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Thursday
Jun272013

PENNE ALLA VODKA

Penne Alla Vodka is a pasta dish made with vodkaheavy creamcherry tomatoesshallotsbutter, and penne. It is so easy to make that for years it was considered the recipe for young Italian bachelors who did not know how to cook. You sauté the butter and finely chopped shallots over low heat; when the (more)

Sunday
Jun232013

SPAGHETTI ALLE VONGOLE

Spaghetti alle vongole (clams) is a traditional Neapolitan dish. The clams you should use or expect from a restaurant are vongole veraci from Italy, or the small, Mediterranean wedge shells called telline. Both types are also called arselle in Sardinia, Liguria, and Tuscany. It is a very easy dish (more)

Tuesday
Jun182013

BOLOGNESE

Bolognese sauce, aka ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce to serve with pasta that was created in the late 18th century in the province of Bologna. In 1891, Pellegrino Artusi first published a recipe called “Maccheroni alla bolognese", a richer version of what we eat today. The most traditional version uses fresh tagliatelle, long, flat ribbons of egg pasta that are similar to (more)

Sunday
Jun162013

SFOGLIATELLE

Sfogliatelle are shell shaped filled pastries created in the 17th century by the nuns of the Monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini, a fishing village in the province of Salerno. The nuns were not allowed to leave the monastery so they were as independent as possible, baking their bread, growing fruit and (more)

Friday
Jun142013

CAPONATA

Caponata is a Sicilian vegetable stew that can be served cold or hot and that is made with eggplants, green olivesceleryonionscapers, seasoned with olive oilvinegar, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Numerous variations exist with some versions adding tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, pine nuts or (more)

Thursday
Jun132013

CANNOLI

Cannoli are the most famous Sicilian pastry desserts. The name comes from the Latin "canna", or reed, because they are very thin tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough filled with sweetened ricotta (made with sheep’s milk). Cannoli originated in Palermo, Sicily, and Cicero in 70 a.C., while he was working (more)

Wednesday
Jun122013

PESTO

By Caroline Chirichella - Here is a little history about our dear friend, Pesto. Pesto originated in Genova, in the Liguria region, northern Italy. It traditionally consists of crushed garlicfresh basil and pine nuts mixed with olive oilParmigiano Reggiano and Fiore Sardo. My Pesto Genovese it a mostly traditional, (more)

Wednesday
Jun122013

WARM SICILIAN POTATO SALAD

By Cathi Iannone - This low-fat, flavorful recipe is an adaptation of my family's Warm Sicilian Potato Salad. This salad serves as a substantial bed for chicken, beef, pork, or fish, yet it's deserving enough to stand on its own with its complex texture and zesty personality. This Sicilian salad can be served warm (more)

Saturday
Jun082013

AMATRICIANA

Sugo all'amatriciana or alla matricianais a traditional, simple pasta sauce based on guanciale (cured pork cheek), tomatoesolive oil and grated pecorino cheese. It was invented in Amatrice, a town in the mountainous province of RietiLazio region, as a spinoff of a recipe called griciaGrici were sellers of bread and food, called grici by the Romans because many (more)

Wednesday
May292013

GRILLED VEGETABLE ANTIPASTO

by Caroline Chirichella - Today I would like to share with you my recipe for Grilled Vegetable Antipasto. Antipasto translates to before the meal: most antipastos feature a lovely spread of olivescured meatscheese and grilled mixed vegetables like eggplant, zucchini (more)

Wednesday
May292013

PANFORTE - A TASTE OF TUSCAN HISTORY 

by Cathi Iannone - Siena is considered the Panforte capital of the world, and Panforte literally meansstrong bread, referring to the spices in it. It is a confection with nutsdried fruitschocolate and honey.It dates all the way back to the 13th century and it was even used as a form of payment for taxes. Over the years, there have come to be a variety of panforte, but I noticed that most had black pepper in them. It is usually served with coffee for breakfast or with a dessert wine after dinner. (more)

Tuesday
May212013

GARLICKY GREENS, BABY, IT'S A UTICA THANG!

By Cathi Iannone - This dish is a VERY popular Italian-American side dish where I grew up in New York, Utica. Great as a side, as a topping for a steak sandwich or meatball sub, stuffed in chicken, pork or leftovers, it can even be tossed in when you make a frittata in the morning! These greens, actually, blossom as they sit, so I think the leftovers (more)

Friday
May172013

PUTTANESCA

Another popular tasty dish that is truly easy to make is Pasta alla Puttanesca. Probably the fact that it is so easy and tasty gave it its name, puttanesca (like a prostitute). Traditionally the puttanesca sauce is served with spaghetti, but it can be prepared with all types of pasta. Nobody knows who created it but the ingredients can be found in the center and south of the Italian peninsula so we can assume it (more)

Wednesday
May152013

Ragù di Porchetta with Pappardelle

By Cathi Iannone - Last year it made news back in my hometown of Utica, NY, that a wild boar was roaming the streets. Actually, TWO wild boars! They were a nomadic couple, I suppose. Well, the first thing that came to mind was, "why isn't anybody hunting this thing?" And the second was the most delicious Wild Boar Bolognese with (more)

Monday
May132013

AMARENE

Visciola or amarena is a type of cherry closely related to prunus cerasus (aka sour, tart or wild cherry) that you can find everywhere in Italy. Both the tree and the fruit are smaller than the sweet cherry tree, and its crimson-to-near-black cherries are pleasently acidic: tart and bitter when crimson, sweeter and juicy when ripe and dark. When you preserve them in sugar, the syrup can be used to pour over cakes and ice cream, topped by some candied amarene. Some people preserve them in alchool to make (more)

Monday
May062013

HOW TO MAKE SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

by Cathi Iannone - One of my favorite snacks is sun-dried tomatoes. They add so much depth to recipes, antipasti platters, or even on grilled cheese or deli sandwiches (sangwiches, as we call them where I grew up). Why pay $7, $8 a pound at the salumeria when you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost? I like to buy a boatload of Roma tomatoes when they go on sale and make a huge batch (more)

Thursday
May022013

BRUSCHETTA AND FETTUCCINE

Lunch by Cathi Iannone - TOMATO & GORGONZOLA BRUSCHETTA

This is my favorite bruschetta! The gorgonzola has just enough strength to stand up to the pesto, with a whisper of garlic on the chewy baguette bed. Perfection! (more)

Monday
Apr292013

FAVA BEANS

On the first of May, a national holiday, it is a tradition for Roman families to take a trip to the countryside and eat fresh fava beans with pecorino cheese. They remove the beans from the smaller bright green pods, shell them, take a little bit of pecorino, eat them together. A perfect gastronomic marriage you must try to understand. Fava bean (vicia faba), aka broad bean, is a variety of bean native to the Mediterranean coasts; it is among the most ancient plants in cultivation and one of the easiest to grow. Along with lentils, (more)

Monday
Apr222013

SPAGHETTI MARGHERITA

By Caroline Chirichella - I love the idea that a lot of Italian food is based on simplicity. Nothing fancy or over complicated, just good old food and I think that is what makes Italian cuisine so appealing to everyone. You don’t necessarily have to be a trained chef or even that great in the kitchen to be able to make a fantastic meal. (more)

Sunday
Apr142013

CAROLINE'S PASTA ALLA NORMA

Caroline Chirichella is the founder of “La Cucina Prima Donna”, a blog dedicated to embracing the Italian lifestyle in every sense of the word. Caroline is also a trained Opera singer, an actress, and a writer. Here is her recipe for Pasta alla Norma. (more)