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Found 746 results

  1. So, what happens when you mix regions? We've spent the past 2 years exploring the regional cooking of Italy. And it's been a fantastic exploration; any of us who participated learned many, many things. So, what happens when you mix regions? There is hand wringing from town to town, let alone whole regiosn. What got me thinking about this was something that I made for lunch today. Sliced tomatoes (could be anywhere in Italy), layered over some tallegio (Northern Italy), with a sprinkle of dried orgegano (southern Italy...the mezzogiorno). I stuck it in the oven long enough to melt the tallegio. The result was excellent, cheesy goodness that was completely balanced by the acidity in the tomatoes, with the oregano adding a herbal note. Much more savory than combining tomatoes and mozzarella. Did I cross the line? Is this not Italian? Does such a thing as fusion Italian exist?
  2. The other day I purchased some baby spring artichokes. I was having my children over for dinner. They love Italian Stuffed Artichokes that "nonna" used to make. I wanted to use the baby artichokes as appetizers that would be easy to eat while standing and visiting before dinner, but would convey the same flavor as the "family favorite." I ended up fixing the baby artichokes as artichoke hearts with the stuffing dropped like a little pillow in the heart. I prepared the hearts by par boiling in chicken stock after cutting and cleaning them. Then I created the stuffing using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, minced garlic, salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley all binded with egg white. I placed the stuffing on the heart, drizzled with EVOO and placed in the oven for about 15 minutes. They were a hit! Preparing: The final product! Since we are entering the artichoke season, does anyone have any other interesting ways to serve them?
  3. I am looking for cookbooks that feature recipes and cuisine from the Northern region of Italy. ( My ancestors originate from Torino. ) I am looking for 'light' or healthier versions of traditional northern Italian recipes. Any recommendations?
  4. I've been making a lot of fresh pasta recently and a lot of my recipes involve using pasta cooking water in the sauce. In restaurants, the same batch of water is used to make multiple batches of pasta, leading to full bodied pasta cooking water and superior sauces. I've taken to trying to replicate this effect at home by reusing pasta cooking water. I keep a half gallon tupperware container of pasta cooking water in my fridge. When it comes time to cook pasta, I'll add the water + another half gallon of fresh water to a large pot on the stove and bring it to the boil for at least a minute and use it to cook about a lb of fresh pasta. Instead of draining in a colander, I use a spider to scoop out the pasta and dump it directly in the sauce (bringing some cooking water along with it). I leave the water on the stove until it's cooled down to room temperature, then strain half a gallon of it back into the container, discarding the rest. I then add enough salt such that, when re-diluted, it'll be at the appropriate salinity to cook pasta next time. So far, I've been using the water at least once a week so I'm not too concerned about the food safety issues but I figure the excess salt buys some protection as well. Every time I've used it, I taste it beforehand and it's fresh and clean tasting but I assume if you're cooking pasta less than once a month, there may be issues with this approach. Also, now that I have it around, it's been occasionally useful as an all-purpose light thickener when I want to add just a bit of body to a dish. Because it's so heavily salted, it needs to go in before the final seasoning adjustment but I've found it's actually really great in soups where it adds just that hint of thickness that gives it the mouthfeel of a stock based soup (at the expense of cloudiness). Does anyone else regularly do this? What's been your experience?
