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Yet Another Stuffed Bird...

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If you live in the US, and hear of or see another stuffed turkey recipe, you may want to scream. And I'd understand you. But how about capon? Not quite turkey, and different from chicken too. A couple of suggestions:
  • Cappone Ripieno: A roast capon stuffed with brussels sprouts, chestnuts, sausage and more.
  • Cappone in Salmì, Capon stewed in red wine.
  • Rotolo di Cappone, a capon roll that's a perfect use for leftovers (and therefore to think of for the Day After T-Day).
Italian stuffed bird recipes | Boning a Bird, Illustrated

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Yet Another Stuffed Bird... originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 06:20:58.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Peposo

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Peposo

We're not yet in winter, but it has become nippy, and the past few nights have smelled of woodsmoke from people's fireplaces. In other words, it's time to start cooking things at a simmer, warming the house and -- once they reach the table -- the heart too.

The town of Impruneta's zesty, peppery Peposo is an excellent candidate: It's cooked slowly (in the past Impruneta's potters would slip the pot into the mouth of the kiln as it cooled), and is wonderful with either beans or polenta, or spinach if you want to add greens to the table. Moreover, it uses economical cuts of beef, which makes it perfect for feeding the masses (or cooking enough for several meals at once), and, since it doesn't call for oil, is healthier than many other stews.

And it is a recipe that has stood the test of time; depending upon how traditional you want to be you can either make it without tomatoes, or move up a couple of centuries to the newfangled version, which includes them. Two more peppery stews: Keep up with the site by signing up for my free newsletter!
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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Peposo originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 04:31:51.

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Risotto: Quick Recipes To Keep The Chill at Bay

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Risotto in the potRisotto may seem difficult, but is actually quite easy to make -- that voluptuous creamy texture comes from the starch in the rice grains, and so long as you use the proper rice -- an Italian short grained cultivar such as Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano, the results are guaranteed.

Making risotto is also quick: Bring vegetable, meat or fish stock to a simmer, and while it's heating prepare the rice and the seasonings, and then add simmering stock to cook the rice. Total time - I usually calculate 15 minutes plus the time it takes the stock to boil, and I'm rarely off.

Some risotti? Tips on Buying Rice | Making Risotto: Illustrated Instructions (& two recipes)

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Risotto: Quick Recipes To Keep The Chill at Bay originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 09:46:53.

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Chill Fingers...

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Are happiest when wrapped around something warm, and while a hot cup of coffee is a nice option in Northern Europe or the US, in Italy we have espresso tazzine that are a little too small for this to work.

Tea? While Italians have progressed since Artusi's day -- he tells about showing a waitress at a resort, who had simply put tea leaves in a strainer and poured boiling water through them, how to steep tea -- it's not part of the Italian tradition.

Bicerin If you're in Torino you could opt for a bicerin, a delightful chocolate and coffee concoction.

In the Valle D'Aosta There's Caffé alla Valdostana, which is delightfully fortified. Might not warm the fingers, but will do wonders for the rest of you.

Vin Brulè is, as its name suggests, steaming hot. And perfect in chill weather.

Looking for other warming drinks? It's hard to beat Lindsey's Coffee & Tea Site. This week she's looking at Spiced Apple Cider, something I remember with a certain nostalgia, as we don't have freshly pressed cider in my part of Italy.

Chill Fingers... originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Friday, November 12th, 2010 at 07:53:09.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Andrea's Fresh November Fish!

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November Fish!

I went to the Mercato di San Lorenzo in the heart of Florence the other day, and found a beautiful grouper in Andrea's Pescheria Ultima Spiaggia. When he saw me raise my camera, he invited me to come behind the counter, and quickly added a few more fish to the picture. The grouper is the larger whole fish, looking up, while the smaller red fish are reef mullet, and there are also shrimp and octopus. Very nice!

A few recipes: Winding down, Miriam asked me if I have a fish lasagna recipe. I did have one, for lasagna with fresh salmon and robiola cheese, and have found another, for lasagna with smoked salmon and pesto sauce, as well as a pasta roll with monkfish. I'm looking further.

Moving in a completely different direction, a couple of people have asked me how they can help those affected by the flooding in the Veneto. The city of Padova has set up an relief fund -- they are as badly flooded as Vicenza -- and has instructions on how to make donations, including from abroad, here. There's also a new site, Alluvione Italia, with the latest news on the flooding, and a Facebook page.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Andrea's Fresh November Fish! originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 07:48:27.

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Off Topic: Disaster Strikes the Veneto!

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I'm not sure how much coverage this is getting outside of Italy, but the Veneto has suffered severe flooding in the past few days, with much of the area between Vicenza and Verona (Soave, in particular) under water, and around Padova as well. Though it did clear for a couple of days they are now getting more heavy rains. I don't have any personal photos as I live several hundred miles from the Veneto, but here are a couple of things:

Dishes to Put on the Stove and Forget About

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Italian cooking is intensely seasonal, and during the winter months there are many dishes that cook slowly for hours, without one's needing to do much more than occasionally stir the pot -- this is an outgrowth of the fact that in the past people had wood-fired stoves, which were lit first thing in the morning as they also supplied hot water, and kept alight throughout the day. A hot stove provides steady even heat, and since it's there why not take advantage of it?

