#Italian Food

  1. Val d´Orcia

    This top gourmet itinerary that includes medieval abbeys, castles and takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Tuscany. It can be done by car or on a Vespa scooter, from Siena it crosses the Val d'Orcia and then towards the coast in the province of

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  2. Todi in the Umbrian hills

    I always recommend that visitors save sights for a return trip. After all, if it all becomes a blur, how can your trip of a lifetime be a memorable one? And that’s what it’s all about, right? If kids are left to romp in a park or stay back in the villa for a day, you’d be

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  3. Sicilian couscous, Trapani style

    You don't have to travel to North Africa to get your fill of couscous - in southern Italy, especially Sicily, it is quite a common dish, largely due to the Arabic influence on the island since ancient times. In fact, Sicily even plays host to an annual international

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    • Ingredients:
      • for the sauce:
      • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
      • ½ cup of olive oil
      • ¾ kilo of tomatoes without skin and pips
      • 1 kilo fish heads and tails (tied together in cheesecloth)
      • salt, pepper and some pepperoncini flakes
      • 20 stalks of flat parsley
      • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
      • 10 large basil leaves
      • 4 tablespoons tomato puree
      • ¾ liter chicken stock (be careful not to make it too salty)
      • for the fish and chicken:
      • 6 medium-sized calamari cleaned and cut into rings
      • 1 kg various kinds of non-fat fish cut into large pieces
      • langoustines or small lobsters can also be used
      • 1 large lemon
      • coarse salt
      • 1 chicken cut into pieces (trim the fat)
      • for the couscous:
      • 1 pound couscous (not precooked)
      • 100 ml water
      • saffron
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 5 large bay leaves 
      • for the broth:
      • 4 liters chicken broth
      • 4 bay leaves
      • saffron
      • 4 medium carrots cut into large pieces
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Soak the coarsely chopped pieces of onion in a bowl of cold water for ½ hour. Soak the squid and fish pieces in a large bowl of cold water with the lemon cut in half and squeezed and a little coarse salt for ½ hour.
      2. If you are making your own couscous, put the (not pre-cooked) cereal grains in a large bowl. Add salt to the water, along with the saffron, and begin adding the water by tablespoons at a time while rubbing the grains between the palms of your hands. Do not add additional water until the previous tablespoon is completely absorbed by the grains and evenly distributed. When all the water has been absorbed, rub the grains again but this time with a little oil in your palms. Keep repeating this until all the oil is used up.
      3. Put the 4 liters of broth with the bay leaves, saffron and carrots in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
      4. Line a colander with a tea towel or cheesecloth, then mix the prepared couscous with the bay leaves and place in the prepared colander. Fold the tea towel over the top and place the colander in the pan of boiling broth. Cover the colander tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and wrap a wet kitchen towel around the pan to prevent steam from escaping. In the old days in Sicily, people also used a pastry to seal the pan.
      5. Let simmer for 1 hour.
      6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Drain and dry the onions. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
      7. Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
      8. Hang the cheesecloth with the fish heads and tails in the pan and cook for 15 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and the pepperoncini flakes.
      9. Chop the parsley and garlic together on a plate. Add the chopped ingredients along with the basil leaves to the pan, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
      10. Dissolve the tomato paste in the chicken broth and pour into the pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 hour. The liquid should have boiled down to half. Now remove the cheesecloth with the fish bones and discard.
      11. Taste to see if the sauce is to your liking. Start adding the fish that needs at least 35 minutes of cooking time, such as the calamari. Add the other fish and chicken pieces according to their cooking time.
      12. Open the cheesecloth in the colander, mix the couscous well to make sure no lumps have formed, then close it again and let it cook for another hour.
      13. When the sauce is ready and the fish and chicken are cooked, transfer the couscous to a larger serving dish. Pour the sauce over the couscous, arrange all the fish and chicken, with or without the langoustine, on top and sprinkle with parsley.
      14. You can also use pre-cooked couscous of course, but mix it with olive oil, a few bay leaves and saffron.
      This recipe is originally from Giuliano Bugialli.
  4. Aldo´s Bar at Hotel La Siranuse

    Are you looking for a good Italian restaurant with a phenomenal view? If you have time and room in your stomach, you can have excellent food every day for a reasonable price during your entire stay. However, some people might want to dig a little deeper for a table with a

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  5. Is Halloween a old Roman tradition

    As the end of October approaches and the kids start thinking about their Halloween costumes and plenty of plastic orange pumpkins are hitting every store, it´s time to start planning for the holiday season and wintery things to do with pumpkins.