  5. Okay, pizza in Buenos Aires...a very complex topic to tackle! At once, it's ubiquitous and elusive. There's cheese (to the gills!) and no cheese. There's ham--deli-type and salt-cured--but no pepperoni. There's the thick, gooey crust that tastes and tooths like bread or there's the "pizza a la piedra," or stone-baked, thin, crispy crust that tastes like a water cracker. There's faina, a...hmm, how to describe it...chickpea flour biscuit-like, focaccia-shaped bread thing, slightly reminiscent of cornbread in appearance, that is eaten on top of the very local, very traditional pizza called fugazzetta (pizza dough piled thick with lots of onions, oregano and cheese, maybe some green olives...yep, that's it.) So, what's the complexity about? For starters, locals--Porteños, the residents of the Capital--will say that they LOVE pizza and that Buenos Aires has the best pizza in the world. Being here in BA, you will quickly identify that the former statement is as true as can be: almost every commercial corner in this city has either a pizza joint (or two) or a resto-bar that serves pizza proudly. Any lunch cafe will serve pizza. In other words, ubiquitous. But you will find that these eateries serve an identical menu--empanadas, pizza, ham and cheese sandwiches, milanesas--indicating that the local palate is quite limited. That isn't to imply that a limited palate necessarily must be an indiscriminate one, but...here, it kind of is. Argentine pizza is in its own category of cuisine. It is not Italian pizza. It is not NYC pizza, nor Chicago pizza. In order to appreciate it at all, you MUST divorce your preconceived notions of pizza from the experience of eating Argentine pizza. Then--and only then--you might be able to enjoy what you are ingesting. You will find that Argentine pizza is oozing with unbrowned, insufficiently baked, rubbery, bad mozzarella. You will find that the sauce is both lacking in quantity and flavor. You will find the crust, if it is the soft kind, bready without any yeastiness, often toothless. The cracker-crisp crust is better because of the improvement in texture, but again, tends to be flavorless. Sorry I sound so cynical, but 90% of the Argentine pizzas I have eaten have caused in me regrets and disappointment and low after-dinner self-esteem. My suggestion: try it for the experience of it, but I can't bear to make any recommendations here on an integrity basis and because I refuse to be held accountable either for intentionally leading anyone to a negative dining experience or for finding out that anyone had a great experience with something I define as mediocre! So, to find a GREAT pizza in Buenos Aires was an exercise in patience and grave tolerance, but finally that elusive pie has been identified... Siamo nel Forno Costa Rica 5886 in Palermo Hollywood 4775-0337, reservas@siamonelforno.com.ar Tues-Sun from 8 pm to close An exercise in Neapolitan-style, artesanal excellence: Original, imported, wood-burning oven from Italy; thin-crust, gourmet pizzas using highest-quality ingredients; nice wine list; great coffee! Warm, personable, professional service, English-speaking staff; owner/head chef will probably stop at your table to check in; comfortable ambience Super busy on weekends, so reserve if you plan to go after 9 pm. Second choice: Piola, 2 locations Libertad 1078 in Barrio Norte 4812 0690 / 4815 4746 open late night (until 2 or 3 am) Gorriti 5751 in Palermo Hollywood 4777 3698 / 4777 3298 http://www.piola.it/...mber=21〈=en International chain of pizzerias out of Italy, but consistent and with a huge variety of pizzas; also offer pastas and other dishes. They give a complimentary sweet limoncello (?) blended drink at the end. Service is sometimes perfunctory and slow, but generally kind. Lots of English-speaking waiters. Also very busy; they take reservations, but if you go early, you'll get in. Open all day. I don't quite understand why there are always TV's on at this restaurant.
