Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

It is a tradition with many Southern Italian families to celebrate Christmas Eve with an elaborate fish banquet, Il Cenone di Vigilia. Sometimes referred to as The Feast of the Seven Fishes, not everybody sticks to exactly seven; some go up to 11 or 12, predominantly shellfish.

Spaghetti alla Gricia

The key ingredient in Spaghetti alla Gricia is guanciale, cured pork jowl. Guanciale is also traditionally used in the classic Roman Pasta dishes, Bucatini all’Amatriciana and Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Ossobuco

Ossobuco is a classic Milanese dish that pairs perfectly with another specialty from the Lombardy region, saffron infused Risotto alla Milanese.

Swordfish Sicilian Style

This is my favorite way to have Swordfish. The lemon, oil, garlic and white wine marinade is quick to make and very tasty.

Porchetta

In Italy, Porchetta is a deboned pig, stuffed and rolled, and there are many versions depending on the region. I wanted to make Porchetta, but was not quite up to deboning and stuffing a pig, so I decided to do what you might consider “Porchetta Lite”….

Lamb Chops Scottadito

In Italian the word scottadito means burned fingers. This dish is named scottadito because the lamb chops are so delicious that you can’t resist eating them sizzling hot, straight from the grill and burning your fingers.


Spaghetti alla Gricia

The key ingredient in Spaghetti alla Gricia is guanciale, cured pork jowl. Guanciale is also traditionally used in the classic Roman Pasta dishes, Bucatini all’Amatriciana and Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Since guanciale is not easy to find outside of Rome and the Lazio region in Italy, and until recently impossible here in the U.S., substituting...

Ossobuco

Ossobuco is a classic Milanese dish that pairs perfectly with another specialty from the Lombardy region, saffron infused Risotto alla Milanese. The name Ossobuco literally translates to “bone with a hole” which is a reference to the marrow filled hole in the center of the veal shank. You might be tempted to skip the...

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Recipe attribution and credit can be a tricky thing. The internet is like the wild west when it comes to this, ripe with ripped off recipes and people stealing other people’s ideas without giving credit. Several times I have stumbled across my own recipes copied word for word on other sites without attribution, and...

Swordfish Sicilian Style

This is one of the first recipes my father gave me for The Italian Chef way back in 1999. Back then I wrote: This is my favorite way to have Swordfish. The lemon, oil, garlic and white wine marinade is quick to make and very tasty. Instead of marinating the fish up front for...

Paglia e Fieno with Prosciutto and Cream

Every once in a while I pick up my copy of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, and flip through it looking for inspiration. Most times that inspiration comes in something that is so simple, that I kick myself for not thinking of it on my own. Prosciutto, cream and Parmagiano-Reggiano makes...

Short Rib Ragu

A ragu is a slow cooked meat based sauce, and there as many variations as there are regions in Italy. I have posted a couple of versions of Ragu alla Bolognese in the past, but strangely enough I have never featured a Southern Italian ragu. This is especially perplexing, considering I am Sicilian, and...
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