The White Widow – a Punch Abruzzo cocktail

Posted February 16, 2015 By Adri

It seems to me that this coming summer everyone will be in Abruzzo.


White Widow-a Punch Abruzzo cocktail


Some friends are traveling to visit their ancestral villages and towns. Others, like food writer Domenica Marchetti, are leading culinary tours – taking hungry travelers through this pastoral land, sampling local cuisine and visiting artisanal food makers along the way. Travel to this largely undiscovered region is picking up, and that can only be a good thing. The cuisine, rich and borne of the land, is at once hearty and delicate, nuanced and bold. Cheeses, wines, olive oils and truly divine pastries – Abruzzo has it all. Some of Italy’s finest dried pasta comes from there too. And so does one of my favorite liquors, Punch Abruzzo. Read more… »

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Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta

Posted December 27, 2014 By Adri


Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta
Got Panettone? If you have Italian friends, then I bet your answer is a resounding yes because some of those friends must have given you some panettone as a Christmas gift. As good as it is right out of its pretty box, or toasted with a bit of butter at breakfast time, at my house there are always entire loaves that remain unopened once Christmas is over. Read more… »

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A Pop-Up Cookie Event


Christmas Cookie Exchange


2014 is the inaugural year of the Italian Gals Christmas Cookie Exchange. One minute Linda, Domenica, Marie and I were gabbing about food (what else?) on Facebook, and the next we were doing what we do best – getting busy in the kitchen. Linda figured out the logistics, and we all baked and packed our goodies for shipment to one another’s homes. Linda sent her spiced Italian Christmas “Brownies.” Domenica tantalized us with Cranberry-Hazelnut Biscotti, a sample from her forthcoming book, Ciao Biscotti.


Christmas Cookie Exchange


Marie baked (literally) hundreds of her famous fig-filled, spicy, orange-kissed Cucidati. My Three-Nut Fingers made their way from California to Illinois, New Jersey, and Virginia and into the homes of my partners in this project. We had a ball, and a tradition was born. Sweet Mouthfuls! Read more… »

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Call it Spaghetti Rapida – A Pasta to Die For

Posted December 4, 2014 By Adri

Gifts for Christmas Giving #2


Spaghetti Rapida


Every anniversary deserves a celebration, and to celebrate 90 years of making some of the world’s finest pasta the people at Rustichella d’Abruzzo have introduced the world’s fastest cooking spaghetti, 90″ Rapida. It cooks in exactly 90 carefully timed seconds. I have to admit that at first I was skeptical. But one try, and I was convinced. Take the classic pasta dish, Aglio e Olio, Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil. Because the sauce is so quick to make people always say you can dish up a plate of it in the time it takes to cook the pasta, set the table and pour the wine. It’s even faster than that now. Drop these strands of golden spaghetti into boiling water, and ninety seconds later it is ready to eat. Read more… »

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Strucà – Olive Oil Panettone

Posted December 1, 2014 By Adri

Gifts for Christmas Giving #1

 

Struca-Olive Oil Panettone

 

All through December big hatbox-shaped loaves of Italy’s classic Panettone make appearances on Italian tables everywhere. The sweet yeasted bread, packed with dried fruits, chocolates, chestnuts, or other sweet treats – even cream – is a classic Christmas tradition. Guests often arrive with one, and Bart and I buy them by the dozen to give as Christmas gifts. Last week I was looking at the array on the internet when I came across Strucà, a variant of Panettone made with extra virgin olive oil. No butter. No dairy. No problem. This is not your nonna’s Panettone. I had to buy one. See, the deal with me is I am like a woman in a jewelry store, or the proverbial kid in a candy store. When I am in a food hall, I just can’t leave empty-handed. Read more… »

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Farrotto allo Zafferano con Pignoli Tostati

Posted November 19, 2014 By Adri

Creamy Farro with Saffron and Toasted Pine Nuts


Farrotto allo Zafferano con Pignoli Tostati


I recently received an absolute treasure trove of Rustichella d’Abruzzo products from Rolando Beramendi of Manicaretti Italian Food Importers. Rustichella D’Abruzzo products, the ones that come in the brown bags, have been a favorite of mine since I was first introduced to them in the mid-eighties by food writer Kristine Kidd. I decided to start with the farro (FAHR-oh). Read more… »

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