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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.  […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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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RoastEggplant

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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TomatoSalad

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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Chickpea-Saladw

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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PistachioCream

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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