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  1. Marcella Hazan's "Marcella Says..." is an excellent book, but I recently came across a recipe for "Chicken Breasts Saltimbocca style," that lists pancetta as an ingredient -- not prosciutto. Checking up on this, I've found about a dozen different recipes for both the veal and chicken variant, and while one listed Parma ham and a couple simply required "ham," the rest all called for prosciutto. None called for pancetta -- or any similar bacon-like product... This book seems to be extraordinarlily well researched, so I can't see how this could have been a typo, but I don't understand why I can't find any other recipes that uses pancetta (or bacon) for this application... I mean, it's a pretty significant difference -- between using uncooked bacon, and cured, ready-to-eat ham, right? What do you make of this?
  2. 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.
  3. source with recipe and photos Say, did anyone happen see the movie "Big Night" in which two Italian brothers served a timpano for guests who were anticipated eagerly but failed to show? This reminds me of their "timpano" which was much more elaborate ... This looks relatively simple and quite stunning when done correctly. Would you try this recipe for Beehive Pasta Timbale?
  4. Intrepid eGulleteer Daniel recently undertook a trip to the Olive Garden restaurant in in Times Square. His meal report (scroll to page 5 of the thread to see the actual review and pictures) indicates that the food ain't so great and is not exactly cheap. Times Square Olive Garden The price range I'm interested in discussing to is not places that are perhaps a trifle cheaper than Babbo or Lupa. I'm talking about a ravioli entree that's $10 - $12... salads that are $4 - $7... spaghetti and meatballs for $8 - $11... My NYC experience in this area is limited but I've always enjoyed my meals at the remarkably low priced Frutti di Mare So.... what are your nominations for best low to very moderately priced Italian restaurants in NYC?
  5. I've looked at the Best of topics, but I don't see one for Italian in New York. We've got one night left here, and thought a nice Italian restaurant might be nice to try. Any suggestions?
  6. I was about to prepare a recipe calling for orzo but it specifically says "not Greek". When I retrieved my unopened orzo from the pantry -- guess what! It says orzo - kritharaki and is made in Greece! What problems will this cause? It is a simple side-dish that calls for orzo, chicken broth, parmesan and some seasonings. The orzo is cooked in plain water, drained and cooled quickly in cold water and then cooked again in the broth and then basically tossed with the remaining ingredients. There are no directions on the package that might guide me. Many thanks.
  7. Seen bakala a couple times at the italian market in philly but never know what to do with it? How do you use it or cook with it? Any good recipes or suggestions? Thanks!
  8. In the past 20 years Italy has seen a multitude of food events coming to life. Today this countless array ranges from small local festivals called sagre, usually dedicated to a special ingredient, to large-scale international events. Events like the biannual Salone del Gusto, organised by Slow Food and dedicated to traditional gastronomic products, and the yearly Vinitaly, focusing on Italian wine, have established themselves as the most important Italian food events on the international scene. Now a new gastronomic congress is exciting Italian foodies and chefs and looks like joining the two better known brothers with impressive speed: though only at its second edition, Identità Golose is the most impressive meeting dedicated to fine cuisine Italy has seen in years. Born in 2003 from the mind of Milanese sports and food journalist Paolo Marchi, Identità Golose aims to be the foremost event for modern haute cuisine in Italy, bringing Italian and foreign chefs together for three days of talks, discussions and exchange of ideas. After a first successful edition in 2005, Identità Golose doubled in 2006 with the Dossier Dessert event and a day completely dedicated to ice creams running parallel to the main event itself. Given the double nature of Identità Golose/Dossier Dessert, it is not surprising that he main theme of this year event is the interplay of sweet and savory foods, aiming at bringing together line and pastry chefs, who too often see each other as belonging to completely different worlds in the kitchen. Both events fused together with sweet dishes opening the second congress day dedicated to savory food and savory food opening the third and final day dedicated to pastry. Furthermore, the afternoon of the second day of the congress was dedicated to the region of Friuli and bordering Slovenia, with talks from some of the most interesting young chefs from the area. What follows is a six-part (one for each half session) summary of the highlights of the 2006 edition of Identità Golose, which took place between January 29th and February 1st. Although I did not manage to make to Milan this year, I was able to put this report together thanks to the help of a few people, who have supplied the information and material which makes up the backbone of the account. First of all thanks to Italian blogger Muccapazza of the always stimulating blog Il Gastronomo Riluttante for his account of the first day of the event and for being my initial contact to Identità Golose. I am also greatly in debt to to Paolo Marchi himself, and the always friendly Gloria Gerosa at Eidos, for their time and help in obtaining the pictures which go with this summary. I hope you'll enjoy what follows and maybe your curiosity will be tickled enough to bring you to Milan for the 2007 edition of Identità Golose: I'll certainly try hard to be there. Just one final note before we start: given that many of the chefs who spoke at Identità Golose are little known to the English speaking public I've given a very short biographic intro to each of them before describing their talk. Yet, should you wish to know more, clicking on their name at the beginning of the section dedicated to each of them will bring you to the full bio-portraits of each chef present on the Identità Golose website. Note: All the pictures below are © BENEDETTI-GRASSI/ZEROZERO and are reproduced with permission.
