Minestrone alla Genovese – The Classic Minestrone

The famous Genoese-style minestrone is a very dense and satisfying meal.  It utilizes both seasonal vegetables and the famous pesto alla Genovese, made of garlic, basil, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  But, as the Italian gastronome Massimo Alberini has said, as good as minestrone is, it is not a gastronomic specialty but rather an elemental […]

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 […]

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 […]

Make Rigatoni Like Romans–With Chitterlings

Virtually everyone who has been to Italy has been to Rome, but not everyone who has been to Rome has had Roman cuisine. Most of the famous foods of Rome, such as pizza, fettuccine alfredo or spaghetti carbonara, either were invented for tourists or came from elsewhere. The Romans eat in a way that is […]

It’s Real Fettuccine Alfredo. It Never Used Cream.

T he rise and fall of fettuccine Alfredo is a story of a simple dish taken from its home and embellished with flourishes before sliding into culinary familiarity, dullness and bastardization. Although it has its roots in Roman cuisine, it is nothing but a restaurant dish in Italy and America. Fettuccine Alfredo became a classic […]

Syracuse on the Ionian and its Cuisine

The cooking of Syracuse, the beautiful classical city of Sicily on the Ionian Sea, is marked by highly aromatic foods in combination with fresh vegetables and seafood. This style of cooking is sometimes described as Baroque. The Baroque era in architecture, art, and music was a turning away from the ordered reality of the universe […]

Grilled Eel is the Best Tasting Fish in the World!

The absolutely best tasting fish in the word is eel.  And a grilled eel is as close to piscatorial perfection as you can get.  The down side is that Americans don’t eat eel meaning it’s impossible to find.  Sometimes fish stores carry it around Christmas time and when they do I buy as much as […]

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