Not Just Mac & Cheese (Maccheroni alla mortadella al forno)
View Original Article Yes, this baked maccheroni casserole is essentially mac & cheese, but on a whole different level -- as with much Italian food, it's a simple preparation, but with quality ingredients that make all the difference. It's a quick, easy, and immensely satisfying dish which can easily be a main course when paired with a green salad or any other vegetable side.
Get the recipe:
View Original Article It seems like one of the easiest things in the world to cook: You boil some water, throw in some pasta, set the timer for the minutes indicated on the package, add a little oil to keep it from sticking, the buzzer rings and voila! It's done. Throw it onto some plates, ladle lots of sauce on top and you have dinner. Simple, right? And yet, in my opinion, there is no worse mistake in Italian food than soggy, overcooked pasta (and it's far too common). Misconceptions about pasta and the best way to cook it still abound, while methods and tips that Italians consider common knowledge might be news to many.
Read on for everything you always wanted to know about cooking pasta (but were afraid to ask).
View Original Article Street food -- in the form of pop-up stands or roaming food trucks -- is growing more and more popular in the U.S., but throughout the world and history, street kitchens have long been the primary type of public eating establishment, before the birth of the restaurant as we know it today. In Italy, street food has existed since at least Ancient Roman times, when counter-serve "snack bars" called thermopoliasold hot prepared dishes. And pizza and pasta, two of the most famous Italian foods, started out as on-the-go snacks. In 19th-century Naples, it was normal to eat maccheroni at street vendors -- with one's hands! Pasta is no longer considered a street food (or a finger food, for that matter), but quick eats persist to this day throughout Italy at kiosks, stands, and food trucks. Here are some recipes for typical Italian street foods, to recreate the experience in your own kitchen.
View Original Article In the past, Tuscans were called mangiafagioli("bean eaters") by other Italians, a clue to how important a part the ""poor man's meat" played in the Tuscan diet. Beans don't have quite such a central role these days, yet still appear in many traditional Tuscan dishes.
And now that we know what nutritional powerhouses they are -- rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals yet low in fat, calories, and cholesterol -- it seems that bean-eating is due for a comeback! Here then, a couple of great legume recipes.
(Image: Il mangiafagioli by Annibale Carracci, 1584)
View Original Article Although I write about Italian food, I've just moved to France (Paris, to be precise), so the food traditions of the Mediterranean town of Nice (Nizza in Italian), with their strong Italian influences, are particularly interesting to me. The cuisine of the French Riviera town -- perhaps the most well-known examples being salade niçoise, tapenade, and ratatouille -- blends typical Provençal ingredients and cooking methods with those of the Italian regions of Liguria and Piemonte and often features olives, olive oil, anchovies, and plenty of vegetables. Think of it as French-Italian fusion!
Read more and get the recipe...
It just might be panna cotta, which, despite its name (it translates literally as "cooked cream"), actually doesn't require much cooking, and certainly doesn't involve turning on an oven.
This delicate cream-based spoon dessert, thickened with gelatin and served chilled, is also quite easy to make but makes an elegant impression when served at the end of a meal.
You can serve it with fresh berries or a simple chocolate sauce, fruit compote or coulis.
Recipe for Panna Cotta
A traditional and popular Italian dessert originating in the Piemonte region. Get the recipe.
View Original Article Italians celebrate Easter in may ways throughout the different regions, but generally with chocolate eggs for the children containing toy surprises, roast lamb or goat, spring vegetables such as artichokes, and a colomba (dove) a cake made with the same dough as panettone but baked in the shape of a bird and topped with coarse pearl sugar and/or almonds.
As a special Easter chocolate treat, together with a variety of traditional Easter recipes we have a recipe for decadent Bacio brownies, made with the famed chocolates from the Perugina brand.
Buona Pasqua a tutti!
Bacio Brownies (Brownies al Bacio)
I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Viola Buitoni, descendant of the Buitoni family that founded a food empire spanning pastas and sauces to the Perugina chocolate brand, makers of the famous Baci chocolates. She shared family legends and a recipe for luscious brownies made with Baci chocolate candies.
View Original Article Even in Italy, the land where the Slow Food movement originated, people are busier than ever these days. On a lazy Sunday you might have time to slow-cook your ragu' for hours, but on a weeknight, if you're just getting home from work, you're tired, and you don't have a lot of time or energy, you probably want something faster and simpler. Here are some dishes you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes, either start-to-finish, or by making them ahead of time and simply reheating!
