New Year, New Goals

The Side Dish

Buon anno, friends! Welcome to this year’s first The Side Dish post. It’s so nice being back in this space after a much-needed break. It’s also really nice being back home in our own living space after a not-so-wonderful trip to Italy. Ten days into our vacation, Peter and I both came down with head colds that knocked us flat, and we spent the last half of our trip holed up in our rental apartment doing our best to recover before our flight back to Houston. Despite the health setback, we did have some fun and memorable times in the Veneto and […]

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Struffoli

struffoli

Welcome to the December edition of Cucina Conversations! For our last post of the year, my fellow Cucina Conversations friends and I are reprising last year’s topic and sharing ricette di natale–Christmas recipes. The holiday season has been a flurry of activity for me since last month and I’ve neglected my small corner of the Internet (yet again), but I wasn’t about to end the year without sharing one more traditional Italian recipe with you! My contribution to this month’s theme is show-stopping struffoli. Struffoli originated in Napoli, the capital of the region of Campania, and dates back to the time […]

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Vegetable Plumcake

vegetable plumcake

I’m in love with the word plumcake. I came across it only in the last couple of years as I started to discover and read more Italian food blogs. It looks like it should be two words, but separating them would mean a cake made with plums which is delicious no doubt, but another thing entirely. In Italy, a plumcake (which Italians pronounce “ploom-cake”) typically refers to a sweet cake made in a loaf pan–what many of us refer to as a quick bread. But there is no rule that says a plumcake can’t be savory. They may not be as ubiquitous […]

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Pesto Abruzzese

Pesto Abruzzese

Welcome to the October installment of Cucina Conversations! This month, we are talking about one of my favorite topics: preserving. I am still very much a canning and preserving newbie and have not yet ventured far into the endeavor, but the little I’ve done had me hooked from the start. The very first canning recipe I made was this beautiful and delicious Tropea onion jam from Domeinca Marchetti’s most recent cookbook, Preserving Italy. I returned straight back to Domenica’s lovely cookbook to make my contribution for this month’s recipe, pesto abruzzese. Preserving gets the spotlight mostly during the spring and summer months, […]

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Arugula Salad with Roast Beef + Parmigiano

arugula roast beef salad

Yesterday morning while enjoying my morning coffee, I opened Instagram to start scrolling through my feed. One of my favorite Instagram feeds belongs to Elizabeth Minchilli who lives in Rome. She frequently records Instagram stories about her daily life, always making sure to tag the establishments where she dines and shops. This, of course, makes sense since Elizabeth makes a living conducting tours, writing travel apps, and authoring books about where to eat and what to see in Italy. In short, she is an excellent resource if you are planning a trip to Italy, particularly Rome. Yesterday, in Elizabeth’s Instagram stories, […]

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