Italian Cuisine

Our Italian Cuisine articles focus on two types of Italian cooking; the simple and hearty dishes that Americans of Italian descent survived on, and the grand recipes that are traditionally made for holidays, celebrations or those Sunday dinners when company was coming and something amazing was needed to share at the dinner table.

To Italians, the dinner table is where families bond. Sunday dinners that start at 1:00 p.m., and last into mid-evening have traditionally been a normal and expected event. Even the poorest of immigrants made Sunday special by preparing something delicious and then sitting together for hours with extended family to enjoy conversation, laugh, argue, agree to disagree, laugh again, hug and then repeat the same thing the next week. It is part and parcel to the bedrock of our culture.

Take the time to enjoy these recipes. Share them, modify them, and simply enjoy them. And when you get everyone to the table, confiscate their cellphones so they are forced to talk to one another. The ensuing drama is almost always hilarious. Have fun!

Kneading pasta dough by hand.

Most pasta dough is usually made from combinations of flour, eggs and water. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of variations on the flour-egg-water ratio used, as well as types of flour and herbs added to the mixture. Variations also matter as the different shapes of pasta depends on some extent to the different amounts of each ingredient used. There are all sorts of flavored pastas that use extra ingredients like herbs, spices, and pastes,Continue Reading

Escarole Pie is an Easy-to-make Rustic Peasant Dish

Like most of the edible greens, Escarole is a dark leafy nutritional powerhouse that can be prepared in so many variations – you may have already seen and enjoyed our recipe for Escarole & Beans, so here we are presenting another: Escarole Pie. This simple-to-make and highly delectable dish is another peasant meal that requires minimal work and supplies maximum satisfaction and nutrients. The preparation of this dish starts with creating the crust of theContinue Reading

Italian sunday gravy - the classic marinara sauce.

There are few sensory pleasures in life that can compare to the wonderful aroma of a simmering marinara sauce. Early every Sunday morning, my Parents (both of full Italian descent), would attend church, and then my mother would start making her Sunday Gravy while us kids suffered through attending the late-morning mass (if we made it to the church at all, but that’s another story). Upon returning home, I could smell the sautéed garlic whenContinue Reading

The Talisman Italian Cook Book by Ada Boni, as published in 1950.

After a long search, I found a true Italian family treasure: My Parent’s copy of the Talisman Italian Cook Book from the 1950 printing. This classic Italian cook book was originally penned in 1929 by the well-respected Italian chef Ada Boni (1881 – 1973). It was originally translated from Italian into English by Matilde Pei. Our copy is well worn from decades of use by my Mother, complete with her penciled annotations – when found,Continue Reading

Pizza Rustica, also known as Italian Easter Pie.

“Pizza Rustica”. The name conjures up thoughts of amazing Easters-past when my grandmother, Mary Esposito, would create this layered & weighty delicacy to share with the extended family. I actually witnessed her build one of these pies when I was in grade school; my mother had taken me and some of my siblings to grandma’s house in Jersey City on a Saturday before Easter (1975, if I remember correctly), and we watched the Maestro atContinue Reading