Fava, Artichokes, and Porcini Mushrooms with “Straw and Hay” Fettuccine

June is the time for fava and artichokes and what better way than to cook them with pasta as is typical of Italian cooking. In this recipe inspired by Tuscan cooking, the name of this pasta dish in Italian, paglia e fieno, is a slight twist on a typical dish in Siena, that means “straw […]

Peaches Arrive For Our June Desserts

Local peaches and nectarines, two of my favorite fruit, arrived at many farmers markets in the past couple of weeks and they will be at their peak of season for the next few months.  I’m lucky I can even get a peach prepared for a dessert as I tend to eat them while bent over […]

Comfort of Meatballs

There’s something very comforting about meatballs. They are, in fact, comfort food, and whether one ate them as part of spaghetti and meatballs or in a meatball hero as a child, they remain the paragon of comfort. In my research over decades concerning the cuisines of the Mediterranean in general and Italian in particular–the kafta […]

Eggs and Ham

Breakfast is the meal of the day that most cooks keep simple. At best they might use some leftovers to dress it up, but no one want to prep food in the morning.  When I say breakfast, I don’t mean early brunch. If you’re eating breakfast after 10 am I consider it brunch.  A real […]

Savory Pie in a Cast Iron Skillet

There’s something fun and easy to old-fashioned cooking in cast iron, such as this savory pie made in a cast iron skillet and topped with puff pastry. Savory pies were far more popular in the early part of the last century than they are today. They are waiting to be rediscovered.  This recipe is not […]

Switzerland’s Hot and Cheesy Casserole Named After A Disease

Goms is a valley in the rugged mountainous canton of Valais in Switzerland, where this pie originated. The unusual name of this pie, Gomser Cholera, derives from the cholera epidemic that hit Switzerland hard in 1836. Rather than leave the house and risk infection, people tended to prepare meals with the food they had on […]

Spicy Catalan Stew of Haricot Beans

The role of dried common beans in the cuisine of Catalonia is unique in the Mediterranean. They play a role in the staple diet more akin to the role of beans in Mexico than with any other region of the Mediterranean. Although it’s true that beans are a staple or near-staple everywhere in the Mediterranean, […]

Country Soup-Rustic Corsican Soup for Winter

This is the most famous of all the Corsican soups. The soup is simply called minestra which in the Corsican culinary pantheon is simple soupe paysanne, country soup.  Although it’s called a soup, it’s meant to be so thick you could eat it with a fork. Shepherds would take some leftover with them into the […]

Make A Spicy Jewish Soup from North Africa

Bread bakers set aside a portion of yeasted dough to act as a starter for the next batch of bread. This starter is called a sponge, poolish, levain de boulanger in French, and biga in Italian. But in this medieval soup of the Jews of North Africa it is the foundation to a soup. The […]

Potato Gratin with Swiss Chard is for Wintertime

Potato gratin is one of those preparations that speaks to people.  When a gratin comes out of the oven it is one of the most inviting foods.  It’s also a dish perfect for winter. Swiss chard developed from the beet and was first mentioned in a book about plants published in Basel, Switzerland in 1596. […]

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