first courses

Okra Gumbo

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  Okra, also known as “gumbo” or “lady fingers,” is a highly nutritious edible green pod vegetable. It’s available fresh just about year-round in the South and from May-October in…

Lasagna Soup

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  Lasagna has been a part of my family’s Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember and it’s the only time I really ever make it anymore.  …

Roasted Fennel Soup

  For many folks, soup is the original comfort food, whether it’s a soothing light stracciatella or a hearty pasta e fagioli. This full-bodied fennel soup falls somewhere in between.…

Zuppa di Cipolle

  Onion soups have been popular since Roman times, so it seems to me that French onion soup might not be so French after all! As you may recall from…

Fettuccine with Parmesan Cheese Sauce

  This sauce is a lighter version of the American fettuccine Alfredo. I say “American”  because if you ask for this dish in a restaurant in Italy, they will look…
Mostaccioli with Marsala Cream Sauce

Mostaccioli in Marsala Cream Sauce

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  Caramelized onions, crimini mushrooms and mostaccioli pasta, all smothered in a rich Marsala cream sauce is a recipe for satisfying comfort food. I usually prepare this when I have…

Spaghetti al Finocchio

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  Many of the meals that I prepare, particularly those I’ve created, are actually born out of a previous meal. This is not creative genius on my part, rather a…

Un Raviolo

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  Ettore Boiardi, born in Piacenza, Italy came to America when he was just 16 years old. He started his career in the kitchen of the Plaza hotel in New…

Golden Polenta with Prosciutto

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  Sur La Table is a national cookware store that also offers cooking classes. Last month for our “date night” Jack and I attended a class in Scottsdale, Arizona, called…

Cauliflower Tart (Crustless)

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  There are four major groups of cauliflower and hundreds of varieties used around the world. Of these groups: Italian, Northwest European biennial, Northern European annual and Asian, the Italian…

Lemon Spaghetti

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  This is one of those dishes that hardly needs a recipe. It’s quick and it’s easy. It’s my go-to-recipe when I want a simple summer meal. Although this serves…

Zucchini Lemon Soup

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  The majority of the soups I make are of a hearty variety, like Minestrone and Lentil. You know the kind that warm you up on a cold winter’s day.…

If These Jars Could Talk …

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  If these soup-filled jars could talk, they would tell you that they’ve been in the family for some time now and that they will be passed down to the…

Minestrone

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  This is the quintessential Italian vegetable soup! Whether I prepare it to accompany that leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, for a light Christmas Eve dinner or a stand-alone bowl of…

Melanzane e Orzo Soup (Eggplant and Pasta)

  Southern Italians use eggplants in a variety of dishes, from Sicilian caponata to eggplant parmesan. My favorite being the simplest … breaded and fried. (I can make an entire…