Happy New Year to all of you!!
Now, rewind to December 24th, 2013 – Christmas Eve dinner, the so called “La cena della vigilia”.
I am still thinking about what I ate for dinner on that day. Why? Because on Xmas Eve Italians eat seafood ( and I go nuts for “i frutti di mare”). Not only they prepare delicious dishes, but they alternate their Holidays menus. Think about it: we are all stuffed and tired of eating meat based delicacies throughout our celebrations. Italians play it smart, they indulge on spaghetti alle vongole, or a great boiled sea bass, together with other frutti di mare scrumptious treats. However, on Christmas day – like most of us – they eat meat.
I am a sinner. Everyone sins. All of us human beings were born sinners. In fact, in Christian moral tradition seven sins are said to be deadly: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
Out of these seven sins, I usually have a conflict between two of them – sloth (which refers to laziness) and gluttony, which Pope Gregory I defined as: “seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the vile sense of taste.”
I have a confession to make: there are some ingredients I just don’t know how to cook. This
is was the case of – radishes. I used to eat radishes in salads, and sometimes as crudités pairing dips, but I never really understood its usage in the kitchen – or even how to make the most of it.
While scrolling down tweets from Food52 – a truly amazing food site- I discovered a simple, delicious recipe with grilled chicken, radishes pickles and greens from Caroline Wright, who creates recipes for Food52.
The picture above was taken during a sunny Spring day at Trevignano, a village surrounding Lake Bracciano. Since it was unexpectedly windy, I took off my scarf and wrapped it around my baby girl’s neck – to protect her (unfortunately, I could not protect her hair!!!).
It’s been a year since Ambrosina was born. There are no words to describe what it feels like to be a mother and all the joy our little baby has brought us.
Even though it’s not tomato season yet in Italy, the other day I was craving for a tomato- based pasta. To be more precise, I was searching for the recipe of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.
I don’t know about you, but when Spring arrives, I become lazy (well ..let’s put it this way…I am lazy but I become even lazier!). And yet, I am still that food snob (not foodie please!) who’s willing to travel all the way down
from Rome to Modena to get the real deal: Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena -TBVM-, the right name for this luscious, fascinating potion.
It took me years to make a decent Cacio e Pepe, one of Rome’s traditional pasta dishes (the others are Carbonara, Matriciana, and Gricia).
Since Cacio e Pepe has only three main ingredients -Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper and pasta-, it might seem an easy recipe to make – but it isn’t.
How would you eat this dish? Would you start by eating the rice first, the squid or the pesto? Would you call it fusion, creative cuisine or a concept dish? Anyway we see it, it is a matter of perspective. So is the way we eat our food. If I had to define food in one word, I’d say food is culture. When it comes to food, our preferences – and our choices of what we eat and cook – are shaped by our cultural backgrounds. Food defines who we are and where we come from: Italians eat pasta, Mexicans eat tacos, Americans eat burgers, Chinese people eat dim sum, etc.
What brings you back to the eighties? Well, in my case – as far as music – this song from Wham!
What brings me back to the eighties in terms of food? Buttered pasta and tomato sauce on the side.
We all have childhood memories about eating, and we all can relate to a certain food during a specific period of our lives. When I was a child, I still remember pasta cooking in the boiling pot and, as soon as it was done (not necessarily al dente), we used to add butter to prevent spaghetti from sticking together. To eat spaghetti, a simple tomato sauce with dried oregano was served to pour over the pasta. I thought that was so Italian. However, little did I know that this was not the way Italians ate their spaghetti.
Appetizer or main course? When it comes to vegetables, we think about them as appetizers, and – more often – as side dishes.
I had a bunch of zucchini romanesche at home (with their flowers) and before I was off for vacations, I had to make use of them. Since I usually prepare zucchini with pasta or simply as a side dish, I wanted to come up with a main course (with zucchini as “main” ingredient). I thought it was a good idea because zucchinis are fresh and in season, and a meat course would have been heavy with the high temperatures we got in Rome.