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  1. I have been making pancetta for the first time. I have experience with the curing process doing things like bacon and cold smoked salmon in the past but this is the first time I have ever hanged anything. After a week of curing it has had 11 days hanging so far (I was planning on taking it to 28 days hanging) Although I foolishly forgot to weigh it. It smells really good like some awesome salami and the outer rim of the pancetta looks lovely and rich and dark. It was a recipe by Kuhlman in one of their charcuterie books. But when I inspected it today it had the mou
  2. Gnocchi is one of those foods that can be great or horrible. When its good, its light, soft and almost creamy, and when its bad its like tasteless lead sinkers. The strange thing about it is that it contains only 3-5 ingredients (potatoes, flour, salt, and maybe egg and/or some nutmeg). It looks so easy to make, yet I can't seem to get it right. Almost everything I've read says you want to use as little flour as possible, and to do so, you've got to allow as little water as possible into the potato. You also have to use floury potatos such as russets. While I've tried baking and boiling t
  3. lamington

    Pasta shapes

    I haven't found a previous thread about this, so what pasta shapes do you like and why? I'm sure we must have both logical preferences and aesthetic predelictions:) I must admit I'm very much a no.1 spaghetti guy. But recently I returned to tagliatelle, finally overcoming the 1980s trauma of too many carbonaras So who likes what? Penne because they're holey, farfalle cos they're pretty, orrechiette cos they take a sauce well... and more...?
  4. The Holidays and New Year caused me to lapse in my planning for this thread, hence the delay and subsequently shoddy initial post. Trentino Alto Adige is one of the Northernmost regions of Italy, above the Veneto and bordering Friuli Venezia Giulia. The cuisines share some similarities and key ingredients. TAA is equally informed by Austria in its cooking and culture. Dark, whole grain breads are a key staple. When they get too stale, one use for these breads is to make them into canederli, a type of gnocchi or dumpling. Sauerkraut also can be found used here, as can perhaps the best-know
  5. I love pasta and eat it several times a week. I love cheese and eat it when I can find it here. When I was a kid, the local grocer called us the Cheese Family as we ate so much. But I loathe macaroni cheese as it is known where I'm from. Maybe just too many stodgy, bad experiences in the past. Or maybe it's just horrible. My brother loved it though and when he moved to Spain insisted on the family sending him regular packs of his favourite brand of British macaroni. What I did like was what my mother called 'Macaroni Mish-Mash', which was basically cooked macaroni
  6. AlaMoi

    Osso bucco

    okay, it's spelled many ways. that's not the point here.... I'm working on the perfect sauce/cooking liquid/+other things combo for a delectable dish. I don't have problems with the meat - I can get good shanks, browned nicely, they come out tender and tasty. it's the in-pot accompaniments that disappoint. I done multiple versions of 'trinity,' tried tomato based/adds, tried various seasonings. I've served it with rice, pasta, barley, faro as the 'side reinforcement.' there was a little resto in North Henderson / Patrick Lane(?) that did "my ideal" knock-em-dead version,
  7. It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita. My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite past
  8. Society members Alex and Aki (twodogs) over at Ideas in Food have been displaying some remarkable pasta made with their Arcobaleno extruder. I need another kitchen gadget like I need a whole in my head, particularly one that has no price listed on the website but instead offers a "Financing" tab. But that doesn't prevent me from living vicariously from y'all. So who's got a good extruder out there these days? Even the hand-cranked ones are in the $400 range, it seems. Any budget options for those of us who just must make bucatini at home somehow?
  9. Anybody else's family make these? We make then on Holy Thursday every year. We roll out the dough into rounds, then stuff with a filling of basket cheese, romano cheese, pepperoni and eggs. Roll the dough into a half moon, brush with egg yolks and bake. We also make varieties with prosciutto instead of pepperoni and ones with crabmeat or shrimp so we can eat those ones on Good Friday.
  10. Does anyone have a recipe for the filling for butternut squash ravioli? I've been craving it recently, and squash is now in season here. I'll probably go with a sage and brown butter sauce in keeping with the way it's usually served in these parts, but I'm open to other suggestions as well.
  11. Hi there Italian chefs around the world - Two years ago (while visiting my family in New York - we live for 25 years in California)) we went to New York and ate in an Italian Restaurant in Syosset Long Island, New York (Steve's Piccola Bussola) and ordered their Chicken Cacciatore. It was unbelievable, so savory and tender and juice and it had 4 lean and juicy (no skin, no fat, no gristle) rollups wrapped around what looked like a small (about 1-2" rib bone) (in chicken???_ was able to get some of the recipe because I called them 2x, but after 5 tries at various times, I am giving
  12. I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, b
  13. 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?
  14. 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?
  15. I understand that it used to be traditional for a family crest or similar to be used as a pattern for pizzelles. My girlfriend's family is from Abruzzo, and her sister has pizzelle duty for the holidays who also has a high interest in genealogy. I thought it might be a really nice gift next year if we could get her a pizzelle maker with custom plates with her family's crest, but I've no idea to where to start. Ideally, for convenience sake, it would be best to get an electric maker or something that would work with a commercial device vs. traditional irons. Any ideas?
  16. Italian vintner likens wine to men who improve with age well this is one obscure old grape for me...goes back to the documented date of 1298...but we know it's much older... Click On Me
  17. 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
  18. 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...
  19. 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.
  20. Having just returned from the UK we are out searching for apartment and Saturday took us to Bondi Beach, after checking out the apartment we strolled along the beach and by chance came across NBIF. I had heard a lot of great things about it, and so took this opportunity to give it a go. As you would expect on a sunny spring afternoon it was mobbed, they don’t take bookings so we added out name to the list and were told it would be two hours (and no they don’t take mobile numbers). Off we headed for a longer walk with the aim to get back for a few beers before a late lunch. We arrived back 40 m
  21. Darcie B

    Holding Pasta

    I would like to serve a variety of pasta shapes and sauces for a dinner party (a pasta bar of sorts). Making the sauces ahead and either holding/reheating poses no challenges, but having multiple types of pasta does. I don't have enough large burners to make more than 2 varieties at once. Is there a practical method of parboiling/holding/reheating pasta that I can use at home? My biggest concerns are overcooking the pasta and having it stick. Suggestions? Or should I just limit it to the two I know I can do?
  22. My wife is on meds now for a heart condition that thankfully is not life threatening, but requires some additional lifestyle changes including lowering carbs. She is already fairly frugal on carbs, but this reinforces that. So, she wants ravioli. What can I do? I am having trouble thinking outside the box on this one. Sure, lettuce cups or such. What else?
  23. On a recent visit to Toronto I had for the first time Italian bread and it was the best bread I have ever tasted. I would love the recipe for this bread or does it use ingredients only obtained commercially? Any information on this would be very gratefully received. Thanks norm
  24. I have a wealth of oysters from LI Sound and would like some new ways on cooking them. I see many recipes from France but few from Italy. I would love to hear of some Italian preparations for oysters. Thanks, Rob
  25. I visited the Venice fish market in August and posted some pictures and impressions in my panathinaeos weblog. I do not think there is any other market that gives me this sense of freshness and immediacy. The only other one I can think of is in Syracuse, Sicily, on the little island of Ortygia.
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