first courses

Orzo with Roasted Shallots

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  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…
Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

  Whenever my son, Joe, and I try a new Italian restaurant, the “one dish” that is a make-or-break decision to return, is eggplant Parmesan. The ingredients should compliment one…
Lemon-y Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Lemon-y Lentil & Chickpea Soup

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  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…
Pasta with Ricotta & Capers

Pasta with Ricotta & Capers

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  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…
Spaghetti Stuffed Eggplant

Spaghetti-Stuffed Eggplant

  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…

Mediterranean Hummus

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  I didn’t grow up eating hummus. I first tasted this healthy, Egyptian spread while on a family vacation in Egypt. After settling into our hotel, the palatial Mena House,…

Pasta & Peas Stracciatella

  Stracciatella is an Italian egg drop soup. Traditionally, it is a light soup made with chicken broth, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Italian parsley. I have added farfalle pasta (butterfly)…

Farro Risotto

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  First cultivated in 9000 BC, emmer wheat, called farro in Italian, was the standard ration of the Roman legions. High in fiber, low in gluten (not gluten-free), this ancient…

Farro Vegetable Salad

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  Emmer wheat, called farro in Italian, is a nutritious grain with a distinctive nutty flavor and chewy texture. Farro is low in fat, high in protein and rich in…

Carpaccio

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  Carpaccio is a very simple Italian starter. Traditionally, it is made with thinly sliced high quality raw sirloin. This delightfully different appetizer is topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan,…

Fresh Fennel and Orange Salad

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  Italians characterize fennel (and eggplant) as being either male or female. The “female” fennel has a thick, round, short, stocky bulb that is used raw in salads and also…

Chickpea Soup with Parmesan-Rosemary Croutons

  Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these little legumes pack a nutritional punch. They are low in fat and are an excellent source of nutrients, fiber and…

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

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  Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil is the most basic way to sauce pasta. In a country where it is quite common (the norm actually) for the same pasta…

Roasted Cauliflower Penne & Pinoli

  I love, love, love cauliflower! This dish is so Sicilian with the pine nuts (pinoli) and currants¬†(passoli) but you can certainly substitute chopped walnuts and raisins if that’s what…

Italian Gazpacho

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  Gazpacho, the tomato-based, cold soup that is world famous, has many variations. Originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, gazpacho is a refreshing summer soup. I call it…

Rosemary-Roasted Grapes

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  I’m certain you have probably roasted a chicken, cuts of beef and various vegetables, but have you ever roasted fruit? Roasting fruit intensifies its natural sweetness and is a…

Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage

  A basic brown butter sauce is easy to prepare and adds a depth of flavor and richness to this dish without overpowering the gnocchi. The secret is to only…

Zuppa di Pesce

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  When I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I could easily find fresh fish and seafood just about any time of the year. The fish counter in…