Rossella and Nonna Romana are making some delicious Pumpkin Gnocchi, perfect for the Fall Holidays!
Contributed by Michelle Karam
Luscious grains. Vibrant fruits and vegetables. Smooth velvety cheeses. Deep rich Olive Oils. Sensory overload? No, just the abundant cuisine of the Mediterranean. Not only is this cuisine a feast for your eyes and seriously delicious, but it turns out after all it’s provides those that follow it with some of the highest life expectancies around the world. This is a lifestyle and a diet that provides all of the pleasures but none of the guilt!
So what exactly are the regions that this cuisine hails from? Traditionally it’s from Greece, but as it’s popularity has emerged you’ll find recipes from parts of Italy, Spain, Portugal, southern France and even Turkey, Morocco and the Middle East.
The warm sun, the fragrant sea, the azure sky… a taste of the Mediterranean. These recipes are a little bit of all of that. Now that’s a lifestyle that I wanna live.
½ cup pignoli (or pine nuts)
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch arugula
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a skillet pan toast the pignoli nuts. The nutty aroma from oils will begin to be released. Toast to a warm golden brown.
Then add pignoli nuts & garlic to the blender to form a paste. Add the arugula and olive oil and pulse into the pignoli mixture. The perfect texture you’re going to be looking for will be gritty and grainy, keeping the integrity of the pine nuts.
Add the fusilli to the water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add Arugula Pignoli mixture and give it a stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The simplicity of this dish is perfectly Mediterranean all the while keeping that balance of healthy, astonishingly easy and fresh.
with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. It is generally believed to have originated in the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, although it is eaten all over Italy, where it is served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce, or fruit coulis. It is not known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts.
Recipes to Remember is an engaging cookbook fueled by family love. I strongly encourage readers to take the time to read the section near the beginning of the book described as, “My epicurean journey.” It will help the reader appreciate each recipe preserved by author Barbara Magro. She is not afraid to invite you to sit at the table while she explains the character arc of her life, how she arrives at the creation of this cookbook. Her subtitle says, “My epicurean journey to preserve my mother’s Italian cooking from Memory Loss.” The title quickly grabbed my attention because I could relate to it. When I step in the kitchen, especially for the holidays it helps me connect with family no matter how far I am and who has passed. Stirring ingredients stirs up memories. Sharing the recipes preserves tradition and history. Magro recognized with beginning stages of her mother’s memory loss would go a huge part of her family’s history. With a sense of urgency, Magro stepped up to the challenge of saving her family’s culinary legacy. When Magro did this for her family, she tapped into a helping other Italian families conjure up pieces of family memories and I believe it would help any family to be inspired to get in the kitchen with your relatives to understand the importance of culinary family traditions.
The vibrant mostly in color cookbook is filled with 100 classic Italian recipes from antipasti (appetizers) to holiday recipes. I appreciate that Magro does not opt to merely lump certain dishes into the standard sections. The holiday dishes are highlighted from Easter to Christmas. Look forward to finding recipes for antipasto classic, pasta e fagioli, various sauces, polpettone(meatloaf), sausage stuffing for turkey, veal parmesan, zeppole, pizza rustica, biscotti de mandoria(almond biscotti) and more. If you have ever desired to learn more about Italian cooking starting with the cookbook of classics is a great way to start. Seeing how the holiday recipes are grouped together is an excellent shortcut way to learn about Italian culinary traditions.
Most people do not pick up a cookbook to read a biography; however, this cookbook includes a compelling inspired story of creation. This book has one key ingredient many other cookbooks miss…soul. It should be a gift to yourself and to put in someone’s culinary library. A portion of the proceeds from Recipes to Remember benefits the Alzheimer’s Association.
Insalata Caprese (salad in the style of Capri) is a simple salad from the Italian region of Campania, made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil. In Italy, unlike most salads, it is usually served as an antipasto (starter), not a contorno (side dish)
Here are traditional ingredients for this no bake recipe.