Now, of course, most of us no longer use wood-fired ovens, but we do have cooktops that can be turned way down, and if you are in the home for long periods, as I am -- my office is in a back room -- it's quite easy to set a pot to simmering and then do other things while the pot bubbles and warmth spreads from the kitchen. Last night I made broth, which we will enjoy with farfalline this evening, while eating some of the boiled meats with a variety of sauces (mustard, mayonnaise, salsa verde...) and a salad (the rest of the boiled chicken will become something else, perhaps a chicken salad). Another time I might do something else, for example:
  • Tacchino alla Ghiotta
    An unusual recipe from the Marches, for a turkey that's roasted and then simmered. Takes a while, but perfect if you're in the house.
  • Sugo alla Bolognese:
    The perfect winter pasta sauce, which gets better and better as it simmers.
  • Ossibuchi al Sugo:
    My mother-in-law adds ossibuchi to her meat sauce, making for a fantastic second course too (serve the ossibuchi with spinaci rifatti).
  • Pastissada: A traditional stew from the Veronese, which is (traditionally) made with horse. But you could use beef.


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Dishes to Put on the Stove and Forget About originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Friday, November 5th, 2010 at 10:06:46.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Provolone and More

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A provolone horse

Slowfood's Salone del Gusto offers a fantastic opportunity not just to taste traditional foodstuffs, but also to admire them, and I spent many hours wandering the pavilions, camera in hand. This horse is Provolone dei Nebrodi, a traditional cow's milk cheese from the Nebrodi Mountains between Messina, Catania and Enna -- the cheeses are usually shaped like long-necked gourds, but for special events cheesemakers also sculpt it. Most impressive.

The stand was organized by the folks at La Fiumara, a cooperative run by the farmers of the Nebrodi, that also has an online store.

Unfamiliar with Provola? It's a firm cow's milk cheese made in many parts of southern and northern Italy, which is filante, meaning that it becomes stringy when heated. Very nice, and well worth seeking out for a cheese platter or as an ingredient.

More about Provola/Caciocavallo, and a number of recipes.

Moving in a different direction, this month I have tasted quite a bit of Nebbiolo, wines made from Piemonte's great red grape, and have just posted a selection of the 2007 Roero and Barbaresco wines that impressed me the most. These aren't light easy drinking wines, but will be wonderful served with a steak or roast (red meat especially), and will also age nicely for a number of years. In other words, wines for special occasions.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday: Provolone and More originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 07:23:16.

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The Noble Bean...

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Fagioli all'UccellettoWell, Halloween has come and gone, and though the Casa Del Popolo did organize a costume party for the local children, it didn't amount to as much as we had hoped, because it was raining much too hard for the outdoor activities they had planned -- trick-or-treating and lighting a bonfire. So we came home, and enjoyed the fire in our fireplace while Daughter C and her cousins played, and we listened to the rain sluice down.

When it gets like this, with the chill settling into the (stone) walls of the house, one of the nicest remedies is beans. Beans cooked up with tomato sauce and sausages, beans with rice and pork, or even a hearty bean soup. And in all cases crusty bread and a zesty dry red, along the lines of a Bardolino or a Chianti D'Annata. Keep up with the site by signing up for my free newsletter!
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The Noble Bean... originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 07:18:14.

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Halloween Party Ideas

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When I moved to Italy in 1982, American Halloween activities were novel enough to be mentioned on the evening news, and my friends would ask me furtively if the (adult) parties were as fun and as racy as they looked... Italians have discovered the holiday since then, and though it's not yet the most popular partytime on the calendar (Carnevale still holds that honor) it is gaining quickly, and last year Daughter C went trick-or-treating, something that owuld have been unthinkable just a few years ago, when Son R was her age. What to serve if you're planning a party? A few tasty ideas:
  • Arancini di Riso: Rice balls stuffed with a filling (usually meat-based) and fried until golden brown.
  • Bruschetta: Being toasted, rubbed with garlic, and drizzled with oil is one of the nicest things that can happen to sliced bread. Good for keeping the Vampires away.
  • Olive all'Ascolana: Olives, stuffed with a zesty combination of meat and cheese, and fried. They're Addictive!
  • Frittelle di Polenta alla Lodigiana: Polenta fritters filled with prosciutto and cheese. The perfect tidbit!
  • Chicken Liver Crostini: Thinly sliced toasted bread spread with a chicken liver pate, and even if you hate liver you will like these -- I speak from experience.
Gross Halloween Recipes: Just what is sounds like, and you may want to turn down the lights while you enjoy them.
Other (non-Italian) Halloween Recipes of all kinds including eyeballs, maggot stew, and much more.

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Halloween Party Ideas originally appeared on About.com Italian Food on Friday, October 29th, 2010 at 09:56:57.