  6. How to make the perfect Spritz Aperol

    ´Spritz Aperol is a nice refreshing aperitivo from the Veneto and very easy to make. Ít is a variation of the Spritz or Spritzer, a drink that was introduced to northeastern Italy during the Austrian occupation, when the Austrians were exploiting the Veneto and

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    • Ingredients:
      • 40% Prosecco
      • 30% sparkling mineral water
      • 30% Aperol
      • a slice of orange
    • Recipe steps:
      • The main ingredients are usually Aperol, sparkling dry white wine (prosecco or spumante) en mineral water.
        The amounts of each will vary, but most recipes stick to the following proportions:
      • Put ice cubes in a tall glass, add the Aperol and the prosecco and top off with some sparkling water. Cut thin slices of orange and add this to the drink. Stir a few times before serving.
      • You could make a variation and use Campari instead of Aperol, which has a distinct bitter taste! However, personally I prefer the classic Aperol for an authentic Spritzer, it´s a bit sweeter and slightly more peppery.The name of the Spritzer comes from the popular Aperol, which has a bright orange color. The alcohol content of the drink is variable, but should not exceed 15°.
  7. My mama's perfect Osso Buco recipe

    The recipe for this dish originated in Milan. When it is well prepared, this is one of my favourite Italian dishes, especially when it´s cold outside and you crave some real soul food. It´s a shame that many restaurants use a poor quality cuts of meat to make this dish.

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    • Ingredients:
      • 4 lbs veal shank in slices of 2 inches
      • flower
      • olive oil
      • 1/ cup of butter
      • 1 medium onion
      • 1 grated carrot
      • 1 celery stalk chopped
      • (optional) 1 can of cut tomatoes or 1 bottle of passata
      • 2 cups  of white wine
      • 2 cups of chicken or beef stock
      • salt and pepper
      • For the gremolata
      • 1 bunch flat Italian parsley (other parsley may be used substituted)
      • 1 organic lemon
      • 2 cloves of garlic
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Ask your butcher to cut the shank into slices of about 2 inches. They should all be about the same size. Make sure that there is plenty of meat around the bone and the skin should be left around the meat, to prevent it from falling apart while cooking. You can also tie each piece together with some kitchen string, around and then across.
      2. Put flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, dip the shanks into it and make sure they´re covered on all sides.
      3. In the meantime, heat enough olive oil in a frying pan to cover the bottom with a ¼ inch layer of oil and when hot add the butter to let it melt. Fry a few pieces of meat at the time until they color light brown on all sides.
      4. Repeat until all cuts of meat are done and set aside. In the remaining oil (add some extra if needed), fry the onion, carrot and celery until soft, but don´t let them get brown.
      5. When the vegetables are soft, put the meat back in the pan with the juice that accumulated from the meat while waiting.
      6. Heat the wine in a separate pan and then pour over the meat.
        Turn up the heat and reduce about half of the wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan regularly, the sediment adds to the flavor of the dish.
      7. Heat the stock and pour about half over the meat. You can also add the tomatoes now if you want.
      8. Let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours on a low heat.
        Turn the meat over occasionally, but be careful that you don’t lose the marrow inside the bone.
      9. Add a little more stock, if necessary, a little at a time. When the meat is cooked and the sauce is still a bit on the watery side, just remove the meat from the pan and let the sauce reduce over a high heat while stirring all the time.
      10. Making the gremolata: Clean the parsley. Remove all stems.
      11. Cut the garlic into a few pieces.
      12. Cut the lemon zest into pieces. Its important to use organic lemon as the skin of other lemons will have absorbed a lot of chemicals like insecticides.
      13. Put everything together in a chopper or cut into tiny pieces.
        To serve place the meat on a platter, add some sauce and a handful of the topping.
      14. Serve the Osso Buco with risotto. Serve the rest of the sauce separately.
      15. Serve extra gremolata in a separate bowl on the table, so everyone can sprinkle it over their plate as they wish. Keep the parsley and lemon looking nice and fresh, in other words don’t make it too far in advance.
  8. Hugo - My favorite Alpine cocktail

    This vibrant summer treat is slowly starting to conquer the world. In contrast to the popular Spritz Aperol from the Veneto, this cocktail does not have the slightly bitter Amaro taste, but it is light and fresh. A popular aperitivo that you will certainly encounter on