The holidays in Italy seem endless, and each one has its special associated foods, which might differ from region to region. Part of the reason for so many holidays is the fact that every single day of the calendar year is the Feast Day of one or more Catholic saints. This doesn't mean that every day is a holiday in Italy, of course. March 17, for instance, the feast day of San Patrizio (better known in the English-speaking world as Saint Patrick), is not celebrated in Italy. (He is the patron saint of Ireland, after all.)
The drink: Much like Epicure itself, the Valentino is a trip to Italy via the tropics: Zu vodka plus passion fruit and fresh strawberry puree, combined with lemon juice and topped with prosecco . The creamy passion fruit flavors and effervescent prosecco make for a tangy, sherbet-like treat-perfect for summer.
Legislative leaders spend on fine Italian restaurants
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo raked in some big bucks for his campaign account in the first six months of this year. In the period running from January, when the House voted to abolish term limits for him thus extending his reign indefinitely, through June, he raised $415,000.
Fiorentino's Cucina Italiana, a Lakeview Italian Neighborhood Gem, Closes For Good
Fiorentino's Cucina Italiana , a beautiful neighborhood Italian gem run by the mother-and-son duo Frances and Steven Fiorentino , served up heartfelt southern Italian food and true family ambience for more than nine years on the corner of Ashland and George in Lakeview before closing its doors for good after service on Saturday night. Matriarch Frances Fiorentino says the decision stems from personal reasons.
High on the menu: cannabis spaghetti features at Italian foodfest
Any Italian will tell you: pasta is healthy and makes you feel good. But what about spaghetti made from cannabis? Farmers from southern Italy presenting their wares at a London food festival this week say their hemp pasta, oil and bread won't get you high, but do provide a healthy, tasty alternative to the traditional, wheat variety.
TiramesU to Re-Open in South of Fifth: "Shooting for Very Very Soon"
Last April, pasta-loving locals and Lincoln Road obsessed tourists were saddened to find that TiramesU, the long-standing Italian joint was shutting its doors practically overnight . Now, after a year of not serving al dente parpadelle Bolognese, however, TiramesU has announced it will reopen South of Fifth - where it started a quarter century ago.
Villa Mosconi in Greenwich Village is a comforting family favorite
Macdougal Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village , is a hopping street where hip and trendy bars, restaurants, and comedy clubs are all literally right next door to one and other, but on a quieter section, just a mere block down from those popular hotspots, lies a traditional Italian restaurant known as Villa Mosconi. What makes Villa Mosconi a comforting, heartwarming favorite among so many is that you truly feel like you're part of a loving Italian family eager to open up their home to you.
Brentwood: Chianti's offers authentic Italian food
Shayan Rahimi grew up savoring his father's authentic recipes from their rustic, Northern Italian roots and recently realized that there was a need for this type of cuisine in Brentwood. Rahimi's father, Al Mancini, owned the popular Chianti's Ristorante in Pleasanton for four years before selling it this year.
Zizzi's owner devours faster pasta firm Coco di Mama
A London start-up that aims to serve pasta faster and counts Lord Rose as an investor has been bought by the owner of the ASK Italian and Zizzi restaurant chains. Azzurri Group has snapped up Coco di Mama, a six-store chain of Italian food and coffee outlets which sell healthy pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches speedily.
Savannah Dining: Savannah native brings coastal Italian cuisine to Pacci
Restaurant Bio: Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar is a convivial neighborhood eatery nestled inside The Brice, a Kimpton Hotel, near Washington Square. Specializing in coastal Italian cuisine, Pacci has an extensive bar program, serving updated takes on classic cocktails, seasonal craft cocktails, aperitivos, locally made spirits and beer.
Borough foodies have been cheering on Eltingville chef Dom Tesoriero on TV's "Food Network Star" cooking competition, but he likely turned a few stomachs last week. As usual, the 31-year-old food trucker from Eltingville was having trouble filling his four-minute "to camera" presentation time.
Dining deal: 40% off dinner for 2 at Paradiso in Lake Worth
A staple of Italian cooking - and a potential disaster in social situations - garlic is a natural way to help destroy the "bad" bacteria which cause sickness. Its pungent aroma is due to a component called allicin, which is responsible for lowering cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and boosting the immune system.