Braised Fennel

Side dishes have an important role in Italian cuisine. These, often vegetarian, preparations are meant as an accompaniment to a second course, whether it’s meat or fish, a piatto freddo (literally, cold dish) of cheese and/or cold cuts, or ... Continue reading

Asparagus Risotto with Parmesan Rind

Among the many risotto variations, asparagus risotto (‘risotto agli asparagi’) is one of the most successful, and one of my favorites. There are a few different ways to incorporate asparagus in a risotto. In my recipe, diced asparagus are ... Continue reading

Piadina Romagnola

Piadina is a traditional flatbread from the Italian historical region of Romagna. The name piadina (plural: piadine) is a diminutive form of piada (used interchangeably to refer to the same preparation), which originates from the ... Continue reading

Mascarpone Cream – How to Make Panettone Divine

Growing up in the province of Milan, the presence of various panettoni in the house was reliably the earliest indicator that the Christmas season had returned. My father would receive a couple of panettoni as a gift from his workplace, my mother would ... Continue reading

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Mascarpone Tomato Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a dish I had last summer at Farmer’s Apprentice, a great Vancouver restaurant. For my interpretation, I made rustic gnocchi by mixing in some buckwheat flour, and used mascarpone as a base for a creamy tomato sauce. ... Continue reading

Oven-Roasted Vegetables Stripes

Roasted vegetables are nothing new, but this particular arrangement makes for a truly spectacular dish which can be served as a main course, accompanied with fresh and aged cheese, as well as a side dish. When I lived with my parents, this preparation ... Continue reading

Chard and Spinach Gnudi, the Naked Ravioli

This recipe was adapted from Domenica Marchetti’s “Swiss Chard and Spinach Ravioli Nudi”, part of her great cookbook The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, entirely dedicated to the prominent role of vegetables in Italian food. I chose this recipe ... Continue reading

Passato di Verdure (Strained Vegetables Soup)

Growing up, I was used to my mother’s soup made from chunky vegetables in clear broth. I can’t say I loved it – certainly not as much as I enjoy it now – but I clearly remember liking its strained variant: the ... Continue reading

Squash Risotto, a Comfort Dish for Winter

Squash risotto (or risotto con la zucca), is a traditional risotto common in all northern Italy. The squash gives an especially mealy texture, and a sweeter flavor to it, along of course with a beautiful orange color. But what is squash, exactly? Along ... Continue reading