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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. […]

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Chopped SaladLg

Sicilian Style Chopped Salad

Green leaf salads can get boring at times.  I never get bored with chopped salads of any kind.  This Sicilian chopped salad is made with tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, olives, and capers. My mother Maria makes this salad often, especially in the summer using fresh home-grown tomatoes.  She also cures her own green olives […]

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Roast Eggplant with Garlic, Cheese, and Herbs

My father loved to cook. This recipe is a simple dish my father made.  It’s easy to prepare and so delicious.  Fresh herbs, garlic, and cheese really make this eggplant dish flavorful. When buying eggplants, choose eggplants that are firm, shiny, and blemish-free.   I recommend using the Italian or Globe variety for this recipe. They […]

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Layered Tomato Salad with Basil Chiffonade

Fresh garden tomatoes are on of the greatest pleasures of summer.  I can’t wait to eat fresh picked tomatoes from the garden, farm stand, or farmers market.  I loathe eating tomatoes from the supermarket, especially in the winter.  They have little to no flavor.   My dad grew the most amazing beefsteak tomatoes in his […]

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Roasted Garbanzo Bean Salad with Whole Meyer Lemon and Mint

This lemony an minty salad is quick and easy and refreshing! It was inspired by my love of Meyer lemons.

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Tortellini with Pistachio Cream Sauce, Pancetta, and Peas

Give me anything pistachio! This rich pistachio cream sauce can be served over any type of pasta but it is the ultimate combination when paired with veal or other meat-filled tortellini.

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Baked Onions with Sausage

My grandfather Vincenzo was a baked onion aficionado.  He just loved baked onions. It’s one of the things I remember most about his eating habits. They didn’t seem too appetizing as a kid, but later in life I came to realize what I was missing.  Onions are surprisingly sweet when baked.  These onions are fabulous […]

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Braised Baby Artichokes

Braised Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes are usually available in the springtime.  So, I was surprised to see them in the supermarket this time of year.  Baby artichokes are tender and delicious when braised.  The word affucati (affogati in Italian) in the Sicilian language means smothered or braised.  This is a simple braised artichoke recipe that my grandmother made. […]

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Fried Breaded Cardoon

While grocery shopping the other day I was fortunate to come across some cardoons (carduna in the Sicilian dialect, cardi or cardone in Italian), which is a rare occurrence since there isn’t a significant Italian population where I live.  The cardoon is a valued vegetable not only to the Italians and French but also to […]

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Roasted Bell Pepper Rolls: Involtini di Peperoni

These roasted peppers rolls make a stunning presentation for a holiday appetizer or as a side dish.  You can use roasted peppers in a jar that come from the supermarket to make these pepper rolls.  However, jarred roasted peppers have a slightly bitter aftertaste which comes from the citric acid that’s used as a preservative.  […]

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