02 May 2008 @ 6:46 PM 

Italy is well know for pasta and pizza. We have many different kind of pasta. Since my family is in part from Tuscany and in part from Emilia Romagna, my cooking style is greatly influenced by my heritage. I don’t like steaks in general, and for this reason I do my best with other stuff such as: pasta, pizza, chicken and fish (with or without shells).

Let’s start with a Bruschetta al Pomodoro (Tomato Bruschetta). It’ s a variant of the more traditional Bruschetta. Here you can find the recipe of Bruschetta, while here you can find the correct pronunciation.

Bruschetta

Here my Linguine with Pesto. I grow my own basil, so the pesto has a very strong fragrance. I also have a couple of little tricks to make it even better.

Linguine with Pesto

And now something you cannot find even in a real Italian restaurant: Farfalle Tonno e Piselli (Bow-tie Pasta with Tuna and Peas).

Bow-tie with Tuna and Peas

This is one of my favorites dishes: Gnocchi al Sugo di Carne (Gnocchi with Meat Sauce).

Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

This is my recent creation: Linguine Gamberetti e Limone (Linguine with Shrimps and Lemon).

Linguine with Shrimps and Lemon

And now a slight variation of a classic. These are Fettuccine alla Puttanesca (Spicy Fettuccine).

Spicy Fettuccine

Here a dish universally known in Italy: Pasta e Ceci. In English it would be Chickpea Soup.

You can see here one of the many ways to make Pasta al Forno. In this case I used Gluten Free Penne. Who says that Celiacs should forget about pasta?

Pasta al Forno

This is one of my creations: Penne con Carciofi e Tonno (Penne pasta with artichokes and canned tuna).

Penne Carciofi e Tonno

Here I present something which can be eaten by itself or used as sauce for pasta; in this case I suggest Rigatoni Pasta: Peperonata (Sweet Peppers and Beef). This dish is tasty but not suitable for people with a delicate stomach. The first photo shows the Peperonata at the end of cooking, while the second photo shows the Peperonata used as sauce for Rigatoni Pasta.

Peperonata

Peperonata with Rigatoni

And now the absolute queen of the Italian cuisine: Pizza. We can use several toppings for pizza, but the real Pizza has not so much topping like here in the US. Exaggerations are always wrong. In cooking you should always keep a good balance between ingredients. This is the so called Pizza Capricciosa, which is made with several different ingredients as topping. The photo is showing a pizza immediately before cooking in the oven.

Pizza Capricciosa

This is the so called Pizza Quattro Stagioni (Four Season Pizza). There are Four (hence the name) kind of toppings, including Prosciutto di Parma and boiled eggs.

Pizza 4 Stagioni

And here a variation for Pizza. Pizza con Patate (Pizza with Potato). It’s wonderful if you, for any reason, cannot eat tomato sauce.

Pizza con Patate

You want something different than the usual chicken breast? You got into the right place! Voila’, Petti di Pollo ai Funghi (Chicken Breast with Mushrooms).

Chicken Breast with Mushrooms

Well in Italy we love fish, with or without shells. Now I am showing you two dishes I love even too much. The first is: Muscoli alla Marinara (Steamed Mussels).

Steamed Mussels

And here, Pescespada alla Griglia (Grilled Swordfish). I made this dish with a regular grille, although I prefer to make it on the barbeque. Please note the accompaniment of Arugula salad. A note: please do not buy an Italian dressing for salads; they are everything but Italian. Our salads are almost always dressed with salt, vinegar and olive oil (I prefer the regular olive oil, because the extra-virgin is too strong for my taste). Add these ingredients to the salad and mix the whole very well. That’s it!

Swordfish

Perhaps you think I am crazy, but where I live (North Carolina) I cannot find a decent bread, so I make my own Pane (bread).

Bread

In the following 2 photos I show an example of real home made Panini. Italian panini are simple and tasty. Please don’t call them paninis, because panini is already the plural of panino. You don’t use double negatives so please don’t use double plurals either. One panino has salame, the other one has prosciutto di parma; both are completed by a sort of carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish style artichokes).

Panini
Panini

Now a simple dessert: Strawberries in red wine. The wine I used is Lambrusco. It’s a red sparkling wine; in Italy is considered cheap, but believe me, it is very good and completes appropriately the flavor of strawberries.

Strawberries with Red Wine

Another dessert: Peaches in white wine. Any reasonably good dry white wine is perfect with these peaches from South Carolina.

Peaches with White Wine



 

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