Rosemary-skewered grilled shrimp, basil pesto, dollop of tomato aioli*; finished with freshly ground black pepper and a little feta cheese.
You didn’t think I was going to eat this without pasta, did you?
I was still in a Tuscan state-of-mind a couple of days after my return. And I was missing my daily dose of p.a.s.t.a! Carb withdrawal is not easy (not that I’ve ever really withdrawn). I rummaged around and found a package of chestnuts and some dried porcini in the pantry. This seemed very Tuscan…so I marched forward, so to speak.
Mind you, I’d never used chestnuts with pasta and I don’t generally make a butter-based sauce (calories!), but what the heck? They do a lot of that in Tuscany and everyone looks great.
While returning to Montecatini from a trip to Pisa, I had time to reflect on my travels in Italy. I realized that over the years I’ve visited close to 25 cities — and about three-quarters of them more than once (Florence 3x, Rome 3x, Venice 2x, Montecatini 2x, Pisa 2x, Lucca 2x, etc.) You get the idea. Amazing, isn’t it?
And, while I probably won’t go back again next year, I am in no way done with Italy. Continue Reading
I came home from a trip to Tuscany with a yen for ribollita. It was there on many menus, but I never ordered it (even I could only eat the proverbial ‘so much’)…although I did get a taste when someone at the table ordered it. But that’s just not as satisfying as having a whole bowl (or 2) all to yourself.
So, once I got home, it didn’t take me long to make some. Heck, I wasn’t even home 2 days – truth be told, I hadn’t even finished unpacking, but I had an irresistible urge to make a pot of ribollita and that takes precedence. Right? Continue Reading
Now don’t go rolling your eyes…yes, it’s another eggplant parm recipe but, trust me, it’s different…and special!
A little truffle salt and it’s good enough to pair with wine…I did! Continue Reading
Apparently every Spanish-speaking country has their version of this classic dish. Being half-Spanish, I grew up eating a traditional arroz con pollo from Spain. When I started cooking myself, I took a somewhat Spanish-American approach. That meant I used no-fail Uncle Ben’s rice and strictly adhered to the directions…2-1 liquid, bring to a boil, lower and cover for 20 minutes. Even when I did it in a paellera in the oven, I covered it with foil.
Interestingly, I realized as I wrote this post that the literal translation of this dish is ‘rice with chicken’; yet, it is popularly translated and referred to as ‘chicken and rice’ (and that’s the way I used to make it.) Do you see the distinction?