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Category Archive for 'Italy'

“There are more pizzerias in Buenos Aires than in Naples and Rome combined.” – Ernesto Sabato, Heroés y Tumbas In his book “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” travel-writer Bill Bryson, in an attempt to defeat insomnia, describes making a lonely evening among the anodyne IKEA fittings of a Stockholm hotel even more excruciating by tallying […]

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Greeks, Romans, Moors, Normans, Spaniards, Garibaldi and his thousand, and finally hordes of tourists have visited Sicily over the milennia. Some stayed for centuries, some only for generations, but even those whose sojourn was comparatively brief played a role in the island’s blending of cultures and traditions. If this human concoction can be distilled into […]

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In the very infancy of this blog, back when we had no appreciation for plating, lighting or anything else remotely aesthetic, my wife wrote about the first course of a truly memorable dinner we shared in the famous Florentine trattoria, Coco Lezzone. What she didn’t mention was that even though we were getting towards the end […]

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I daresay there is a traditional dish from somewhere on the Italian peninsula that resembles this dish in some way, but in a radical, free-form departure from our blogging norms, we didn’t follow any kind of recipe here nor do the slightest bit of research in preparation. By way of an excuse, we didn’t really […]

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It might be generational, or, perhaps, philosophical, but there are, on the one hand, those who enjoy and appreciate handmade things, and the art and craft they require to make, and, on the other, those who prefer their things machine-made, reliable, and standard. The ‘things’ here could be quite literally anything. My father, who, to […]

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As with a few other fellow bloggers, we were lucky to receive one of my favorite “blog freebies” to try recently – truffle products by La Boutique de la Truffe.  Cha-ching!  As some know, for most of us, blogging will barely help us buy a cup of coffee at a year’s end – that is […]

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At Via Clavature 18, hidden in the back streets of Bologna, is the comparatively charmless little Ristorante da Gianni. It’s dimly lit, almost to the point of stumbling darkness — especially if you enter, as we did, from the sharp rays of a late midsummers’ afternoon nursing a fierce hangover brought on by a handful of Negronis the night […]

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One of the most familiar (and enjoyable) flavor combinations to many cultures – sour and sweet or, as the Italians call it, agrodolce.  There is something about tartness and sweetness that just makes you want more.  Think Sour Patch Kids, Pisco or Whiskey Sours or your favorite Chinese take-out order.  Yes, sweet and sour is […]

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“In Argentina, a vegetarian is someone who orders a salad with their steak…” –Unknown Those with even a basic understanding of food history probably know that the hamburger as we know it today is an American adaptation of the “Hamburger-style steak” which originated in the now-German city of Hamburg, and was brought to this country […]

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“Two households, both alike in dignity In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” – William Shakespeare, Prologue to Romeo and Juliet On our honeymoon, almost exactly two years ago today, we arrived in the fair city of Verona thoroughly pissed off. And then things got worse. It wasn’t as if the day had started […]

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It’s fairly safe to say that no group, with the exception of the enigmatic gaucho, played as significant a role in defining Argentine national character as the Italians. Primarily (and principally, numerically-speaking) from Liguria (particularly Genoa), Piemonte and Tuscany, but latterly also from Naples and other areas of southern Italy, these Italian immigrants, literally by […]

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Awesome dried pappardelle and delicious ragu

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Looking for a ray of sunshine in your diet?

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It’s a truism of my life that some of the more sickening feelings of depression are experienced immediately after the most smugly satisfying. But, I think this maxim applies almost universally when that wonderful sensation of happiness in having discovered the perfectly authentic tapas bar turns to acrid bitterness and choking rancor as a bloated family in sweatsuits and fanny-packs strolls […]

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I feel kinda cheesy. I admit it, I feel cool about using a butcher. I understand this is lame and that butchers have been around for ages, but, truthfully, in the recent year, we’ve really gotten to know our neighborhood butchers. Growing up in the ‘burbs, meat was only bought pre-cut and pre-packaged. Yes, every […]

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And, while you’re at it, good fellow, I’ll have a warm bath with virtually anything you’ve got on the menu: pasta, potatoes, fish, chicken, soup, bread… Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… A man goes to the doctor complaining of neck ache. The doctor gives him some painkillers telling him to take two […]

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Have you ever eaten something so fabulous, so lucious, so decadent that you almost felt the need to run to confession (to confess your indulgent food “sins”), say three Hail Mary’s (that’s for you Catholics out there) and pray really hard that you can zip your jeans up again? Ok, a bit exaggerated, but looking […]

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As I wrote in the title of this post, the Romans do it again… and again… and again. Roman cuisine is one of our favorites and Rome is one of our favorite cities to visit and eat in. This dish, gnocchi alla romana, is a dish that reminds me how versatile, creative and (I’ve said […]

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The Italian region of Liguria is famous for its dramatic landscape of mountains plunging into crystal clear waters, and narrow terraced fields leading down to tiny, colorful villages precipitously perched on the edges of cliffs of which the Cinque Terre (five lands) of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore in La Spezia province […]

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Remember way back yonder, when the weather was still cool, we were on the search for some rabbit to make? We ended up calling around to butchers around Brooklyn and found a place that had them and asked them to save two for us. When we arrived, the butcher handed us our babies and, with […]

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Ok, so this is just a quick entry for a nice, summer Friday (where I’d rather be outside than blogging!) for a quick, nice summer meal. It was one of those ‘fridge meals’ where we had to use up some veggies and is not super different from some of the other ‘fridge meals’ (often pasta) […]

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On almost every diner breakfast menu in the United States you’ll find eggs florentine – a breakfast dish of poached eggs over wilted spinach sitting on half a toasted English muffin (we’ll get into the Englishness of English muffins at another time) and dressed with a hollandaise or bechamel sauce. What makes them Florentine or […]

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The first time I ate a version of this very old Venetian meal was at a very popular restaurant in my neighborhood in Brooklyn called Al Di La. The restaurant serves simple Italian food at it’s best and this is precisely why it is so popular. But since that dinner, a few years ago, I […]

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Regular readers must find us horrible bores as we bang on about our wedding and honeymoon in Italy last year almost constantly. On our penultimate day of our three week trip, we raided an enormous supermarket in the suburbs of Montevarchi for the Tuscan products we cannot find or cannot afford here in NYC, and […]

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I think the title of this post says it all about my feelings (and others) about this famous Roman dish of pasta, traditionally spaghetti, with pecorino cheese and a good amount of freshly ground pepper.  The name says is all – cacio, meaning cheese, and pepe meaning pepper.  We’re not breaking any new ground here […]

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Click here for more of our photos of Bologna Warning! You are about to read a lot about a dish that many would think could be discussed in one paragraph – Bolognese Ragu. After two trips to Bologna, I really began to understand how seriously the people there take their food. Because we are always […]

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We love pizza. We LOVE pizza. If we could eat one thing for the rest of our lives it would be pizza. During our seven weeks spent in Italy over the past two years, we collectively ate over sixty pizzas. This is not a lie, an exaggeration or a pipe dream. We were not force-fed, […]

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I don’t think I’m the most creative person in the world, but I do have lots of ideas. Most of them are very mediocre and often focused narrowly on how I can explain being late for work again, or why I didn’t call my sister, but very occasionally I’ll have a good idea. Marrying my […]

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It was as if it was divine intervention. We finally found morcilla (see picture of sausages below – it’s the black one) in a specialty store up the block but we weren’t prepared to make a fabada or cocido – two other Spanish dishes which call for morcilla. I picked up one of my favorite […]

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