Oct 272013
There is More Than One Way to Skin a Pumpkin

Around this time of year the food press sounds its perennial advice on pumpkin pie, but what is usually overlooked are the endless dishes, both sweet and savory, that you can make using edible pumpkins and squashes. Probably no one reveres the pumpkin as much as the Italians, and the Venetians in particular, the subject of my most recent article for Zester Daily, “Why Venice Adores its Pumpkins.” Read about the Venetians’ love affair with zucca, and find my heirloom recipe for savory pumpkin or winter squash stew with tomato, dry-cured olives, and garlic.  

Oct 242013
Canal House Interprets Italian Cooking--With Deft

This is not the first time I’ve touted Canal House Cooking, but time and again, in the midst of our burgeoning American food revolution, the remarkable talent of the two women behind this homespun, deeply felt culinary venture, inspires. I first got to know Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, the photographer-artist publishing team a few years back when they were photographing my book, Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul. While many gifted chefs are turning the American restaurant scene into a mecca that even the most discerning foreign traveler now marvels at, Christopher and Melissa have, instead, […more…]

Oct 072013
How to Cook Rapini

Some time back, I wrote a post, “When Bitter is Sweet,” about broccoli rapini, the Italian greens that have taken this country by storm since Balducci’s, the legendary Greenwich Village Italian grocery, imported them here in 1973. Because so many readers said they were relieved to finally learn how to cook them properly to soften their bitter edge, I decided to find out how and why the delicious Brassica, about which there is still such a mystique, was transplanted from the heel of the Italian boot to the farmlands of California. Here’s the update, complete with Andy and Nina Balducci’s […more…]