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Not Just Mac & Cheese (Maccheroni alla mortadella al forno)

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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:

Not Just Mac & Cheese (Maccheroni alla mortadella al forno) originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 18:08:43.

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The Top 10 Myths about Pasta

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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).

The Top 10 Myths about Pasta originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:30:36.

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Street Eats, Italian Style

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Mangiamaccheroni in a street in NaplesStreet 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.

Street Eats, Italian Style originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:29:25.

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The Bean Eaters

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Il mangiafagioli by Annibale Carracci, 1584In 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)

The Bean Eaters originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:28:09.

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A Niçoise-style sandwich: Pane alla nizzarda

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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...

A Niçoise-style sandwich: Pane alla nizzarda originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:27:37.

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The Perfect Dessert for Spring and Summer?

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Panna cotta with berries
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.

The Perfect Dessert for Spring and Summer? originally appeared on Italian Food on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:26:17.

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Spring Vegetables

Buona Pasqua! Italian Easter Recipes

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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!

Buona Pasqua! Italian Easter Recipes originally appeared on Italian Food on Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 11:22:56.

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Easy Weeknight Dinners

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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!

Easy Weeknight Dinners originally appeared on Italian Food on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 13:03:49.

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Happy San Giuseppe's Day!

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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.)

Food and the Feast Day of San Giuseppe
Today, though, March 19, the Feast Day of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), is celebrated throughout Italy and in many Italian American communities. It's also Father's Day in Italy and it's traditionally celebrated with fried or baked pastries originating in Naples called zeppole (also known as bigne' or sfinge/sfingi/sfinci), They're usually filled with pastry cream or ricotta and dusted with sugar. Read more...

Fava Bean and Fennel Soup
One of the dishes traditionally served on the Feast Day of San Giuseppe, in Sicily, this velvety, flavorful puree incorporates the fava bean, considered a lucky charm as well as a token of St. Joseph. See the recipe for Fava Bean and Fennel Soup (Macco di fave e finocchietto).

Happy San Giuseppe's Day! originally appeared on Italian Food on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 10:00:56.

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Italian Recipes

Italian Cuisine News

First taste of Italic: New rustic italian restaurant opening soon in downtown Austin

View Original Article Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:02:35 GMT

Italic, the Italian endeavor from the ELM Restaurant group , is just a few short weeks away from opening its doors at Sixth and Colorado streets, but the inspiration has been years in the making. Chef Drew Curren and Beverage Director Craig Collins met years ago while attending a two-month academic program in Italy.

MasterChef Junior Season Three Finale Recap: East Coast/West Coast Battle

View Original Article Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:20:18 GMT

To thoroughly enjoy the wonder that is MasterChef Junior, please welcome Alison Leiby , who now recaps the season finale. Spoilers below.

Celebrate the 'luck of the Italians' with TREVI's St. Patrick's Day specials

View Original Article Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:55:50 GMT

When you live in a foodie destination like Las Vegas, it isn't just Irish pubs going all out for St. Patrick's Day. TREVI inside The Forum Shops at Caesars will be celebrating the "luck of the Italians" with a trio of green food and drink specials on March 17. Available exclusively for the holiday, guests can feast upon the Fettuccine al Pesto con Gamberi-fettuccine pasta tossed with sautA©ed shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and basil in a green pesto sauce-for $24.95 while washing it down with a "Kiss Me, I'm Italian" cocktail-a special sour apple martini-for $9.

Ciao Italia

View Original Article Wed, 25 Feb 2015 07:40:56 GMT

Mary Ann Esposito, host of the longest-running cooking show on public television, travels around the United States and Rome, Italy in search of recipes that can be prepared in thirty-minutes or less for a busy audience that has time to enjoy great Italian food but doesn' t always have time to prepare it "the old way."

An Italian specialty made easy

View Original Article Wed, 25 Feb 2015 03:31:34 GMT

I love Italian food! And I have prepared every type of dried pasta most grocery stores carry. Plus, I have even made home-made pasta from scratch several times.

