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Baked Pasta Milanisa with Sardines

Baked Pasta Milanisa with Sardines

This classic Sicilian pasta dish is made with sardines and is also known as pasta con sarde (sardines).  Pasta Milanisa, or Milanese as the Italians say, is a marriage of wild fennel, sardines, currants, and pignoli nuts – native ingredients that are abundant along the Sicilian coast.  Currants add a little sweetness to the dish.  […]

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PASTA ALLA PUTTANESCA

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Puttana, or buttana in Sicilian, means a slut or whore.  The name of this pasta dish, “alla Puttanesca,” translates as pasta in the style of a whore.  Although this dish was not originally called Pasta alla Puttanesca in Sicily, it is now universally recognized by this name.  The exact origin of the dish is not […]

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tunasaucelg

Pasta with Tomatoes, Canned Tuna, and Capers

This dish is the Italian version of tuna noodle casserole.  Several years ago while visiting family in Sicily, a cousin invited me to dinner.  He was cooking what looked like a simple marinara sauce to me.  Then he proceeded to put canned tuna in it.  My initial thought (or horror) – when I saw him putting […]

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Anellilg

Anelletti al Forno: Baked Anelletti Pasta

Anelletti is a regional pasta shaped like little rings (anelli in Italian) that is popular in Sicily.  Anelletti al Forno (Baked Anelletti) is an awesome baked pasta dish layered with ham, pancetta, sautéed eggplant, grated cheese and mozzarella and made using two different sauces – a red (tomato based) meat sauce (ragu) and a white […]

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Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Primavera means springtime in Italian.  This recipe is a mélange of fresh spring vegetables – sautéed baby artichokes, asparagus, fava beans, and peas tossed with pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, and fresh ground black pepper.  It incorporates those vegetables that become available at the market starting in Spring.  It’s a relatively simple dish to make but […]

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Italian Meatballs and Tomato Sauce:  Ragu

Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce: Ragu

While vacationing at Niagara Falls one summer, my parents went to an Italian restaurant and witnessed a fastidious diner eating a dish of spaghetti with a fork in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other.  As he placed a forkful of pasta to his mouth, he proceeded to cut it with the […]

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Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma

Pasta alla Norma is the simplest of pasta dishes.  It starts with pasta and a basic tomato sauce that is topped with fried eggplant and grated Ricotta Salata cheese.  The tomato sauce is what really makes this dish – use the best quality canned tomatoes.  My preference is the San Marzano variety which tend to be less […]

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PastafagioliLg

Pasta with Beans: Pasta e Fagioli

When I think about Italian comfort food, pasta é fagioli (pasta with beans) is on the top of my list.  I call it food to hibernate by.  Pasta é fasoli, as Sicilians call it, is a humble, earthy and hearty dish that is a staple of most Italian kitchens.  It is simple to make but […]

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Manicotti 1

Manicotti

Guaranteed, these authentic manicotti are not like the ones you’re used to eating in Italian restaurants.  Manicotti are traditionally ricotta filled crepes, covered in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese – just like lasagna.  Most manicotti you find on a restaurant menu or in American homes are made with tube-shaped pasta shells, which really […]

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Caulipastalg

Pasta with Cauliflower, Fennel, and Sausage

This recipe is usually made using wild fennel that grows abundantly in Sicily.  I’ve also seen it growing wild along the coast of southern California.  Wild fennel has a more intense flavor than the fennel that is available commercially.  Most grocery stores carry fennel bulb which makes an adequate substitute.  It is sweeter and milder […]

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