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Cooking at Home

Rustic Sausage & Peppers

Some flavor combinations are classic; and sausage and peppers fall into that category.

Remember the old cartoons where the vapor would rise from the dish, and then beckon you to eat? That’s what happens when you saute peppers and sausage.
This dish is perfect just as the weather turns cool, and the last of the tomatoes are still on the vine.
Keep this dish simple, ok? Just be sure to use some good, fresh Italian sausage.

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And the Beet Goes On!

What do you do when a whole row of beets in the orto need to be eaten now? You yank those babies and throw a party!

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Fish, Flowers & the Art of Frying

Fried fish tastes goooood.
Fried flowers taste goooood.
I know fried food has a bad rap, but it tastes so good. Would it be alright in moderation? Would it be alright when there are sparkling fresh little tiny fishes in the market and the zucchini flowers are prepubescently perfect?

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Pickled Everything!

What do you do when your garden is onions all needed to be picked at once, the peppers are crazy…

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Linguine & The Art of Vongole

Twenty years ago, Napoli Restaurant was a classic spaghetti joint on the corner of Spring and Sullivan streets in Soho, NYC. Actually, it was ‘our’ spaghetti joint back in the day when we were living cheap and going out didn’t require a mortgage to buy a bottle of wine.
Flash forward to the new enlightened us who live in Italy and have eaten many clams, preferably picking them up at the port from the fisherman, with a cold bottle of local wine in the shopping bag. Here’s the time warp part: eating linguine alle vongole at the Italian seaside is probably cheaper than those dinners at Napoli. See, life isn’t always cruel.

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Cooking Simply: The Italian Way! Goodie Basket Giveaway

Click here for the post with all the details for our Goodie Giveaway.

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Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

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A Few Hot Tomatoes

And the canning season begins.
A walk over to the orto to get some basil and I’m hit with the realization that there are a ton of ripe tomatoes that need to be dealt with…NOW.
On one hand a kitchen garden is forgiving; if you don’t need any onions, you can leave them in the ground for a few days and no harm done. On the other hand, there is a use it or lose it urgency to ripe tomatoes.

So much for a lazy Saturday afternoon.

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Addicted to Love & Eggplant

TeenBrideWe have a plant in our orto that I call our “Teen Bride”. She keeps having babies, is totally unsupported, and when you pluck a fruit from her, she shudders as if to say, “Thank you!”. Then she stands a little straighter, brazenly sprouting even more fruit.

I like eggplant, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t LOVE eggplant, until recently. Now, we’re addicted. But this eggplant dip is the cause of our addiction.

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50 Shades of Salt

Let me see a show of hands. Are you a sweet or a salty person? Potato chips or gelato? And for the smug amongst us who are voting for umami..sit down. That’s a story for another day.

I’m salty. I’ll take a good pickle over a pastry anytime. Which is a good thing because living in Umbria, you better like salt.

Good sea salt is about 20 cents a kilo in Italy, so we
use it with wild abandon. You can pour an entire kilo onto a baking sheet to roast a fish and not blink a parsimonious eye. Which also means you can take salt for granted, and not pay attention to all the flavor possibilities.

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Tomato Swan Song with Breadcrumbs

This is my end-of-the-season swan song to the tomatoes in our orto. As the vines wither at the bottom, there are yellow blossoms still sprouting at the top, and green fruit just hanging on in the middle. We spent the cold, wet spring together, you endured hail and high winds, while we worried and tried to protect you. You blossomed in the July heat and produced massive amounts of fruit in August. And now, you are closing down for the winter.
I’ve had a LOT of time to think about tomatoes, and I realized I was not paying attention. Tomatoes love bread, and bread loves them back. They were meant to be together.

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Let the Season Begin! Oven Roasted Tomato & Onion Pasta

My man knows the way to my heart.
Yesterday I came home to the peace and quiet of Montone, and there were stunning roses in the living room and a full sideboard of vegetables in the kitchen. I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store yet, so it meant putting something together with what was on hand. The first decent tomatoes of the season were sitting there, just begging to be roasted, along side some of those onions, so it was pasta with roasted vegetables for lunch.

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