  6. July brings us the cooking of Sicily. I’m really pumped about this month of cooking, most especially to see how everyone else does with it. Last year when I cooked from Sicily (also in July), I had a great time; I would just find myself grinning while prepping the food. It’s so aromatic and exotic and full of weird combos that you don’t see elsewhere in Italy. Things you’d never think would work together wind up being the best dishes; I’d encourage finding some out-there Sicilian recipes and giving them a spin (my favorites from last year: duck with chocolate, cantaloupe caponata, baked pasta with and orange and cinnamon-scented sausage ragu). I’m going to try to acquire an actual Sicily cookbook this month, since usually I just go by the references in my other books. A booksearch on Amazon for Sicily reveals the following books: Ciao Sicily by Damian Mandola, Johnny Carrabba Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries by Victoria Granof Sicily: A Way of Life in 50 Recipes by Janine Saine Foods of Sicily and Sardinia and the Smaller Islands by Giuliano Bugialli, John Dominis The Flavors of Sicily by Anna Tasca Lanza "Pinch" of Sicily : A Collection of Memories and Traditional Recipes by maria sciortino Cucina Paradiso: The Heavenly Food of Sicily by Clifford A. Wright The Heart of Sicily : Recipes & Reminiscences of Regaleali, a Country Estate by Anna Tasca Lanza Sicily (Flavors of Italy , Vol 2, No 4) by Mariapaola Dettore, McCrae Books Southern Italian Cooking : Family Recipes from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by Jo Bettoja Pomp And Sustenance : Twenty Five Centuries Of Sicilian Food by Mary Simeti Taylor Cucina Siciliana by Clarissa Hyman Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes from a Sicilian Girlhood by Maria Grammatico Sicilian Feasts by Giovanna Bellia La Marca Sicilian Home Cooking: Family Recipes from Gangivecchio by Wanda Tornabene, Giovanna Tornabene, Michele Evans Many Beautiful Things: Stories and Recipes from Polizzi Generosa -- by Vincent Schiavelli So, quite a bit to choose from, over and above the chapters on Sicily in the regional cookbooks we’ve been referencing. I have Schiavelli’s book and really enjoy it, Sweet Sicily is dessert-oriented but still very worthwhile. Classic dishes and preparations would take up pages, but suffice it to say, lots of seafood, especially compared against Sardinian traditional cooking. Sicily’s been ruled by nearly every Mediterranean power at one point or another and has embraced an elaborate layer of influences and dishes. Sweet and sour is a common preparation, but what is interesting is how varied the theme plays out: it’s a lot more than vinegar, sugar, raisins, and pine nuts. Chocolate is thrown in for a dash of bitter to balance out the dish in some recpies; in others the sweet comes from fresh fruit or honey instead of just sugar; in others the sour comes from citrus instead of vinegar. There’s a wealth of antipasti to choose from: many of them deep-fried. Pastas abound, but there’s also an interesting tradition of rice dishes and timabelle. Finally, vegetables are abundant and you could almost make a month out of vegetarian dishes, and a month more just on the variations on caponata, the sweet/sour condimento found here. Even more pages could be devoted to the elaborate Sicilian sweet tooth: gelato, cannoli, zeppole, bigne, cassata just scratch the surface of some of the more famous sweets originated or perfected here. Let’s get cooking! I’m really excited to see what everyone does . . .
  7. What's with all these new Italians? Pretty soon the city's going to be all trattorie and sushi bars. Riccardo Trattoria (Northern Italian from the longtime chef at Bice, opened February in Lincoln Park) Terragusto (BYOB with organic, fresh pastas, opened February in Roscoe Village) Spacca Napoli (Neapolitan pizzas, opened February in Ravenswood) Tony Rocco's (casual homestyle, with twists like Broasted chicken, opened February in River North) Jay's Amore on Madison Ristorante & Lounge (February in the West Loop) Timo (March Italian redo of Thyme on the Near West Side) Frasca (Pizzeria/wine bar from the cousins behind Dunlays on the Square and Dunlays on Clark, May in West Lake View) Rosebud Prime (Italian steakhouse at 1 S. Dearborn St., May) Cafe Bionda (South Loop, from an ex-Rosebud chef, May) Trattoria 31 (Bridgeport, May) Erba (Lincoln Square, from the people behind Brioso, May) Gruppo di Amici (Rogers Park, opening in June)
