Archive | First Courses (Primi Piatti) RSS feed for this section
Warm Ravioli Salad

Warm Butternut Squash Ravioli Salad

Tweet It seems to me that no sooner have the last of the trick-or-treaters gone home to sort out their bounty and I have polished off any remaining Halloween candy, that the holiday season is standing at the front door. Whether you are in a state of quiet calm or crazy chaos when you open […]

Continue Reading

Pasta alla Norma

Tweet The combination of pasta and eggplant is exclusively associated with southern Italy and principally Sicily. This is a combination I have been using for years in recipes such as, melanzane e spaghetti torta, orzo stuffed peppers and marinated melanzane. As my recent trip to Sicily confirms, there are numerous versions of pasta alla norma, from Trapani […]

Continue Reading

Orzo with Roasted Shallots

Tweet This dish has three main ingredients and hardly needs a recipe, the ingredients, however, may need a bit of explanation. Orzo, is shaped like a grain of rice, is the Italian word for barley and is neither rice nor barley, orzo is pasta. A Shallot, although thought of as an elongated onion, is not […]

Continue Reading

Cacio e Pepe

Tweet Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) is a Roman pasta dish that one can find all over this Italian city. There are only three main ingredients; Pecorino Romano, black pepper and pasta. The key to this seemingly simple dish is in how you treat them. When fat-soluble spices, such as, black peppercorns, are heated […]

Continue Reading

Jambalaya Soup

Tweet As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a special connection to New Orleans. My mother and my maternal grandparents, each 100% Sicilian, were all born and raised in this favorite foodie town. Whether it’s gumbo or grillades and grits, eggs NOLA or red beans and rice, you can taste the culinary history […]

Continue Reading

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Tweet As a child, I remember my mother preparing stuffed bell peppers on numerous occasions. It’s one of those recipes that you can prepare in advance, tend to four children, manage the house and the dozens of other tasks a busy mom has to do on any given day and still serve a healthy, home-cooked […]

Continue Reading

Lemon-y Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Tweet Viglia Capodanno, New Year’s Eve, is celebrated throughout Italy with family and friends enjoying food and drink. The drink is bubbly (Prosecco) and the food is symbolic of wishes for a good year ahead. Lentils, with their coin-like shape, have traditionally been believed to ring in a prosperous new year. Auguri per un nuovo […]

Continue Reading

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Broccolini & Ricotta

Tweet As with many of the meals I prepare, this one came about while standing in front of the refrigerator, door wide open and staring at the contents looking for inspiration! Earlier in the week, I had made a sheet pan full of lemon roasted broccolini so, I could make a frittata (I always have […]

Continue Reading

Pasta with Ricotta & Capers

Tweet Capers, the tiny, tangy buds of blossoming plants, have a permanent place in a Sicilian kitchen.Their piquant, briny flavors add personality to a variety of dishes, such as, veal picatta, summer spaghetti, tuna bruschette and of course Sicilian caponata. You’ll find capers in most markets either packed in salt or submerged in vinegar. I […]

Continue Reading

Spaghetti-Stuffed Eggplant

Tweet Pasta and eggplant are often enjoyed together, whether it’s the classic Pasta alla Norma, an eggplant and spaghetti pie or simply a plate of buccatini to accompany Melanzane alla Parmigiana. The inspiration for this dish came about because I wanted to serve a small plate of pasta but, in a fun way. The baby […]

Continue Reading