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    • Ingredients:
      • 35% elderflower syrup
      • 65% Spumante or Prosecco
      • a splash of sparkling water (optional)
      • a strip of lemon zest or a slice of apple
      • leaves of fresh mint
      • ice cubes
    • Recipe steps:
      1. For the perfect Hugo, make sure that all ingredients are properly cold before using them in the composition.
      2. The recipe is for one cocktail.
      3. Use a large wine glass for the Hugo.
      4. Put a few cubes of ice in the glass.
      5. Pour the elderflower syrup over the ice cubes and then add the prosecco, lemon zest or slice of apple and finish with some mint leaves.
      6. Gently stir the glass a few times and then serve the Hugo with a splash of sparkling water on the side to make it taste slightly lighter if desired.
  9. Egg Benedict with salmon
    Andy Luotto is an old friend from Rome. Since his restaurants in the eternal city are closed during the pandemic, he took the time to write down some of his recipes for me. Like me, Andy is half American, born in New
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    • Ingredients:
      • 1 white bread roll
      • 2 eggs
      • 70 ml clarified butter
      • Saffron
      • Lemon juice
      • Breadcrumbs
      • Oil for deep frying
      • Thinly sliced salmon
      • Chopped flat leaf parsley
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Cut the roll in half then toast it in or on top of the toaster, and brush with a little butter.
      2. Poach 1 egg in water with some lemon juice, after three minutes remove from hot water and then scald briefly in cold water. Drain the poached egg.
      3. Make a zabaione au bain-marie from the yolk of the second egg, 70 ml clarified butter, a little water and a few strands of saffron that you previously soaked in a few drops of lemon juice.
      4. Whip the egg white from the second egg and brush over the poached egg and cover it with breadcrumbs. Be careful not to break the egg yolk, because it is not set yet and if it breaks you will have to start over.
      5. Deepfry the poached egg at 160 degrees for about 1½ minutes.
      6. Put a little of the zabaione on the toasted bun and then cover it with salmon strips about 2-3 mm thick.
      7. Place the fried egg on top of the salmon and top with another layer of zabaione.
      8. Garnish with a few soaked threads of saffron and a little chopped parsley.
      9. You can add some salt, but you'll find that it's hardly necessary.
  10. The best virtual exhibitions and museums in Italy

    Italy is in lockdown and because of the coronavirusand we are advised to stay at home. Anyone who wants to visit the cultural heritage of italy, without leaving home, we have launched a series of monuments and exhibitions you can

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  11. Cappon Magro from A Small Kitchen in Genoa

    When I asked our Italian trainee, Arriana,  to tell me about Christmas dinner at her house, how her mother prepares it and what dishes she puts on the table, she wrote me this little essay, which I thought was too nice not to share with everyone. Enjoy, and a merry

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  12. Risotto Vernazzolana with basil and king prawns

    This dish is inspired upon a basil infused green risotto I once ate at a seaside restaurant in Genoa called Santa Monica. I had a bunch of fresh

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    • Ingredients:
      • 350 grams carnaroli rice
      • 12 cooked prawns 
      • 120 grams fresh spinach
      • 120 grams of green zucchini peels
      • 1 handful of basil leaves
      • 50 grams Gran Padano or Parmigiano cheese
      • 50 grams of butter
      • 1 litre vegetable stock
      • 1 glass of white wine
      • 1/2 onion
      • 1 handful of basil leaves to decorate
      • olive oil
      • salt
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Clean your prawns leaving just the tail. 
      2. Put a pan of salted water on top and bring to boil.
      3. Peel the zucchinis, we'll only be using the green peel.
      4. Add 120 gram spinach leaves and 120 gram zucchini to the boiling water peel and briefly blanch them. Drain in the vegetables in a colander.
      5. Combine a dash of olive oil, a handful of fresh basil and the cooked, drained vegetables and mix (preferably with a food processor) to obtain a nice smooth green sauce.
      6. Put a high-sided frying-pan risotto on the stove, cover the bottom with a layer of olive oil and fry the chopped half onion until it's slightly glazed but not yellow. 
      7. Add your risotto rice to the pan and allow to fry in the oil, stirring constantly.
      8. Once your rice is nicely warmed and glossy throw in a glass of wine. Turn down the heat and allow the rice to boil in the liquid.
      9. Keep boiling just below boiling point, while stirring, add in the stock. Spoon by spoon, the stock should remain warm.
      10. After about twenty minutes the rice should be lucid and the liquid quite creamy.
      11. Add a knob of butter to the rice and stir until dissolved.
      12. Now add the cheese to your smooth green sauce and stir well.
      13. Remove the risotto rice from heat and stir in the green sauce.
      14. Cover the pan and let it rest.
      15. Cook your prawns any which way you choose (I usually fry them in oil) until they are nice and pink. 
      16. Serve the risotto in a deep plate, drape a handful of fresh basil leaves and finish off by placing a few prawns in the centre. 
  13. Torta di Nocciole by Azienda Agricole Tastelanghe

    Some recipes are handed down through generations, this is a perfect example a scrumptious cake that brings out the true flavour of the IGP Piedmont Hazelnut,  Made without using any flour at all. also Available to buy at ...