  8. (N.B.: shamelessly cross-posted from my blog.) I've been thinking a lot about fish lately, prompted by a project I'm beginning on fish in Roman culture and literature. It's not a bad thing to work on here, since it gives me the excuse to do some research on fish in modern Italy. By "research", of course, I mean mostly "eating"-- but I've been looking into fish in other ways as well. You wouldn't think it from visiting coastal Italy (or, for that matter, an inland city like Rome), but the Mediterranean is actually relatively fish-poor, at least compared to the ocean. Modern fishing techniques mean that it's not too hard to get a variety of fish to market. But some parts of the peninsula have historically had better access to fish than others, and that access is reflected on a consumer level by the presence of large fish markets. I'm going to look at two of these, from opposite ends of Italy. The first of these is pretty famous, the Rialto fish market in Venice. Venice's lagoon, with its shallow, brackish water, is a great environment for attracting the wide variety of fish that are the hallmark of Venetian cuisine. The importance of fish for Venice is highlighted by the elegant architecture of the market. The structure, built in 1907, is a wide portico with room for two rows of stalls, facing onto the Grand Canal. It's easily the loveliest fish market I've ever seen (okay, not that much competition there...) The column capitals along the outside are all in the shape of different fish, boats, etc.: I didn't see any turtles for sale at the market! But these guys are pretty cute. The architect (whom my guidebook lists as the painter Cesare Laurenti) was clearly having some fun, while maintaining a traditional Venetian appearance. As the city of Venice has shrunk (there are about 60,000 people in central Venice, down from 200,000 a century ago), the importance of the market has decreased. Restaurants buy a lot of fish, of course, but they mostly get it from the wholesale market, and while tourists might buy an apple or cherries, a whole mackerel or bag o' shrimp doesn't tend to fit well into a suitcase! As a result, when I was there (late May), the market was only about half-occupied by stalls, and many of the people walking around were (like me) tourists with cameras, rather than shoppers. Too bad, because the seafood there is absolutely gorgeous. I'm pretty bad with seafood names (in English or Italian)- so please feel free to help me out in comments... Here's one I do know, some nice looking red mullets: They're particular favorites of mine, both because the Romans loved 'em (as pets and as food), and because, hey: "red mullet". hee! There's a lot of care put into displaying fish (it helps that I arrived at around 8 AM, when things were just starting to gear up): Here are some canocce: alien-looking crustaceans that are very characteristic of Venice. I don't know if they live elsewhere: I love those "eyes". This is a close-up, obviously, but lots of the vendors stack them up like so much fishy cordwood. We had canocce for dinner that night (at Alle Testiere); they're sweet and tender, sort of between really fresh Gulf shrimp and crab. Here's a bucket o' eels: Still alive: that one in the center was flapping its gills and glaring balefully at me. I have to admit something here and say that eels squick me out a little, and this guy didn't really change things for me... The fruit and vegetable market is right next to the fish market. There's a nice selection, but it didn't strike me as especially distinctive: Hey you! Get back to the piazza San Marco! (And memo to shoppers: be sure to wash that eggplant well! The other fish market I've visited that really impressed me was way at the other end of Italy, in Syracuse. Sicilian seafood is of course famous, and rightly so. Like Venice, Sicilians have been able to exploit their environment to get access to lots of different kinds of seafood. In this case, the straits of Messina provide naturally good fishing grounds. The small space creates a difference in temperature between the western and eastern Mediterranean, something that attracts fish. And the narrow straits funnel fish, making them easier to catch. The market in Syracuse is on the island of Ortygia, steps away from the temple of Apollo and next to the small harbor. It stretches for about two or three blocks on a small street. Not as picturesque as the Venice market, but with at least as good a selection of fish, and with a more vibrant atmosphere. Here are some anchovies. Or maybe sardines. I'm not really sure, actually: To misquote Maurice Chevalier, "thank heaven for leetle feesh!" I've really come to love the miniature members of the scaly tribe: alici sott'olio? Oh yeah. It's a real shame that Americans are so fixated on steak fish (salmon, tuna, etc.); I'm sure whether I'll be able to get them back in the US. Anyway, it's an excuse to eat as many as possible now... I don't know what this thing is. But it kind of scares me. Probably it's delicious, but I wouldn't have the faintest idea what to do with it. Other than back away slowly... Again, not really sure what these are. I just think they're really beautiful. As with these: Let's just call those last photos "two studies in stripes." Finally, the biggest fish in the market that day, a nice-looking tuna: Everybody is impressed (and rightly so), even that kid in the corner. Yum! I love Syracuse; it's a beautiful, friendly city with wonderful food and a fascinating history. One of my fantasies-- once I win the lottery, you know-- is to move there and just cook fish every single day. Someday, maybe...
