Category Archives: Kitchen Tips and Tools

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Arugula & Toasted Walnuts

Beet and ricotta gnocchi with wilted arugula and toasted walnuts

 Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Arugula & Toasted Walnuts Anything made with beets provides a beautiful splash of color, great flavor and of course tons of nutritional value. One of my favorite lunchtime dishes is gnocchi. I love to make potato gnocchi with all kinds of sauces, or ricotta gnocchi with spinach, broccoli rabe,…

Homemade Yogurt

Delicious homemade yogurt, topped with blueberries

Homemade Yogurt is delicious with fresh fruit, or just plain. The best part is how easy homemade yogurt is to make! Exactly a year ago I made my first trip to India. All the food was amazing but what stood out above everything was perhaps the simplest food of all: yogurt. Yogurt in India is…

Ginger Cake with a Maple Glaze

What makes this Ginger Cake with a Maple Glaze so fabulous is the fresh and candied ginger in the cake! The maple glaze is a great addition to the flavors, lathered and drizzled on top of the cake. I often use ginger in stir fry dishes, or blended with olive oil and soy sauce as a salad dressing….

Ravioli Caprese

Ravioli Caprese just made and ready to cook and serve!

Ravioli Caprese have a pillowy, dumpling-like dough filled with mozzarella, caciotta cheese, eggs and fresh marjoram. They’re unlike any other ravioli you’ve ever tried and if ravioli can melt in your mouth, they do! Ravioli Caprese are so distinctly different from any other ravioli because of the way the dough is made, along with its…

Stinging Nettle Fettuccine

Luscious homemade green fettuccine thanks to the addition of some finely minced wild stinging nettle

Stinging Nettle Fettuccine is a gorgeous way to add color to fettuccine! Sometimes foraging happens purely by chance. Yesterday was one of those occasions when my husband and I went for a country walk in our neighborhood and came upon a huge amount of stinging nettle growing in a wooded area. Stinging nettle is not…

Deep-fried Artichokes

Yummy deep fried Roman globe artichokes

Carciofi alla Giudia, or deep-fried Roman globe artichokes, are one of winter’s most delicious side dishes. As the artichoke fries it opens up like a flower and yields a gorgeous golden-brown artichoke. The leaves are crispy and delicious and the inside flesh is tender and wonderful. Deep-fried artichokes are easy to prepare; the most important…

Whole Grain Farro Nut Bread

Whole Grain Farro Nut Bread Farro is an ancient grain that dates back 7000 years and is a mainstay of the Italian diet. It’s especially prevalent in the land-locked Umbria region, just north of Rome. Farro has a crunchy, chewy and delicious texture and is wonderful in soups and as a substitute for rice in…

Pappardelle and Wild Boar Sauce

Pappardelle with Wild Boar Sauce is a hearty and satisfying winter dish

Pappardelle and Wild Boar Sauce is my favorite dish on cold winter days! Life in the Roman countryside is full of interesting characters ranging from artists and musicians to business professionals, contadini (farmers) and of course hunters. Many people in our neighborhood own a rifle for seasonal hunting. The summer and fall before last we had…

White beans, tomato and rosemary soup

Luscious white bean soup with tomatoes and rosemary makes a delicious and comforting winter soup

White beans, tomato and rosemary soup What makes almost all Italian dishes so delicious are two simple things: first, fresh seasonal and good-quality ingredients. Second, the use of very few ingredients so that each ingredient has a chance to participate in the luscious flavor of the dish. White beans, tomato and rosemary soup is a…

Oven Roasted Fresh Figs, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Bruschetta with plump oven roasted fresh figs, Gorgonzola and walnuts

It’s a chilly beginning of January and I just devoured bruschetta with scrumptious oven roasted fresh figs, Gorgonzola and walnuts. It might strike you as odd that I have fresh figs in January but my passion for figs drove me to devise a wonderful way to have fresh figs year-round. In mid-summer, and then again…