Mother’s Day Memories
Today, in the United States it is Mother’s Day and though we don’t share the same date for this holiday in Italy, we do have such a day to celebrate our mothers. This day still makes me wax nostalgic and think of my mother, Adelia and my life in Italy. I was cheated of knowing her and caring for her as a grown man. She died at a very young age when I was only thirteen years old. Still, though I was young, my memories of her are profound and usually associated with food and love. It was she, Adelia, who gave me my love and passion for food and cooking.
Cabbage & Apple Slaw with Burrata
In Northern Italy, where I am from, cabbage makes its way into many a dish. Here, I've made my version of American coleslaw with a very Italian spin on it. Locally grown cabbage, green apples, fresh dill and topped with a beautiful burrata from Bel Gioso really uplifts the humble slaw and makes it elegant. Delicious, refreshing and healthy.
Fagiolini in umido
A little steam, fresh green beans, tomatoes and cheese makes for a perfect vegetarian meal. Fast, fresh and healthy this is one of my favorite go-to dishes when I'm cooking at home for the family.
Purple Peppers Stuffed with Curried Okra
I was inspired by the purple peppers I found at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. I roasted them right over the open flame on my stove, filled them with curried okra and served. The okra was fresh, locally grown and also sourced from the Farmer's Market. They looked stunning and tasted delicious.
Melanzane al Funghetto
Eggplant is a big part of Italian cooking and one of my favorite ways to eat it is roasted like this in a copper pot. The eggplant takes on some of the characteristics of mushrooms, hence its name. This was one of my mother's favorite ways of making eggplant.
Risi e Bisi
Food is my life. My fascination with it began at a very young age and my childhood memories of it are profound.
I am fifty-six years old and thousands of miles away from the little town in Northern Italy where I grew up, but walking in the Farmer’s Market during Springtime and seeing fresh pea shoots, snap peas, peas of any kind instantly takes me back in time and place. I am a young boy again and back in my mother’s garden picking peas for her delicious risi e bisi
A Weeknight Vegan Meal
At the restaurant where I work, I often cook meat and fatty foods. As a chef, I taste everything all the time. I am constantly tasting to ensure the quality in my dishes. This week, for example, I will be preparing a suckling pig - high in fat, most definitely meat, but I aspire to live a healthier life. I cannot be a full vegan or even a vegetarian, but on the days I am off or when I have a chance, I scale it back and create a meal of vegetables. Tonight was such a night.
I began ...