    • Ingredients:
      •  200 g coarsely ground hazelnuts
      • 40 g corn or potato starch
      •  200 g softened butter
      • 150 g sugar
      • 4 eggs
      • 10 g bitter cocoa powder
      • Confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
      • a cake tin of 20 cm diameter
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Start by working the softened butter and sugar down to a lovely light and fluffy mixture.
      2. Separate the eggs and add 4 egg yolks to your sugar mixture one by one whilst whisking continuously.
      3. Add the sifted cocoa powder and the corn starch to your mixture.
      4. Whip up the egg whites to obtain stiff peaks and fold into mixture, starting at the bottom and working your way upwards.
      5. Finally, add the hazelnuts and mix softly to blend.
      6. Grease the inside of your cake tin and lightly powder with corn starch
      7. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in a ventilated oven at 160° for 50-55 minutes.
      8. Allow to cool before decorating it with the powdered sugar. 
  14. Panettone pudding

    your Leftover panettone or pandoro can easily be used in an upgraded bread pudding. Although you can choose from a whole range of recipes for leftovers of Christmas, this budino is one of the best. A recipe from Anna del Conte. This delicious dessert is perfect after two or

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    • Ingredients:
      • 200 grams or 7 slices panettone
      • 2 tablespoons dark rum
      • 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
      • 1 cup light cream
      • 1 cup whole milk
      • lemon rind of a small lemon
      • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1/2 cup of raisins
      • 1/2 cup of sugar
      • 3 eggs 'extra large'
      • Butter for greasing the cake form
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Preheat the oven to 170º C (380º F).
      2. Cut the panettone into thin slices, it does not matter if it falls apart a little.
      3. Pour the rum and Marsala over the panettone, add the raisins or dired berries and let it soak.
      4. Warm the milk and cream together with the lemon rind. Add the cinnamon and sugar.
      5. Beat the eggs, and keep beating well while adding the cooled milk and cream.
      6. Butter the pudding form. You can also use an ordinary bowl as long as it has a round bottom. Use a bowl with a maximum capacity of 1 liter/quart.
      7. Place the pudding in the refrigerator or another cool place until it is ready to be served.
      8. To remove the pudding from the mould, carefully loosen the edges, using a spatula or thin pan scraper. Place a flat plate on top of the pudding form and turn it over in one turn. Gently tap the bottom and sides of the bowl until the pudding is loose from the sides and falls onto the plate.
      9. Decorate the pudding with some grated chocolate or sliced almonds.
  15. The Original Tiramisu recipe

    The story about the origin of the famous Italian dessert Tiramisu was first told to me by chef Celestino Giacomello of the famous hotel  Gritti Palace  in Venice. He also assured me that this dish is at least as authentic Venetian as a gondolier. 

    • Ingredients:
      • 3 egg yolks XL
      • 1/3 cup of sugar
      • 2 chilled espresso coffees (1/4 cup)
      • 1 3/4 cup mascarpone at room temperature
      • 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
      • 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
      • 24 Italian savoiardi cookies or ladyfingers
      • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
      • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso coffee beans
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Mix the sugar and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and heat over a low heat.
      2. Bring it to a boil and keep stirring to bring the sugar just to the point of caramelization, remove from the heat immediately.
      3. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and start beating them as you add the melted sugar slowly in a steady stream.
      4. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until firm.
      5. Fold the whipped cream carefully through the mascarpone mixture.
      6. In a shallow bowl, mix the coffee liqueur with the remaining espresso.
      7. Cover the second (and a third layer if you want to impress your guests with this dessert) with the remaining mascarpone.
      8. Chill the tiramisu, covered, at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  16. Risotto in 5 easy steps

    With Risotto, time and care are the most important ingredients. Take out about 20 minuted to carry out the process of stirring and adding moisture. The choice of rice depends on the recipe but at the end of the day this is a fairly simple dish that everyone should be able

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    • Ingredients:
      • Minced onions
      • Butter and/or olive oil
      • 1/3 cup of rice per person
      • White wine
      • 1 1/2 litre broth
      • Parmesan cheese
    • Recipe steps:
      1. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and other vegetables the recipe asks for in half of the butter or oil, gently over a low heat and make sure they don't burn. This usually takes about ten minutes. Turn up the heat and add the rice, toast it while stirring constantly so that all the grains start to shine and lose their transparency.
      2. Keep the heat under the pan hot, but make sure nothing gets burned or even browned. Firstly you add the wine all at once. Make sure everything stays hot and keep stirring until the wine has completely evaporated. If the recipe does not ask for wine, do the same with the first ladle of liquid.
      3. Then add hot stock one after another and let it soak up the rice and evaporate before adding more liquid. It is important to keep stirring constantly. Turn the heat source under the pan a little lower but not too low during this process. Gradually you will notice that the rice will stick to the spoon and to the pan. The risotto is then almost done.
      4. Normally this takes about 20 minutes. Other ingredients that are associated with various recipes can be added after this process. The risotto is ready when it looks creamy, but the rice grains are still firm.
      5. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the remaining butter and/or cheese and put the lid on the pan. Leave for about 5 minutes. Put the risotto in a bowl or on warmed plates and serve immediately.