Browsing Tag

basics

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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How to make Crostini

crostini

When I had the idea to share a post for crostini, I figured it might be silly to write about how to toast slices of bread in the oven. But the more I thought about it, the less silly it seemed since crostini feature heavily on the Italian antipasto table, and bread is revered in Italy (for good reason). Crostini are also on my list of “basics” recipes I want to share with you since they’re the foundation for many appetizers that can be made to suit the seasons. Although I make crostini year-round, spring and summer are my favorite seasons to set out a platter of crostini when […]

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Polenta

polenta

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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Pesto Genovese

Pesto Genovese

I never gave much thought to the seasonality of fresh produce. I grew up eating seasonally both at home in Maryland and at the homes of my paternal grandparents, and great-aunts in Italy. There was a small garden in the back yard in Maryland, and an enormous garden in my paternal Nonna’s back yard in northern Italy, complete with fruit trees and a chicken coop. For my maternal great-aunts in Rome, apartment living only gave them room for a few pots of flowers and herbs on the balcony, but they shopped for the produce from a nearby mercato daily and it often came from a […]

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Basics: Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

I’m continuing to work through my list of “basics” recipes, and today I’m sharing one of my favorites: tomato sauce with butter and onion. The first time I tasted tomato sauce with butter in it was in Rome at my great-aunt Franca’s house. She had made her sugo semplice (“simple sauce”): a soffritto of finely chopped carrot, celery, and onion sautéed in hot olive oil, and a bottle of passata di pomodoro (strained tomato sauce) poured over the lightly caramelized vegetables and left on the stove to simmer for a little less than an hour until the sauce was slightly reduced and flavorful. Once […]

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