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Italian Recipes

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Thanksgiving in Phoenix: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

View Original Article Sat, 20 Nov 2010 07:22:20 GMT

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is offering holiday menus at three of its signature restaurants for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, 2010.

A Culinary Adventure in Italy's Northeast

View Original Article Sat, 20 Nov 2010 03:17:45 GMT

She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily.

Low-fat pasta with roasted vegetables

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 21:03:15 GMT

Do you like this story? People don't normally associate Italian food with low-fat recipes.

Get served: Cibo

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 16:58:41 GMT

Columbus is home to a cornucopia of contemporary Italian restaurants, the latest of which is Cibo , an exquisite eatery and bar that exudes authenticity from the dishes to the hospitality.

Eataly superstore in New York has the whole range of Italian food under one roof

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 12:54:04 GMT

The rotisserie chicken sandwich shop at Eataly, Mario Batali and Lydia Bastanich's new venture in New York City, described as the "largest high-quality food market in the world.'' The massive 43,000-square-foot space is home to restaurants, cafes, sandwich shops and food stores with an emphasis on Italian.

Shoppers can taste the world without leaving the North Hills

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 08:44:46 GMT

Pittsburgh is a crossroads for people of many ethnicities. Every culture's diet started in the same way: Take indigenous plants, nuts, seeds and spices; mix with grains, meats, fish and oils; find a cooking vessel; add water and fire; and stir.

A slice of Italy in Delhi

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 04:30:33 GMT

First Published: 15:54 IST Last Updated: 01:04 IST After winning accolades and tantalizing palettes at culinary festivals in some very exotic locales like the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, at Kuala Lumpur and Lima, Peru, Italian chef Gianfranco Angelillo recently came knocking at Delhia s doorstep.

Chef Chat Part 2: Raul Garcia and Federico Cavatore...

View Original Article Fri, 19 Nov 2010 00:16:08 GMT

In this week's Chef Chat series, we're catching up with Raul Garcia and Federico Cavatore of Cavatore's Italian Restaurant in the Heights.

Upscale Italian cuisine at Arturo's

View Original Article Thu, 18 Nov 2010 12:51:36 GMT

Arturo's enables the palate to take a tour of Italy without leaving Marco Island.

Romano's Macaroni Grill; what's going wrong with the Italian chain?

View Original Article Thu, 18 Nov 2010 04:22:20 GMT

Do you like this story? A A A A Has Romanoa s lost ita s way? A A A A If you read this column regularly you know that wea re big fans of good Italian food.

Bottomfeeder: Luigi's Little Italy

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:13:10 GMT

Amid Seattle's ongoing quest for political correctness, it's important to acknowledge that stereotypes exist for a reason.

Just tried this deli today - and if you love Italian food - not Olive Garden - REAL Italian food,...

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 19:03:21 GMT

Owners Dom and Giovanna Luca stand in their Italian-style deli which opened in Calhoun on Wednesday.

Moretti's serves 'country-style' Italian food

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 14:59:02 GMT

Moretti's Eatery at 8490 W. Desert Inn Road offers classic Italian favorites in a family-friendly environment.

The Top Italian Restaurants in Norwalk, Connecticut

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 13:54:11 GMT

Among the items that are served at these restaurants are soups, salads, appetizers, pasta dishes, burgers, subs, steaks and chops, pizza pies, Italian style entrees, desserts and much more.

How to cook like an Italian even if you've never been to New Jersey

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 09:39:11 GMT

I enjoy cooking for my friends and family.A And they enjoy eating the fruits of my labor.A When I lived in New Jersey, my cooking was kind of taken for grantedA because we all cooked.A Taken for granted by everyone except my mother, that is.A Because I never stepped foot in the kitchenA until I got married, I think she had a deep dread that I would ...

Le Verdure, Eataly's Bountiful Vegetable Station

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 05:24:38 GMT

EatalyA opened on August 31st, 2010 and it's taken almost two whole months for the mass crowding to abate.A The largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world,A Eataly A is a culinary collaboration between Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Oscar Farinetti, founder of Turin's original Eataly in Italy.A The New ...

Scarpetta the Italian Champ

View Original Article Wed, 17 Nov 2010 01:15:17 GMT

For Italian food in Los Angeles, Scarpetta is the new champion, says maiweezy . Even the bread is top-notch, says maiweezy.

Italian Holiday Cake

View Original Article Tue, 16 Nov 2010 21:05:56 GMT

Italians are legendary for their zest of life, love of good things, especially their love of good food and family gatherings.

Outstanding Upscale Italian Dining in Historic Shockoe Slip

View Original Article Tue, 16 Nov 2010 16:50:55 GMT

La Grotta Ristorante is located at 1218 East Cary Street in the heart of Shockoe Slip, just a short stroll down a narrow cobblestone street to the city's River Walk area.A You can check out their web site at www.lagrottaristorante.com for additional information.

Cooking with Christine | Blending of cultures

View Original Article Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:45:59 GMT

Foods from an individual's heritage may nicely join traditional American foods for a Thanksgiving feast, like pasta, sauces and cheeses commonly found in Italian dishes.

 


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