Get your mind out of the gutter. Crudo means raw.
And no, the cannelloni wasn’t raw, the sauce was. Actually the fresh tomato sauce was almost raw or “quasi crudo” as they would say in Italy.
The story goes like this: it’s summer, no one wants to spend extra time in the kitchen, and we have tomatoes coming out of our ears.
And thus, I’ve learned inspiration and abundance make excellent cohorts.
Is it any wonder, when the world feels baked to a crisp, why three showers a day might not be enough, and the urge to howl at the full moon seems like a perfectly good idea, that a walk to our garden, and a chat with friends, seems like a mini-vacation after the torrid heat we’ve endured?
We’ve reached the harvesting point where lunch can be made by just visiting the orto, our kitchen garden. It’s so deliciously easy now, to walk over to the garden, with no plan in mind, just a “let’s see what needs to be eaten” attitude.
Warm weather arrives and suddenly the kitchen color palette shifts from the tender greens of spring to vibrant reds, purples, deep sea green. In Italy, the men are tan, the women wear spectacularly high heels, and everyone struts their stuff. It’s an irresistible, seasonal call to go out and play.
It’s a perfect time to experiment with textures, temperatures, colors. Not serious cooking, but light, fun and flavorful cooking.Read More
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.
What happens if you combine two comfort foods together? Extra-comfy comfort food?
Spaghetti amatriciana + a poached egg = Damn Good!Read More
Pizza Napoletano is one of my all time favorites: capers, olives, anchovies, oregano. “It’s salty…but I like it.” (100 bonus points to anyone who knows where that line comes from.)
If it’s a good combination on pizza, it’s going to be great on pasta. And it’s one of those pastas you can make in the time it takes to boil water.
I like to play with fire, so after harvesting some ripe tomatoes and a fistful of basil, I decided to experiment with adding just a kiss of heat to two different dishes. Just a bacio of heat to soften up the tomato sauce, and another kiss to add a warm parmigiana crust to a fresh tomato salad, why didn’t I try this sooner?Read More
To celebrate our first harvest from the garden, we made a ‘rucola con Gorgonzola’ sauce for pasta. It’s a classic pairing of the spicy green with Gorgonzola blue cheese. Quick Gorgonzola lesson: it’s a cow’s milk cheese and it comes in two varieties, sweet/dolce/montagna or piccante. The sweet Gorgonzola is very creamy and mild and works beautifully as a pasta sauce. The piccante version is harder and sharper and works beautifully with a slice of pear and a hearty red wine. This is a great, quick sauce that you can have ready in less time than it takes to cook the pasta.Read More
Spaghetti alla carbonara is the pasta you make when all you have in the house is pasta, cheese, an onion and an egg and maybe some bacon or pancetta. It’s the back up plan, easy way out, in a pinch, gotta eat now sort of dish you should know about. Take note, it does not include cream which is an American-Italian variation that is best forgotten.Read More