Blue Plate Special: Christina's in Erving serves up authentic Italian cuisine

View Original Article Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:17:04 GMT

The chef and co-owner of Christina's Restaurant and Tavern on the French King Highway in Erving began working in a relative's restaurant as a teenager and hasn't stopped cooking since.

North meets South: KM restaurant menus includes barbecue and Italian dishes

View Original Article Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:17:17 GMT

Italian cuisine meets Carolina favorites at Uncle J's BBQ and Restaurant in Kings Mountain where you're likely to see some dining on pulled pork and others on ravioli.

The new 'Tastes of Italy'

View Original Article Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:58:34 GMT

THE passion and flair that Italians are known for are evident, not only in their culture and the arts, but in their cuisine as well. Antipastos and primos lovingly tease the palate -- secondos are savory, they immediately satisfy while dolces are decadent; you could not afford to miss a mouthful.

Gerard Craft Talks His New Fast-Casual Restaurant, Porano

View Original Article Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:52:43 GMT

As the man behind some of St. Louis' top restaurants, Gerard Craft has long been an advocate of the slow-food movement and an opponent of fast food. However, he's hoping to find a way to combine the two in his latest venture, Porano Pasta & Gelato .

Top ten outdoor dining spots in NSW

View Original Article Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:18:13 GMT

With summer drawing to an end, now is a great time to head to New South Wales and try some of the state's best al fresco dining spots. NSW has a location to appeal to every lover of fine food, whether its spectacular beachfronts, terraced vineyards or quaint Southern Highland towns.

Best Italian food chains

View Original Article Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:54:01 GMT

Like Irish pubs and Chinese takeouts, you'd be hard-pressed to find a moderately-populated town without an Italian restaurant. And for much of the country, that Italian restaurant is a chain.

Pecorino Italian Bistro Showcases Italian Cooking With Passion

View Original Article Sat, 21 Feb 2015 21:17:53 GMT

In Italy, people enjoy every moment of life. The pace of everyday living is much different than life in America.

Light and easy

View Original Article Fri, 20 Feb 2015 03:51:51 GMT

While it is still chilly outside and winter is not yet over, you may want to take a break from heavy stews and serve lighter Italian-inspired dishes that make use of the seasonal produce. Brown Bistro-Bakery, which specializes in cakes, cookies and desserts, including homemade ice cream, also offers light meals, prepared by chef Alon Lipansky and his staff.

New UNT University Union will offer expanded, diverse dining options

View Original Article Thu, 19 Feb 2015 23:37:09 GMT

DENTON , Texas -- University of North Texas students will find a large and diverse range of food options in the new University Union , scheduled to open in Fall 2015. UNT Dining Services also will operate a quick service fresh market with to-go breakfast and lunch options; Mia's, an Italian food station with a wood burning stove; Saute, a customizable noodle bowl station with Asian, Mediterranean and American flavors; Chopt, a large salad bar; as well as various grab-and-go items including pre-made salads, sandwiches, fruit cups, vegetable snacks and more; Avesta, a full-service, sit-down restaurant with a club atmosphere; and an ice cream shop featuring homemade Scrappy's Ice Cream .

Farewell to Nico, 73, town's favourite Italian chef

View Original Article Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:28:06 GMT

THE man who ran Nico's restaurant in Chippenham for 25 years has passed away at the age of 73. Nico Ruggiero was well-known for bringing his authentic Italian cuisine to Wiltshire, and as he moved around eateries in Chippenham over the decades, fans of his food followed him. He started out at the Angel Hotel in 1963, after moving over from a small town in southern Italy called Roseto Valfortore.

Warm Flat Beer: Art 'Arturo' Belge dishes on life, his Eastwood pizza joint and more in a 'decent' book

View Original Article Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:13:07 GMT

That's because he's sitting at home near the beach in Mazatlan, Mexico, while those he left behind in Central New York are enduring another harsh winter. "It's cold up there, huh?," Belge said during a recent phone interview.

Cooking in Langley: Italian soup is simplicity

View Original Article Thu, 19 Feb 2015 03:53:37 GMT

Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at


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