Schiacciata alla Fiorentina

There is no Carnival celebration in Florence without the Schiacciata alla Fiorentina!  This traditional cake, scented with orange and vanilla and dusted with confectioner sugar is typically served during Carnival season.  Every pastry shop in Florence has its own well guarded recipe…

Pappa al Pomodoro

Enjoy this simple, yet delicious summer soup hot or room temperature. To compensate for the lack of sweetness in the tomatoes here in the States, I enhanced this Tuscan peasant dish by adding celery, carrot and onions. Learn more about the “pappa”…

Viva la Pappa al Pomodoro!

Pappa al Pomodoro is a seriously hearty (you can eat it with a fork) and flavorful Tuscan soup, made with tomatoes and bread.  This soup has all  the characteristics of Tuscan cooking: simple and genuine.   This quintessential Florentine dish stands as testament…

Few words about kale, Cavolo Nero to be exact!

Cavolo (cabbage) nero (black) comes with a sleuth of names and nicknames: Tuscan kale, Italian kale, Tuscan cabbage, dinosaur kale, etc.  Akin to kale and quinoa, cavolo nero has been at the forefront of the culinary movement.  It’s already ubiquitous on menus…

Authentic Food

Let’s start by looking at the pictures on this page, they feel “authentic” don’t they?  So what makes a dish “authentic”?  Is it the use of specific ingredients in the recipe? Is it the ethnicity of the person who prepares the dish?…

Frittelle di Riso – Rice Fritters

This is the kind of comfort food that brings me back to my early years.  I recall coming back home from school or a playdate, walking in and smelling the delicious fragrance of my mom cooking these yummy delicacies.  She used to…

Peperonata

Hearty, tasty, healthy and satisfying the peperonata is the Italian peasant version of the “foo-foo” French cousin, ratatouille.  I can make a whole meal out of this simple vegetable dish!  There is always a lot of dispute about adding olives or potatoes…

Braised Artichokes

Last week I bought some artichokes at the Farmer’s Market in Culver City to cook for a dinner party I was catering.  They were perfect specimens: hard to the touch, “kissed” by frost (the brown spots on the leaves indicates they were…

Minestrone di Riso

Use this great minestrone recipe as your base; then add your own creativity and favorite ingredients to make the perfect soup for your family and friends!   In Italy this soup is a comfort staple! The flavors and ingredients seem to morph…

Pumpkin and Amaretto Ravioli

A delicious pasta recipe for the fall.  To make your life easy, instead of making the pasta dough from scratch, you can buy some sheets of fresh pasta dough from a local pasta store, or (and I shouldn’t tell you this even…