moving my little tomato seedlings from room to room to catch the best sun.  Our farmer’s markets have...

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Food Karma: Soufflé di Formaggio, Miele e Noci (Soufflé with Cheese, Honey and Walnuts

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Antipasti, Food, Main Courses, Recipes | 0 comments

Food Karma:  Soufflé di Formaggio, Miele e Noci (Soufflé with Cheese, Honey and Walnuts

I was supposed to be at yoga class this morning but a soufflé laced with cheese and drizzled with chestnut honey led me astray.  My ‘down dogs’ will have to wait until another day. However, I am pretty certain that any dish that brings together cheese and honey has its own sort of food karma – so I may have arrived at the same result without all the effort!  I have been drooling over the cover of my February issue of La Cucina Italiana since it arrived from Italy a few months back.  A perfectly risen mouthwatering soufflé graces its cover. It...

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Pesce crudo – Don’t call it Italian sashimi!

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Antipasti, Food, Recipes | 0 comments

Pesce crudo – Don’t call it Italian sashimi!

Pesce crudo (Italian for “raw fish”) and Japanese sashimi both rely on ultra-fresh seafood, but that’s where the similarities end. Italians near the coastline have been eating raw fish for a long time. In particular, fisherman with their returning catch helped themselves to some raw fish dressed with a little olive oil, lemon and salt for lunch. Sashimi, on the other hand, is really just about the fish, excellent presentation, and the tiniest amount of soy sauce and wasabi as an accent. Nowadays, pesce crudo is all the rage in good...

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(Even Lighter) Classic Eggplant Parmigiana

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Our 'Regione' Series, Recipes, Sicilia, Vegetables, Side Dishes | 5 comments

(Even Lighter) Classic Eggplant Parmigiana

I have spent the better part of the last month thinking about making this eggplant parmigiana.  I frequent a local restaurant, Via Ponte, run by a Sicilian family. Chef Giuseppe’s version of this recipe leaves me salivating for more. This is the way the Italians make eggplant parmigiana. No heavy breading. No mountains of cheese. Just buttery layers of eggplant, lightly fried, layered with a bit of tomato sauce and dotted (not smothered) with a fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano.  (It also brings back fond memories of a lunch near Taormina in...

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Yummy Recipe Alert! Braised Artichokes in White Wine @whiteonricecouple

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Antipasti, Food, Recipes, Vegetables, Side Dishes | 0 comments

Yummy Recipe Alert! Braised Artichokes in White Wine @whiteonricecouple

I have been reading through one of my favorite new cookbooks, Bountiful, from one of my absolutely favorite food blogging couples – White on Rice.  This dynamic duo are a huge inspiration to me constantly. I pour over their incredible photos and recipes in awe of the magic that they create from their land and within their kitchen. The life they lead is nothing short of awesome. From their cookbook intro: “Travelling the world to teach workshops, speak at conferences, and meet our food community face to face is what drives us to...

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Fear not the Spaghetti Squash: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage, Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes, Vegetables, Side Dishes | 2 comments

Fear not the Spaghetti Squash: Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage, Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I have a food blogger confession. Truth be told, I used to be terrified of the spaghetti squash. I would gracefully cast my eyes aside as I passed them in the market figuring if I didn’t see them, well then, I couldn’t possibly feel guilty about not cooking them. My fear was mostly over how to cut up the little beasts without lopping off a finger. (Ok, I have been known to sport a rather alarming knife cut or two after my cooking experiments.)  How could I, a food blogger, not know how to expertly slice up these beauties to reveal the...

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The Poor and Lowly Pork Loin Roast

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes | 0 comments

The Poor and Lowly Pork Loin Roast

The pork loin roast is generally a sad thing. Often dry and tasteless because of its lack of fat, the lowly loin is generally left to be cut into boneless chops, then pounded, breaded and fried to death. It’s worse in America, where industrial pork production has bred all the taste out of pork. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Brining, crusting and stuffing this dirt-cheap cut of meat, and then cooking carefully, will bring out great flavor. This recipe does all three: brine, crust and stuff. Of all these, brining is the most...

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Carabaccia – A Humble Onion Soup, Italian-style

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Food, Our 'Regione' Series, Recipes, Regions of Italy, Soups, Stews, Tuscany, Tuscany | 3 comments

Carabaccia – A Humble Onion Soup, Italian-style

Winter just keeps on coming here on the east coast of the US. Snowstorm followed by snowstorm followed by…well, you get it. With a US holiday today and a wonderful day to myself to putter, I wanted something quick and warming on this chilly day. And a simple humble cheesy onion soup did the trick. The Italians have their own version of the infamous French onion soup – ‘carabaccia’. In fact, rumor has it that Caterina de’Medici actually brought her Tuscan chefs to France and actually created the first ‘French’ onion soup. The original...

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Braised Oxtail Ragù with Semolina Gnocchi

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Food | 0 comments

Braised Oxtail Ragù with Semolina Gnocchi

Oxtail ragù is a speciality dish of Rome and is frequently paired with semolina gnocchi, also a Roman speciality. Italians use the word “coda”, which means “tail,” to refer to oxtails. Italians also refer to a traffic jam as a “coda”, which translates as “queue”— a “tail” of traffic going off into the distance! You can use this oxtail ragù recipe with other types of pasta (traditionally short pasta), but I’m showing the most traditional Roman dish here, which uses semolina gnocchi. These gnocchi have little in common with traditional...

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Salsa Verde – Not the stuff that goes on tacos…

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes, Sauces, The Basics | 0 comments

Salsa Verde – Not the stuff that goes on tacos…

Italian “salsa verde” is very different from the pureed green stuff you pour into those little plastic cups and drizzle on your tacos. The Italian stuff is a briney, lemony and bright mixture with a wide variety of uses. In fact, Italian salsa verde is well suited to drizzle on simple grilled fish, roasted chicken or boiled meats in sandwiches. I like to always have a little jar of this wonderful condiment in the fridge. Save your used anchovy jars to hold the salsa. Makes one small jar.   Ingredients and Directions: 1 small bunch of...

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