  9. Hey all, Thought I'd share a nice place with you all. The Italian. New up market restaraunt in the Melbourne CBD. (I think little collins, Can't remember) I think it had a nice balance between rustic and honest fare. Its seasonal, with its mainstays. Mind you, its only been open for seven months, So whose to know what a Mainstay is! The decor is tacky. bad and all thing crap. But last time a checked, I don't eat the surroundings. Don't get me wrong, were not talking grungey, dirty back bar. We are talking try hard, nouvelle, modern architure, with high ceilings and asian tastes. In a place with as authentic italian food as this, i think there is an identity crisis. Nonethelss, lets talk food. Nyway on to the food. For entree had soft polenta with trippa with a sweetish tomato sauce. It was great. I went to italy last year and really felt like a hit of tradition. The polenta was creamy without resembling a cup full of butter, and the trippa was amongst the most tender I've ever had. For main, gnocci with veal stew. Again, the sauce was quite sweet to taste, not dessert sweet but prob some sugar in there to deal with those out of season tomatoes. The veal was tender and the gnocci was fresh, as gnocci should be! For dessert, chocolate fondant. Not as oooozeing as anticpated, somewhat more cakey. But, it was a welcome twist, and still tasted fantastic with the vanilla icecream. John Lethlean (the agre head critic) wrote it up during the year as one of the best meals he had eaten during the year. (pan fired lambs brains). I must have lost it somewhere amidst the massive menu. In any case, I'm going this weekend! If any more q's about it. feel free to ask. Sorry got uni exams, otherwise, if i get a chance I'll add some more places. Cheers. J
  10. Have Italian restaurants in Philly started branching out and defining themselves more strictly by region yet? My impression is no, but I remember thinking (roughly around when fusion cuisines started emerging as the cool thing) that the next food trend (nationally) would be the emergence of regional ethnic cuisines. It's started earliest with Chinese restaurants, with Sichuan and Shanghaiese (also nationally), not suprisingly, but has it started yet with Italian restaurants in the US, the other main cuisine category, as far as sheer numbers (I presume, although sushi bars, restaurants, and joints do seem to be catching up)? I've heard randomly certain Italian restaurants' cuisines described as from Rome, Emilia-Romagna, etc. I have never used subsets of cuisines yet to distinguish the various restaurants in Philly, BYOB or not. Nor have I heard anyone else use regionality of cuisine to distinguish between XYZ restaurant and ABC restaurant. I suppose I'm interested in the issue both locally and nationally.
  11. In September, we are covering the cooking of Campania, whose best-known city is of course Napoli or Naples. Do I really need to do best-known dishes? Pizza, calzones, pasta with tomato sauce, spaghetti with clams . . . it’s amazing how many mainstays are listed here. But then, immigrants from Campania formed a sizeable portion of those Italians who left the poverty of their home country for America and other destinations at the beginning of the 20th century, so their cooking naturally is at the heart of our “red sauce joints”. But there’s much more to the cooking than tomato sauce and buckets of garlic (which is in an of itself a misunderstanding of the more delicate native Campanian cooking): the mountainous regions have hearty fare with goat forming a basis of their ragus. Along the coast, you have wonderful, herbal, light seafood and shellfish dishes. One of the isle of Ischia’s most famous dishes is braised rabbit, of all things. Cookbooks listed as dedicated to Neapolitan cooking on Amazon: Guiliano Bugialli's Food of Naples and Campania The Food and Wine Guide to Naples and Campania by Carla Capalbo Naples at Table : Cooking in Campania by Arthur Schwartz Schwartz's book is really good; I don't have experience with the other two.
