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Frìtole Veneziane

Cucina Conversations

Buon martedì grasso and welcome to the February edition of Cucina Conversations! Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day for Christians worldwide to indulge before the lean forty days of Lent. Martedì grasso is also the final day of carnevale season. This month, the bloggers of Cucina Conversations are telling you about the variety of traditional foods prepared and eaten during the three weeks of carnevale. To commemorate my recent trip to the Veneto and my northern Italian heritage, I made frìtole veneziane–known in the Venetian dialect as frìtoe venessiane– a yeasted sweet fritter laced with liquor-soaked raisins and fragrant pine nuts, and coated abundantly in granulated sugar. Frìtole are considered an institution of the carnevale […]

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Polenta

Cucina Conversations

Benvenuti to this year’s first Cucina Conversations post and the first “basics” post of the year! It’s been a long while since I posted a “basics” post, so I’m glad to be sharing another Italian staple recipe again. This month, we have chosen comfort food as our topic and my contribution is one of my favorites: polenta. Although comfort food is often associated with the colder months of the year, it truly doesn’t have a season, and the dishes that encompass this category are different for everyone, which makes this topic a particular favorite of mine. I enjoy learning what other people consider their comfort […]

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Pizzelle

Cucina Conversations

Welcome to the December edition of Cucina Conversations! This month, we made our theme a little broader and are bringing you Italian recipes that are perfect for sharing and gift-giving during the Christmas season. I love baking year-round, but I really love baking during the holidays. The Christmas music comes on Thanksgiving Day, I spend a day or two with my nose in my cookbooks deciding which recipes to make for my annual cookie gift tins, and then my kitchen turns into a cookie-making factory for a solid two weeks (or more). Gifting homemade cookies from my kitchen to our dearest […]

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Cannellini All’Olio

Cucina Conversations

Welcome to November’s Cucina Conversations post! This month, we are sharing recipes that feature olive oil as the star ingredient. November in Italy marks the start of la raccolta delle olive (the olive harvest). Olive trees were first cultivated in ancient Greece and have been providing civilization with the benefits of their oil for over four thousand years. The oil was used not only for nourishment, but for medicinal purposes and as a lighting source. In the 3rd century AD, olive oil became an important commodity of the Roman empire where it was traded throughout the Mediterranean. After the fall of the Roman […]

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Apple Torta Sbrisolona

Cucina Conversations

Welcome to the October installment of Cucina Conversations! This month, we are talking about the Catholic feast day of Ognissanti (All Saint’s Day), which is celebrated on November 1st. The origins of Ognissanti date back to May 609 AD, when Pope Boniface IV formally established the feast day by consecrating Rome’s Pantheon (formerly a pagan temple) into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the martyrs. He also established il giorno dei morti (All Soul’s Day) to follow the day after Ognissanti. It wasn’t until the mid-eighteenth century that the dates of both feast days were changed to November 1st and 2nd by Pope Gregory III, and Ognissanti became […]

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