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Recipe of the Month April: Baked Rigatoni with Lamb Sauce

Buon giorno! Italians are known for their endless baked pasta ideas. It seems like everyone has one or more. This one is a little different as the sauce is made with ground lamb instead of pork, sausage, or meatballs. What’s the difference? Let’s look closely at this recipe for BAKED RIGATONI WITH LAMB SAUCE to find out. Begin with the lamb: Italians eat a lot of lamb especially in … Read More...

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Orzo with Campari Tomatoes

Buon giorno! Sometimes the simplest things just hit the mark. ORZO WITH CAMPARI TOMATOES is one of those simple sides that is great with everything. It is appropriate with so many meat and fish meals, is attractive on your table, and never gets old. Is it just plain old pasta with tomatoes? NO! Orzo is a lovely “rice like” pasta without the graininess. It cooks quickly and holds its … Read More...

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Chicken Agrodolce With Pappardelle

A Rabbit That Clucks - Buon giorno! Trick question: when is a rabbit not a rabbit – but.. a chicken? It is when you enjoy the delectable CHICKEN AGRODOLCE WITH PAPPARDELLE. A signature dish of some regions of Italy - coniglio all'agrodolce - is made with rabbit and prepared in several different ways. The rabbit hops a path to tables in Piemonte in the North, the hills of … Read More...

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Braised Radicchio

Redicchio Brasato Buon giorno! Northern Italians have their favorite veggies, and Radicchio is one of them. They grill it and serve it in salads. They also use it frequently in polenta dishes and in their risottos. BRAISED RADICCHIO or Redicchio Bresato  is a Northern Italian preparation featuring this beautiful ruby vegetable, on its own, with some classic Northern ingredients. It … Read More...

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Spiedini alla Romana

Crostini alla Provatura Buon giorno! Spiedini?? What? But there is no meat! Lesson: Spiedini refers to  the skewers and can relate to different types. SPIEDINI ALLA ROMANA is an extraordinary and memorable form of kebabs or skewers made of bread, cheese, and topped with a dreamy light anchovy sauce. Anchovy ? Before you run from the room screaming , those of you who have an … Read More...

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Pistachio and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Buon giorno! With Italians, Easter is all about the lamb…unless you are a Calabrisi…Then it’s all about the lamb or the goat! That’s kind of the way it was growing up. We never knew quite what the main course would be until almost the last minute. But we always knew it would be lamb or goat. The reason for all the suspense was that my father, Attilio – the “high priest of the church … Read More...

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Tagliatelle Della Duchessa

Buon giorno! In my next life, I want to come back as an Italian “duchessa”. They seem to have all the fun. They have dishes named for them that are rich and memorable. TAGLIATELLE DELLA DUCHESSA from the region of Emilia-Romagna is one of them. There are too many of these “duchessas” to list, but one of note, Maria Luigia d’Austria, the duchess of Parma and Piacenza is said to have … Read More...

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Decadent Dark Chocolate Semifreddo with Pistachio Bark

Buon giorno! Hearts and masks share the stage this week with Carnevale and Valentine’s Day occupying the same space on the calendar. DECADENT DARK CHOCOLATE SEMIFREDDO WITH PISTACHIO BARK serves both of these events rather well with its rich dramatic presentation. I can almost hear the comments Semi-what? Freddo? Fredo? No, not THAT FREDO!! Disclaimer: this amazing dessert has nothing … Read More...

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Gnocchetti with Shrimp Sauce

Celebrate Carnevale! Buon giorno! Carnevale begins in Italy and with it come the hearty luscious and tastefully extravagant dishes everyone loves at this time of year – lasagna, gnocchi, tortellini etc. The heavier the better is expected during this time of revelry and otherwise throwing all caution to the wind especially regarding food. Along with the masks and costumes come the … Read More...

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February: Cannellini Bean Salad with Rosemary Focaccia Croutons

Buon giorno! I often tout the qualities of beans in my posts. I also like to mention the importance of beans in Italian cooking. The simplicity of ingredients in Italian cooking makes it the perfect cuisine for beans to shine. In fact, I can’t even imagine Italian cuisine without frequent use of them. Often you’ll see them front and center as the main course rather than as a side … Read More...