FenCelery

Fennel and Celery Salad

My family hails from a town called Castelvetrano, which is famous for its ancient Greek city Selinunte that lies along the city’s coast.  The name Selinunte came from the wild ...

PastaRicotta

Pasta with Pasta, Peas, and Walnuts

Pasta with ricotta is one of the simplest Italian pasta dishes to make.  The only basic ingredients you really need are pasta, ricotta, salt and pepper.  Other added ingredients enhance ...

WineBiscotti

Wine, Anise, and Black Pepper Biscotti

Italians are partial to hard cookies (biscotti).  They enjoy dunking them in coffee and wine.  Although technically not a cookie, these rustic, savory biscotti are meant to be enjoyed with ...

Latest News

FenCelery

Fennel and Celery Salad

My family hails from a town called Castelvetrano, which is famous for its ancient Greek city Selinunte that lies along the city’s coast.  The name Selinunte came from the wild celery (selinus) that grew abundantly in the area. Perhaps it is sheer coincidence that celery went into almost every salad I ate as a child.  […]

Continue Reading
PastaRicotta

Pasta with Pasta, Peas, and Walnuts

Pasta with ricotta is one of the simplest Italian pasta dishes to make.  The only basic ingredients you really need are pasta, ricotta, salt and pepper.  Other added ingredients enhance the dish further.  You can really get creative. Try adding sauteed pancetta or diced ham, for example.  I love to add peas, but I have […]

Continue Reading
WineBiscotti

Wine, Anise, and Black Pepper Biscotti

Italians are partial to hard cookies (biscotti).  They enjoy dunking them in coffee and wine.  Although technically not a cookie, these rustic, savory biscotti are meant to be enjoyed with wine and cheese.  They are spiced with black pepper, anise, and sesame seeds.  Italian Wine Taralli, which are shaped and boiled briefly before baking, are […]

Continue Reading
Cauliflower

Cauliflower with Lemon Garlic Crumb Topping

Cauliflower is probably one of the blandest tasting vegetables around, in my opinion.  It always needs help to give it some flavor.  Toasted breadcrumbs are a staple in Sicilian cooking.  This staple came about because it was sacrilegious to throw away even a morsel of bread, bread being the staff of life.  Frugal housewives would […]

Continue Reading
PastaPSw

Pasta with Swordfish

Preview in new tab Pasta with swordfish, or Pasta con Pesce Spada, is a quickly made pasta dish popular throughout southern Italy.  It takes about 30 minutes to prepare.  Pasta con Pesce Spada is typically a one skillet dish in which the swordfish is cooked along with the sauce.  I prefer to cook the fish […]

Continue Reading
PignolataM

Two Chocolate Pignolata Messinese

Pignolata is a Sicilian pastry made of small fried balls of dough that are usually covered in a honey syrup. I will go as far as to say that strufoli, an Italian pastry that hails from Naples, is the same dish. The dish is kind of like sfinci, a type of doughnut (Sicilians call them […]

Continue Reading
BBdressing

Italian Sausage, Browned Butter and Sage Dressing

I’ll often ask people of different nationalities what they stuff their turkeys with. You would be amazed at the responses I get.  For instance, my family always used rice stuffing with chestnuts. My son-in law’s family from Mexico stuffs their turkey with potatoes and small olives.  Many Americans of different backgrounds have infused their cultural […]

Continue Reading
TripeStew

Tripe and Potato Stew

Tripe (trippa in Italian) is a popular dish in many parts of Europe and Mexico. Tripe is the edible stomach lining of ruminant animals.  The most popular is beef tripe.  It is high in protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in carbohydrates.  Many cultures value tripe as a comfort food. I admit there […]

Continue Reading
Muscardini

Muscardini: Bones of the Dead Cookies

Bones of the Dead (Ossi di Morti in Italian) cookies are traditionally served on All Soul’s Day in Sicily.  They are given to children as a treat from departed loved ones.  They are also known as Muscardini.  These cookies are hard and brittle and do resemble bones.  However, I think they look like melted marshmallows. […]

Continue Reading
RicePilafw

Tomato and Basil Rice Pilaf

While cooking rice for dinner last night, Nonna Serafina’s tomato basil rice came to mind.  I haven’t made her rice dish in years, but I recalled those large nutty grains of arborio rice, chunks of tomatoes, and an explosion of basil flavor in every mouthful.  I had to restrain myself from eating the whole pot. […]

Continue Reading