- 1 large package of cherry tomatoes
- 8-10 sticks of mozzarella string cheese or 1 container pearl sized buffalo mozzarella
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
“Ciao!” says the short, elderly woman standing behind the counter. On her apron are the words “Gastronomia Beltrami, Cartoceto, Italy.” This is Elide Beltrami, wife of Vittorio Beltrami, a man who has been ordained the “Einstein of cheese” by famous chef Lidia Matticchio Bastianich. With a wide, warm smile, Elide makes me feel as welcome as if I were walking into my local corner store.
However, Gastronomia Beltrami is not just your average corner store. Inside the front glass case are piles of pecorino cheese, made from the milk of the Beltramis’ sheep. To the left, stacked on wooden shelves, are jars of fig and other fruit jams, made by Elide and her family and wrapped in brown paper and ribbon. Lastly, on a wide oak cupboard are bottles of glistening green olive oil—a product that brought this family name much praise in the early 1900s—harvested from the Beltramis’ groves and pressed in a 500-year-old palace.
A petite woman in her mid-thirties with short dark-brown hair comes from the back and flashes a smile. This is Cristiana Beltrami, the daughter of Vittorio and Elide Beltrami. “Let’s go on a tour,” she says and I follow her to her car. As she drives, Cristiana explains that she has worked at the shop for 15 years, since graduating with a degree in economics from the University of Urbino. READ MORE
Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily,
although available all over Italy (but granita in Sicily is somewhat different from the rest of Italy), it is related to sorbet and italian ice. From Wolfgang Puck’s Facebook page-For hot-weather entertaining, or just summer snacking: Watermelon Granita. Granita is like an Italian snow cone, made by freezing fruit puree and scraping it into icy flakes. It’s easy and a healthy alternative to ice cream or overly sugary frozen sweets.
Sotto Sopra is an Italian restaurant housed in a beautiful 19th century building just blocks north of Baltimore’s Harborplace on Charles Street, at the gateway to the city’s cultural center. Sotto Sopra specializes in true contemporary Italian cuisine adapting farm to table. We buy local whenever it is possible. Sotto Sopra has been voted Baltimore’s Best Italian Restaurant numerous years and listed in Zagat’s Top 1000 Italian Restaurants. The perfect risotto, handmade pastas, roasted meats, local seafood and regional produce are there for your total enjoyment. Sotto Sopra invites you to dine for lunch, Monday through Saturdays and dinner every evening. Eat.Drink.Sleep.Dream–Italian Visit Sotto Sopra by taking Baltimore’s FREE Circulator Purple Line. Opera Night 6 course Italian dinner & live opera performances.
405 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD
Dinner: Mon. 5:30-9:30pm, Tues., Wed and Thurs 5:30-10:30, Fri. and Sat. 5:30-11:30pm, Sun. 5pm – 9pm
In honor of MCCN’s Anniversary Sotto Sopra has provided a great recipe for Lemon Basil Sorbetto
Recently, I had a conversation with a group of friends about roasting asparagus with olive oil, not realizing all the twists and turns our conversation would have. My dear friend Ann who knows everything about what Dr. Oz(See Q&A) has to say about things, warned about roasting food with olive oil. Thus, I had to research this more after all I only the editor of a cooking website. I stumbled upon a blog which seem to share the same info that was shared with me. Read Below.
Kate Ferrara Homes grew up in coastal Connecticut; in an Italian- Irish family with parents who loved to get the kids involved in the kitchen and expose them to all sorts of dining experiences. The Ferrara family loved to eat, and between the summertime spreads of peasant bread, gazpacho soup, summer sausage and smoked mozzarella, to the Sunday afternoon southern Italian feasts at her grandparents’ house, they were never for want of fun food extravaganzas. With her enthusiam for Italian cooking she brings this recipe to you. CLICK TO SEE RECIPE