  12. I read somewhere that you could not get real fragolino anymore because the grape is American (oh no!) and the EU banned commercial production. Is this true?
  13. So my roman mint has given me a much bigger harvest then my roman artichokes. I'm wondering what are other suggested pairings are out there for nepitella? Tripe? Any tripe recipes? thanks, trillium
  14. This week I made Alton Brown's tomato sauce. . .it starts out as fresh plum tomatoes, halved, seasoned, and baked for 2 1/2 hours, then put through a food mill, and finished off by being cooked with a little white wine. It's a really good sauce, even with out-of-season store bought tomatoes. After it came to temperature, it sat on a back burner on the "low" setting to keep warm. After cooking the spaghetti, I drained it in a colander, then put it back in the cooking pot. It was dry enough that I was concerned about it sticking together. So far, so good. After ladling it onto the pasta, however, I ended up with really good tomato stuff on top, and the pasta was swimming in red water. What's the deal? Is there any way to prevent this?
  15. Recently, I picked up a bag of this: Optimally, what would you sauce this with?
  16. jende

    Baked pasta dish

    I'm making a cheesy baked pasta dish for a potluck dinner on Thursday. I'm basing the recipe on one from Giada which mixes ziti with marinara and ricotta, and is topped with mozzarella. I'm leaving out the meatballs in her recipe and serving Italian sausage on the side, in consideration of the vegetarians in the group. My plan is to assemble the dish on Wednesday and refrigerate it until it's time to bake it on Thursday. This type of dish should hold ok in the fridge until it's time to bake, shouldn't it? Any recommendations for other similar recipes to look at would be appreciated, too.
  17. Italian Wine Tasting Vin Classic Wines 5717 Legacy Drive Suite 120 Plano, TX (Map) Thursday June 28, 2007 6:30 - 8:00 pm Free, with a paltry $5 contribution per person to the eGullet Society Wines tasted: Frescobaldi Brut Millisimato 2000 Attems Pinot Grigio 2005 Nipozzano Chiant Reserva 2003 Castelgiocondo Brunello 2002 Tenuta di Castglioni Rosso Toscana 2004 Ornellaia 2004 Pomino Vin Santo 2001 Thanks to Darrell Gibson at Vin Classic for arranging this special tasting, and to Gina della Vedova from the distributor, Folio, for the interesting background on each wine poured. This was the most extensive free tasting I have been to -- from the $12 Attens Pinot Grigio 2005 to the $175 Tenuta dell' Ornellaia 2004.
  18. Hello! This is my first eG post, but I have been enjoying all of the information and insights as I plan summer travels! My husband and I will be going with my parents to Chicago at the beginning of August to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The focus of our trips is usually food, and I have booked Alinea for Saturday night (can't WAIT for that!), but we have two other nights available. My dad adores Italian food. Are there any great new "finds" for Italian? I have looked at Spiaggio, but I couldn't help but wonder if there is somewhere perhaps slightly less formal/more fun that had really great food. Cost is not a big factor as this is a special occasion weekend, but we are doing the blowout at Alinea on our last night, so big "production" restaurants are not a requirement for the first two nights, though if they DO happen to be the places you think are best, I'm open to that. Plus, we're from California and used to casual attire even at our top restaurants - we don't mind "jacket required", but would kind of prefer "elegant but relatively casual". (I know, savages we are... ) And aside from the Italian recommendations, what other places shouldn't be missed? Thank you, I really appreciate your thoughts! Christina
  19. MITllama

    pasta sauce

    I am bored with red pasta sauce, and don't like heavy Alfredo sauce. I have been experimenting with making sauce from cooked sweet potatoes or green peas, but both seem to lack oomph. I added crushed pineapple to the sweet potatoes and that helped, but it needs something more. I tried adding tomatillo salsa to the green peas, but that wasn't quite right either (or not to my taste). Any suggestions? I'm open to any vegetable base.
