Cocido, the Quintessential Spanish Stew from Andalusia

Spiced sausage, cumin, saffron, black pepper, and garlic flavor this stew that some call the national dish of Spain. These spices had their culinary roots in Islamic Spain, but the trade in spices itself was coming through Lisbon to the great spice markets of Seville and Barcelona. This chickpea stew is found throughout Spain in […]

Lentils and Sausage for Winter Dinners

There is a winter dish from the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy of cooked lentils topped with slices of boiled stuffed pig’s trotter called zampone.  Decades ago I was lucky to live near an Italian deli that regularly carried a domestically-made zampone. Then they went out of business and once the internet was invented and […]

Christmas Eve Risotto from Venice

This is a typical Christmas Eve dinner preparation and is unusual for two reasons: it is not cooked according to the risotto method even though it’s called a risotto, and it combines cheese with fish. The dish probably evolved from a simple fish pilaf, one using, perhaps, gò (goby, an ugly little fish that lives […]

Soul-satisfying Baked Rigatoni for a Cold, Blustery Day

On a cold blustery day, my kitchen beckons and I look forward to spending the day assembling this baked rigatoni dish. I imagine you’ve looked at the ingredient list and maybe thought “no way.” I suggest you think like a cook who sees the list and thinks “Look at that ingredient list! Isn’t it great? […]

Romanesco Cauliflower with Pasta …Studies on Mandelbrot Fractals

This preparation of the small ridged rigatoni called rigatoncello is meant to feed a large group of people.  It makes for an ideal party dish.  The romanesco cauliflower used in this pasta dish is one of those marvels of nature that once could only be found in farmers markets, but now many supermarkets sell them, […]

Old French Recipe for Veal Rump Stew, A Cold Weather Delight

This nineteenth-century recipe is from Anjou, the capital of which, Angers, sits in the middle of fertile land and excellent vineyards in the Loire valley. The traditional home cooking of Anjou was simple and not ostentatious. This recipe is adapted from the book Recettes des provinces de France that was produced in honor of Curnonsky, […]

Mac and Cheese for Halloween

Since the Kraft Company put it in a box in 1937 every American kid grew up with macaroni and cheese.  There can be no doubt that its ultimate origins are Italian, as one finds macaroni and cheese recipes from the late thirteenth century in southern Italy.  But the American macaroni and cheese has two main […]

Summertime Squid, Grilled the Sicilian Way

Calamari Ripieni   Print Prep time 25 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour 5 mins   For ease, buy the squid already cleaned but make sure they include each of the squid’s tentacles. Eight squid should weigh about 1¼ pounds, and that size is ideal for grilling in this recipe. You can […]

Tomato and Cheese Make Perfect Summer Salads

A rule of thumb—better yet—a summer desire, is to keep ones cooking simple as no one wants to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen. Grilling is the solution, but so is simple summer vegetable salads. In fact, you could make an entire meal of nothing but a variety of salads. In Arab […]

Why Not Grill Asparagus?

If you have a grill blazing away any of these summer weekends it seems a waste not to grill everything.  There are some foods you may not have thought of as suitable for the grill.  One of those foods is certainly asparagus. Espárragos a la parilla, asparagus on the grill, is a grilled asparagus that […]

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