Polenta Taragna – An Enriched Polenta from the Italian Mountains

In previous posts, we talked about Cucina Povera, the cuisine of the poor, now becoming “fashionable” in high-end restaurants. This is the case also for polenta – one of the simplest dishes ever conceived. Now traditionally made with ... Continue reading

Vin Brulé (Mulled Wine) – A Warming Festive Accompaniment

Most European countries have their variation of the British mulled wine, a drink made with red wine and spices, served hot during winter. Northern Italy’s version, popular around Christmas and especially at Christmas markets, is called Vin Brulé ... Continue reading

The Boom of Limoncello

Limoncello (pronounced: lee-mon-chel-low) is a sweet, lemon-flavored liqueur made by soaking lemon peel in pure alcohol to extract its aromatic oils. Straight chilled limoncello is served after dinner as a digestive, or to accompany a dessert. When ... Continue reading

Pasta alla Norma – A Sicilian First Course with Character

Pasta alla Norma is a staple Italian first course almost unknown in North America. The dish, native to Sicily, is especially known in southern Italy but can be found all around the country. Alla Norma sauce (likely named after the opera Norma, by ... Continue reading

Bell Pepper Pasta

Italians rarely get tired of a good tomato sauce, but when they do they often resort to a tomato sauce variation. This recipe is based on the simple addition of roasted bell peppers, and of chili for some heat. The resulting sauce is great on pasta, ... Continue reading

Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta

This recipe describes a common variation of the classic pesto pasta. In Liguria, pesto pasta is often had along with potatoes and green beans, a hearty version sometimes called ‘enriched’ pesto. Please see the Making Pesto in a Blender ... Continue reading

Panino, the Italian Sandwich

In Italy, just like in all Europe and North America, a ‘panino’ (Italian for sandwich) is a popular lunch option, and in some cases also a quick dinner alternative. Italian bars often press-grill their sandwiches to enhance the flavors, ... Continue reading

Asparagi alla Milanese – The Incredible Pairing of Asparagus and Eggs

Of simple Italian recipes that are almost unknown outside of Italy, Milanese-style Asparagus would probably rank near the top. This dish, traditionally associated with the city of Milan, is enjoyed all around Italy as a second course, especially in ... Continue reading

Bruschetta, Properly Pronounced :)

Bruschetta , plural ‘bruschette’ (brus-ket-teh), is a very popular appetizer born in the 16th century in central and southern Italy, which then spread to the entire country and eventually followed the Italian emigrants around the ... Continue reading