  9. 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?
  10. For May, we will explore the cuisine of Liguria, home to Genoa, the Italian Riviera, and the Cinque Terra. The most famous recipe from this area is of course pesto. In his book covering Liguria, Recipes from Paradise, Fred Plotkin gives 14 different variations on pesto, proving again that there is no one "definitive" recipe in Italian cooking. Plotkin and other writers have noted that despite it being a largely coastal region, Ligurian cooking isn't as purely seafood as one would think; the waters immediately off the coast do not yield the rich range of seafood that, say, coastal Adriatic cities, or citiies further down the peninsula on the Meditterranean side benefit from. As a result, the sailors from this region would have to venture much further out for longer periods of time, and so when they returned, the wives would prepare meals consisting of fresh vegetables and meat, things they had been deprived of for so long at sea. This is another region I'm glad to see so well-matched to the time year; very delicate and herbal, lots of vegetables. As we were doing Lent when I tried this region last year, I didn't get to give many meat dishes a spin, so I'm eager to try them out, the first one standing out in my mind being tomaxalle, the veal rolls braised in tomato sauce. Book references seem pretty thin. An Amazon search for "Genoa", "Liguria", and "Italian Riviera" turned up only three consistently: Recipes from Paradise : Life & Food on the Italian Riviera by Fred Plotkin Flavors of the Riviera by Colman Andrews Enchanted Liguria: A Celebration of the Culture, Lifestyle and Food of the Italian Riviera by David Downie, Alison Harris Again, I only have experience with one of these books: Plotkin's. Between this one and Terra Fortunata from Friuli, I prefer Recipes From Paradise simply because it doesn't skimp on recipes. However, given how much I enjoy Downie's Rome book, now my curiosity is piqued about his stab at this region. And Adam recommended the Andrews book last year but I unfortunately didn't get around to ordering it.
  11. So my girl and I were given the extreme honor of making Christmas Eve Dinner for her family.. There will be about 32-45 people coming to our apartment.. We only have one oven and four burners. We live in Manhattan so we have no BBQ or Outside cooking options.. We have one fridge.. Because of equipment and us wanting to have a fun night too, we will try to prepare most of the food before hand.. On the Main Table, we want to have all of these dishes waiting for guests when they arrive: I. The Table: A: Cold Salads 1) Octopus- Would like suggestions for a recipe! 2)Marinated Anchovies- Would like suggestions for a recipe! 3)Marinated Olives- Would like suggestions for a recipe! B: Crostini 1)Chicken Liver - got one 2)Tomato salad - got one 3)Beans and Mint - got one 4)Ham and Cheese - your favorite 5)Please insert here! C: Stuffed Bread: 1)Family Recipe- Sausage, cheese, greens 2)Insert D:Cheese - From Arthur Ave 1)Fresh Ricotta 2)Mozzarella 3)Buratta Mozzarella 4)Ricotta Salata 5)Provolone 6)Sharp Provolone E: Mikes Deli Meats whats your favorite? 1)Proscuitto Parm/Dan 2)Salami 3)Sopressatta 4)What shouldnt I miss.. F: Vegetables: 1)Marinated Mushrooms- Family Recipe 2)Escarole- Recipe 3)Pickled Garlic- Got one 4)Peppers- Got one H: Hot Apps: 1)Baked Clams 2)Need one 3)Mozzarella En Carozza II. Sit Down A)Pasta: 1)Spaghetti w/ Spicey Mussle sauce 2)Spaghetti with clam sauce 3)Big Night Rigatoni B)Meat: 1)Since we only have one oven and we are cooking for 40 people we were thinking of stuffing a baby lamb and a baby pig.. We would love your suggestions.. C)Vegetables: Not there yet: Help? 1)???? 2)?????? 3)????? III.Desserts back to the table: 1)Cakes- Suggestions 2)Cookies- Suggestions 3)Pies- Suggestions Hey, I know its early but thats a good thing.. We are going to make every dish before hand.. So we have a lot of time to prepare.. By the time Christmas comes, I will be wanting to make Chinese Food..
