Garganelli with Fresh Ricotta and Grape Tomatoes

A few weeks back I was talking to my Mom about quick and easy pasta dishes. She mentioned that my grandfather used to make pasta and toss it with fresh ricotta cheese, a little grated pecorino and salt & pepper. I thought that was a great idea and planned on trying it out, eventually. I […]

Tortellini alla Panna

Tortellini alla Panna

When I went to the pasta shop this weekend to buy tortellini, I noticed that they had two types – meat and cheese. This seemed odd to me because I had always know those little rings of pasta as being stuffed with meat. Back when I was working at my Father’s restaurant, some nights he […]

Bolognese Sauce (Ragu alla Bolognese)

Just about every region of Italy has it’s own version of a Ragu, a slow cooked meat sauce, but perhaps the most famous is from the city of Bologna in Emilia-Romagna, Ragu alla Bolognese. Where in other areas, especially in Southern Italy, the Ragu typically starts with large cuts of meat which are cooked slowly […]

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 pancetta […]

Paglia e Fieno with Prosciutto and Cream

Paglia e Fieno With Prosciutto andCream

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 an […]

Short Rib Ragu

Mezze Rigatoni With 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 grew […]

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

This typically Roman pasta dish was traditionally made with guanciale, but since that ingredient used to be very hard to find outside of Italy, and the Lazio region in particular, pancetta has became a common substitute. This is changing and guanciale can now be found at certain specialty food stores here in America. While you […]

Pasta with Summer Squash

Pasta With Summer Squash

I feel like I have been beating the simplicity theme into the ground the past few weeks, but the fact of the matter is, this is how I cook in the summer. There are so many great seasonal ingredients that I look forward to all year, and I want to put them front and center […]

Linguine with White Puttanesca

Linguine with WhitePuttanesca

My last blog post featured Pasta alla Puttanesca, a classic Italian sauce made from tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and garlic. Tonight I was craving some of those flavors but did not want to make a tomato based sauce. So I thought why not make kind of a Linguine Aglio e Olio (Linguine with Oil and […]

My Favorite Weeknight Pasta Dish

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

For me, a good weeknight dinner must possess two essential qualities: It must be relatively quick and easy to prepare. It has to be tasty enough to make me actually want to cook after a hard day at work. It’s much easier to get motivated if, as the work day ends, I am eagerly anticipating […]