Posts tagged Italian
The Cacio e Pepe Twist That Changes the Whole Game

There is nothing more classic than cacio e pepe - but can even this perfect combination of spaghetti, cheese and fresh pepper be improved upon?

Raquel Pelzel makes a pretty excellent case in her new book Umami Bomb. The book is all about utilizing umami, that famed extra category of flavor that brings a savory richness to any food, to make vegetarian food even more satisfying. Two of the ingredients she highlights are miso paste and nutritional yeast, and they are used in great effect in this recipe. It’s hard to imagine deepening the flavors of the original, but this take on cacio e pepe just bumps everything up a notch for an unforgettable version.

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Fried Sage Leaves are Your New Best Friend

Some books really make you just want to trade places with the author and that’s how I feel about everything from Elizabeth Minchilli. She lives in Rome and Umbria and her newest book, The Italian Table, invites you in to her lush Italian world. It is divided into dinners across regions and seasons and it will have you wanting to book a flight to Italy pronto.

But one of the best things about the book is that it is full of delectable treats that are also easy. We decided to take on one of the simplest but most delightfully surprising - fried sage leaves. They are as simple to eat as an appetizer as potato chips or crudite but they have their only special uniqueness that will stop anyone in their tracks. Everyone will love them and everyone will be a bit surprised by their presence.

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The Perfect Spaghetti Dish

Sometimes simplicity can make for a perfect dish. And when it comes to spaghetti there’s nothing better than pairing it with garlic. But the trick to taking it to the next level is a few key ingredients and techniques. Gabe Thompson of L’Artusi stopped by to show us his recipe and it truly might be the perfect, simply spaghetti dish.

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Drown Yourself in Bread Balls

This time of year I start to get antsy for spring. February is over and it should be warm.- except it never actually is.

But the good news is that we can enjoy all the incredibly warming recipes of winter for a little longer. Luckily, we have just the recipe, from a book I am particularly excited about: Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South. If you aren’t familiar with Katie’s work then you just aren’t reading enough about Italy. The Rome-based journalist has written some of the best food and travel guides for the region. Her first book, Tasting Rome, is an engrossing love letter to the food of one of the world’s greatest food cities. And now her upcoming book explores the cuisine of Italy’s Southern regions.

I am so excited for this book (since my love of Italy is basically unsurpassed) and loved having Katie in the kitchen to showcase one of the book’s recipes. She shared her Polpette Casce e Ovo - essentially bread ‘meatballs’. They are doughy delights and perfect for staying inside and eating to your heart’s content.

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The Spaghetti Dish You Can't Live Without

When I first moved to New York, my mother-in-law made sure to pass along a lot of her local ingredient knowledge. With seafood there was one constant: Citarella. She would travel over 20 blocks to get her fish at Citarella because to her there was nothing better.

So when Joe Guerrera- Citarella’s founder and original fishmonger - came out with a book, I knew it was going to be great. The title is succinct perfection: Joe Knows Fish. I had to have Joe over and he decided to share one of his easiest recipes, Spaghetti Vongole. It starts with good pasta and very fresh cockles or littleneck clams. But it’s one of those recipes that takes only a few ingredients and makes something magical.

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The Secret to Flawless Shortbread

Sometimes life just requires baking. In those moments nothing is better than a cookie. And when you want simplicity to go along with it, a shortbread cookie can be the ultimate satisfying treat.

Jim Lahey, the brilliant mind behind Sullivan Street Bakery grew up on Walker's Shortbread. I became a bit addicted to them myself when I lived in Scotland. But unlike Lahey I didn't spend years honing and perfecting my own version. Luckily he was willing to share his Italian take on the classic

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi Is a Game Changer

I am obsessed with the middle ground of recipes that are easy but look fancy. So when I saw Adrienne Cheatham's sweet potato gnocchi recipe I knew I had to share it.

Gnocchi is one of the only pastas I make at home because it is so easy and yet it seriously impresses people. But the sweet potato twist takes it a step further because with no extra work you are adding an extra comforting flavor and a beautiful color. Combine that with my absolute fave miso paste and you had me at hello.

You might recognize Adrienne from last season's Top Chef (where she was a total boss and made it to the finals) but now you can find her at her pop up dinners, Sunday Best, which showcase her classically trained, Southern-inspired cooking. Mostly now I just want her to come cook with me every day. But in lieu of that we have a video of her awesome technique and a full recipe below. 

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