  12. Many years ago, perhaps a decade after Marcella Hazan published her classic overview of Italian cooking in English, I moved from the East Coast to the Midwest where there was a thriving farmer's market on the far side of town. Walking past the stalls for the first time, I stopped and stared at a display of bright yellow bell peppers. I couldn't believe it. While I cooked my way through almost all of the pasta recipes in the two volumes in her book, I had to make do with red as the author suggested. I was so thrilled that I bought as many as I could carry and shipped a large box of them to Manhattan as a birthday present for someone who loved Italy as much as I, although she was rather amused by the ecstacy produce inspired in me. Now, of course, yellow, orange and red bell peppers are common in supermarkets throughout the United States. They're next to broccoli rabe. Real Parmigiano-Reggiano is also there, if sometimes shrink-wrapped or pre-grated. Italian butter may be expensive, but you can get it for a 21-hour birthday bash in Australia. In turn, farmers are bringing things to the market that are new to them if not to Italians: different colors, sizes and shapes of eggplants; those bright red, squat tomatoes with rippled edges; greens. The quality of Italian-style domestic products continues to grow, whether at Salumi in Seattle or La Quercia in Iowa. Despite the soaring popularity of Italian food throughout much of the English-speaking world, new cookbooks continue to publish lists of mail-order sources and stores to call for ingredients that prove hard to find. Some places remain stubbornly indifferent to Italian food. Even in big cities, merchants nod their heads and agree X is wonderful, but doesn't sell. This thread is a place to document successes, failures and to ask questions or offer advice. When in Itay, what did you eat or cook that you wish you could get back home? If it lasts, it may chart progress or patterns. I'll start. Cardoons may now be plentiful in California, thanks largely to Alice Waters. Folk from Texas buy them, too. However, here in Washington, D.C., I got the impression that Whole Foods USED to carry them a few years ago, but discontinued the practice. One chef serves them in his flagship restaurant since he's from Piemonte. It was grown with middling results by one Swiss farmer, just as an experiment, so I managed to track it down eventually. Most people I consulted had never heard of it and thought I was asking for cardamom.
  13. In August, we will cover the cooking and cuisine of Puglia (aka Apulia), the heel of the boot. I became fascinated early on with this region; something about its bare bones style appealed to me: dishes are what they are, with sparse use of herbs or spices to gussy them up. This culminated in a wonderful trip there in March 2005 that didn’t disappoint, most especially the whitewashed city of Ostuni, atop a hill overlooking the ocean. It's still unkown and off the beaten path, but seems to be on the cusp of being "discovered"; I'm curious what the next 10 years or so will bring. Pugliese cuisine relies heavily on its local vegetables and wild greens. It is a heavyweight in olive oil, wine, and wheat production: #1 in oil for all of Italy, routinely in the top three wine producers, and it provides much of the durum wheat for the dried pasta in the South. Pane Pugliese and Pane di Altamura are both breads famed in Italy and beyond. As they were extensively occupied by both the Spanish and the Greeks, Pugliese cuisine draws from both of these cultures as well: lots of rice dishes and casseroles are to be found. Like Piemonte on the diametrically opposed corner of the peninsula, Puglia has a noted antipasto culture. Osteria del Tempo Perso in Ostuni usually parades out six or more at the start of a meal. Other places we saw walking around the town only served antipasti. Lots of fried dishes of course, but also many interesting pickled items, and a number of antipasti that just emphasize the local vegetables. Seafood, of course, is a specialty of a region bounded on three sides by water, but curiously, when we were traveling there, once inland we found seafood hard to come by. We asked the proprietor of Il Frantoio, a wonderful B&B just 2-3 miles outside of Ostuni if they served any seafood and he looked perplexed: since they weren’t on the sea (but you could see and hear it from where we were talking), why would they have seafood? But at any rate, they have a wealth of delicious seafood soups and stews which change in each