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Cooking at Home

Lemony Spring Asparagus Soup

Asparagus are everywhere. Wild, cultivated, in the market and in grocery stores; there is no escaping asparagus at this time of year.Let bygones by bygones, and let’s get on with the soup recipe! This is a soup you can have as long as you have fresh asparagus.

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Creamy Red Onion Soup, Truffles Optional

It’s soup season here in Umbria. Chilly days, wind and rain all mean it’s time to get out the soup pot.
Soup doesn’t have to be a long drawn out, multi-hour event. You can make this creamy red onion soup in about half an hour. That’s about the time it takes for you to realize you are hungry and to have soup in your bowl.

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Aroma Cucina Giveaway: We have a winner!

Thank you everyone who participated in our giveaway. Great answers, and we agree this is an awesome basket of goodies from Gustiamo; but it is a contest and that means there has to be a winner. Only, we couldn’t decide between two commenters, so we decided to give a basket to each.

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Roasted Quail & Spiced Peaches: A Recipe from the Gods

Our knowledge of flavor is the sum of all things we have ever tasted. A recipe is not a free standing list of ingredients and instructions; it’s the result of experience, memories, and desire.
You are never, ever alone in the kitchen.

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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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12 Cookbooks Good Enough to Give

‘Tis that gift giving season again, and nothing warms a cooking person’s heart like a new cookbook. Here is my completely subjective list, in no particular order, but arranged by delicately nuanced categories, of favorite books to give to deserving friends.

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Never Eat the Same Gazpacho Twice

We’ve slid off the spatula of our searing African weather, into the low boil of Italian summer heat. After the abrupt shift to summer, we’re now getting the chance to become adjusted to our new life style. Which means we barely want to eat anything more than prosciutto and melon, or gazpacho. Gazpacho with caviar. Cucumber & pistachio gazpacho.

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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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Tiramisu

Tiramisu

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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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Grocery Shopping NYC Style: Seriously Whole Food

But, I had to break down and buy some food. All I had in the fridge was a lone bottle of Bud that my nephew had left there over the summer, and Budweiser just doesn’t work as a coffee substitute in the morning. Maybe for some of us…
As I’m walking down Mott St., checking out the vegetable stalls to see what looks good, there is a spiffy looking new storefront, aptly called: “New York Mart”. It looks intriguing, so in the name of neighborhood research, I wander in.

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Love in the Spring: Asparagus 4-Ways

You have to like asparagus if you are in Italy in the spring. There is no escaping the spears, they are in every mercato, every supermarket, on every menu. Occasionally you’ll spot an exotic white or purple asparagus display, but for every day eating, it’s green asparagus.
In our mercato, you get a tightly rubber banded “mazze” or bundle of asparagus and it has spears from slender and tender to stocky and woody. Which means you can’t cook them all at once, on the same night, in the same dish, because each spear of asparagus deserves to be treated according to its girth.

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