  20. Has anyone else been to this place (4700 Guadaloupe) yet? I haven't even tried the restaurant operation yet, but the grocery/bakery/deli is amazing. This weekend I got squid ink, marinated anchovies, excellent canned tuna, and a new brand of spaghetti. It really felt like being in a little market in Italy. Andrew
  21. Pardon me if there's already a thread, but I haven't seen one in all my searching and I'm really interested in this book. I happened to pick it up at the library on Saturday and I've been looking through it with various feelings since. I think most of it is wonder. I've never seen anything I'd rather eat more of than what's in this book. There are some particular selections which look especially incredible right now: The acorn squash sformato; the sweet pea flan; the goat cheese truffles; the asparagus vinaigrette; the duck liver ravioli; the pumpkin lune; the spaghetti with sweet 100 tomatoes; the penne with zucca; the gnocchi with venison and rosemary. My list goes on and on and about half the recipes in the book are on it. Not to mention the pasta recipe he gives, which I plan to try this evening. To give you an idea of how crazy I am, I don't have a pasta maker. I would love to know if any of you have made things from this book. Today is just the pasta, but I plan on making more than enough for at least 3 dishes for Adam and I. For a first dish, I may start with the beef cheek ravioli, though I plan to use brisket due to the fact that I highly doubt that here, in this tiny town in Iowa, I'll be able to find cheeks. I do plan to ask, though. Then we'll go to the tortelloni with dried orange and fennel pollen, though the pollen is going to be hard to source around here, though. And then the one that intrigues me the most because, as most of the people on my father's side of the family, we love the weed: asparagus and ricotta ravioli. I plan to make the ricotta from whole, lightly pasteurized milk. My grandmother grows asparagus, but I tend to go the more labor intensive route; here in Iowa, it grows in the ditches along the highways in massive quantities in the early spring. The wild really does have a better flavor than the store bought variety, but home grown tends to be about the same. I can just get the wild stuff about 2 weeks sooner. One other interesting thing about the book is that he mentions rhubarb being a 'nostalgic childhood memory', and I heartily agree. Both my grandmother and my great grandmother on my father's side grew it at home, and when my husband and I were looking for a house a few years ago I almost went with this one just for the four large plants that produced relatively large amounts of the stuff. As a child I used to eat the stalks raw, dipped in a little bowl of sugar, as a snack. If you don't like rhubarb in my family you're looked at a little funny. Hubby still doesn't get it. Anyway, this is getting much longer than it was supposed to be. Looking through this book made me yearn to live somewhere I could more easily get the ingredients used. Sourcing the things or coming up with suitable substitutions is going to be interesting and fun.
  22. Hi friends, I am proposing an Italian starch dish for Christmas in my menu(Buffet style), I am toying of a polenta, risotto, lasagna or others dishes that is practical and suitable for buffet and at the same time maintain its traditionality. Thanks you and do correct me for any misconception. Thanks you.
  23. We're heading off next week to a big gathering of friends in a house in the South of Le Marche, on the edge of the Sibillini mountains. I've volunteered to be one of the cooks. Is anyone familiar with the region at this time of year? Would absolutely love any tips on exciting seasonal treats that we should be making a beeline for in the markets, or favourite recipes involving local ingredients. I'm feeling hungry already...
  24. My lucky younger sister got to travel for a few weeks in Italy last summer and fell in love with the pizza. Now she wants me to take her somewhere in LA where she can relive the experience she had in Piacenza. I've already made it clear that wherever I take her will obviously not be 100%, but I'd do my best to get "as close to authentic" I could possibly do. Other then Antica in LB, is there anywhere else I could take her?
  25. I feel like having pasta for dinner. I have a bunch of green peppers in the fridge. Suggestions?
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