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Food, wine and wanderings from our beloved Italy

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Pasta with Crabmeat2 (2 of 2)

Satisfy your inner Italian…..grab a seat at the table as we share our favorite recipes, foods and musings about all food Italian!

Eggplant Parmigiana warfare

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Campania, Food, Main Courses, Recipes, Regions of Italy | 0 comments

Eggplant Parmigiana warfare

I hated eggplant as a kid. So did my sister, Michele. And my Mom’s attempts to get us to eat it were met with fierce resistance. Wartime-style subversive resistance. Josie’s eggplant Parmigiana was made by breading and frying the eggplant first and then constructing the casserole dish with tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmigiana cheese (sadly the “green can” stuff because that’s all that was available in the 60s in our town). But as I grew up, I learned that this was a delicious dish. Heavy and richer than eggplant...

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The Stuff of Dreams: Rustic Strawberry Crostata

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Dolci, Food, Recipes | 0 comments

The Stuff of Dreams: Rustic Strawberry Crostata

  In my imaginary (yet-maybe-someday) life, I live on a little Italian hillside – nestled between the dreamy blue-tinged sea and vibrant fragrant hills of grapevine. Golden hues of sun filter across my gardens, overflowing with the scents and tastes of the season.  Oodles of strawberries tumble across stonewall waiting patiently for me to pick them in the light morning breeze.  I wander happily filling my little basket with these sun-ripened treats (which of course is also filled with a bouquet of freshly picked wildflowers).  Spring...

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A Tasty Kettle of Fish: Adriatic Seafood Brodetto

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Food, Le Marche, Main Courses, Our 'Regione' Series, Recipes, Regions of Italy, Soups, Stews | 2 comments

A Tasty Kettle of Fish: Adriatic Seafood Brodetto

My paternal grandfather grew up on Italy’s Adriatic coast in the small village of Senigaliia in Le Marche.  I remember little of my grandfather as he passed away when I was only six years of age but I do have a few vivid memories – the smell of the cigars he smoked, the smell of concrete on his clothing and his fondness for long drives in the country.  On Sunday afternoons, my two cousins, my brother and I would pile in the back seat of his old station wagon with the little Madonna hanging from the rearview mirror. Before we went anywhere, we...

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Panna cotta with peach compote and pistachio shortbread cookies

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Dolci, Food, Recipes | 0 comments

Panna cotta with peach compote and pistachio shortbread cookies

OK, first off I have to admit that I totally ripped off the idea of serving this panna cotta in little flip-top jars from my favorite LA Italian restaurant – Sotto, on Pico Boulevard here in Los Angeles. I had all these little anchovy jars around my house that I had saved over the years, so it was a perfect fit. And it’s a perfect fit for panna cotta (cooked milk) because you just seal them up and put them in the refrigerator for storage. The seal keeps the mild panna cotta from absorbing refrigerator odors. And second, making this for...

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Zucchini blossom and ricotta agnolotti (Agnolotti di fiore di zucca e ricotta)

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes | 0 comments

Zucchini blossom and ricotta agnolotti (Agnolotti di fiore di zucca e ricotta)

Summer is here! We’ve had an early start here in LA. I recently went to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market looking for something summery! I made agnolotti with fava beans for Easter but they’re out of season now. Once I spotted, zucchini blossoms, I knew I hit pay-dirt! Agnolotti is a stuffed pasta from Italy’s Piedmont region. It’s like a ravioli but it’s made with just one sheet of pasta and folded over the filling so you only need to seal it on three sides. There’s a variation called “agnolotti del...

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Food Memories: Grilled Swordfish with Chickpea Puree and Salmoriglio Sauce

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Our 'Regione' Series, Recipes, Sicilia | 0 comments

Food Memories: Grilled Swordfish with Chickpea Puree and Salmoriglio Sauce

With a beautiful spring day in full bloom, I finally had time to plant my new little herb garden – basil, oregano, parley, tarragon, mint, rosemary and more.  As I planted each little plant, I smiled at the various food memories from years past – the overgrown mint patch in my mother’s backyard; basil-scented breezes on a long-ago trip to Cinqueterre; Grandmom’s roasted rosemary potatoes; grilled swordfish with parsley and oregano sauce seaside in Sicily.  Little memories to cherish and build upon as the years pass by. (It’s...

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Vignarola: A Celebration of Spring

Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Food, Main Courses, Recipes, Vegetables, Side Dishes | 0 comments

Vignarola: A Celebration of Spring

Artichokes. Fava beans. Asparagus. Peas. Ramps. Spring’s glorious bounty is finally here after a long winter of turnips, potatoes, rutabagas and butternut squash. Don’t get me wrong – I love my root vegetables in the dead of winter but one can only consume so many rutabagas, right? Thankfully, my root vegetable fatigue is now a distant memory. Just the sight of the beautiful delicate spring green produce brings tears to my eyes. A basket of fresh ramps made me squeal with delight last week at the local market.  (And to the elderly gentlemen...

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The Scent of Spring: Wild Ramp and Ricotta Tarts

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in Antipasti, Food, Recipes, Tarts, Tortas, Vegetables, Side Dishes | 0 comments

The Scent of Spring: Wild Ramp and Ricotta Tarts

I have a confession – yes, again.  I have never eaten a ramp before this year. Well, actually, its bigger than that – I didn’t even know what a ramp was until this year.  (Don’t judge, ok?)  But last weekend, I spent a delightful morning at a cooking demonstration hosted by a local farm, Blue Moon Acres.  The engaging guest chef, Ian Knauer was a former food editor for our-much-beloved-now-defunct Gourmet magazine and has his own award winning PBS series called The Farm. Ian, now living locally and managing a farm that has been in his family...

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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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