town you visit, and make ample use of the bivalves which naturally grow in beds in the gulf of Taranto. Two most famous dishes of the region: orecchiette pasta topped with bitter greens and ‘ncappriatta, a confoundingly simple, homey dish of dried favas cooked in water until they fall apart (nothing else!), served with bitter greens, fried peppers, and lampascioni, a bitter bulb that is typically pickled. Everyone should try to make this this month, but definitely try to track down the peeled dried favas (yellowish or green in color) and not the brown kind with the peel on, or they will require more time to cook and may not even fall apart entirely. Cookbook references for this region are, regrettably, limited outside of regional surveys. Amazon turns up only the following cookbooks: Italian Country Cooking: Recipes from Umbria & Apulia by Susanna Gelmetti and Robert Budwig Flavors of Puglia by Nancy Harmon Jenkins There was also a book called Honey From A Weed that I recall from my earlier searches, but now it doesn’t turn up on Amazon. Jenkins’ book is very good, though, and can be faulted only for being too short. Also, Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s book The Italian Country Table has a number of Pugliese recipes, and this cookbook did spark my early-on interest in the region. That’s it. I’m a little worried about this month, coming on the heels of elaborate and exotic Sicily, and that its more austere, Spartan cooking may suffer in comparison for some. But hey, it’s August, it’s unbelievably hot almost everywhere, and what better kind of cooking to try out than one so simple and straightforward to showcase summer's bounty?
  14. I just bought some of this rice from www.gustiamo.com and have looked EVERYWHERE for a recipe! After searching this site and reading all the other threads on risotto (which, incidentally, resulted in what DH termed 'my best risotto yet') I found references to it ("it will take longer to cook and taste better") but no recipes. In desperation, last night I decided to try using it in a 'regular' risotto recipe and chose 'Pancetta, Tomato, and Peas' from Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman's RISOTTO, my favorite risotto cookbook. I suspect that something with mushrooms would work better with the rustic rice but DH won't eat them. It was our meal. No other meat or vegetable was served. I used a very light chicken broth as the liquid. The rice required a bit more liquid than the recipe asked for and it did take slightly longer to cook than superfino arborio. It had more "tooth" and was a bit less creamy with very distinct grains. The color is also richer. DH proclaimed it a success - not better or worse than risotto made with arborio or carnaroli but different. In his words, it was "company fare", worthy of serving to guests, but not as good as the 'best risotto yet'. That one was Risotto con Fagioli, also from the above mentioned book. I had suggested making the same recipe using this rice but he wanted to try something new so the comparison isn't really fair. He LOVES beans! Anyway, we will definitely be cooking this rice again, but....I was wondering whether anyone had recipes or cooking tips specifically for it. I have at least 25 Italian cookbooks, including The Silver Spoon (the italian joy of cooking) but not one of them even mentions this rice. Barb Healy www.ooakfolk.com
  15. Hey guys - My birthday is Thursday this week and it looks like it may be upwards of 20 or so people joining me for an intimate dinner that night 9ish followed by drinking and karaoke; I'd say 12 minimum... Most people are late 20s, early thirties. Not going Japanese, Korean, or any other Asian this year , so those of you who know my posting habits know that that leaves me relatively clueless in my own city... So, that said, Italian would by ideal, reasonably priced such that everyone will be able to get out of there for, say, 35/40 bucks a person, including a good amount of wine. Somewhere where a $30 bottle of wine is pretty damn good. I had been meaning to check out Crispo but the size of the party quickly outgrew that place..... any ideas? The closer to Chelsea the better, must be west side. I'm wary of getting stuck in any sort of "private room" which sometimes means the dusty windowless basement that the waiter never visits! At the end of the day, tasty food is the top priority....I guess other mediterranean would also do... That also means I'm trying to get a large reservation on Thursday night.... most likely, not a problem?
