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.
I recently went to an event hosted by Verizon at the destination store in Santa Monica. It was a very interesting evening and I learned a great deal about tech devices and gadgets which I loved. However, I am first and foremost a cook and all I kept thinking about when confronted with all that red - red bags, red logo, red on the walls, red everywhere - were strawberries. I could almost smell them. I couldn't get them out of my mind and it is, in California, strawberry season after all.
For us in Venetian Northern Italy, the word "blecs" speaks of buttery goodness, a warm belly and pasta served the moment it is taken from the pot. In other words, blecs is one of those heavenly, special, and comforting dishes that speaks of home to me. In America, the word "blech" (pronounced the same) is an onomatopoeic one of something quite different, so don't turn away. In fact, it means a patch, as if you were to patch your jeans. The name comes from the color of the pasta and the triangular shape. Trust me, blecs are a delicious thing. ...
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.
Coq au Vin, California Style
My little California twist on a favorite recipe. White wine and herbs d'Provence make this chicken dish perfect for a summer evening dinner with friends.
Turmeric Gelato & Floating Islands
I love the Indian spice turmeric and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into my cooking. I came across fresh turmeric root in a store along with fresh plums. It gave me the idea for a homemade gelato topped with the stone fruit. The result was beautiful. Ice cold sweetness, glorious color and the slight bitterness of the spice offset by the tanginess of the fruit. Perfectly wonderful!
The delicate and cool taste of cucumbers has always intrigued me. I tried my hand at incorporating that delicacy into a simple risotto made not with arborio rice, but regular white, long grain rice. I added some cotija cheese and a little onion.
Stemmari Cantodoro Risotto with Cherries & Gorgonzola
In Italy, wine is very much a part of the culture and I grew up being well acquainted with it.
In my region, the month of October means the weather is cooler after the humid summer, the grapes are just beginning to get that fullness that signifies readiness for winemaking. I remember the smells of the grapes, the way the skins appeared full to bursting with juice - the juice that would become wine.
I’ve been asked that question a lot lately. Why a blog? Why social media? Why Twitter? Are you looking for a new job? Why are you doing this? When do you have time? What are you trying to accomplish?...
Clams & Zucchini
This is another one of those simple, yet delicious recipes that is easy to prepare, yet elegant when plated. The squash adds color and sweetness to the clams, making something simple seem complex.