  16. 150 diners, 25 dishes spread across 6 courses, 20 odd volunteer cooks of varying skill levels Two ferrets One amazingly patient husband Almost certainly some nice rainy Seattle weather And me... To introduce myself a little, I'm a researcher of Food History, with a focus on medieval Italian food. In addition to poring through books and translating recipes from medieval Italian, I enjoy actually cooking from historical recipes, and a couple times a year I get together with a local food history group to put on a large banquet cooked from historical recipes that we've reconstructed into modern tasty dishes. This coming Saturday we'll be cooking an Italian Renaissance dinner for about 150 people. Yours truly did the research on this & with my compatriots we've spent most of the last year trying & refining different recipes till I whittled them down to a six course menu of about 25 dishes. This is all a volunteer labor of love which means that things can get a little crazy since you don't have the power of the paycheck over your assistants, but it also means that people will give you 200% if they believe in the project... I'll be taking you along through the week as we do our last minute firming up of numbers, shopping, panicking, pre-prepping and of course cooking on the day of the banquet itself. And don't worry, there will also be visits to various Seattle eateries since I'm doing so much work for the event, I won't be too keen on much home cooking this week. We have reservations at Rovers for lunch on Friday, which I'm really looking forward to, drinks with a friend at Sambar Monday evening, and everything else will be decided in the moment depending on where around town I happen to be when hunger strikes... Oh, and there will be at least one gratuitous ferret posting, since my primary purpose in life is actually to serve the royal whims of Bindi & Venya, the two small furry princesses who rule the universe That's enough to start since I really ought to be in bed by now anyway (we just finished roasting 25 lbs of carrots, candying a giant bag o' pine nuts, and baking 300 cookies.) Talk to you all in the morning, Eden
  17. I'm the mother of an almost-six-month-old, and I'm thinking a lot about how to raise a daughter with a good palette. Rice cereal (the traditional first food in America) doesn't seem like a good start-- I certainly wouldn't eat it very happily. So I'm wondering about other countries and other traditions-- What's the traditional first food for babies in Italy? (I'm also going to post this in the following forums: France, Spain, Japan, India, China, Middle East, and Mexico. Apologies to those who run across this question in other places!)
  18. I have a large catering event next week focusing on a Pacific Northwest cuisine. In this last minute, I am still searching for a great Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad recipe. One that will show off our the fabulous smoked salmon that Seattle has to offer. I'm thinking something with a creamy base dressing would be good...any ideas? Thanks!
  19. HI All- I'm looking for a recipe for the rice stuffed tomatoes I ate all over Italy. I have a batch of tomatoes that are huge and perfectly ripe. I remember those tomatoes as the best things on the planet. Thanks for any help.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. I'm looking for airy ciabatta and nice hardy crusts.
  23. I have searched on this forum for some research on lardo but I was finding little and it was scattered all over. I wanted to start a thread where people could drop different recipes for making different types of lardo as well as recipes for enjoying it. As I understand it, there are two main ways to cure lardo, by brining or dry-curing it. Aging also varies widely from 3-4 weeks to months. How do these different methods affect the flavor and which may be better for making lardo at home? I should be getting some fat-back from a local farmer next week so i'd be excited to hear your input on making lardo.
  24. I have a recipe for Gremolata which calls for combining and mixing well by hand the following: Leaves from 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted at 400°F. for 2 minutes Zest of 1 lemon 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Some questions: How much parsley is meant by "one bunch?" Is it the amount you'd get at the grocery store? Should the lemon zest be chopped? Microplaned/grated? Should the horseradish be mushy after being grated? Or should I use the bigger holes on the box grater?
  25. I'm doing some research for 'Italian' cocktails that would be suitable for celebrating New Year. Prosecco cocktails - variations on the bellini but with fruit in season at this time of year - blood oranges, perhaps for a mimosa - might fit the bill. Or course there are Italian classics - the negroni, Campari soda, etc. Or could be cocktails simply utilising Italian liqueurs or vermouths, or cocktails that originated in Italy, perhaps at famous bars. Any limoncello based cocktails spring to mind? Would appreciate any thoughts or ideas. Thanks! Marc
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